I Will Not... Unless I Must

Situational awareness is paramount in every aspect of our daily lives. After 30+ years, this is a reality that I learned… the hard way. When we train with firearms, knives, martial arts, etcetera, the question always arises, "To use, or not to use. The fact also arises that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. I discussed a related hypothesis concerning “de-escalation in a home invasion.” The outcome was essentially, “Girl, are you crazy???” The good news is that I am not crazy. Unless home invaders are successfully dissuaded from causing harm, or death… via a nice AR-15 saying, GET OUT! The perps will do as they please. Converesly, if you decide to chase the bad guys out, things may not turn out so great for the protector… so call 9-1-1 immediately after.
But I digress.
I’m a small woman. I work patrols and investigations. I’ve met several types of personalities in my experiences; some good, others… not so much. I learned about the different levels of force needed, depending on the situation. I am grateful to say that in all my years, I have never had to use lethal force… but, that does not mean it won’t be needed at some point. Cockiness on my part for my negotiating skills would be the epitome of foolishness. if I am “attractive” (ha ha), I know that that will not save me from a deadly threat. I strongly adhere to wisdom being the better part of valor, (Here it comes), but wisdom in knowing when, or when not, to use my weapon in a defense situation.
We all know that we are living in highly precarious and dangerous times. My own “Alert Notice” is on red more than ever. People are angrier, more irrational, and dangerously desperate in a situation which, frankly, we really don’t understand. I do, however, know human nature, and observe behavioral patterns in individuals, and in group settings. The situation is pretty grave right now, and it falls on all responsible protectors to respond according to what comes at us, our loved ones, and others who are defenseless.
Yes, I know that I’m “preaching to the choir here,” but you are my family, my friends, and my fellow protectors of Sacred Life… and I love and respect you with all my heart.
Shooting someone is not, and never will be “easy.” Consequences will be serious, and “no good deed goes unpunished.”
I’m writing this, in part, because my senses are heightened, but, I am also a bit angry. I joined
USCCA because I believe in its mission, and its integrity. I have invited responsibly armed individuals to give it a try. I have been laughed at, or worse, ignored.
“I Will Not… Unless I Must” is my rally cry, for I know that if I must use my weapon, I know that I’m in good hands.
Thank you all for letting me vent. The Dark Angel


I’ve invited intelligent, know the risks associated with carrying responsibly but still have the “won’t happen to me” or “I’m so knowledgeable they would never try to arrest me”. I just smile and say ok.

I was always better to be penny wise than pound foolish.


The last time police were called to my neighborhood it took them 30+ minutes to arrive. If someone breaks into my house, we are not talking. Talking time passed when that person decided to not talk themself out of breaking into my house, putting my family in danger. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. There will always be people that won’t agree, but that’s their right. I am well aware that I may be arrested in the event of a self defense incident of any kind, but I have the USCCA watching my six. I also have faith (however flawed it might be) that detectives will do due diligence and find my actions were righteous.


“Stop the threat”

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.


Awareness is also watching where you go and when. My wife never thinks anything about going to Walmart or pumping gas after dark. We have had this conversation many times with me telling her she is crazy to do this, I will not do it AND I CARRY A GUN


Mam, You have an excellent background to speak, and talk about the subjects of defense, etc.
To use or not to use? I have had one encounter (have talked about that on another post, but not lethal), however, an adrenaline encounter to stop a force, we have not experienced. We train, read, dry fire, shoot often, take classes, teach, etc. Therefore we train with these “TOOLS” The USCCA is a “TOOL”, and the more tools we have in our toolbox, the better off we are. The USCCA has multiple tools, and how we use them is up to each individual. “if the horse isnt thirsty, he wont drink.”
In our area deputies are 10 to 15 minute away, even the fire department.
We (not only the mrs and I) the “silent” majority, are disgusted, and vigilant. Most of the neighbors around us are also on heightened awareness. People will say “it only happens to the other guy”. People are reactive versus proactive. Sometimes as a human, we need a “trigger”, an event, to be able to see the forest thru the trees.

We appreciate your input, and experience!


Thanks for your insight @Taina! I have also invited many who have chosen not to respond. It’s frustrating!

I preach a similar message, deadly force is not an option, it is the last resort.

Keep on preaching!


@Taina Thanks for sharing, sister. The last thing I want to do is harm another individual. Your wisdom is appreciated.


I like that because it stresses the finality of our actions. Actions have consequences and hopefully the consequence of force is coming home that evening. Like another poster said, I don’t want to, but that’s up to them not me. Don’t put me in a position where I must.


