Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 97 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been training with my CCW and have been reading different training exercises to try. Many of them involve the "two to the chest, one to the head" pattern. This raises questions to me about legality and technicality.

I'm aware that using lethal force is indeed a lethal act. I am also aware that if you choose to defend yourself with lethal force, you must be prepared to kill. I take that a step further and think that if you leave the house with a gun, you must be prepared to defend yourself with lethal force. I say this to quell the rush of comments to the effect, "a gun is a lethal weapon and any use is an intent to kill." Roger, I've got that. But the reason to use a firearm in defense is to stop and neutralize a threat, not necessarily kill the assailant. Death may be the result, but it shouldn't be the intent.

My question: can an intentional headshot after you've put two into the chest of an attacker be interpreted by police and attorneys as an intent to kill? Can you find yourself in legal hot water by practicing and then executing a controlled pair to the chest and a shot to head? It's hard to argue that an attacker with two .45 caliber entrance wounds and 2" exit wounds was still a threat if the right laser is asking the questions.

What is to consensus here, is the benefit worth the risk? Am I worrying about something that is not an issue?

Thanks for any input, and I'd really like some replies from a legal mind on the subject.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
You have to balance training with the threat you're dealing with. Just because you're training with 2 to the chest and 1 to the head doesn't mean that's what you have to do. Could very well be the threat quits as soon as they see your gun. No shots fired. Maybe they fall on the first shot, you're saying you're going to continue to fire because that's your training? I don't think so. You have to use the least amount of force needed to stop the threat and be able to recognize when the threat has been stopped. I hope I never have to make that decision...and I hope that for you too. good luck
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,249 Posts
Shoot to stop the threat. If it takes one, two, or twenty. If the display of a firearm stops the threat, that's enough too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,971 Posts
...I've always trained and taught to shoot twice...at a minimum...because you may miss the first shot, and mistake his flinch for a hit...and not stop him till he's gotten a few shots off back at you...neither I nor anyone I've taught has been in a shootout to provide feedback...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,508 Posts
Only you will know when the time comes what action you must take and live with your action and no one can give you a perfect answer as there is none. Train to stop the threat and don't overthink react
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,611 Posts
I have no intent to kill anyone, but I have every intent to end a threat quickly and with minimal damage to myself. If they die suddenly in the process, thats their problem, not mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,326 Posts
In all of my training ...

... it has been shoot to stop the threat. So long as the threat still exists and is active and capable of inflicting harm, then the gloves are off. The instant that threat evaporates, cease firing.

As well, there are only so many spots on a determined, aggressive assailant that'll put him down and cease the threat. Central nervous system disruption; brain / lights out; structural disruption, so he can't continue standing and approaching; and COM (the heart and major organs). No guarantees on which shot'll work, nor how many. So, one can only continue the fight until the upstanding are safe from immediate harm. If that ends up including one or more to the head region, so be it.

Finally, I've had several instructors note the Deadly Force Triangle, and the concept of Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy. (See my signature line.) Ayoob through LFI and MAG is a strong pronponent of this as a basic guideline to threat level and justifiability of continuing to defend.

Would an enterprising and capable attorney seek to use "a shot to the head" as a proxy for a coup de grace? Sure, some might well do just that. Same could be said of a shot to COM/heart. Deadly force is deadly force, none more deadly than the other (beyond placement). But them's the risks we all undertake with this responsibility.

In one phrase, essentially, per the tentets of AOJ, the justified use of lethal force requires that the innocent be in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.

But once that threat has ceased or been so reduced it's manageable via other means, adjust accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Here is the Wikipedia definition of the Mosambique: The Mozambique Drill, also known as the Failure to Stop Drill, or Failure Drill, is a close-quarter shooting technique in which the shooter fires twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap to the center of mass), momentarily assesses the hits, then follows them up with a carefully aimed shot to the head of the target. The third shot should be aimed to destroy the brain or brain stem, killing the target and preventing the target from retaliating.

