As we all know, we have a momentous choice to make November 3rd. For a great many Americans, a candidate’s expressed views, and their unspoken intentions, on the Bill of Rights particularly, and the Constitution generally, are a determining factor. This year, we can be certain of Donald Trump’s views, and don’t have to guess about his unspoken intentions, because he has plainly expressed those views, and his record is clear: he is all in for the Constitution, limited government and individual liberty. He really does put America, and Americans, first. Joe Biden, however, is clear in his expressed views, and for those he won’t tell us because they would be a campaign issue and a “distraction,” we have an equally easy time: he’s all in for destroying any portion of the Constitution that gets in the way of D/S/C policy, can’t possibly make government big enough—he’s more than willing to try, though–his handlers will decide—thank you very much—just how little personal liberty you’re going to get, and he’s absolutely not going to put America first; Iran and China, certainly. You’re not qualified to determine such things, but thank goodness, the self-imagined morally and intellectually superior elite are.
Biden demonstrated some of this at his ABC Townhall–“why are you so wonderful?”–appearance on October 15, when he asserted he doesn’t really want to obliterate the police, but:
There’s a lot of things we’ve learned and it takes time, but we can do this. You can ban chokeholds … you have to teach people how to de-escalate circumstances… Instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg.
Biden has given this lunatic advice in the past. He has also said shotguns are much easier to shoot accurately then AR-15s, and if attacked in one’s home, one should go out on the porch with their double barreled shotgun and crank off a round or two into the air, or simply shoot blindly through one’s closed front door(?!).
I’m sure you know, gentle readers, that because of their recoil, muzzle blast and report and limited effective range, shotguns are not remotely easier to shoot accurately than any AR-15 type rifle. I’m sure you also know a double barreled shotgun—two rounds–is a poor choice for a home defense weapon, shooting through doors with no idea what’s behind them is a good way to end up in prison for life, and so is shooting into the air; all those pellets tend to come back down somewhere and on someone. Biden’s implication is also one doesn’t have to aim shotguns, just point them in the general direction of an unseen target and let fly. This too is dangerous, potentially deadly, nonsense.
The topic for today’s article is Biden’s advice for the police—actually anyone—to shoot people demonstrating a clear intention to kill, in the leg. First, I’ll need to repeat information I’ve often repeated. Actually, one can’t get enough of this essential knowledge, nor can it be repeated too often. I last wrote about it, with a somewhat different focus, in September, but here we go again:
The Law of Deadly Force: I’m borrowing from attorney Andrew Branca, currently the national expert on this subject. His book–The Law of Self Defense,–is a must-have for those interested in this subject, and should be read and reread by anyone carrying a concealed handgun, or who might need to use force to defend their home and loved ones. His website is here. While I’ve understood these issues for decades, and expressed these concepts in evolving sets of terms, I’ve found Branca’s terms most appropriate for our times
The use of deadly force is justified when necessary to immediately end the imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to self or another. These are the elements to be considered, often within seconds:
Innocence: the defender must not be the initial or unlawful aggressor. People engaging in mutual combat can’t claim innocence. Innocence also means if deadly force is lawful, one must stop immediately when the threat stops. An innocent victim stops the imminent deadly threat, they do not punish the attacker; that’s the job of the criminal justice system. I know the criminal justice system isn’t working in some places these days, and if Biden and his handlers have their way, in far more, but thankfully, for the time being, that’s not in most of America.
Avoidance: Are you doing all you reasonably can to avoid conflict? This factor is largely dependent on local laws. Some states require one to do everything possible, including running away, to avoid having to use force. Such states normally place the burden on the innocent citizen to prove they did everything they could to avoid hurting the criminal. Other states have “Stand Your Ground”–SYG—and “Castle Doctrine” laws that do not require, as long as one is lawfully present, one to run away. They can remain where they lawfully are and defend themselves. Often, they also benefit from the presumption they were acting in self-defense. The state has to prove otherwise, which is how things ought to be.
Imminence: One can’t use deadly force against a possible attack, or against an attack that might happen at some time in the future. The danger must be real, clearly about to occur–within mere seconds of occurring–or already occurring. This does not require letting an attacker get in the first blow, stab or shot, only that a reasonable person would think an attack imminent.
Proportionality: the threat can’t be of humiliation or minor injury. If the only threat is of hurt feelings, any physical force is likely not proportional. An insult, no matter how nasty or obscene, cannot be followed by a gunshot. To lawfully use deadly force, a reasonable person must believe the, or another, is facing an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death.
Reasonableness: A reasonable person in the same circumstances would be compelled to use deadly force. It would be, in those circumstances, the only reasonable thing to do.
