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Could You Really Shoot Someone?

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 1, 2022
Could You Really Shoot Someone?

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What is the Prepper’s mantra?  Something like beans, bullets and band-aids?

Okay, the beans and band-aids are easy, but what about the bullets?  Don’t worry.  I am not going to ask you whether you are armed nor am I going to ask you how much ammo you have stashed under your bed.  Instead, in today’s blast from the near past, I invite you to read the article, Can Nice People Shoot?.

It was written a couple of years ago, but, as with many of the articles here on Backdoor Survival, the message is timeless.  That said, I have come a long way since that article was written.  Not only in my personal training but also in my development of a defensive mindset that includes tools beyond my trusty Ruger and Glock.  Read the article and let me know what you think.

Glock and Ammo

Can Nice People Shoot?


From time to time I feature bonus articles that are buried in the Backdoor Survival archives.  I hope you enjoy this one.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin: Just a few related items today for your consideration.

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: This light is awesome. I use mine downstairs as well as on my stairway and when I get up in the middle of the night, they come on automatically. They are quite unobtrusive and give off a ton of light.  Runs for a year on 3 D size batteries.

Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: This is a really good book from Joe Nobody – a book you should read if you care about defending your homestead.

Sabre Family Home & Property Protection Pepper Spray:  This small fire extinguisher-style pepper spray delivers a strong blast covering an entire doorway. Offering extremely practical protection, SABRE provides distance from your threat with its 30 foot range.  I like that it includes a wall mount.

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There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

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36 Responses to “Could You Really Shoot Someone?”

  1. Everyone can kill to survive, its a question of which buttons that are being pushed by the aggressor and or the situation….only you can decide their fate if you have the upper hand…..”Life or Death”….Good vs Evil….Living Free or to Die Hard…. YOUR CHOICE……?

  2. The old saying is “It is better to have it and not need it, Than to need it and not have it. Folks, I think most decent people don’t really want to hurt anyone. However we live in a world with bad people lurking around trying to take advantage of good people. It’s best to prepare for those times. I hope and pray that we as a nation never have to experience this sort of bad times. It’s a good thing to help one who is in need. However it is your ultimate responsibility to protect your family first.

  3. Get a flare gun from walmart. It will put someone in enough misery you’ll have time to escape and convey the message that you are to be avoided. They are also allowed in commercial vehicles where firearms aren’t.

  4. For me, the talk about law enforcement pros and cons just doesn’t come into whether I can shoot to kill someone. Current times when police force funds are being cut, to depend on help from local authorities just won’t be an option. On top of that, just how many of those left will stay to maintain authority instead of getting home to protect their families must be considered?!
    Add to that fact, so many will be carrying openly, how will I or anyone else know who’s friendly and who isn’t? Do I shoot first and ask later?
    Then there is the after effect as someone has already mentioned, killing a person changes the killer. Mentally you can call it neutralizing the target, but the soul knows you are killing another living being. Yes it changes a person. Talk to vets, police officers and even some hunters, it can change the mindset of a person for good or bad or even to hesitate the next time. This is why most law enforcement, after a shooting, must go through some therapy before they go back out on the streets.
    So to answer your question, could I kill someone. Right now, I’m not sure. I know I am capable. I also know what skills i have to do it. BUT it would depend on the situation. Is it only one person? Is there another way of handling the situation? Is there more than one person on either side?
    I used a wheelchair for most of my mobility. To openly carry a weapon is asking to be a target. I will not challenge, but I will be ready to defend me and mine; although as in the past, my opponent won’t know where it’s coming from or how. I will avoid when I can because I do not wish to take a life. So could I? Yes. BUT I consider myself a healer more than a warrior anymore, even though those instincts remain intact.

  5. My fear would be that in the onset of shtf survival situation I would hesitate because I would not want to be the one to go there…….and be wrong. In the begaining there would be a lot of people that would do you harm and there would be others that would simply need help and be really, RALLY stressed out.

  6. My fear is that in the onset of a real survival situation I would hesitate because I would be unsure if things had become as dire as I think. I don’t want to be the one to “go there” and be wrong. After it has become abundantly clear that the world has gone to hell, then yes i think i could shoot someone. It would be difficult in a real shtf scenario to tell which people would do you harm OR just needing help and stressed out.

