Shooting to Wound and Selling Popcorn

Human target zones - torso

Robert posted an article on a question posed to a guest by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer:

“On Thursday, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked guest [lawyer] Jeffrey Toobin why police weren’t instructed to ‘shoot to injure, instead of kill,’ reports. “Blitzer’s questions arose during a discussion on the unfurling conflict in Ferguson, Mo. over the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. ‘They often shoot to kill,’ Blitzer said of police. ‘Why do they have to shoot to kill? Why can’t they shoot a warning shot in the air, scare someone off if they think they’re in danger. Why can’t they shoot to, injure, shall we say? Why do they have to shoot to kill?’”

Blitzer’s question is, sadly, all too common . . .

Americans are treated to a steady stream of good guys purposely and casually wounding bad guys, usually in the shoulder. On TV and in the movies, such beyond-Olympic-level shooting always disarms and incapacitates the bad guy, and when the good guy is similarly wounded, they are barely inconvenienced and heal with amazing speed.

Not only is this sort of shooting incredibly dangerous to good guys and innocent bystanders, it’s almost always legally disastrous. In addition, any survivable gunshot wound may have life-long health implications.  As regular readers may remember from an earlier article, one shoots to stop an attacker, to immediately–to whatever degree that is possible–cause them to cease the hostile actions that made the use of deadly force legally permissible. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that all legal burdens have been met. The good guy, under the laws in force when and where he has to shoot, is legally in the right when he pulls the trigger. But how is he going to accomplish his purpose: stopping the bad guy?

There are three primary means of stopping a human being:

  1. Neural damage
  2. Breaking the skeleton
  3. Exsanguination

There are, however, many other considerations.

1) Neural Damage: causing trauma to the brain usually causes immediate cessation of hostile action. In fact, SWAT marksmen try for a brain stem shot whenever possible. They try to hit a hostage-taker exactly where the brain and brain stem meet, at the base of the rear of the skull. If properly placed, a bullet to this spot will cause the potential killer to drop as though a light switch had been thrown. Even if they have their finger on the trigger of a gun, they will not be able to pull it.

Unfortunately, this area is a very small target. In fact, relatively speaking, the human head is also a small target, particularly if it’s moving at all. Notice too that I’m talking about a highly trained marksman making the shot with a scoped, highly accurate rifle, almost always with the benefit of a spotter and from a supported position. Accurately shooting a handgun at the same target, even at close range, is much more demanding.

In addition, the target will seldom present the back of his skull to the shooter and stand still long enough for a perfect shot to be made.  Marksmen commonly have to estimate where that tiny spot is while shooting from the front, side, above or below, or various angles of the same.

2) Breaking the skeleton: while breaking a femur or the pelvis, for example, will cause most people to drop to the ground, they may very well still be capable of pulling a trigger. And if so, have merely been rendered less mobile, not stopped. Making such shots with any degree of reliability with a handgun is exceedingly difficult, not only because such targets are small, but also because people move more or less constantly and the precise location of a major, load-bearing bone in a given person’s leg may be difficult, at best, to determine. It’s also particularly difficult because, compared with rifle ammunition, most handgun ammunition lacks the power to reliably break large bones.

3) Exsanguination: someone shot in an artery, or even the heart, may have up to three minutes of useful consciousness if they are truly determined to kill you regardless of the damage they suffer in the attempt. However, once sufficient blood is lost, the resulting drop in blood pressure will inevitably lead to unconsciousness and ultimately death.

Of course, a combination of these three primary effects may be more effective and faster in stopping hostile action.

Fortunately, such matters are not only physical, but psychological. Many people, upon receiving even an easily survivable gunshot wound, immediately drop and cease hostile action due to the “OMG! I’ve been shot!” response.  Others–thankfully relatively few–may absorb ridiculous numbers of bullets which might slow, but not stop them, as they try to continue their deadly attacks. This is frequently assisted by drugs present in their system. Such people eventually succumb to one or more of these effects, but “eventually” is not helpful or comforting if they are attacking you.

The best course of action is to aim for “center mass,” or the part of the torso at or around the sternum, and fire enough rounds to force the attacker to stop. It’s the cumulative affect of blood vessel damage, neural shock, and psychological shock that will have the greatest effect, therefore more than one round may be necessary.

