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Recently, someone on some other internet forums, asked a question about whether or not a pistol or a less-then-lethal weapon was better for carry in the U.S. My initial response was to suggest that one should decide on a maximum level of force they feel comfortable with and then carry lesser degrees of force (if appropriate), to deal with various confrontations. In this discussion, much to my surprise, the idea of carrying less-than-lethal arms as well as arms capable of lethal force was quickly shot down. It seems the prevailing idea was simply one that, "If I can't walk out of the situation, I will shoot my way out."

As such I began to consider this ideology and ultimately, I have rejected it. Perhaps some people are in a hurry to shoot their way out of any conflict, but I am not. I'm in no rush to draw a handgun or point a weapon at someone, because if I am forced to aim, I feel that more than likely I will be forced to squeeze the trigger. I believe there is no reason to rush headlong into the legal, civil, and mental issues that come with having to use deadly force to defend yourself. That is not to say that if placed in a position, where deadly force was my best option, that I would not take it, I would and I would deal with the ramifications of it. However, I feel that given certain situations the use of less-than-lethal or no force at all can solve confrontations for the better.

How do you folks feel about this, do you carry varying degrees of force with you in your day to day life? Right now, I don't carry as many as I would like I plan to expand the amount of tools, and by theory options, that I have for a given situation. This includes in my mind, cellphones, flashlights, pepper spray/foam/gel, impact weapons, and then we arrive at weapons that I view as complete lethal force, knives and firearms.

Please share your thoughts and opinions about the use of force and what you feel is appropriate. If you have experiences please share them.

-Rob
 

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RandomMan,

I get the feeling you are talking about what I call resolving some pandora's box issues. This was something I had to do about 3 and a half decades ago, when I first went into LE. Since then I have been both a working cop/agent, firearms instructor my entire career, and usually a member of the tactical team, be it a very informal one early on - usually homicide detectives and narcs who needed to kick the doors, or later, more formerly organized ones.

Yes sir there are several consequences you will have to deal with if ever forced to use your weapon. Some will prove much less pleasant for you to deal with than others will be. But how they affect you will depend largely on you because you are a unique individual. Once I pinned on my first badge, I accepted that was one possible aspect of my job. If I was not fully prepared to employ deadly force, it was time to reconsider my career goals.

As odd as it may sound, LEOs regardless of what the badge says, train frequently for the day they may be required to use deadly force. But I think almost to an officer, they also hope they will never be required to do so.

Yes sir, there are less than lethal options which can be used. Various canister sprays, standard police batons, blackjacks (yes I am grey now, lol) asps, and other devices. I have used some of these items over the years when they seemed more appropriate than firing my weapon.

But I reached those decisions based on a high degree of training with them, and making a very quick, very hasty decision to - ok, what now. I recall using my baton to knock a broken beer bottle out of the hand of a local drunk I knew who was drunk and trying to threaten me with it when I was arresting him. But I reached that decision because I had already arrested him for public drunk nearly a dozen times before. If I had not "known" him I am not at all sure I would have made that choice of what now. It that instance it worked. It could have turned ugly just as easily. Yes I was wearing body armor under my shirt, but that still left many other areas of exposed skin he could have hit if things had gone south too.

Sometimes these devices do not work as advertised/expected. I recall arresting a biker who made about 3 of me, who was alone at the time (not with his club members). His blood tests showed he was both drunk and on drugs at the time. I hit him several good shots with my police mace (in those days it was the real thing). All that seemed to do was make him mad.

That left two basic choices for me - my 5 cell maglight or my pistol. He ended up needing multiple stitches on his head at the emergency room. If my flashlight had not worked as it did, I would have had no option but to shoot him, as he was "superman" and mad. (Cocaine can make someone superman, because the body blocks the message to them, hey this hurts, I should stop this now. Some other drugs do the same too. Cocaine can also give you abnormal strength too. This may well be reasons why some suspects using cocaine can be so difficult to immediately incapacitate with a well placed shot. Sorry I am a cop, not a doctor.)

But there are clearly some situations you might encounter where I would definitely say in my personal opinion, anything less than lethal force is not appropriate. A good example is someone holding a knife in close proximity to me. I have seen several videos which clearly demonstrate someone with a knife standing 21 feet from a trained officer, can advance and deliver a knife thrust before that trained officer can draw and deliver two hastily placed shots.

