What is “Self-Defense”?
It’s a good question. It has what seems to be a very common sense meaning, but common sense is in short supply these days. I guess each person has their own definition and meaning, but here is mine.
It is simply, defending one’s life and limbs and the life and limbs of others from external harm. Easy right? Well, in this day and age, not so much.
Any discussion of self-defense has to include the method of self –defense also. Words, fists, clubs, knives, firearms, nuclear warheads. What to use and when to use them? Well, I’ve seen and heard a lot of people condemning LEOs for excessive use of force lately. “Why didn’t he TASE that guy instead of shoot him. That’s excessive.” “Why didn’t he shoot for the leg instead of the chest? That’s excessive.” And many other variations. So what should someone use against an attacker?
I’m not a big guy. I’m 5’7” and 170lbs. A guy the size of Dave Bautista could waste me with one punch. However, I highly doubt the reverse is true. So this whole idea of using “like force against like force” is crazy! No war was ever won by the victor by using “like force” against the enemy. It was won by either a masterful strategic advantage or by overwhelming force against the enemy. Sometimes by a technical advantage too but that isn’t what I’m talking about right now.
So for me, someone coming at me with fists or guns could have the same outcome. I could lie dead. That is why each and every scenario MUST be thought out by me, you, and everyone else who considers their life and the lives of those they love to be valuable.
When do I pull that gun and when do I use that gun? Two monumentally important questions that we had all better have the answers too before we actually need to pull or fire. Run through multiple scenarios in your head then put them on paper. Try and list all the pros and cons for pulling your weapon, whether it’s a gun, knife, club or whatever. Know, before you go, to different areas and locations, and know the threat levels. Be 110% sure you are in the right and are fearful for your life before you decide to draw and be DANG well sure before you fire.
I’m in a life-threatening situation and I’ve decided to draw. The bad guy is still threatening and I have to fire. I, for one, will never shoot to wound. I will shoot to eliminate the threat and that means, usually, shooting to kill. Center mass or a head shot. Lots of that depends on your skill level and the amount of time you’ve spent training. Even then, nerves and adrenaline can really screw you up. If you can, spend some time on scenario training with a reputable trainer or with virtual training. Neither are exactly inexpensive, but could be very much worth it!
Even if you’ve done everything right, depending on where you live, you could be in for a long legal hassle. I live in Florida and we are much more inclined to believe the “self-defense” defense than lots of other states. But even then, you just never know. Prepare to have your gun confiscated for an extended amount of time as it will most likely be taken into evidence. Get a lawyer who is knowledgeable in Stand Your Ground laws or at least is a believer in 2A.
I know this doesn’t even come close to covering everything but it’s enough to get you thinking. The biggest thing to take away is preparation. Plan for everything. Even the most ridiculous scenario you can think of. These things happen in a few seconds, not minutes. You can never be TOO prepared!!