A very interesting discussion has started over on B-ARFCOM this morning. The topic being the amount of rounds fired by Kyle and the idea that there is a point you cross with the amount of rounds fired in self-defense compared to the training almost all of us have had. Or at least been exposed to second or third hand. That is, shoot them to the ground. I am going to repost some of the discussion below for your consideration.

The thread was started by site staff member Aimless-

“Someone we know had repeated the usual media bs about Rittenhouse to my wife and while we were talking about it I pointed out he’d been restrained in the number of times he fired. Particularly the last guy with the gun, Rittenhouse stopped as the attacker had his pistol out and hesitated. Then the attacker started to bring his pistol forward again and was shot

I, and I think most people who have been to carbine type classes, would have fired as soon as the pistol was out and would have fired a volley that would have been4-6+ hits before he fell. You’re taught “shoot them to the ground” now, which is going result in probably a half dozen rounds fired even if the first shot incapacitated the attacker.

While shooting someone to the ground is the correct way to fight, for non mil/leo I bet that might make a tougher situation with a jury. Sure if one shot is justified 5’are, but would normal people accept that?”

Some responses-

“After the treat has been stopped, and then he continued to fire, HE would then be the aggressor, so yes.”

“”To be honest, the Kenosha Kid was TEXT BOOK at his self-defense. The amount of restraint he had at 17, during a VERY dynamic situation, is nothing short of impeccable.
He shot when he needed to, no more than he needed to, and make split second decisions like a pro.

The kid had training somewhere, or just got incredibly lucky, and I don’t buy luck.”

“Didn’t he pop rosenbaum 4 times? And that was one of the last matters the jury decided on.”

After the treat has been stopped, and then he continued to fire, HE would then be the aggressor, so yes.I think this misses the point. When confronted by an armed opponent it’s standard training to fire a lot of rounds quickly at an opponent, particularly at close range.

“You could easily shoot someone a half dozen times as soon as you recognized they had a firearm. The first shot might disable the attacker, but you wouldn’t know that.

I’m not talking about shooting someone who is prone”

“Maybe. I’d agree they’d have needed to go more in depth with use of force “experts” not just attorneys winging it. It’s a delicate area, not just for him. LE use of force is likely to get wrapped up in the same thing. They might assert he’s emulating current “professional”/trained approaches, which is shoot until the danger is clearly ended. But that is hard to square with the idea that force is supposed to be limited to the least necessary, even if one has crossed the line into a lethal force scenario. (They could have shot him in the hand, or the leg, why did all those officers shoot him so many times??!!)

Yet he’s not formally trained (?) so where did he pick up the idea to shoot as many times as needed yet not too many and where is that line drawn? Did he learn informally, shoot with “friends,” practice with a group? Who were they? What was their qualification?

He is extremely lucky that Little Joey Downthestreet didn’t get hit with a through and through or one of the misses. Because if he’d hit an innocent, I think that establishing what he did was right, acceptable, legal would have been nearly impossible.”

“Convicted? I’m not sure of that but the defense would certainely have been more difficult. Same goes for Mozambique’ing someone….these techniques, while valid, create a problem when trying to justify a self defense shooting.

I think what’s paramount is that the shooter can justify every single round fired as to why and what was trying to be achieved. The simple answer is that you shoot until the threat is eliminated but that get’s a bit complicated in execution.

A double tap to the chest is perhaps explainable but a 1/4 mag dump would be tough to justify. The point being that this all isn’t combat but rather the prudent and measured application of lethal force to stop a threat to your life.

Once that threat is removed lethal force is no longer justified. A good prosecutor is going to try and convince the jury that rounds 1, and maybe 2, stopped the threat so rounds 3-15 were excessive and unjustified.

This is all another reason that shot placement is so critical.”

“while at it,

the other things one could have done different were:

1) wear a mask antifa-style

2) leave the cell phone at home

3) do not run to the police, they are not your friends (as the prosecution later amply demonstrated)

Be like ANTIFA minus actually being the ANTIFA

It was a huge learning experience for everyone involved.”

“Shoot to slide lock” is what you do when there won’t be any witnesses to find.

Or a victim.”

“They went after him for shooting the Manlet 4 times

They went after him for shooting 2 guys one time each. My guess they try to make you the bad guy no matter.

Now had he applied some anchor shots. Yea probably”

I think the fact that there was video showing Rittenhouse acting with incredible control, taking deliberate, placed shots until each individual threat against him had stopped really helped his case. In the midst of the chaos around him and being assaulted by three raging assholes, he expended exactly eight rounds of ammunition.

Sadly, I believe, if the Jury had seen Kyle demonstrate a well-practiced “Mozambique Drill” on his attackers they would have seen his actions as more malicious and punitive than defensive.

That being said, if you are under attack, you fight to survive, PERIOD. If you squander focus trying to divine how a potential future Jury will interpret your choices/actions, you may likely lose your chance to survive.”

Originally Posted By ad_nauseam:

I disagree. Doing things by the book almost got him railroaded.
If he did a mag dump straight in the air, the mob possibly might have stopped the pursuit.  Including the glock guy.

It is not that doing a mag dump in the air is the right thing to do, ultimately it could have been a smarter move and avoided prosecution, or if prosecuted, not charged with what he was charged with. It was the lesser of two problems

If he did half a mag dump in the air and it got them to break the pursuit  that is the definition of winning. He won anyway but it was a cliff hanger.

The warning shots theory rests on the assumption that it works. Results in no pursuit. But that is a big “if”

Response to above from another poster- You and I seem to both understand the law differently but more importantly we have different mind sets. You seem to view this as some type of game whereas there’s winning and losing.  I don’t. I view these circumstances as a lethal engagement predicated on a direct threat to my life.  This is no game. It’s simply survival.

That being the case, and in simple terms, I’m going apply lethal force to stop the threat.  I’m not to going to warn anyone.  In fact if possible I’m going to try employ my weapons as a surprise to give my opponent the least amount of time to react.  You see, I’m not basing my actions on a hope that someone will run because I fired a warning shot. I’m basing my actions on the fact that someone will cease doing what they were doing, that put me in fear of my life,  when they have a couple holes in them.

So again, I get the impression that you’re viewing these types of entanglements as some type of game and you seem to think that mere possession, display or in this case, the firing of a warning shot will change the course of events. In my opinion that’s extremely naive and  I would assume that you’ve never been in a gun fight/battle.  Not everyone runs when they hear gun fire.

I think you’re also lacking an understanding of just how precarious these situations are. Rittenhouse did a fine job, kept his on a swivel the best he could, kept his wits about him and maneuvered when he could.

The bottom line though was that he was lucky. Had there been a few serious killers in that crowd things might have turned out differently.

I suppose that’s my point. Predicating your actions on the assumption that people will react in fear because of warning shots is incredibly foolish and dangerous.  But hey, you do whatever you think is best based on your experiences and training.



  1. BAP45 says:

    i think that is actually a good point. While yeah technically you shoot them until they are no longer a threat it could easily be perceived as disproportionate by a jury. And since you’re likely to have a bunch of “just shoot them in the leg” people on the jury it’s something to think about. At least in this day and age.


  2. John M. says:

    Binger tried to make a huge deal out of how Rosenbaum was shot in the back. Hard to say if it might have made any traction if Kyle had given him 6 or 10 pills instead of the four he got.

    Ultimately the best defense is to stop shooting when the threat ends. Kyle did that admirably.


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