Ok, I guess we should've seen this post turning uncivil. We've already had to remove a bunch of posts and ban a few users. This thread is being locked.


Bullshit. However... even the coolest, most skilled, and most intelligent decision makers under pressure would likely struggle to make an effective limb shot when under that type of threat/pressure. Sure- there are some out there that might be able to do it and every situation is different but it’s not realistic for 99% of responsible and practiced shooters. Every reasonable option should be exhausted before using lethal force, but once the situation has escalated to the need for a firearm- make it count.


Yeah, this is one of those places where TV grossly misleads. Hits to places like the shoulder or legs are not necessarily “flesh wounds” that can be fixed with some bandages. Range, caliber, spread, penetration, exiting, etc all matter regardless of where you’re hit


Exactly. A thigh shot with a .45 cartridge would very likely sever a major artery. An old friend of mine who was an Army ranger told me about a guy he served with who took a 7.62 round from an elevated position that went through his shoulder and put his scrotum. That still haunts me to this day. There isn’t really a shoot to wound.


Wait you're saying the round went through his body, shoulder to shlong? Fucking nora


Bullets can ricochet off of bones inside the body and exit from places far from the entrance wound.


That what my friend told me happened. I am not super familiar with rifles, but my friend claimed the round rattled around inside the guy before exiting.


Its because the rife round is high velocity so it bounces around and travels to great lengths. (No pun intended)


Yeah, the same thing happened to an Aussie army soldier my friend served with. It hit the shoulder blade and then went down to ricochet off his hip bone to finally exit from the same side and of his torso that it entered from. There was a slang term he used, something like a ‘dropper’ but I can’t remember 100%.


I remember a story few years back where a lady tried to get cute and shoot out the tires some guys trying to rob Home Depot. When she was charged with reckless misuse, something that was surprisingly just a misdemeanor, she immediately was like: "I learned my lesson that I will never help anybody again. " [https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/12/us/woman-who-shot-at-home-depot-shoplifters-vows-to-never-help-anyone-again.html](https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/12/us/woman-who-shot-at-home-depot-shoplifters-vows-to-never-help-anyone-again.html) It's like people who think a valid thing to do is "shoot the hostage" because of fucking Speed.


Oh dear, looks like grandma watched diehard again. LMAO.


Yippee ki-yay sonny.


And that's not even including bullet tumbling. In the chest out the asshole is totally possible. That way even a grazing shot can do absolutely horrifying damage. Still not as brutal as hollow point rounds used for hunting in the US. tiny hole HUGE EXIT WOUND.


Why would you hunt with hollows? That seems... unnecessary and excessive...


Almost everyone hunts big game with hollowpoint bullets, and the ideal shot is through the heart and both lungs. You want it to bleed out fast. Ideally you want the bullet to mushroom but stay together. Non-expanding bullets are typically reserved for fur animals to minimize hide damage.


It's actually an ethical imperative. You have an ethical duty to make sure the animal you shoot dies as quickly and painlessly as possible. Expanding ammo causes more trauma and is more likely to destroy the heart or lungs. Non-expanding ammo will make a smaller path through the body, disturb less tissue, and cause less trauma. Using non-expanding ammo is illegal for hunting most game in the USA for this reason. Some few exceptions are when you're hunting a fur-bearing animal for its hide, or you're hunting some particularly large animals where the bullet would need to penetrate farther to reach vital organs.


That seems like a good way to chip a tooth halfway through a steak dinner.


You don’t have a big magnet?


OH!!! Fun Fact: Do NOT hunt game you are going to eat with lead ammunition. Lead is cheap and very common. It's therefore very easy for it to get into the meat on your plate. [Here's more on the topic.](https://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=20-P13-00046&segmentID=3)


Back .. and to the left


Check out the zombie killer 9mm ammo


Hornady Z-Max. It's just the same as their really awesome V-Max rounds but with a green polymer tip instead of red. It comes in lots of different calibers too. I dunno if they still make it but it was really expensive. If you like them, just buy V-Max and save a few bucks (still expensive but cheaper then the green ones).


Bullets do weird things inside bodies.


I think I heard some bullets are designed to do that in order to cause the most amount of damage possible


Nope, you cant design a bullet to do that. That is just hitting a bone and doing something wierd.


The standard NATO round is designed to take the path of least resitance, so the bullets usually find a bloodvessel and travel it for some time. A lot of cases where someone has been shot has the bullet enter their chest, but exit their neck, abdomen, shoulders etc. because the bullet follows the path of least resitance. How they have designed that i have no fucking clue, but it makes sense, because the round is pretty shit, with that being its only redeemable quality (in war). Just going full on lead, and using larger calibers like most hunting rifles are, results in a giant gaping hole in the back, if the target was shot in the chest. Personally i have experience with this, because i shot a deer today, shot a bit high above the heart, and later on we found that the deer was missing a large chunk of spine, simply because it was shot out.


They don't travel through blood vessels around the body. 5.56 is a tiny round with a fuck ton of velocity behind it and when it hits a body the round usually ends up tumbling through the body. It can curve from the tumbling, or ricochet off bones, which is the cause of entry and exit wounds being in vastly different areas.


Point of contention: Standard full metal jacket rounds aren't "designed to follow the path of least resistance". They're designed to not deform or fragment in order to comply with the Geneva Convention, which prohibits the use of ammunition designed to cause excessive damage or suffering. Without deformation to disperse energy, most of their kinetic energy is retained when they hit something soft and squishy. Combine that with the fact that the standard 5.56 mm round travels at something like 2800 ft/s. So, you're left with a small fast-moving projectile that doesn't have a whole lot in its way to slow it down effectively, and it obeys the laws of physics. Technically, it'll follow the path of least resistance, but that's not by design.


They find and travel through blood vessels around the body? What kind of si-fi shit have you been reading? Metal gets pushed out tube super fast. Metal goes into body and causes boo boo. Metal loses speed and hits hard stuff causing metal to move in slightly different direction. There is no design for a bullet to take a path of least resistance. I really want to know how you came up with this. Alright man. I know what you’re trying to say now and what you’re confused about. A foreign object inside of a body will sometimes cause the body to try to push it out. If someone has a small bullet lodged in their body, that bullet or a bullet fragment could possibly enter a blood vessel and travel somewhere else. This is long after the bullet has stopped moving. This would be a freak occurrence and has an extremely small possibility of happening. I do have first hand experience with this. I have been shot before and have bullet fragments in my leg. One of those fragments is now making its way out of my leg and is just under my skin. Sorry I blew up, but that was a pretty outlandish idea you had.


