I am often asked by students in my concealed carry class if it is ever acceptable for them to shoot a person in the leg or the arm instead of center mass. Since most of the students in this class are new to firearms, they don’t understand how difficult it is to properly aim a shot at a small target under the stress of a life or death situation. (Even trained law enforcement officers miss 75% of the time during an armed encounter.) It just makes sense to them that if you can wound a person in a part of the body that is not as likely to cause death as, say the chest would be, why not do so. After all, it’s the compassionate thing to do, right?
I can certainly appreciate why somebody would be hesitant to shot another person in the chest. More times than not, a bullet in the chest will result in death. Since most people are civilized, the thought of killing another person, or in any way being responsible for their death is a vile prospect. But in a violent encounter with a bad guy, it is unfortunately the nature of the beast.
The reason bad guys come out on top more times than not is because they don’t see a problem with employing violence to achieve their mission. Violent offenders are not governed by the same moral compass that the vast majority of people live by. Violence doesn’t mean the same thing to them as it does to you and I, it is just a means to an end. In some individuals, the violence is the best part. It’s not about the sex with a rapist, it’s about the power and control over another person. The sex is secondary in their mind and for the vast majority, it’s something that they didn’t even enjoy. But what a rush they got from the control they were able to garner over another human being.
The average person who practices everyday concealed carry must understand that the firearm is just a tool to be employed in only the direst of circumstances. It should be utilized as a last resort and if you have made the conscience decision to shot, you must do so knowing that the likelihood exist that the person on the receiving end of the bullet is going to die. If you are not prepared for that or if the circumstance does not justify it, then you had no business pulling the trigger in the first place.
In the context of self-defense, a firearm is a tool that once deployed, will most like result in death. In fact, that is what the firearm is intended to do. So prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually for that eventuality, or leave the gun at home.
Don’t just survive, thrive!
Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.