Two basic stopping power questions
I don't know much about stopping power or ballistics, so I had a few basic questions. First of all, why do people talk about penetration so much? Thirteen inches of penetration is talked about like a minimum for handguns, but I don't know many people that thick.
Also, when you have to stop someone who is also armed with a gun, what is the purpose of the debate over stopping power? In order to stop someone from hurting you who has a gun, you'd need to do it almost instantly since it doesn't take long to pull a trigger. The only way to do that is through pain or by hitting the central nervous system. All the other methods of stopping discussed deal with blood loss, or hitting a vital organ (other than the spine or brain), and none of those methods produce an instant stop. I'm assuming all handgun rounds are going to produce basically the same level of intense pain, so isn't stopping power sort of irrelevant for that type of situation?