Aim for Death? Aim for Disarm?

I understand there is a lot of other factors that would come into play, but overall what would be the intentions situation dependence of pulling your EDC. Death or Disarm?


Neither. You’ll find other topics on the forum relating to this question.

The intention is to stop the threat.


I think you’re missing something here. The intent is to stop the threat. Period. You want to go to prison? Tell the jury your intent was to kill someone; I’m sure they’ll understand.


The intent is to defend ones life in fear of losing it. Slowing or incapacitating the threat can save lives. The topic purpose isn’t “I wanted to kill that person”, self defense aiming for the chest (many range target pic) may be effective, but a shoulder shot accomplishes the same if not more. (threat neutralized and alive for justice). Training to shoot center mass shouldn’t mean physiologically training to kill.


@G.Washington are you talking about shooting guns out of hands or shooting someone in the arm Hollywood style? Aside from some rare hostage situations with police snipers I am not familiar with anyone seriously thinking they are going to aim to disarm someone. Shooting center mass till the attacker flees, gives up, or otherwise ceases to be a threat is the way I was taught.


A hit to the shoulder might or might not stop the attack. It is also a much smaller target to hit under duress and the likelihood of missing and hitting an unintended target is much greater.


Sorry, I’m not following you. You originally asked:

[emphasis added]


Like “shoot’em in the leg?” :wink:


If a gas station clerk is being held up while your in the store and the thief pre-occupied and unaware that pulled your weapon, would it require a center mass shot or would the time advantage in your favor give opportunity to neutralize the threat without death to be present for justice?

Disclaimer I respect you all and my intentions are not to spark any arguments just trying to have constructive conversations for all sides and point of views.

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Agreed. I’m thinking if someone with knife is approaching me with malicious intent from 10+ yrds away I would consider “maiming” the assailant first?

@Alces_Americanus Sorry, I’m not following you. You originally asked:

Seeing your POV @Alces_Americanus, I apologize vaguely using intentions more purposefully meaning situation dependence.


Always up for constructive conversations:)

My main concern in your store clerk scenario would be what if you shoot them in the shoulder or wherever and they don’t drop their weapon but instead start firing at you and others?

In this scenario I might let him rob the place and leave if I felt he was just after the money. I might consider drawing and issuing commands to drop his weapon if I wasn’t sure. If he turned without dropping the weapon I would likely be aiming dead center and pulling the trigger as fast as responsibly could. But if I felt sure his intent was to imminently harm others I would use that window created by his lack of focus on me to ensure I stopped the threat as quickly as I could with the least chance of leaving them capable of continuing the fight.


Not a legal expert but think shooting to maim actually might put you in legal jeopardy?? A DA could argue that you didn’t feel threatened enough to use lethal force therefore you were not justified to use your weapon. Not saying I like that argument. Just saying I could see it being used against you.

Again in this scenario I would draw while issuing commands and if the threat continued I would fire for center mass. I do not trust myself to hit a smaller moving target under duress given how often LEOs miss and I don’t trust a handgun bullet to the leg to be anywhere near 100% effective at stoping the knife bearer from getting to me.


I was going to say something similar, but you nailed it.

The only thing I’d add is in this described scenario we have one chance (maybe) to stop the threat. Why take the 10% shot when there’s a 90% shot?


No worries @G.Washington. Semantics. Cheers.


Well said I agree.

My main concern in your store clerk scenario would be what if you shoot them in the shoulder or wherever and they don’t drop their weapon but instead start firing at you and others?

This crossed my mind. I’m considering how close to the thief I would have to be to feel comfortable 1 or 2 in the shoulder would be effective, and/or maybe even the thiefs approach (calm at counter, not yelling, being discreet) related to any unnoticed advantage.


LRS 14:18 Justification; general provisions

The fact that an offender’s conduct is justifiable, although otherwise criminal, shall constitute a defense to prosecution for any crime based on that conduct. This defense of justification can be claimed under the following circumstances:

(7) When the offender’s conduct is in defense of persons or of property under any of the circumstances.


@RocketPak Guy can shoot! Prime example why training & EDC go hand in hand.


No pun intended, I’m sure.


Keep in mind what “center mass” is. It is the largest part of the target you can aim at. It could be a shoulder, head, or chest. I was taught to aim at that largest part of the target to minimize hitting another person and increase the chance of incapacitating the threat.

The pelvic girdle might be a good center of mass target if you can’t get a more traditional one. You might be shooting from or at concealment or cover, so center mass makes the most sense to me.