View Full Version : Shoot to stop?

May 8, 2002, 12:59 PM
A friend recently attended one of the mandatory firearm safety classes. The instructor told all of the students that they should always shoot COM. That a CNS or other shot would be see as an intent to kill instead of intent to stop shot in a court of law.

I don't know about you folks, but if I think that shooting with the ntent to stop sounds like the right mental attitude to get yourself killed.

What do all of you think? Would you shoot to stop?

May 8, 2002, 01:31 PM
I would shoot to stop. That's what it says in the laws:rolleyes: . That being settled, under stress I doubt that my aim would be that good and a shot or two;) might drift a little high. Sorry 'bout that:D .

May 8, 2002, 03:40 PM
I always shoot to stop.

My personal definition of deadly force: That force which is necessary to stop a person using force against me (or others) in such a manner that it doesn't matter wether he dies, or not, as a result of my defensive reaction...

The definition is backed up by lots of traing and research and allows, if not expects, CNS shots. CNS = immediate stoppage of all activity by the bad guy. The COM is simply preferable because it is a bigger, easier to identify and to hit, target.

Wonder what kind of failure to stop drills your friend's instructor teaches? :rolleyes:

May 8, 2002, 03:51 PM
Okay, I know COM, but what's CNS?

May 8, 2002, 03:53 PM
Instructor ddidn't know what the hell he was talking about. Every time you pull the trigger you are using deadly force. "shooting to stop" is the latest method of trying to get away from the idiocy of the "shoot to wound" crowd. In the military, we (me) teach, shoot and keep on shooting until the dude is down and stopped doing what he was doing that made you resort to deadly force in the first place.

May 8, 2002, 04:35 PM
CNS = Central Nervous System. Means a shot to the head, turning off the brain and shutting down all motor function. Probably going to die as a result too... Shrug.

May 8, 2002, 04:43 PM
my understanding of the law is ... you shoot to stop

not shoot to wound, kill, or scare....if you kill, wound or scare your have done what the law says you stopped the perp...

in your statement to the law if you say killl or wound you could be in trouble for the stament you have just made... if you say "I was only doing what the law says ..Use of deadly force to stop
unlawful agression or unlawful deadly force..

May 8, 2002, 04:55 PM
Hopefully your friend misunderstood the instructor.

Legal terminological word game but you always shoot to STOP and quit only after they have STOPPED being a threat.

CNS = Central Nervous System. Brain and spinal chord.

A really good center of mass shot will also get some spine.

Head shots tough to place properly for immediate effect.

If STOPPING causes death, so be it.


May 8, 2002, 05:45 PM
I took a class too, and the instructor said to shoot COM (center of mass) and to not automatically shoot for the CNS (central nervous system). The rationale here is that if you always practice 2 COM shots, and 1 CNS shot, during a shoot, you will automatically do so. If the COM shots were successful, your CNS shot would be over the bad guy on their way down to the ground, and you could be shooting at air/background.

I guess that instead of saying 'Never take a CNS shot', I would say that do your normal COM shots and evaluate if you need to take a CNS shot TO STOP THE ATTACK.

Its always to stop the attack, never to kill, injure, maim, scare, intimidate, etc.

May 8, 2002, 05:45 PM
"Would you shoot to stop?"

I would shoot to stop.

The fact that shooting to stop would likely result in the death of someone is ancillary.

May 8, 2002, 09:01 PM
I was trained as a corrections officer to put 3 shots to the body and 3 to the head. that should stop any aggreshive behavior

May 8, 2002, 09:10 PM
You shoot to stop the person from completing the action that they are attempting, said action being harmful to you or to another person. Period. Thats it.*

Now, it just so happens that the most effective stop is the one that results in the most blood and guts emerging from the yawning chasm you created in his body. *shrug* That, however, is a fortuitious coincidence.

As for CNS shots, the mozambique drill is a stop technique, no? Two to COM didn't work. Its is time to utilize other options.


* states where you are allowed to use deadly force to defend property will differ from this. Still, in order to minimize civil lawsuits, its probably best to articulate the danger to yourself, as opposed to the danger of theft of your property.