And here is the history behind the technique:Rhodesian Mike Rousseau was serving as a mercenary in the Mozambican War of Independence. While engaged in fighting at the airport of Lourenço Marques (modern-day Maputo), Rousseau was armed with only a Browning HP35 pistol. As he turned a corner, he bumped into a FRELIMO guerrilla armed with an AK-47. Rousseau immediately performed a "double tap" maneuver, a controlled shooting technique in which the shooter makes two quick shots at the target's torso. Rousseau hit the target on either side of the sternum, usually enough to incapacitate or kill a target outright. Seeing that the guerrilla was still advancing, Rousseau made an attempt at a head shot that hit the guerrilla through the base of his neck, severing the spinal cord.

Rousseau later related the story to an acquaintance, shootist Jeff Cooper. Cooper later incorporated the "triple tap" maneuver (two quick shots to the torso and one quick-aimed shot to the head) into his practical shooting technique. Rousseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.


So Stra8upguy is right, it doesn't mean you have to if the threat is stopped anytime before the third shot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: atctimmy

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Interesting post. I agree the reason we use a weapon is to stop a threat. I think that practicing the two to the chest one to the head pattern is good practice. In a real defensive scenario
I am not sure that would be the best tactic it certainly would depend on the specific scenario. I can imagine more situations where a mag dump center mass would be a more likely response.

I suspect that some police and some persecutors may interpret that pattern as you choosing to kill the bad guy rather than just defending yourself. Others may not. My non legal mind advice
would be to stop the threat any way you can then get a lawyer before talking to police.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
You have to balance training with the threat you're dealing with. Just because you're training with 2 to the chest and 1 to the head doesn't mean that's what you have to do. Could very well be the threat quits as soon as they see your gun. No shots fired. Maybe they fall on the first shot, you're saying you're going to continue to fire because that's your training? I don't think so. You have to use the least amount of force needed to stop the threat and be able to recognize when the threat has been stopped. I hope I never have to make that decision...and I hope that for you too. good luck
This is real real good advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,971 Posts
...I wish we could know how many bullet resistant vests there are out there...I bought the first Second Chance in my dept. years ago...now, a lot of BG have them...and wear them...who's to guess which ones...a fear/shock reaction from a solid torso shot might be mistakenly assessed as having stopped the threat...I can see the shot above the vest area...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
This topic seems to have been adequately covered here. Shoot to stop means shoot to stop. Sometimes this means your assailant dies. You do what it takes to survive, pending you have made the decision to do all that is necessary.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,841 Posts
I am not an attorney, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but every law I have ever read on the topic is written pretty vague. The legislatures do that for a reason - they want to give a jury the opportunity to determine if the action is reasonable. If 6 witnesses watch you walk up to a prone assailant that you just shot twice COM and pop him in the head, you might have a problem. However, if those same 6 witnesses saw the assailant reaching into his pocket and pulling out a weapon after taking 2 to the chest, you are very justified in taking the head shot.

Every situation is different and in the end, the interpretation of your actions by a panel of your peers will be what decides your fate. Act accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,326 Posts
^ That's another crucial aspect of the statutes: the reasonable man standard.

Study it, know it, live by it. There's no telling how a given DA/jury is going to consider the reasonableness of one's actions. About all we can do as upstanding citizens is to operate to a higher standard.

Ayoob's got a good phrase to consider, as part of it all: CYA ... Can You Articulate. As in, so long as your standard is high within the use-of-force statutes that apply to you, and so long as you can clearly articulate the reasonableness of your actions in view of the threat as you saw/heard/experienced it at the time, then you should be okay. It's about as good as we can do, other than one thing: train, train, train, with as many different competent instructors as you can afford; then, train again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
CCL carrier is licensed to stop...not to kill. But in the event that you are given no choice. Usually the weapon drawn is enough to stop the person, unless they are persistent.
I've been in 2 different situations when I was forced to draw, but no round was ever shot.
Every situation is different. There really do definite answer. As far as a home invasion situation, They are going down, and talking to no one . I have Texas Law shield insurance just in case I have to use it. Pray you never do have to take a life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,955 Posts
Stopped is either BG 1 running away, retreating, 2 submitting, surrurendering, or 3 down and disabled. Once youve gotten to the point of going for number 3 alive or dead has little do with anything and is up to chance.

I may get flamed a bit here but so be it. You can read a ton of stuff. 2 rds here 1 rd there, etc etc etc.

