Apparently only those paid to handle weapons are capable of competent handling.
How true. Have you ever been on the range with a non-gun-nut cop? Scary shit.
Example. At my old department, the firearms instructors were very progressive. Lots of dynamic drills, hot range (i.e. we're all adults and you're responsible for loading/charging your weapons, being safe), etc.
During semi-annual qualifications, we were all snuggled up on the 5 yard line getting the boring 5-10-15-20 etc. basic qual drills out of the way. Despite the hot range, some officers would wait until going to the line and hearing the instructions before chambering up, so the instructors would call out readiness, if you're not charged now, charge, etc.
Well, on this day, DY's favorite lummox (ask him) unholstered, turned 180 degrees so he was facing AWAY FROM THE TARGETS AND TOWARD THE INSTRUCTORS, chambered a round, then turned back toward the targets. I stared at him, then at the instructor, who stared at me, then at him, then at each other again. It was just so matter of fact that nobody even thought to scream at him. He had some remedial instruction later in the day.
I have no idea why he did that. I guess he didn't want to offend the targets or something.
You'll also see cops do the old wild west "draw a bead" move, wherein they draw to a 30 degree upward angle and slowly bring the muzzle down on target. You can see a move like that in the Todd Jarrett video, when the student takes his first or second shot: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4584332856867071363&q=ipsc+jarrett
Don't get me started on the old-timers who are way more concerned about liability than about officer safety.
Good luck if they're your backup.
/hijack. So yeah, pretty much what Mikki said - instrument of death, political hot potato and of late a major Democratic party plank (ergo neutral Democrats tend to default to anti-gun, and true-believer gun haters are further legitimized).
I think comprehensive sex education and gun safety classes in all public schools would accomplish great things.