Keep in mind that it is always a good idea, even if you cannot avoid or escape a potential deadly force situation, to do your best to avoid shooting. Always remember that when the justification to shoot ends, the shooting immediately ends.

You must never think about “shooting to wound,” let alone try to do it.  The law doesn’t require it, and it will be highly likely to backfire for several significant reasons. Obtaining the desired stopping effect with a shot that inflicts only a non-mortal wound is highly unlikely and could conceivably enrage an attacker who will then press an attack he might have otherwise abandoned. The necessary physical damage and psychological effect is simply not there, and making such a shot accurately is highly unlikely.

In fight-or-flight situations, among the first abilities human beings lose–which accompany time distortion, tunneling and hearing loss–is fine muscle control. This makes it very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to formulate the intention to shoot someone effectively in a small portion of the body so as to immediately disable them, to say nothing of actually carrying out that intention. For most people, it’s simply physically impossible. There are many documented incidents of police officers–people supposedly highly trained in marksmanship and the use of deadly force–emptying their handguns at criminals doing the same from ridiculously close range. When the gunsmoke cleared, both weren’t touched; every round missed. Hitting center mass will be more than hard enough, but with proper training and practice, attainable.

An additional concern is that in the heat of battle, many people suffer serious wounds, but are unaware of it until the danger has passed. Despite suffering multiple gunshot wounds that might eventually kill them, they didn’t so much as feel the bullets hit them. Some people may be so high on drugs they’re incapable of feeing anything. Shooting an arm or leg will likely do nothing more than make a dangerous felon who’s intent on killing you somewhat less mobile, but no less deadly. Hitting center mass will maximize the probability of quickly stopping a dangerous attacker—whether they feel it or not.

Also, substantial legal liability may attach. If you were so cool and detached that you could shoot someone in the knee, did you really have sufficient reason to shoot them in the first place? If you really thought that you were in mortal danger, why did you take the time to shoot them someplace that any reasonable person should know wouldn’t reliably stop them?

Yes, stopping them will likely result in their death, but you didn’t intend to cause their death. You intended only to stop them from causing yours. That they subsequently died is regrettable, but they made that choice and forced it upon you. You aren’t the attacker, but an innocent victim who will be affected for the rest of your life by the action they brutally forced on you.

In all cases, if you shoot at all, you shoot to stop, and you accomplish this by delivering a sufficient volume of accurate fire to that part of the body most likely to cause them to stop. When the threat has stopped, you immediately stop.

At this point, you may find yourself experiencing some degree of revulsion. If so, good for you. You have a conscience. I can’t say often enough that no moral, rational human being wants to harm or kill another. Violence is cruel, nasty, hateful and bloody, but the choice is simple and stark: do you prefer to be alive and unharmed, or bleeding, perhaps dying on the ground, at the mercy of someone cruel and inhuman enough to attack you? Which alternative would you prefer for those you love? Which of these outcomes is morally superior?

Deadly force encounters aren’t scripted scenes in movies. They’re as deadly serious as any human interaction can be, and the loser frequently winds up assuming ambient temperature. Leave shooting to wound to the movies. An action hero’s job is to sell popcorn, and they don’t have to aim and shoot under pressure. They can afford the luxury of shooting to wound. You can’t, regardless of what Wolf Blitzer thinks.


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    You can’t, regardless of what Wolf Blitzer thinks.

    “Wolf Blitzer thinks” is a non sequitur. Wolf Blitzer talks, and often out of the wrong hole.

    1. avatar Skyler says:


      Blitzer is one of those people that amaze me that they are allowed in front of a camera despite being obviously stupid.

      1. avatar DBM says:

        Wolf appeals to people of average intelligence. He makes them feel smart.

        1. avatar IdahoPete says:

          Blitzer is waaay to the left on the back side of the IQ bell curve. He apparently is a graduate of the Hopalong Cassidy School for Gunslingers. And there ain’t no cure for stupid ….

    2. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      I believe you could carry a more intelligent conversation with his flatulence. Woulda probably still be unpleasant, though.

