A responsibility to preserve life

This is a discussion on A responsibility to preserve life within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just wanted to get this off my chest. Many of us carry weapons on a daily basis either in the line of duty, or ...

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Thread: A responsibility to preserve life

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    A responsibility to preserve life

    I just wanted to get this off my chest. Many of us carry weapons on a daily basis either in the line of duty, or for personal protection. I feel very strongly that we who have the instrument of causing death should also go one step further and carry a less than lethal option such as a good water based pepper spray. I believe that while many self defense shootings are justified, there are many of those that could have been handled early on with a good dose of oleo capsium spray to the eyes. This is especially good for a situation where you make a choice to intervene on someone elses behalf and a self defense situation occurs that is not immediate life threatening. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do, but I would like to see the ccw community become more aware of the benifits to commiting to a non lethal alternative and committing that in addition to their deadly force answer. You can't take back the shot, but you can decomtaminate someone hit with pepper, if you have the option availible
    Last edited by glockman10mm; March 25th, 2010 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    I believe it's a very fine line between not getting involved, pepper spray, and use of a handgun. Each may or may not have it's place given the situation.

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    Member Array calynn's Avatar
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    I'll start worrying about their lives when they start worrying about mine.

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    Member Array bigdogtx's Avatar
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    I totally agree that I have a responsibility to preserve life,,,,Mine and my family's. Now while the use of pepper spray or other non-lethal methods, the difference can escalate in seconds. Unless I have all the training to be able to recognize which should be used and when, I will use the one that I have the most training and would be the most comfortable with.

    I also agree that when they are concerned about mine, I will also be equally concerned about thiers.

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    A responsibility to preserve life
    This is a faith based observation I take it? I can relate to that actually. Then I always say options are good. If we knew the future, then we would be well endowed with the knowledge of solving every possible situation before it happened, and we would be able to determine the right course of action before any action was warranted. Personally, I choose to preserve my own life to whatever extent possible within my own means. It's only right that I self protect myself against those who would chose to take it away from me on a whim. Criminals have no morals, you have to realize the difference between you and them now......you obviously have morals. I do have a less than lethal option for situations at my disposal for certain circumstances. Thing is.......does one go into battle with less than the enemy has at their disposal? Does the US military send our family members to war with less than what they may need to survive? The way things are now.........once you step into the street, you may be confronted with a battle to save your life. Taking anything with you into that battle that you expect to employ that's not up to par with the enemy's armament means only one thing. Your demise.
    This is especially good for a situation where you make a choice to intervene on someone else' behalf and a self defense situation occurs that is not immediate life threatening.
    I see your point, but in some places, intervening may be against the law, and self defense should come when there IS a threat to life (mainly yours).....and how can you second guess that?
    IMO, pepper spray or "less than lethal" means are saved for law enforcement and the jury, animals, and those who choose not to employ the same means available to their enemy. When comes the time you'll decide what to deploy in your war arsenal, and is it going to be less than what's needed?

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Sound good in theory. I could see the point if I were an LEO who is responsible for others safety. Trouble with that thinking is that as an individual in a self defense situation my principal obligation is to my own safety not the safety of the person placing me in harms way.

    Michael

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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    I think it's a good idea - may stop a situation from escalating to "shoot or die", in which case, why not? God knows what will happen after you shoot someone. Always nice to avoid a homicide.

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    What morals exist between animals struggling to survive?

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    I also appreciate where I think you're coming from, Glockman.

    My challenge in embracing this approach is that it's very difficult to 'ratchet' up the level of violence in response to a deadly threat in a safe manner.

    Example; if someone is swinging a baseball bat at me, and I spray him, and he keeps swinging and takes the top of my skull off, well then it's my family that loses (I go to Heaven - different story ;-). The BG dances on my dead body and lives to kill another day.

    I'm all about avoidance. There's very little ego left in me at this stage of the game. However, I just don't feel that I have the skill set to go from spray, to knife to gun. I'm busy with keeping my business afloat and my family happy. So, for now (for me) it's either a deadly threat that can't be escaped, or it isn't.

    Again, I admire your objective. Be safe!
    __________________________________
    'Clinging to my guns and religion

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    I agree with the OP and can think of many situations where pepper spray or some other non lethal device would be handy.
    A typical scenario posted on these boards often involves an aggressive bum at a gas station or in a Walmart parking lot. If the bum becomes agitated but does not display a weapon, do you really want to go right to plugging him?
    How about an elderly person who is slightly "off", that decides he's going to teach you a lesson for cutting him off or stopping your car a little over the crosswalk line at an intersection?
    I'm talking about situations where you are fairly certain the aggressor isn't armed and you really don't feel that your life is in danger, you just don't want to go "hands on" with the guy.

  12. #11
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Personally I am not in the business of worrying about outcomes to dirtbags. They will have started the chain of events that leads to whatever the outcomes are. If that outcome is them bleeding out in a pool of their own blood, well, they made a not so stellar choice.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    In logic there's a classic called a "False Dichotomy" - the example all parents know is, "Do you want to go to bed now, or in a half-hour?" The 'falseness' comes in that one is only considering two options instead of the multitude that actually exist.

    If it IS a dirtbag/thug/badguy and he IS armed, then by all means one should defend oneself appropriately. Problem is , that's not the real world: you have everything from the ax murderer to the chihuahua next door coming towards you. (As a side note, I *did* have the neighborhood chihuahua aggressively approaching me and I was carrying... I chose to risk the bites rather than carry the nickname of "yap-yap" for the rest of my life.)

