Most states allow for the use of deadly force to protect others in certain circumstances. Georgia, for example states: A person is justified in using threats or force to the degree they reasonably believe it is necessary to stop another person's imminent use of unlawful force. A person is justified in using deadly force which may harm or kill only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony...
It is legitimate argument to say that a person holding a hostage is not likely going to harm that person, they are using the threat of harm, harm itself is not imenent...Hostages are usually used for leverage in a negotiation. If I were a hostage I certainly would not want some cowboy shooting at the perpetrator with me in the approximate line of fire...and neither would you. Keep it real people. In the real world, police would not start with lethal force because it is almost impossible to go back to negotiation once the shooting starts. And neither should the cowboys among us take it upon themselves to decide that they should take a "make me a hero shot", rather than let the police do what they are trained to do...negotiate, and try to solve the issue without blood letting first. Concealed weapons are for self
-defense and as such, thumb-cocking for the dubious need for a long shot is more of an exercise in self-delusion than a possible reality.