After seeing those films and discussing the issue with our national firearms staff, we adopted the position in our policy that a man with a knife or other edged type weapon was to be treated as a deadly force situation if they attempted to advance.

I feel like I may be rambling a bit and do not mean to do so. The point I am trying to make is that yes, in my personal opinion (I am sure others with good experience may disagree totally with me, and that is fine), there are situations where less than lethal MAY work, and some where it will not. But even highly trained law enforcement officers sometimes make the wrong decision and become seriously injured or killed because of their decision.

There are some questions only you can answer about yourself. You don't need to express them here openly, but you probably do need to think about them seriously. What is your life situation - is there a wife and children who depend on you, and would suffer if you made the wrong decision? What type of device do you want to acquire, and where and who is going to give you the training it would require to become truly proficient with the device? How committed are you to staying sharp in continuing to train and stay proficient with it?

What I hear most often is the thought expressed - I never have enough time to practice my shooting skills to the degree I want and need to. Adding a new device means more time demands which only you can decide if they are realistic demands for your life.

I do not mean this offensively in the least sir. From your comments I gather you are not in law enforcement. I think that adds some additional hurdles for you in obtaining good training with a less than lethal device, and practicing with it in a way it benefits you. Sometimes improper training can be worse than no training in my view. Even many police officer will admit, they do not have the time to practice with all of their issued equipment (impact devices, sprays, etc.) as much as they should.

Obviously the easiest thing is simply to avoid placing yourself in a position where any type of confrontion would be required. You strike me as a thoughful individual, given the issue you are debating here. I suspect you try very hard to avoid those situations.

But the bottom line to me is that sometimes others (the bad guy or even worse, bad guys) refuse to give you that option. They want to rob you, assault you, steal your vehicle, or whatever. To accomplish what they want will require they engage you in a confrontation, so they will do that.

Only you can decide the self-defense tools you want to train and become proficient with. But it is commonly acknowledged by most firearms instructors, that in real world situations, the shooting abilities of most armed LEOs will normally suffer to varying degrees. The truly proficient shooters will shoot less well to some degree in a real situation. The marginal shooters perform less well too.

Many years ago, I buried one of my best friends/co-workers, because he refused to accept the fact the juvenile holding a weapon was truly a threat to him. He used his gun hand to draw his police baton, and was shot and killed for making that decision.

Only you can decide what you wish to carry as equipment. Personally, when I am off duty, I carry my primary pistol, two spare magazines, my cell phone, a small flashlight, two pocket knives (one in each front pocket), handcuffs, and my back up pistol in an ankle holster in my boot.

But I hope other members, especially non-LEOs will offer their views for you as well. In some ways maybe their thoughts should carry more weight for you, because it is apples to apples, and not really apples to oranges in that way. My experiences and training have shaped my decisions. That does not mean they are the correct decisions for you, nor does it mean they would be incorrect ones. Again, only you can make that decision.

Hope my thoughts at least give you some things to consider in making you decision. Good luck.

twoguns
 
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Great topic, RandomMan. This is something that needs discussed. My opinion is that, unless you get good training and practice extesivly with your less-lethal weaponry, you shouldn't be carrying it. Say you have an expandable baton that you carry in addition to your primary handgun. You bought the thing out of a magazine, or online, and you have no training with it. Your confidence with that weapon shouldn't be very high. You and the wife, or girlfriend, or boyfriend go see a late movie and exit the theatre to an empty parking lot. You make it to your car and are digging out your keys when another vehicle roars up next to yours and three or four teenagers jump out. It's obvious they're looking for trouble. Things escalate. You feel that you and your friend's lives are in danger. You're unexperienced with your baton, so you do the right thing and draw your firearm. Maybe one of them pulls a knife, you fire a touble-tap into his chest, the others freak out, jump back in their car, and drive away. You call the police, who respond to the shooting promptly. When the dust has settled, and you're in court defending your life again, there is going to be one question that gets asked by the prosecuting attorney again and again- Why did you SHOOT that teenager when you had a baton in your pocket?

