Archive

Posts Tagged ‘death’

What Would You Kill For?

December 11, 2009 2 comments

Back in September I took a two day, defensive handgun training course at the FrontSight Institute. Before I had gone, I knew how to shoot a gun, where all the parts were, etc. However, once I was there, I realized that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. They taught me things that have brought my skills with a pistol to a level rivaling people who have shot all their lives.

One of the parts of the course, though, was one I hadn’t expected. They gathered us into the large conference room and gave us a lecture on the different aspects of gun ownership, one of which was when to kill. Now, I am sure if you went up to any handgun owner, most of them could give you a generally vague idea of when they would pull the trigger, usually involving the risk of life.

Before I went to FrontSight I had an idea as well. My sentiments were that if a person was threatening my life, or the life of another, or was breaking into my house/car, I would fire without hesitation. This is something I had never REALLY considered, it was always more philosophical than anything. I had done some research and discovered that Washington (the state I live in) has whats called “Stand Your Ground” gun laws. That is, you can shoot someone for endangering your life, the life of another, or committing a class A felony. Matches pretty well with what I was thinking, huh?

What I had failed to consider is that this is a far more complicated world than I had envisioned. After taking the FrontSight course, I sat down and seriously considered what I would shoot someone for, as there are several factors to keep in mind:

-After shooting someone, no matter what, you are likely going to jail, at least for a short while.

But It Was Justified!

-If there is any doubt in the case, you will likely be prosecuted, which will take time and a lot of money to defend yourself.

-Your family and friends may see you differently for having killed a man, regardless of it being justified.

-If you did ANYTHING wrong in the shooting (shot the person in the back, was mistaken on your report of how many shots you fired) they will use that against you in court.

-The obvious grief you will have to live with for the rest of your life for taking a life.

These are all things I have thought long and hard about. I have come to the conclusion that while it is technically legal to kill someone for taking your stuff, it isn’t worth it. The policy I have chosen to adopt is one of “if I’m not willing to die for it, I’m not willing to kill for it”. I am willing to die for my family, or even (believe it or not) a person on the street I don’t know. What I’m not willing to die for is the CD collection in my car that I see some punk stealing in the middle of the night.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no compunction drawing down on him and placing him under a citizen’s arrest until the cops show, but popping the lock on my car isn’t worth a death sentence in my book.

Now here’s a different situation: A person has broken into your house, and you hear him rummaging around downstairs. What do you do? I know what I’d do, I’d go down and double tap him in the chest without a second thought. He is in MY house. And while he may just be there to steal something and get out, I can’t know that. Also, he may have a gun. I would never be willing to risk the life of my family by drawing him down and ordering he get down on the floor.

How about this one: Your on the street and see a woman getting mugged, what do you do? If he were holding her at knife point, I would pull out my gun and tell him to assume the position he no doubt knows well. If he makes a move, he’s dead. If he were to have a gun, I would take aim and fire, knowing that even if he didn’t mean to kill the woman, I don’t know where the gun is going to end up, or what the person is going to do in the future.

One last scenario: your on the street and you see a man run up to a woman and steal the infant in her arms. You pull out your gun and take aim. You have a clear shot, can’t miss, but you don’t know the circumstances. That could be the child’s father, or it could be a joke, or even if you are correct in that its a kidnapping, what if the baby is seriously hurt when the man falls? They could even be killed! This was a scenario that a friend put to me a while back and I still don’t have an answer. If I shoot and it’s a misunderstanding, I am responsible for the possible deaths of both child and man. If I don’t fire, and it is a kidnapping I could have prevented, I would never be able to forgive myself if anything bad came to the kid.

What about you? Under what circumstances would you use deadly force? Are they the same as me, or different? Comment below.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

The Day I Almost Killed A Guy

March 25, 2009 1 comment

When I was about 10 years old, i went on a 4th of July vacation with my family to Ocean Shores. One of the things that has since been made a necessity to all trips there is Go-Kart racing. There is this little go-kart and ice cream parlor there that trumps all in fun and sweets. At the time of this story, I was just old enough (for whatever reason the manager thought 10 years was old enough) to use one of the “fast” karts.

So it began. Oh it was innocent enough to being, I just rode around and had fun racing my family at various intervals. However, the story comes to a head at the end of the race when the person operating the race came out into the middle of the track and started to flag everyone into the side-area where all the karts were stored before a race began. Now, you have to understand that I had never had any experience driving anything at all, so when he came out to the middle of the track, I panicked.

He saw I wasnt going to stop, so he dodged left. For whatever reason, I then went left. He went right, I went right…BAM! He went flying over my head several feet behind me. Meanwhile, I went into temporary shock, thinking I killed a guy and kept going straight until I hit the tire wall.

It turns out I broke both the guys’ legs, but it could have been worse. Now, I dont know if this is related, but the next year we went there, the age limit had been significantly increased.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.