Why Deanimate Your Attacker?

I received thirty five comments about my “No Warning or Wounding Shots” post. It seems that several of my readers did not understand the concept of DEANIMATING your attacker(s). This is not some “Orwellian Double Speak,” it’s actually very important from  neuro linguistic, ethical, legal, strategic and tactical perspectives.

The word and concept of “deanimation” is not my own, I learned it twenty three years ago from my first firearms instructor, the legendary John Farnam, while going through the bodyguard training course at Executive Security International (ESI).

I, as a civilian have no interest in killing anyone, not even someone who is trying to actively kill me. Don’t miss understand me, I don’t want to be permantantly disabled or die in a fight and I certainly don’t want to have anyone that I am protecting be injured or killed in a fight. What I do want to do instead is to deanimate my attacker(s), that is to say I want to STOP my attacker from attacking me. Whether he or she is killed in the process, or dies later is of no concern to me, I’m only concerned with my own survival and the survival of the people I’m protecting.

This is not mere semantics. Ethically, I don’t want to kill  anyone, I want to survive. Legally, I don’t want to kill anyone, I want to survive. Strategically, I don’t want to kill anyone, I want to survive. Tactically, I don’t want to kill anyone I want to survive. If someone is trying to kill me I want to prevent him from doing that, the way I accomplish that is by deanimating him.



  1. TXLEO says:

    As a 20 plus year military and law enforcement veteran, I have always been taught from day one that we do not shoot to wound or shoot to kill, we shoot to stop. Brian Stein makes an excellent point that shoot to stop means shooting to survive across the entire myriad of issues that make up the pre-​​shoot, shoot, and post-​​shoot situation. It really bothers me that anyone in military or law enforcement would question that a shooting scenario should be handled in any other way.

  2. Casey says:

    The best way I know how to “stop” an attacker is to put a bullet in his heart or head. Forget the rest of the philisophical crap.

  3. John Simeone says:

    I was in some very bad situations over the 20 years in the Army Military Police, Civilian Law Enforcement, 49 years in the martial arts at 10th Dan, and a grand master shooting instructor…woo woo big deal right. I’m still here. The ones that hesitated were the ones that don’t go home to Mommy. With all the good training I had, the one thing rings clear…The quick and the dead.

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