In the world we live in today self-defense is no longer a right. Even if your life is truely in danger you can be labled a murderer and tossed in jail if you don't defend yourself exactly by the book. I live in Ohio and in any defense situation I have a "duty to retreat." If there is any way that I can escape the situation then I must, even if I know that this moron with a knife is just going to go two blocks down and find someone else to stab. LEO's have more leeway because they are expected to uphold the law. Knife-guy needs to be stopped, so an LOE can decide if the only way to do that is shoot him, or not. Civi's can't do that. Your every move will be analysed. If you shoot someone and are in possesion of a non-leathal, or less-lethal weapon, it's going to come up. The DA might not think it's a big deal. The DA might also decide to crucify you.

Using any kind of force at all should be an absolute last resort for a civilian. If force is required then it should be of the immediate and decisive variety. In closing my rant, if you do decide to carry a non or less-lethal weapon you need both training and practice with it. And you'd damn well better try it before you shoot someone. Escalation of force doesn't always apply to civilians.
 

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A non-LE perspective:

I think that in Texas the CHL only permits handguns, yes? That is to say, no batons or other such less-than-lethal weapons can be carried?
In my case I work on a school campus, which prohibits all firearms, even with a state license. Firearms cannot even be stored in a vehicle, etc. On those work occasions, I carry a kuboton-style key chain or a mini-mag light or something like that as an impact weapon. I also practice martial arts weekly and try to introduce blocking techniques and so on into my pistol draw and self-defense practice. Given how close-in self defense scenarios could arise even with good situational awareness, it probably behooves all of us to consider how to retreat or put space between ourselves and a threat even if just to access the primary defensive arm.

In my case I don't have any training with a knife, so the blade I carry is merely a utilitarian pocket knife. That might change at some point. The only times I carry a self-defense OC pepper spray or something like that is on bicycle rides for chance encounters with dogs. (My S&W 638 often comes along too.)

I'm never without my cell-phone, and if not working, I front-pocket or IWB carry a J-frame revolver.
 

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Guys,

EXCELLENT topic! Twoguns summed it up very well. There are options, but you need to have training to use them. In some area's local law precludes carrying batons, mace, etc., but still lets you carry a firearm, if you have a permit.
Personally, I think a lot of folks only carry a gun and/or a knife because you can only conceal so much equipment. There's no way I could hide half the stuff on my duty belt even though it might be useful at some point. Thus I pick the deadly force option because it is the amount of equipment I CAN conceal. My feeling is that trouble should be walked away from if possible. If it escalates past that point you're probably going to be glad you had the deadly force option.

Wes
 

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RandomMan,

Every body has raised some excellent points for you to consider. Let me add one more, or rather sort of expand on one Pistolero raised. That point being a less lethal device that is not employed but is in your possession when you decide a firearm is your most appropriate response.

I really can not say what your local prosecutor would feel about that unused device. They might make an issue of it, or not. There are simply too many factors involved in a prosecution for me to even take a guess on that one.

What I do feel more confident about is not a nice thought, but certainly a realistic one you need to consider as well. The attorney representing either the individual you shot (given Pistolero's scenario above) or representing the deceased's family will absolutely try to make a major issue of that unused device in the civil suit the odds favor will be filed against you. Not because you used a firearm versus something less lethal, simply because someone sees the chance to make some money from your actions.

Personally, I think even if you chose the less than lethal device, the odds favor there would probably be a civil suit filed against you after any criminal proceedings. Again, for the same reason. Rest assured in either case, an aggressive attorney will bring in "experts" to try to convince the jury the decision you made was the wrong one, or that you had deployed the less lethal device improperly or in ways never intended. I am sure you see what I mean. Even if you know you are right, they will do their best to argue that you were not.

Out of pocket, I pay for false arrest insurance each year to provide me with some protection from possible criminal and/or civil actions. Because serving as the lead firearms instructor is also one of my assigned duties, I will also be named in most civil suits filed against other agents/officers I have trained. This insurance will provide an attorney, and has a limit on liability of $1,000,000. That may sound like a lot, until you see the amounts some juries can award in a civil action.

Whatever devices, including a firearm, you elect to carry for self-defense, my best suggestion is to pay some out of pocket now to obtain the best instruction/training you can in their proper use. At least that gives you an "expert" to try to counter the other one with. Plus I think it shows you wanted to be trained with the device, so if ever required you could do the right thing with it.