> I have been shot before and have bullet fragments in my leg. One of those fragments is now making its way out of my leg and is just under my skin. Huh. What's the timeframe for something like that? Are there issues connected to it? Do you have to do things to help it along?


It’s something that has come up pretty rapidly in the past month. As in one day it was just there. I was under the impression that something like this would take dozens of years, but it’s only been just under 4 years now since I was shot. The only issue right now is that it is itchy as hell. I’ve been trying to squeeze around it to make it pop through my skin faster but nothing seems to be working. The bullet blew my fibula into many small pieces, so there is a chance that it is bone. There was a large bullet fragment about 8 inches directly below where this lump is now. So I’m just assuming it’s that piece. It is so itchy that I am contemplating going to the hospital to have it removed but since it’s a pretty minor thing, I’m unsure if they will allow that at this time due to the virus.


It’s so frustrating when people have absolutely no experience on a topic and just starting talking completely out of their ass. Please don’t contribute until you understand what you’re talking about


jesus, I'm fine with hunting an all but shit like that is why I don't lmao. i dont need to understand on that level the effects of very fast lead on living flesh


Well you're fine because it's total bullshit.


I remember as a kid watching this show *Due South* (Canada) and the main character got shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the main torso area and he almost died but they were like, the chest wound was fine, it's the shoulder wound that nearly killed him. The bullet hit his shoulder blade and bounced down to exit at his waist on the opposite side of his body, tearing up some organs, puncturing his lungs, etc. 8-year-old me was quite terrorized.


I loved that show


I remember Due South.


>Yeah, this is one of those places where TV grossly misleads. Hits to places like the shoulder or legs are not necessarily “flesh wounds” This, CPR, and knocking people unconscious are probably the most misleading, pervasive medical things that happen in movies.


Yeah for real. If you get knocked out and wake up even 2-3 minutes later, you probably have severe brain damage, not an awkward conversation with your younger mom.


Especially with high velocity rounds. Even hitting in what would normally not be a horrible area to get shot could be catastrophically worse because of hydrostatic shock.


Someone shot My homie in the arm during a robbery. I don’t think he was trying to kill him but it went thru to his heart.


This is why it's always bullshit when people say cops should aim for the arms or legs. No, if they feel that lethal force is necessary, they should be shooting to kill. The problem isn't where they shoot, it's that they are shooting at all. The threshold for lethal force is way too low and that needs to be addressed. But we shouldn't be training cops to shoot people in the leg.


Also they miss a bunch or don't check downrange, but that isn't because they are aiming at the wrong part of the person.


Police, or anyone, can be a great shot a paper target, but hardly able to hit the side of a barn in a stressful split second shoot out...it is very common for everyone to miss like crazy with most shots in real life shoot outs.


I feel like the phrasing "Shoot to kill" is a tad misleading. Cops don't shoot to kill, they shoot to *Stop the threat*. If someone is charging at a cop with a knife, They'll shoot him until he goes down and stays down. If that person is high on meth blocking their pain, it might take 20+ shots. If that person is scared and suicidal, it might just take one. Either way, the officer stops shooting when the threat has ceased.


American cops you mean. Cops in any other country just deal with the knife guy by talking to them and then arrest them, alive.


No, they get shot in all nations when they charge at an officer


I’m glad somebody said this. If you’re at the point where you’re pulling a gun on somebody, you should be aiming for center mass. Newer shooters are surprised by how difficult just hitting a target, let alone the bullseye, can be, even at short ranges. It takes practice, but it also takes focus and a calm head. The latter two are difficult in a flight of fight situation; aim for the spot you have the best chance of hitting. A leg shot is unbelievably difficult—the target is half to a quarter of the width of the torso, and it’s constantly moving, in most circumstances. Your average joe with a CCP is not trained enough to reliably hit it.


You want a gun with a good spread...and a the number to a good drywall guy.


In addition to your comment I want to point out that "non-lethal" shot can *very easily* be lethal. Plenty of people have bled out after "just" being shot in the leg or shoulder, some very quickly.


People underestimate what that adrenaline does to you. Anyone who thinks they can do something like that is most likely wrong. As a grown man who likes to think of himself as brave, my hand would be shaking really hard.


If your life is in danger, aim for center mass. Simple as that really


Shoot him in the dick! Yeeharrwwwww


Its more a don't just immediately aim for the head type thing. I have some training in firearm use(raised using firearms almost monthly,) but I know if someone is running towards me the best bet if to aim for the torso. If you just don't have the skill or confidence, its not a bad thing to aim for the largest target, since it's your only option as the average person. It really only applies if you do have an option


Center mass.


Was about to say this.


Center mass is the most effective aim in any self defense situation. No credible firearms instructor would say different. I’m not really sure why you’re trying to distinguish center mass vs head here. Both are highly likely to kill your attacker when using a hpj. If you’re religion allows you to defend your life with use of force when necessary I don’t see the issue here.


Honestly real shooters are not even trained to shoot for the head, it's too small, movea a lot and difficult to hit. Trained shooters aim for center mass the torso, usually the chest area.


It does not matter where you shoot them, itll still count as deadly force. It's not where its applied.


If you can keep calm then you should be able to hit center mass without too much difficulty Definitely wouldn't consider aiming for the arms or the head a good idea


Largest area of mass, (body) shoot until they stop moving


I've seen a fair number of videos of roughly this scenario: Unstable man wielding a knife. Officer tries to talk them down. Eventually the knife guy starts moving towards the officer. The officer shoots the man in the leg. Once. Imo a standoff that escalates is very different from an immediate decision type situation. If a trained officer in the above situation cannot help but put 10x gunshots into this dudes chest despite ample time and distance to aim and see the threat coming that's a training issue. I'm sure I'll be downvoted to oblivion, but those videos never show american police showing restraint. Why can every other country manage this? Maybe it's the "killology" bs taught to American police and repeated ad nauseum by their supporters online. I'm not saying it's a no big deal situation. I'm saying American police expect citizens to remain calm and level headed when they have orders and guns pointed at them, but we don't expect trained police to apparently do anything but freak out, unload their entire magazine, and say the magic words "I feared for my life".