May 9, 2002, 08:25 AM
My big concern is the stop to evaluate the results instructions that so many firearms instructors are giving these days. I realize that it's the PC thing to do, but it also stands a great chance of getting you killed during the evaluation. :(

May 9, 2002, 09:22 AM
If you draw your weapon and fire at someone, it means that person is doing something that requires you to stop his actions immediately by use of deadly force. Once you have made the decision to shoot, you fire until the threat has been neutralized. You have already decided that you are justified in killing the individual, so do it in the best manner you know how with the least risk to yourself.

IMHO, the average person is not going to have the skill to place CNS shots in most self-defense situations. Once the adrenaline, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, tunnel vision, etcs. kicks in, drawing a handgun and placing a perfect headshot at a moving target is very difficult. It takes a great deal of practice to be able to do that and even LEO's, for the most part, do not have that level of skill.

The goal is to stay alive. To achieve that, you shoot the bad guy as many times as you can, in the head if you can, in the chest if you can, in the arm or leg if you can. The logic of COM shots is that even if you are a little off, you will hit something.

May 9, 2002, 11:15 AM
Shoot to stop = shoot to stop the heartbeat, brainwaves, and breathing of the one needing to be shot...

that said, I agree with the "2 to COM, and see if anything else is needed" aaproach... if I have done MY part, than the .40 S&W 165 Grainers will do theirs, and no 3rd shot should be needed... but the Beretta will b e aimed at the CNS area, in case it's necessary...

May 9, 2002, 12:58 PM
shoot to kill...

that is the only way to truly stop someone. you never know how many shots it may take to stop a particular individual. some go down in one shot, others take 5, 6, 10 and still have fight left in them.

if you are in a situation (especially in your home) shoot until the bg is no longer a threat (ie lying in a pool of his own blood).



May 9, 2002, 01:00 PM
Shooting to stop IS shooting to kill.


May 9, 2002, 10:58 PM
No, it is not.

If you are shooting to kill, you might as well walk up to your attacker and execute him after your opening volley drops him to the ground.

You are shooting to stop. No more, no less. If your shots happen to kill him, that is of no importance. If they don't kill him, then bully for him. Keep yelling at him to lay there and keep his hands motionless and in sight until help arrives. Then secure him.

If he gets back up or refuses to comply by doing something that could be articulated as a threatening action, shoot him again.

Also, the amount of time it takes you to adjust your POA from a fairly-refined hold on his COM to a very-refined hold on his head is probably about all the time I would take to evaluate whether or not he is still a threat. If he's still upright and threatening, shoot him.


May 10, 2002, 12:42 AM
Stop is the operative word.

Kill should not be used before, during or after a shoot. Whether amongst friends or on the stand. You shoot to stop.

Regardless of the results, the difference in wordage can make a big difference to a judge and jury. Criminal and and otherwise.


May 10, 2002, 03:08 PM
Okay I will refine what i said. If the guy is on the ground with only his hand twitching, I will not shoot him in the head to kill him.

However, my initial shot will be to someplace that is a vital area. I am not going to shoot at the trigger hand or foot. The perp may have a gun himself which he hasn't revealed yet.


May 10, 2002, 04:29 PM
This instructor has the right action, but the wrong theory. As Hkmp5sd said above, the reason for a COM shot is because it is the biggest target that contains the most vital organs. But a COM shot is a CNS shot, since the spinal cord runs the length of the torso. Head shots should be reserved since the head is a hard target to hit under stress.

I shoot to stop the threat to my life. If the attacker dies, so be it.

May 10, 2002, 05:15 PM
I think the instructor didn't quite grasp the concept of lethal force. At least here in Texas, use of a firearm on or at another person is considered lethal force. Regardless of where you intended to shoot somebody or did shoot somebody, it is lethal force. It could always be argued that your intent was to kill if you use lethal force. The real issue then becomes whether you were justified in using lethal force. If you were justified, where you shoot the person is not an issue - front, back, chest, head, or every fricken' part of the guy until he finally stops!!!

You always shoot to stop, but by doing so, you are employing lethal force whether it is COM or CNS. "Shoot to stop" is a politically correct term to use. CNS damage provides one of the best manners to derive the quickest stop possible, but that does not mean CNS is always the best target. The ideal CNS shots are above the shoulders because a CNS below the shoulders still leaves the arms working. CNS shots can be horribly hard to make correctly in most cases. A simple head shot will not necessarily mean the brain is hit. You have to hit the brain, brain stem, or spinal cord. Hitting the brain case (cranium) may or may not produce a desired result as bullets have been known to ricochet off peoples' heads. A shot to the face may be painful, disfiguring, and may cause a temporary stoppage, but many facial shots result in not damage to immediately crucial, vital, or necessary organs or blood vessels. You might do as well with a shot to the arm as a shot to the face. CNS means brain, brain stem, or spinal cord only, not "head."

