“Would you take the shot?” is a question often discussed in defensive shooting circles. In competitive shooting circles, this question doesn’t exist, because competition is about taking every shot. Not taking a shot results in a penalty. In defensive shooting, the “penalty” for taking a shot may be injuring or killing an innocent person.
This Is Not a Drill
A real-life defensive situation is not like a competition nor like handgun shooting drills, either of which may have shoot and no-shoot targets. In a competition, hitting a no-shoot target results in a penalty, but not attempting a shot results in a worse penalty, therefore competitors always attempt the shot.
Using self-defense weapons to save your life or the lives of your loved ones means the no-shoot targets you are facing may be your loved ones, so the question becomes would you risk shooting them by taking the shot that’s intended to hit the bad guy?
Though previous Worlds Collide videos have found competition shooter Rob Leatham and defensive shooting instructor Rob Pincus in agreement on many principles and methodologies of shooting, the topic of whether or not to take a shot reveals a huge chasm between competitive and defensive shooting. The only point both Robs agree on here is how different the two worlds are on the question of whether to take a shot.
Competitions often have strict rules about foot and body positioning relative to the targets, and may require difficult shots to be taken without moving the feet. In defensive shooting, anything goes with regard to moving any part of the body. The most important rule is, don’t shoot an innocent person!
Would You Take the Shot?
It’s a simple question in the competition world but a complex question in defensive shooting, one that may require split-second decision-making as to whether you have a viable shot on the bad guy. Train and practice realistically to prepare for that worst-case scenario.