  2. avatar dona says:

    not to mention shooting to wound increases the likelihood of collateral damage with rounds landing beyond their intended target

  3. avatar DrVino says:

    “casually wounding bad guys, usually in the shoulder” – exsanguination from rupture/puncture of the subclavian artery (or axillary or brachial depending on shot placement/luck); suffocation from possible pneumothorax/hemothorax; hypotension from tension pneuomthorax/hemothorax impeding heart function. Never mind the loss of that arm (if one survives) due to irreversible nerve damage and or irreparable shoulder joint damage…..

  4. avatar Glenn says:

    Great, concise & accurate article. This one’s a keeper.

  5. avatar Chuck Haggard says:

    Then, of course, shooting for areas such as the leg can still kill the person that has been shot. It happens often.

    Even hits in areas like the shoulder, which on TV results in the hero having a band-aid until the next episode, are actually crippling in many cases when they don’t kill the victim.

    You can’t use just a little bit of deadly force.

  6. avatar Senna Marpat says:

    This reminds me of the scenes in Terminator 2 where the T-800 shoots the guard in the knees and later shoots police with gas grenades. I recall thinking that every instance where he attacks to wound, any of those guys might have died… Most people do everything they can not to think about the reality of what weapons can and cannot do. Ignorance might be bliss but it’s dangerous as well. The public needs to be educated on such things whether it’s unpleasant or not. I haven’t seen Blitzer’s comment on film. Did anyone answer his question on the air?

    1. avatar RALPH says:

      His question was answered on the air by someone even dumber than Blitzkreig.

  7. avatar John Boch says:

    The topic and these discussions are standard fare at (our) personal protection / concealed carry classes.

    Sadly though, most Americans’ education on guns starts and finishes somewhere between Hollywood and the music video industry.


  8. avatar Scrubula says:

    There are major arteries in the shoulder and the thigh. If a bullet hits one of those, the aggressor will bleed out before the ambulance arrives.
    In my opinion, there is no way (even unreliably) to shoot to wound while still stopping the target. Center mass has organs and such. Major joints have large arteries that are deadly if punctured. Extremities such as hands and feet won’t stop the attacker if injured and the bullet will often pass through them, creating a danger to anything behind.
    Thus, shooting anywhere except center of mass is irresponsible to both you and the people around you. Hostage situations with a police sniper are a completely different subject than a point blank defensive handgun use.

  9. avatar Fuque says:

    wolf spends too much time at the movies..when people use that rational,coupled with their opposition to guns should be a pretty good indication that they shouldnt even be commenting on the subject.

  10. avatar Layne says:

    Has Wolf ever heard of a taser? A nightstick? Pepper spray? Rubber or beanbag rounds? Cops have many options available to them that are less blatantly stupid than firing into the air. They have a duty to try not to kill dangerous people whenever possible (you will never hear me as a concealed carrier utter the phrase “stop! drop your weapon!”). But there’s a time when that’s viable, and there’s a time when that time has passed. Personally I would consider trying to take someone’s weapon as a very credible threat of immediate death. The outcome is obvious if they succeed. Responding with an equal level of force is only logical.

  11. avatar gary says:

    I agree with Wolfie!! You always give a warning shot up in the air!! Then pray it comes down on his head! Really? A warning shot????? He should be on the a-team!

    1. avatar Yossarian says:

      When you see my gun, that’s your warning to get out of the bullet’s way.

      After all, light travels faster than the bullet.

      It follows from there, that if you can hear the shot being fired, you’re already too late.

  12. avatar Jack says:

    Why not fire a warning shot in the air? Because the bullet has to land somewhere. And unless it’s fired exactly straight up, it’s going to follow an arc and maintain a potentially lethal velocity.

  13. avatar David Wood says:

    Excellent post! Obvious to all of us, just a shame that the talking heads don’t have a brain to comprehend what has been so well presented. Makes me wonder if a head shot to one of them would really do any damage.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      The pressure wave from the loss of vacuum would deform the bullet.

  14. Excellent post, Mike. This is something that people really need to understand, especially when there are folks out there hunting for the ultimate “one shot stop” bullet.

