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Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Chicago Girl Shot in Head: What We Can Learn?

by George Wehby   |  August 29th, 2011 28

Last week we learned about a very sad story about a 1-year-old Chicago girl shot in the head. According to reports, two teens were shooting at an individual on a bicycle and the little girl was caught in the cross fire. The individuals did not hit their intended target, but their stray rounds ended up striking the little girl in the head. This is tragic on many levels, but we can learn and use this story as a reminder in training.

If I were to ever have to discharge my weapon in a self defense situation, I hope and pray that I stand true to my training and hit what I am shooting at. I constantly preach that every missed round in training is to be viewed as finding its way into an innocent bystander in real life. This mindset should force us to make sound hits in training that will hopefully translate to the real world.

In this particular story the shooters were criminals, but would it make any difference to the little girl or her family if their shooting were justified? The fact that they missed the target; regardless of the purpose for the shooting, caused this tragedy. The fundamental safety rule, “be sure of your target and what is beyond it,” rings true here. I am pretty sure the thugs have never heard our beloved safety rule. Even if they had, they would not adhere to it, but we absolutely must. The only way to tip the scales in favor of right performance is through proper planning, so train smart and hard.

George Wehby

About George Wehby

Wehby's personal defense experience includes US Marine Corps Infantry, White House NCO, Presidential Marine Sentry, decorated street police officer in Prince Georges County, MD, US Department of Homeland Security, Federal Air Marshall and professional firearms trainer for Triple Canopy specializing in handguns and concealment. His experience also includes more than 25 years in Martial Arts and is currently a Mixed Martial Arts Instructor. He is a Black Belt Instructor of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (under Tony Passos), Black Belt in Nisei Kito Ryu Jiu-jitsu (under Sergio Decasien) and also a Black Belt in Goju Karate (under Bob Roach).

  • Bill

    I hope if I'am ever confronted with a SD shooting that's not in my home. I live in a castle doctrine state so not much thinking involved, you break into my

    home and I catch you, your dead. Out of my home things get very complicated in a hurry ! before you engage a BG you better be sure you

    are up to speed on the laws of your state covering the use of deadly

    force, and don't miss !! I couldn't live with knowledge that my attempt to

    save a life resulted in the shooting of a innocent bystander. The use

    of deadly force is the most complicated & risky event you will ever

    become involved in, you better know what you are getting into or you

    could end up in jail or dead.

  • Tory II

    Police are always using pig collaborators to help them harass and keep their personal enemies from using shooting ranges.

    • SB

      This makes no sense at all.

  • Me

    This is extremely sad and we can learn many things from this.

    Out of this we can also teach the scum a lesson. "If you murder you will also die". If you commit a crime with a gun you will do life. If theses pieces of crap for whatever reason are allowed to live through this the next sad story will be the fault of the system that allowed the to keep their lives.

  • ET

    What a sad analogy. I find it difficult to even think about why the focus of this commentary is about hitting your target and not considering that a very young child was murdered by a couple of thugs. The inference is clear…had they been better trained thugs this probably wouldn't have happened. Senseless.

    And Tory II……go troll elsewhere and take your drivel with you.

    • Dean

      ET you are missing the point. The bad guys don't care. We on the other hand should care. Don't shoot what you can't hit.

      And you are right; Tory II is a jerk.

  • Dave Smith

    Why is there not a law that we all would be for and jail any one commiting a crime using a fire arm. I would go along with a 10 year prison stay for that.

    • Steven Hopkins

      Because Politicians find it more fun to permanently disarm as many people as they can. If we did it like our Founding Fathers did, once someone has paid their debt to society, they were once more eligible to vote, carry a gun and rejoin the rest of us by going straight. But it gets more mileage if we create a "FEARED SECOND CLASS OF CITIZENS CALLED PRIOR FELONS". If they can make us fear a portion of society, they can more readily control us. As far as I am concerned, if they are too dangerous to be returned to society as full Citizens with all Rights and Responsibilities, they should have been hanged from the neck until dead.

  • chuck

    Dave, many states already have mandatory 10 year (minimum) prison sentences for the use of a gun while commiting a felony. The problem is with the court judges. They almost always run the sentences conCURRANTLY instead of the way it should be – conSECUTIVELY. By running the 10 yr felony concurrently with the 10 yr gun sentence, the perp serves the same amount of time whether he used a weapon or didn't. That defeats the intent of the law.

    • Frank

      Here in Texas the law is written that all sentences from a given trail must run concurrently. Sentences from multiple trials run consecutively. I think they need to change the law.

  • Frank

    RIP little one. Soar with your new angel wings. I hope they catch the scumbags and fry them.

  • Patrick A Kelley

    This is a very sad story. I've carried a hand gun since I was 17, I'm 68 now, I still carry a hand gun. I've hunted since I was 16 years old. I am proficient with hand guns and long guns. I have killed 2 deer, and 4 moose, since I was 16. I have passed up about 30 Kill shots on Elk and Deer, because they were not good shots, or there were people in the woods, like mushroom hunters that did not wear the required high visibility clothing that WA State requires during hunting season. I've hunted elk with a muzzle loader since i quite hunting moose. Since I have become a disabled veteran on dialysis I don't hunt any more, however, I still carry a sidearm and am aware that there are still criminals that carry them illegally and in restricted fire arm areas, and do in this case cause harm to innocent victims.

