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Old November 2, 2018, 05:36 AM   #1
OhioGuy
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Armed citizen in the Kroger shooting

I've been trying to keep up with the news snippets about the Louisville Kroger shooting. Between the killer shooting two customers, and being apprehended by police, an armed citizen (whose name is now released) engaged the shooter, they "exchanged gunfire," and nobody was hit or injured.

I'd be really curious how that went down. Did the citizen pursue the shooter? Cross his path? Fear for his own life, or act on behalf of others on the belief that this gunman would go and kill more people?

Also would be curious how this develops and what the legal ramifications are. Will he be understood by the law as someone who tried to help? Or someone who made a bad situation worse? If he pursued the shooter and tried to protect others, does that mean he was not within his legal rights to open fire if he himself wasn't under direct attack?

He could have hit the shooter, stopping or killing him -- though we know in hindsight that the shooter wasn't shooting anyone else.

He could have missed the shooter -- his or the shooter's stray bullets could have killed or injured more people.

I don't want to Monday morning quarterback the guy. Curious from an LE perspective -- what if this citizen had been an off-duty officer, or even on-duty but there alone? Would the response have been to engage? Or wait for backup? Follow along and observe?

Opens all kinds of questions. Ultimately I can see this case unfolding and being used as proof as to why armed citizens shouldn't be armed -- they just interfere and boy are we lucky nobody else got killed as a result Of course if he'd stopped the shooter and potentially saved lives, the story would probably just be ignored.
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Old November 2, 2018, 05:41 AM   #2
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The shooter had aimed his pistol at the man's wife.
https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...fe/1839074002/
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Old November 2, 2018, 05:50 AM   #3
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Thanks! Well that definitely changes the calculus, although this article says the shooter pointed the gun at another woman in the parking lot -- didn't see anything about his wife. But it was still an active shooting scene and this man and his wife were still in danger.

Drawing and asking a man who just shot an old lady "what's wrong?" Better to have simply drawn and fired, since the man was clearly shooting people as they stood talking on a phone? Or run like hell?

I'm trying to imagine myself in the situation, not judge whether this individual did or didn't do something right or wrong. Behind my computer screen here, it's easy to say something stupid like "I'd have just drawn and stopped that killer right there!" In the moment I'd probably be shocked, confused and in disbelief that this had just happened in front of me

For all I know I'd have just stood there frozen. I sure hope not. But I've never been in something like that, and hope I never will be.
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Old November 2, 2018, 07:30 AM   #4
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Wish the guy had trained more...he could have saved the Ohio taxpayer some money.
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Old November 3, 2018, 06:57 AM   #5
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Or Kentucky

Article says "car's length apart" and they missed each other. That's what...15" or less for sure? Seems like "wow, that's some terrible shooting," but again they may both have been in motion, the citizen had his wife there likely near him, so I can't judge the situation. I've personally never been even in a training situation in which I needed total situational awareness and was also in fear of my life.

It's also quite possible that like many permit holders, he hasn't shot or cleaned his weapon since he got the license 5 years ago. Who knows.
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Old November 3, 2018, 07:02 AM   #6
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I've been in force on force scenarios where people missed each other at distances they would laugh at on the range, including myself. Adrenaline and movement can play hell with your accuracy, and a timer doesn't replicate the sensation. I know many people that look at reported accuracy rates of officer shootings and conclude that officers are deficient when it comes to marksmanship. My little stint with force on force convinced me otherwise.

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Old November 3, 2018, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
503.030 Choice of evils.
(1) Unless inconsistent with the ensuing sections of this code defining justifiable use of
physical force or with some other provisions of law, conduct which would
otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable when the defendant believes it to be
necessary to avoid an imminent public or private injury greater than the injury
which is sought to be prevented
by the statute defining the offense charged, except
that no justification can exist under this section for an intentional homicide.
(2) When the defendant believes that conduct which would otherwise constitute an
offense is necessary for the purpose described in subsection (1), but is wanton or
reckless in having such belief, or when the defendant is wanton or reckless in
bringing about a situation requiring the conduct described in subsection (1), the
justification afforded by this section is unavailable in a prosecution for any offense
for which wantonness or recklessness, as the case may be, suffices to establish
culpability.
Effective: January 1, 1975
History: Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 28, effective January 1, 1975
This excerpt from KY laws from the KY site, along with others, seems to clearly say that any person can use deadly force in defense of not only himself, but in defense of others. Other parts refer to public duty and other circumstances and conditions, and this entire law, as a whole, seems to be normal stand your ground protocol that allows deadly in defense of others and personal safety.
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Old November 3, 2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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Did the citizen pursue the shooter? Cross his path? Fear for his own life, or act on behalf of others on the belief that this gunman would go and kill more people?
This seems to be very clear to me. make a few assumptions. An armed man has begun shooting in a store. Another armed man is aware of the shooting and decides to engage the shooter in defense of his own life (there is no way of proving that he would eventually become a victim) and in defense of the lives of the people also at risk.