I appreciate all the excellent and brilliant responses I’ve received on my topic. However, as a woman, I felt a need to respond to you regarding your wise advice to your wife. There are “bewitching hours,” when perps prowl, and they profile potential victims. To be cautious, or to avoid running errands at risky times, is not cowardice. I hope that your Beloved will heed your advice. If gas, or groceries are needed, there is never an absolute guarantee of safety at any time of the day. However, if I ever need to go out at night, I a. go prepared and extra alert, plus b. I take someone with me. Again, however, if I have a choice, I will not take unnecessary risks. I’mwith you on the issue.
On a lighter note, I despise Wal-Mart, and I don’t go there at all.


Thank you, Counselor. In defense of self, and of others, wisdom is indeed the better part of valor.


Thank you, my brother!

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I could not have said it better.

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While there are times that activity is higher, wolves are always looking for victims. Once wolves make the best sheepdogs… if you weren’t once a wolf, think like one. Do things when the risk is minimal. If you’re getting gas, pay attention, and don’t have your face in your phone. Ask yourself if I was looking for a target what would make someone an easy one. The easiest way to not be a victim is to not look like an easy one. If you are alert and paying attention, it could be beneficial to those around you as well.
While a firearm shouldn’t be your first option, there is a possibility that a firearm will be the appropriate counter. Choose wisely, because your choice will be overanalyzed.


I really like this analysis. In behavioral profiling, the good guys study both sides of, say, serial criminology. They study UNSUB and victimological patterns. Conversely, predators profile victims, as well. I love your closing assessment! Choosing one’s defense options wisely can spare the "Alpha Protector Wolf a lot of grief. Indeed, there may come a time when no other choice is given by the predator that profiles the potential prey.
Even as a little woman (ok, guys, laugh, go ahead), I have an intimidating presence because I always observe.2019-10-21 22.24.38-1


I can attest to this. I had it rough growing up, I was this>< close to becoming a wolf. I had the great fortune to meet my wife and a therapist and work out the toxic issues I had. But those wolfish tendencies taught me what to look for in other wolves and react soon enough that they knew there was an easier target.

I’m not a badass but I know when to start preparing to use my tools, since I don’t have the physical abilities. The majority of the time you can deescalate a situation before it ever reaches confrontation just by letting “them” know you see them.


I have done things I wish I could change, but it is what it is. My wife saved me from myself. I would probably be in a small cold room by myself if it wasn’t for her. I still struggle with the things of my past occasionally, but my wife brings me back to reality.

We have to be both proactive and reactive. Always think… You have to be proactive in staying alert, thinking what would danger do if it was here, and train to react. Look for those people. It’s not a crime to think about robbing someone at knife-point, and we can’t read minds, so we have to wait for the wolves to make the first move. The cops won’t take “What had happened was, he was about to rob that little old lady” very well. We need to make sure we have the ability to efficiently and effectively react to a situation. If you can’t, and you end up shooting a bystander, you are essentially a wolf with good intentions. Your intentions were righteous, but there’s still a going to be a kid that lost his parent, a parent that lost their kid, a husband that lost his wife… Every action has consequences (good or bad). If you’re a wolf, you could get shot because you chose to live by the gun. If you’re a sheepdog, you might have to live with the fact that you just took someone’s something. If you’re a sheep, you may have to live with the fact that, because you acted like a victim, a sheepdog now has to recover from defending you.

I guarantee that the police won’t be the only ones going over everything you did.


Very Interesting Topic, everyone has an opinion and everyone has a threshold, on when the use of force is necessary - Its easy when we are discussing scenarios which then are changes with If’s

For me I think and Hope that my reactions come when I feel there is no other choice / no way out and I hope that I am correct when and/or if that moment arrives - I am 62 and hope I will past away peacefully knowing that I have never taken a life / and knowing if I did that I had no other choice


Back in the days as an NYPD Officer I was assigned to the Transit Division where we had to ride the subway trains. It was mid morning when I observed a young kid pointing a gun at people in the train car next to me. I saw him he did not see me. I used to take my hat off so at a distance they would not notice my shiny cap device. My heart was pumping and I was nervous so he didn’t notice me and I put my hat back on and drew my department issued 6 shot Ruger police service six. I said to him in a loud voice drop the gun and people in the same cab started hitting the floor when he dropped the gun it was a plastic toy. A facsimile of a Beretta 92F from a video game. It turns out the kid removed the orange tip the gun came with. Anyways God was with me that day. Imagine what I would’ve had to live with if I shot that kid. If he had decided to point that toy gun at me. I did not even have a chance to take cover. At the time I was about 25 years old a semi-rookie cop you can say. I thank God it worked out the way it did. After all that the kid was charged with truancy and his mother picked him up at the district and they went on there way and he got to keep his toy. I did not shoot that kid due to good situational awareness, I didn’t shoot him because he dropped the gun. I couldn’t tell whether it was a toy or not.


Thank God for that, brother!