It looks like there really was some fantastic marksmanship at work in this incident with the Somali Pirates.Â Â I have to share Dave Kopel’s sentiment that President Obama deserves kudos for ordering the Navy to do what they had to do, and get the captain back by whatever means were prudent, even if it meant dead pirates.Â When he does something right, I will praise him.Â Let’s look at the marksmanship though:
U.S. Navy snipers fatally shot three pirates holding an American cargo-ship captain hostage after seeing that one of the pirates “had an AK-47 leveled at the captain’s back,” a military official said Sunday.
The captain, who’d been held in a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean since Wednesday, was rescued uninjured, Navy Vice Adm. Bill Gortney told reporters.
U.S. forces moved to rescue Phillips after seeing him in imminent danger on the lifeboat, Gortney said. A fourth pirate was negotiating Phillips’ fate aboard the nearby USS Bainbridge.
“While working through the negotiations process tonight, the on-scene commander from the Bainbridge made the decision that the captain’s life was in immediate danger, and the three pirates were killed,” Gortney said. “The pirate who surrendered earlier today is being treated humanely; his counterparts who continued to fight paid with their lives.”
Now imagine the shot they had to take.Â You’re on the deck of a ship that’s pitching in the high seas, and shooting at targets who are also pitching in the same seas.Â You not only have to be able to aim to where the targets are right now, but where they will be by the time the bullet finds it way to the target.Â The distances involved are probably on the order of hundreds of yards, if not more.Â The pirates “was shot in the head.” according to a defense official.
We should thank God we have such skilled men and women defending our country.Â I’m going to bet future pirates are going to avoid American flagged vessels from this point forward.
UPDATE: Blackfive is reporting the distance was about 25 meters.Â I’m surprised the pirates allowed themselves to be reeled in that close.Â Either way, there’s no such thing as a fair gunfight.