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Shoot/no shoot

1009 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Powderman
After some practice and though on the matter it seems to me that the longest part of your reaction to an attack or possible impending attack is the mental recognition of what is taking place. I can practice rapid presentation and firing from concealment as much as i want BUT how do you become more proficient in making shoot/no shoot decisions, and how intrusive do you allow certain "just to be safe" type techniques to be in your day to day activities (ie crossing the street if a group of shady looking characters is walking up the road towards you, not getting on an elevator with people, etc) that allow you more time to make these decisions should the need arise?
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These are the basic questions that must be answered:

1. Am I (or someone close by) in danger of being killed RIGHT NOW?

2. Am I (or someone close by) in danger of being seriously hurt by violent means?

3. Is there a SERIOUS disparity of force? Example: You are 5'7", 110-120, and your attacker is about 6'3", very muscular?

4. MOST IMPORTANT: Has my attacker posed an IMMEDIATE THREAT, as in 1 and 2 above, and:


What can be said as a general guideline, in the eyes of the law, is this: The right to self defense begins when the threat begins, and ends when the threat ends. If someone has pressed forward an attack, then as soon as the attack stops, the right to self defense usually stops, too.

Example: A person snarls at you from a short distance away, "I'm going to KILL you!". Their hands are empty. Immediate threat? Probably not, especially if you can escape the area.

Same as above, with an impact or edged weapon of any type, over 21 feet away? Yes, the threat is there--but NOT immediate. If you can protect yourself by leaving the area, closing a door, driving off, etc., do so. Keep your eyes on the threat as you exit the area.

Impact or edged weapon at or within 21 feet? LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. Now you are within the envelope of deadly threat, if you can articulate that the person you shot was in a position to carry out their threat.

I'm sure you can figure out what to do if a firearm is visible, and that person has just voiced a threat to your life. If you don't have your gun in hand at that time, you're way behind the power curve.

Learn what the laws are in your State concerning the use of force. Talk to an attorney, or the State Attorney General's office. Research cases of self-defense, and see the outcomes.

And, as another poster has stated, go through the scenarios in your mind, and at the range.

Finally, remember not to put yourself in a position where you can be threatened. Just because you have a CCW or CWP does NOT mean that you can stand outside a biker bar, loudly cursing Harley-Davidson. Nor does it mean that you can withdraw money from an ATM at 2 AM, and walk around the local crack house singing "I've Got Money".

The best defense is not to let yourself get into a position where a shooting is necessary. But, if you DO get into that position through no fault of your own--well, read the signature:

"Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size;

When trouble rises, call on me and I will equalize."
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