Hollow Point Bullets

Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was murdered in her car by someone using hollow-point bullets, probably 9mm.

Understand, my comments here do not in any way condone this murder or any other. What I am picking on is the overblown horror expressed by the press about the ammo used. (1)

I was watching Fox News (who else?) last night, and they mentioned this. Then their guest “expert” pontificated something to the effect that this meant whoever shot her meant to do murder. Somehow he concluded that the fact that it was hollow point bullets made the intent worse, or perhaps more clear, somehow. He implied that he knew that somebody was trying to kill her because she was shot with hollow-points.

This is total bull and nonsense. You know someone was trying to kill her because they shot her, not because of the type of ammo used.

The CNN article linked above said this:

“Hollow-point bullets are controversial because the slug is designed to expand after it enters a body, causing greater damage to tissue than a solid bullet.”

Yes, this is true, except that hollow points are hardly controversial. Like almost anything else, you pick the right tool for the job. This statement betrays a transparent attempt by the author to drum up fear in the uninformed.

Hollow point ammunition does provide some benefits for the shooter.

They are designed to dump the entire energy payload of the bullet into the target. This accomplishes two things: first, maximum damage to the target; and, second, the bullet usually stays in the target. If you are shooting to defend yourself from an attacker, both of these traits are desirable.

Maximum damage is desirable if you are shooting to defend yourself, because you want the danger to stop. You are not shooting to kill, in particular, but you do want the aggressor to stop. If you have reached a point that you have to pull the trigger, you are no longer concerned about the health of the target.

And the fact that the bullets stay in the target means that you aren’t perforating somebody two rooms over by accident.

Simply put, this is why hollow points of one type or another are the preferred ammo for self defense. The use of hollow point bullets in this context provides no clue to any particular motive of the shooter.

I just wanted to sort that out. One of my pet peeves is TV “experts” that appear to not have a clue what they are talking about.



I see that the Lady Tam at View From the Porch also blogged about this. Her snark is better than mine.

(1) This incident reminds me of the press back when Three Mile Island had their nuclear reactor problem. at the time, the engineers were concerned about a build-up of hydrogen gas in the containment dome, that might cause a hydrogen gas explosion.

To build up tension in the public, the news media intentionally used the phrase “hydrogen explosion” about every third sentence, making it sound like a hydrogen bomb explosion – something many orders of magnitude larger than the actual concern. This sort of distortion by the news, to drum up ratings, really annoys me. Because while technically correct in what they said, they intentionally caused a wrong perception in the watching public. I HATE being lied to.

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