I publish below the highlights of a just written set of remarks and comments made by David “Double D” Devereaux. He is the Spokesperson for the Washington State Council of Clubs, Founder of the Motorcycle Profiling Project, and works with motorcyclists at the national level. Below are the highlights. The full article is HERE.
Many people interested in target shooting are familiar with practice targets. Many times these targets are silhouettes of human beings. Nothing descriptive, just a neutral target. Then there are practice targets that more graphically depict people. Beyond neutral practice targets, these targets depict stereotypical images of terrorists, bank robbers, and armed criminals with a hostage. It’s impossible to defend the actions or goals of any of these types of people so vilifying their images receives little objection.
But what about law enforcement practice targets that depict motorcyclists as a caricature of criminality? If motorcyclists wearing helmets and leather jackets are depicted pointing a gun as if they are a threat during training, doesn’t it make sense that this would eventually create the same instinctual threat assessment when they see a biker in the field? Do these targets encourage and reinforce discrimination and profiling against bikers, or worse?
It only makes sense that biker practice targets reinforce a discriminatory mindset that has persisted for decades. But what do the experts or studies say? Experts and university studies both say the instinct to shoot is intimately tied to the visual depiction of the target. And subject matter experts agree that biker shooting targets are dangerous, and all use of such targets should completely cease.
A company called Baker Targets offers a practice target called the “Bad Biker Target”. The ad reads “Bad bikers need to be terminated!”. The ad depicts a masked man pointing a handgun with his right hand while riding a motorcycle. Aside from the fact that reality requires your right hand to be on your throttle while riding or you will rapidly decelerate, this image contains red dots indicating high value targets within the target. Notice one of these is on the front tire!
Unfortunately, “Bad Biker Target” is not the first discriminatory depiction of motorcyclists on practice targets. The practice of vilifying motorcyclists has been occurring for decades. The feature image is a practice target depicting a motorcyclist that has existed since the ’70’s.
Experts Say “Bad Biker Target” Increases the Chance of Unjustified Deadly Force.
Retired 1st Sgt. Bobby Colella, a Subject Matter Expert on the U.S. Army’s premier marksmanship training system, has trained thousands of Soldiers in marksmanship skills. Colella says, “If any police department or officer is found using “Bad Biker” targets on or off duty, it’s a logical assumption that they are conditioning their minds to automatically perceive a threat, and subsequently eliminate that threat, based on the observation of a person who resembles a motorcyclist. Perhaps this is what happened in Waco?”
“In conventional warfare, the enemy is identified by his uniform – In civilian policing, the threat should be identified by its actions, and actions alone. Motorcyclists are not at war with the police; they shouldn’t be at war with motorcyclists. These targets MUST be immediately removed from any inventory or range facility.”
Read the rest of the story by going HERE.