THE CIVILIAN USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM LEVEL V- DEADLY FORCE
Written by CCW Safe, in Section Self Defense Stories
LEVEL V: DEADLY FORCE
The last step in the civilian use of force continuum is the use of deadly force. A deadly force incident has long lasting effects, and can be mentally, emotionally, and financially devastating. This is why it is highly recommended to avoid incidents that could potentially lead to deadly force. There are some instances where deadly force is unavoidable, and in those cases, it is usually the suspect who determines that it has to be used. But some cases, such as road rage shooting cases, can be avoided by not getting drawn in to someone else’s anger and violence. From 2014 to 2016, road rage cases involving a gun increased from 247 to 621 in the US. 73 of those in 2016 ended with deadly force, and 171 ended with wounded victims.
As stated above, a self defense shooting can have numerous long lasting effects on individuals. Take it from those who have personally been involved in shootings and have gone through the aftermath and everything involved. Taking a life is not natural, and even in cases where it is totally justified, it can be hard on individuals and also their families. Further that with being criminally charged with a crime, or sued civily, it can become exponentially harder.
I often hear "If I'm involved in a shooting, I'm not too concerned with criminal charges, as I would only act in self defense." which is actually how I used to look at it as well. However, not everyone will see a self defense shooting through the same lens. Think about how many people you come in contact with on a daily basis who have totally different opinions than you on politics, religion, healthcare, and on and on. People you work with, or have daily contact with. That person you see at the coffee shop everyday, your neighbor down the street, even family members may have totally different opinions on these issues.
We have also talked about retaliation, and how real that is. If the suspet survives, or has family members who seek retaliation, it can be a real concern not only for you, but for your family as well.
In cases where the threat of grave bodily harm or death could not be avoided through the various levels including situational awareness, assessment, assistance, and action, then the only option left is deadly force. Getting back to the question of “At what point do I have no other options other than do use deadly force” is the basis of the civilian use of force continuum.
In conclusion, if you are a concealed carrier, or if you open carry or carry in a constitutional carry state, or even if you just have a gun for home defense, you should actively start preparing your daily routines and actions for avoidance of areas that you feel might have a higher probability of placing you in a potentially dangerous situation.
You should start actively practicing situational awareness and often use visualization techniques to assist you in determining things that are out of the ordinary and could lead to potentially dangerous situations.
You should also attempt to remove any ambiguity and use your intuition, or instincts, to always attempt to avoid dangerous situations.
You should be able to articulate any physical limitations or discrepancies, such as age, size, strength, that exist in the event you ever find yourself in a self defense situation where deadly force may be unavoidable.
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