The now iconic images from the US Capitol will last in our memory forever.
Plainclothes police officers barricading the door to the floor of the House of Representatives with their Glock pistols drawn.
The horror of it all aside, on closer inspection, you may have noted something odd — a number of those pistols have reflective red-and-white striped tape on the sides of their slides.
According to a special report by Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway of The War Zone, it reflects an established practice of marking guns in similar ways to help members of security forces quickly identify each other and prevent friendly fire incidents in a chaotic situation.
In regards to the use of reflective tape on the Glocks, War Zone talked to Tomer Israeli, a former Chief Security Officer with the Israeli Secret Service, or Shin Bet, and who was also previously a member of the executive protection team for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
Tomer is now the head instructor at the Israeli Tactical School in Virginia, which provides training services for US military and law enforcement groups, as well as security forces from around the world, War Zone reported.
Although he had no direct knowledge of the Capitol Police’s specific policies, he confirmed that the application of the tape is not a totally uncommon practice.
It is used to differentiate “non-combatants from combatants in a crowded situation,” and helps officers make the right split-second decisions as to whether to engage a target or not, War Zone reported.
Crowded is certainly one way to describe what occurred when pro-Trump protesters (or terrorists, as some have called them) forced their way inside the Capitol as members of Congress, along with Vice President Mike Pence, were in the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
It’s difficult to tell from the photos what exact models of this popular pistol the officers were armed with, but Capitol Police were issued the Glock 22, which is chambered for the .40 caliber Smith & Wesson cartridge, as of 2019, War Zone reported.
It’s also not clear if any of the plainclothes individuals may have been from other federal agencies, and therefore might have been carrying other Glock models without the tape, War Zone reported.
With Vice President Pence present, the US Secret Service would also have had at least some personnel in the building.
On top of that, personnel from numerous other federal and local law enforcement agencies — including officers and agents from the D.C. Metro Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the US Marshals Service, and the US Park Police — subsequently flooded the Capitol.
All of this would only have increased the potential for confusion and raised the risks of potentially deadly misidentification, War Zone reported.
One security expert who did not want to be named, told Asia Times it’s a miracle more people were not killed, more was not looted or damaged, and that they didn’t burn the place down — they easily could have.
For example, a simple team of four foreign terrorists could have followed the group into the Capitol with machine guns, and killed legislators.
Instead, and, quite strangely, except for a few yahoos, if you look at the videos, most intruders to the Capitol stayed within the roped in areas — as if in awe of the environs.
But according to CNN, an Alabama man allegedly parked a pickup truck packed with 11 homemade bombs, an assault rifle and a handgun two blocks from the US Capitol building for hours before authorities ever noticed, according to federal prosecutors.
Another man allegedly showed up in the nation’s capital with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and told acquaintances that he wanted to shoot or run over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prosecutors said.