A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sufficient Calibers

Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor was court martialed this weekend, and came away feeling good about it. Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on mock trial by his peers under the charge of "Failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber" in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, Tennesee, in December.

The entire affair, of course, was very much tongue in cheek. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand. When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.

"That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen," Taylor said after his trial. "The bullet bounced right off." The impact knocked the would be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.

The charges against Taylor were considered to be serious. He is a retired Special Forces Weapons Sergeant with extensive combat experience during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. "Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial," said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. "He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done."

Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired Weapons Sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22 caliber handgun. "If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed," he said. "I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment in his choice of weapons. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man."

Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perp’s forehead. "He was victimized by old ammunition," he said, "just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II."

Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial he said the ammunition was indeed old and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house. "I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead," Taylor said. "It was good for both of us that it didn’t."

Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause. Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: Don’t go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Taylor, My congratulations on excellent shooting.

A junior game keeper back home tried to commit suicide using a .22lr rifle, a few new years days ago (most people would if they'd gone so low as drinking with his "pals").

The guy woke up the next morning with a sore head and a big cut up his forehead. The bullet had run up the bridge of his nose and exited the middle of his forehead.

He then went to call on his poor mother....

Who had lost her elder son about 10 years before (he had a suicide pact with a girlfriend who is still alive, but had already killed another boyfriend in simillar circumstances). Poor lady. she certainly didn't deserve either event.

There are tales from the First world war of one of the Rigby (gunsmithing) family being hit above the ear by a 7.92mm spitzer, which ran under his scalp over the top of his skull and exited above his ear.

After the war, he changed all Rigby sporting ammunition to round nose bullets...

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope he bought some Stinger or other 'Hyper Velocity' 22 rimfire ammo. Good going Smokey!

Randy in Arizona

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awesome story! And what I'd give to it be featured on any one of the MSM outlets.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, wish I was there for the mock trial. Talk about "faulty" ammunition.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it didn't break the skin, but the bullet DID stop the fight.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

insufficient caliber? i know snake eaters that swear by .22LR. AAR note replace your ammo from time to time(preferably by shooting it.)

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he could have really hurt that dude.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

use 10mm, even old ammo works

6:12 PM  
Blogger thorn said...

Best story I've heard all week...

thanks for sharing it. :)

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read that Audie Murphy eventually settled on the M1 Carbine because he could reliably get off-hand head shots with it, and given that quality of shot placement its other virtues made it the best weapon for him.

It sure looks like Mr. Taylor knew what he was capable of under stress, and I wouldn't want to second guess him especially since he achieved entirely acceptable results. Especially since no matter where you live in the USA, there's always a chance that a DA wanting to add to his political record will try to crucify you, and that can get really expensive (I was told $100K for Virginia).

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harold - I think you are right about Audie Murphy. As I remember he was less than 5'6" and 110 lbs. so a carbine fit him better.

I highly recommend his autobiography, To Hell And Back. He showed much humor and insight along with the stark reality of combat. He writing was very thoughtful and moving.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is, Why would anyone use a .22?

In my opinion, Taylor was worried about waking the neighbors. He probably lives in one of those noise ordinance neighborhoods and saved himself a $250 fine.

If it were me I would have used a 9mm Hydra Shock and a large pillow!

Let me know if you can thing of a better way...

2:07 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

Suddenly I'm not scared of getting old.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that a .22 magnum would have penetrated the burglars head.
However, if I shoot anyone in a home invasion robbery/burglary in my home, it would be with a .45 ACP or a .40 S&W bullet. With a head shot, a 9mm would have done the job. Good job protecting yourself Smokey.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is truly "Smoky" and not a steel bullets a sign of genuine SF Green Beret (no dead ENEMIES, only CONQUERED/CAPTURED enemies).

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you Mr. Taylor!

Thank you for going into harm's way to protect the freedoms I enjoy.

I'm grateful for your marksmanship, and that you're still among us!

While I would have preferred that the oxygen-wasting moron you nailed would now be at room temperature, I'm glad you were able to stop the attack with a very well-placed shot.

Perhaps the perp will think about that when someone asks him about that scar between his eyes.

Colorado Springs

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! Good job SGM! While there is discussion about the caliber, and cost to the taxpayers; you stopped the OPFOR.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former USMC and police officer I do not agree. .22 is to small. And .38 auto or special will not do the job either. 9mm with 15 round is ok...15 rounds. However .45acp or long colt is the winner. With muzzel vol of 850 to 1000 fps (depending on type of round used) it does not travel through several walls etc. Remember why the .45acp M1911a1 was developed and adapted by U.S. military. .357mag will also work. Yes this is alot faster round. Learn how to use it, and hit your target. Combat ranges are GREAT. I have taken trophys with my Colt "Python 6" using speed loaders. Know your weapon and your limits.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Klyick said...

MavericJohn has probably never been in the USMC or a police officer, given his distinct lack of knowledge about firearms.

Keep this in mind. Almost EVERY round goes through 6+ walls, excepting the .22 round.

I hope to God he is just a troll, because I sure as hell don't want someone ignorant of the most basic concepts of how guns work defending me or my family.

To Taylor. You rock.

9:01 AM  

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