The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-03-2013, 12:07 AM
Reyemile Reyemile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Point blanc gun standoff

It's a classic scene in a movie. I am facing an enemy within arms reach. The two of us are at a standoff, guns pointed at one another's heads at point blank range.

In the movies, the two of us slowly, slowly back off, then simultaneously dive for cover and resume our shotoff at a later date.

However, it seems to me that the easier thing to do is pull the trigger. Here's where the factual question comes in:

If shot in the face, is there any way my opponent shoots back? Are human reflexes fast enough to pull the trigger in the split second between my finger twitching and the bullet enters his brain? Could getting shot in the head make his hand clench reflexively in a way that would fire a weapon?

Or would I in all likelihood walk away with not more damage than a brain-splattered coat?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 02-03-2013, 12:22 AM
DataX DataX is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,509
Well you would have to be more specific than just the face or brain. Humans have lived with bullets in/through their brain - and some suicide victims have shot themselves in the head multiple times.

In theory - I have read that if you hit the brain stem - there is no chance that the person will fire the gun, that all control is severed. If that is true - I don't think reaction time will be an issue.

You'd of course have to be (or would want to be) 100% sure you can hit whatever zone is required to cause this instant capacitation. Or actually maybe not 100% sure as from a game theory perspective - it seems like it would be a bad idea to risk being on the other side of a shot. But if you want to avoid this situation - you'd probably want to know the right place to aim...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-03-2013, 12:26 AM
zoid zoid is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 8,308
Plus bodies tend to jerk when shot.
If someone had their finger on the trigger of a gun pointed point-blank at my head I'm not sure I would want them convulsing.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-03-2013, 11:02 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Driver's Ed said 2/10ths of a second for your brain to decipher what your eye sends (in that case, the brake lights of the car you're tailgating).

If you are pointing a gun at my head, I will be watching your finger muscles REAL close, and will fire as soon as I see your metatarsals start to contract. This means you need to pull trigger real fast - which generally causes you to twist your wrist, throwing off your aim.

Maybe you should just back off slowly while keeping both hands in firing position and a sharp eye on finger muscles.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-03-2013, 11:58 PM
AaronX AaronX is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Previous thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=657185
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-04-2013, 12:22 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 55,535
The noir gun standoffs are more dangerous, anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-04-2013, 01:11 AM
tellyworth tellyworth is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
The only rational thing to do in that situation is shoot the other person as soon as possible. (Unless you're willing to die)

If you wait for the other guy to start moving his finger before you react, you're already too late.

Last edited by tellyworth; 02-04-2013 at 01:13 AM.. Reason: qualifier
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:57 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
The noir gun standoffs are more dangerous, anyway.
/golf clap/
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.