“The sword is more important than the shield and skill more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.” John Steinbeck
Some of the ideas discussed here will be elementary to my warrior followers, please bare (ha ha, just kidding, please don’t bare anything!) with me on this! Some subscribers are new to these concepts and don’t have any experience riding this train. Yesterday, I had a discussion, which led to the following. . . a few thoughts on where to shoot an attacker. If you are a “normal” person, you may have never entertained the thought of ending another person’s existence (in this world). Our time and place in history gives many the luxury of not having to consider defending their life.
However, people who live in, or wake up in, a place called “Realville”, know evil people exist, and are bent on stealing, raping and killing. Once a citizen of Realville has knowledge such evil exists, they must begin to formalize their thinking and beliefs on the details of defending the lives of those they hold dear.
These details, are the answers to the following questions.
- Am I the biggest, strongest and most skilled person in Realville? NO, you are not. . . Nobody is. You need something to equalize the difference in strength/skill/size – a weapon! And the accompanying skill and mindset for your weapon’s effective use.
- What type of weapon shall I choose? Bow & Arrow, Sword, Knife, Bat, Pepper spray, big flashlight, long gun, pistol, etc. This is a discussion for another day… in short, we live in America, so I recommend a gun of some sort. (Look for post on weapon selection.)
- If I have to shoot someone, isn’t it best to just wound them? I don’t need to kill them, right? There is a dump truck full of thought and fact to understand before you come to really know how to answer this question. We will discuss two tablespoons of the dump truck’s contents. You must know and completely “buy into” the answer to this question before you consider using a firearm to defend yourself or others.
First of all, I hope none of you ever are put in this place. If you are, I want you ready! I want you to have the proper mindset and goals in place for your survival! If you feel your life (or another’s) life is in imminent danger, and the threat is not backing down, your first goal is to eliminate the threat. This means taking away the threat’s ability to harm you.
If teleporting is not an option, you will have to incapacitate the bad guy to the point where he has no possible way to hurt you. Distress to the Central Nervous System (CNS) is the most efficient way to immediately “take the fight out of” us human beans. (Ha Ha, I know it is “being”, we needed a break from this heavy, killing info! now, back to it!) To cause immediate distress to the CNS, one must damage organs, circulation, airway or the brain. Most of our major organs are contained in the torso. So… injury to the torso is one of the quickest ways to “eliminate the threat.” A serious bad guy with a wounded arm, can still pull a trigger, hit you with a stick, kick you and kill you. Because of this, “center body mass” is the best place to aim and hit, and your best bet in securing survival.
Sometimes, death is the result of a torso hit. Is it sad? Maybe. Is it tragic? Yes, a life wasted on the self absorbed pursuit of taking from others is tragic. However, ultimately, it is the fault of the person wishing to cause you harm. If one is in the business of hurting people, being maimed or killed is one of the risks of this line of work.
There is another reason to aim at center body mass. . . weapons skill/motor skill deterioration under duress! If you are new to tactical shooting, you may have the idea, “I will just shoot him in the arm or leg!” After years of tactical shooting, and having been a trainer (for cops), I personally know, it is not realistic to think most people will have the skill necessary to pick arm or leg shots while experiencing the physiological effects of survival stress (WCNinja will have more on the effects of Survival Stress). Under this type of stress the most expedient thing to do, is aim for the largest part of the person trying to kill you. Do not underestimate the effect of duress on your skill! Aiming for center mass is the best way to ensure hits and to place bullets in position to stop the attack. A miss may scare away an attacker, but are you willing to wager your life on that possibility?
By the way, if the bad guy runs away, it is, almost, always best to let him go. Shooting a retreating suspect, in the back, never goes well for the shooter.
Aiming for and striking the center mass is the best way to interrupt the CNS and affords the highest probability of hitting and stopping the threat, while under severe stress.
Related topics to research, and stay tuned for…
- Legal ramifications of deadly force
- Psychological effects of killing – “On Killing” by Lt. Dave Grossman
- Survival Stress physiological effects & training to overcome
- Weapon selection, ammo selection and shot placement
- Myth of “knockdown power”
- The 21 Foot Rule and the need for Empty Hand skills when carrying concealed
- Rushing to your own death
- Survival/Warrior Mindset
- Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry
The content of this blog is my opinion and is not legal advice.