    It might be best to train for and expect an armed assault from a determined aggressor - that way you have the ability and mindset to respond in a timely and appropriate manner. BUT... when the situation warrants a less than lethal response (think of the street photographer's thread recently) it would be very nice to have a proper tool. This would almost be a separate bit of training or drill, rather than a continuum of responses: in the real world, you are not likely to be in a position to do this:
    "I'll try verbal, then spray, then draw, then warning shot, then clip him, then center-of-mass, then head shot..."

    (OK, I'm over the top - but you get the idea.)

    Instead, faced with a violent attack, it's
    "If I'm in fear for my life / he has the Ability and Opportunity to kill me and has placed me in Jeopardy: I WILL respond instantly with lethal force."
    So you're prepared for a lethal assault. But sometimes the assault (or jerk/drunk behavior) is fairly clearly NOT a lethal threat. I submit that one should prepare for that as well, AS A SEPARATE ISSUE,
    "If I feel threatened by someone's actions but not in fear for my life (etc.), I'll have something other than hand-to-hand to deal with it."
    And it is also useful to have the can of spray actually in one's hand while in the parking lot, while having pistol in hand with safety off may not be warranted. And a can of spray in hand with safety off COULD conceivably be used in the progression of force we would all probably like to be able to use: he approaches, I yell-spray-toss-the-can-and-draw... and if he has collapsed or is stumbling away then I reholster. But in this case the assumption and training is that Part 1 and 2 didn't work, Part 3 is in progress, and I'm willing and able to do Part 4 immediately if needed with little delay compared to a simple draw-and-fire.

    And I am not keen on stepping into an unknown situation: imagine spraying an undercover cop: he's NOT likely to say, "sorry, old chap, wrong party" - rather, he's likely to draw, then I would respond to that threat... ugly, ugly, ugly. One of my church family and a guy with a ski-mask and AK? Easy - but that's not OC time.

    I support Glockman10mm's concept, but am in the "preserve my family" camp: a bad guy is on his own. That said, avoiding the legal/financial hassles after a shooting is ALSO part of "preserve my family", but the emphasis is on protecting those God has given to my charge rather than protecting the bad guy from consequences to his actions.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the participation guys. The name of my thread was the only thing I could think of last night while this was on my mind, so I thought the title would get some peoples attention. The reason I was dwelling on this is that as an LEO I have had many encounters where the use of pepper spray quickly resolved situations which could have turned much worse. I always try to use what I have learned through real situations and think of how it can benefit others who are open minded, out of the box thinkers. We are all concerned about protecting ourselves and families and there is nothing wrong with that it is natural. But in my experience, a less than lethal force option is a win situation for the defender. There is a difference between self defense and killing. While the latter may be justified, it is not always necessary. It is easy to say I would do this or that, but until you have pulled that trigger, and have lived with the emotional turmoil and scrutiny from others that follows, then you are speaking from nothing but ideaology. And then it could cost you and your family everything financially. I say if you have to use deadly force, then do what you have to do. But if you feel that you do not have the training or judgement to know the difference in a situation where you could employ a less than lethal device over deadly force, then you should not carry until you do. In my view, you are not fully prepared for a self defense situation until you are prepared for both situations and know the difference. Its really worth the consideration.

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    New Member Array Little Thomas's Avatar
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    Doesn't the idea of a continuum of force,come from police training, where there is another officer to back up the officer with the taser, pepper spray, or night stick?

    Does this technique fail for the police often?

    I really do not want to come off as a wise...guy.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I believe that while many self defense shootings are justified, there are many of those that could have been handled early on with a good dose of oleo capsium spray to the eyes.
    I've made the decision to handle everything short of the absolute end of the line with my verbal/negotiation skills, my ability to handle the situation, my ability to think ahead of the potential BG for seeing the potential for risk and threat. I need to be more on the ball, since I don't have such a range of choices for defensive tools. But then, the brain is a tool just like the others. More valuable at other times, too.

    I've got a brain for a reason. We all do. Since engaging it by flipping on the "street survival mode" button some 20yrs ago, I have been approached only a few times. The demeanor has changed, my awareness has changed, and how I deal with people has changed.

    It's clear that I'm aware and more prepared, and I think that has eliminated 95% of the contact I would otherwise have had.

    But, I'm also thinking smarter about situations. I'm not getting into them; I'm able to deescalate them; I'm able to walk away without ego investment; I'm able to get a person to "walk down" their anger and see me as a friend to assist in helping them get what they need to get done, instead of someone "in the way."

    Of course, I have yet to meet up with a nasty criminal who is bent on destruction. At least, not since wising up. So, a bit of that is luck, too.

    Still, I know that how I deal with things is more assertive, stronger (more firm), less willing to tolerate BS, less willing to get anywhere near a situation with high potential for risk, and I'm able to work with the other person to deescalate. In all of those types of situations, I'm unwilling to use any force at all. None is needed.

    And if the techniques fail, to the point of the BG going ballistic on me, then I'm fully prepared to use the tool I have brought. I simply have engaged a different "weapon" at lower threat levels than life threatening. My weapon of choice? My brain. I'll put it up against your oleoresin capsicum any day.

    It's something I feel reasonably strongly about, that the mind can overcome much. I'm willing to be shown the error of the thinking and the benefits of alternatives, but it's a not unreasonable choice to make. Has a number of other benefits as well, outside the realm of simple self defense.

    To each his own. What works ... works.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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