    I would encourage those who are serious about self defense, and about understanding what MAY happen when you have to shoot a bad guy, to read some of the interviews of officer-involved-shootings, specifically the shootings of officers Jared Reston and Peter Soulis. Soulis, for example, hit his opponent 22 times. Over 20 hits, with a .40 S&W, using Winchester Ranger-T’s. In all, Soulis hit him 17 times in center-of-mass with a powerful .40 fired from a full-sized handgun, and the guy just would not stop. In fact, his opponent (Tim Palmer) lived for over four minutes after the last shot hit him. He lived for four minutes with 22 holes in him, including 17 chest shots. Mind you, simultaneously, while delivering those 22 hits, Soulis was hit by Palmer at least five times with 9mm, so both men were leaking badly at the same time. And neither man would stop.

    Hollywood has vastly overinflated the public’s perception of handgun bullet effectiveness. Handguns are lousy stoppers. They’re absolutely deadly, that can never be minimized, but as Mike made very clear in this article, a self defense shooting isn’t about “killing” the attacker, it’s about immediately stopping them, and if the bad guy doesn’t voluntarily stop, handguns aren’t very good at forcing them to.

    If you then “pull your punches” by “shooting to wound”, that’s a recipe for disaster. If lethal force isn’t warranted, there are much better options (including the aforementioned taser & pepper spray and the baton) than trying to “shoot to wound”.

    For those who want to read the full article about the Soulis/Palmer incident, it’s here:

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Excellent. Very well put.

      For anyone wanting to supplement that story with the Jared Reston story, here’s the link to the Ballistic Radio podcast:


      Reston found out he was in a gunfight when he got shot in the face by a .45

      Reston and the bg exchanged gunfire with numerous hits for each. Reston was shooting a .40 with duty ammo.

      Fight ended when Reston delivered 3 contact head shots, which at autopsy was determined only one was a fatal shot.

      These stories are very important for anyone armed for self defense. They teach us:

      (1) handgun effectiveness
      (2) shot placement probability in the stress of a real gunfight
      (3) the importance of ‘mindset’ over all the caliber and similar arguments.

  15. avatar Paul53 says:

    You all can take this for what it’s worth, but when I worked in the New Mexico Corrections System (aka, the big house) we were told to never even consider shoot to kill or shoot to wound. Answering those questions is a big fast way to jail. We all came out with a tattoo on our butts saying “I shot TO STOP THE ACTION” or “I shot TO STOP THE THREAT!” Just keep repeating those answers and you’re less likely to have your mail forwarded to “the grey bar hotel.” That was 1986, and every year I appreciate the wisdom more.

    1. avatar Mike W says:

      Paul53. You have the correct answer. I understand the mechanics of death. I do not shoot to kill or wound. I shoot to stop the threat of death or great bodily harm.

      1. avatar RobertM says:

        Exactly, sir. The concept of “stop the threat,” not kill the perp was pounded into us in the police academy.

  16. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    Here’s another thing that pisses me off, on the subject of stupid shit about guns people believe thanks to movies and TV shows. “OMG! He shot an attacker five times in the chest! Such excessive force! What a bloodthirsty monster!” I love how in so many movies and TV shows, a single center mass shot from a handgun is enough to instantly kill a bad guy (of course, good guys just shrug off comparable wounds), and how people unfortunately believe such a thing.

    Handguns have a relatively low lethality (80 something percent of people wounded with handguns survive), but thanks to hollywood, idiots don’t know that. And when they hear of someone in a good shoot (cop or CHL holder) who shot an attacker multiple times, they think it’s excessive. Idiocy all around, and an unfortunate example of ignorance fueling ignorance.

  17. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Great post Thanks

  18. avatar Paul Edmondson says:

    The cop DID shoot to wound–the first 4 shots went into the right arm but didn’t stop the charging guy. The 2 to the head did–and he dropped just 3 feet away from the cop. He stopped the charging bull.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      It is extremely unlikely that cop shot him in the arm on purpose.

      Shooting arms and hands, especially those holding weapons (or are themselves weapons) is EXTREMELY common in gunfights. Perhaps due to tunnel vision, people shoot the threat, which at that moment is the weapon.

      This phenomenon is even clear in IDPA where it’s not even “life and death.” Lots of shooters shoot the silhouette of the gun painted on the target, even though it is purposefully painted low in -3.

