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Old January 8, 2009, 10:38 AM   #16
Lee Lapin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Location: SE NC
Posts: 1,238
If you already issued a verbal warning, and a person still walks through your bedroom door, but you can't identify them because of the lighting issue, would you fire?

Bill,

No one here (by here I mean in my house) is likely to shoot anything they can't clearly ID as a threat. That's my answer, not one intended to apply to you or anyone else. In our particular circumstances here, anyone who had no business in the house would have a couple of hundred pounds of very unhappy dogs to contend with before they ever made it through the front door/back door/window/whatever to get to the bedroom. The dogs do the IFF (identification friend or foe) here and are the primary alarm system.

Every shotgun here that does HD duties has a weaponlight mounted on it, for that precise reason. It's hard to manage a long gun and a separate light at the same time, having a light on the gun helps with that problem. And there is a wide enough peripheral beam from the light that it isn't necessary to point the gun directly at a person to ID them (that would be Rule 2 from http://www.thefiringline.com/Misc/safetyrules.html ). Although at that point, it would be pretty clear that someone was getting awfully awfully close to getting shot, and the "willing to destroy" thing would be close to coming into play.

There are people out there who get drunk, get stoned, and get lost. Is that who is in your house? Do you have teenage kids or older? Do they have friends without a lot of common sense or weird senses of humor? Do your kids get drunk or stoned (there's always a first time, remember)? There's lots to think about in this decision process (and the shoot/no shoot decision process is- or shoud be- just that).

I can't tell you how to do it, but you need to know what your own parameters are for making the decision to fire, and you need to be able to clearly enunciate what those parameters were at the time you decided to pull the trigger. The decision needs to be in accord with your local laws and practices, but it needs moreover to be in accord with your own moral codes as well. I like how Skip Gochenour puts it: http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...2_StudyDay.htm

YOU MAY BE WHATEVER YOU RESOLVE TO BE

YOU HAVE RESOLVED TO BE THE ULTIMATE MORAL ARBITER!
YOU HAVE TAKEN IT UPON YOURSELF TO BE ABLE TO LOOK AT A SET OF RAPIDLY EVOLVING FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND DECIDE THAT THEY MEAN SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE LETHAL FORCE USED ON THEM AND YOU NEED TO DO IT.

As a person who carries weapons about in society you have decided that you are a moral arbiter.

You are obliged to prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally for the role as a moral arbiter.
You are obliged to train your body, mind and spirit for your role as moral arbiter.
Failure to accept and exercise these obligations is an exercise in immorality. It is a failure of discipline and self-control.

THE RULES ARE YOUR MASTER UNTIL YOU ARE A MASTER OF THE RULES.


Afterward, lots of people with the luxury of a lot of time, and safety, and comfort, will be reviewing the decision you had to make in a split second under less than ideal conditions. That may not be fair, but that's the way it is. The burden is on you to make that decision correctly. The biggest thing is, YOU have to live with what you have done. You have to be right. "I'm sorry" won't cover mistakes of this magnitude.

My state (NC) imposes two standards of judgement in self defense cases. There is a "reasonable person" standard, which assumes the defender to be someone of full adult mental capacity. And there is a "person of reasonable firmness" standard, which means a person with a normal amount of courage. Now neither one of these is crystal clear, black or white standards- but most folks have an idea what they mean when they are applied in court. Problem is, some folks don't find out about them until they get into court. Know the law in your jurisdiction, and how it is applied in case law. Know your own moral compass.

Sorry I can't offer any more help,

lpl

Last edited by Lee Lapin; January 8, 2009 at 10:58 AM.
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