"When can I shoot?" vs "When must I shoot?"

"When can I shoot?" vs "When must I shoot?"

This is a discussion on "When can I shoot?" vs "When must I shoot?" within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As explained in the publication "7 Things You Must Know Before Leaving Your House With A Gun" written by the USCCA (United States Concealed Carry ...

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Thread: "When can I shoot?" vs "When must I shoot?"

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    "When can I shoot?" vs "When must I shoot?"

    As explained in the publication "7 Things You Must Know Before Leaving Your House With A Gun" written by the USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association).

    Both sound the same but there are big differences. The first is what gives gun owners a bad name and the media the fodder it needs to brand us all bloodthirsty vigilantes and menaces to society.

    The second is actually what we should be: proponents to self-defense; signifying a humble reluctance to take a life, but doing whatever it takes to Stop a viable and unavoidable threat.

    Feel free to discuss.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    You can shoot whenever the law allows you do use deadly force in response to a threat or other matter.

    There is never a specific time that you must shoot. That is all based on one's own personal beliefs. There is no law that says you must use deadly force.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Im with the above poster, I can shoot when the law allows it as being within the laws of the area Im in. When I should shoot only can be answered by each individual person based on their training and life experiance! There is another thread going about a robbery in a dinner, Im surprised at the differant takes on what to do and when to do it. DR

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    Member Array CCinaG26's Avatar
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    I agree with the last two posts, but just for fun, and in case the OP meant something a little different with his question. If I am in a situation alone where one could reasonably believe my life is in danger, I CAN shoot. If I am in a situation where I reasonably believe my children or other loved ones are in danger of death or serious physical injury, I WILL shoot. I am far less concerned of the unfortunate aftermath "guilty until proven innocent" of a justified self defense shooting if I know I saved the life of someone I loved.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    when you can shoot depends on which state you live in. when you must shoot is the same everywhere, before you or a loved one gets seriously hurt or killed.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    I appreciate the distinction the OP is bringing forth.
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    The question when must I shoot is fodder for pacifists and others that believe we should all feel horrible and guilty should we ever take a life. The answer is that one doesn't ever have to shoot. You can become a victim and be hurt, maimed, raped, and killed without ever firing a shot. There is never a time that you must shoot.

    Asking when can you shoot is also problematic. You can shoot anytime you want to shoot. There are consequences to shooting any time you are not legally justified in using deadly force. If you're looking for an opportunity to shoot someone you'll likely end up doing so before you are justified and pay the price for doing so.

    The only proper question is when you SHOULD shoot. That answer can be different depending on your own values and the circumstances of a particular situation as well as differences in our own abilities, training, and skills. When a 70 year old woman should shoot someone isn't the same as when a 25 year old MMA champ should shoot someone. The answer is pretty simple though. You should shoot someone when you have no other means to ensure that you and those you are bound by law, duty, or morality to defend are not seriously injured or killed. If the risk of great bodily injury or death is present it is time to let the gun do its job. If it isn't present there is no reason you should even be considering shooting someone.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    It's a good thing to consider. But, I think the two questions come from different perspectives on the same thing. "When must I" is a question of the reality of the situation you're in - for lack of a better word, the "tactical" aspect. For example, a man with a knife advancing on me is within 20 yards, or 10, or 5 - at what point am i in serious danger and shooting is the necessary response to save my life?

    This plays into, and is often confused with, the question of "when CAN I." That's a legal question. It's important to know the law and the repercussions, but, IMHO, the only truly important question is "when must I shoot." I won't shoot unless I truly have to to save myself (or my loved ones); if I do, I won't be deterred from that course of action by worrying over the eventual courtroom issues. If I determine that I MUST shoot, it means I'm in a situation where my surviving to reach the courtroom is too hypothetical to be an immediate concern.
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    Senior Member Array bigpapa's Avatar
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    Good questions but I see it like this, if I'm attack by a person or persons with a knife or gun and feel that my life is in danger I will shoot ( I hope that it's never come to that). Now if I'm attack or my love ones are attack by more than one, well that is questionable.
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    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    The "When can I shoot?" question brings forth images of people who are honestly nonchalant about the use of deadly force. Everyone has encountered that loud mouthed buffoon at the LGS or range boasting about his guns and that he "hasn't shot anyone yet!" (Yes I've actually encountered a few individuals like that). I'm as apprehensive of guys like that as I am with BG's.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    As to the "When must I shoot" question, for me my sig line quote from Guantes covers it.

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?"

    It also pretty much covers my when can I shoot question too. For me to kill someone there has to be a very good reason.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

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    I try to simplify it all in my own mind with the question "when should I shoot?".
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    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    Both sound the same but there are big differences. The first is what gives gun owners a bad name and the media the fodder it needs to brand us all bloodthirsty vigilantes and menaces to society.
    Reality Check - the media does not base any of their opinions on facts. Gun owners get a bad name by anti-gunners because they own/carry guns. Not for the actions of a couple gun owning screwballs. They underreport true DGU's and overreport careless/negligent gun incidents. They don't report at all the black on black violence that is a huge portion of the gun deaths in this country.
    Trying to influence the media is a complete waste of time. They have their opinions and spew it at every opportunity.
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    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayzor View Post
    Reality Check - the media does not base any of their opinions on facts. Gun owners get a bad name by anti-gunners because they own/carry guns. Not for the actions of a couple gun owning screwballs. They underreport true DGU's and overreport careless/negligent gun incidents. They don't report at all the black on black violence that is a huge portion of the gun deaths in this country.
    Trying to influence the media is a complete waste of time. They have their opinions and spew it at every opportunity.
    I'd just be happy influencing the jury
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    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    If I do not shoot this person RIGHT NOW will someone be killed or crippled by them RIGHT NOW? If the answer is YES to that question then you probably should be shooting.....
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