Why are you carrying a gun in the first place? I'd say that's the first question that needs to be answered in order to begin working through these issues. I can't answer for you, of course, but I can answer for myself- perhaps that might help.
I carry in order to protect myself and my loved ones who might be with me. It's my gun that I carry, I bought it with my money, loaded it with ammunition I purchased, trained with it at venues I paid to attend, and practice with it on my own range with my own ammunition. I even paid for the permit which allows me to carry it legally. I'm an armed citizen, not a LEO.
And if I ever (God forbid) have to use my gun, I will be the one taking all the risks. It will be MY responsibility to make correct judgements about whether drawing or shooting are justified. It will be MY responsibility where EVERY ONE of my bullets goes and what it does. It will be MY attorney paid for with my money who goes to court with me, if court is necessary to defend my actions criminally. And if necessary, it will be MY money paying for an attorney to defend me against any civil actions which arise in the aftermath of my actions.
And I will be the one losing sleep over the whole situation, seeing it in my mind's eye over and over and over. Even if I did everything right, it will still be there. It will take years to go away. Traumatic events are like that for me, I know how I react to them. I have spent enough time in life collecting mental film clips, after all. The most recent one, for example, was from last year. I watched a teenage motorcycle rider describe three slow cartwheels in midair out of a cloud of tire smoke, after the car in front of me that I saw him run right out in front of, hit him at speed. I don't need any more stuff in my mental video library, if I can get by without it.
So no, I'm not going to be starting any firefights in a bank lobby or anywhere else. I might be forced to participate in one, possibly, but I am sure not going to start it. As long as no one is getting hurt or killed, I wouldn't even think about drawing on what appears to be a simple robber.
Stopping a potentially lethal assault, that's a different deal. IF it was absolutely clear what the circumstances were. And that's a big if. But a robbery? Nope. Not me.
So what would I do in a bank robbery? Get down, behind cover, and unobtrusively try to be a good witness. As long as it was just a robbery...
I'd suggest you take a long hard look at http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...2_StudyDay.htm
- Skip has some good material there. And http://www.defense-training.com/quips/2003/19Mar03.html
too- especially the part that says Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the "penalty" for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.
This IS an academic discipline- if it's done right. IMHO we'd all be better off if more plain ordinary citizens who carried guns actually did study more, in order to learn the things they really need to know. It is a demanding discipline we have undertaken, and one not to be taken lightly. Mistakes are awfully expensive, in multiple ways.
Again, to quote Skip Gochenour:
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.