What Mood Will Your Attacker Be In?

What Mood Will Your Attacker Be In?
What Mood Will Your Attacker Be In?
What Mood Will Your Attacker Be In?
What Mood Will Your Attacker Be In?

“Just do what they say and you are less likely to be hurt.” For many years this advice was given to airline pilots, bank tellers and citizens. A few highjackings later, pilots are no longer trained in the same way. Bank tellers are. What is the difference? Moods.

In any violent situation, psychological analysis of the attacker is obviously difficult to do at a leisure pace. When time allows however, the attacker’s mood must be considered. Mood is admittedly a light-hearted word to use, but I like it. What is the mood or mental status of the attacker? I believe moods to be important because I am often asked if a .22 LR pistol is appropriate for self defense. I used to always answer, “No.” Not anymore.

Consider an intoxicated bully that is threatening to “cut you wide open.” Consider a sober religious fanatic that plans to “cut you wide open” as his final act on earth. Consider the man defending his family with a knife. Consider the man robbing a jogger in an alley near a busy street at knifepoint. Do these four people share similar “moods?”

I suggest that they do not. The jogger-robber is an opportunistic guy, and his mood is simply to take some money to buy something. Imagine from his perspective this man’s mood. He would like a hot dog and perhaps some meth for desert, his left arm itches from a mosquito bite and he hopes to have sex with his old lady later that night. She also likes meth and he knows that it would be prudent to bring home the goodies. He is on probation and knows that if he gets busted for anything; he will go back to jail. He does not want this.

Now, let’s imagine this same man’s mood after taking a .22 LR round through the fleshy part of his left arm and another through his right foot. What is his mood NOW? What is foremost on his mind? Yep, his first though is likely “Shucks!” The next thing on his mind is that his left arm hurts and is bleeding. His quiet attack is now a loud situation that is likely to bring people to the alley. His intended victim is now running away toward the busy street.

This attacker’s new mood is very different. He is no longer in the mood to take $50 dollars from a helpless victim. His mood has likely shifted to stopping the bleeding and escaping before security or police arrive. The jogger with the 22 is safe and can now either toss her piece in the river and continue enjoying her jog or may spend the next few hours filling out bureaucratic paperwork, depending on her mood.

I suggest that in this scenario, a .22 was an effective tool, but only because the attacker’s mood was quite changeable. Would the religious attacker have been stopped by these same two poorly placed shots? It is likely that his mood would not have changed very much and that he would continue his attack. If you are defending your family against an attack and you are hit with a .25 round (for the sake of this argument let’s say that you actually feel it), will you still be in the mood to defend your family? Of course you will! What about the drunken bully? “A 9mm won’t save you?” Really?

As violence-predicting expert Gavin DeBecker suggests, neither he nor I can describe to you all moods that all people might experience. We do not need to. As long as you take the time to consider this issue, play our other scenarios and your own in your mind and carry the biggest stick you are comfortable with, your subconscious will now calculate moods for you.

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Shepard Humphries is a former Police Officer, having served in Investigations, Patrol and SWAT as a sniper team leader. Shepard resides in Jackson Hole Wyoming where he operates several small businesses including an executive protection firm and two firearms related businesses, the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience and Counter Violence Institute. Known as "The Millionaire's Shooting Coach," Shepard provides shooting instruction, consultation and public speaking services in Jackson and where clients beckon. You can view his training site and contact Shepard at Shoot In JH.
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Great article.  This relates to any weapon for self-defense: a pocket knife or broadsword.  The problem is when lawyers representing the criminals muddy-up the waters by telling you that you used too much force…it was over-kill.  


Please, show me where a civilian was negatively affected by using deadly force, but that specific deadly force was held to be “too much” or excessive because of the caliber used or where he shot Mr. Bad Guy.

This is a dopey article.


I hope you day improves.


It is a good article for those considering the pistol caliber when purchasing a new firearm.  


