2015/04/10

The irritating flashlight issue

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Do you remember 1990's cop television series? Suddenly, all law enforcers seemed to use some cool-looking arms gymnastics to align a flashlight in their left hand with their pistol in their right hand. It sure looked cool, but I wondered about the concept itself: Didn't we teach Bundeswehr soldiers in basic not to do anything like this on guard duty?
The flashlight right between yourself and a suspect would be a perfect aiming help for the suspect even if he's dazzled by the light. You'd want the flashlight to be as far away from you as possible

Old "Reibert" book illustration
The 90's also saw the rise of "Surefire" (tm), a flashlight to be mounted on a firearm coaxially. Countless similar products have been introduced in the meantime.

Again, I wondered about why one would mount such a presence indicator on a firearm. I figured it only makes sense if you feel vastly superior to the opposition anyway.

The use of such accessories has increased over time, propelled by the proliferation of standardized mounting rails on firearms.
Military forces use a similar concept at night; a near-infrared laser that's not visible to the naked eye even at nighttime, but is visible to someone with night vision goggles. Again, I figures this only makes sense if you expect to be superior anyway (against an opponent with no night vision goggles or sights).

This sounds fine for occupation duties, but not like a requirement for a real defence-oriented army. Vastly inferior powers attack rarely - they defend.

S O
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