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Gun Myth: Shoot to Kill or Shoot to Injure?

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Gun Myth:  Shoot to Kill or Shoot to Injure

In a self defense scenario should you shoot to kill or shoot to injure?

Neither!  Good grief!  I’ve been seeing a lot of really bad advice being given on the internet lately and for some reason both of these ideas keep cropping up.  Using either of these “strategies” could cripple a victim’s legal defense if they ended up in court.  Shooting to kill could be as good as “shooting with the intent to kill” in the eyes of the law.  While shooting to injure could decrease a victim’s effectiveness in stopping a threat and get them injured or killed.  It might also be interpreted to mean “making your attacker suffer.”

As law-abiding gun owners, the correct objective is that one should shoot to ensure their own safety, the safety of their family or the safety of those they are protecting.  If a person is in fear for his or her life and they feel it’s necessary to use their gun, they should shoot at center of mass (COM) and continue to put as many rounds on target as is necessary to stop the threat.  A person should not shoot until the attacker is dead nor should they shoot until the attacker is wounded in both arms or legs.  They should shoot until the attacker ceases to be a threat to the victim’s life.

And as gun owners, we accept that the death of an attacker could be the result of our actions but it is not our objective.  We accept that the injury of an attacker is imminent in a self-defense scenario but again, it’s not our goal.  We don’t use firearms to deliver justice or vengeance.  We aren’t executioners or vigilantes.  We don’t shoot to cause pain or punishment.  We cannot wield a firearm in self-defense with the sole purpose of killing but by the same token, we should not attempt to guarantee any level of safety for the attacker who’s on the receiving end.

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