  • DRZ

    At some point we have to get rid of the notion that just because the person that comitted a crime is a juvenile the crime is less serious than if they were an adult. Too many times gang members use young teens and juveniles to carry out criminal acts telling them that since they are juveniles nothing will happen to them. Unfortunately, they are right. Unless the juvenile has an extensive record and the D.A. requests youthfull offender status, all they will get is three or four months and some hand holding because they are viewed as misunderstood. Do the crime should mean do the time regardless of their age.

  • Chief

    A baby is dead, by teenage thugs shooting an illegal (for them) handgun in Chicago!

  • John

    Horribly sad that the actions of two punks took the life of an innocent girl. How could this happen in Chicago? Hasn't Mayor Daley had a handgun ban in effect within city limits? We all know how criminals have respected such bans. It's a shame Da Mayor isn't focused on helping his police force get unrregistered guns off the streets and out of the hands of minors and criminals. Rest in peace, little one.

  • Dave

    Firearms are tools It is ashame they often end up in the hands of criminals. Criminals do not care what laws you pass. They have set themselves apart from you and I. By living outside the rules society has set forth, they have gained an edge.

  • LEIGH RATCLIFFE

    I'd hang them.

    Pour encourager les autres.

  • BroncoBob

    It breaks my heart to know that,that baby won't go up to know and enjoy life.but wait A minute, we might be missing the mark here,I think that we have to look at the mind set of these

    kids, half of these kids who belive that conflict resolution is solved with A gun havent even reached puberty yet. so I believe that these kids should have there asses beat until it glows like A beacon in the night.Maby knowing that it might happen will cause them to think differtenly.

    • Ted

      Bob, I agree. I think caning, like the folks did in Hong Kong, should be the order of the day for juvie offenders. On their bare asses, on the county courthouse steps, at high noon!! EmbarASS the punks and the rest won't be so eager to break the law!!

  • Russ SR

    Very tragic! Just what we responsible gun owners need, more ammo for anti-gun activists, and another reminder that no matter what the law is, if a scumbag wants a gun, a scumbag gets a gun, most likely illegally, unlike the majority of us! My prayers go out to the parents of the innocent child! People on death row should only get ONE appeal and if it's not granted they should get DEAD!

  • Karl

    What a bunch of idiots. If only they had read this article the guy on the bike would be dead instead and it wouldn't have been a tragedy.

    Jesus Christ you're ignorant. The violence is the tragedy retards. The problem wasn't incorrect sight alignment, breath control, or failure to abide by any shooting rules. There's an actual problem that's much deeper than the surface. Maybe if you said "if only a law abiding citizen had been armed and could have shot back." OR "whoever was watching the child could have grabbed the child and taken shelter or gotten on the ground and this could have been avoided." But no you chose to say the moral of the story is "The fundamental safety rule, “be sure of your target and what is beyond it,” rings true here." Maybe if you chose a different anecdote your statement would "ring true," but it doesn't. It does not correlate with street or gang violence.

    • Corey

      I believe that the point of this article was not to say that the idiot thugs who shot and killed that innocent child should have practiced more with their weapons before committing a senseless act of violence, rather that we as responsible gun owners should use this incident to remind ourselves that even in justified self defense shootings innocent lives could be put in danger and that we need to take every precaution possible to avoid hitting an innocent bystander. We cannot expect this degree of responsible behavior from violent thug criminals but we must demand it of ourselves.

  • Bill B

    Bronco Bob is partially correct but I'm not sure this would be a deterant.. Every since time memorial there have been many forms of capital punishment that never did deter crime. In England in the past even children were hanged for picking pockets. The only solution is to lock them up and keep them locked up! Our courts are the problem, case closed. But before that we should have some good home raising of kids where strong moral responsibilities and values are taught,

  • Timothy the All Know

    This could not have really happened because Chicgo (and its little sister called Illinois) have strict gun laws and are now the only state without a conceal carry permit option. Wait, I just realized the criminals don't care about laws. So, the Chicago gun mind set only affects the second amendment rights of honest citizens. Shame on Chicago, its mindless leaders, and the rest of Illinois for putting up with it.

  • Quick Draw

    Not much you can do, bad guys don’t advertise what their going to do!
    Our laws are such that the bad guys will always win in the end. We need to change directions from reverse to forward! No more feeling sorry for the bad guys, no more thinking of their rights! They don’t have any rights…get it…they have to darn many rights as it is! We need to take these rights away from them. Jail time should be jail time not vacation time!

  • http://BUSHMASTER69 BUSHMASTER69

    THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T VOTE FOR LIBERALS ! THEY APPOINT JUDGES WHO WANT TO { AND DID IN CHICAGO} BAN GUNS, WHILE BEING SIMPATHETIC TO CRIMINALS.

  • mike

    Typical failure of the system. Some gunman shud open fire n get rid of the pc nanny lawmakers.

  • Karl

    Don't live in Chicago!

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