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Thread: Have you used deadly force?

  1. #1
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    Have you used deadly force?

    This is not a question often asked, but I think it is a question that other might benefit from as it might benefit those that have been victimized to this extent. Here are my questions:

    1. What led up to the event
    2. What did you experience personally during the event?
    3. More importantlly, what have you experienced in the aftermath of the event
    4. Has you life changed and if so, how?

    Please forgive me if this is a forbidden question, but I think we may all benefit from the differentiation of the fantasy of "What if" with the reality of "How it affected me!

  2. #2
    Regular Member J_dazzle23's Avatar
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    I think this is an awesome question. If there is no risk of legal risk, you might actually get an answer here.

    Im sure there are those here that have used deadly force (many times in the capacity of their job, i.e. military or law enforcement). Sadly, sometimes this forum has become a breeding ground for critisism, and if a subject like that can be approached with respect, hopefully those that can help us all learn a lesson from a firsthand experience can share.

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    LOL IOW a divisive topic question at best. Dividing the wannabe-elites from the legally armed for self-defense citizen.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    1. What led up to the event I believed that the other person was trying to either kill me or inflict great bodily injury RFT (the more scientific and precise time measurement for "imminent")
    2. What did you experience personally during the event? Recoil
    3. More importantlly, what have you experienced in the aftermath of the event The ability to have more birthdays
    4. Has you life changed and if so, how? By having more birthdays I got to be old enough to retire

    Sorry for the snark but it's a faster segue into what I consider the heart of the matter - it's a subject that is difficult to discuss "reasonably" in such broad terms. It is both very personal and very fraught with legal minefields even if the event itself was declared/ruled excusable/justified/necessary.

    I would like to know why the OP posed the series of questions. More importantly, I would like to know if the OP, before deciding to carry a gun, worked through and answered the following question for themself:

    Is there any question whatsoever in your mind that you will (not could, not might) without hesitation draw and pull the trigger on another human being with the intent and effort to kill them? (No qualifiers such as "under the appropriate provocation" or "if threatened by imminent death or great bodily injury" or anything else. Not "do I look forward to doing so?" Just flat out "will you drop the hammer on another human being and continue until they are dead, dead, dead?")

    By the way - the asking and answering of that question is an extremely private matter not open to discussion with anybody, with the possible exception of whatever $diety/#higher power you might want to participate.

    I will share that I have asked and answered that question, and that I have asked others that raise the question "should I get a gun?" to answer it before they answer the question about getting a gun.

    Understand very clearly that I am not in any way suggesting that anybody shoot anybody else for any reason whatsoever. I'm just asking if you have cleared it with your conscience and your emotions and your intellect that when the time comes there will be no hesitation. That still within that split second when you have assessed the situation as a) being a threat of imminent death or great bodily harm and b) that there are no reasonable/viable alternatives you will find nothing to prevent you from doing the act.

    IMHO nobody knows if they are capable of using deadly force until after they have done so. And again IMHO nobody knows that having done so once they will be able to do so again until they do or not again use deadly force.

    Don't get caught up in stuff like how by wearing a gun you hold the power of life and death over others - because you also hold that power every time you get behind the wheel of your automobile - but I'll bet darned few ever think about it in that way.

    My sincere thanks to the OP for allowing me to give my Lecture #1 out of :mumble mumble: about carrying and using guns.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  5. #5
    Regular Member HP995's Avatar
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    As they pointed out, big legal issues for answering specific questions.

    But that's not to say that the general issue hasn't been covered anywhere.

    Many publications do feature self-defense stories. Here's one maintained by the NRA:

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/the-armed-citizen/

    There are other publications. As well as local news reports. (They rarely if ever "make" the national news due to news organization agenda.)

    Some of the details in published stories may address those specific questions.

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    I don’t think there is any legal consequences for stating how it affected you. The first question if answered nebulously is only to set context. Details are not important.
    Last edited by wisardd1; 04-23-2015 at 11:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisardd1 View Post
    I donít think there is any legal consequences for stating how it affected you. The first question if answered nebulously is only to set context. Details are not important.
    "...anything you say may be used against you in a court of law."

    I forget, is it Ohio v Reiner or Ullman v US where SCOTUS said in so many words that even the truthful answers of an innocent witness can be used against him?

    In Miranda v Arizona it was a six-justice majority if I recall. Man, if I've got six of the most influential lawyers in the country telling me to keep my mouth shut, I'm gonna take their word for it.

    We've already got a number of reports from the media, cops, and lawyers that if something ends up in court, your social media posts will be looked at or subpoenaed.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post

    Is there any question whatsoever in your mind that you will (not could, not might) without hesitation draw and pull the trigger on another human being with the intent and effort to kill them?


    By the way - the asking and answering of that question is an extremely private matter not open to discussion with anybody, with the possible exception of whatever $diety/#higher power you might want to participate.


    IMHO nobody knows if they are capable of using deadly force until after they have done so.
    Some have a cavalier attitude in regards to taking a human life. I have always lived by the gun as it was my chosen profession. Those who have done this understand, those who have not, cannot. I understand your curiosity, but you will not find your answer here. The taking of a life, for whatever reason, is a matter only you can decide to deal with.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisardd1 View Post
    I don’t think there is any legal consequences for stating how it affected you. The first question if answered nebulously is only to set context. Details are not important.
    No disrespect intended.

    There are potential legal consequences for anything you do.

