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Killing another person is a heck of a thing. Easier done than digested afterwards, legally and emotionally. Of course, I'm only expressing my thoughts here, with no real experience in that matter.

I'm carrying my 9mm daily and at night the gun is close to me, together with a 45 revolver in a holster hanging from my bedpost. I'm pretty sure I would use either one if clearly someone would break into my house at night and threatened me and my family. Out in public, I'm not so sure. I would have to be physically attacked and threatened to be killed for me to pull my gun and use it. And here come all the possible consequences, such as no witnesses or false/biased witnesses who tell lies against you, because they sympathize with your attacker, etc.

I was in a situation at a small gas station in a not so good part of town, when a younger man started getting rowdy because I had asked his woman, who was sitting behind the wheel, blocking one of the 2 pumps since she wasn't pumping gas, to please move her car to the side. Her husband started walking toward me, yelling at me.

There were other people there, watching the scene. It was winter and I had a black leather jacket on. I pulled down my zipper and put my hand inside, as if grabbing a gun. Fortunately, his wife, who noticed my move, made him come back to the car and they drove off. Lucky for me. I didn't actually carry a gun then. However, this was a situation with witnesses, who might have been more sympathetic with a guy from their area than with me.

I would love to hear some related comments.
 

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Fl-Wolf: You have summed it up well. Easier to do than digest afterwards. Mind set is every bit as important as the physical ability. It is a decision to be reviewed daily. The aftermath is more difficult to survive than the actual shooting. If at anytime there is a realization that you could not do it - stop carrying a firearm. It is a deeply personal decision that should not be taken lightly. Mentally prepared before equals mentally better afterwards. Hope it helps.
 

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To protect the life of a loved one, you bet.
 

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Sounds like you are hesitant & have some doubts.

Good. That will help insure that you won't "go to guns" unnecessarily.

I must admit, more than a few times I have been disturbed by some of the statements on this forum.

Having reservations about using deadly force means you are a rational person.

This is good.
 

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This is something that you have to decide for yourself.

And you definitely need to have your mind made up about what you will do in a given set of circumstances if you are going about in public armed. You can and should get some good instruction from a good school.

As a side note, from the situation you described. You need to think about how you are going to conduct yourself in public. Proactive thinking is your best defense. Did you really have to ask those people to move their car? Or could you have gone elsewhere for gas. These seemingly innocent things can often times be the flash before the bang when you are dealing with people that are on dope or boozed up. I had an incident myself recently getting gas near me. Some people who I think were all wired out on Meth or something pulled in on the other side of the island from me. Three of them got out of a car that looked like it had already been through the crusher a time or two. And they did not look any better. Between the three of them, they can not figure out how to turn the pump on. Two of them were smoking cigarettes. I was just about to say something to them about the cigarettes as I was already pumping. Then I thought better of it. I stopped fueling my truck about the time they started beating on the pump with the pump nozzle. I got in, pulled around the side of the store, and went in and paid for my gas. I also tipped off the girl behind the counter.

Well I went on my way on other errands through town. Passing back by about twenty minutes later. There were two cop cars in there with two cops interviewing these jokers. Two cops by the way is the whole daytime force for the town. And this is in a town where nothing ever happens. Think about it.
 

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No one KNOWS how they will react. Many think they know. Even highly trained individuals don't know.

Taking a life is to be avoided in all respects. Do everything in your power to de-escalate or remove yourself/family/loved ones from contact or harm.

Living with it will haunt you till your dying days.
 

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First, to answer the questions posed:

- Would I? To protect me and mine, absolutely.

- Should I? ^^^THIS^^^

- Could I? Again, absolutely. I have no qualms, moral or ethical, about responding violently to those who would choose to threaten or harm me and mine.

Whenever such a topic comes up, there's much discussion about the emotional and psychological toll such an event takes... For the most part, its drivel.

Most human beings are perfectly capable of killing their fellow man without long term issues. It happens every day, and very few suffer from long term, catastrophic effects. Humans are capable of almost anything, so long as they can, within their own mind, justify their actions.

I've seen scores of young men-and women- kill for the first time. There is initial shock, which quickly fades. It soon becomes only a memory, the details of which rapidly fade with time. Most tolerate it well, some become accustom to it, a few thrive and excel in a violent environment.

To look at it a different way, there are thousands of justifiable shootings each year. LE is on track to kill -not just shoot- about 1000 people this calendar year. There's probably at least an equal number, if not more, justified shootings by citizens every year (sadly, the UCR doesn't break it down). Given this, its probably fair to say that there's at least 2k people that justifiably use deadly force and kill someone on an annual basis. The vast majority of them get on with their lives and function normally; they don't melt down, kill themselves, or become dysfunctional...