Shooting somebody in the head or the brain shows no more intent to kill than shooting them in the chest. That being said, COM shots, specifically Center of Chest (not the entire torso that COM suggests and would place bullets just below the rib cage in a largely non-vital area) are meant to give you the biggest target of vital organs such that if you don't hit dead center, you still hit organs of significances or major blood vessels.

May 11, 2002, 12:48 PM
We teach our students to draw and immediatly fire either a controlled pair or hammer (dependant on the distance from the hostile), return to the high ready position, scan the area for additional threats and if the original hostile continues to advance in an aggressive manner, fire 1 - 2 rounds to the head (CNS).

The theory behind this technique, is that if he failed to stop or at minimum reconsider his current actions with two rounds to the COM, he is either high on some serious drugs, wearing body armor, or mentally disabled to the point of not reacting, and if any of these are the case, you are left with very little alteranative but to fire to the CNS in the hopes of stopping the threat.

Disclaimer: All of the above statement is made based on the assumption, that the shooter was justified in their use of deadly force in the first place.

Brian S. Williams
Williams Associates Protective Services, LLC.


Knowledge - Integrity - Discretion - Honor::cool:

May 11, 2002, 01:29 PM
I think when most people refer to "shooting to kill" that them mean "shooting to kill, NOW," not crawl off and die sometime later shooting to kill, but good point.

By the same merit, not all shoot to stop shots stop people now either. People have been shot in the head and survived and continued fighting for considerable amounts of time, even with brain case penetration. People shot in the pelvis, groin, legs, and feet still manage to run around for a while even though the shots should have "stopped" them or at least stopped their ability to get around.

The goal is always to stop the threat, but one of the most assured ways of the threat being stopped is to have the threat be dead. As people have found in the past, such as in the FBI shootout, stopped people sometimes have a nasty habit of being able to wake up and try to continue the battle or at least try to flee. That came as a shock to FBI agents in Miami to see a guy obviously shot in the head climb out of the car and go to the other vehicle. He was shot in the head with NO BRAIN penetration. He was stunned temporarily was all.

Just how well do you want the person stopped?

The Reaper
May 11, 2002, 10:05 PM
The NRA requires that an instructor say shoot to stop and shoot COM. If it was an NRA class this is why. In my NRA classes I don't comment on a CNS(re head shots) being used as intent to kill. We do talk about the hit miss probabilities under stress, and the tendancy to hit high in a defensive shooting.

In VA anyway you had better say you were shooting to stop. If you say warning shot, trying to wound, or shooting to kill you will possibly be going to jail/prison. If you don't go to jail/prison, the civil suit may make you wish you were in jail/prison.

May 13, 2002, 11:40 AM
I don't have handguns. I have shotguns. I don't see how shooting to stop with a shotgun is not shooting to kill.


May 13, 2002, 12:00 PM
Define "stop".


May 13, 2002, 02:47 PM
Generally, once you have determined that your very life is in jeopardy and escape is impossible (or the attempt to do so may enhance or increase the risk) a person advancing toward you can be said to have been stopped if their direction of movement is reversed by the multiple impact of jacketed hollowpoint bullets upon their chest and head area.

Likewise, (as above) a person in the vertical position may be said to have been "stopped" once they are permanently in the horizontal position.

What is with all the silly word games?

If someone is trying to kill you (or so you think) then YOU KILL THEM! End of story... If you thought wrong you go to jail, if you didn't you don't. Simple.

When do you shoot? And soon as you think you might get dead if you don't.

Where do you shoot? At the Bad Guy's chest and head.

How fast do you shoot? As fast as you possibly can.

How much do you shoot? As much as you got!

When do you stop? When you're out of bullets, or when the Grim Reaper taps you on the shoulder and says, "I'll take care of the rest of this mess."

If the BG is like three-quarters of the way down is it okay to take an extra second or two and line up a headshot? YES!

May 13, 2002, 04:42 PM
I don't have handguns. I have shotguns. I don't see how shooting to stop with a shotgun is not shooting to kill.