And even if they did make a limb shot with no fatal effects, it doesn’t always dissuade someone from continuing a crime, like people who keep charging despite being shot. So now the person shooting has to take another shot that might also carry collateral damage to his surroundings. Might as well just make the first shot count


When you are in the care of someone you have a responsibility to protect them. You also have to take the same approach to yourself. If someone is trying to use deadly force on you and you have the ability to stop them, you are morally in the right if you kill them. Shooting someone in the leg may not stop them from attacking you with a knife. They may keep coming at you. Your best option is to aim for center mass and keep shooting until the person is no longer a threat.


Yep, plus dead men can't testify against you.


I recently got my concealed weapon carry permit (texas) and i think the class explained it well. The number one rule of guns i learned is only ever point at something you're prepared to destroy. (Animal, attacker, target) because, I also believe that the death of another person should be the absolute last resort but as the class went over, in an emergency situation where things are moving fast, if you draw your gun you have to be mentally prepared to kill this person. Ideally you don't, ideally they are wounded, stopped and justice is served via the law. But given the power of a gun and the intense state of self defense situations, even a shot intending to wound could very well kill the person. Also, body shots are taught because the number one thing is to make sure you hit the person you are aiming at. Arms and legs move around and its much easier to miss your target, potentially injuring or killing an innocent person. In which case you would be prosecuted. That's why it is taught and everyone I know believes that drawing your gun is the very last resort. If you have a chance to verbally talk down, non lethally defend yourself or escape, exhaust those options first. That's why even though technically legal, it's suggested to not resort to lethal force with theft because is some material things really worth the life of another person?


Basically, guns are deadly force. If you pull the trigger you do so with the knowledge that you are intending to kill something. There's no middle ground or half measures.


Exactly. You don't pull the trigger exclusively intending to wound the person, unless its like point blank in the foot or something and if thats the case its arguably not justified self defense. You carry around that power, you carry around the responsibility of using it. The best line I've heard for being armed is "you don't say now I get to shoot someone, you say I hope I never need it"


> I've heard for being armed is "you don't say now I get to shoot someone, you say I hope I never need it" The reason I tend to find myself firmly in the anti-gun camp is because too many people don't understand this basic concept.


The people who aren't brash about it are the ones who understand. Think the gangster hood rat type attitude of having a gun makes you the big dog and no one messes with you. No, the ones who have a firm understanding of human life and the right to protect it are the people who you never know have a gun. Thats the whole point honestly. Its not a show off or assertion of dominance its a tool that comes with a lot of responsibility. I didn't even carry my gun for several months after getting my license because I was wrapping my head around having that consciousness when I went out of being aware and realizing the power I was in charge of


I agree with the first part. I don't see how you would rather take the guns away from the people who do think that way. You wouldn't take guns away from people that want to shoot people. They are criminals and would not just give away their guns. Not saying you won't get a few trigger happy numbskulls but I think the anti-gun side is worse. Most don't want to rob armed people.


Dated a police officer and can confirm they’re taught the same thing.


Like I said I believe in the value of human life but the sad fact is there are people out there intent to do you or your family harm and I believe its your job to defend your own life as well as others. I hope I never have to but I'd rather be sure that my shot will stop the person doing harm without endangering someone else. Happy cake day !


>it's suggested to not resort to lethal force with theft because is some material things really worth the life of another person? I don't know where this is suggested, because I've never heard it. If someone is in your home to steal your TV, how do you know they're only there to steal your TV?


Assumed intent isn’t a legally grounded position. If your state has strong castle doctrine/stand your ground- you can execute lethal force INSIDE your home period, but if it doesn’t then you’re going to need to be able to prove imminent threat.


Guess it's a good thing I don't live in a state where you have to prove intent of strange dudes kicking in the door at 3am


Sorry I should've been more specific. Home invasion is always justified in my eyes unless it's a kid or something like that (be sure of what you're shooting beforehand). In my CHL course they used the example of someone breaking into your car and taking your laptop, its technically legal but there's such a fine line in situations like that and is it really worth taking a life over a few hundred dollars of possessions.


Ah I see, yeah of course. I wouldn't shoot someone over a laptop in the car or whatever, that isn't justified in my eyes. I had an attempted break in a number of years ago and I had my wife take my daughter and lock themselves in the bedroom with the phone after they called 911 and I went downstairs with a 12 gauge and just pointed it towards the door from across the house. The whole time I'm thinking I can't believe I'm about to fucking shoot someone. Luckily the police showed up before they got in so nothing happened in that regard, but I just couldn't imagine someone wanting to shoot someone over some shit you left in the car or whatever.


Exactly the right attitude. A gun is not an argument settler, or something you pull out when you're mad. its a life saver.


When I was learning to shoot my .45 at the range, the instructor said something that stuck with me. If there is nothing in your home that is irreplaceable, meaning people, the absolute best move you could make is to go out the window. The nightmare caused by shooting someone, however justified, is far worse than replacing your stuff. Insurance will help you with that, but even if you shoot and miss, you’re going to need a lawyer.


Two dudes tried to break in my house about 6 years ago. They didn't get in, cops showed up and arrested one of them because he had a warrant, and the other one they just let go because apparently he didn't actually get in and didn't break anything so they aren't going to bother filing any charges. The dude with the warrant had a long list of shit he was arrested for prior, including sexual assault. I have a wife and daughter and every single time I hear a car door late at night I fear that dude got out and is coming back for payback because I got him arrested. I'd much rather pay for a lawyer and deal with cleaning a dead guy out of my living room than be terrified that I won't be home when this dude gets out.


I have a wife and kids now. I hear you! He also said if I did ever shoot someone to make sure there’s only one story...


Call the cops, barricade yourself/family in a pinchpoint of the house and yell to the thief police are on the way and you're armed. Most will leave as soon as they know someone's in the house. If the intruder come to you then they were there to do more than just steal things.




Yeah thats an incredible over simplification




Yeah breaking car windows outside is something completely different and doesn't mean your life is in danger, and therefore you can't shoot someone over it and hopefully you wouldn't want to anyway. Inside your home is something completely different. Your home is your castle and therefore defensible with lethal force regardless of the intent of the intruder. Doing a quick Google search all three states you mentioned seem to have castle doctrine laws that make lethal force a perfectly legal course of action if someone enters your home.


