Warning shots are always bad.
Besides the obvious danger of that bullet having to stop/land somewhere there is the fact that if you have time to fire a warning shot then you are
not in fear of your life or the lives of others and that gun has no business being out of its holster.
If you're hand is on the gun then you honestly believe a threat to your life is coming. If that gun is out of its holster then the threat to your
life is staring you in the face and you're about to send 230 grains into its chest.
Warning shots are a bad idea all around.
While I'm getting kind of tied of having this debate, I'm also getting kind of tired of seeing people parrot your same faulty opinion, every time
the topic comes up. I think you're making several poor assumptions here.
First of all, perhaps you do
but not everyone trusts their own opinions and judgments completely. (And IMO people who always trust that their
own judgments are correct are an arrogant stain on this planet, and are more often wrong than right.) So some of us like to second-guess ourselves.
Sometimes quite a lot. Especially when it comes to very serious, important matters.
Second, while there are people out there who would happily squeeze the trigger on another person just for looking at them wrong, there are some other
people out there who would rather die, themselves, than to take another human life-- and every gradation in between. Therefore, there are plenty of
people who would only take a human life at the point where it was 100% certain their own life was in danger. (See my previous point about being
certain of one's own judgments. Then, see my next point...)
Third, I'm not sure how many times you've been in a situation where you were robbed / assualted / threatened / ganged up on / or otherwise
potentially in fear for your life. I have been. Many times. I have been robbed, complete with assault and battery against my person, and I have had
guns pulled on me, and knives held to my throat while overpowered (both in the context of robbery, and "intimidation.") And I assure you, sometimes
it can be VERY
difficult to determine what someone's true intentions are in a given situation, or what they may be capable of. If I pulled a
gun and fired every time I was in such a situation, and had such fear, I'd already have a pretty "respectable" body count (and yet not even one
of those cases
being truly "necessary.")
When you are in a situation where you're being approached by someone, or a group of someone's and you don't know what their intentions are, you may
not have time
to wait until you're certain of their intentions. As you, yourself, sort of conceded to. So I can see the desire to brandish a
weapon, as a way to say "look, I'm not easy prey" before it gets to the point where you have no time to spare, and you have to fire a weapon to
save your life.
Likewise, I can easily envision situations where a perp might be willing
to cross certain lines, so long as it's not too much of a risk to
themselves. And judging that kind of thing can be as tough for the perp, as it is for you to judge whether the perp will go through with it. So maybe
a "warning shot" is enogh to show them some "proof" and help make up their mind. Sure, it's not perfect, and there may be some dangers there...
but I don't think it should be as prohibited as it is, in many situations.
And I also thought the blank-first-round idea was novel and interesting. Certainly wouldn't agree to it being mandated by law. But it could be worth
considering, if you're the "warning shot" type.
I also disagree with the "center mass only" proponents. (Honestly, why do you guys follow scripted dogma like you're a religion or a cult?
Seriously. I want to know this.) Yes, if it's truly, certainly
life-or-death, accept no substitute. But if "hey I've got a gun," and
brandishing don't seem enough, but you're reluctant to take a life, or create a potential legal nightmare for yourself? I see no harm in a good old
fashioned leg shot, if you've got the aim to pull one off.... In fact, I'd say that's a nice happy medium between the "warning shot" and "shoot