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Old July 16, 2006, 12:49 PM   #52
Capt. Charlie
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Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,443
There have been several threads addressing this in the past, and this one seems no different. Folks seem strongly polarized in their opinions, with few wavering from their beliefs.

One thing few seem to consider is the fluidity and difference in circumstances of each and every situation. Anytime we consider a scenario here, it must, by nature, be static. By that, I mean that we make the surrounding environment stand still, and we force the actors into pre-established roles and actions, so that we can dissect the results and state our responses. It can't be helped.

Consider watching a movie. The scene will play out as it will; you can't change it by your actions.

Real life situations, however, are dynamic, ever changing. Second by second things change; environment, lighting, cover, actions of non-combatants, and of course, both the actions of the BG's and you. No two situations are the same.

Along with a win-at-all-costs attitude, the most important factor in being able to survive an armed encounter is the ability to quickly analyze both your surrounding environment and the actions of your assailant(s), and then re-analyze, second by second, and react accordingly. This is true, situational awareness.

We must never plan our responses in such a way that they can't be changed in a split second. This includes drawing a weapon up to the point of firing. At the point you've made the decision to draw, the circumstances have dictated that it's necessary to deploy deadly force, and you are in the mindset to fire. A split second later, the circumstances may change (BG drops his weapon, etc.) and you have to be able to analyze the change, and change your actions accordingly. In this case, it means de-escalating your response from firing to a point/aim and verbal commands only. This is expected of law enforcement officers, and is the primary reason we are trained in shoot / don't shoot scenarios. It's also expected of armed citizens.

To say that, once you draw, you must shoot, is locking yourself into a static mindset. Not only can that place you in a legal and moral dilemma, it can also reduce your ability to survive by reducing your ability to adapt.

Train, and train hard, but never train so that your actions become mechanical only. Self defense is a thinking man's game .
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--Capt. Charlie
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