Failure to Stop

February 3rd, 2007  

Dear Dr. Piazza:

I do very much appreciate your newsletter. Both interesting and informative. Being seventy seven and retired on a limited income I doubt if I will be seeing you at your training facility. Therefore I do rely on your training reports.

My question…

I’m walking by myself in downtown Raleigh. It’s a warm summers night and the sun has just about set. I suppose I’m in cloud nine(the white zone). Suddenly an arm  gets wrapped around my neck, I feel a sharp point in my kidney area. I am so frightened I can’t even mumble an act of contrition. A voice wispers in my ear, give me your wallet and your watch or your dead, I feel his arm tighten around my neck,it’s big and musclar, he smells of booze. I have a 45 H&K IWB. He loosens his grip and I turn to face him, reaching for my watch. As quick as its off my wrist I throw it in his face, he blinks and steps back a step. Time enough for me to to fire two bullets into his chest. He steps back again holding his knife in his hand(it looks like a civil war bayonet).

Blood is running from his wound, he looks at it and screams a loud blood curdling yell, he lunges at me and I feel the knife enter my stomach.


How did I go wrong, aside for being in Condition White- a bad habit for us senior citizens.

What should I have done after firing two bullets into him ? A third or fourth shot might not have stopped him. A head shot immediately after the first two?

Thanks for the reply,



Dear Ed,

I’m glad to hear you are enjoying my gun training reports.

To answer your question:

After firing the two shots you should take a couple steps back or to the side to create some distance as you assess if he remains a threat.

In this situation you describe, your two center of mass shots did not impress him.  He is likely feeling no pain from being intoxicated or even mixing booze with drugs so you will not get the “normal” nervous system reaction to the two thoracic cavity shots which should be incapacitation (he drops to the ground).

You have we call a “failure to stop” – meaning your first two shots did not stop his attack.  You should immediately transition to the head and deliver a round into the cranio-ocular cavity (between the eyebrows and mustache) to stop his attack.

Hope to see you at Front Sight.

If not, be sure to watch Front Sight Challenge on TV


Entry Filed under: Front Sight.

Ignatius Piazza
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