      It takes conscious effort and training to learn to shoot center mass when the perceived threat is a foot or two away.

  19. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    I personally knew a service member and was there when he went thru a door in Afghanistan right into enemy waiting on the other side with a DSkA 12.5mm heavy maching gun (designed to shoot down aircraft). He was shot center mass. The round went thru his plate and body armor, thru his chest, ricochet off his spinal column, then traveled down thru his diaphragm into his gut. The impact of that heaved his massive body backwards. He immediately stood up and shot the enemy that shot him. From there he walked to the landing zone where he finally collapsed. Granted this was an amazing human being, but it also shows what a human body can do after being shot.

    I can’t count the number of times we completed a mission and upon showering after back at the FOB, we discovered injuries including shrapnel and GSWs when we undressed and your buddy says “dude, you’ve been shot, go see the medic”.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Years ago, I read an article about an airman on a B-24 on one of the raids on the Pliesti oil fields. They had dropped their bombs and the bomb bay doors were still open and this dude leans way over to see what it looked like down there.
      He never saw it coming, an 88 caught him in the chest area, went right through him and the airframe above without exploding.
      In case there’s any doubt. no, he didn’t live.

      1. avatar RobertM says:

        Wow! Talk about bad karma. Surviving the Ploesti raid and biting it in a one in a million chance incident. Just wow!

  20. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Americans are treated to a steady stream of good guys purposely and casually wounding bad guys, usually in the shoulder. I had a prof back in college who fought in the Vosges in WWII as an infantry man, He used to laugh about how ridiculous the cop shows were when some guy could run and be out of breath, and shoot to wound from 50 yards away with a snub nose revolver.

  21. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    I thought the cop who shot the gentle giant proved pistols are unpredictable stoppers and marksmanship goes to pieces under stress. I prefer a gun with an over capacity magazine.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      If this shooting says that, add it to a long list of others that show the same thing.

      I agree with you about capacity. And this is one reason (on the practical side) I oppose mag limits. Who really knows how many rounds we might “need?”

      I think these are very important lessons for all of us to “take home.” Shooting on the square range or even in dynamic sports is not the same thing as shooting for our lives.

  22. avatar Paul53 says:

    Each to his own, I shoot till I’m no longer threatened.

  23. avatar tdiinva says:

    My shoot to wound is just like my warning shot only a little more on target — I missed my primary aim point.

  24. avatar Another Robert says:

    I was just thinking that this fine article is a helluva lot more answer than Blitzer’s comments deserve. I would like to think that people with more than two brain cells to rub together would realize that Wolf’s query was, as the Pinkerton man said in The Long Riders, an amazingly stupid question. And that the people who don’t are pretty much limited to CNN’s ever-shrinking audience. I’m afraid I would be wrong in thinking so, though. I’ve got to stop here, I’m scaring myself.

  25. avatar Gunr says:

    There really is a lot to think about when you are forced to shoot, especially if the target is moving, like towards you rapidly.
    Do you have time to figure all this out? If you don’t hit him in a vital area he may kill you before you can get off any more shots!
    If you do hit him in a vital are, it may kill him, but not before he kills you.
    If you shoot him in an area sure to put him down and to prevent return fire, the DA may say you were trying to kill him, and charge you with murder.
    I’m at a loss! maybe I’ll just throw the gun at him and hope it knocks him down, and then run like hell!

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “the DA may say you were trying to kill him, and charge you with murder.”

      The DA may charge you with murder, but it should be for far different reasons than where you hit him. If you were justified to shoot at all, that is, his ability, opportunity and jeopardy led to an imminent threat on your life, none of the rest of that matters….or should matter.

      This is, perhaps, one reason why it is good to retain a GOOD 2A lawyer now, before you are in that situation, so this kind of crap is NOT on your mind in the seconds leading up to a life and death decision (for you…that’s the emphasis, in my opinion, “I had shot because I was in fear for my life.”)

