The traditional black human silhouette target used by law enforcement and civilian firearms instructors for decades is literally under fire in the form of a Change.org online petition to ban those targets from shooting ranges because of a study that apparently suggests a correlation between the targets and the shooting of black suspects.
According to The Blaze:
“A new Change.org petition calls for the end of “human black targets” at shooting ranges, citing the disproportionate number of black individuals who are shot by trained shooters than white people.
“Young black men are three times more likely to be shot by trained shooters than their white peers,” the petition states, noting a “disturbing potential correlation” in that “the most popular target for shooters to learn to use their firearm is a black silhouette.”
“The petition cited a Dec. 20, 2016 CNN report, which points to a 2015 study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The study analyzed 42 other studies, and concluded that “relative to white targets, participants were quicker to shoot armed black targets, slower to not shoot unarmed Black targets and more likely to have a liberal shooting threshold for Black targets.”
Change.org is calling on the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) to “update and modernize the instruction and teaching techniques being used to train the majority of law enforcement officers by taking into account recent research on trigger bias.”
They’ve launched a hashtag, #NoMoreBlackTargets.
According to the petition, “Unconscious bias can be deadly, and we need to fight the deadly epidemic of gun violence towards black people. Getting rid of black targets at shooting ranges and replacing them with variations of of more diverse target designs, changing from the negative stimulus shown in the study above.”
That may not flesh out in reality, however. A look at the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2015 indicates that whites kill more whites than blacks and vice versa.
What isn’t said in any report, perhaps because nobody keeps data, is that criminals probably don’t spend time at gun ranges practicing on human silhouette targets, and they seem to be the ones doing most of the shooting.