Unfortunately, the executive protection is a profession that is usually based more on customs and habits than on reason and serious studies. For this reason, its practices are often absurd and dangerous, and although lives are continually lost, nothing has been done to stop improvising or to abandon its bad practices.
The operations are implemented "because it has always been done that way" and not because they have the basis to apply the proposed measures. One of the greatest and most frequent absurdities in which the executive protection is the deployment of armed agents, without a prior security study and without any additional measures or strategies. Such cases range from the deployment of a driver with a gun to a patrol car full of agents with long guns.
In spite of being the most requested, this concept borders on the insane, since, by not including any other measure other than the weapon, the proposal is evidently to reduce risks by means of a shooting. However, the shooting itself implies a serious risk in which all those involved are vulnerable. It is therefore evident that this concept intends to mitigate risk with more risk, which is both ridiculous and dangerous. If we add to this situation the fact that statistics show only a 5.17 % effectiveness of firearms in real conditions, it is clear that this concept generates a false empowerment, which works as long as nothing happens, but which, when put to the test, implies a serious danger.
It is enough to review the cases that have been presented only in the last year in different Latin American countries (which are freely available in this blog) to realize, with clear examples, the seriousness in which the absurdity of this concept falls.
The executive protection is not the Wild West; it is a set of measures aimed at reducing the executive's exposure to risk and defusing attacks in their preparation phase; nor is it an armed confrontation intended to save the protégé from dramatic scenes, as in the movies.
Of course, I do not mean that we should dispense with weapons in this profession; but we must be very clear: weapons will be implemented in operations as long as a serious and professional study indicates that it is necessary, and only if it goes hand in hand with other measures and strategies that avoid exposing the executive to risk.
The gun can be used as a last resort, but never as the only one, which is unfortunately all too often the case. Only in this way can we have a safer profession for both executives and protectors.