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“I knew he was trying to kill me when he was smashing my head into the concrete.” It seems Vanessa Mascolin was able to tell the difference between a “shoot” and “don’t shoot” scenario without too much trouble. “She said that [Robby] Gilmore was trying to collect rent money from her, but she had already made arrangements with the landlord,” reports. “On Saturday night the argument escalated, when he was chasing her around the pool area, then he hit Mascolino in the head and punched her in the face and broke her hand. ‘I was kicking to try and get him of from me, he kept pulling and punching my head then I shot him in self-defence,’ said Mascolino.” I mention all this not because Mascolin forgot to STFU after a DGU but because . . .

I want to remind our Armed Intelligentsia that you don’t need to be a tactically trained mall ninja to save your life with a gun. OK, sure, this story sounds about as straight-forward (and credible) as the plot of Lost. The police, prosecutor and jury (if needs be) will sort all that out. But the general point remains: sometimes point and shoot is all you need.

Vanessa Mascolino says she shot and killed her aggressor . . .

“I was trying to save my life, and I shot him, two or three times…” said Mascolino. She told News Channel 3 that the man got physical with her Thursday night and on Friday she filed a restraining order.

Gun rights advocates should resist all attempts by control advocates to set a minimum level of competence for buying and carrying a gun.

Training? Tests? Quals? I’ve not seen one scrap of scientific evidence proving that any of that decreases negligent discharges or collateral damage. But I can’t think of one rape victim who wouldn’t have been better off with a gun.

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  1. *sigh* Shoot him once, it’s self-defence. More than once, and it’s murder. Even if you’re scared shitless (*points at MikeB as example*), remember how to count.

    • No, you keep shooting until whatever you are shooting at no longer presents a threat. If that takes only one shot, great. If it takes 10, however, its still self defense.

    • A local deputy once advised me that if I ever needed to shoot someone in self-defence, that I should empty my gun, whether the first shot took care of the problem, or not. His reasoning was that it is harder to convince a jury you were scared if the BG has only one well-placed hole in him.

      • That’s insane. You can only shoot as long as there’s a threat. To shoot any more is completely irresponsible (if also understandable). Remember: there’s a lawyer attached to every bullet.

        • Shooting your attacker once and then letting him kill you is definitly murder.

          Shoot until the threat ceases to be one. 1 or 10 or….

          We are not hunting deer where you shoot it and let it scamper off to bleed out. Sure, often times 1 shot, hit or not, will stop an attack. It all depends on the motivation of the attacker. Are they enraged, intoxicated, drugged up? Are they driven by primal instincts or are they an opportunist that merely misjudged their victim?

          Shot through the heart with a .357 MAGNUM, the female cop was able to return fire and shoot down her attacker. (Because it pissed her off)

        • No, it’s not insane, and it’s not necessarily wrong or right. I am personally familiar with an SD shooting where a gun-wielding BG took eight — yes, eight — hits before expiring. The ruling was self defense. The main thing was that all the shots were rapid fire. That’s sometimes called “reflexive shooting.” Had the shooter gone back to the bad guy to cap him off with number nine, the outcome might have been different if the BG was alive when the last shot was fired.

    • *sigh* Shoot him once, it’s self-defence. More than once, and it’s murder. Even if you’re scared shitless (*points at MikeB as example*), remember how to count

      I have seen someone get hit center mass with a .40 cal hollowpoint and still keep coming. The purpose of shooting in self defense is to neutralize or incapacitate the threat (not necessarily kill) so you can escape to safety, even if that means firing until you are empty. A statement like the above one indicates that the one making the statement has never, ever been in a high stress situation requirement weapon deployment and discharge. In a self defense situation, you do not have time to pause between shots to assess whether or not that one got him and did the job. I practice 4 shots to center mass and 2 to the head (in case of vests) all the while moving and taking cover. If the assailant is still brandishing the weapon in a manner that continues to present a threat, I continue to shoot. The difference between threat and no longer a threat is not always that obvious, I might add.

      • Right you are, Adam. If firing the first round is justified, then firing another twenty would also be justified if — big if — the threat was not neutralized. As you correctly noted, the purpose of shooting is to neutralize the threat, not to necessarily kill.

      • A statement like the above one indicates that the one making the statement has never, ever been in a high stress situation requirement weapon deployment and discharge.

        You’re right; I haven’t. I hope I never have to, but the replies I’ve seen in response to my comment have been thoughtful, intelligent, well-reasoned, and I’m learning from them.

        Thanks, everyone, for the opportunity to learn!

        • Rebecca, I hope you’re never in a bad spot, too. But if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation, facing a dangerous bad guy, be prepared to empty the magazine if that’s what it takes. Keep in mind also that a woman is very properly given plenty of leeway in a DGU against a man, even if the man is unarmed. Well, unless the woman is six-two and can bench press 400 pounds and the man is in a wheelchair. 🙂

  2. I completed part one of the concealed weapons class on Sunday, and we learned that bullets don’t have some sort of instant magical stopping power. You can shoot someone with a 22 and stop them instantly, and then again you can shoot someone with a 45 or 50 and they can still return fire. There are so many different factors involved in shooting someone, that you’ll never be able to predict how someone will react after being shot. This woman could have shot him once and he could have still killed her (maybe with her own gun), so she did the right thing and shot until the threat was over. MB lives in his own little fantasy world, and he would rather have us all just give into the bad guy and die like good lil sheep. I think some of the best advice our instructor gave us was that if we get a feeling that something bad is about to go down, get out of there ASAP. Your not a coward if you run away from some thug or threat, you’re smart. Unless you’re cornered and have no other option, just get the hell out of there. None of the guys in our class ever wants to get into a gun fight or shoot anyone, they just want to learn what to do just in case they ever have to defend themselves. This same instructor would do his best to mace someone before shooting him, and I’m going to take his OC class because this man has some great real world advice and the last thing he wants is for anyone to get killed.

  3. The disparity of power between an average man and an average woman will work in this female shooter’s favor. Justice may be blind, but it’s not always stupid. In a physical battle between a woman and a man, well, it’s like Damon Runyan once observed. The battle is not always to the strong nor the race to the swift, but that’s the way to bet. On top of which, it appears that she had a restraining order against the man. And she had bruises all over her body. All things considered, this appears to be a very righteous shooting.

  4. Even highly trained people (soldiers, law enforcement) will sometimes shoot a bad guy many, many times. Sometimes soldiers will just keep shooting a downed enemy out of inexperience (don’t know if he’s out of the fight) or out of sheer excitement (it looks cool). Large amounts of adrenaline make people do odd things.

    Shooting more than once definitely isn’t murder, it’s a defensive shoot any way you look. Any competent school is going to train you to shoot an aggressor multiple times with both a pistol and a rifle. Double tap, triple tap, Mozambique, “the Costa” (FOUR TO THE BODY! FOUR TO THE HEAD!), what have you. It’s your life, it’s better to be sure.

  5. “I knew he was trying to kill me when he was smashing my head into the concrete.”

    This quote is much more interesting after a certain shooting in Florida…


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