Let's be realistic RandomMan. You buy an asp and get top notch training with it and practice with it religiously. One night you employ it in self-defense, and the bad guy shifts and rather than striking him on the collar bone as you intended with your blow - his movement has caused you to crack his skull. He is hospitalized and dies. Bottom line - deadly force is deadly force, whether it involves a fired projectile or an impact weapon.

Again sir, all any of us can do are offer points for you to consider. Ultimately, only you can make the decision you feel is best for you. I just wanted to throw another log on the fire. Pistolero raised the criminal issue, and I just wanted to take it to it's next logical step.

Fortunately to date, I have never faced any criminal charges for my actions. I have been sued more than once by suspect's family members. Not a very pleasant experience, even though in my mind and heart I knew I had taken the correct action. Even thought grand juries found my actions were justified, that did not prevent civil suits from being filed.

On a side that "might" help you defend your actions one day, but no guarantees. If you receive firearms training and elect to carry only a handgun of some type. When an attorney asks you why you did not use something less lethal, you can honestly respond you have never been trained in any such devices, and used the only device you had been trained with when you felt your life was in danger. I would hope most jury members could relate to that response. At least they are not asking themself the same question that attorney kept hammering at you with - why didn't you use the less lethal device you had with you.

My answer is a bit easier - sir based on my training and experience with these devices, I did not view them as an appropriate response to this dangerous situation. I used the appropriate device I was trained to employ in this situation when I felt my life was being threatened.

Again just my personal opinion, but I think a civilian would be much more hard pressed to make that same argument if they had mulitple devices on them.

The only thing I can say with certainty about a jury - is that in 3 and a half decades, I have never learned how to read them to know with certainty what their verdict will be. I say that having spend a great deal of my career sitting at the prosecutor's table helping to try homicides and other major felonies. Even with much more serious court time than many LEOs, I still can not read a jury with certainty.

If any of you folks who have already posted see things differently, please say so. Also, this topic is really important enough, I hope others will offer their views as well. Most of us spend far more time thinking about our brand/caliber/ammuntion choices. Maybe we should spend a bit more time thinking about this topic in addition to our carry system.

Again, just my thoughts, for what they are worth.

twoguns
 
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All excellent points, Twoguns. I think it should also be pointed out that sometimes, from a civil standpoint, it's actually worse to maim someone with a baton than shoot and kill them. While if you shoot and kill someone their family might not sue you for wrongful death, if you cripple someone with a baton it could really turn ugly. You could spend the rest of your life paying for their medical bills. A jury is much more likely to award money to a poor crippled victim than the family of an unseen armed mugger or rapist that was killed while committing a crime. ~Pistolero
 

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Dear friends,

This is a question that will never be properly answered.

The answer as also different if you are a police officer or similar, a military, a civilian, a body guard, etc.

As a civilian, I can tell that the best of the best is not carry a weapon at all. Avoid any situation where you will need to use a weapon.

Why do I own a gun then? Not for carrying it, but for sports and fun, for relaxing, to have my testosterone happy.

In the case, of a criminal assault to my home or if my country comes to very complicated political situations, where I would be forced to use lethal force to defend my family, or my community, I would use lethal force, but I always thing the best is walk out from a situation and not fire out of a situation.

For military and police, question is different.

So, As a civilian, I would like you folks to tell your opinions for civilians, and separately for military and police.

Many greetings.
 

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iagbarrb,

I understand your perspective totally, and totally respect it. Your request for input is very valid too. That is why I suggested anyone willing to offer their thoughts should do so, and suggested RandomMan might want to pay more attention to points raised by other civilians.

I realized my years with a badge make it hard for me to discuss this topic from any other point of view. Even when I try to, I have to question if I am doing so realistically.

RamdonMan raised a great topic for discussion. I hope more folks, both LEOs and civilians will add their toughts to this great discussion. If a LEO chooses to respond, maybe they could note that somehow, either openly or as some have done in their comments. That way others can understand their perspective.