If you ever actually have to defend yourself home or loved one for real, especially outside of your home, you, to be blunt, will have no time to think 2 chest 1 head. It will be a entirely different world than any book school etc you can go to or read. Not that any of that is a bad thing or that you shouldnt do both.

But the instant its real and you realize you may well die in the next three seconds or so your not going to count rds or feel recoil or probably hear the bang of your own gun. If you must you fire, if your lucky youll get some in center mass and the BG will go down. You dont stop shooting until he goes down runs or you run out of ammo. Its really at its core as simple as that. Everything after its over and youve survived you can deal with after. It wont matter much what happens after if you lose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
Stopped is either BG 1 running away, retreating, 2 submitting, surrurendering, or 3 down and disabled. Once youve gotten to the point of going for number 3 alive or dead has little do with anything and is up to chance.

I may get flamed a bit here but so be it. You can read a ton of stuff. 2 rds here 1 rd there, etc etc etc.

If you ever actually have to defend yourself home or loved one for real, especially outside of your home, you, to be blunt, will have no time to think 2 chest 1 head. It will be a entirely different world than any book school etc you can go to or read. Not that any of that is a bad thing or that you shouldnt do both.

But the instant its real and you realize you may well die in the next three seconds or so your not going to count rds or feel recoil or probably hear the bang of your own gun. If you must you fire, if your lucky youll get some in center mass and the BG will go down. You dont stop shooting until he goes down runs or you run out of ammo. Its really at its core as simple as that. Everything after its over and youve survived you can deal with after. It wont matter much what happens after if you lose.
*Flame on* *Flame off*

I actually agree with this. Under tremendous amounts of stress (life-and death situations) fine motor skill go out the window, as do most of your senses of touch, taste, hearing, and vision. You get tunnel vision, your fingertips go numb, but you can smell everything (why this matters, I don't know, but it's about physiology). If all of this goes away, do you surmise you will be thinking on any kind of rational level? This is why everyone emphasizes training so much. Muscle memory and repetition. Once actions get to this level, you don't think. It becomes automatic.

It's a difficult call to make, as we all have some interpretation of the law in our heads, but lawyers, judges and jurors all have their own interpretation. If you go to court, what you know and understand don't matter. Have a good lawyer and hope you never need to make that shot and make that call.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the replies. One poster said that he doesn't believe that just because you train a certain way it'll correlate into actions when you're defending yourself. This goes against everything I know through talking with people and everything I've experienced in Afghanistan.

In the army we train as we fight, because when we fight you do what you've trained. I remember acting without thinking and in retrospect I did exactly what I was trained to do. At the time I don't remember ever thinking about what or why I was doing what I was doing. I don't think anything in civilian defense of life would be any different.

It seems to me that if I trained to put one in the head at the range, when rational thought, fine motor skills, taste, and everything else that makes us human is removed from my brain to make room for the animal impulses of self defense, I'm going to act how I've trained.

To corroborate my train of thinking, I've heard stories of police officers picking up brass and magazines in firefights because that is what they'd do at the range to make the end of day cleanup easier.

I'm not opposed to practicing transitioning to headshots if needed, and I'm not opposed to killing a BG if that's the result of my defending myself. I'm just curious if drilling on "two to the chest, one to the head" is the correct practice as a standard range drill. I've always operated under the method of, "fire two or three rounds, assess damage, and adjust fire as needed".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,955 Posts
Military and Civilian are two different things. You seldom fight alone in the Military. You know you are in hostile territory when you are.
Civilian your on your own sidewalk perhaps or sitting at home. No enemy, no officers, no maps, just the tv and the dog and etc.

But what you train is up to you. However after knowing what I know, I was of a mind that I was such a cool head, fast enough, etc etc, to put one in the head with certainty Id must put one in the head to start with and pack a 22lr.

Why bother with center mass where two rounds may not begin to stop the encounter with any caliber? Put a round between the eyes and end of story. You by the wording of every SD law i have ever read if put in a life threatening situation legal to us LETHAL force. Spelled out Lethal. Normally set aside from any other type of force response specifically.

Just sayin
 
1 - 20 of 97 Posts
Top