No big philosophy here today, just — a video that shows what can REALLY happen when someone gets shot.
Now, the lead-up here is: people have been conditioned by decades of Hollywood movies that when a person gets shot, it’s a tremendously devastating event… the person who’s shot is usually depicted as immediately collapsing to the ground (or sometimes shown as being lifted off their feet and blasted through the air). The perception that’s given is that handguns are overwhelmingly powerful, and that people who get shot are instantly devastated.
Getting shot is nothing to take lightly. Handgun bullets can indeed be fatal, depending on where they hit and what vital organs they impact. Sometimes a single bullet from a handgun can destroy vital organs and have a horrific effect on the victim’s body.
But sometimes, they just don’t.
And I think it’s important that you see a couple of examples of live video of people actually being shot.
Because it’s important to see what can really happen in case you are ever forced into the position of having to fire upon a human attacker to save your own life. You should understand the real-world impact that a bullet may have on a person, so that you’re best informed on how to use a gun to save your own life.
That said, here’s the first example, from a CNN news report. The actual gunshot takes place at about 30 seconds into the video. A robber takes aim and fires a gun into the leg of the store clerk. This is real security-camera video of a real person, shot by a real bullet from a real gun. What happens to the gunshot victim?
Not a whole lot. I mean, seriously — watch the video. The man who is hit doesn’t even react. In fact, after being shot, he then puts up a fight and wrestles the gun away from the robber, and even chases after him — running on a leg that’s got a bullet hole through it!
Did it hurt? I’m sure it did, I’m sure it hurt a lot. Was it life-threatening? If left untreated, it may very well be. But the salient point here is: it didn’t stop the clerk. It didn’t incapacitate him. It didn’t make him collapse to the floor, it didn’t knock him unconscious, and it certainly didn’t paralyze or kill him. Watch the video — he acts like it never even happened.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what you may be up against. If you’re ever forced to defend yourself against an attacker with deadly intent to harm you, you cannot expect that just firing a gun at them will somehow miraculously render them incapacitated. It just doesn’t work that way. It MIGHT work that way, depending on what you hit (if you hit them in the spinal column or brain stem, for example, they’re going to immediately stop). But it may not work that way — they may not even be slowed down. You might have to fire again and again and again in order to get them to stop.
Let me show you another example, from a presentation by anesthesiologist Andreas Grabinsky M.D. The whole presentation is well worth watching, but do be prepared that there are some very, very graphic images that could be quite disturbing (especially around 8:20 to 10:05).
The part I want to point out in this video starts at about 14:00 to 15:10. In it, Dr. Grabinsky shows another shooting victim, this person shot twice in the torso. Does he get knocked to the ground, blown away, immediately incapacitated? No… in fact, he runs away. Then comes back in the scene, then gets up and walks away.
I gave several other examples in my recent post Shoot Until The Threat Stops. But I think actually seeing the impact (and non-effect) of some example bullet hits, really drives the point home.
Watch these incidents. See why the notion of “shooting to wound someone” is such a dangerous fallacy; these people who were shot remain very much able to attack and hurt you. See why you should never think that you’ll get a “one shot stop”, or that a bullet is some sort of magical death ray of immediate incapacitation. Now, don’t underestimate a bullet either — any bullet can absolutely be fatal, and all handguns and bullets need to be properly respected and you simply MUST constantly adhere to the Four Rules Of Gun Safety.
Handgun bullets ARE capable of killing. You have to respect that. But they’re also capable of being pathetically ineffective in stopping a determined attacker, and you have to know that too. If you’re going to be a responsible gun owner, you should have a proper idea of what the possible results of inflicting a gunshot could be, if you’re ever involved in a defensive encounter. It’s possible that a single bullet might immediately stop an attack, but it’s also possible that your attacker may not even know that he (or she) has been hit (or they may know it, and they may just not care; it may not affect their ability to continue attacking you).
These videos show why shot placement is so important — if the bullet impacts nothing but muscle or fat (such as in the clerk’s leg) then it may have very little real-world stopping power. However, a bullet to the heart or brain will likely have much more detrimental effect against an attacker and either would be much more likely to FORCE the attacker’s body to stop. WHAT you hit (in the attacker’s body) is the most important factor in stopping an attack quickly. Careful aim is important, but so also is proper-performing ammunition (a good-performing hollowpoint can do much more damage than a round-nose FMJ, for example) and so is a proper determined mindset that causes you to fire and continue firing until the threat against you is neutralized. If the situation is so dire that you’re called upon to use deadly force to defend yourself or other innocent life, then you should understand just what it may take to neutralize that threat and be prepared to take action until the threat is no longer a threat. It MAY happen with a single shot, but it is my opinion that you would be foolish to think that it will; I think you would be much better served to be prepared to shoot until the threat stops.