Law enforcement shot three men in the last 30 days. This kind of thing used to happen once every couple of years. Now three in a month? KEPR did a great analysis on this, naturally asking if deadly force was necessary. I wonder that myself, but I also ask, why are criminals getting more aggressive?

KEPR quotes Richland Captain Mike Cobb saying all three men were armed and presented an "imminent threat." It turns out the gun in the first incident (Kennewick) was only a toy, but it looked real. In the second incident (Pasco) the man was shooting at law enforcement -- that obviously warranted a deadly response. But the third (Pasco) only had a knife. Couldn't they have just wounded him? Cobb said an officer is trained to only fire when they feel an imminent threat, and at that point it's too late to switch to rubber bullets or shoot someone in the arm. I can see the logic in this. If police are going to carry guns, it makes sense they'd only use this tool in the most extreme circumstances as a last resort. I appreciated KEPR asking these tough questions and law enforcement giving candid responses.

So my thoughts turn to the people who choose to use weapons in their encounters with police and sheriffs. If they understand officers will shoot to kill, why are they comfortable creating a deadly situation?

As I scramble to make sense of that, the word "desensitization" comes to mind.

I feel it happening to me as a citizen. You just catch your breath from the last time you got the wind knocked out of you from a shocking news story and then you hear it happened again!

Are criminals being desensitized by video games like Black Op, Call of Duty and Assassins Creed? We know the military uses these to help desensitize soldiers to scary situations when they might have to actually shoot people.

These games sell billions, revealing the public's voracious appetite for this kind of entertainment. You're a fool if you don't acknowledge the effect that is having on at least some individuals -- maybe because they're weak minded or whatever. As they play these games over and over it becomes easier to pull the trigger and have no remorse -- at least more so than people who don't play.

Even if video games are not to blame, you must acknowledge these perpetrators just didn't care about the harm they posed to the officers. Where is this über aggression coming from? This is the Tri-Cities! Is it stronger drugs? Are these people just idiots?

And while we're talking about desensitization, something else needs to be mentioned. Regardless of the circumstances in which you think a policeman should do or should not take a life, when they do that they have to live with that for the rest of their days. If you think for one second they can just move on from that you're fooling yourself. Look at the impact killing has on soldiers. When you are in a mindset of kill or be killed, you're in an impossible scenario where no one wins.

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