David Hogg is at it again.

This guy, in an effort to try to extend his fifteen minutes, just keeps spouting nonsense.  This time it was a Washington Examiner article which cites him as saying “You’re a terrible shot if you need an AR-15 to defend yourself.”

As usual, Hogg doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That’s a given. But for folk who aren’t clear and yet are still “teachable” let’s go into things a bit.

First, one of the things that happens when a person is in genuine fear for their life is that a whole lot of neuromuscular things happen. The old “fight of flight” reaction (actually a lot more complex than that but it will do for the moment). Your body prepares for maximum effort to either run or to fight. Now, one of the effects this has is to trade off things like fine motor control for strength, speed, and relative insensitivity to pain–all things that to our ancestors could make the difference between life or being cave bear chow. However that loss of fine motor control means that when really scared, your marksmanship deteriorates a lot. So even if you are an excellent marksman at the range, where the targets don’t shoot back, you’re not going to be able to equal that performance when faced with a real threat. (This is also why “shoot to wound” is nonsense.) Check out police trainer Massad Ayoob’s book “Stressfire” for an in-depth look at this.

Second, bad guys don’t just come one at a time. Case after case we see multiple people breaking into someone’s home. You can take out one only to have the next get you. Unlike the police who have backup on call, who can wait until they have overwhelming force before confronting the bad guys, all you’ve got is yourself and what you can grab quickly in the heat of the moment.

Third, while in the movies when the good guys shoot the bad guys one shot is all it takes, that isn’t how the real world works. You can mortally wound the bad guy–put a bullet right through his heart (but see point one above) so he’s essentially dead on his feet–but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped. “The dead man’s ten seconds” is a concept that goes back at least to the Civil War. A person can be shot, essentially a walking corpse, but they’re still a threat until they finally go down. Maybe they’ll spend that “dead man’s ten seconds” looking down at the hole in the body and regretting the life choices that brought them to that point. Or maybe they’re they’ll use that time in a rage-driven frenzy which, unless you can give them something else to think about (like other holes in their body) can lead to them taking you with them.

These reasons are why the police want weapons like the AR15 (and it’s full-auto cousins the M16 and M4) available for themselves, this despite what I said about backup and most of the time the ability to wait until they have overwhelming force before choosing to engage. Ordinary folk face the exact same threats the police do, and so so first with only what they have on hand and can grab quickly.

2 thoughts on “David Hogg is at it again.”

  1. Which is exactly why the second phase of my marksmanship training (been training others for years…) involves /inducing/ /physical/ /stress/ and then shooting for record. Granted, it’s no effective simulation to “combat stress,” but if you’ve ever had to shoot for record after running a 100m windsprint, get to your firing point, and find your sidearm partially disassembled – and I’m timing you! – you will have a pretty good idea what happens to fine motor skills (as you said, they go to shit,) and you’re trying to do precision tasks while you’re panting hard and your hands are shaking.

    I really wish cops didn’t have just point-shooting to qualify with their sidearms, it does EVERYONE a grave disservice (the cops for wasting ammo and potentially hitting other people, the other people around for potentially getting shot – which is NO fun, I assure you! – and the bad guys because that’s just another reason why you usually have to put a series of new holes in the bad guy’s body [not that I’m terribly concerned about the bad guys – if they die, they die. Did it to themselves. An old Apache riddle: “A thief is shot in the night. Whose hand is on the bow?”)


    1. Add’l – Anyone who knows anything at all knows that Hogg doesn’t know his arse from his elbow, and has to wipe his mouth after using the toilet (considering how he spews excretia, I wouldn’t wonder…) What would it take to get that imbecile to shut up? He /had/ his fifteen minutes of fame, and it was ill-deserved at that.


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