As has been said before, its is very similar, but not identical. The difference lies in your intent and how 'far' you will go once the threat is neutralized. It is not a difference in what tool is used, or how it is used. As in, it is not a difference in where you aim, or whether you use a shotgun or a handgun or a frying pan.

Generally, once you have determined that your very life is in jeopardy and escape is impossible (or the attempt to do so may enhance or increase the risk) a person advancing toward you can be said to have been stopped if their direction of movement is reversed by the multiple impact of jacketed hollowpoint bullets upon their chest and head area.Yup. Or if you shoot and miss and they surrender, or if you hit them and they take of running.

Likewise, (as above) a person in the vertical position may be said to have been "stopped" once they are permanently in the horizontal position.That is one possible form of a stop, yes.What is with all the silly word games?The difference between going to jail or not going to jail, among other things.

It is not a 'silly word game.' There is a very real difference between shooting to stop and shooting to kill, but it is not a difference in technique. Thats why its called 'deadly force.' The force you are using to effect a stop of aggressive action has a real possibility of also causing death. But death is a by-product. It is an unfortunate and unintended side-effect. The fact that no one here (yourself included) will shed a tear about the fate of the deceased is not really an issue.

If someone is trying to kill you (or so you think) then YOU KILL THEM! End of story... If you thought wrong you go to jail, if you didn't you don't. Simple.Or you're right, and you go to jail anyway becuase you fail to grasp this concept. Try telling a cop, a DA or a jury that you felt that he was a threat so you killed him. Hopefully your lawyer will rein you in.When do you shoot? And soon as you think you might get dead if you don't.

Where do you shoot? At the Bad Guy's chest and head.

How fast do you shoot? As fast as you possibly can.Agreed.How much do you shoot? As much as you got! Really? Lessee. My Browning HP is 17+1 with SA mags. If I have two spares ready to go, I am justified in shooting my assailant 52 times? This is absurd, and you know it.When do you stop? When you're out of bullets, or when the Grim Reaper taps you on the shoulder and says, "I'll take care of the rest of this mess."Query: is it legal to walk up to an obviously incapacitated subject (he dropped his gun, he is writhing on the ground, quite possibly bleeding out and fading in and out of consciousness) and cap him in the head, execution style? If you answer "yes," please consult an attorney right now, before you do something to harm the RKBA movement. If you answer "no," then answer "why not?"

Your answer will likely be "because he is not a threat," and it is a correct answer...which supports the idea that you shoot to stop, not kill.

If the BG is like three-quarters of the way down is it okay to take an extra second or two and line up a headshot? YES!Is he still a threat? Yes or no? If he is still a credible threat, and you can articulate this, yes. Cap him. If he is not, you better either assume a position of cover and maintain your aim on him, or you better lie your arse off when the cops show up.


May 14, 2002, 11:53 AM
Definitely shoot to stop. Deadly force is justified when you are in danger of death or grave bodily injury. Your goal is to stop the threat. That threat could be stopped in several ways.

If I draw my gun and the perp decides to be elsewhere, rapidly, I let him leave. I am no longer threatened so I am no longer justified to use deadly force.

If I draw my gun, shoot at the perp but miss, and he runs away, I stop shooting.

If I draw my gun, shoot at the perp and hit him, and he gives up, then I stop shooting.

If I draw my gun, shoot at the perp and he falls to the ground, immobile, then I stop shooting.

If the perp gives up, whether still on his feet or prone, I DON'T walk up to him and shoot him in the head. That would be shooting to kill. It would also be murder.

Shooting the perp COM or CNS may well kill him. If that's what it takes to stop the threat, so be it. But my goal is not to kill him. My goal is to stop his attack. That is not just a word game. There's a true moral and ethical difference. As others have pointed out, around 80% of people shot with a handgun survive.


May 14, 2002, 03:51 PM
52 hits is probably a few much... ;)

The case law on civilians and deadly force is all over the map. All you can really say is It Depends (on a zillion things). Its helps a lot if you live in a State supportive of the basic human right of self defense too. But one major factor will be the precise details that caused you to believe you were in fear for your life.

A 5'2" woman can shoot a 6'7" unarmed BG (rapist) and get away with it...

If the BG is clearly a BG, I mean you can prove it, then how many times you shoot him is far less relevant.

