James Yeager : Warning Shots are Stupid

I’ve heard this so many times – I’ll shoot over an attackers head, shoot under their feet, shoot them in the legs… I’m sure all of you have heard someone say something similar, or you may have even said it yourself…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. JP in MT says:

    I like the sign “Due to the increased cost of ammo, don’t expect a warning shot.”

    I feel if you are justified in pulling the trigger, you are justified in killing the target (man or beast). If you are being attacked by a group, I feel the best use of a first shot is to put down the leader, very publicly so everybody gets the universal message.

  2. KS Judy says:

    If I feel compelled to pull a weapon somebody is going to get shot. I was taught by my father (WW2 vet) if you feel compelled to point a weapon at someone you have to be prepared to shoot to kill.

  3. Gunny-T says:

    A warning shot means you missed the first time. Also, a shot fired “in a general direction” instead of a specific target with an intended placement of the round is not only a waste but is irresponsible and dangerous.

  4. patriot Dave says:

    A Prosecutor could even argue: if you had the ability and time to fire a warning shot; and were not in fear of your life or safety to fire a warning shot, the subsequent lethal shot was not justified. You did not have to ‘stand your ground’. You had time to flee. You will be forced to defend your actions. Of course you can make your argument to the jury. But why give the prosecutor an argument against you.
    BTW: I discourage the use of those clever signs. They can be used against you to argue pre-meditation to the jury. Also, you want to have a ‘grey man’ appearance for your un-prepared neighbors and potential burglars. You don’t want to appear as a “gun nut” or as having something special to steal.
    Another point. While you are wasting ammo, your opponent is advancing – fast. You just proved to him/her that you are squeamish about taking a life, even in self defense. They will possibly perceive that as weakness and take advantage of your indecision. He has already made his decision.
    My 2 cents.

  5. mom of three says:

    Having a gun, is a huge responsibility never to be taken lightly.

  6. Exile1981 says:

    I feel that if I need to draw a gun to protect my families or my own life then the “warning shot” will be to center of mass. Nothing says stop invading my home like a 45 cal hole in the chest.

  7. Chuck Findlay says:

    I agree that warning shots are probably not the best thing in most situations.

    But he says that if you had to fire a warning shot, to fire it into the air. I don’t agree with this, gravity being what it is, that bullet is going to come down and could strike someone. yea the bullet is not going to be moving super fast (like 80 to 125 MPH) but it could still hurt someone.

    Better to fire it into the ground and it is much less likely to do harm.Every gun safety rule, range rules, gun course says to keep the muzzle pointed down. To suggest that firing a bullet into the air is a OK thing is irresponsible on his part. other then that I agree with this video.

  8. Brendan says:

    Patriot Dave hit the nail on the head regarding the prosecutor. The other thing I hate to hear is people claiming the racking of a shotgun will scare off an intruder. People then claim that the shotgun just needs to be pointed in the general direction. One might point a shotgun shooting skeet or fowl with birdshot but with a slug or buckshot, it needs to be more than just point in the general direction and shoot.

  9. Chuck Findlay says:

    Years ago (Like 25-years) A friend of mine was at a beach parking lot and a rather good looking young woman was walking back to her auto and a few guys on motorcycles started giving her a hard time. My friend was 20-yards away and saw this. He stepped out of his car and asked them to leave her alone. They told him ” Get back in your car old man before we kick your rear end( spoken more crudely) He pulled his 9-mm and then they made fun of his gun thinking he would not use it. He fired a shot and the mirror on one of the motorcycles exploded. He said “that’s your only warning, the next one goes into one of you. The bikers decided it was best to move on. He then escorted the young lady to her car and made sure she went on her way with no problems. Joe (my friend) was one tough guy (Korea vet) that was as nice as can be, but didn’t take s**t off anyone.

    So sometimes a warning shot can be a good thing.

    • Sure, if you don’t mind committing assault with a deadly weapon and running the risk of being prosecuted and convicted of such. In you scenario, there was no justification for drawing much less discharging the firearm. Your friend Joe would probably have been surprised, had the cops become involved, that he would have been arrested not the bikers.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!