Enough With This Warning Shot Nonsense

By John Farnam

Corporal Wood with a gun in his hand
Desperation: Corporal Wood, with a gun in his hand, is pictured moments before he was dragged from his car by members of the crowd.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “No one remembers who came in second.” ~ Walter Hagen

On 19 Mar 1988 in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, two young British Army corporals inadvertently drove in the vicinity of the elaborate funeral procession for Kevin Bradey, considered a hero by the IRA.

The two corporals were in civilian clothing, and their car was unmarked. Both were armed with ageing Browning Hi-Power Pistols with standard, hardball ammunition. Pistols were issued for “personal protection,” because of the dangerous nature of Northern Ireland at the time, but neither soldier (nor anyone else in the British Army) had ever received any species of competent training in their serious use. Of course, neither pistol was carried with a round chambered.

The UK, then and now, has no gun-culture, so no one there knows anything about carrying and using guns for serious purposes!

The two junior NCOs, realizing their mistake, tried to get turned-around, but they never made it!

An angry crowd quickly surrounded their now-stationary vehicle. Both soldiers were dragged out of their car, beaten half to death, and then shot multiple times through the back of the neck by IRA operatives, who, by the way, do know something about carrying serious pistols and do carry them in the correct state of readiness!

During the incident, one of the corporals managed to get a round chambered, and fired a single shot, not at his attackers, but in the air, as a ” warning,” just as he had been foolishly instructed. Both NCOs had been sternly warned by their cynical superiors that if they ever used their pistols for any purpose other than starting horse races, they would be drummed out of the Corps!

As a result, neither made any effective use of weapons they had readily at hand, pistols, nor the car itself.

In Parliament two days later, Northern Ireland's Secretary of State publically condemned the killings, and added this gem:

“… although they both had loaded personal-protection pistols, they showed incredible restraint in using them only to fire a warning shot in the air. “

Yes, so much “restraint” that they allowed themselves to be murdered while scarcely even inconveniencing their murderers. So, now we lavishly praise people for these demonstrably incompetent, inadequate, and ineffective responses to criminal violence. No wonder Western Civilization is crumbling. We're congratulating people for being losers!

The problem is, of course, the British Government's hysterical hatred of self-defense and its paranoid fear of guns. This irrational fearfulness makes itself felt, even the Army!

The two murdered corporals were not MI5, nor SAS. They were just two junior NCOs who drove by the wrong place at the wrong time.

When exposed to violent, criminal attack, the only “warning shot” that should be fired by any one of us should go straight through the ventricles of our attacker's black heart, as a subtle indicator that more are about to follow in rapid sequence until he/they find something else to do!

“Warning shots” are a sign of lack of commitment to one's personal survival. They will invariably be interpreted as such!

“You never know how much is enough unless you know how much is more than enough.” ~ William Blake


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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    Old SaltChuckpatrickTyrannyOfEvilMenCOL Bullseye Recent comment authors
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    Old Salt
    Old Salt

    If a situation has devolved to the point that you feel the need to draw your firearm. Nine times out of ten you WILL fire that firearm. If you fire your weapon you should have already came to the understanding that you WILL destroy what you are shooting at.
    That was the first thing dad taught me, when you shoot at something, you shoot to kill.


    Warning shots only tells your attacker or enemy that you are a coward and afraid to shoot them. The next shot will be them shooting you for real.


    Mr Farnham I’m afraid your fake macho bullsh#t is also matched by your factual ignorance this incident from Belfast in 1988 was one which involved undercover British agent provocateurs who were on duty that day in a British army death squad called the FRU or force reconnaissance unit this incident was the culmination of a series of killing on both sides where IRA members in some cases unarmed or surrendering were executed by undercover British military units and where irish civilians had been murdered by British sponsored protestant loyalist death squads therefore no murders took place on this particular day… Read more »


    Obviously warning shots are never a good idea. You’re either justified in using lethal force to stop an attack, or you are not. If you feel a desire to warn, then give a verbal warning. Others may hear it, even if the perp does not.

    Remember that you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your weapon. Aim accordingly.

    COL Bullseye
    COL Bullseye

    “…the only “warning shot” that should be fired…should go straight through the ventricles of our attacker’s black heart…”
    And in the case of that criminal being a tyrant thug wearing body armor, a shot in the face and one in each thigh ought to suffice. Even if they have a ballistic shield on their Kevlar helmet, the force of a 12 ga. blast from my Defender will break their neck, find entry around the collar or, at least, obscure the shield so it’s no longer usable. Of course, the shots to the femoral arteries will take care of long appeals.


    “Warning shot” is center of mass, as is the second round.
    Any following responses to violence upon oneself or nearby victims would be center of forehead to get the message across to the slow learners.

    I don’t shoot to kill, I shoot to stop the violence.

    And THAT is the only reason I shoot!