You are correct, it really does make a difference, even when a LEO tried not to let it. I would think the same fact would hold true for an active member of the military as well.

twoguns
 
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A lot of this is subjective, because no one can predict what a jury will do nowadays. I carry a fairly lethal pocketknife, but in my experience if someone attacks me and I'm able to bring an edged weapon to bear, what would happen to them at the end of my gun would be a lot less horrific than what my knife would do. I carry the knife and my gun and that's all. First of all, I'm not interested in wearing a duty belt and trying to sit down. Plus the weight of my gun is enough, I don't need an ASP and mace besides. As for which is the right response, following the use of force model I'll escalate when necessary. I'm not going to shoot unless I had to, and I'd make sure there was a threat to my life. If that involves asking my assailants their intention then I'm probably not in that kind of danger, but you never know. This is a pretty thorny issue, but the best advice I can give is go with what you know, what you're comfortable with. You don't always have to shoot someone with a gun, it can be an impact tool, but you can't return fire with a kubotan. As for what the jury will say later, that's why I make sure I need my gun before I draw, but once the gun is out 9 times out of 10 I'm going for a kill shot. Things have to be pretty dire before I'm willing to draw.
 

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This is a very thought-provoking discussion. There seem to be a couple of different issues intersecting here. One is, Why do we carry? An LEO will answer this question differently from a civilian, because a cop always has to be prepared for the worst case, and a civilian might be able to avoid it. But a second issue is, How can you predict a dangerous circumstance? I don't mean to be glib, but my own response would be that it's better to have what you don't need than to need what you don't have. A third issue is whether you're prepared to use lethal force, if threatened. Here in New Mexico, there is no duty-to-retreat, but on the other hand, the only rationale for use of deadly force is if you are in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily injury, or if you are defending a third party from same. The last (?) issue is the legal consequence of shooting somebody. As a civilian, I'm certain to be arrested, no ifs, and, or buts, while my claim of self-defense is investigated. And my weapon will be confiscated, temporarily, at least. Taking the last one first, I don't believe you can afford to second-guess yourself, if your life is actually in danger. But the next-to-last question is thornier. I think carrying a gun makes me a lot less likely to escalate a confrontation, and a lot more likely to try and walk away from it, but given what happens in a stress environment, auditory shutdown, tunnel vision, endorphins and adrenaline, etc., is practice and muscle memory enough, on my part, to control a complicated series of decisions and physical actions necessary for me to bring a weapon to point of aim, and not have the guy take it away from me and shove it up my nose? In the event itself, I don't think you can debate the utility or morality of what you're doing: I think you should have had that debate with yourself already, but this is me, not a prescription for anybody else. (What if you freeze up? is yet another question.)
The notion of containing, or escaping from, a bad situation is not entirely to the point, because you just don't know when and if it might happen to you. Hopefully, it won't, but hope isn't enough to prevent trouble from finding you. So back to square one, Why do we carry? In anticipation of the potential for a problem, not to go looking for one.

But not to evade the initial question, the less-than-lethal-force option. I find this impractical for the reasons other posters have cited, namely, how much time does it take to get proficient with your weapon of choice, whether it be a slingshot or Nunchakas? In my case, I've been handling guns since I was thirteen, and I'm never going to get as good as I'd like to be. Years ago, in the service, I shot small-arms competition, but my eyes and my skills have degraded in the interim. In other words, it takes at least weekly practice for me to keep from losing ground. But my comfort level is fine with a handgun, both in carrying it and with the decline in my proficiency as I age further. I'm unlikely to start from scratch with something less familiar, is all.

Purely as anecdote, and not to be thought of as evidence, a cop friend of mine was involved in the high-speed pursuit of an armed suspect in a stolen car. The chase eventually involved three Santa Fe PD units and two units from the sheriff's department. When they finally forced the guy off the road, he exited the vehicle displaying a weapon, and while the supporting officers had him triangulated with drawn guns, the nearest cop got him with a Taser. This officer was roundly congratulated in local newspaper editorials for incapacitating the suspect without killing him. My friend, however, who was the ranking officer at the scene, privately remarked to me later that everybody was lucky all around, not just the suspect. Guidelines discouraging the use of lethal force in such a situation could end up with a cop dead.

Again, my personal thoughts on the subject only, not to be taken in any way as absolutes.

All best,
David
 

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Less than lethal force option.....

Also a very personal option.

As a non good physically trained nerd looking civilian, I would have almost no choice using my hands, a knife or whatever as a less than lethal force option.

But I have regular pistol training in my shooting club, and sometimes there is the possibility to fire larger weapons.

This means I am not able to use non lethal force if needed.

