The Vital Importance of Marksmanship

Adopted from an NAA Message Board -- TV news pictures of lawyer being shot

(This discussion shows how important it is to PLACE YOUR SHOTS CAREFULLY. Carrying a gun will not protect you against bad guys if you can't shoot straight. Regular practice is a necessity.)

Posted on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 02:36 pm:

Did anyone see this on TV? Not at all how I thought someone would react to being shot so many times. Should give you pause to consider how well can you protect yourself with a small gun. I wonder if anyone is taking up a collection for his bail?

Does anyone recognize the pistol the shooter used? My guess is a revolver 22cal.

What you saw IS a typical response to being shot with a handgun in areas other than the "brain pan".

Cop's and "Bangers" alike have been laughing their asses off at the video. Like one "Banger" told me, If that lawyer had been pissed off, he would've kicked that gun right up the guy's ass.

This is why street punks, especially those that have been shot a few times, remain very unimpressed with handguns. Pull out a "gauge" or an "AK" and you've got they're undivided attention.

Only an idiot brings a handgun to a planned gun fight. Unfortunately, a shotgun is too large for pocket carry, and a pistol still beats using your fingernails....

I haven't seen the video yet, but as I understand it, it happened coming out of a courthouse (where it would have been illegal to carry a gun) and at very close range. I suggest that one of the lessons here is learning some unarmed self-defense in general and gun disarms in particular.

Also -- in the video I saw it was obvious the shooter had had no training. From the way he was holding the gun and shooting, probably the only reason his lawyer was hit at all was the very close range and pure bad luck (for the lawyer).

Again placement is far more important than caliber. Any gun which cannot be fired with reasonable placement isn't worth much -- and the smaller the caliber, the more important that becomes.

I watched the video since my last post. Yonexcannon, I disagree about the value of such videos, as they can show a great deal about what does and does not work in the real world.

The shooter did all of his shooting from the hip, with no attempt to aim. It is clear that he had little confidence in his ability to hit anythjing. At first, he started to raise the gun, but then lowered it and advanced towards his victim when the victim ran to the tree. He then got some peripheral hits as he and the victim circled the tree. It is lucky that the shooter didn't think to try to aim for a leg to limit the victim's ability to keep using the tree for cover. Overall, it was the second worst shooting skill I have seen in my life.

From watching the video, it is clear that this clown could easily have been disarmed by a victim who was trained to do so. It is also clear that, had the victim simply turned and ran, the attacker would never have been able to hit him. The advice I give to people who are not yet skilled enough to learn a gun disarm is to get the gunman talking to them (ask him what he wants, play dumb, play scared, etc.), and move while he is distracted. Knock the gun away and run. Or, toss a money clip with a few bills in it one way while running the other. Try to put at least 20 feet between you and the gunman before he recovers and gets the gun pointed back towards you. First priority is to create distance, then to try to get around a corner and out of the line of fire.

The lawyer was damned lucky that his assailant was such a "clown," as Bill so graciously expresses it. I couldn't see that this . . . "clown" . . . could even hit the tree which his victim was fortunately able to use for cover.

Assuming that this . . . "clown" . . . will be found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison, thereby presumably removing himself from the human gene pool, he will become one of my nominees for the 2003 Darwin Award.

Seeking cover wad definitely better than just standing there as some people would likely have done, but if it isn't stopping one from taking hits, it isn't cover.

I think that most of us would be so shocked that we were being shot at that we all might act very much like this lawyer initially and then hopefully, if we were still alive, we would kick into self defense mode after our brain realized what was happening.

Armchair quarterbacking a life threatening event is quite a dangerous game to play. Your body does stuff that all the range time in the world can;t and won't prepare you to control.

I totally agree about armchair quarterbacking, but I suggest that it is also important to analyze what happened and learn from it, so that if/when such a thing ever happens to us, we have the best shot at reacting in the best manner.

The victim was obviously untrained and caught by suprise, and the untrained part is the only part I'll criticize. Much more can be learned from watching the attacker, whose skill level would also likely be held by those who might attack us.

