Studying IOF revolvers lately, I came upon this thread and found myself sharply disagreeing with most of what is posted here. The exception is, of course, goodboy_mentor's comments about the legality of self-defense.
However, my comments address the reason and rationale of self-defense.
If the goal of using a wapon is to incapacitate an attacker, one must first accept the idea that this must take place in the quickest possible timeframe. If a length of time is available to consider what to do or to take precise aim at a small target, such as a knee or a naval, then someone might well ask why other reactions could not be implemented, instead of a resort to the use of a weapon.
Even experts in self-defense with a firearm teach aiming at the largest target possible. When under immediate duress, in fear for one's life, and even with practice (as opposed to someone with very little practice, which makes this point even more critical), aiming at the largest target available makes the most sense and is the time-proven method of achieving the goal of the exercise: to defend one's self.
It is a convenient thing, that the largest target is also the most likely to incapacitate an attacker in time-critical circumstances where a reflexive response is called for: the heart-lung area of the torso. As was pointed out in this thread, being gut-shot or, even more so, hit in the leg (a relatively small target to hit!) is not so likely to incapacitate an attacker immediately, especially when the distance between the victim and attacker is small. It makes sense to shoot at the target that's easiest to hit and the one which is most likely to incapacitate in the shortest possible time, which, for our purposes, is handily the same: the heart-lung area.
It is true that a head shot offers the possibility of the quickest incapacitation of an attacker. But, the head shot is a small target, often in motion more than the torso, and it is "armor plated" regarding its vital area. (Note here, that an incapacitating shot to the entire head may not be incapacitating -- only a hit in the upper half, which is the most heavily protected area, has the possibility of being incapacitating.) Furthermore, we are talking about the use of 32 Auto, 32 S&W Long, or 22 LR here -- all three are very limited rounds in power, and especially so with the 22 LR. These rounds are much less likely to penetrate the "armor" of the skull than, say, 9mm or 357 Magnum are.
I offer up questions here:
1. Where is a hunter, even when having the luxury of time and surprise, most likely to aim when seeking to take game, especially large game, and even more especially dangerous large game? Answer: the heart-lung shot.
2. Have you really tried to assess your capabilities with a firearm honestly? As Humphrey Bogart once said, there are so many people who think that "a gat in the hand means the world by the tail." Have you tried this? Have you actually tried to place hits in a target under a minimal time constraint? (Not to mention, when under the duress of a life-threatening attack.) If you have not even tried this, much less practiced at it, YOU ARE ONLY FOOLING YOURSELF! I pray that the ultimate joke isn't on you. If you haven't even tried this; if your judgment of your skills is derived from reading a book or from your own imagination, you are on very dangerous ground when picking up a weapon and deciding to shoot, but only incapacitate or scare someone off.
Here, I'm not talking about if you do one thing you will fail, and if you do another, you will succeed. Few things in life are so simple! What I'm saying is that, in the random number of ways each random number of sequences can play out, your best probability of success is to aim for the heart-lung area with the purpose of the ultimate form of incapacitation.
Your probabilities in this kind of situation are increased if you are aware of your surroundings, rather than being taken by surprise. They are increased if you practice, if you practice a lot, and if you practice realistically. They are increased if you use a more capable weapon. I recognize that, in India, many of these things are beyond, and far beyond the majority of folks, which is a shame. But it's no reason to ignore all the ways in which you can increase the probability of successfully defending yourself.
Of all people, the easiest one to lie to, to convince of some crack-pot notion, is ourself. This is a danger we must guard against in so many areas of our lives. We need to recognize our strong points, advantages, weak points, and lack of ability (for any number of reasons) as clearly as we can, and this is nowhere more critical than when we pick up a firearm to defend ourselves. Unlike words, bullets cannot be retracted or apologized for. Once they leave the barrel, all control of them is totally out of our hands.
I'm not trying to engage in fruitless and non-productive internet argument here, which I despise for its negativity. I only wish to advise all of us, and myself firstly, to be knowledgable and prepared, when deciding to take up a firearm for self defense.
“The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” - Maya Angelou