Defense of yourself doesn't necessarily support chasing an armed attacker down and using deadly force, once the threat has run, engagement should probably end.

Assume that this attacker has fired upon yourself, and bystanders. He is still armed and not disabled. When the man runs, he still poses a threat to anyone who is in his line of escape.

If a person is legally allowed to use deadly force in defense of others, it doesn't limit him to any simple measurement of area, such as a fifty foot circle. Defending the people who he passes as he runs away is still defense of others, pursuit doesn't change anything unless there is a clear statement in the laws forbidding pursuit of an armed attacker in order to defend members of the public who are at risk.
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Old November 3, 2018, 12:08 PM   #9
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KRS 503.030 is the general choice of evils statute. The controlling statute on deadly force to protect another is KRS 503.070(2) (emphasis added):

Quote:
The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when:
(a) The defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect a third person against imminent death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat, or other felony involving the use of force, or under those circumstances permitted pursuant to KRS 503.055; and
(b) Under the circumstances as they actually exist, the person whom he seeks to protect would himself have been justified under KRS 503.050 and 503.060 in using such protection.
If interested, the other statues mentioned can be found at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/chapter.aspx?id=39367
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Old November 3, 2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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I believe, based on what I just read, that the guy followed law much too carefully.

He was within a zone of about thirty feet or less, and even a blind man could have fired at random and killed him or other customers on the lot. He was at risk of death and justified in his use of deadly force in self defense.

When he walked out of the door carrying a gun, there was no evidence that he was going to kill people, in fact, he was doing nothing but openly carrying a firearm. shots fired out of sight of any would be defender could not be assumed to be a deadly attack.

Quote:
The open carry of a handgun is lawful except in certain restricted areas.
Now, seeing a guy walk out of a store, legally carrying a gun, justification to even draw his weapon didn't really exist until the armed man made obvious threats. Doesn't seem like open carry laws were particularly helpful here.

I believe that he should have backshot the guy as soon as he leveled the gun at the old lady. After he shot the old lady, ditto. Waiting until his wife had been threatened was unnecessary under those laws.
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Old November 3, 2018, 12:12 PM   #11
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Jim, that's where I found them.

They aren't terribly clear, but they are short and succinct. There isn't a lot of prevarication, it is simple enough to understand the few sentences in each entry.

I reached the choice of evils section first, and I felt that the passage that I underlined said everything that needed to be said.
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Old November 3, 2018, 12:26 PM   #12
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I've personally never been even in a training situation in which I needed total situational awareness and was also in fear of my life.
I have been in that situation several times but in reality not training. Not bragging or anything else, it is just a simple fact due to my former job.

1. Suspension of Belief. This shooter did not want to process the totality of his circumstances. As you correctly point out, his situational awareness was lacking. You must be mentally prepared to fight and win. Certainly not a condemnation of the man as I believe many CCW holders would be in the same situation. I saw highly trained soldiers in combat loose their lives for this very reason. They simply did not want to believe they were in a life threatening situation when it was suddenly and without mercy thrust upon them. That woman might or might not be alive but he most certainly would have been better mentally prepared for the upcoming fight.

2. Brings us to the next point, lack of training. Like most CCW holders, I am sure this guy went to the range and considered himself proficient as the vast majority do.

Quote:
I know many people that look at reported accuracy rates of officer shootings and conclude that officers are deficient when it comes to marksmanship.
They are deficient when it comes to combat marksmanship because they shoot 200 rounds at qualification into paper. The way you train is the way you fight. Putting holes in paper does not make one proficient in a gunfight.

You are correct in marksmanship is not combat skills but rather only a part of the equation. This shooter faced a relatively rare situation and a difficult combat situation in the fact that rarely is a fight a toe to toe, face to face shoot out. Rather is generally a series of ambushes with one side or the other getting the drop on their opponent and firing at an in the moment unsuspecting target.

