Back when simunition first came out (non-lethal ammunition that police and military people fire from their weapons in training situations that splatters rather than killing) the US Navy sent me to a USDOJ training class on hostage negotiation and rescue at Quantico, VA to better learn how USDOJ did it. The instructors, many and varied, told us that, “in a hostage situation, the hostage has no value”. We went out for a practical exercise and I became the voice of the student negotiators to negotiate and demonstrate with the pretend hostage taker while being evaluated by FBI experts. Instructors explained that if we did a good job, the situation would be defused that the hostage would be released and the hostage taker could be taken safely into custody.
In the real world, “taken into custody”, meant that the hostage taker would face a lengthy trial at public expense and incarceration for a long period of time at public expense.
The FBI instructor asked, “What were you thinking, LL?” He said, “You were supposed to negotiate with him, not hurt him, you #%& Navy asshole.”
The goggles only covered his eyes. His nose was only protected by a knit ski mask – they took more care to find appropriate protective gear after that – “lesson learned”.
Shooting the marathon bomber stopped his bombing days. Killing bin Laden kept him from further plotting. Does anyone remember Christopher Dorner, former LAPD reject last year? He burned to death in a cabin in the San Gorgornio mountains not far from from Los Angeles, thus ending the negotiation after he killed several police officers in a rampage through Southern California.
I do not suggest that there is not a place in this world for negotiation. I’m sure that it exists. However, I don’t think that hostage takers, baby rapers, jihadi terrorists or people of that stripe deserve much more than a bullet in the nose. Or in Dorner’s case, a few pyrotechnic gas canisters through the window of a dry wooden mountain cabin where he’d taken refuge after murdering a police officer. The coroner was able to safely remove the carcass from the ashes, thus ending the psychological trauma of Christopher Dorner.