  7. I know I was capable of killing someone if the situation warranted. I wasn’t military or LEO I was an everyday person that believed in my right to protect myself. That’s why I don’t carry a gun anymore. I can’t be sure the next time I would be capable of pulling the trigger and that hesitation could be fatal. So it makes me more vulnerable to have it than not. It’s not the act of pulling the trigger or hitting your mark that makes you afraid. It’s the agonizing knowledge that you have taken someone’s life and second guessing from then on if there was another way. I don’t begrudge anyone the right to carry and protect themselves with extreme prejudice, but while you’re imagining what it might be like to pull that trigger don’t ever forget you also have to live with the aftermath. And they don’t teach you how to do that.

  8. I’ve had my conceal carry permit about 8 months. The husband and I go to the range at least twice a month, we are teaching our teenage children about firearms and weapons safety, and I practice at home (dry fire, dry/empty draw) several times a week (and I’m really cautious and conscientious about whether my gun is loaded or not).

    I don’t carry all the time (my typical errands and employment make it difficult, since I frequent schools, colleges, libraries, and church), but I carry as much as I can. Sadly, those locations I frequent are the ones that mass murders take place. I have thought about carrying always, but I cannot get my head around breaking the “gun free zone” laws, though I know people who do just that daily.

    Violent crime occurs when people least expect it, and I do not want to be a victim if I can help it. If my gun is at home locked away in the safe, it will not help me if I’m in the store and a man comes in pointing a gun at me and other customers. If that’s the case, I believe my instincts would kick in. That gun pointed at me or someone else is a deadly threat, and I would be justified in using my own weapon to protect my life and the lives of others around me. I hope and pray I never have to experience that.

    • So to answer the brief question, yes, I believe I am capable of killing someone if the situation warranted it. It would be a survival instinct, especially if I were protecting children.

  9. Apart from if cops can get away with murder or not – the question posed is, could or will a normal person be able to kill another person? If you haven’t read it, I offer up the book “On Killing” by Dave Groseman (sp?). It was required reading for some combat units and take you though the events leading up to shooting someone in self defence, and the aftermath. Good read.

    • I believe you’re referring to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. He was a witness for the prosecution at the trial of Timothy McVeigh (Murrah Federal Bldg) and author of a number of books including, Killology. His job in the military was to desensitize Marines towards the “Neutralizing” (killing) of “Targets” (humans). I’ve met him and he is a fascinating person with incredible stories to tell. I can tell you this; the first time you neutralize a target it changes who you are, and you will re-live that moment in your mind a hundred times or more – justified or not. I was in the military and lived that. Years later I still see their faces in my dreams. Rambo is only in the movies. Know your weapon, practice, practice, and practice some more. Never draw unless you’ll use it. When it’s time to fire, don’t pull the trigger – squeeze it…and don’t think about what you’re aiming at, instead visualize the threat they represent to you or your loved ones. It’ll help. A little.

  10. To answer the question, could I shoot someone? Simply put, YES. I have seen people kill for no sane reason or even a serious drug addiction. That beast inside the human resides very close to the thin skin on many people, you don’t know how close on some of the nicest people you may meet. In the case of someone trying to get into your safety zone without invitation, you’ll have little choice if they enter. My family deserves to be protected without hesitation. However, if given a choice, I would rather use a rifle at a few hundred feet. Women and children don’t need to be exposed to the trauma
    of close combat. But, it bears teaching them what to expect when things get really bad. all the evidence I have seen, leads me to think it’s going to be really bad from the start. Why has Obama bought all the bullets and food? It’s not going to be for a picnic.

    • Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs! I know it is cruel, but this is the closest I can come to imitating Abby. Taking from your comments, I assume you are in police enforcement. In my younger days when I tried to obtain life insurance, my profession was always ranked in the top 2 professions as to risk of life. The other competition was from those who welded on high pressure gas lines while in use. With the risks I have taken, there is no way in the world that I would pull over a speeding motorist and walk up to the car, not knowing what you are going to run into. These officers must be high on something. Life? Adrenaline? Maybe something that comes out of a bottle. I don’t know, but my hats go off to anyone that can do that.
      My baby brother was killed in the line of duty. After his killers trial, they released the video of the cameras in the hall of the hospital. My brother was escorting a prisoner to the hospital for treatment. No video in the room, but there was a contusion on my brothers head, then shot in the head with his own gun, and a big dent in the metal bed pan. I can also state that my brother taught marshal arts at the academy. Just watching the video of this killer, you could see evil in him. The way he moved and acted. If a man like this came to my door after the SHTF, I would shoot him on sight. Anyone else would get the opportunity to talk to me before I make the decision to shoot. I may not have to wait until TSHF. I NEVER go to the door without a weapon in the hand that is not used to opening the door. Paranoid? Maybe, but in this day and age?

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