One of my readers recently told me about a case where a women fired a “warning shot” at a would be attacker who may have had a knife and is now being threatened with arrest by the police. Apparently, the would be attacker was scared away by the warning shot. Although the warning shot tactic seems to have worked in this instance, warning shots in general are a very bad idea. Let’s examine why.
If pointing a gun at a would be attacker isn’t enough of a deterrent to prevent them from attacking you, there’s a good chance that firing a warning shot won’t deter them either. In fact, it may enrage them to the point that it causes them to attack you further.
If you attempt to fire a warning shot and your firearm malfunctions, you just gave away your position of advantage and created a huge opening for your attacker to attack you. This would put you even deeper into an already life threatening situation.
You are ultimately responsible for all of the rounds that exit your firearm. Projectiles don’t just go into some type of void after you shoot them out of your gun. Eventually they HIT something. You don’t want that something to be another person!
Firing a “wounding shot” is equally strategically and tactically unsound. The chances of you pulling off a wounding shot that will dissuade your attacker from continuing his attack is very slim. It’s very hard even for well trained professional firearms experts to do that under the duress of an adrenaline dump.
What you should do instead, if you fear for your life, is to shoot your attacker “center of mass” (in the heart) to deanimate him by causing an extreme and immediate drop in blood pressure, which will cause him to go unconscious, thereby preventing him from continuing to attack you.
Don’t mess around with warning or wounding shots, doing so could cost you your life.