Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Phoenix, Az
Re: When to use your weapon...
User, my sincere thanks for a superb (IMHO) lesson for us all. I do not disagree but do have some possible different views based upon your legal premise.
Hogger, I have had one experience many years ago that I was able to survive. It changed me in ways, forever and it caused me to take an entirely new look at "self defense" what the law says and what it means to me, or "how do I apply the law to me and my loved ones".
As a result and in furthering my education in order to better prepare myself and to pass this information to my students, I have visited with nearly 60 people who have had to use their guns and survived. (not brandishing) actually shooting and or being shot at as in my own case.
In answer to your question as directly as possible, I do not believe you will have to "think" about your response. When or if it occurs it will happen so fast and everything be so bad, you will automatically do that which is necessary at the time just to survive and if you have a weapon at your disposal you will use it only to the extent that you have trained yourself to do, nothing more or less. Primarily because the brain will be functioning on auto-pilot using only that which it has reference to use.
In nearly every situation during my discussions with others (remember these are common folks just like you and I) who are forced to use any force necessary to stop their threat. In these situations, it is a gun of some type, including shotguns, rifles and pistols, they turned to in their time of need and succeeded.
after interviewing or visiting with these survivors I have some very interesting, no BS, results from their experiences and my follow-up melding of the necessary actions.
One thing that stands out in every situation no matter how heinous the event, what they faced or what had already happened during their attack, the good people NEVER, not one time, did more than was absolutely necessary to stop the threat. In other words, they did not keep shooting beyond that which was necessary to put the bad guy down or to have stopped him from his original intent.
In nearly every case where there was time to think, the good guys hesitated and in some situations it nearly cost their lives and did cause serious, grievous injury. What that means is we need to have made the decision well in advance that we WILL shoot and if necessary and as a result, kill. You will not have the time to decide that when you are being beaten or stabbed or shot, and there is significant proof that providing you have made the decision before hand and are prepared and ready and willing to do whatever is necessary, you will not hesitate or at least you will hesitate for less time increasing your chance of survival. Remember, your attacker is the only one who knows what comes next, to a point.
at least in the beginning of the attack, they are acting, and we are having to react. We must therefore do everything in our power to reduce this reaction time and removing any and all hesitation is paramount to survival.
User, you repeatedly make the comment, "then shoot to kill" and I disagree with you only to this extent. In every course I teach that question "do you shoot to kill" is asked. My answer is and will remain, " if you have no choice but to use your firearm to defend yourself and loved ones, the absolute and unequivocal goal is to stop the threat. If in so doing the attacker dies as a result of your having shot him to stop him, it is a result, not your intent".
I have never harbored an intent to shoot or to kill anyone in my life. I have prepared myself for more years than I can count, to do whatever is necessary to STOP any threat perpetuated against me. I will do everything on my power to keep from having to use force of any kind against anyone. I will even run from you or if necessary beg of you to leave me alone. But if you persist and nothing else will work and you have the ability (a weapon) and have shown intent (threatened me or tried in some manner to harm me) and you are unavoidable, ( you are in my space and I can no longer get away) I will shoot you. I will shoot you until you stop or go away or I am able to egress the area also stopping the threat. If you die as a result, I am sorry, but you gave me no choice. It was at that time, my life or yours. I am an intelligent, educated person and what I saw as a threat by you convinced me that in an instant if I did nothing to stop you, your next action could or would have killed me or caused me or my loved ones death or grave bodily harm.
But I do and will not shoot to kill, only to stop the threat.
In my opinion campingjosh and thegunclinger have it right. Someone must manifest all three modes in order for you to even pull the gun let alone begin to shoot. And if you are able or justified to pull it you are justified to pull the trigger and should be prepared to do so. If not, do not in any way let the other guy know you are armed.
I have said many times in other posts that we all have an obligation to understand how taking another life will affect us after. Thegunclinger is right on the money. It will change you forever and it is common knowledge that it has changed some to the extent they have lost families, become drug or alcohol abusers, lost their jobs or worse. I have explained to my students that it is necessary to have a good bankruptcy attorney as well as your best criminal defense attorney available to you on call. (I provide a list of the most effective, active and successful criminal defense attorneys in my area. It has their names, and business phones and periodically I contact each of these attorneys to be sure they know I am giving out their names and also to be certain they are still practicing and still approve of my including them on my list to my students). It is also necessary to have wonderful, strong family support, your religion and to know a good psychiatrist as well. I also had a friend that was closer than my own brother and we had been together since boot camp back in the early 60s who proved to be the best and the most important element of my survival at the time. This guy would let me call him any time of day or night and many times he would call me or come by to see me just to have a beer and shoot the bull.
If you have to take a life, you will eventually call upon every one of them to help you to deal with the aftermath of your deeds. Even then and with the very best of everything working in your favor, it is sometimes not enough and some have eaten their own gun barrel as a consequence. Believe it. I am not insinuating that any of you might do so but I am saying it has happened and not just once in a while, it happens to some extent EVERY TIME that good people are forced to take a life. So I am only suggesting that you make a study and read about this phenomena to be better prepared.
There is a reason why our government uses horrible names and other means to dehumanize those we fight wars against. It is so that we can come home and leave the battlefield behind. It is the same reason that police departments have peer groups within their agencies so they can come right to the scene of an officer involved shooting. They have these people to be with the officers immediately and I might add, they also have some of these people to go and be with the officers family members immediately as well.
Hogger and others, Please do yourself a favor, study what happens to us after a shooting just as much as you do on how to prepare to shoot and when to shoot etc.
It will be some of the best and most important time you will ever spend in your quest to understand self defense and to have the whole package available if and when you need it.