The canned response promoted on this forum and in other concealed carry groups /organizations makes sense if you really do fear for your life. But what if you’re really not afraid but know that if you don’t respond with self defense someone might f do ie or get seriously injured? I am usually very calm and calculating during emergencies. It’s unusual where others panic I rise above and function very well.
Historians claim that Wild Bill Hickok never got emotional during conflicts where he might have been killed. It’s a good trait to have but how does the law view it?
Hmm… This makes me think of that (fallacious) argument that police have probable suspicion to search, because you don’t give them permission to search, and that’s suspicious.
If an attacker comes at me with a machete, and I don’t fear for my life, because I’m carrying, I’ve trained to deal with an attack, and am confident I can defend myself, I’m still in jeopardy of being killed or maimed if I don’t act.
I’d argue that “in fear for my life” actually means “in fear for my life if I didn’t defend myself with appropriate force.”
People usually say in English “I feared for my life”, not “I calculated imminent loss of my life”. Emotion is irrelevant, anticipated end of life is important.
Secondly, the legal standard is what a reasonable person would feel or think in that position. Reasonable person would feel extreme fear if their life is under threat.
If I have your question right, you’re concerned about the “fear” verbiage, right? The verbiage we use in our concealed carry classes and in our material is:
Deadly force may only be used when there is an immediate, and unavoidable danger of death or great/grave bodily harm to an innocent person, where no other option exists other than the use of deadly force. (From Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals, 2nd Edition)
I’ve seen people interchange danger with fear in that phrasing in conversation. I’ll have to look back to see what I usually use – and if I type fear instead of danger I’ll be fixing that. (I don’t think I do…)
Yes, you understand my botched up post question. Fear vs danger. That makes sense to me. I felt like I would be lying if I said I feared for my life. I’m not really afraid of dying. In fact if I wasn’t married with children I’d rather save a soul than my life by giving a culprit a chance to repent. I wanted to be a priest much of my life. Using deadly force as a priest seems contradictory of their mission.
Interestingly, my CCW instructor here in CA told the class there are more and more priests wanting to carry. My instructor noted a few cases where gunmen entered the church. As I recall, my instructor said the priests are in conflict, but as a priest, they feel the need to be able to save their congregation before the police could arrive. There have been a few discussions I have seen here where there are committees on the church who want and need to discuss this issue and the liability implications here. It is after-call, California.
IMO, I think we’re all probably a bit conflicted when it comes to self-defense. We carry to protect life, but we know that our efforts to stop the threat may be lethal when we use a firearm. I don’t know anyone who takes that responsibility lightly.
This is an excellent question. I really appreciate it on many levels.
Fear for your life vs fear of death itself, either for you or another. I do not want to die (so far so good) and I dont want anyone else to die either. Do I fear death itself… yes and no. I think I fear the pain of dying or being permanently handicapped.
Would I kill to prevent being killed myself or to protect another innocent person? I think so… I am an old guy. Running away is not an option. Just getting hit pretty hard or shoved to the ground could be a deadly experience for me. How do I determine this?
For me, distance is crucial. I have from a couple seconds or more to make that decision than a young person might. For me situational awareness becomes crucial.
This last couple years I have come to understanding this. Where I used to carry in a holster I now pocket carry. I am not going to get into a drawing match with anyone. For me, in general, not saying I never carry on my hip, it becomes a matter of having a weapon available if I feel threatened. My priority is to sneak away as quietly as possible and paying as close attention as possible to what may be going down. If I feel targeted I will put my hand on the gun grips while it is still in my pocket. If things dont look good I may draw it and hold it as inconspicuously as possible under my shirt of wherever without showing it until I can wobble/limp away.
I wonder about this at times. Because of my handicap’s I would need to brandish my weapon sooner than someone younger. I dont have the option of a shoving match or running (as in actually being able to RUN away). I become vulnerable much earlier in a confrontation than some 30 year old. Fortunately I stay alert, avoid anyplace questionable right up front and just avoid it altogether.
Would I shoot if placed in a condition where I saw no escape and felt an attack was eminent? Yes. Likely. I guess my point in all of this is what is an eminent threat to me may not be to someone younger.
I wonder why a man of god would not be armed given the knowledge & skill to do so. I understand being Christ like however the apostles were armed after being warned by him. Not for attack but for defense.
My understanding of the legality is if the persons action in the situation are reasonable, not so much the feeling/though of persons. For instance, someone may not feel their life in danger being held at gun point, however defensive use of a firearm in the situation still remains a “reasonable” action. Not saying either of us are right or wrong, just sharing another perspective.
John ; I think your right. What would justify the use of deadly force for you would not be the same for someone younger and stronger. I made a big mistake at the gas pump. A young man was asking for money so he could eat. I took out my wallet to give him some money. He possibly could’ve gotten my wallet because my mind was not on self-defense my mind was on helping someone not thinking that if the person did get my wallet I would have a heart attack trying to chase him. So knowing our weak points makes us stronger. A very strong weapon that we all have but sometimes forget to use is our brain.
Now I really want to see someone use the Benedict Cumberbatch defense.
“When I saw the attacker approach with a wielded knife, I looked into the future to see all the potential outcomes. I saw 4 million futures that involved my death, dismemberment, or hospitalization, along with a significant loss of income that impacted the chances of success for my children. Of all potential outcomes, I calculated only one future in which I remained uninjured, that in which I unholstered and discharged my firearm in order to stop the imminent attack.”
You’ve obviously never met me. My nick in the Army was El Roy, as in the Jetsons, because of how nerdy I always was. Nerdy but no one dared mess with me. Shoot, I got fired from a job for a wreck with a client. My supervisor, a year younger than me said I was an engineering space cadet type. Perception is interesting. I have a different reputation with people that actually know me. Not sure where I stand but weak or woosy never is part of it.
I was mountain climbing and I was repelling down a cliff side when I found out the rope was not long enough. At that time I feared for my life. I fell ten feet on gravel and I was okay. As I see it I took all sorts of steps for my safety upon mounting my ropes and double checking my anchor as well as, my hooking up on the carabiner. It was only when I felt I had no control over my situation I feared for my life.
I train with my gun all the time. I train as much as I possibly can but, If I am in a situation that can cause me harm I have to take action to defend myself and that would be in the category of fearing for my life.
Intersting Nick. I was at the Range recently, and saw a man of the cloth, in black shirt, and white collar priest garb - exiting with his firearm stored in tote from practincing. I thought that was a great example of our freedom to protect.