The question has come up many times. "Why didn't he shoot to wound?" or declarations like "I would have aimed for the weapon instead of the chest."
Such questions and declarations are the product of ignorance of how gun fighting works. Gun fights are stressful. Anytime you have to pull a firearm
to defend yourself there are physiological considerations that go immediately into effect.
1. While adrenaline can be a huge helper in a fist fight, it is awful in a gun fight where fine motor and cognitive skills are more useful. Aiming and
manipulating pistol controls becomes far more difficult, if you have been injured first the effects are heavily compounded.
2. Targets, in real life, tend to move in a firefight. This makes aiming(which is already extremely difficult due to #1), a lot more difficult and
compounds the problem.
3. The point of employing a firearm in a fight isn't necessarily to kill. It is to stop a threat from continuing. Sometimes that takes more than one
shot. Sometimes it takes more than 10. Bullets don't mean instant death, or even instant incapacitation. You must put only as many rounds into the
target as is necessary to make them stop. Sometimes that means that person is going to die. In such cases, you better make damned sure that you are
justified in your actions.
4. This isn't the freakin' movies. I'm tired of repeating this. There are so many ignorant people out there who believe what they see in television
shows and movies as though firefights are fluid sets of circumstances that follow a certain set of rules. the notion that everyone is trained to be a
sniper in police and military forces, or that the capabilities of a hand gun or rifle are far more accurate and potent than they really are.
In real life, the good guys don't always win. In real life, innocent people who can't fight back are killed brutally. In real life, a firefight is a
chaotic mess of fear, adrenaline, and milliseconds of traumatic, emotionally, and physically exhausting combinations of actions that cannot be neatly
placed into a box of "this is how things are" or "this is how things should be". Everyone has a "plan" until they get popped in the mouth or the
shooting starts. As the saying goes, the best made plans fail first contact with the enemy.
5. Training is not what people think it is. There are many fine aspects of training that can make one a good shooter at a range. But when the real
SHTF much of that training is boiled down to disengaging the safety and aiming center mass on target. No one is thinking about proper trigger squeeze,
breathing rhythm, sight picture dynamics, optical parallax or anything else like that. This is combat. It is stop the threat from killing you time,
and you often don't have time to think about "I should just shoot 'em in the leg".
6. Mortal wounds are often created by shooting extremities. Legs and arms contain huge arteries that, if pierced by a bullet, will cause a non-stop
gush of blood to pour out until the person bleeds out...In that amount of time that person can still fight you and kill you. Aim for the spot on the
body that will make them stop. That is usually the upper torso. In the event that fails, THEN you need to move in for finer shots to the head and
pelvis(it is deadly and incapacitating).
7. Lastly, but most importantly, just because the object isn't to kill, does not mean that the use of deadly force is any less deadly. The same
notions of "shoot to wound" are found on the other side of the coin, i.e. "shoot to kill". If you are shooting to kill someone you may wind up in jail
REGARDLESS of who was the original aggressor. If you draw a weapon on someone and the mere sight of it makes the perpetrator run away, your legitimacy
in using deadly force is GONE. Always shoot to stop. If the mere presence of your weapon is enough to stop the threat and force a retreat by the
aggressor then the weapon has done its job.
Never rely on the mercy of criminals or the Hollywood notions of how firefights are "supposed" to happen. Train, practice, and study deadly force
incidents. Find out for yourself.
edit on pSat, 29 Nov 2014 20:13:59 -0600201429America/Chicago2014-11-29T20:13:59-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason