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 off-the-books snitches working for hamburgers or spare change. Most will want to make a deal with the Red Queen to minimize their future incarcerations. They may testify falsely — gasp — that you rolled down your window, shouted "nigger/spic/chink/honkey" at an innocent youth, then shot him down like a dog.
If a tricky bullet tempted you to shoot from farther than 10 feet, a court may rule you were never in danger. It may be self-defense to you, but to the Red Queen, it's Murder Two.
Advanced Ballistics sells the MI in three flavors: the MI-Stopper™, the MI-Stunner™ and the MI-Stinger™. (One wonders what ad agencies charge for such clever monikers.) The slugs are, respectively, lethal, kinda-sorta lethal and financially lethal since the plaintiffs' bar will grab your savings, insurance and home equity if you shoot some yob in the butt with plastic or rubber slugs.
This is madness. There is no kinder/gentler self-defense. The problem is for you to stay alive, not the other guy. When an attacker is amped on angel dust, meth or crack, or is schizophrenic, he'll be jacked on the adrenaline, have horrific strength and will come for you even after you empty a clip into vital organs. If the courts decide you violated firearms law, the fact that you used a supposedly non-lethal round is not — repeat not — a mitigating factor.
Advanced Ballistics and its trademark attorneys are T-M-ing their way through ever more fantastic self-defense scenarios. They suggest that you Smart-Stack™ your pistol (alternate their lethal, sorta-lethal and butt-slapper rounds in the magazine) or even to S.K.I.P-Stack™ it (alternate the three-slug helicopters with good ol' lead bullets) in the manner that military machine gunners load theirs — those guys load their weapons with alternating tracer rounds, ball rounds and incendiary rounds.
This is nuts. Self-defense demands simplicity, one gun and regular practice. The practice is for decision-making. (Fire or not fire? Bad guy or good guy?) Accuracy is secondary; misery is guaranteed
In Crime City.