I am convinced, my only real option in a real dangerous situation is a gun. If I am convinced, that if I am really acting in self defense, or even worse, if I would have no other choice than shoot against a criminal defending my family, I would prefer to go to a long difficult trial or even go to jail than see my daughters or wife violated severely injured or dead.

I never carry a weapon, and I do not pretend to carry one. The exception is when I am driving to training or to a competition, or to fire some rounds for fun with friends, or just to have my testosterone happy.

I do not pretend to shoot against a person, and I also never hunt.

But I have the feeling, that in a real situation, I would react exactly as in an IPSC or fast shooting competition. Hy adrenaline, hy endorphins, tubular vision, target in front of me, and as fast as possible shoot an alpha. This is my pistol training, and I have the feeling that in a real situation my muscles will react exactly as in a competition, because they are trained this way.

I disagree a bit that aging is an important factor. If you learn to drive a bicycle at the age of 9, when you are 60, and you haven't use a bicycle in the last 30 years, you will still be able to drive it. Maybe not mountain bike, or cross country, but you will be able to have fun.

And this is very scary, because there is a big killing possibility. With big stress, I wonder if I will be able to order myself to target to the legs (mountain bike) or just alpha firing (comfortable bike driving).

I hope not being misunderstood. I am doing my best to express my thoughts with my extreme deficient English. I will be grateful that if you understand me, you can translate it for everyone.

So, in my case as the civilian described above, the best way to use less lethal force has three steps:

1. Avoid any situation that requires any kind of force. This includes drugs and alcohol.

2. If the situation is there, call for backup. Thats why the LEOrs are for.

3. No cops, no chance. Put your gun in condition one, and if the aggressors do not stop, If you have to, then you have to. But the possibility to come to option 3, if you really use the first two options will almost not be there.

THIS TIME I DEMAND A LOT OF COMMENTS.

Best wishes:

Andreas
 

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Andreas,

Thank you for your thoughts sir, and please do not worry about your English. I feel it is at least as good as my own. I am from the deep South and speak with a very serious accent. Often my friends will joke with me and ask if I am really speaking English.

As a firearms instructor for all of my career, I honestly believe that what people, at least LEOs (and I think civilians as well) do in training is largely what they will do in real life situations. They just can not expect to do it quite so well in real life as they did in training. Their target has never pointed a real weapon at them and has never tried to shoot them.

From my point of view, in my shooting situations, I feel like my training basically just took over when in those situations. While I was aware of everything as much as one can be (yes there is certainly tunnel vision and other issues to be dealt with), I was largely just responding as I had been trained to respond. Almost as if I had shifted into auto-pilot.

But I do know that in a deadly force situation, it is very easy for your senses to become overloaded with all of the things that are happening. To avoid one more problem, I will simply offer a suggestion for you to consider. I am not sure of the type of targets you use in competion shooting, as I have never had the time to become involved in that sport.

My suggestion is to end each range session by doing some practice on a life-like target, if that is possible for you. My point being, if you ever are forced to have to point or fire your weapon at a person one day, it will not be a totally new experience for you to suddenly have to deal with given all that will be happening. Get you eyes and your mind both accustomed to that sight picture now during practice - if that makes any sense to you.

Hopefully my English will be clear in the suggestion I am trying to make to you and others.

Just a suggestion I wanted to make to you and any others shooters who may never have used that type of target in practice. I think it could be helpful, while other LEOs and other shooters may not think the same. Again these are only my opinions for what they may be worth.

Thanks for your thoughts.

twoguns
 

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Andreas,

First of all, as TwoGuns says, don't worry about your English. Secondly, I agree with his advice to shoot silhouettes. Myself, I no longer shoot at fifty feet, nor do I use standard competition targets. I shoot silhouettes, at from five to ten yards. I might also suggest you shoot in low light conditions, and try using your weak hand, unsupported. In other words, rehearse a less than optimal situation. I realize this is somewhat off the subject, but what I'm getting at is, if you practice specific disciplines at the range, you're likely to react the same way in a real-life situation.

Best, David
 

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Dear friends,

thank you very much for your comments. I hope I will never have to use dealy force. But Next week I will talk to some police officers that train in our club. (Here in my country the police has to use our instalations for training. They just dont't have where to train.) They have silouhuettes. In IPSC shootung, we use IPSC official targets and boppers for practical shooting, and for small guns, there are the oficial olympic targets.

