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Personal defense trainers teach their students to aim for center mass when firing on an attacker. It’s a large target — that makes it easier to hit when you’re moving, the attacker is moving, and you’re shooting under stress — and happens to be where the body’s vital organs are located.

Aiming for center mass also gives you some room for error. That may have been what happened Saturday night when a South Carolina homeowner confronted a home invader.

From . . .

According to police, residents said the man kicked in the back door of the home brandishing a handgun, there was a confrontation and one of the residents shot him.

According to police, he was shot in the neck and died at the hospital. The coroner’s office identified the man as Damion Quintel Henderson, 29.

Who knows? Maybe the homeowner was aiming for center mass, but in an anxious situation, he shot a little high. With adrenaline dumping into the bloodstream due to the stress of that kind of encounter – along with impaired fine motor skills and tunnel vision — most people find accuracy a challenge.

Fortunately, no one will ever have to face that situation again, at least not because of Damion Quintel Henderson. He has assumed ambient temperature and won’t be kicking in any more doors.

In the mean time, there are more Hendersons out there, so training and range time are still important. Invest the money in a couple of boxes of ammo and get out there, OK?

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    • And Where on earth were the busybody members of everytown to help? The answer is Where everytown scumbag busybodies always are when Americans are cornered by a criminal…NOWHERE.

    • 007,

      “Lead poisoning is deadly.”

      You might be surprised. A credible source collected data on people in the United States who received gunshot wounds (outside of military combat) and determined that only something like 20% of gunshot wounds are fatal.

      That actually passes the “smell test” when you think about it. Most non-combat gunshot wounds are a single wound from a handgun. And remember that wounds could encompass anything from grazing your forearm all the up to an instantly fatal head shot. Couple all that with some pretty outstanding and readily available trauma care in the United States and it becomes apparent that a surprisingly low percentage of gunshot wounds are fatal.

      • Don’t forget, most of those wounds are caused by 22lr and/or ball ammo and almost all by pistols.

  1. I have to wonder if the homeowner happened to be Secret Service or FBI. I trained with them when I was on the Federal Force in Syracuse. They all shoot for the throat to take out the brain stem. Instant death. Could have been a fluke but as soon as I read it I was reminded of watching them shoot.

    • I’ve trained three lanes down from the Secret Service. Unlike our local constabulary, those feds can actually shoot.

      • ……”those feds can actually shoot.”

        No doubt.
        Been there, but with Air Marshals on the line.

    • There are some fun three steel silhouette target drills we run. One mag of 50AE shot “center mass body” (alternating target after each shot placed), followed by three mags (of 9mm or 45acp), double tapped in the head/neck area (alternating target after each pair of hits).

      A neck shot is a great threat stopper, even in a fistfight 👍

      • Ahhh, Mr. Campbell. Been a long time. Good to see you posting here again. Don’t always agree with everything you’ve said in the past, but the conversations were interesting.

        • 👍
          Was seeing everything I attempted to post being held for moderation a few months ago.
          Stopped posting because of this.

    • In the middle ages, the back of the neck was often referred to as “Heaven’s Gate” for that reason.

    • There was reseach some years back that minimally trained folks shoot for the head. And have good results (and a quicker stop that us “smart guys” with our center of mass hits).

    • Never had the pleasure, but I did sit on an SF firing line training Colombian soldiers one day. Had a good time shooting a few rounds on the M24. A few lanes down a Colombian kid who couldn’t sign his name was doing half MOA groups at 400m – on the head section of a man-sized regulation military target.
      Yeah, he was a pretty good shot. That M24 is a nice rifle, too.

    • That’s a really shitty way to hit the braid stem, which is, you know, part of a person’s brain and not in his throat.

  2. Optics on pistols definitively and objectively solve the accuracy under stress issue.

    There is so much data out there in both officer involved shootings, controlled testing and competition that you’re giving up a huge advantage by sticking to irons.

    • busybeef,

      I beg to differ. With minimal training/practice, I am astoundingly accurate at “point shooting” even at distances of 20 to 30 feet. And if we are talking within 10 feet, I never miss with “point shooting”.

      For the uninitiated, the term “point shooting” refers to the technique of instantly pointing your handgun at your target without use of any sights. You just raise your hand and point (instinctively if you will) at your target. Accuracy at longer ranges (beyond 15 feet or so) is a result of practice and simply knowing where your handgun is pointing without having to look at it. It is the same mechanism which enables someone (with sufficient practice) to throw a baseball accurately to someone who is 90 feet away–where there are obviously no “sights” involved.

      And at contact distances (roughly seven feet or less), no sights are necessary at all even for people with basically no training or practice.

