Episode-423- Thoughts on the Use of Deadly Force

I get a ton of questions on “guns for survival situations”, “handguns for self defense”, the “best knife if you need to defend yourself with a blade” and more like that all the time.  Of course I believe in being armed to what ever level your local laws allow, I am all for defending yourself with lethal force if you need to and I do think being trained with your weapons is a great idea.    Yet the number of such questions has led me to ask do people really think about the ramifications of being faced with a lethal force situation?

Join me today as we discuss…

  • The two never discussed myths about killing from Hollywood
  • Fantasies about a “Red Dawn” like scenario
  • The is no glory in death, for the killer or the killed
  • Your gun may be highly ineffective if you are the one being attacked
  • Cover, concealment and movement
  • Home defense, put awareness on your side
  • Handguns are for times when you can’t carry a rifle or shotgun
  • A knife is a terrible weapon for an honorable man (listen before you object)
  • You do not know if you are really capable of pulling the trigger, until you have to
  • You can’t discount the long term effects of winning in a lethal conflict

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

19 Responses to Episode-423- Thoughts on the Use of Deadly Force

  1. On knives.

    The way I see it, a handgun is what you use when you can’t have a shotgun / rifle. A knife is what you use when you can’t have either. They are a big step up from being empty handed.

  2. Podcast 423: I think this was a very good podcast. I was an infantry soldier in Vietnam. As a result, I have experienced the killing of another. I remember thinking for some period of time after returning, 10, 20,30 years…?) that, yes, I could kill again under the approriate circumstances. Now, I am 60+ years old, looking at my infant and very young grandchildren, and often think about whether or not I could kill again even in the appropriate circumstances. I live in Texas where a concealed handgun license is available, but I don’t carry. I don’t carry because I don’t know the answer to the question anymore. I do carry an extendable baton and am trained in its use (I just too old and stiff to think I could handle some asshole with my hands and feet anymore).

    So I think it’s important not only to ask yourself the question, but to continually question yourself on this issue. I am guessing this is an “age thing.” So, I am not sure all readers will get this, but wanted to applaud your podcast and let you know that many of us do think about such things – you are not the only one. fred

  3. Baseball bat or a steel pipe works gate when you don’t have a knife or firearm.

  4. Modern Survival


    The problem with that line of thought is it can and will get you killed (pay attention to the next part), if you use it unwisely.

    When you put a knife in your hand what most people don’t realize is even when you are the victim you just created a situation where LETHAL FORCE AGAINST YOU IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE BY THE LAW.

    You are in a hand to hand conflict and pull a knife if you than end up dead it will be considered a “clean shoot” be it the person you were fighting, a well meaning confused citizen, a responding security agent or responding law enforcement.

    I know first hand when a cop shoots a person in possession of a drawn knife even if IA or the person’s family tries to go to court against the officer in the end the officer almost always wins.

    Pulling a knife in short is great way to make it okay for another person to shoot you. It is one of the least practical “defensive” weapons in the world. It might work fine mechanically but that isn’t the real issue now is it?

    I am also with Tracker I would take a bat over a knife any day.

  5. “You don’t mount claymores outside your house in a nice neighbourhood and hope a burglar tries to break in so you can set ’em off.”

    Hmm. What about a bad neighbourhood? Are claymores OK then? 😀

    I LOL’d.

  6. @Jack, Tracker, etc:

    The other advantage to bats/steel pipes/tire irons/or other blunt instruments is that most, but not all of them, have a non-defensive primary use that makes it fairly easy to explain why you had it nearby.

  7. I love the smell of claymores in the afternoon.I live on the north side of Tulsa.Police and Fire call the north side the Combat Zone.I sleep with a 870 pump and a backup Glock 22.The kids have AR 15 just in case.Its beter to die free then to die as a slave to the Goverment.If you live in Tulsa or near by and are looking for a survival group to join.E-Mail me at renegadesurvival@hotmail.com

  8. Modern Survival

    @Chris, Very well said. I carry a “tire billy” in my truck for instance.


