Not Quite The Message

Several people have pointed me towards this article:

B.J. Baldwin, a defensive pistol practitioner and champion off-road racer, said he and his girlfriend had just grabbed a late-night dinner at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant and were in a parking lot catching up on emails and social media when their ordeal began around 1:46 a.m. April 22.
He said his girlfriend noticed two hooded men pointing a gun at her and charging in her direction from across the parking lot. Once she was able to alert him, the men were 15 yards away with the gun pointed at her and smiling, he said. He said they appeared intent on doing harm.
Upon sensing the danger, Baldwin said he pulled his licensed concealed firearm and the shooting broke out. The gunman fired two shots at his girlfriend and six shots at Baldwin, he said.
“I knew there was a high probability that he would miss because I was returning fire and getting hits on him,” Baldwin said. “I wish I wasn’t at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I’m glad it was me instead of a less-skilled defensive pistol practitioner.”
The gunman died after being hit with 10 shots in a shootout that Baldwin estimated lasted about four seconds.Each shot Baldwin fired at the gunman hit its target, including nine to the chest and one to “the central nervous system.” (The second suspect fled.)

While this incident is undoubtedly a Righteous Shooting, I have a slightly different take.  Here’s what bothers me.  While I am glad that Our Hero got all ten shots into the target goblin, the salient point is this:

Said choirboy took nine shots to the chest.  Assuming at least six were center-mass hits… that’s an awful lot of times to be hit and still be alive and functioning to where additional shots are needed to put the animal down.

I guess that these wondernine guns have high-capacity mags because they need all those bullets to get the job done.

Me, I’m sticking with my .45 1911.  I “only” have eight rounds in the mag, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t need all eight in a similar situation, assuming I could hit the asshole as accurately as Our Hero did.

Also, while Baldwin isn’t being charged — which is all well and good — something about this story just doesn’t jibe with me.  I hope I’m wrong.


  1. I think that for a four second shootout, it wouldn’t matter too much which caliber you’re using. The CNS shot would be the thing that dropped him in either case.

  2. This story has more than a few holes in it. Why are they parked in a fast food parking lot to catch up on social media? Especially if he just wanted to get home to his family? Why did his girlfriend notice the gunman first? His description of the fight is odd and oddly bragging too. Something is fishy.

    1. Those weren’t exactly his words, but unless you hate your children and want to abandon them, isn’t that also your goal at the end of every day? Maybe not right this very instant, but at some point. It sounds pretty clear from the video that they were on outside the truck enjoying a bit of fresh air, and the goblins were approaching from her side. Maybe she just happened to look up and see them? What’s wrong with that? Lord knows my wife has seen things I didn’t. And it’s wrong to sort of brag about skillful shooting that dropped a goblin who had a drawn pistol? Gotcha. It would be stupid to do so when the cops arrived, but the police and DA were quite clear it was self-defense.

      1. Jeez, relax a bit. I instinctively distrust every news story. Reporters can barely spell, much less use proper English, and god knows where they get their facts. The story, as written, sounds fishy. That’s all.

        1. My apologies, Don. I misunderstood the thrust of your comment. Yes, indeed, most reporters are near worthless, and most “journalists” are worse than worthless since they add a generous seasoning of left to far-left slant.

  3. As always we’re deep into “yeah but” territory. A really good shooter can dump a magazine so fast that you think he’s shooting full auto and the bad guy simply may not have had enough time to react to the shots and fall down. Bad guy may have been jacked up on meth or some other chemical recreation and good solid torso hits didn’t have much effect until said bad guy ran out of blood pressure. Sometimes hollow point bullets, even good high dollar rounds, simply don’t expand depending on what the bad guy is wearing or his body structure and you’re left with the same effect as ball ammunition. And sometimes, in the words of old time German mercenary soldiers, “an angel pisses in your powder” and you have a very bad day. Keep shooting until the threat stops and carry at least one reload.

    1. Only use commercially available ammunition in your carry piece. Otherwise the lawyers will accuse you of using overly lethal ammunition and dum-dum, cop-killer bullets.

      1. This is myth. Can you cite a single case where the use of handloaded ammunition proved to be a significant factor in the outcome of a case?

        I doubt very much so.

        Self-defense cases are determined primarily on whether the shooting was legally justified. If so, whether or not the ammunition was handloaded or commercial makes no difference.

        And if you really have the hellhound of a prosecutor that wants to prosecute any and all self-defense shootings, they will do so no matter what ammunition you carry.

          1. You’re blaming the victim. If the defender blew the perp’s head “clean off” with a 12 gauge (or Kim’s .45) would the DA claim the defender used overly lethal ammo?

          2. Err, no. It depends on the local politics. What might be fine in most of the US would be idiocy in places like New Jersey, New York, and other progressive shitholes. Even commercial ammunition can be problematic, witness the Black Talon fooferah. As good as high-wuality defensive ammuntion is, anymore, I’m not sure how much advantage is to be gained, anyway.