        • Busybeef… That’s a BS question. Point shooting at 10 yards or under is a very viable option if you practice it enough. Like Uncommon said, similar to throwing a baseball. You think a bad guy is going to ask for your USPSA ranking? Pfffftttt….

      • If this is true, you’re a one in a hundred thousand freak. This has almost no applicability to the average shooter.

  3. The X on the above target is a bad timing point. It’s around the bottom of the sternum/diaphragm. The two shots it below are in the digestive tract and not immediately vital to stopping an attack unless they caused profuse bleeding. If the aiming point was the middle of the chest, say the “9” above the X, the hits would be in the heart, lungs, major blood vessels, etc. All vital structures that are currently supporting the attack.

    • Anymouse,

      Whether or not the “X” in the human silhouette target is a “bad aiming point” depends on your strategy.

      If your strategy is to maximize the probability of physically INCAPACITATING an attacker as quickly as possible, then the “9” is a superior place to aim for the reasons that you stated.

      If your strategy is to maximize the probability of psychologically STOPPING an attacker as quickly as possible, then the “X” is a superior place to aim since any hit anywhere on an attacker works toward that goal.

  4. Awww, how sweet! Damion volunteered for a defensive ammo test…and failed the entrance exam.

    • I would say he clearly passed the entrance exam, and likely the exit exam as well unless the bullet got hung up on what little bone exists there.

      • @ Rusty

        I was thinking that his grand entrance into the home was a failure…your interpretation works also.

  5. ….”Invest the money in a couple of boxes of ammo and get out there, OK?”

    Oh, that’s so cute.

    My last three range sessions (two in July, one in August) saw over 2k rounds of ammo (9mm and 45acp) put downrange. These sessions included one other person, shooting an assortment of eight handguns.

    Those #s don’t even include the rifle ammo fired. The M134 was “geared down” to 2k rounds per minute.

    Don’t be a victim of the ammo shortage, be the cause.🤣

    Train like your life depends on it, because it does.

  6. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes! Right about now ole Damian is spinning on a stick at the Devil’s Weenie roast!

  7. It seems LE is becoming a little more tolerant of home owners shooting home invaders.
    Maybe their getting tired of the sht too?

  8. Stress? The stress on the defensive shooter was the cost and scarcity of ammo. He aimed for the throat and sat on the impulse to fire more than once.

    And he quickly dumped any remaining ammo in the weapon into the trunk of his car so that the cops would not get the ammo along with the gun.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    • “And he quickly dumped any remaining ammo in the weapon into the trunk of his car so that the cops would not get the ammo along with the gun.”

      That got a chuckle. Not a bad idea these days, even if you’re using a .22.

  9. Original news story is just as thin on details. Somebody kicked down the back door at about 21:30 hours, there was a confrontation with resident or residents, the door-kicker-downer died at the hospital from a bullet wound in the neck:

    So far so good. It’s not a simple burglary when the bad guy expects people to be home and enters by force armed with a gun. It is a HOME INVASION, which is much worse.

    About quality of marksmanship by the defending residents. Many people have not the time or the money to train that frequently and intensely. Most will not have the needed memory to keep rounds in that center mass let alone add the greater level of precision such as smaller target areas like the cervical spine.

    Some help could be if the “A regulated militia…” component of the SA were acted upon under taxpayer expense. The phrase refers to regular training in the use of arms, not to regulating gun ownership. Support shooting ranges on the taxpayer’s dime. Support basic and periodic training on the taxpayer’s dime. Possibly as a tax write-off.

    Fully embracing the SA should include putting both our money and our tax dollars where are mouths are.

    So to speak …

  10. i have two signs on the back door to my house:

    1 a picture of a 1911 race gun with the caption “warning – this premises protected by a wireless high speed device”

    2 a picture of a glock with the caption “caution – theres nothing in this house worth dying for”

    • To Sound Awake,
      Those signs are a huge legal mine field.
      As are any posts you may make on social media about killing intruders.
      A prosecutor can and will use those to establish that you have a mind set to kill people rather than legally use defensive force.
      Kyle Rittenhouse is now having to defend himself against similar charges by his DA.

      All of us people of the gun agree with you that home invaders should be shot.
      Do not sabotage your legal defense after the shooting by posting signs or bumper stickers like that.

  11. WE NEED more GOOD stories like this . . . HOORAY for AMBIENT temperature! One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump And His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  12. The technical advisor on “The Patriot” advised Mel Gibson to “aim small, shoot small”. What he meant was that if you aimed at a man and missed, you were ineffective. But if you aimed at a button on his shirt and missed, you still hit the man. Gibson put the line in the movie.

  13. Gun purchases going up, ammo becoming available! Got to love America!!!

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