    Posting anything personally in response to what you request is fraught with pitfalls.
    Nothing ever completely disappears on the internet.

    Simply put - I neither confirm or deny, I do not discuss that.

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    * Keep your big mouth shut!
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 04-23-2015 at 01:36 PM. Reason: added
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    Thank you Skidmark and MSG

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisardd1 View Post
    I donít think there is any legal consequences for stating how it affected you. The first question if answered nebulously is only to set context. Details are not important.
    Let's just suppose, for the sake of discussion, that you had (not experience presently but did experience in the past) intrusive or recurring thoughts or sleep disturbances. Bazinga! You are diagnosable as having (cannot "used to have but don't have any more") PTSD which can be used as the reason to send you for a psychiatric evaluation. Buh-bye, RKBA.

    Or let's suppose, again just for the sake of discussion, that your "attitude" towards a certain segment of the population the same as the person you used deadly force on (same race, limited strictly to home invaders, "hinky"-looking folks in general) has become more negative. Bazinga! You are a <insert name of specific bigotry> and thus more prone than the average bear to act negatively (as in shoot) others in that group. Again, off you go for a psychiatric evaluation!

    Remember, the question is: "Do you have thoughts of harming other persons?" No qualifier about whether or not that person is actively trying to hurt you at the moment you have the thought about harming them. Buh-bye RKBA.

    Of course there other tiger pits beside the psychiatric evaluation you could fall into. I'll let you work them out on your own, OK?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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  12. #12
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    Great points!

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    Perhaps I should have not asked the question. Maybe the moderator should lock the thread?

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisardd1 View Post
    Perhaps I should have not asked the question. Maybe the moderator should lock the thread?
    I'd just veer the direction of the thread a little.

    Trying not to be omnicient one (it's really hard when you are less wrong than anybody else most of the time ) but I would enjoy finding out how other people came to their answer to the question I posed. Maybe we ought to restrict it to relative newbies to carrying?

    If nothing else it could be a "contest" to see how long a thread could stay on topic.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I'll answer, Skidmark. After mulling it a bit I am going to try to explain how I got from "there" to today...

    About 8 years ago CC had recently passed in MO and I survived the cancer that killed my little brother and nearly killed one of my best friends. We had some crime issues in my neck of the woods and I decided that I wasn't going to now be taken out by some criminal. I bought a modern semi-auto appropriate for carry and signed up for the next CC class I could which was a few months away.

    I went to the range and carried at home, in the car (legal here) and in my offices. I carried condition 3 getting use to the idea of carrying and got some range time. I started thinking through scenarios of actually using my sidearm for self-defense. At first it was more about the tactics of using it - practicing draws, dry fire exercises, etc. But over the weeks it started being more about would I use it. I started thinking about that a lot and Clint Eastwood's line from Unforgiven kept coming to mind, "It's a helluva thing to kill a man. Take away everything he has and everything he's ever gonna have," or something close to that.

    I took the CC class and immediately signed up for more advanced courses. At some point I decided that yes, I was willing to take a life to save a life. It wasn't a quick decision and it wasn't any one thing that cinched it. At some point I had to make a decision - either I was going to be willing to use lethal force in which case I would carry daily or I wasn't, in which case there was no point in carrying. I looked at the world, my responsibilities in it to my family and employees, and decided that I am willing to use lethal force to defend myself and those I care about.

    All in all it was a decision I thought about for maybe 3 months with a sidearm nearby reminding me of the reality of the thing. Since I decided, I have not regretted nor had reason to question it. Certainly there are details of it that have come up that have required further examination, such as in the thread about hesitating to use lethal force for self-defense if the bad guy were a child.

    Eight years of daily carry later and I still think of that movie line and I still hope I never have to make that decision, however, I am as at peace about it as I think I can be having never had to face the realities of that decision.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    one of the famous tactical shooting schools has a class on just that point.
    Your frame of mind. Are you willing to shoot to kill without hesitation was their point.
    Can't remember which shooting school it was.
    I am a former combat soldier so I have that part covered. I hopefully will never have to do it. When I first got out of the army in 69, I knew I could NOT own a firearm for 10 years. Bought my first 1911 in 1979.


    you might also try the tales of self defense forums right here.
    Last edited by Cava3r4; 04-23-2015 at 08:29 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cava3r4 View Post
    one of the famous tactical shooting schools has a class on just that point.
    Your frame of mind. Are you willing to shoot to kill without hesitation was their point.
    Can't remember which shooting school it was.
    I am a former combat soldier so I have that part covered. I hopefully will never have to do it. When I first got out of the army in 69, I knew I could NOT own a firearm for 10 years. Bought my first 1911 in 1979.


    you might also try the tales of self defense forums right here.
    Shoot to stop, shoot to stop, shoot to stop.

    A cop was once asked on the witness stand whether he shot to kill. His saavy reply, deflecting the implication of bloodthirstiness, was, "No. I shot to live." I think that came out of one of Mas Ayoob's articles, but its been long enough I am not sure.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    What a great post deepdiver! When the heart speaks the heart listens. Thank you for your sincere post.

  19. #19
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisardd1 View Post
    What a great post deepdiver! When the heart speaks the heart listens. Thank you for your sincere post.
    *shucks* TY I'm glad you found it of value.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Very concise post, deepdiver. I realize that each time I OC, my thought pattern and self examination are similar to what you describe.

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