Right now, the media is spreading myths about self-defense that will send you to the Gray-Bar Hotel.
It certainly doesn’t help that the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination for President, Joe Biden, is so grievously misinformed about guns and the use of lethal force–and that the mainstream media is so happy to repeat his misinformation–but his most recent comments merely reflect a myth about self-defense that has been around for a very long time. There are others that will no doubt begin circulating if they haven’t already, and they’re extremely dangerous. In these times of not-so-civil civil unrest, these self-defense myths could cost you your freedom…or your life.
That’s because each of these myths about armed self-defense run counter to the central tenet of same, which is: We do not shoot to warn, to wound, or to kill; we only shoot to stop the threat. Here’s what we mean.
Stupid Self-Defense Myth #1: Shoot ’em in the leg!
This, sadly, is what happens when you have an entire generation that got their information about how guns work from Hollywood. Joe Biden was recently quoted suggesting that the police ought to be trained to deliberately shoot to wound. Joe, I hate to break it to you, but “shoot ’em in the leg instead of the heart” only works if you are The Terminator; furthermore, I’m sorry to report that The Terminator is actually a fictional character. And also a robot.
For the record, here’s why deliberately shooting to wound is a terrible idea that might get you killed or jailed. First, shooting at small, fast-moving targets like the arms or legs is extremely difficult to do accurately–ask anyone who’s ever spent time on the range plinking at spinning targets. That means that your chances of missing your target go up exponentially…and that bullet will keep traveling after it misses, potentially harming an innocent person.
Secondly, the way American laws work with regards to armed self-defense is that the defender must be in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily injury. Taking the time to carefully aim at an attacker’s extremities is, possibly, evidence that you weren’t really in imminent danger at all.
Stupid Self-Defense Myth #2: Give ’em a warning shot!
Oh my, isn’t this interesting? One of the most prominent founts of the “give ’em a warning shot” advice also happens to be the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden. It’s one of those ideas that seems like it makes sense until you think about it for half a second; after all, none of us wants to shoot another human being if we don’t have to, and it would sure be nice if we could just scare the attacker off. Here’s the problem with that: Just like the “shoot ’em in the leg” advice, many courts will (rightly) interpret the fact that you gave a warning shot as evidence that you were not in imminent danger. If you had time to warn your attacker, they’ll argue, the danger wasn’t imminent enough to merit skinning your iron.
Furthermore, unless that “warning shot” went directly and deliberately into a safe backstop, there’s always the danger of your shot hitting an innocent person. Remember that every single bullet may have only cost 50 cents per round at the store, but once it leaves the muzzle of your gun it has a $10,000 lawyer attached to it.
Stupid Self-Defense Myth #3: Shoot ’em in the head and kill them!
Before we get started, I’ll concede that this is the “least stupid” of the three stupid myths. The third shot of the Mozambique Drill goes into the oval-shaped target that represents the top of the face, and is supposed to be the coup de grace if the first double-tap to the center of mass doesn’t stop the attacker. Note, however, that the Mozambique Drill is also known as the “failure drill,” and was created for those occasions when the first two shots don’t work because they either missed the center of mass, or the force of inertia is still carrying the attacker forward. That’s because headshots, like shots to the arm or leg, are shots to a small moving target. Missing a headshot is all too easy, even for well-trained shooters, and a miss could mean a wounded innocent bystander.
Finally, “shoot ’em in the head” is bad advice because, again, it runs counter to the central tenet of self-defense: We do not shoot to wound, we do not shoot to warn, we shoot to stop the threat. Whether the attacker who was trying to kill you lives or dies isn’t your problem. Your one and only goal is to survive the encounter; whether the attacker survives is up to the emergency responders that you will call as soon as you have stopped the threat. (Interestingly, with prompt medical attention, about 73% of people shot with handguns will survive.)
Chances are pretty good that you, the Freedom’s Lodge reader, already know pretty well that these pieces of “advice” aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on or the air it took to form the words. However, when you’ve got people as prominent as a Presidential candidate spreading this b.s., it’s important to make sure people understand the truth…so if you’re so inclined, we’d appreciate it if you used the “share” buttons at the bottom of this article!
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