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Your last sentence says it all. That has been firmly implanted in my mind. I guess the thing that would make me decide what to do if I had to shoot, would be what type of weapon the assailant was using. A baseball bat or a knife might warrant two or three shots (more if needed), or empty the magazine if there was a gun involved.
        If it was just a big strong looking dude that wanted to pound on me a bit, I would try to ward him off with my left hand, but if that didn’t work, then I would display the piece, keeping it out of range of his hands. Of course, if he still didn’t back off, then I guess you gotta go to the next step!
        Retaining a lawyer, I doubt I could afford it, but will make some calls.
        Thanks for the advice.

  26. avatar Robb says:

    Nice article geared towards concealed carry. Wolf asked about cops. Different rules.

    Regardless, thanks for the reminders.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      What different rules?

      As CCWers, we are taught “imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.”

      As cops, we were taught the same thing.

      One of the rules of gun safety is to never point your gun at something you don’t intend to destroy. That includes cops.

      If the gun is out, there better be a serious threat of death or bodily injury. If such a threat exists, playing stupid games like throwing shots will get someone (perhaps an innocent person) killed.

      Blitzer’s question belies pure idiocy. Pure, unadulterated, stupid lack of understanding of the circumstances that exist that prompt one human being to pull the trigger on another in self defense.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        The real difference between LEOs and concealed carriers is the we move away from trouble and oftne the LEO must move towards it. Because of this the LEO will more likely to encounter a situation where his life is in danger.

  27. avatar Dev says:

    I heard the lawyer for the man’s family in Ferguson today say that the officer should have stopped when he shot the man once, because he wounded him and that would have stopped him. What an absolute idiot!

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I hear you, like a 300 pound piece of blubber could stop short. All that momentum would keep him going.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      The question is not “Could it have stopped him.”

      The question is “DID it stop him?”

      Someone saying what could have happened is adding pointless noise to the discussion.

  28. avatar GWB says:

    Everything after Wolf mentioned shooting in the air was just noise. The man (and almost all the rest of the media) obviously doesn’t think through the consequences of any action, nor does he understand the most basic physics. *smh*

  29. In the final analysis, the aggressor makes the decision whether they will be shot. Attacking, the choice of taking drugs, anger, illegal entry, a series of illegal acts beforehand, aggression directed at you, refusing reasonable commands… the list goes on. Not only are all of these unreasonable, but the gun owner’s response is reasonable in the preponderance. The thug makes the decision on whether he will be stopped. The thug will even decide precisely when.

  30. avatar Tobias Took says:

    Aim for the balls and work it up.

  31. avatar fsilber says:

    I’d been told that there were legal cases in the 1970s in which defenders were prosecuted for firing warning shots or after telling police they shot to wound. The prosecutor noted that shooting in self-defense is only legitimate if the threat is _imminent_ — and argued that the threat could not have been all that imminent if the defender felt he had the luxury of firing a warning shot or shooting to wound. This set legal precendents that warning shots and shooting to wound are not legally justifiable. Since the law concerning the use of deadly force is the same for cops as for private citizens, cops thereafter were taught never to fire warning shots nor to shoot to wound.

  32. avatar Boe Jangles says:

    If only someone could invent some sort of non lethal device that shoots electricity to incapacitate a suspect- to save their life and bring them to justice.

    1. avatar jack says:

      quote from article “The ACLU cites Amnesty International reports of more than 540 Taser-related deaths in the United States in the past 13 years. Taser International, which makes the most popular model of the weapon, had 16 active wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits against it as of December 2013.”

      More often than not tasers don’t kill just like rubber bullets, however there are instances where both have been known to kill. That’s why i have heard some police refer to it as “less lethal” force vs. “non-lethal” force. Also there are instances where such methods prove ineffective at stopping threats.

  33. avatar jack says:

    People should also realize when you try to “shoot to wound,” by going for small fast moving target like the hand for instance, you will most likely miss. Rounds that miss can often times hurt or kill innocent bystanders. So by trying to spare one life, depending on who is downrange and how many shots you fire, you could permanently injure or kill one or many people while failing to shoot the gun out of a criminal’s hand like they do in the movies. I doubt Wolf Blitzer would applaud a cop shooting bystanders because he was trying to “shoot to wound”, but who knows what some of these media folks will say.

  34. avatar Someone who visits here says:

    When I was a Ph.D. student in the late 1980s at the graduate communications department that supplied a lot of CNN’s early staffers, I got courted often to come to Atlanta and join my M.A. class colleagues in the research division there, both during and after finishing my degree.