The face to face fight is when your marksmanship skills must be instinctive at engaging a moving target with precision. You must know to shoot whatever you are presented and shift that point of aim as more vulnerable areas come into your sector of fire. All of this comes down to how you train and your mental attitude.

This situation was a good justified shooting. I think there are some lessons to be learned and frankly some common errors I saw on the battlefield being repeated here. Take in the totality of the situation and without judgment, learn from them.

Last edited by davidsog; November 3, 2018 at 12:32 PM.
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Old November 3, 2018, 12:33 PM   #13
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I believe that when a time comes again I will be able to make an accurate shot if called for. My sights went right to the target and I had center chest sight picture.

Will I make the decision or will I hesitate too long? I don't really have a clue about any other questions, but I put sights on targets. I think that a quail hunter may have an advantage due to reflexes.
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Old November 3, 2018, 03:41 PM   #14
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Stress and adrenaline changes everything. A person never really knows how much it will affect them unless they've been there.
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Old November 3, 2018, 03:46 PM   #15
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some people have already been there.
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Old November 3, 2018, 03:53 PM   #16
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Right. I don't think anyone doubts that some people have already been there. That doesn't change whether or not the person in this story had.

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Old November 3, 2018, 03:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
He could have missed the shooter -- his or the shooter's stray bullets could have killed or injured more people
I wont speak to anything relating to the legal aspects of combat and self defense but I will share my own personal moral compass.

I certainly do not want to harm anyone and most of all, a innocent bystander. That said, I can either fight when attacked or not. I made the decision long ago that I am not going to simply allow someone to take my life without a fight. I will never use a firearm unless my failure to use it will likely result in loss of life. If that is the circumstance, I will do my best to use only what force is required and I will endeavor to keep all shots on target. I will concede that bullets sometimes go astray and sometimes innocent people are caught by friendly fire. Its simply the nature of combat and if ever I feel that I cannot deal with what might result from a gun fight, I wont carry a gun. That's just me
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Old November 3, 2018, 04:12 PM   #18
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I think most can agree that considering the consequences of your actions, especially in a life or death situation, is important. What I have found in talking to other people and in thinking on my own is that many people get caught up in the possibility of something going wrong. Armed intervention can certainly result in the loss of more life. But if you're in or witnessing a violent encounter and you can gauge that inaction on your part seems certain to cause a loss of life, isn't it worth that possibility to stop what will most definitely be a loss of life otherwise? Obviously that's not something easy to gauge, and you have to live with the consequences.

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Old November 3, 2018, 11:25 PM   #19
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I believe that the guy let it go much too far. when he walked out the door with the gun in his hand and the guy saw the gun, my mind would set that at a level 1 "WTH?" moment and my thoughts would have immediately gone to thinking about my own gun. By the time he shot the old woman who was on the phone he had already passed 9.5 and the shot took it to absolute ten.

It's too late to defend the poor old woman who would have been lying on the ground, but an armed killer was still possibly going to take more lives.

I know that no matter what I did I would be risking trouble. In the situation, I would not have been able to draw and fire before he killed the old woman. I don't think that I could have forced myself to shoot the guy. Once that pistol went off, though, all restrictions are out the door.

I would have gone to my grave regretting that I hadn't acted before he fired.
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Old November 4, 2018, 01:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
...this article says the shooter pointed the gun at another woman in the parking lot -- didn't see anything about his wife. But it was still an active shooting scene and this man and his wife were still in danger.
The article that mehavey linked to states that the shooter shot a bystander in the presence of the man and his wife. Then it quotes the wife as saying that the shooter pointed his pistol at her and at another woman in the parking lot before her husband opened fire.
"After the couple witnessed Bush shoot Jones, Kiera Rozier said her husband, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his gun and asked Bush what was wrong.

Kiera Rozier said Bush then pointed his gun at her and another woman not far away in the parking lot.

