Thursday, 12 May 2011

Met issued with 'inhumane' dum-dum bullets

The use of hollow-point or 'dum-dum' rounds in warfare was prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899 and this prohibition remains in force. It's quite legal, however, for States to use them against its own citizens for purposes of 'law enforcement', and this is just what the Met has done. In future all 9mm rounds used by Met firearms plods will be dum-dum.


The use of hollow-point rounds in putting down colonial insurrections was defended by Sir John Ardagh in the following terms "The civilized soldier when shot recognizes that he is wounded and knows that the sooner he is attended to the sooner he will recover. He lies down on his stretcher and is taken off the field to his ambulance, where he is dressed or bandaged.. Your fanatical barbarian, similarly wounded, continues to rush on, spear or sword in hand; and before you have the time to represent to him that his conduct is in flagrant violation of the understanding relative to the proper course for the wounded man to follow - he may have cut off your head". In warfare against savages, Ardagh said, a bullet that caused such massive tissue damage and loss that it would physically stop the fanatical tribeman was needed.


The only problem is that the Met can't seem to tell the difference between a fanatical jihadist and a suntanned tourist, or indeed between a fanatical jihadist and a fat Irishman carrying a chair leg. And the keen volunteers from whom the Met's firearms plods are selected are by definition the least suitable persons to be allowed to carry firearms; you don't become a farmer because you like killing rabbits.


Still, the 'stopping power' of a score of plods armed with H&Ks loaded with dum-dum against a violent anti-government protest must give the political class a little more comfort today.

8 comments:

J C said...

Full metal jacket 9mm have a nasty habit of going straight through the target. In an urban situation it's much better to have the round stop in the first body it hits.

Paul Power said...

JC has it right. You've been misled by lefitist moral-posturing on this one, I'm afraid.

Indeed, armies and other fighting forces in one sense prefer bullets that only injure. If you injure an enemy combattant, one of his colleagues will likely stop to help him, so you've removed two enemy fighters with one "hit".

You also have to remember that the lethality of a bullet is also dependent to the square of its velocity; a modern military rifle will fire bullets with a much higher velocity than any sidearm.

Gordo said...

"suntanned tourist"

The gentleman was,like so many many others, in the country illegally. If our borders were properly policed Mr Menezes would still be alive, at home in his native Brazil.

Blue Eyes said...

If you think the Met has adopted this because it is inhumane, you obviously haven't met a senior manager recently

Jackart said...

Of course the purpose of dum dum is to stop in the person you're shooting, and not go straight through to kill the innocent bystander behind too.

This is more of a problem with the higher velocities achieved with a HK MP5 than it is with the standard 9mm.

DP111 said...

Sir John Ardagh in the following terms "The civilized soldier when shot recognizes that he is wounded and knows that the sooner he is attended to the sooner he will recover. He lies down on his stretcher and is taken off the field to his ambulance, where he is dressed or bandaged.. Your fanatical barbarian, similarly wounded, continues to rush on, spear or sword in hand; and before you have the time to represent to him that his conduct is in flagrant violation of the understanding relative to the proper course for the wounded man to follow - he may have cut off your head".

He must have been with Winston Churchill on the Sudan expedition brought about by the beheading of Gordon.

Churchill's "River War" is a fascinating read.

As to the news item itself, maybe the MET is thinking of Little Sudans and Somalias in London and Birmingham.

Anonymous said...

From articles I have read, the use of Frangible ammunition was on advice from Israeli security services with reference to dealing with suicide attacks. Apparently being shot with previous bullets still allowed the bomber to set off his device.

As Jackart mentions another purpose of these bullets is to reduce collateral damage.

In my view if an armed officer pulls the trigger he has decided that the target has to die. Does it matter what bit of metal kills them?

Shooting the gun out of their hand or a shoulder flesh wound ala cop shows isn't real you know.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that a 9mm does not do the job. The fanatic does 'keep coming on at you'. The US army found that out too, in the Phillipines circa the same time as the Sudan 'experiments'. It was that experience which lead to the search for a better side-arm and eventually to the John Browning's (pbuh) 45. cal M1911A.
But arming an English cop with a 'cowboy calibre' would never do..so 9mm it is.