On October 6, in a city near Detroit, a concealed weapon license holder pulled her handgun and fired multiple shots in the parking lot at an individual suspected of shoplifting outside of a Home Depot. It was estimated that the value of the property that was stolen was roughly around $1,000 dollars.
This is a perfect example of why gun education and training are needed.
Your responsibility does not stop with buying a weapon and stashing it away, or wearing it in a concealed carry manner. People who want to carry firearms need to understand that it’s for their own protection and the protection of others nearby who are in imminent danger of death or serious injury. That being said, a Concealed Carry Permit does not make you a licensed armed security guard or sworn peace officer, and certainly does not mean you can shoot at someone who is running away from the scene of the crime.
Concealed weapon license holders must fully understand the laws on self-defense and use of force. Unholstering a weapon should only happen if someone is in an imminent danger situation (death or serious injury). Not knowing or understanding the ramifications of your actions when using your firearm in a public place can result in serious felony charges against you.
Having the ability to use deadly force requires training in handling a gun and in the responsibility that goes along with the concealed carry permit. Therefore, it’s prudent to know something about the law as it pertains to self defense. You can never casually “brandish” your weapon in an attempt to let someone know you are prepared to get involved. You must always remember that you do not have the same degree of responsibility as a peace officer who is sworn to protect and serve the community. Even though you are licensed to carry, it is your responsibility to stay away from trouble and avoid any type of negative social conflict that can quickly escalate into your worst case scenario situation.
You must have the right mindset and temperament, and adhere to the rules and regulations. When you are carrying a weapon, it is wise to keep a low profile and avoid social conflicts. If a social conflict finds you, and you are carrying, it is highly recommended that you don’t become involved; instead, just walk away and de-escalate the situation without further incident.
Being a gun owner who is licensed to carry should be a sobering reminder of the great responsibility you have. Your mindset and approach in every social conflict situation must be that of a true warrior. A true warrior knows that he or she is there for the protection of self and those nearby who may be in imminent danger. Owning and carrying means you have to be prepared to use your weapon when the situation calls for it. You can’t rely on on-the-job-training when the moment of truth arrives. It’s nearly always a surprise. All the more reason you need to train on mindset and how you will respond when it’s needed.
Self Defense and Use of Deadly Force
Self defense is the act of defending one’s person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant. In every state, there are basic laws that allow the use of deadly force to stop violent crimes in progress (against you or another person nearby).
Some examples of when self defense applies are attempted murder or manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault, residential burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and arson. There are others situations and crimes that may vary somewhat from state-to-state.
If you are attacked by someone with who is armed with a weapon, you are within your rights to use your weapon to protect yourself. However, if the attacker is unarmed, deadly force may not be an option that will keep you out of court. If there is an obvious disparity in size or strength and a reasonable person would believe this assailant could inflict permanent injury or death upon you, you may be within your rights to use deadly force.
The minute that the threat dissipates, you have to stop using deadly force. If the assailant runs away, you can not chase or shoot at him/her. Keep in mind that although the authorities may not press charges in a legal use situation, you may be taken to civil court by the victim or his/her family where you can lose you home and other assets.
Always use your best judgement to avoid conflicts in any situation. Educate yourself on what rights you have (in your state) as a private citizen and what you are allowed to do in a self-defense situation. If you find yourself in a violent or harmful situation, be prepared to fight as a last resort. Stay calm, be decisive, and be fierce when the time comes. Practice at the gun range will help with the physical aspects of drawing your weapon and shooting at a threat. Mental mindset is something that also needs to be practiced. I have laid awake in bed at night thinking of how I would react in a home invasion situation. Hesitation may cost your life or that of someone you love.
Disclaimer: Please check your federal, state, and local laws governing concealed carry and the use of deadly force in a self defense situation.