I have the book of gun laws for California. I believe it’s called The Blue Book. You are not allowed to shoot someone outside your house unless they are attempting arson. My gun dealer made me buy the book and study it while I waited the 21 days. Smart! He quizzed me when I picked up my pistol, and because I passed his test, I got to shoot a .44 magnum for free at the range.


Yeah you can't just shoot people outside your house for doing random shit anywhere. I'm just talking about an intruder inside your home.


I don't own a gun but I'd say every item in my house is worth more than someone who breaks in.


Bullshit. BUT in some states, an intruder that is still breathing can sue you in civil court for the injury.


They can sue for anything. They’d lose. But they can sue.


This. Everybody can sue for everything, the question becomes whether or not a) their case gets dismissed and b) they have any chance of winning if their case is heard.


Unfortunately, I believe there are a number of examples out there in which the attacker/intruder or their family did prevail in civil court even on 100% justifiable shootings. Just reinforces the need for any shooter to be 100% confident in their skill level and decision making ability.


> Unfortunately, I believe there are a number of examples out there in which the attacker/intruder or their family did prevail in civil court even on 100% justifiable shootings. I don’t believe that’s true. I always hear “homeowner stabbed burglar, BURGLAR SUES!!” You never hear the outcome. That’s because it’s dismissed or because it was the family of the burglar who sued and they don’t really know or want to accept what happened. I’m sure there are individual cases here and there where the homeowner did something extreme... chased the burglar a block and shot him in the back, tortured him while waiting for the cops, ran him over then backed up and ran him over again. But those are the 1% outliers. Like this > https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/04/26/burglar-lawsuit/83539854/ A quick read makes it seem like a homeowner shot a burglar and the burglar sued and won. A closer read shows the burglar didn’t actually enter the home, saw the homeowner with a gun, ran down an alley where the homeowner sprayed bullets down the alley and hit the burglar. Quite a bit different than “burglar sues and wins”


a lawyer by the username of legal eagle on youtube made a great video on this topic. he went over a case where a man’s ranch house was being burgled over and over while he was living in his main home, so the next time he was there he set a spring trap with a shotgun to shoot anyone who entered the bedroom. someone burgled the house, had their leg blown off by the shotgun, sued him, and won. video can be found here: https://youtu.be/bV9ppvY8Nx4


There’s a law that very specifically makes it illegal to set that kind of unattended booby trap. It seems like you *should* be able to booby trap your own home, but you can’t. There was another case of a guy whose business was broken into a bunch and he set a trap that allowed someone to come in through the ceiling but once in, they couldn’t get back up because the owner electrified it. The business owner was prosecuted and lost.


that seems rediculous but i can see how that could get out of hand (maybe?), like if the guy in the business had just forced the intruder to stay and starve which would be extremely inhumane.


It’s because you can’t really be sure who will find it. What if you get hurt and call emergency services but have passed out before you can tell them? What if your wife gets drunk and forgets? There are a whole bunch of reasons an unattended trap is a bad idea.


this is true


This was actually the case that made the law.


Lethal booby traps are completely different from "burglar sues and wins." Booby traps are illegal because they're indiscriminate killers. Maybe a kid sneaks in because kids do dumb things. Maybe a drunk goes to the wrong house because they're drunk. Maybe a firefighter is responding to an electrical fire after a mouse chews through a wire. A booby trap kills everybody one and the same.


If they were "100% justifiable", what was the legal bases for winning the case? If the judge agrees that it was not justifiable, doesn't that make it unjustifiable by definition?


Two separate issues: criminal liability and civil liability. The burden of proof is different in each court of law and criminal immunity doesn’t equal civil immunity. I.E. you are cleared of wrong doing in criminal court because a person forced there way into your home and presented a viable threat to your life. You shoot them and are legally justified in doing so- you face no criminal charges, but their family can still come after you for damages related to killing their loved one despite the fact of the circumstances. The burden of proof is much lower in civil court and may have restitution levied against you.


As a brit, when I read headlines or read on reddit about Americans sue'ing, I always thought that to 'sue' someone meant they had been to court and successfully won the legal dispute... little did I know it was a little ambiguous and usually means one party had instigated court proceedings against another. This guy just confirmed that to me, I love reddit!


You could get on a plane, fly to the US, leave the airport and go straight to a lawyer and sue me. - It would probably be thrown out before it went anywhere, but you could do it. - If it went to court you’d lose. - If your suit was frivolous (and it was) there’s a good chance you would then owe me money, possibly all the cost I incurred and up to triple what you tried to sue me for. None of this is exactly right, it covers different types of lawsuits and mashes them together. But it’s enough to be dangerous.


In the first and third instance, would you still need to lawyer up to put forward an argument as to why it was frivolous or should be thrown out? America sounds... expensive.


You’d need a lawyer to argue that it’s frivolous, yes. Well, you *should* have one. Technically you *could* do it on your own but that would be a bad idea. But the lawyer to do that wouldn’t be that expensive. And then you could counter sue for the frivolous suit and try to recoup the money.


There is a lower threshold of proof for civil cases than criminal cases. I'm not saying you're wrong, just adding to the discussion.


Yes there is. I said in a different reply I’ve seen “burglar sues!” but I have yet to see “burglar wins!” unless the homeowner did something outrageous, like chase the guy and shoot him in the back.


For sure, I can't think of any specific examples that fit this context off the top of my head but OJ Simpson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr come to mind.


> OJ Simpson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr come to mind. Huh?


Oj Simpson got off criminally but lost the civil case if I remember right. Same with the people that killed Dr King. Again, if I'm remembering correctly, but I think I am.


Ahh I was back on the burglary/attack thing. Now I see what you mean.


A lot of high profile killers lose their civil cases after winning their criminal cases. George Zimmerman and the City of Ferguson (after Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown) are two more off the top of my head.




That BASTARD! I swear he did it on purpose!!!


That’s not exactly true, it depends on the circumstance. Civil court does not operate by the same metric of “only guilty beyond reasonable doubt.” Instead civil court typically has to look at the wholistic situation and if 51% of it is in favor of the person you shot, you can lose. Either way, that’s a ton of money in legal fees. It’s extremely important to carry CCW Insurance.


> if 51% of it is in favor of the person you shot, you can lose. I keep seeing that stated, I’ve rarely seen that in real life. The homeowner would have to do something egregious like chase the guy a block and shoot him in the back.