Morals and ethics are fine and dandy but completely useless in a gunfight. I'm going to draw fast, shoot faster, and not stop shooting until it stops moving.

May 14, 2002, 07:02 PM
I shoot to stop with no intention to kill. But, i am not so sure if my bullet will caused death to an assailant or to a BG.

I won't feel worry nor getting nervous of legal impediments after the death of my assailant because I prefer to be alive rather than being dead. But again, I have no intention of killing anyone if I shoot a BG. My intention is always to stop him in harming me farther or causing my death.

That is why I am so careful as to when I will use my pistol for self defense. If I could, I will not use it but instead using other forms of stopping an agressor. My gun is just my last resort.

I remember, last year my brother in law a Policeman shot two holduppers, one is dead instantly, and the other just lied on the pavement still breathing, he wants to pump bullets on him but then many onlookers already so he can't do that. The BG survivce and file a case against the police with the help of human rights advocates. But they lost the case also later on.

What I am saying, no matter how justifiable to shoot a BG still we are charged of a crime of wounding or causing a death by our action, but after court hearing the truth will come out. These are all part of having pistols or guns on our possession if ever used for self defense or whatever.:cool:

May 14, 2002, 08:46 PM
I have a training tape that talks about a BG in a police shootout taking 49 non-instantly fatal hits from 9mm's and not giving up the fight until hit with a 12-gauge slug that finally lowered his blood pressure to zero.

Did someone mention the need for high-capacity mags?

May 14, 2002, 09:44 PM
52 hitsYou know...I just knew that if I used a hypothetical example like that, someone would post a case in which, well, 52 shots was probably quite justified. :D


May 14, 2002, 09:59 PM
To read the newpaper, it was "overkill", and I did miss your 52 by three shots! :) Given the accuracy of the majority of LEO's that I know, I wonder how many shots fired it took to get those 49 hits. We had an incident a few years ago where an officer unloaded two magazines at a van and you guessed it, not one single hit on the van, much less the guy he was actually aiming at.

May 15, 2002, 10:08 AM
NO way. Maybe wearing body armor... Otherwise I don't believe it.

Nobody intends to kill someone.

But we're trained and practiced to draw fast, shoot faster, and not stop shooting until we think the threat is no more.

Well, real world guys. The Einstein-like ability we have to think with absolute critical accuracy goes away once we start shooting. We're gonna put a couple of extra rounds in the BG not because we're mean people but because we're in a defend our life mode and cannot be bothered with checking the accuracy and efficacy of each shot one at a time.

Consequently some BGs are gonna get dead.

But, and again not like TV, most BGs experience an instant attitude adjustment when the first bullet impacts their chest. (The other two and the spare eyehole are because the BG fails to externalize that attitude adjustment at a speed faster than the cycle rate of a semi-automatic handgun.)

Don't waste your time shooting at moving vehicles. If you're really really really a good shot then shot for a tire, otherwise don't waste the ammo.

49 hits!? Naaaa... Sounds like the ME did the LEOs a favor... ;)

May 15, 2002, 05:08 PM
Don't shoot unless DEADLY force is JUSTIFIED


Shoot until they fall down and don't get up again.

(Sometimes they fall down and then get back up...sometimes more than once)

Shoot them while they are down if they are still a danger.

But don't have the SHOOT TO KILL mindset if it means you might, in the heat of the moment, walk over and put a couple rounds in their head after they lose consciousness.

That will probably look bad in civil and maybe even criminal court.

Just like Hockey Dad, you can defend yourself, but if you kill the bad guy, then the "reasonable man" standard applies.

Screaming die Mot**^))&_)_R is probably a bad idea as well!

Did you go too far???

May 16, 2002, 01:28 PM
Shoot to neutralize the threat.

May 20, 2002, 09:52 AM
this question would be less frequent.

May 25, 2002, 03:51 AM
What happens if the intruder was shot in the leg once and bled to death?


May 25, 2002, 07:13 AM
Carry24x7, the incident with the 49 shots is one of several discussed in the video "Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics" which goes into great detail on exactly what bullets do to human bodies. It goes into crime scene and forensic data and is not for those with a weak stomach.

