One of the perks of working for Osprey is getting your hands on early promotional copies of books that you really want to read. Last week I just finished a book titled Tools of Violence: Guns Tanks and Dirty Bombs.

It is a great book about the reality of modern weapons from handheld devices through bombs to fleets of ships and it is a great analysis of the realities so often misrepresented by the media. You will be able to get your hands on it in April.

The most interesting part for me was about the realities of the 'shoot to kill' doctrine, something that was in the news last year because of the fatal shooting of Charles De Menezes in Stockwell underground station, London in July.

The truth of that event is still obscured but Chris McNab and Hunter Keeter have written some highly relevant research on the the limitations on using handguns. For example on the perceived advantage of a gun over a knife they relate the research that has taken place at the FTU (Firearms Training Unit) and FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia where within 21 feet a man with a knife is perfectly capable of getting within range of an officer with a handgun and injuring or killing him:

"the harsh reality in such circumstance is that unless the shot happens to hit the attacker in the central nervous system, the attack will succeed... At closer ranges, the attack was successful before the agent could raise his weapon and fire a shot"

The book is full of this kind of research and was a fascinating insight into the reality never shown in films and rarely portrayed in the media, I'll be boring friends and family alike for weeks to come.