The left likes to tell everyone how the SHOULD feel, counselors and shrinks are the answer to all of life's issues... In reality, people are pretty resilient.

IF you are of the mindset where the questions posed by the OP give you pause, you need to think long and hard before you carry a weapon....
 

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If you have any hesitation then you should not introduce a gun into the situation. If you pull it and don't use it, it might be taken away from you. Then you're counting on the bad guy having the same sense of morality that you have. One of my combatives coaches stresses this time and time again when we do weapons drills. Doesn't matter if it's against a gun, knife or stick it's the same thing. If you're not willing to defend at 100% and accept that your actions might cause the death of the attacker, then submit. I tell my carry permit students, do everything you possibly can to get out of the situation, run, throw your wallet behind them, run away, whatever you can think of that might help. But do NOT go to a secondary location. If you decide to fight back, you must be able to "flip the switch" and go violent, and must fight to win.
Defuse, deescalate, retreat, but it that doesn’t work, unleash your inner berserker and deliver hell on a silver platter
 

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No one can truly say exactly how they react. Fight or flight is a sub conscience response. While you may fight and shoot someone in situation A in situation B you may flee. We train our bodies to react but if you ever get in a fight or flight situation you will just go. One way or another.
 

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The OP touches upon, and several of you as well, a crucial point. Before making the decision to buy, train with, carry, and potentially use a weapon of any stripe for self defense, one absolutely must ask oneself what I consider The Question; if absolutely nothing else works to prevent it, can you actually end the life of another human being, and still sleep at night? As for myself, I answered that question long ago. To protect my loved ones and/or myself from death or likely death, the answer is... absolutely yes.
This is a far more fundamentally difficult question and answer than one might think. Consider this; over a half century ago, a group of people decided that their religious convictions made them say "no", and six million of them went to the gas chambers without a fight; they died secure in their belief that they had done the right thing. Thousands more in the Warsaw ghetto said "yes", and gave the Wehrmacht a hell of a fight before they went down; they too died secure in their belief that they had done the right thing.
I say all of this because too many people do all of the things I mentioned at the top of this post, and never confront The Question until someone is standing in front of them with a weapon poised to kill. That is not the time to begin the internal debate. If your personal choice at the onset is not an unequivocal "yes", then owning a weapon is not for you.
Approximate value, $.02
 

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It's true about not knowing how you will respond to something.

I was with a buddy of mine in a niteclub. He said "that woman is stunning" I looked too & he was right. She was amazingly beautiful.

While we were gawking at her she suddenly stood up & quickly strode right to us. She said to my pal "are you just gonna look, or are you going to ask me to dance?"

He just sat, shocked, & stammered an "Uh, ....I....."

She rolled her eyes & went back to her table.

I'm not sure I would have fared much better. Ya just don't know until it happens!
 

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So far, each time I have been confronted with threatening and dangerous situations, I have stayed calm and done well.

The only situation I didn't handle to my liking was when I screwed up a skydive that resulted in a broken leg. I messed that one up but not because I lost my cool. Had that happened, I wouldn't be typing this, unless Heaven has the internet.

***

A friend from my welding class this summer told the teacher and I how he had the same problem at a gas pump but with a very different outcome. He had a large trailer and his employees with him as he is a home builder. He had asked a large man if the fellow would move over a bit so he could get to the single diesel pump. He said the man was rude, did not answer him, and even after he finished filling up, he (the man) then decides to clean out his car.

I think my friend asked again and the man "went off" and "came running at him." Now my friend is my height (5'9") but built like you wouldn't believe. I called him "muscles" in class after getting to know him a bit. He's a really easy going guy else I wouldn't pick on him so. He chest makes me wonder if a 30.06 could penetrate it and his arms look stronger than bench vises. He said that even though the attacker was much larger than him and that he was armed with his .38, he decided to "hit the man in his chest with all he had."

He said he knocked the guy across the lot and he fell into a parked beer truck and went down. He probably knocked the wind out of the guy as he said he had to rush over and help him to sit up. He said the man didn't make any more threats.

Witnesses had called police who threatened to arrest my friend and tow the truck/trailer but he said he was adamant "arrest me and your department will be paying a hefty legal settlement that your sheriff won't appreciate. Look at the video in the gas station office." He said the officer did look at the video and came out to say, "sorry Mr. ***** you were perfectly within your rights." and then arrested the other guy.

I told the welding teacher...."now if that had be me, not being put together like our friend here, I would have shot that man. A man running towards me would not be good for my pepper spray. I would have had to shoot him, possibly orphaning any kids he had, and that's a mess no body wants to get into." *I need to get back on P90X. LOL
 

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Cliche'd response here... but... You shoot to stop lethal force being used against you, not to kill.