May 25, 2002, 07:38 AM
Let me offer a different opinion. I always see & hear people talk about doubletaps, head shots and center mass. IMO they are all no good. Why doubletap when one controlled shot will do. I don't want to have to explain to the DA why I shot the BG twice, or in the head, when the first shot would have sufficed. Overzealous, reckless, whatever... the courts would eat me up. I'm not out to kill, plain and simple.
To me that is shoot to kill. If I have to , then I have to. BUT I will exhaust all other means first. Another thing, doubletaps to center mass don't work on those w/ vests.
As far as center mass, the BG isn't going to stand there like your B-mod target, square to you while you shoot. You might only see an arm, knee, a$$, but not likely a whole body. Where do you shoot then? Where did center mass go? If there is NO cover for the BG, then in order to shoot to STOP, I aim for the pelvec girdle. No worries about a vest, no dbltaps. Put a round in there or take out a hip BG'll drop like a rock. The will to fight should be gone as soon as he figures out he can't get up or move his leg. From there take action as the scenario develops.

May 26, 2002, 07:54 AM
I'm not a huge fan of the double tap. I do believe & preach in shooting accurate shots - multiple rounds - until the Threat is eliminated.

The original poster asked about shoot to *stop*, not eliminate, that's the position I thought this from. Granted depending on what may happen BG *may* get eliminated.

Industry standard, if you will, is multiple rounds, as many as are needed until the threat is eliminated. District Attorney's are politicians. They either will or will not play games with you, but I doubt it will be over a few rounds. That said, go through a magazine change and keep shooting, you'll probably have some grief. Find out what the case law, criminal & civil, in your state has said on this issue. Find out what the standard training response for local officers is. Again though, one round may not stop the Threat and that is your first priority.

Agreed. I picked up a CCW permit application :barf: for my wife.
They now make applicants go through a home firearms training course. From the pamphlet: The course was developed as an awareness program of gun safety, legal requirements of self-defense.
I plan on taking tis course as it's the first one in the area and I have a lot of questions.

Just realize that all you've done - if the shot & effect are successful - is take away the mobility issue. If armed with a firearm, the Threat can still shoot. It may have more validity against an individual armed with a weapon that requires proximity.

Regarding the pelvic girdle shot. As stated before, the scenario was 'shoot to stop'. *IF* the shot was good and BG drops he isn't going anywhere. It is also instinct that we will have found some type of cover. So in that event, BG down me behind cover,
will wait for LEO's who shouldn't be far behind.

Oh yes, forgot the Armor issue. Handgun ammo won't work on most vests. Handgun ammo also has poor track records on Goblins using CNS depressants & stimulants, those with mental health issues that seem to eliminate pain response and those who are extremely dedicated.

I know handgun ammo will not have an effect on a vest which is why I , given the opportunity, would take the PG shot. Even if the BG is "drugged to the hills" if he can't walk, he can't move.

You are quite articulate in stating your view. I, however, respectfully disagree with it.

Thank You, This wouldn't be America if you couldn't dissagree. You brought up good points which made me think about this a little deeper.

If the time has come to use Lethal Force, one needs to use it immediately and continue to use it until the threat ceases. I do not believe your view leads that end result.

I suppose that what I was getting at was to *stop* the threat with as few rounds as nessessary. I can't say what I'd do untill I'm put in that position. I just want to say again that these views are from the point of view that I'm shooting to stop, not to kill. If I have to empty two mags or the BG dies so be it, however stopping does not mean killing. It just helps your position in court. We all know that we will be in court following a shooting. Givin today's litagous society it's about guaranteed. :barf: :barf: If I shot twice and BG lived... (I think) would look better in court than dumping a mag or two and killing said BG.

This is a great discussion. There are SO many variables they can't all be covered. You helped me cement the idea of going to that safety course. I've been putting it off

May 26, 2002, 08:11 PM
If I have to use deadly force, I do not care if BG-Prime dies. I do care that BG-Prime stops his aggressive actions.

A classic example of this is the Miami Massacre back in 1986. Platt received a fatal gunshot wound in his chest. If he had been transported a al a Star Trek Transporter to the best trauma hospitalin the country, he would have still died. Unfortunately, the fact that he was dying didn't stop his aggressive actions. After receiving the fatal wound he went on to shoot and/or kill several more FBI agents.

Death is incidental in a judicous use of deadly force. BG-Prime stopping his actions ASAP is the primary concern.

Of course, it is better to overestimate the amount of shooting someone needs than to underestimate it.:)

"Anyone worth shooting is worth shooting alot."