Kiera Rozier said her husband and the suspect began firing at each other. Dominiic Rozier, 27, said he was a "car length apart" from Bush."
Quote:
Article says "car's length apart" and they missed each other. That's what...15" or less for sure? Seems like "wow, that's some terrible shooting," but again they may both have been in motion...
I've watched people miss paper targets from about 5 feet away because they were shooting on the move for the first time in their lives. And the targets weren't moving. Shooting accurately on the move isn't especially difficult at close range, but the middle of a shooting is not the time to learn the skill. Especially not if you're armed with a typical carry gun with very limited capacity.
Quote:
When he walked out of the door carrying a gun, there was no evidence that he was going to kill people, in fact, he was doing nothing but openly carrying a firearm.
I disagree. Walking around with a pistol is your hand is very different from open carry. While a person with a holstered handgun should not raise any alarms, a person with a pistol in their hand is another matter entirely.
Quote:
Suspension of Belief. This shooter did not want to process the totality of his circumstances.
This is a very important point. People are always talking about being hyper alert, condition orange or red or whatever. But that's not really necessary.

What is necessary, and what normal people seem to find very difficult is ACCEPTING that what they are seeing is happening and not trying to explain it away. You don't have to EXPECT trouble around every corner. You don't need to keep looking around to see if anyone's going to attack you. But when things start to turn ugly, you need to be willing to ACCEPT reality and not waste time standing there trying to talk yourself out of acting.

Don't be the person on the news who says: "I never really thought it could happen to me. I couldn't believe it was really happening." Be willing to accept reality and to act without delay when necessary.
Quote:
Brings us to the next point, lack of training.
Right. A gunfight is not the place to learn basic skills like shooting on the move.
Quote:
I believe that the guy let it go much too far.
I agree. After the shooter shot the bystander unprovoked, that provided more than adequate legal justification for shooting and was more than sufficient reason to believe that deadly force was immediately necessary to defend innocent life. No need for a verbal challenge at that point.
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Old November 4, 2018, 07:34 AM   #21
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"This can't be happening . . ." is the #1 reason reason people come in 2nd in a gunfight.
That ... and they then take too long thinking through/deciding on "proper" reaction.

This is not in any way a slam on people who are part of an otherwise civilized society -- up to that instant in their lives.
But He Who Decides First Wins should never far from the back of y`all's minds.
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Old November 4, 2018, 07:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
What is necessary, and what normal people seem to find very difficult is ACCEPTING that what they are seeing is happening and not trying to explain it away. You don't have to EXPECT trouble around every corner. You don't need to keep looking around to see if anyone's going to attack you. But when things start to turn ugly, you need to be willing to ACCEPT reality and not waste time standing there trying to talk yourself out of acting.

Don't be the person on the news who says: "I never really thought it could happen to me. I couldn't believe it was really happening." Be willing to accept reality and to act without delay when necessary.
I certainly agree in principle with everything you said. I've done two force on force scenarios and did reasonably well in each, although what blew my mind was "holy $%&@ that happened fast" and that was when I knew I should be expecting something to go down, and I knew that I was not actually in real danger.

I'm trying to imagine what might be going through the head of anyone like this man who's just walked into the prelude to murder and has no idea what's going on. Code Orange or not, I imagine this would be my situation:

Walking up to the store:
  • Thinking about what's on my shopping list, or what I'm cooking later, or "man this place is crowded, I hope I'm not here too long"
  • Noticing "woah, is that a gun in that guy's hand?"
  • "OK, it's a gun -- did he just shoot someone? Is he open carrying and dumb about it? Nah, probably not...someone said something about a shooting, maybe he shot the shooter and hasn't put his gun away yet?"

Then he points it at a bystander on the phone:
  • Wait, that's wrong, WTH is he doing? Is he gonna...
  • Holy hell, he did! OK, that's sinking in...maybe I'm thinking "draw and shoot!"
  • And at the same time, I'm probably thinking "that's a really big crowd of people just beyond him in the parking lot"
  • And let's be honest, in some subliminal way I'm thinking I really don't want to hurt this guy either, and that may well be the thing that most contributes to my failure to accept this situation for what it really is

And in that amount of time, he's got his gun aimed at me, my wife, or maybe someone else.

That's the disparity of evil. Even if I'm in Code Red 100% of the time and I'm the fastest draw in the world, I'm worried about hurting someone else. He isn't. He doesn't care if he misses and hits a bystander because he'd shoot them next anyways. We don't want to hurt people. We just want to go to the store and buy milk and get back to our homes.

Anyways, this story has made me think a lot about this stuff. One other thought I had was that -- so I'm told and have read -- attackers often/usually disengage when they're counter-attacked. Some run, some resort to suicide, whatever, but they break off their attack.

