The archives over at Force Science News continue to fascinate. Issue #68 deals with several myths about the use of deadly force, myths that a large percentage of the population (regardless of their level of firearms knowledge) believe. The whole article is interesting, but it’s the first myth – that of the Demonstrative Bullet – that is most immediately useful.
The article discusses the myth from the standpoint of those who judge an incident after the fact. However, the material is also of great importance to the person in the incident. The lawful user of lethal force needs to understand that bullets don’t act like we see in movies, including the fact that one bullet simply isn’t enough to guarantee rapid incapacitation of a determined attacker.
Belief in the “one shot stop” is prevalent at gun counters, in classrooms, and on firing ranges all over this country. The simple fact is that no handgun round – no matter what caliber or weight or velocity – will reliably incapacitate an attacker, immediately, with a single shot. It just doesn’t happen all that often, which is why we need to train to put rapid, multiple, appropriately placed shots on our target. Any time, at any realistic distance, one hand or two, in all lighting conditions, from any stance, while moving, in the rain, from behind cover or in compromised positions. Can you? Be honest with yourself.
Yes, it’s a tall order, but that is the reality of the situation. I’ve said it before: you either acknowledge reality and use it to your advantage, or it will automatically work against you! What you can do on a nice range, in perfect lighting, after carefully working yourself into your favorite stance, isn’t the same as what you will be called to do when feral man chooses you as his prey. You need to train for the latter, not the former.
Of course it’s easier (and cheaper) to simply Believe, which is what most gun people choose to do. Listen, if you want to believe in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, fine and dandy! Those things are inconsequential. Belief in the Demonstrative Bullet (or any of the other myths in the article), on the other hand, can get you killed. Educate yourself, get relevant training, and practice.
-=[ Grant ]=-
- Posted by Grant Cunningham
- On May 13, 2009