I find myself agreeing with 520 and Frank.
I do feel that the laws regarding the punishment of violent crime are sadly lacking in this country. I do feel that something should be done to protect society, and to remove a large portion of the criminal element from society. However, actively removing those individuals from society is not the reason to carry a weapon.
I carry a weapon to protect not only my own life, but the lives of those around me. I do not own a weapon to be a hero. I do not own a weapon so I can play the part of an action movie character. I do not carry a weapon to enforce 'swift punishment'.
As long as there is no clear and immediate threat to health and safety, the weapon stays holstered, pure and simple.
Now, if the situation shifts where there is an immediate threat to someone's safety, that's the time to make a move. If you feel that unless you act, there is an extremely high probability that someone will die, consider your options. If you are confident of your ability to drop the individual, with minimal risk to the safety of those around you, and you have an absolutely clear shot, take it.
If taking the shot puts more people at risk, then keep that sucker holstered.
They got mine once. Never again. Molon Labe!
"You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language." - Clint Smith
9mm. Because no matter how you try to rationalize it, .45 ACP is still for people trying to compensate for -something-.