The police in the Philippines are apparently taking away their officer’s guns, and issuing them whistles instead.

“We’re trying to go back to the basics. We’ll be training our police officers to blow whistles instead of firing their handguns in the air to stop crime,” he said.

What you have there is a training issue.  Any idiots remotely conversant with the laws of physics should know that things that go up in the air come down – and with bullets they often come down with some force.

A bullet fired straight up at a 90 degree angle is not going to return to earth with enough velocity to kill – this is because it accelerates straight up, then eventually stops, and reverses it’s fall, accelerating only to its terminal velocity on the return flight.

However, a projectile fired in the air at any kind of angle is going to fly in a parabola, and will likely retain enough energy to kill or injure.  This is why it’s just a stupid idea to shoot guns in the air – that bullet has to come down somewhere.

I think it’s funny that cops are losing their guns and getting whistles – but at the same time it’s kind of sad that their cops aren’t trained enough to know better than to shoot their firearms in the air.


  1. Maybe the authorities should hand out starter pistols for warning shots.

    Some Arab country essentially did the same thing when it asked people to use blanks when they fire into the air (at weddings and parties).

  2. In parts of Indonesia as well as Borneo, local law enforcement has always favored knifes and/or machetes over firearms. In some of the poorer or less accessible villages, they cannot even afford cops, so they have one of the local carpenters carve a lifesize likeness of one and station it at intersections to direct traffic. The locals take turns sitting next to the wooden statue and turning it to stop or allow traffic to pass, and their success at monitoring congestion is actually greater than when the real live cops show up for their monthly turn. In fact, most areas send them home as soon as they arrive, because the dummies do a better job.

    Isn’t that always the case though.

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