1. Relative size: the brain, the only part of the head you'd want to shoot, is a relatively small organ, and if you miss it you do no damage at all.
While you are right that the head is a small
target, the brain is pretty large relative to both other organs and the head.
Which doesn't make it a good target, but if you hit the head you can expect to hit the brain, too.
2. Importance: the majority of the brain is redundancy and wasted space. This is what you're likely to hit.
Actually - no.
The whole brain is used - there are no useless parts. Redundancy is created by other parts slowly (months or years) taking over the destroyed functions, not by having redundant parts. And even that won't work if you are dead!
3. Protection: the brain is protected by the skull, a thick, hard bone rounded on all sides. Even rifle rounds tend to ricochet off it they hit at a bad angle, and smaller rounds, such as birdshot and some pistol rounds, will not penetrate it at all regardless of angle.
Well - yes, but if you hit the skull with reasonable force, you have a good chance of creating a rupture inside the brain.
And bleeding inside your brain tends to be bad (this also ties into point two).
4. Damage: headshots do little real damage. What they do is reduce or disable bodily functions and reduce the amount of damage neccesary to induce shock. (Usually by enough to send the target into shock immediately, but not enough that they can't recover with proper medical attention.)
Well - again, bleeding.
Bleeding inside your brain is pretty damn deadly, since the pressure tends to destroy large parts of your brain. You will also be unconscious within minutes at most.
That assumes that you do not hit something vital, which will just kill you instantly.
5. Other targets: every organ in the chest is a better target than the brain, as are most major blood vessels. The lungs are huge, easy targets that do more actual damage than a headshot, and not by a little; The liver presents a smaller target, but still does more damage through sheer blood loss; The heart is pretty much an instant kill, as any human shot with anything bigger than a .32 will be dead before a doctor can get to them; and the aorta, a fairly large target, will cause death by exsanguination in less than a minute.
By pure size, the brain is not actually a bad target. It's just that you have a much higher chance of hitting something
vital by aiming for the torso, which is a much bigger target.
6. Headshots are inhumane: due to the way they induce shock but do little damage, headshots are a slow, cruel way to kill somebody. When you shoot somebody in the head, they might hit the floor twitching, but since you didn't do any real damage you're relying on the shock itself or a loss of bodily function to kill them, both of which are extremely slow. To make it quite plain: they will be paralyzed, and hopefully unconscious, but at best they will not die for hours, possibly days or even weeks if they get medical attention. (They could be kept alive indefinitely, but sooner or later somebody is going to pull the plug.) Compare this to a shot through the heart, which kills them flat out in less than a minute with anything bigger than a .32, and is an easier target than the few portions of the brain that would actually prove lethal.
This holds true for a hit in nearly every other organ.
I agree that a headshot can be much nastier - but killing people in general is quite inhumane.
Avianmosquito really understates the importance of the brains. For all his reading on terminal ballistics, he should also do some research on human anatomies.
This is obviously true - he has no idea how important brains are.
To start with, I should bring in my credentials to assure you I'm not just some pissed-off 13 year old nerd spewing pure rage for no good reason with no knowledge to support it.
I am 25. (Although I still haven't gone to college and won't until some time next year due to financial issues.) I have been (casually) researching terminal ballistics for nearly 13 years now. That's nothing official, and the research was casual, but since I've been at it for 13 years, I'd say I likely know more about terminal ballistics than the overwhelming majority of the people here. I've spent so much time researching this that I've actually created a working system for (very roughly) calculating damage and the amount of such neccesary for lethality.
Hey, those are not credentials.
My little sister literary has MORE EDUCATION than you - and she is 16!
And your "casual research" is so bad that i could obliterate it with less than 15 minutes of googling and Wiki-bloody-Pedia!#
Honestly - get some damn perspective! Passing highschool is nothing. Everyone does that. Going to college is no credential - much less planning to do so! Passing
college (or at least staying there for several years) is one.
The stupidity of this statement boggles the mind. Please don't trot out the "we only use 10% of our brains" statement, in case that was going to be your comeback, as that has been debunked repeatedly by scientific advances.
Actually, i think it was never scientifically stated.
It's just that we use about
10% of our brain at specific times (downtimes, most likely) and more when we need more.
Just like you will only use on room of your house at once - but you still use the whole thing from time to time, even the broom closet.
Edit: Damn that new, cheap keyboard. It took me waay to long to type this