Breaking News: Don’t Bring a Sledgehammer to a Gun Fight

SPOKANE, WA — When one homeowner found a stranger making an enormous scene at his front door, he soon found himself in the fight of his life.

Fortunately, his firearm trumped the insane man’s sledgehammer.

As KREM2 reports:

A homeowner shot a man who he said was kicking and screaming at his front door early Tuesday morning. Ralph Wending told deputies a man had grabbed a sledgehammer from a truck and came at him with the hammer. Court documents said Wending warned the suspect he had a gun and fired a warning shot. He said the suspect continued to come at him in a violent manner so he shot him in the leg.

Court documents identified the suspect as Logan Nelson.

There are two issues with this incident, in terms of the homeowner’s behavior. Let’s take a look:

1. We have said so many times before, and we’ll say it again — do not fire off a warning shot.

Warning shots are not only a poor tactical behavior, unless they’re aimed directly at the ground, they are a threat to pasersby in an enormous radius around you. Don’t count on your house to stop the round — it doesn’t always work that way.

2. Don’t employ deadly force to an extremity.

It may well be that the homeowner here was firing in earnest and just hit his assailant in the leg, but I find that unlikely. What’s far more likely coming from a man who fired off a warning shot was a shot to incapacitate.

Don’t do that.

Shooting to incapacitate and shooting to neutralize a threat — what you’re supposed to be doing — are not always the same.

Shooting a person in the leg bears with it no guarantee of success that their threat will be stopped, and he’s extremely lucky to have come out of the situation on top.

Folks, be extremely judicious when it comes to when to use of your firearm. When you make that call, do so decisively.

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