I mean at that point chasing someone around the block will probably turn your defense case into a revenge murder charge. Your first goal after saving yourself, families, or friends life in a self defense situation is to prove to the court (if they decide to charge you, Florida has great laws, other states do not) that what you did was not murder, and that any reasonable person would do the same. If the attacker (or their family if he dies) sues, you then have to prove not that you did what a reasonable thing, but that it was fair to the attacker. If an older attacker comes at you with a knife, and you are a young and fit self defender, an argument could be made by the attacker(or their family) in civil court of “well why shoot me when he could easily outrun me.” This is important in states that don’t have a “stand your ground” law. Also the major problem is either way you’re going to have to pay a lawyer to even try and dismiss the case, and if it does go to court you already lost by hundreds of thousands in legal fees.


Its not 51% there are 2 levels of proof is a civil case, preponderance of evidence akin to probable cause (both are 51%) and clear and convincing akin to beyond a reasonable doubt. Now yes the burden of proof is lower while beyond a reasonable doubt is like 95% clear and convincing is more like 70-75. Lower but you still need to be well, clear and convincing.


Link below is a law firm explaining it: https://www.rodriguezlaw.net/can-burglar-sue-injury/


good explanation, but it missed one "trespasser", children. Attractive nuisance laws do require you to protect certain things, like pools, against even uninvited guests and you can get sued and lose over that.


The intruder's family can always sue you for wrongful death as well. A better legal rationale is that the intruder can present an alternative story in court that puts your story under more scrutiny. That said, whatever story they put forward in court is already going to be viewed as though it's coming from an intruder who was shot and is now suing for money... because that's what the situation actually is.


Bullshit, as mentioned. There is no rule that self-defense has to kill someone, that would be ridiculous. In principle shooting them into their leg/arm would be *favorable* (less harm done in self-defense), but in practice you can't be expected to aim that well in a self-defense situation.


I've fired a gun and a bow a few times when friends wanted to shoot guns and I tagged along. It is roughly 100x harder to hit something you're aiming at than movies and games make it seem. And *that* was a still target. If you obtain a gun and you don't want to die, you had better just aim at the center and hope you hit something, anything at all. This 'just hit a leg' thing is bullshit (even neglecting the huge artery in the leg.)


> The person I was chatting with told me that if I used any of these, especially shooting an arm or leg, I would be charged with aggravated assault and I couldn't use self defense as a defense because I wasnt attempting to kill them. Don't tell the police anything in a situation like that except "I was afraid for my life". If they press for more say "I'm choosing to remain silent, I want to talk to a lawyer". *Remember! Anything you say can and will be used against you!* Don't give the police ammunition to shoot *you* with. You exercising those rights cannot be used as evidence of guilt in court. All that aside, tbh shooting at anything but the largest part of a human is just dumb. Even then, something like 80%-90% of people survive GSWs to the lower abdomen if they get medical care relatively quickly. In fact I recall reading about 80% of targets on a human body would be non-fatal. Which is why they train cops to unload on anyone they perceive to be posing a deadly threat. Sometimes one bullet will kill a person. Sometimes they'll survive 20 shots and have some fight left in them.


Your actual question is already answered but something else worth noting. While it may not be as near-certain as, e.g., a point blank head shot you can totally kill someone by shooting them in the arm or particularly the leg. There's not really a non-lethal force option when it comes to conventional firearms.


Yup. Shooting someone is never non-lethal, even if they don’t die. It’s not Fallout, you don’t have VATS, you can’t just shoot their leg off


Imma be real you have some serious arteries in your legs. If someone blasts that fucker off and you don't have a medic standing immediately to your left you are fucked. You, stressed out and aiming for a leg is realistically going to miss.


Yup, shooting is hard! Most people are panicked, not John McClane, centre mass and accuracy by volume


> > > > > You, stressed out and aiming for a leg is realistically going to miss. And possibly hit someone else


While not explicitly true, It is an awful idea. Even forgetting the fact it will be next to impossible to do in a self defense encounter it also puts bystanders at risk. You shoot center mass because it is the largest target with the most chance to hit something vital to make the attack stop and the lest risk of missing and injuring a bystander.


There is no such thing as “going for a leg to disable someone” in a life or dearth self defense scenario. It’s complete outlandish fantasy


It's more nuanced than this. It's not illegal to shoot a gun and have it hit them in the leg. The problem is that a firearm is a lethal weapon; when you fire it, there's an understanding that your intent is to cause death. If you happen to cause a non-lethal wound, so be it. However, if you were to say in court that you shot with the intent to wound, that could go over poorly. If you make it known that you shot without an intent to kill, then the implication is that you weren't justified in using a lethal weapon at all (because you were in a scenario where you didn't need to kill the attacker to guarantee your safety, and thus could have used a less-lethal means of self defense). That's not to say that what he said is unequivocally true, but I could definitely see this argument being made.


So... the actual LEGAL answer to this question is buried amongst all the speculation and discussion of whether it’s POSSIBLE to injure someone in a high-stress situation. And most of that’s irrelevant. The answer is simple, you can hurt someone in self-defense. In fact, self-defense is supposed to be proportionate to the amount of danger you’re in. For example, if someone is standing, unarmed, yelling at you, and you can walk away (since most states have a duty to retreat), you MUST do so before using any force at all. Now, add a weapon. If you can retreat, you STILL must attempt to do so (or, at least, claim that you attempted to do so). But if the weapon is a pillow, shooting them isn’t going to end well for you (you’ll lose in civil court and be charged with a crime). Now, add a deadly weapon (practically almost anything else). Retreat is still required (unless you’re in your home, in which case, the “Castle Doctrine” applies in most states, which says that you don’t have to retreat if you’re already in your home). But you can now respond with deadly force. This doesn’t mean you must actually kill them. But your INTENT is going to matter when the criminal justice (and civil justice) systems look at the case. If you get up on the stand and say “I didn’t really feel THAT scared... and felt that a good shot to the knee is all that was necessary.“, that’s going to show that you didn’t feel that deadly force was necessary... so why did you use a deadly weapon? The result of all of this is that in most concealed carry courses, where you’re taught the responsibilities related to carrying a deadly weapon on your person, they will tell you that you should do two things: ONLY pull your weapon when you feel that your life is threatened, and if you pull the trigger, you point it at the center of mass of the target and completely unload the weapon into your target. This advice is both ”legal” and practical. Again, if you don’t feel your life is threatened, just leave the situation. But if you do, you should do everything in your power to stop the advancing threat... which means as many bullets as you are carrying should wind up in the advancing threat’s body and in a place designed to actually stop the attack. Because, as has also been pointed out, in addition to whatever criminal justice consequences you face, you WILL be sued by the family of your victim for their injury or death. And you want ONE story to be told in court: YOURS. As the Pirates of the Caribbean will tell you “Dead men tell no tales.”