Should ner-do-well die as a result, well, just hope you're not a GZ, one supposes.

But we all saw that ordeal he went thru, is still going thru.

So, to coin a phrase... No good deed goes unpunished.
 

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Absolutely, and not just George Zimmerman but also Darren Wilson, who by all accounts, was the victim of an intended murder. His career is over and he's a marked man. If I ever come into a large amount of money and he is still sane and not driven mad by the mobs now running America, I would hire him at a hefty wage.

Police officers I have spoken with tell me that they have absolutely stopped enforcing minor laws when it comes to black people. The country is in for some very bad times.
 

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As a retired 30 year military member (Coast Guard with training to conduct law enforcement boardings) and a retired federal LEO I would venture a guess that I have a lot more training in the use of force and deadly force and judgmental shooting then most. I say this not to brag but to qualify my comments.

The question is would I, could I, should I shoot someone in a self defense situation. Each self defense situation is unique in my opinion and that's where the years of training comes into play. Questions that almost require an immediate answer and response; am I or someone else in mortal fear for their life and does the assailant have the means, opportunity, ability, and intent to inflict serious injury or death? Our training taught us how to identify all that, almost automatically, and then decide what actions are necessary. As a LEO we were taught to loudly identify ourselves as a LEO; to loudly tell them to drop the weapon (if so equipped); and to once again, loudly tell them the next action you're about to take. We were taught loudly; to let the bad person know I'm aware of the situation and let any potential witnesses know what's going on. By doing this it also gives the bad guy a warning to stop what they're doing.

Can I pull the trigger? If the circumstances dictate the use of deadly force to stop a serious threat then yes I could and would.

This issues - that only the person involved have to deal with is can they articulate the mortal fear and if they have to pull the trigger can they? The answers will vary quite a bit from person to person; lots of variables.
 

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So her husband was walking toward you and yelling? And you were in fear of mortal danger? Was he carrying a weapon? Was he so much larger that he could have used disproportionate force against you. Did he throw anything at you (like popcorn)?

Sounds to me the guy wanted to chew your butt, not kick it, much less kill it. No, I would not have drawn in the circumstances presented, nor would I have likely put my hand on my weapon until there was clearer evidence I was being presented with a lethal threat.
 

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So her husband was walking toward you and yelling? And you were in fear of mortal danger? Was he carrying a weapon? Was he so much larger that he could have used disproportionate force against you. Did he throw anything at you (like popcorn)?

Sounds to me the guy wanted to chew your butt, not kick it, much less kill it. No, I would not have drawn in the circumstances presented, nor would I have likely put my hand on my weapon until there was clearer evidence I was being presented with a lethal threat.

so few sane people left...
 

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So her husband was walking toward you and yelling? And you were in fear of mortal danger? Was he carrying a weapon? Was he so much larger that he could have used disproportionate force against you. Did he throw anything at you (like popcorn)?

Sounds to me the guy wanted to chew your butt, not kick it, much less kill it. No, I would not have drawn in the circumstances presented, nor would I have likely put my hand on my weapon until there was clearer evidence I was being presented with a lethal threat.

Yes I will and yes I can,

the problem with waiting is you may wait to long, the problem with not waiting is you may do something stupid.

I'm a large man and generally just a stern look and a turn will cause most to rethink their position.

I started carrying actually as a self defense action noticed secondarily a "slowdown" effect. My grabbing someone has had to come to a stop.

My wife has commented I seem more likely to walk away than confront someone than ever before.
 

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I think, you have to walk away and yell to him that you do not wish to fight or something in that manner. I recently took a wear and carry class in MD, which is I guess a CCW class in other states, and they showed the 21 feet rule. It takes couple seconds for a BG to charge at you and get to you. Do you have the speed of pulling your gun out and shoot him within the 21 foot radius, and the few seconds he can reach you. If you show no actions of retreating, then you might seemed to be the aggessor. But check your state laws. I think in certain states like VA, even if somebody breaks into your house, through the living room and you shoot him dead, in the living room, you might have some problems. but if you shoot him in the kitchen you are good because you can say you retreated , something like that.

Learn how to push kick and not just use your arms, to defend yourself, because if you do need to draw your weapons you have two free arms. Even if the guy grabs your legs and throws you on the ground or holds your leg, you still have two free arms.

But if you are carrying a weapon and spent your valuable time taking a CCW class , then you better be willing to use it. But use your leg to push him away or kick him in the balls and walk backwards giving you some distance and time to grab your gun, if he keeps on coming.
 
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