“Shoot to Wound” vs. “Shoot to Stop” vs. “Shoot to Kill.”

Leatherneck Blogger

By Andrew Branca
Bearing Arms
February 15, 2014

[It seems that every time we post a story on a defensive gun use here, we have people claim in the comments that they are going to keep shooting at any person that feel justified in firing upon until that person is dead,  on the theory that if the person is dead, that then can’t sue them in civil court. I asked Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self Defense, about this “conventional wisdom.” This is how he responded. –ed.]

The issue you raise is a common one, but fortunately not a complicated one.  It’s simply the self-defense law element of proportionality–a person is allowed to use only as much force as is necessary to neutralize the threat, and no more than that.  Proportionality has both an intensity and a temporal (or time) dimension.

In terms of intensity, one can meet a…

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