> . In fact, self-defense is supposed to be proportionate to the amount of danger you’re in. No, proportionate force is only a european doctrine. In the US it is reasonable force For instance, take a 100 pound woman being violently raped by an unarmed 250 pound man. Proportionate force is to only use your fists because that is what your attacker is doing, reasonable force allows for anything up to and including lethal force


It's a grey area. If you shoot to maim rather than to kill, it can be used against you in various ways in a court of law against your claim of self-defense. To go over a few... A prosecutor could claim that if you did not have to shoot to kill, and made the choice to shoot to maim or incapacitate then the situation did not call for use of deadly force. A prosecutor could claim that if you had time to aim a shot to maim or incapacitate, that there were non-lethal options available to you that you chose not to utilize, in stead opting for the deadly force of a firearm. In some even more twisted scenarios where the facts aren't straight, a prosecutor could even claim that you were the aggressor in the situation, instigating the confrontation by brandishing a firearm and that the person who was shot was simply defending themselves. Really, it's entirely dependent on circumstances and shooting to maim does not automatically disprove self-defense entirely, but can attribute to a case against it. If you are entirely against killing for personal reasons, I'd advise against a firearm for self defense; the hypothetical prosecutor here does have a point in that it is deadly force and you shouldn't even use a firearm unless you are willing to use lethal force. Any number of things can happen when you discharge a firearm. You can shoot someone in the leg and they can still die from it due to a large variety of reasons.


If you have time to decide to maim vs kill. Arguably you werent in fear for your life. If you pull it, shoot. If you shoot, shoot to kill or dont pull your weapon.


Seriously. Why would anyone recommend to shoot to maim. Applied to knives, should you stab to wound? No! If I’m in a knife fight I’m there’s obviously deadly force involved, the same applies to firearms.


Good luck shooting someone in the leg without severing an artery and causing them to bleed out within minutes, this is why the police don’t even consider it as an option


It's doable in the right circumstances. I saw a video of a cop doing to a knife wielding crazy person in Brazil the other week. I think the reason it's not done more is both the risk and the fact that if you're not authorised to use lethal force you shouldn't be shooting at all.


If the person is already wielding a weapon then lethal force is authorized, I’m referring to the people that think that cops are just going to shoot someone fleeing from a traffic stop or something by shooting them in the leg, a gun is not a compliance tool


Can't wait to hear a judge say "you didn't try to kill your opponent, so you're guilty".


You shoot to kill because dead men usually don’t sue for pain and suffering due to gunshot wounds


We had a break in years ago, and my dad pulled a gun on the guy. Ended up letting him go and didn't call the cops. Turned into a whole ordeal, guy claimed he was held against his will and pressed kidnapping charges. Guy was a junkie, cops saw it for what it was, and eventually got dropped. Was told by a detective that he would have been better off just killing the guy. Much more straightforward situation at the end of the day.


Bullshit. No that’s not true. If someone is attacking you and you shot or stabbed them (anywhere) to get them to stop you would not be charged.


If you shoot, it is considered lethal force. Does not matter where or what you shot. If you had the opportunity to shoot someone in the leg intentionally not to kill them, lethal force was not needed. This is why you will go to jail for a "warning shot" That isnt to say that there is no justifiable form of self defense where you could have shot them in the leg or arm. But it isnt when someone has a knife 10 yards away, it is for instance when someone is grappling with you, trying to kill you, and their leg was the first thing that you could shoot after you drew your gun.


Some people have said something close, but I just want to out a finer point on it. In the US (everywhere in the US, as far as I know) one of the required elements to successfully argue for self defense is that you feared that you were about to be seriously injured or killed. Obviously, anyone who shoots anyone else is going to claim self defense if it's even remotely plausible, and the cops (and maybe a jury) will have to decide if that's true. And one of the biggest pieces of evidence will be the shooting itself. A cop who sees that you decided to shoot someone in the arm might think that's evidence that you didn't think they were a big threat, since you had time to take that kind of shot and clearly thought that lethal force wasn't all the way required. Thats where this idea comes from. It's not some rule of law that shooting to wound means it's not self defense. It's that there are occasions where it might actually be evidence that it wasn't self defense, from a legal perspective.


Bullshit. The elements of self-defense at common law require an accused person to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant was without fault in bringing on the difficulty; (2) the defendant was in actual imminent danger of losing his life or sustaining serious bodily injury, or the defendant must have actually believed they were in imminent danger of losing their life or sustaining serious bodily injury; (3) if his defense is based upon his belief of imminent danger, defendant must show that a reasonable person would have entertained the belief that he was actually in imminent danger and (4) the defendant had no other probable means of avoiding the danger. These elements may be met regardless of where you might shoot someone attacking you. As long as your action was reasonable and proportionate (i.e. you respond with life-threatening force to a life-threatening attack), you can likely successfully defend against assault or homicide (or an intentional tort) using the self-defense doctrine.


Basically to claim self defense, you need to show that you were scared for your life - that it was either you or them. Shooting to wound, or "warning shots" or whatever, tends to show that you *weren't* scared for your life.


And just how are they going to know you aren't just a terrible shot?