Let us assume for the purposes of this article you’re being attacked by someone, and all of the aforementioned criteria are present. You can’t avoid the attack in time, it’s happening right now, you’re innocent, you can’t stop it by any means other than deadly force, and it’s inherently reasonable to use it. Keep in mind things are somewhat different for police officers. They have to go into situations most people don’t. They have to arrest dangerous, even homicidal people, and as long as they’re acting within the law, they more or less enjoy a presumption of reasonableness. Again, that’s not true in some D/S/C-ruled cities, but you get the point.
This is important; it’s not mere semantics: you’re going to shoot to stop the attacker, not to kill them. They’re actively trying to kill you or someone else. Is it more important they eventually die, or they immediately stop doing whatever it is that gave you the lawful authorization to use deadly force? Obviously, stopping them as quickly as possible from carrying out their attack is most important. If they survive, fine, and if they don’t, fine too, but stopping them is your immediate, and only, objective, and what you’re going to say to the police, prosecutors, and perhaps even a jury. You didn’t want to kill anyone, but you absolutely had to stop the attacker; any reasonable person would have done the same.
How then, with your firearm, do you stop them as quickly as possible? There are essentially three ways to do it: neural damage, exsanguination (bleeding out), or breaking the skeleton. Of the three, some combination of neural damage and exsanguination is the most likely to be immediately effective. We’ll get to the third option shortly.
The best option for neural damage is destroying the brain stem, but that’s a very small target best accessed from behind, and hitting small targets under stress is so difficult as to be virtually impossible, as I explained in this 2017 article. The article speaks to hit probability shooting for center mass, not a tiny, moving target, for NYPD officers:
More data from the same report for the NYPD during 1994-2000 when the NYPD was far more semiautomatic heavy, are interesting, if frightening. At 0-2 yards, the officer hit rate was 69%, but from 3-7 yards, only 19%. The hit rate dropped precipitously from there, with only 2% from 16-25 yards and 1% at 25 yards and greater distance.
These trained police officers could hit any part of a human body between 3-7 yards only 19% of the time.
Shooting for “center mass” is essentially the sternum, the heart, lungs, and all the vital nerves and blood vessels running through that part of the body. It’s a much bigger area, and the chances for a rapid stop are much greater, particularly if one fires until the threat is stopped. Missing a bit to the sides or top of bottom of the point of aim is still likely to produced the desired result.
What’s that? Shoot more than once?! Yes. You shoot until the threat is stopped, and if that takes one round, great, but if it takes five rounds, that’s entirely lawful too. However, once again, when the threat is obviously ended, so too is the legal authorization to shoot. So how many rounds do I shoot? As many as are required to stop the imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death.
And here, gentle readers, is where we get to shooting to wound. If Biden is right, why not just shoot the gun or knife or bat out of the attacker’s hand? They used to do that in the old TV westerns, and our weapons are much more accurate and effective, so why not? Because it’s fiendishly difficult to hit a small, moving target under stress. It’s easy to miss and hit persons or things you don’t want to hit. Even if you did make a hit in a way that would cause the attacker to drop their weapon, they still have another hand. You’ve only rendered them somewhat less combat effective, not stopped them.
Let’s say you did somehow manage to shoot your attacker in the leg. Even if you somehow managed to hit their femoral artery, they will still likely have from 3-5 minutes of useful consciousness. You’ve only rendered them less mobile; they can still carry out their deadly intentions. You’ve wounded them, not stopped them.
Note: Some people, upon receiving even a minor, certainly non-fatal gunshot wound will immediately drop and cease all hostile action. I’ve come to call this the “Oh shit! I’ve been shot!” response. But others, receiving mortal wounds, will continue an attack. Some won’t even realize, in the heat of rage and adrenaline, they’ve been mortally wounded. There is no way to tell which kind of person is attacking you.
Another important consideration is the law. Remember police, and particularly prosecutors, will have all the time they need to dispassionately dissect the decisions and actions you had to take in fractions of a second under great stress. They’re going to ask themselves why, if you were really lawfully authorized to shoot, you chose to shoot them in a part of the body any reasonable person should have known would not immediately stop them. Did you do it because you weren’t sure you were justified in shooting, or because you knew you weren’t justified in shooting? Didn’t you really believe they were an imminent, deadly threat? And if you’re that good a shot, so good you could calmly and dispassionately choose to take the time to shoot them in a small and fast moving, non-vital part of the body, doesn’t that demonstrate you didn’t really have cause to shoot at all? You can never, in such situations, afford to express even a sliver of doubt.
You can be certain of this: the kind of prosecutors Joe Biden and his D/S/C handlers want to put in office are not the kind that will give an honest, innocent, law-abiding citizen the benefit of any doubt. They hate guns, they hate the people that lawfully own them, and they see criminals as an oppressed, victim class.
Don’t give them, or Joe Biden, the opportunity to deprive you of your right to self-defense.