Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"I only wanted to shoot them a little bit..."

God, Gals, Guns, Grub has photos of one of the more bizarre targets I've ever seen at a range.

Like him, I've never gotten the whole "oh, I'll just shoot them in the leg" thing. You can't shoot somebody just a little bit. "Getting winged in the shoulder" only happens on old A Team reruns; in real life there's no such thing. Lives are forever altered, even if nobody dies: a shot to the leg can hit the femoral artery, can wreck a knee, can result in amputation.

If you are not legally and morally justified in taking someone's life, you have no business whatsoever pointing a lethal weapon at any part of their body.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aside from which there is something to be said there only being one side of the story at the end of the gunfight.

I'm not suggesting that you'd lie, but there's nothing like the goblin spreading FUD to make a very bad situation (I just off'ed the murderous creep) that much worse.

Bubblehead Les. said...

You are 1,000% correct.

RWC said...

Watched 'Copycat' over the weekend. In the beginning Holly Hunter and her partner are in a kill house. Her partner proceed to tear into the target at center masa. Hunter proceeds to poo-poo him and shoots the target in the shoulder and gives some BS that it incapacitates the arm immediately. Oh brother.


Thankfully, later on in the movie she proceeds to shoot a perp in the shoulder who had her partner at gunpoint. Yeah, the trick worked and he dropped the gun. Only problem was he picked it up with his other arm and proceeded to ventilate her partner.

Weer'd Beard said...

Yep most of the Hollywood moments where the good guy takes a hit to the shoulder and just grits his teeth! (WOW WHAT A TOUGH GUY! FIGHTS THROUGH THE PAIN!)

Might very well bleed out inside a minuet from a brachial arterial bleed.

Also interesting that Hollywood seems very keen to show somebody ending it all by opening their wrists in the bathtub....but can get a gun shot out of their hand as nothing more than a cool trick.

A good hit to the knee can be just as much a fatal bleed.

The Raving Prophet said...

I've talked to folks who said "oh, I'd just shoot him in the leg."

Heck, it's hard enough to hit center mass and stop the threat. I don't know if these people are under the impression that it's easy to score hits under stress, if they think any bullet wound will incapacitate, or if they somehow believe an overzealous DA will shrug off a shot to a leg that was hinky instead of a bullet in the guts. Ditto all the stuff about less than lethal shotgun loads- if you're justified at all in bringing the thing into play, the justification is there for ventilating the perp with the most effective stuff at hand.

We citizens don't get to work our way up the continuum of force; if it's time to bring the gun out, you're already at Defcon 1 and it's time to hold nothing back.

Wilson said...

"If you are not legally and morally justified in taking someone's life, you have no business whatsoever pointing a lethal weapon at any part of their body."

The plain truth.

Ed Rasimus said...

Jeff Cooper, Ayoob, Jordan and many others have written in stone the mantra regarding mind-set for use of deadly force. A good CCW/CHL class will talk about the life-changing nature of bringing your weapon into action and all serious people have accepted the concepts. Knee shooters are knee-jerks.

RWC said...

I'll stick with my preferred method of giving them a hot-foot with an M2 flamethrower. Same concept.

Mikael said...

If you're justified to shoot, shoot and keep shooting until the perp stops moving. If you don't want to kill, and have the luxury, pause for a second before shooting to see if the perp backs off(assuming perp doesn't have gun in hand, and there's enough distance between you, etc). IE: Guy advances on you from 100 feet away with a melee weapon, or whatever.

Frank W. James said...

Actually, I saw that post before you mentioned it and my thoughts were "That's a GREAT Drugs and Armor Drill!"

If your antagonist is 'armored up' and center of mass isn't working, a good alternative is the femoral artery in either leg to the right or left of pubic area.

But they had their target pasters set too low for that in the photos provided.

Granted it's a small target and extremely hard to hit, but it's as good as trying to penetrate the 'helmet' which is round and only a half to a third 'full'.

As for the kneecap shots, I'm NOT the Irish Republican Army...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I should clarify... the jeans used as a target in the photos was for illustrative purposes... out behind our barn... the actual target I saw being used at the range by the other folks was cardboard... but the same concept...

Dann in Ohio

Jay G said...

Dammit. That makes me want to go all "Mythbusters" on a scene from "Out for Justice", where Seagal's character takes a guy's leg off at the knee with 00 buckshot...

Mike in KY said...

I don't remember an A-Team episode where anyone ever got shot...

Tam said...

I am afraid my lack of knowledge of The A Team has been exposed. :o

David said...