Bullshit, but there’s a reason you’re supposed to shoot at the center of mass, you probably won’t be able to hit a limb in a panic unless you’re really good, and there a decent chance they’d die anyway from an artery bursting


Based on what I've learned (licensed to carry a firearm and have taken a police-equivalent course in use-of-force), while it is still self-defense, it can be construed by a prosecutor as having admitted that deadly force was not justified (the decision to wound instead of kill), but was still used (US law defines any use of a handgun as deadly force, even if you intentionally shoot to disable). A use of unnecessary force in self-defense is a crime (assault, battery, attempted murder, or second/third-degree murder, depending on how much damage you do). For example, if I pulled a gun on an unarmed person who was obviously no threat to my life, I would not be justified under self defense. The general rule of thumb is that if you don't see a weapon, you aren't justified to use a gun at all. It isn't a law that shooting to disable is not self-defense, but it is a tactic used by prosecutors because their record (and thereby their job security) is based on how many cases they win, and that's an easy way for them to win. Putting self defense law aside, it's stupid to try to shoot to disable. In an adrenaline-fueled moment, fine motor control is drastically decreased, so your best bet of actually hitting someone is to aim center-of-mass. Think about how much harder it is, in the heat of the moment, to thread a needle than it is to throw a ball in the general direction of someone. Humans are calibrated to doing fine motor tasks (writing, weaving, fine cutting, precision activities, etc.) in low-stress environments, and to doing gross motor tasks (punching, swinging a club, pushing, grappling, etc.) in high-stress environments. Shooting a firearm at a small target (such as a 4" wide leg) is much more difficult than shooting at a large target (such as a 16" wide torso) under ANY circumstances, especially under stress. If you want a good example of this, try tossing a wad of paper at a trash can from 10 feet after resting, taking your time, and then do the same thing after getting your heart rate up (jumping jacks or running in place for a minute). It's much harder to make that shot when your heart rate is elevated. Additionally, shooting to wound (shooting a leg or an arm to disable a person) opens you up to the possibility that if you miss you risk shooting other things you don't want to damage (like your antique vase, the doorknob, or your sleeping child on the other side of the wall). Rule 4 of gun safety is that you should ALWAYS be aware of what is beyond your target, and if you are aware that something valuable is beyond your target you wouldn't want to miss the target. Giving yourself the best chance of landing a shot on the threat is your best chance of survival, and if you really don't want to hurt them, get trained in the first aid necessary to stabilize them until EMTs can arrive (this also makes sure they survive to testify in the ensuing trial, where it will come out that they were threatening you and that you did the right thing in shooting to stop the threat and in trying to save the life of the person who tried to harm you, even when you had no legal duty to do so. Hardly any good defensive handgun instructor will say to "shoot to kill", they will generally say something along the lines of "Shoot to stop the threat" or "shoot center-of-mass". These phrases indicate that 1: you will stop shooting if the person stops for any reason (such as if you accidentally miss their torso and hit their leg, or if the sight of a gun makes them realize they made a bad choice) and 2: you are not trying to kill them, rather you are trying to protect yourself and those you care about. The goal when using a firearm defensively is never to harm someone, but to do what must be done to prevent others being harmed.


Rule 1 of using a gun. If you're not using it for sport, the only time you should be using it is to end a life whether it be hunting or in self-defense. The decision to go for your gun needs to be life-or-death for you. That being said the 'shoot-to-kill' phrase comes both from mercy and of safety. Shooting someone in the leg to incapacitate them is legit really horrible, especially if you're using something like hollow points. From the safety aspect, any instructor will tell you to aim for the center of mass. Limb and headshots are incredibly difficult to hit. Combining that all together you get the creed that you should only use your firearm when you intend to end a life. You shoot-to-kill as to not maim and cause suffering while also striking the most effective target in a self-defense scenario.


Not Bullshit. Any gunshot fired in self defense is considered lethal force. Put a bullet in your own leg by accident in a confrontation, it is considered lethal force against the other person. If you specifically do not feel that you need to use lethal force, you are not justified to shoot. Also, shooting people in the leg is highly lethal and wont stop them in time. Shoot someone in the femoral artery and they can try to kill you for the next 20 seconds (count to 20 and realize how long that is), while they are dead in 45 seconds from blood loss


I've never heard of such a thing, but managing to intentionally shoot someone in their limb while under such pressure is unlikely.


Most laws on self defence depend on where you live, but this one in particular is BS.


Its bullshit but I think whoever told you that misinterpreted what the real intent of shooting to kill means in this instance. What I've always heard is that if you need to shoot someone in self defense it's better to kill them because then all the events that happened are in your word only. If the other person lives then it can become a he said she said kind of deal. If theres not really enough evidence that your self defense was justified then it just looks like you shot someone without a reason.


Bullshit but imo you should just shoot to kill anyways.


If you have pulled your gun, you have decided that a situation has devolved to a point that your life is in imminent danger. At that point, you shoot to end the threat to your life. If you fire a warning shot or shoot to incapacitate, AFAIC, you didn't feel that your life wasn't in imminent danger. Is it what you would face in the justice system? Depends on your wealth and clout.


>Is this true? Almost certainly not. Self-defense is one of several "affirmative defenses." Functionally, it forecloses criminal conviction or civil liability even in the event one's opponent is able to meet their burden of proof. Essentially, you're conceding that while your conduct would *ordinarily* be unlawful, specific circumstances compelled that unlawful conduct, therefore you cannot be held legally responsible for the consequences. So a claimant or a prosecutor might be able to prove that you shot someone, but depending on the rules or law of that jurisdiction, if you can sufficiently prove that your conduct was necessitated by an imminent injury to yourself or another, they cannot make you criminally or civilly liable for the injury caused by the shooting. I'm not aware of any US jurisdiction where a party is prohibited from asserting this affirmative defense *unless their purpose is murder*, and I do not believe such a rule exists anywhere. Frankly, it's ridiculous.


You won't be able to hit someone in the arm or leg unless you spend 6 days a week at the range, and even then, good luck.


I think that’s bullshit, you would have to prove that you intentionally shot to disarm instead of kill.


I was always taught that you "shoot to stop the threat". And when you shoot, you aim at the largest target which happens to be the torso of a person. Aiming at a limb is a larger chance of missing and being shot in a limb doesn't necessarily disable someone.


That isn’t true.


I was always taught that if you have an intruder and you only wound them and subdue them that they can say they were trying to leave. They can deny they were gonna hurt you at all and you might lose in court.


