I try not to allow sarcasm into my writings. I will try not to today, but can make no promises. Sometimes, you read things that are just so dumb, the sarcasm writes itself.
Recently, I have read some writings from police administrators, police trainers, and musings in the media in reference to the “21 Foot Rule”. To put everyone in the readership on a level playing field in our readership, this “21 Foot Rule” is what most of us also know as the Tueller Drill. In the early 1980’s, Sgt Dennis Tueller conducted studies involving how quickly a subject armed with a knife could cover a given distance, before an officer could react, draw and fire effectively at the knife wielding attacker.
Now, I have been exposed to this drill for most of my career. The crux of what I carried from it was an attacker can cover that 21 foot pretty quickly, so when dealing with non-compliant suspects, it is wise to have the gun in your hand, and a plan in your head.
Apparently, according to reading some of these “writings”, the “21 foot rule” now has been expanded to shooting everyone with a knife within 21 feet. At least that is the media portrayal of it at this point. Many of the writings I have seen by people that I would figure that should know better is that the “21 foot rule” is somehow a magical justification to shoot anyone armed with a knife within that distance. Strangely, that was never how it was taught to me, and certainly never how I have taught it.
The “21 foot rule” teaches us in my opinion the dangers of edged weapons at closer distances. It teaches us to that the quickest draw in that situation is to have the gun already in your hand. But, at least in my exposure to the drill, it has never taught us that you should shoot anyone and everyone that you come into contact with that is armed with an edged weapon at 21 feet or less. With most police officers skill level, the distance is most likely around 30 feet before it becomes an even playing field.