Decades ago a young local LEO shot a rape suspect who while fleeing the scene, burst out of an alley, to find a young police officer standing on the sidewalk with two citizens that he was trying to get to leave the area. Instead of turning and running - the perp yelled and charged straight at the officer and the bystanders. The LEO shot him in the right knee, in dim light, from about 30 yds. The local media gushed all over what a wonderful marksman he was, and it turned out he was a regional pistol shooting champion.

A few years later I was sharing a few beers with this former LEO (now fireman, because he found out he wasn't emotionally prepared to take a human life). He admitted that as bad as shooting the suspect was, the attention from everyone else was even worse. He was a very accomplished pistol marksman who was very proud of his shooting abilities. And when he really needed all those skills - he failed. He was aiming for center mass - missed - and hit the perp in the knee.

Anonymous said...

Five Feet of Fury links to a blog post which suggests that cops in Germany fire warning shots:

Restraint

The comments there are amusing. What I mean by amusing, is they are pathetic.

Mike James

Anonymous said...

For some reason, this has reminded me of the Hollywood induced terror regarding "Cop-killer" bullets that would go through motor blocks, concrete walls, 3" of steel,and a dozen or so 'bullet-proof vests' (another Hollywood concept) with internal homing device for cops all due to some sort of teflon coating... At the time I remarked, who is marketing friendly bullets? If you shoot someone with full metal jacketed ammo, #12 shot, or rock salt you are still SHOOTING THEM for goodness sake! Kentucky .357 Jones

Tam said...

David,

"The LEO shot him in the right knee..."

Low & left? There are two kinds of shooters: Those who knew the punchline of the story right there, and those who had to read the second paragraph. ;)

Tam said...

(...and from 30 yards out, COM-to-right knee isn't much of a flinch at all. Untrained shooters start skipping bullets off the ground at 10-15 yards when they start yanking the trigger. Don't believe me? Look at the floor at your local indoor range.)

Unknown said...

I was just thinking about targets like that for urban obstacle training.

When the WalMart parking lot has turned into a 2 way range and the only target you have is what is visible under the bullet sponge, I mean car, that you are huddling behind. Well, in that case it would be nice to have spent a little time training to shoot the available target.

Personally, I don't want to learn the do's and don'ts of shooting under obstacles on the 2 way range in the dark and the rain.

Also, as we are to shoot to stop, if shooting some yahoo in the ankle because it's the only available target gets him to stop slinging lead indiscriminately, that's all to the good.

Tam said...

Unknown,

Completely orthogonal to the point at hand.

azmountaintroll said...

What you are looking at is people trying to overcome deep psychological conditioning. The fact that they are able to handle a firearm at all, let alone contemplate pulling the trigger is a significant breakthrough.

Kristopher said...

David: a shot in the dark at a moving target's COM that tags a knee counts as a hit.

Stuart the Viking said...

My initial firearms instruction came from my Uncle who was a beat cop on the wrong side of the tracks in a medium size city in Kansas. He initally preached CENTER MASS. However, once I got past the initial instruction, he changed to five center, one hip. This was because in a few of the shootings that he had been involved in over the years the perp was hyped up on drugs. His thoughts were that if the first five .357Mag rounds center mass didn't drop the guy, hopefully even a drugged up mess would be slowed by them enough that a hip-breaking shot would be possible, further slowing the perp, giving him time to reload (and shoot some more, he was never shy about putting lead down range once he decided to shoot). He retired about the time they were trying to force him to move to a 9mm.

Now I'm not about to try to defend wether a .357 could/would break someone's hip, because I can count the number of people that I have shot without even getting to one, but my old uncle swore by that strategy and it seemed to work for him.

s

docjim505 said...

Bad training for the zombie apocalypse...

jed said...

I think Shepherd Book trained on those.

Ratus said...

"I was aiming for his head." Janye Cobb

Firehand said...

I've gone through that argument with a couple of friends, "Aiming for their arm or leg is bullcrap from movies and tv, not something to actually do." One listened; don't know if she actually understood, but she did listen. The other kind of tuned it out; she lives in a rural area, she's willing to be armed, but putting that front sight COM(or high COM, I sent her a link to the Geek's dissertation) and pulling the trigger, well, she just couldn't really work her mind into that.

Jennifer said...

a subordinate in my office continues to spout this kind of thing. 'I just want to hurt him.' 'I want him to know I'm serious.' You aren't serious unless you are employing that deadly weapon with deadly force. Period.