    I mean it is for checking tire’s. Sure my truck doesn’t have duals but some of the things I pull do, where else would I keep the billy but in my truck?

  9. @Modern Survival:

    I agree with you 100% on the knife not being all that practical especially from a “stand off” point of view. I didn’t say what you said, because you said it already. To me a knife is only useful if you make it past the initial contact of the attack. It has its main role in the defense against disparity of force as the force is already being applied. Obviously that is a bad place to be. I’ve been a very fine hair from being there. When the police came screeching up, the assailants had blood soaked pipe wrenches in hand and my folding knife was in my pocket. My name wasn’t even in the report.

    As for the bat, I’d put it in the not practical category not only for the same reasons as the knife, but also for the fact that it isn’t exactly kosher to be walking around public with a bat. In fact in some states, carrying a bat is a more severe crime than illegally carrying a gun.

  10. @Chris:

    I keep a 4D Maglight with the LED upgrade for that reason. The light doubles as a vision impairing / enhancing (depending on which end you’re on) aid. That said, I can’t think of many circumstances where it would be useful and accessible at the same time.

  11. Hey Jack,
    Great show! This subject was long overdue IMHO. We are not a community of Rambos, we’re just mechanics, electricians, teachers, farmers, ect, who desire to live our lives as we see fit. Surely with the size of your audience, this lesson, taught in such a somber and realistic manner, has saved some real heart ache for someone in the future. Good job!


  12. Backwoods Engineer

    Good show, Jack. This was a hard show to listen to, because of the stark realities you present. But we must face these things head on if we are to survive. For that I thank you.

  13. The one thing hollywood makes up is they always show people being shot and ripped off there feet and thrown back in the air.If a firearm is that powerful what would it do to the person that pulls the trigger.

  14. BTDT.

    I prefer to do my shooting from 3K away. JDAM’s make a pretty splash at night…you just wait for the embers to cool and count body parts. Getting into anything close to a fair fight means you royally screwed the pooch. That is as true for walking down a city street as it is in combat.

    Life isnt played by the Marquis de Queensbury rules.

  15. Jack – great show. One book you may want to check out is Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller. He is an emergency response office for the penal system and has been in a fair share of violent confrontations. He spends the entire book breaking down the myths about violence that have been built up over the years and then reconstructing the mindset you need to have if you ever are put in the situation where you need to use violence to defend yourself. Its a really good and surprising read. I learned quite a bit, about myself and how to be prepared if the 1/10% chance comes to be.

    If you read it and like it, maybe an add to your bookshelf? I also have heard the author do interviews on other Podcasts, so maybe a future guest?

  16. One of your best shows yet Jack! Just wish it could have been longer. This was a topic I had never given much thought to till I read “On Combat” and “On Killy” a year ago. That’ll kick the tough guy right out of you.

  17. I’m with the Cpt.

    My grandfather always said their is no such thing as a fair fight. You do WHATEVER you have to do to win.

    Very eye opening podcast. I think we all get lulled into a false sense of security whether we intend to or not by some of the tools of the trade. This was a great way to slap us out of our doldrums and look at the problem from a fresh perspective.

    Great show.

    Another thing I have always considered one of the most important parts of situational awareness; What materials, objects etc, are around you that could be used in an emergency at any given time. Whether your at work, at the grocery store, at the park, etc, etc. The vast majority of times there is “Something” available, we just need to train ourselves to recognize it.

  18. Congrats Jack on your 423 on 4-23.. love all your shows and please, keep up the good work!

  19. Good program Jack. The parts about gun shop recomendations hit home. I work in a gun store/indoor range and I see it almost everyday. Husbands come in and do exactly what you said after I recommend a shotgun for home def. and they say there wife couldn’t handle it. Thanks for the show.