Sunday, March 13, 2011

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Defensive Accuracy: Application & Justification

A credible Firearm Safety/Personal Protection Class should inform its students that the craft of accurately shooting a handgun is a depreciable skill. As such, defensive carriers of handguns should regularly visit a gun range range to maintain their ability to consistently hit their desired targets. While at the range, shooters should practice Defensive Accuracy.

What Is Defensive Accuracy?

Defensive Accuracy refers to a style of shooting that a defensive handgun carrier should undertake at the range to practice a response to a physical threat from an assailant.

When under attack from a "legally justified" imminent threat, a victim should draw his firearm and aim its front sight at the target's center-of-mass and pull the trigger until he is no longer being attacked. The purpose of victim's handgun shooting is to make the attacker stop.

A target's center-of-mass is the exposed center of the target that is typically defended against at approximately room-length distances, usually within 20 feet. Historically, statistics reveal that most defensive shootings happen within this distance.

Accordingly, the center-of-mass of a fully exposed assailant would be an 8.5"x11" "sheet of paper" sized target zone between the navel and the lower chest zone. A victim armed with a defensive handgun - 9mm or greater in caliber size - should equally balance speed and accuracy while delivering shots to this zone.

The Justification For Center-of-Mass Shot Placement

While it is true that there is a large number of critical organs in this zone, which when struck with gunfire will quickly lead to an assailant's body shutting down due to a rapid loss of blood, the intent of shooting there is not to kill.

The intent of a defensive shooting is to stop a threat to a victim's safety. In Michigan, a defensive shooting is only justified when a victim is in imminent jeopardy of severe bodily harm, sexual assault, or death. When the threat has been stopped, the defensive shooting of the attacker must also cease.

There are two valid justifications for center-of-mass shots: a quick conclusion of the encounter and the safety of innocent bystanders. A self-defense shooting that is resolved quickly implies that fewer shots will be fired. If the victim can minimize the number of times he is either fired upon or actually shot, he increases his chances of surviving the attack. A quick response to an assailant's center-of-mass can end an attack quickly.

Moreover, the other reason for shooting assailants in the center-of-mass is to minimize the odds that the victim will miss the assailant and accidentally strike an innocent bystander to this encounter. The center-of-mass zone presents the greatest opportunity for a victim to make contact with his assailant and not injure an innocent person.

There are consequences for victims who miss shooting their assailants. In Michigan, shooters can be held criminally and civilly liable for their bullets at the very moment they exit the muzzle of their firearms. If a fired bullet strikes a person who did not pose an imminent threat to the victim, the shooter faces a great chance of going to prison and being sued.

The Risks Of Not Aiming For Center-of-Mass

Some students in my Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class have expressed to me a desire to merely shoot an assailant in a part of his anatomy that is believed to be non-life threatening. For example, one lady recently expressed to me a desire to shoot a bad guy in the leg, if she was ever attacked. She figured that this tactic would both stop the threat and not kill the attacker.

There are a couple of problems with this approach to a defensive shooting. For starters, the victim may not possess the requisite ability to shoot a moving leg of an assailant while "under the stress" of an attack. If the shot misses, the fired bullet could come to rest in a "bad" place, as discussed earlier. A "miss" could lead to jail time and a civil lawsuit.

Furthermore, during the time that the victim is attempting "trick shots," the attacking assailant may be attempting common sense center-of-mass shots of his own to the victim. The victim could very well be placing himself in greater danger by unnecessarily prolonging the encounter.

Secondly, there is a major artery in the leg: the femoral. If a bullet hits this artery, an assailant could "bleed out" and expire in a very short period of time. So, even though the victim wouldn't face criminal liability for killing an attacking assailant, he could still "fail" at not killing his attacker.

Thus, all defensive carriers should be acutely aware of the fact that shooting a bad guy could kill them. If he is incapable of accepting this reality of using a pistol for self-defense, maybe he should reconsider legally carrying a handgun.

Some people are not capable of harming another person, even if that person was trying to rape or murder them. If you are such a person, it is best that you accept this fact and make other arrangements for your personal protection.

Bottom Line:

Defensive handgun carriers should visit the shooting range at regular intervals to practice firing their pistols to maintain their accuracy. While there, they should spend part of their shooting time practicing defensive accuracy.

Defensive accuracy is the placement of center-of-mass shots to an assailant's exposed body in an 8.5"x11" window between the navel and chest zone. Shots placed here, while under attack, will facilitate quickly shutting down the attacker's body, ending the attack quickly, and maximize the odds of a victim surviving the encounter.

Defenders who opt not to shoot assailants within this zone risk elongating the encounter, risk accidentally shooting innocent bystanders, and increase the odds that they will not survive the attack.

Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Classes training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit. Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Gun Digest, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, WJLB, WGPR and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about Defensive Accuracy and Detroit Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.7404

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