Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
First, cops go toward danger as part of their jobs, and have backup and routine training. And, sometimes cops are attacked because of their uniforms. I, on the other hand, am in an entirely different profession, do not have backup, nor daily training, nor is it my job to stop crime. My JOB is to Cover MY A** and get out a dangerous situation alive, while ensuring that I use the amount of force necessary but NO MORE because that could cost me my freedom, my job, my professional license, etc. Now, I have to do that in the confines of daily life and "normal" business attire. The addition of a another piece of equipment, that is likely useless, to me seems like overpreparation for an event that probably won't happen, but COULD.
As far as caselaw, that is more research than I care to do right now and likely will be either uncompelling or unavailable (because the jury isn't going to spell out, "Well, we would not have convicted BUT for the fact that he had that extra magazine and shot a few more times than necessary...). It is what it is. However, in Colorado I'll refer you to the law (abridged version for relevance), Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-704. Use of physical force in defense of a person.
(1) ...a person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.
(2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and:
(a) The actor has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury;
Now, that being spelled out quite clearly, if you can't rely on a single hi-cap magazine to solve the overwhelming majority of lethal situations then by all means, carry an extra pound of weight daily. Or, if you cannot rely on your gun to function and think you'll need to drop mags or switch guns, then carry an extra mag or gun.
I'm advocating carrying the appropriate and wisest gear for a person who wants to prepare for a real world scenario. That varies for everyone depending on a lot of different environments. Sometimes its only a knife. Sometimes it's only a small caliber pocket pistol. Sometimes it's a full sized 1911. Sometimes the proper gear is a 12 gauge pump and armor. However, in normal urban America, 5 shots is probably adequate. I don't like adequate, so I opt for 10. Others have 15. But since it's probably rare than any of us have ever had to use lethal force, coupled with the fact that the average gun "fight" is 3 shots, I pose the question why a person should carry 20-30+ bullets? I think you're just asking for trouble. And, IMO, it's the difference between being "prepared" for an unlikely confrontation and "looking" for a gunfight.
I think that such a person is visualizing being "pinned down" by several gunmen, or having to shoot over his shoulder while running for cover, or any similar equally improbable scenario. Again, if it's because you cannot trust your gun, get a reliable semi-auto or switch to a revolver.