So Mr. Armed Citizen here may have waited too long, and missed what my range buddies would say was an easy shot. But the very fact that HE ENGAGED may be what caused the killer to keep running and not shoot anyone else in the parking lot. Quite likely that he DID in fact save lives, and possibly his own and his wife's.
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Old November 4, 2018, 05:18 PM   #23
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Surviving a armed attack is probably not going to hinge solely upon a 1 second draw or expert marksmanship. Its more likely going to hinge on how quickly you realize that an attack is imminent /underway and how quickly you commit meaningful action toward your defense. A one second presentation is great but how long will it be before your brain flips the go switch.

I have seen plenty of expert shooters fail miserably in force on force simply because they are conflicted about how they qualify action and what action is appropriate. Essentially, they hesitate as they try to navigate mental, moral, ethical barriers. What is worse is that when they finally flip the go switch, they are 200% pure tunnel vision because they are not experienced in dealing with how the human body responds to stress and danger.

When it actually comes down to it, good people are typically going to be conflicted about the use of substantial force. We have been taught all our lives that violence is bad and to a large degree, it is. Never the less, if you are going to carry a gun for lawful self defense, you might ought to do some figuring and soul searching well ahead of time and decide exactly what you are willing to do if suddenly faced with perilous danger. I doubt your attacker will be very conflicted about what he is doing and is probably counting on you being bumbling in your response.
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Old November 4, 2018, 05:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
have been in that situation several times but in reality not training. Not bragging or anything else, it is just a simple fact due to my former job.

1. Suspension of Belief. This shooter did not want to process the totality of his circumstances. As you correctly point out, his situational awareness was lacking. You must be mentally prepared to fight and win. Certainly not a condemnation of the man as I believe many CCW holders would be in the same situation. I saw highly trained soldiers in combat loose their lives for this very reason. They simply did not want to believe they were in a life threatening situation when it was suddenly and without mercy thrust upon them. That woman might or might not be alive but he most certainly would have been better mentally prepared for the upcoming fight.

2. Brings us to the next point, lack of training. Like most CCW holders, I am sure this guy went to the range and considered himself proficient as the vast majority do.


Quote:
I know many people that look at reported accuracy rates of officer shootings and conclude that officers are deficient when it comes to marksmanship.

They are deficient when it comes to combat marksmanship because they shoot 200 rounds at qualification into paper. The way you train is the way you fight. Putting holes in paper does not make one proficient in a gunfight.

You are correct in marksmanship is not combat skills but rather only a part of the equation. This shooter faced a relatively rare situation and a difficult combat situation in the fact that rarely is a fight a toe to toe, face to face shoot out. Rather is generally a series of ambushes with one side or the other getting the drop on their opponent and firing at an in the moment unsuspecting target.

The face to face fight is when your marksmanship skills must be instinctive at engaging a moving target with precision. You must know to shoot whatever you are presented and shift that point of aim as more vulnerable areas come into your sector of fire. All of this comes down to how you train and your mental attitude.

This situation was a good justified shooting. I think there are some lessons to be learned and frankly some common errors I saw on the battlefield being repeated here. Take in the totality of the situation and without judgment, learn from them.
best comment in the thread... very well stated.

Most of what people think is training, isn't and shooting prowess is not the same as fighting prowess.
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Old November 4, 2018, 11:53 PM   #25
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When it actually comes down to it, good people are typically going to be conflicted about the use of substantial force. We have been taught all our lives that violence is bad and to a large degree, it is. Never the less, if you are going to carry a gun for lawful self defense, you might ought to do some figuring and soul searching well ahead of time and decide exactly what you are willing to do if suddenly faced with perilous danger. I doubt your attacker will be very conflicted about what he is doing and is probably counting on you being bumbling in your response.
So many people forget this part. Maybe the guy being put to the test is one of the gung ho nutso types that has been waiting for decades for his chance to notch his belt, maybe the guy is the kind who wants a gun "just to scare him off."

as a scenario, two people walking down a street are confronted by a robber with a big freakin knife. Gimme your money, take off your shirt, yadda yadda, whatever the demand or threat is, this is not the time to be deciding who you are and what you are able to do.

A while back I realized that I was getting soft. I had a possum that had been causing trouble around here. I trapped him and was going to kill him, but with the muzzle on his brain stem, I couldn't do it. I drove it half a mile down the highway and threw it into someone else's yard.

There I was, the situation called for one thing and I wasn't spiritually ready for it. If the thing had threatened me, it would have been different.
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