      2. “…overly lethal ammunition…”
        A completely made up accusation based in pure fantasy.
        Any defense lawyer would claim is was irrelevant, immaterial, specious, and filled with duplicity.

  4. Some people are capable of absorbing enormous amounts of lead while continue to function. Consider Edmundo Mirales or [redacted] in the Miami shootout or Blackbeard who having been shot and stabbed multiple times was only stopped by having his head removed with a Claymore. Cirillo wrote about a bad guy of his professional acquaintance who took 11 contact head shots and was only briefly unconscious,
    The record is probably Cole Younger who was hit more than 200 times and got on his horse and rode away.

  5. I can understand emptying an entire clip to get the desired results in a situation like described above. No one can say, honestly, how they would respond in a similar situation, no matter how well trained they might be. Who knows why they decided to stay in the parking lot? Did he not see the approaching evil because he had cell phone tunnel vision? Maybe he was focused on his burger (yes, they ARE that good.)

    I look at the “what if’s” in stories like this. Somewhere in the story line, the bad guys were shooting at Hero and Girlfriend. Forget for a moment whatever caliber Hero was firing, it was what he had, and he used it, as fast and as accurately as he could. “WHAT IF” his gun jammed? What if a spent brass didn’t clear? Bad guys are shooting, Girlfriend is between Hero and Bad guys, and Hero has a fancy chunk of useless metal in his hand.

    My S+W magnum has never jammed. I may only have six rounds before I need to reload, but in a similar scenario, most of my rounds would have been on target, and though I would probably have emptied the entire load, Bad guy would probably been in extreme condition before he hit the pavement.

    1. I remember several “Police Brutality” stories where much was made of several police shooting a suspect who hand something gun-like in hand, and thinking “Sounds to ME like several cops (who don’t get to practice much unless they buy their own ammunition, and in any case may not have a lot of time) pulling triggers until their guns were empty. That’s what I’D do, if I had a gun and didn’t freeze entirely.”

  6. *whistles sheepishly whilst looking at the 6-shot K-frame loaded with .38 standard pressure lswchp on his hip*

  7. I suspect the bad guy was dead on his feet after the second shot, I have shot deer where they fall down in their tracks of the one where I blew the heart area out and it ran about 75 feet, I guess on auto pilot before he fell. Sometimes things don’t go down but where I am puzzled is how the bad guy got off eight shots, if he saw our hero draw his gun bad guy would have had maybe two seconds to start shooting and then in the next couple of seconds as the bullets were coming into him bad guy might have pulled the trigger some more and maybe bad guy was full of some sort of drugs which slowed down the shot factor. Anyway I am glad good guy won and my nice truck gun happens to shoot some .45 bullets, so there’s that.

  8. Nine hits to the chest and bad guy still keeps shooting is entirely possible. There is the famous story of the cop who hit the bad guy 17 times and he kept coming, kept shooting until a head shot stopped the fight.

    In this case, the story somehow does not smell right. Baldwin’s story sounds very scripted or rehearsed, like an ad for a defensive pistol training course.
    “the central nervous system”?
    You mean “I hit him ten times, once in the head.”

    1. This story came out a month after the shooting in question and seems to be drawn, in part, from the video he did for the NRA. So there’s a very good reason for it sounding scripted.

  9. Unless he puts “9 to the chest, 1 to the head” on his business card, I’m incline to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m a good, not a great, shot so every defensive shooting I’ll ever be involved in will likely be a mag dump and an attempt to reload.

    1. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. No one’s going to bleed out in 4 seconds, so a CNS hit is the only thing guaranteed to stop someone in that time frame. With drugs or a berserker rage, even a shot through the heart might not stop them from shooting (or swinging a Viking axe) for 5-10 seconds.

  10. We started seeing such incidents toward the end of my law enforcement career in the 70s. Guys would get high on PCP and feel no pain whatsoever. Saint Louis had an incident where a suspect took 27 shots and was attempting to reload when an officer strode in with his empty shotgun and broke the stock over the perp’s head. The perpetrator lived I might add.

  11. B. J. Baldwin is a famous Off Road racer that drives the Monster Energy Trophy Truck. He is very used to high pressure , high adrenalin Situations. I have no doubt he was very calm and deliberate when faced with this situation. The girlfriend also has very good situational awareness and is also a practiced shooter. Both of them are good at “Slowing down time” , a very useful skill in a full on Trophy Truck Race Car where thing happen very quickly.

    These goblin’s had very very poor victim selection skills.

  12. In Massad Ayoob’s interview with Chicago cop Bob Stasch, Stasch says after his first shooting where he and his partner each hit a perp multiple times, they started training to take only head shots to better assure a quicker stop.

  13. Talk about a total lack of situational awareness!
    Early morning, dark parking lot, not paying attention to your surroundings and IIRC they were driving an expensive car to boot.
    Might as well drive through a bad part of town with your Rolex clad arm hanging out the window.

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