Trillions of electrons – and tens of thousands of gallons of ink, before that – have been spilled in the never-ending debate over stopping power. People have nearly come to blows over which caliber is the most effective. It seems safe to assume that the majority of shooters are convinced that bigger is always better. “I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying anything with a caliber that doesn’t start with a 4.” How many times have you read that one? Or heard it at the range? I’m a photographer and the same thing happens when the question is cameras. Nikon, Canon, Leica, Hassy, yadda, yadda, yadda. But as it turns out, guns are very much like cameras. No matter what the brand – or caliber – the one you have with you is always better than the one you don’t…
John Shanks (above right), a serial criminal whose record has more entries than his body had tattoos, decided to invade a home in Magalia, California Monday. According to chicoer.com, he chose poorly:
The male resident of the home, who has yet to be identified, reportedly shot Shanks once in the chest with a .22-caliber handgun, according to Butte County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Hail.
Hail said Shanks, who was wearing a bandana over his face when he entered the home, originally went to the front door and demanded to be let in. The man then allegedly forced his way through a sliding door.
The resident then shot Shanks. Arriving deputies found Shanks on the floor in the hall of the house. Deputies attempted to resuscitate the man, but were unsuccessful and Shanks was pronounced dead in the home.
One shot with a .22 LR. Now that’s stopping power.
I’m not saying I’d rather shoot an attacker with a .22 than a .45. But when defending yourself, you use whats you got. Even if whats you got starts with a 2 instead of a 4. Because just like in real estate, the most important factors in a DGU are location, location and location.
The unidentified homeowner appears to have known enough to take his time and make his one shot count. Center of mass rather than spray and pray. Always good advice. So maybe a little less sturm und drang over caliber and more emphasis on shooting the gun you have well is the way to go. Just a thought.