May 26, 2002, 08:25 PM
Well, there is a difference between killing and stopping. Platt was killed, but not stopped. At least not immediately, which is what that really matters.


May 28, 2002, 10:12 PM
In a gunfight shoot to kill. After when someone asks, say you shot to stop the attack. You must tell anyone who asks you, you shot to stop the attack. Also most intructors teach you to shoot & keep shooting until the attack stops.

May 29, 2002, 02:55 PM
A number of posters in this thread have stated "..the law requires you to shoot to stop." My expertise is limited to the PDRK (CA), which does not say anything about shooting to stop, shooting to incapacitate, shooting to neutralize, etc.

California law merely addresses and defines when homicide is justifiable. Whatever politically correct term you use to get there is irrelevant. What is necessary is that you were in mortal fear that the person you killed was about to kill or inflict great bodily harm to you or to another innocent person.

The smart shooter shoots for center of mass because that is the easiest target to hit under stress. That 95% of the vital organs are located there is mere coincidence. The fact that you punctured enough of those vital organs may cause your target to bleed to death is an unfortunate circumstance. If he chose to attack you, he called the dance. You merely punched his dance card.

Is making a head shot first instead of two to center of mass indicative of your intention to kill, not stop? Nonsense. There are times when a head shot is highly recommended, i.e., your intended target is holding a gun on another person and you want to instantly stop him without him reflexively pulling the trigger.

May 29, 2002, 04:39 PM
Erick I was trying to point out the difference between what 1 does during a gunfight & then what 1 says after. The goal is to stop the attack. Now there are different ways to achieve that goal. Most instructors teach firing 2 rds COM first. Then if that fails to stop 1 shot to the head. I had a instructor that said firing to the head was too hard to do & head shot resault in misses. So he said then fire 2 rds to the groin because that presented a bigger target. In fact he further said you should shoot to the groin to start. The reason is severing the spine were it enters the tail bone. Severing the spine will stop the attack. I've also heard to aim for the area between the breast bone & the neck for the same reason. The original poster had a training instructor that said not to take a kill shot because of how that would look in court. Thats nonsense. Thinking about I'm I taking a kill shot or not will lead to hesitation. Hesitation will get 1 killed. Now when say shoot to kill. In do way do I suggest shooting to kill an attacker after the attack is stopped.

May 30, 2002, 03:56 PM
About shooting for the pelvis:

The base of the spine is narrow. Even if you hit it they can still shoot at you with their upper body. Plus that shot would be more luck than skill.

A severed femoral artery will cause death, but it usually takes a few minutes.

Most pistol bullets do not have the power to break a pelvic bone. Most likely the bullet will glance off. And even if it does break the bone, the bad guy can still shoot.

Shooting the BG in the groin will hurt a lot, but it won't be immediatly fatal. Same with the intestines.

So frankly I don't see the logic to taking a pelvic shot vs. a head shot. And where are all these super armored bad guys coming from now? I'm only aware of a handfull, ever.

Mike in VA
May 31, 2002, 07:54 AM
I'm currently reading "The Law of Self Defense - A Guide for the Armed Citizen" by Andrew F. Branca. If you have a CWP it's a 'must read'.

As the title implies, it goes into what you need to know if you ever are involved in a self-defense shooting. Though it's a little dry/technical in places, it's generally an easy read and it makes its points with both the law and case law examples.

The reason you NEVER want to say "I shot to kill" goes to intent. If you intended to kill the perp, you will likely be charged with murder, because your intent was to kill someone, not stop an attack or neutralize the threat (I say 'likely', becasue, as the author points out, self-defense law is a fairly fluid thing, highly situational and dependendent on the state where the shooting occurred). Lethal force is justifyable only when it is necessary to kill to prevent being killed or gravely injured. HTH.

May 31, 2002, 02:42 PM
All right now: How do you stop the midget pointing a .454 Casull at you over the top of a brick wall? Or the amok kevlar sandwich man running at you with a 14-inch carving knife? Or the deranged sewer-swab blasting at you from his manhole with an AK-47?

Shooting to stop = CNS shot

Chief Jones
June 1, 2002, 07:09 PM
Shoot to stop is same a shoot to kill to me....

Too easy for a pissed-off wounded kill putting holes in ya....

June 1, 2002, 07:19 PM
you shoot to stop.The bottom line is do what you have to,to get the job done.:cool: