Should I get involved? That seems to be the $64,000 dollar question and if your not careful that’s about what it will cost you with a jury trial. We as upstanding citizens and CCW practitioners might one day have to make the choice to get involved or not in a situation. Lets say your in a store when a armed robbery takes place, are you at risk from being harmed or killed? Well of course you are so responding to a deadly threat with the same amount of force that has been presented to you, by law would be acceptable in that circumstance then. But lets look at different dynamics and we have to remember that all the training in the world is not going to prepare you for every contingency you might face. Lets say the bad guy with the gun is totally focused on the store attendant, is not muzzle sweeping you or other innocent people in this establishment and is not robbing individual customers. My question to you here is, could I make a bad situation worse with my involvement? Quite possibly would be my answer if I was to be asked and here’s why. First and for most, I own every round I fire! This means if I miss my intended target or have a pass through, wherever it stops the liability by law belongs to me! Anyone with a reasonable amount of training can tell you that it’s never a one shot deal anyway and the industry standard is that 3 to 5 shots are required to stop a threat. Remember the bad guy is not focused on me or other people in the store, so lets say I decided to respond to him and fire 4 rounds, my first three rounds find there center mass mark and say my fourth round was a miss or maybe a pass through, it travels through the sheet rock wall and ends up stopping in a parked vehicle. In this parked vehicle there are two people, no one is hit but remember by law I own that round. The chance that I would be charged with anything related to shooting the bad guy are miniscule, but my chances of being charged with two felony counts of firing into an occupied vehicle are better than 90%! Stand your ground laws do not allow for harming, killing or presenting a threat to innocent people even if your intentions were good. Now one can see things would only get worse from there if its was a loss of life or debilitating injury of an innocent as a direct result of my response. So if I were faced with this exact scenario, knowing what I know my choice would be to let the place be robbed and the police handle it. Things all boil down to making a choice in a very short time frame and the more information and training we have will help guide us if that time ever comes. We as a defensive community tend to train well for the response and I feel it’s just as important to train for the non-response based on the circumstances with situational training scenarios and having a better than average knowledge of the self-defense laws of your state will help you with that decision process.

Buck Terry.