Many civil and criminal cases include attacks based on “hair triggers” or “hand made loads to kill” etc.  I don’t lower my caliber because of this, but I certainly don’t use hand-loads.  Illinoiseshowershoe has studied the legal ramifications of self defense I think. 

I think it is groovy that you also found my article to be so dope!  lol  🙂


i agree!!!!


But large enough caliber to stop the attack. A Glock 27, 40 cal fits the bill.


Interesting spin on personal protection. I have never considered the “mood” of someone looking to commit a crime against me or my family. I think many people find themselves in desperate times and resort to desperate measures. I try to be aware of my surroundings and the people I am in proximity to when out in public. When I see someone who I consider suspicious, I alter course and avoid them. If their mood is weighed at that moment, a more concise defensive approach might be achieved.
People who are desperate don’t have clear heads. They are rash and make hasty decisions and rarely have any sense of tactics. People who are “medicated” are often worse because they aren’t mentally or physically capable of rational thought or movement which makes them easier to pick out and read. 
What I do know is, regardless of their mood, my response will be escalated above and beyond theirs. 


‘…Now, let’s imagine this same man’s mood after taking a .22 LR round through the fleshy part of his left arm and another through his right foot”

Huh? What happened to only shooting center mass? Do you really think you’re going to be able to specifically shoot a moving hand, or a foot?

I say no…aim for center mass with a firearm of the largest caliber that you can handle safely and efficiently.

I maintain that anything less than 9mm or .38 is totally insufficient for personal self-defense. If taking the author’s concern over “mood” into consideration, I think that shooting someone in a “bad mood” with a .22 is just going to piss him off even more than he was before.

In my opinion, following this author’s advice may get you seriously hurt or killed.


The writer was not recommending using a .22, merely spelling out a scenario where it would be sufficient, even when used with a severe lack of skill and in desparation. Though not clearly spelt out, he later implies that in other situations even something a whole lot larger mightn’t perform adequately in time. The mood, or level of determination, as well as physical state, have much to do with the final outcome in an attack. 


The write clearly states that he believes a .22 is “appropriate” for self-defense.

“…I believe moods to be important because I am often asked if a .22 LR pistol is appropriate for self defense. I used to always answer, ‘No’” Not anymore…”

When it comes to this subject, writers shouldn’t “imply” anything…spell it out.


I think you missed the part where the author said those were miss placed shots, and in that situation, a .22 was an effective tool for that specific bad guys mood. The bad guy just wanted some quick cash with as little attention as possible. So the arm and foot shot was more than the bad guy’s mood would take. Obviously someone with a more insidious mood would not stop with just a .22 shot in the arm. He’d keep going and then ud hope ur next shots were more on target


The author said, “…Would the religious attacker have been stopped by these same two poorly placed shots?”

Does “poorly placed” mean that the shooter made a bad decision? Or, does it mean that the shooter was firing indiscriminately and the shots just happened to impact an arm and foot?

In either case, the shooter is a really bad predicament because he chose an ineffective sub-caliber firearm and did not shoot center mass.


 @ shooter2009.I can see from reading your posts, that you took a very long swim in the pool of Ignorance.Your avatar and the cool name says it all.
A .22 LR,2″ blade,or a car key, can be an appropriate weapon if its in the hands of a well trained person. A Glock 21 in the hands of the averaged cc permit holder who have not had any advance training, wont mean sh!t when mr BG creep up on you.

 study done in by the University of Pennsylvania showed that, inPhiladelphia,:In 1985, of 91 homicides44% .38 caliber revolver 19% .25 caliber pistol 14% .22 caliber revolver 14% .32 caliber revolver 3% 9 mm pistol 2% .357 caliber revolver In 1990, of 204 homicides 23% 9 mm pistol 18% .38 caliber revolver 16% .357 caliber revolver 16% .22 caliber revolver 10% .32 caliber revolver
So shooter2009, try telling all those people who got shot with a small caliber weapon, that they are faking death.