I am sure I will have a lot of fun by training according to your advices. I will also look for some guys from the club, so we can enjoy it. I really love shooting, particullary when I have stress at work.

Thanks again for your comments and advice.

Andreas
 

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Hello, iagbarrb. Welcome and as others have mentioned, don't worry about your English. I do not speak or write it too well my own self! Besides, while we might have different preferences or ideas, shooters the world over seem to pretty much speak the same language.

Best.

PS: I do agree with others who've essentially said, "Train like you will fight for you will fight like you have trained." I also agree with walking or running away from trouble if at all possible, but if not, I also believe the old saying, "If you are fighting fair in a gunfight, you're doing something wrong."
 

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Hy Stephen,

Thanks for your comments. And I will do as you say. By the way, Twoguns has sent me some lessons to complete this weekend.

I have found very good friends in this forum.

Andreas
 

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RandomMan, and others,

My personal take on having a tool for less-than-lethal defense: Yes. To my mind, that basically equates to pepper spray, mace, taser (my personal choice being Fox OC. I see knives and clubs as being in the same class as handguns, e.g. deadly force weapons. I believe the law does also.

Granted, getting out of the way of trouble is probably the best tactic. Failing that, having only the option to either defend myself bare-handed or used deadly force is not a good position to be in. I agree that being well-trained in one or two options is much better than being incompetent in several, but too few options creates its own problems.

I can readily see situations where I want to drive away an obnoxious belligerent short of hosing him down with bullets. E.g. someone who has blocked my escape route, has made threats, but doesn't display weapon (yet). I don't want him to close with me AND then whip out a knife/club/gun/a really big fist, but I don't really have a threat of imminent deadly force to me. If he corners me and won't back off, I will squirt him and make an escape route. I want to shut down this scenario before it escalates into something really bad.

Interesting thread. Thanks to Twoguns especially for sharing his experiences. And Andreas, nice to have you hear, as the others have said, don't worry about your English, you are doing fine.

Best wishes all.

elb

UPDATE. Having gone back and read the original post one more time, I NOW realize the original question was more along the lines of carrying a less-than-lethal weapon INSTEAD of a pistol. My vote for that is no, carry both, for the reasons I listed above.

elb
 

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ELB,

Thank you for you kind words sir (tips my hat). This is a very important topic to me, so if my comments will give someone new things to think about, I am glad to share them.

To be candid, while I have belonged to several gun forums over the years, I can honestly say this is the first forum I have felt comfortable alluding to or discussing the use of force in. I have found its members to be just plain folks like me, who go out of their way to help other members with information they possess, or offer tricks they have learned on weapons, ammo, or shooting in general. Maybe that became infectious to me, not really sure.

I think the thought of having to use deadly force as a last resort is a very personal one for all of us. While we can listen to others and their advice, in the end we have to make our own personal decision. So if I have offered anything that helps someone with their personal "pandora's box", I am glad I was able to help them.

But again thank you for you kind words. I think everyone who has offered their thoughts have added to this important thread. If we don't try our best to look out for eachother, then shame on us.

twoguns
 

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RandomMan,
Excellent topic indeed! I have thought about the same things, and recently thought about posting a thread called "Use of force continuum, civilian pipe dream?" You've hit the nail on the head with this topic.

John Farnam has recently posted on his website about the 2007 Shot Show and new products available. Apparently Taser has a civilian Taser called "C2". Instead of a five second ride it's now a 30 second ride. You shoot at your attacker and then pitch the whole thing, with supposedly plenty of time to get away. It costs $350.00, but when you send a copy of the police report to Taser they will send you a new unit at no charge. http://www.defense-training.com/quips/12Jan07.html

Don't know how good this unit is but sounds like a possible alternative for those not willing or wanting to carry a pistol. Also a less-than-lethal option for those that do carry guns. Consider a civil lawsuit and $350.00 sounds cheap. Also, the more I think about it what we pay for cell phones is fairly cheap so as to be the first to call the police after an encounter (assuming you "won" the fight).

Other than pepper spray, a civilain type Taser is about the only thing I would consider, plus always have a knife as a backup anyway. Yes, I do always have a gun to start with (when it is legal to do so), sometimes 2.
 
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