How many times after a shooting have you heard the news networks, your friends, your co-workers, your Aunt Mary and many others say “why didn’t they just shoot them in the leg?” Every time I personally hear this, I do a face palm. I have heard this many times. I have been asked “are you trained to shoot someone in the leg instead of shooting them in the chest or head?” Or “why wouldn’t you just shoot someone in the leg instead?” In the following, I am going to demonstrate why you don’t shoot someone in the leg and the only time when you should.
- I have been taught and teach other students to always shoot mass center. The Police, Military and Armed Security are taught this as well. Why? Because the center torso is the largest target on the body. This has always been the standard and will never change.
- Under extremely stressful situations of a shooting, a person’s heartbeat goes through the charts, he loses fine motor skills, get’s tunnel vision, auditory exclusion occurs as well as time dilation. Some of the best trained Police in the world only hit their targets about fifteen to twenty percent of the time. This is even when they aim at center mass.
- With all of the above considered, do you think the police or average Citizen will have time or the mindset to “shoot the leg?” Especially if they are being shot at, or a suspect is trying to shove a knife down their throat? What if the suspect is moving around or has taken cover? You always aim center mass.
- Shooting at the leg is just as lethal as shooting center mass or the head. The largest arteries and veins run through your leg(s). If that person is shot in that area, he will most likely bleed out and die in less then two minutes, unless immediate medical attention is given. Here is an example. (Warning, Graphic)
- The only time I would advise aiming for the leg(s) is if the person you are shooting is wearing body armor. I would most likely choose to shoot lower. I would probably pick this over a head shot. You would have a lot of an area to shoot at then someones head.
Overall the argument to shoot someone in the leg usually comes from a person with a lack of knowledge in both firearms and the medical field. This is real life, not the movies.
(Disclaimer:) This article is only an opinion of a firearms instructor and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice or questions, please contact your local 2nd Amendment attorney.