You missed the articles point.


Which was….?

Shepard Humphries

(shooter2009), use the biggest gun that you can comfortably shoot well with, and if you don’t have a gun, a sharp stick beats a Q-tip… Whatever you don’t do, please don’t give a new shooter a plastic sub compact or a 1/2 ounce revolver in .357 …

Shepard Humphries

I think we all agree for the most part.  While it would be dandy if citizens defending themselves always placed 8 .45 ACP hits in a competition A zone, most shootings away from comfortable ranges in darkness with physiological stuff tossed in do not yield solid hits.  I used the arm and foot as “bad case scenario” examples.

I certainly don’t suggest that a person comfortable with their big gat trade it in for a .22LR single action revolver, but if the CZ Kadet is the only gun a person shoots well, and is the only gun they are comfortable carrying, it can protect them from “some” threats better than a cell phone would.   

I like the old advice of carrying the biggest gun one is comfortable with.


This article is a little dumb.  It ignores the basic premise taught in all armed self-defense classes…if you shoot, shoot center of mass and keep shooting until the threat is stopped….and not one bullet more……

Also, a hit with a .22 always beats a miss with a .45…..so, if you only have a .22 because that is what you have or what you are comfortable carrying, then, by all means, carry it. 


“…poorly placed…”

The jogger scenario was a scenario.  It is much more true to real life than our best case scenarios.  Perhaps the attacker will stand still enough for this person to empty their gun into center mass utilizing NRA recommended breathing techniques, but it is more likely that we will miss our perfect placement … I was just setting up a scenario based on likelihood of occurance… I completely agree with you about the basic premis… I teach it as well!  🙂


All well and good.  Now how do we determine, in advance of leaving the house, what mood a potential attacker will be in when we meet him or her?


I get the mood thing. Just like to say that a well placed shot with a 22LR is as devistating to an attacker as any other cal. Keep training. 


It was poor target (victim) selection on the behalf of the jogger-robber to mug a former SWAT officer. I take it in the scenario, the jogger-robber was stopped by the two wounds he received or the defender would have continued firing. I agree carry the biggest stick you are comfortable using and carrying. If the scenario is more for a layperson, I can envision an adrenaline rush hindering weapon deployment and  aim. On the mood of the jogger-robber, he shifted from attack to defense as soon as he realized you were non compliant and armed. I doubt if he is looking at the size of the firearm or even assessing his injuries. When he first heard the pop-pop and saw muzzle flash, his mind started working towards executing an egress plan.

Yes a determined assailant might complete his initial robbery; a drugged assailant might not feel the stimulus of noise, flash, and sting of lead. As a defender, wager your life, not, continue firing until the thread is stopped as you seek shelter and carry the most effective weapon you are able to consistently.

Gordon Shumway

#1 Please come to reality. When you twitch your hand to reach for your weapon the perp must be dead already in your mind. This is NOT a game. This is reality. This is NOT a movie. Act decisively and swiftly without remorse.
#2 Any gun is better than no gun. Having been in a situation that I would have given “all the tea in china” for even a 22 LR revolver and a 10 rounds, a true life or death situation, I hope that no one else experiences that.


In respect to shooter2009 there was a case a few years ago where the victum was sentanced to jail time for excessive force using a 10mm handgun. This was done even though the assailent had a criminal record. I think the mane was Fish or Fishe.


@shooter2009:disqus  shooter2009.Dear mr.shooter2009,i have seen mr.Shepard Humphries’s qualifications and experince, and i do believe that makes him an authority on the subject matter.

What are you qualifications may i ask? (the cool avatar and name dont count)


I honestly could care less what type of “mood” an attacker is in. If someone is placing me in danger of death or serious bodily injury I will NOT be considering their “mood”. They obviously are not considerate of my mood, so why should I care about theirs.