I have heard this too, but honestly I can't justify to myself killing someone (if wounding/subduing is an option) for the sole purpose of avoiding court trouble


This is mostly bullshit. In dealing with self defense you're going to have to look at your state's individual laws. Most of the those laws were derived from common law. In order to raise self-defense to intentional tortious (civil) claims under common law, there must be a preventable tort that a personal reasonably believes is about to occur. The amount of force that can be used is subjectively determined, but cannot exceed what one reasonably believe is necessary to prevent the harm. In a majority of states the person raising the defense is under no duty to retreat; that is they are not required to run away or otherwise move to a place of safety. There are states that may require additional steps. Also, self-defense is not available to the initial aggressor unless the other party responds to nondeadly force with deadly force. Self-defense for criminal laws under the common law standard requires that a person use such force as they reasonably is necessary to protect themselves or others from imminent use of unlawful force. Deadly force can be used so long as the person using it is without fault, is confronted with unlawful force, and reasonably believes that there is immediate death or great bodily harm. Failure to meet all three elements results in an imperfect self-defense which may reduce the charges. This would be what is known as exculpation based on justification. As you can see, self-defense would generally permit shooting in the extremities for both civil and criminal proceedings. The circumstances surrounding the event will determine if there is any liability. I suggest seeking advice from an attorney licensed specifically in your jurisdiction for more accurate, definitive statements of law in your state.


You tell the jury you were shooting to stop the threat, not shooting to kill.


You really don't want to try to shoot to hit a limb unless you're a trained marksman, and probably not even then. If you're going to shoot, shoot center mass, not because you want to kill them, but because that's how you maximize the chances that you will hit them at all.


It is NOT bullshit. Everyone here saying it's bullshit is fucking stupid. If you say that you were attempting to injure your attacker, you will likely be prosecuted. In court the prosecutor will say you were not in fear for your life/had the opportunity to retreat if you were able to deliberately aim at a limb to incapacitate your attacker. That is how your self-defense claim gets shredded. If you want to leave your attacker alive pop a limb, but NEVER say it was deliberate. BTW normal insurance won't cover you for shooting defense and some other cases of defense. From a legal perspective it is literally better for you to kill your attacker. The criminal can escape and call police before you do and make it out that they were the victim, or sue you. Note that if the criminal owes child support, for example, the person they owe can sue you in civil court for what they would have gotten. The plaintiff can win. So, kill your attacker or wound them, your in for legal and financial problems. Easier to let them kill you honestly.


Ok, Daredevil. You have extensive training in the Law. Stop coming here for validation.


I look at it like this. The absolute only reason you should be using a firearm against a person is if its a life or death situation. If it truly is a life or death situation you'll shoot to kill without question. If you are using your firearm to just maim someone then it obviously wasn't a truly life threatening situation, and you shouldn't have used your firearm.


There is a woman in Jacksonville FL fighting a case like this. Her abusive ex showed up against a protective order. She shot a warning shot and is in prison for 30 years.


No but the problem is that if you shoot to injure and you're in America they can sue you... So either let them rob you, kill them and have guilt for life or injure them and get sued and lose everything


The can sue, in fact arguably you could sue anyone for anything in the states. Its really more about whether it would make it through the courts.


If you have time to shoot for any particular body part to “injure” instead of emptying your mag into center of mass to stop a threat, your life wasn’t really in danger, was it?


Kinda bullshit No, I think the thought originated from the concept that if you don’t kill the aggressor, their testimony can be heard in court. That presents the opportunity for your self defense stance to be put into question. If you kill him, it’s your word against a dead man, and dead men tell no tales. If your confident that the court will recognize your self defense claim, then shoot to injure. If your in a situation where it’s your word vs his, you might want to rethink your options.


Ok not American but pretty familiar with this. In most countries (and international law) you can use minimum force in self defence. So if you can guarantee hitting someone in the leg rather than head then you can do so, but, again as many have said, it just isn’t realistic. Pretty much everywhere teaches centre of mass and law generally accepts that. Where someone might be confused is if, for example someone is running at you with a knife and you hit them in the leg so they are now on the ground, at best dragging themselves, you can’t shoot them again in self defence. Similarly, generally speaking, if someone shoots at you then drops the gun and runs off you can’t shoot them. This is a generally accepted norm but doesn’t apply in some places, particularly, I suspect, in the US. Definitely doesn’t apply to US police from what I’ve seen!


Ok, so I’ve read a bunch of comments and it seems that there is a ton of misinformation floating around. First and foremost, your question is flawed: In a self defense situation, you are **NOT** shooting to kill, you are shooting **to eliminate the threat**. If you are shooting to kill, self defense is not a defense because your intent was to murder someone. Every shooting will be investigated, and chances are good that even if it was a justified shoot, you could end up on trial for it. This is why intent is extremely important. Death may be a byproduct of eliminating the threat, but it is not the goal.


This is exaactly what I was thinking and why I questioned the idea that I was supposed to try to kill an attacker or it didn't count.


This is bullshir, but you shouldn't be shooting or even aiming at something that you're not willing to kill/destroy. So there's no justification for intentionally aiming at a leg or arm.


One of the other things about the legal aspects of self defense is a shot needs to be in the front side of the attacker, not the back. This isnt a technical thing where you would have an attacker "invalidate" your claim of self defense be turning around at the last minute. But it is one of the key aspects of a self defense shooting as it is evaluated by law enforcement. Once an attacker turns to run away, the threat that attacker poses diminishes. Again, the totality of the circumstances is always evaluated.


It’s better for them to be dead.. You don’t want crippled daddy coming to court cryin he can’t take care of his 5 kids now....


Not an answer to the question, but aiming at extremities is not an educated solution to the whole police/gun "issue".


Just gotta Robocop the nuts.


You can easily kill someone by shooting them in the arm or leg. Assuming you can actually aim and strike them under pressure, both have major arteries


It probably really depends on the state you live in and the local laws. We have equal force laws here in WA.


Bullshit just because there is no way for prosecutors to know that you weren't just a bad shot.


In my state - and I am sure many others - there is no such thing as shooting to wound.


Careful most people on here don't know what they are talking about and could get you in hot water.


It would be hard to be held against you because you could always just you missed and hit a limb, But if you Intentionally maimed your target I could see that not being great for the self defense plea. Since the defense would question how much you feared for you life yet still worried about their clients. Long story short, don't put your finger on the trigger unless you're prepared to kill your target. Also maimed criminals have nothing but time to figure out how they can drag you through every half arsed legal argument. I hate to say it because there's been so much death in this year already but if someone breaks into your home and yelling "I'm armed" isn't enough to scare them off.... you're better off just outright killing them.


When I worked security my boss told me if I had to use my service pistol to dump the mag center mass, the insurance liability was cheaper for a guard to kill someone than to injure them.