Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
What the OP mentions, and I think rightly, is that we cannot blame and cannot not blame the guns; for although they as a tool offer the
quickest and most powerful way to end an altercation, when in the wrong hands they can prove deadly.
If someone was to attack me physically without a weapon, I am strong and confident enough that I would engage in the same manner, even if I had a
firearm on my person. But others, who may be of weaker physical ability, yet not likely to lose their life in a physical fight, may pull their weapon
too early, and end the life of the aggressor even if the aggressor had no intention of killing anyone.
This poses a difficult moral question: should one use lethal force even if it is likely lethal force wouldn't be used against him? When should one
pull his gun and fire?
To have the legal right to use deadly force, what I've been taught in multiple training classes is to remember this this: A. O. J.
Ability, Your attacker has the ability to cause you lethal harm. He's big, mean, and swinging a fencepost.
Opportunity, Your attacker has the opportunity to cause you lethal harm. There's nothing "in the way" preventing the attack.
Jeopardy, You believe and can communicate as to why (to a jury of your peers) that your life is in jeopardy. He was screaming "I'm gonna kill you
sucka", you're not legally required to presume otherwise, whether he was "really" going to or not.
250 lb bad guy rushing you with a bat or knife screaming "I'm going to f-ing KILL you", but there's a 10' chain link fence between the two of
you, "ability and jeopardy" are satisfied, but the fence limits his "opportunity", at least for the moment. Can't pop him. Same situation, but
only a jersey barrier between you which he easily hurdles, you're good to go.
That's the classroom/legal definition, more or less, of when it's allowable.
That said, the wise and experienced person teaching the class, (Chuck Taylor, pretty much wrote the book on modern gun fighting, feel free to look up
his credentials) who has been in many of these situations himself, says you don't have to over-thinkt it TOO much. He likened it to walking in the
woods and coming across a rattlesnake. You may have never even seen a rattlesnake before, much less encountered one face to face, but you KNOW when
you happen across one that it is in fact a rattlesnake.
That was the "legal" when...
Morally is a different story, and as we've read earlier in this thread, even when justified it can scar you and leave you to forever question your
actions and their outcomes.
I sincerely pray to God I'm never put in that kind of position. Gung-Ho, I am not. Prepared for the worst? I like to think so, but do we ever really
know? Not until we're faced with it.
That's why it's important to train.