    A few months after the Challenger explosion in ’86, one of these alumni came back to our department for a speaking engagement visit, and we were chatting over coffee. I asked him how it was, being in the middle of such a dreadful frenzy and disturbing story. It must have been awful, I said.

    He shocked me by laughing callously and said, “Are you kidding? It was the greatest week we’ve ever had at CNN. Thanks to that thing exploding and us giving it wall to wall coverage, we looked like a real news organization. Now our audience numbers are exploding and the advertisers are looking our way. It’s a good time to come to Atlanta!”

    What people can’t seem to comprehend is that CNN is a 24/7 reality show starring whoever the research division tells them to include.

    The fact that Wolf Blitzer would ask such an uninformed question about something so basic demonstrates the absolute lack of substance of him, his role, and his employer. Like the rest of them, he is an actor, paid to gin up conflict, to create confusion, to polarize opinion, and in all of this thus to use titillation to motivate audiences to click on

    It has nothing to do with reporting facts. It has everything to do with corporate entertainment’s agenda of discovering and honing profitable viewer demographics, then milking them for profit, all with the help of Ph.D.-credentialed researchers like I chose not to become. It has everything to do with delivering eyeballs to advertisers for billions in profit worldwide. Most of my former grad school colleagues deal with how evil they are by taking hard left political stances, thick as a wall of Spartan shields. This is actually a form of religious thinking in which they cannot possibly do any wrong, because their beliefs are so unilaterally, absolutely correct (in their minds and each others’).

  35. avatar DiR1776 says:

    Another bloviating idiot that doesn’t understand guns, shooting or even laws. Shooting in the air? Illegal. Shooting to wound can result in someone else being also shot or the threat not being eliminated reaching you and fighting you hand to hand (don’t know about him but I would NEVER EVER want to fight a 6’5″ 250+ lb guy hand to hand). Shooting to wound is difficult as the targets you have to hit are very small AND moving AND there’s also that thing called stress that will make it difficult to aim accurately at an arm or knee.

    Police and people who carry are taught to shoot center mass AND until the threat is eliminated/stopped. Why? Because that’s how self defense works! If you are justified firing one shot then you are justified firing 5, 10, 35 or 100, you can’t use just a little bit of deadly force and shooting at someone IS deadly force. If the threat stops when it sees my gun then I’ll just hold them for the police. If the threat stops after the first shot and complies that is what force was necessary at the time, but if the threat keeps coming at me (and they probably will, this is not the movies where people fly backwards when shot and if you don’t hit a “kill switch” the perp will continue traveling at you) then I will shoot until the threat drops and stops moving towards me and/or the threat gives up.

  36. avatar john smith says:

    So, wait, you should try to kill them and not wound them, because they might still die.
    What sort of bullshit argument is that?
    And what happened to “protect and serve”? Or is it “protect yourself and serve self” now?
    I thought the police are wearing protection and are respected because of the danger they put themselves in in order to not simply kill everyone. It’s not a dangerous profession and protective gear isn’t needed if you just shoot everyone.

    1. avatar twency says:

      “So, wait, you should try to kill them and not wound them, because they might still die.
      What sort of bullshit argument is that?”

      That’s not remotely the argument being made here. I don’t know where you got that straw man of yours but you should take him back and ask for a refund.

  37. avatar Shelley Cates says:

    What a sick discussion, there is something wrong with you people.

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      Obviously we should embrace ignorance instead, like Blitzer and apparently you.

  38. avatar Kirk says:

    The lack of respect some of these posts display towards people who are merely asking a relevant question seems to give great evidence as to why America is so splintered. Name calling is not rational defense for one’s position on anything. If you have no articulate and considerate insight into the conversation, it might be well to follow Mr. Lincoln’s advice on the matter.

  39. avatar Icabod says:

    Knew a retired detective that investigated officer involved shootings. He told me that, invariably, the officer fired with one hand.
    Then there is adrenaline, oxygen debt from perhaps chasing the bad guy, darkness, or having innocents in the way. This isn’t standing on a well lite range with known distance when you can take your time.
    Reporters have been put through “Shoot don’t Shoot” training. It’s not pretty.

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