T ricky bullets beget tricky problems, death-wise, legal-wise and otherwise. The yearly appearance of ammunition new and strange reminds me of the kaleidoscopically colorful fishing lures that change constantly on the merchandise hooks at Walmart. They're designed to catch anglers, not fish.
The new bullet on the block this year is a dazzler. The Multiple Impact™ Bullet (MI™ Bullet) is made by Advanced Ballistic Concepts. When fired, the slug separates into three pieces tethered by cords. The array spins like a propeller and upon impact saws a salad-bowl-sized slice out of the bad guy.
The advertising emphasizes that, because of the array's 14-inch spread, even dithery amateurs (your name goes here) can't miss. The photos show targets zapped impressively at 25 feet. You might infer that, with such ammo, you can shoot attackers from farther away!
When you fire in self-defense, you have two problems: staying alive and staying out of prison. Behind the attacker comes the popo, and behind them the Red Queen, Angela Corey, and her prosecutorial minions. Unless the attacker is a stranger who breaks into your home, and the corpse you create drops conveniently inside the threshold, nothing will be certain. Here's a more likely scenario:
You foolishly drive at night through an ash-can neighborhood like mine, where lowlifes lean on lampposts 24/7. Everybody on the block except you is selling crank, crack, heroin or a combination thereof. At the red light at Market and Union, a guy yells, "Gimme your car," then pulls a pistol and fires. His bullet misses. Yours hits.
Everybody stares at the twitching corpse. Nobody notices a kid who grabs the bad guy's gun as it skitters across the asphalt and then disappears at full gallop into the shadows. You and God know it was a righteous kill, but you're the only ones.
As God will not be your witness, you have only the onlookers. Some will be serving time on probation or free on bail. Some will be … More