I would prefer to not be shot at. If I had to be shot at The perp would be on my short list as trigger man. I would also like A bigger tree to hide behind. I know we do not always get to pick and choose. The victim made an attempt to cover as much of himself as that skinny tree would allow. I wonder if he had turned and fired back (if he was armed) before seeking cover behind the tree how things might have been viewed.

For being surprised by a nut with a gun, I think the lawyer did ok--what I mean is that he tried to keep a tree between himself and the gun. He didn't freeze up, and he was smart enough to realize that he was in deep do-do.

I thought this occurred outside the courthouse where the Blake trial was being held. The media had to have been outside in force with cops in tow to keep them in line. So where were the troops?

I doubt seriously if this guy will get a very long sentence . He is obviously a fruitcake . Anyone that would pull a gun out in front of a court house and begin shooting his attorney with about a dozen news cameras watching and then nonchantly stroll away as if nothing happened is just a little odd . He may have a little problem finding another attorney after the encounter with his last one .

I can hear the lawyer defending him now. He obviously didn't intend to kill the man because he had another gun & he would have used that as well if murder was on his mind. He just wanted to scare him & that's why he was so careful to shoot him in non-vital areas.

I know now that the pistol was a revolver. I still don't know the caliber and stick with my original estimate-22. It seems to me anything larger would have slowed the attorney down somewhat(he was hit 4 or 5 times). Any theories?

Apparently the gunman ran out of ammo after 5 shots. My best guess is some type of snub-nose .38 spl., although the gun's frame looked a bit large for this. Then again, he was able to put the gun in his jacket pocket as he walked away.

The shots failed to slow down the victim not because of the low caliber but because of poor shot placement. The gunman apparently didn't achieve much more than peripheral hits to non-vital areas.

There are more people killed by .22 lr. bullets than by any other caliber. A hit with a .22 in the right spot will do a great deal of damage, while a perhiperal hit with a .44 magnum in the wrong spot will not cause the person shot to stop what they are doing.

Didn't sound like a 38 more like a 22

You wrote: "There are more people killed by .22 lr. bullets than by any other caliber."

That is absolutely correct according to my understanding of the data. And as an anectotal comment, one of my first cases as an Army JAG in Europe in the early 1960s involved a Lieutenant who sent his German girlfriend to her reward with one shot from a .22 LR caliber pistol -- a cheap knockoff of the Luger design.

I heard the victim/lawyer in an interview a couple of days after the shooting. I thought I heard him say that he had five wounds to his arm, one to his cheek, and one somewhere else. Did I hear that wrong?

That's seven shots. It would really be amazing if the shooter connected that many times by the way he was shooting, but, you know, he WAS pretty close. But it might also imply that the revolver was a .22, because 38's don't have the many rounds. Maybe a nine-shot .22? Did he miss twice? My dad has an old nine-shot High Standard .22 revolver.

Unfortunately I didn't see the interview. I watched the video several times on the internet, and it is quite blurry at the point immediately before the victim retreated to the tree. On the video, I counted 5 shots, all fired while the two were circling the tree, before the shooter apparently ran out of ammo. It is entirely possible that there were other shots I didn't see.

I tried to see what kind of gun it was, and it did look a bit large for the .38 snub that I otherwise thought it was. It is quite possible that the gun was a .22 with a cylinder holding more than 6 shots.

On the Kel-Tec owners board this subject has been debated endlessly, but there seems to be fairly universal acceptance over there to the "fact" that the shooter used a .38 special. I don't know where this info comes from, but on that board, people will argue with you if you tell them what you ate for lunch, yet no one questions that "fact."

I think we are all guessing about what kind of gun the shooter used. If it was reported anywhere, I didn't see it. I only got a VERY brief look at it on the video, and I thought it was a .38 snub, but I sure couldn't promise that.

The snubbie looked like a S&W 317 to me.Judging from the lack of recoil on the one handed shots,I think it must have been a .22 LR.

My dad said he heard on the news that it was a .38. Don't know if that's true or not. My dad's into guns, but not as much as me. He sometimes gets .380 and .38 confused. But he said that the news said it was a .38. My confidence in his reporting is not extremely high, but he's no fool.