Originally Posted by Tom Servo
There is no "one size fits all" answer. Every situation is different, and none of the folks giving advice will be there to explain your actions to a jury.
Plus there are 52 sets of laws to be dealt with -- 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Federal law. There cannot be one answer that fits all.
For example, I have seen Frank Ettin write many times that sef-defense is an "affirmative defense" in cases of homicide. As I understand what Frank has written, that means if you are charged and go to trial, you admit that you killed the guy and the state can just sit back while YOU have to prove that you were justified in fearing for your life and using deadly force to defend yourself.
But in reading the law in my state, it is fairly clearly stated that the use of deadly force in defense of the self is justified and, if someone is arrested and tried for homicide in a purported self-defense situation, it is the state's responsibility to prove to the jury that your use of deadly force was NOT reasonable and that your fear for your life was NOT reasonable.
So, to reiterate the restatement of the obvious, there truly is no "one size fits all."