A few weeks ago I asked the question: If SHTF, Could You and Would You Shoot Someone? This article resulted in an outpouring of comments not only here at Backdoor Survival but at Activist Post, SHTF Plan Blog and a couple of other sites that were given permission to reprint this article.
I also received quite a few direct emails. Today, I would like to share one of the more poignant pieces from an ex-marine and current member of the law enforcement community in main stream America.
I once used deadly force against an armed robber/rapist. People analyze the law, and think it will guide them in lethal encounters,, but it won’t. My district attorney was satisfied that my incident was within the bounds of the law, because it was an offender fleeing from a violent crime that I actually witnessed. Legally of course, he was correct. But that wasn’t the reason I shot.
I had many people tell me that they don’t know if they could have done it emotionally, because he was running away and I couldn’t have either if he was just running.
But, what “pulled the trigger in my head”, was that he was running with a gun, towards cops that could not see what I had seen. And furthermore, I knew they were in mortal danger. They were also in a bad position to defend themselves because there were also many innocent bystanders in the area.
The instant that all became clear to me, I fired the shotgun.
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For most of us, our home is our refuge. There is even an old proverb: a man’s home is his castle. But what happens if there is an intruder? Or worse, an intruder whose intent is bodily harm toward you or your family members regardless of the reason? How would you defend yourself and, more specifically, would you shoot someone? Could you shoot someone?
I have struggled with the answer to these questions and more, because, if there were a collapse of society – a true SHTF situation – there is a strong likelihood that I would be placed in a position to defend myself, my homestead and my stuff. And therein lies the problem. I am not at all sure I could shoot someone. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I could not.
There, I said it. For in spite of the fact that we have shopped for a suitable weapon for someone of my size and gender, and in spite of the fact I have researched classes and shooting ranges where I could practice and become proficient, I personally do not think I could not do it.
And you know what? My informal poll of others – both men and women – has told me that about 50% of us – if we dig down deep – feel the same way. I could not shoot with the intent to harm.
Sure, I know that shooting someone is not the question. The question really is “Can you safely defend yourself and your family against a life threatening situation or attack?” And if the answer is “I don’t know” or even “No”, then you have a problem. I know I do.
From the way I see it, we have three basic issues:
What are the circumstances where we should use extreme force to defend ourselves?
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Will I end up in jail or prison for exercising my right to defend myself and my family?
How do I defend myself especially if I am uncomfortable around guns?