top of page
  • Rowan

How do I know if I should shoot someone?

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

If you are going to carry a gun in public it is probably a good idea to know your answer to that question.


There are many different ways to answer; there are both legal and moral answers, and they might not be the same.


At the end of the day, lethal force is to protect life and limb...and that's it. Not ego, not your feelings, and not your property. Any time you introduce a firearm into a situation you best be prepared to use it because the other person in the equation may not give you an option.


I wanted to write this after a recent shooting in my area in which an older man confronted someone breaking into his car. From the news reports it sounds like the old man drew his gun on the suspect who then retreated to his own vehicle. The man stood in front of the car and was struck by the suspect. The man fired from the hood of the car, killing the suspect.


I don't know how our good Samaritan's legal case will go, but he is extremely lucky he was not crushed between two vehicles and killed. He put himself in front of a 4000lb bullet and was lucky to survive. In the field of law enforcement, the courts have already made it clear that if you put yourself in harm's way by standing in front of a vehicle you have created your own exigency and they are not favorable towards lethal force as a response.





The civilian world is not exactly ruled by the same case law and precedent however it is something to consider. Many people would applaud that man for being vigilant, stopping a criminal, and then defending himself. Overall I think it will probably be deemed a good shoot but that's not my point. My point is he came very close to being killed for the spare change in his car.





When considering if you should utilize deadly force an easy way to think about whether or not it is appropriate is to ask yourself, would I rather allow this scenario to play out, or spend 5 years in prison? I say this because any time you shoot bullets at another human being you are running the risk of being charged with numerous different felonies up to, and including, murder. Maybe you live somewhere with very liberal district attorneys who want to make a name for themselves or a place where a jury will not take kindly to your actions. You need to make sure that the reason you are drawing your gun is sufficient enough that you are willing to risk the potential consequences. Here are some examples to make this clear:


Would you rather someone steal all the spare change and your phone charger out of your car, or would you rather be crushed to death between two vehicles by a petty thief?


Would you rather someone steal your car, or spend 5 years in prison?

vs

Would you rather someone steal your car with your infant daughter inside, or spend 5 years in prison?


Would you rather someone broke into your home and stole your TV, or spend 5 years in prison?

vs

Would you rather someone broke into your home and murdered your family, or spend 5 years in prison?


Would you rather give your wallet to a crazy meth head or spend 5 years in prison?

vs

Would you rather be stabbed in the chest by a crazy meth head and bleed to death, or spend 5 years in prison?


Would you rather someone cut you off, scream obscenities at you and insult your mother, or spend 5 years in prison?

vs

Would you rather someone cut you off, draw a gun and shoot you in the chest, or spend 5 years in prison?


When you look at things like that it seems pretty simple.


I think you get the idea. These are all scenarios that start in much the same way but can have drastically different outcomes. Thinking about what-if scenarios like this should give you a mental bank of the kind of things you are willing to use lethal force over.


Stay safe out there!



35 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page