He could have used an ought-six but he didn't
In Publicola's thorough follow-up on one Mr Gates in South Carolina, a correspondent asserted that discharging a shotgun at criminal trespassers would endanger Gates's neighbors. Don't buy the argument.

At a moment when lethal force is being exchanged recklessly by criminal trespassers, you would be a fool to use less-than-lethal force to disabuse them of it. You will use lethal force, and you'd better bring enough of it.

Now that you've taken the decision to use lethal rather than less-than-lethal force, you can choose which type, platform, caliber, and so forth to minimize the risk to any innocents nearby.

The shotgun fits this bill better than anything else. Its ratio of PKintended to PKunintended is very high.

Mr Gates was duly diligent in his choice of a shotgun for the application, compared to other firearms he could have chosen.

Erratum: nobody posted in reply to Publicola about the potential of Mr. Gates to endanger any of his neighbors by discharging a shotgun at said trespassers. Of course, homeowners are responsible for where their bullets fall, and the choice and employment of firearms to defend homes must include such calculations.

Reading about this incident and how Mr. Gates was treated by the authorities caused me to remark on those risks and how the shotgun firing shot (versus slugs, or the choice of another firearm) mitigates them. This would be a valid point to make to anyone inclined to second-guess him, especially those who have the power to indict him or seize his property.

It is an indication of the quality of readership that this point was not raised---gunbloggers know better. I apologize for the error, and thank Publicola for bringing it to my attention.

No comments: