Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Friday, March 21, 2014

How Many Times Should You Shoot?

From time to time you will hear media reports about some bad guy getting shot a whole bunch of times. Typically the situation involves the police shooting someone multiple times. In the days that follow, community activists come out of the woodwork, claiming “excessive force” was used. That will be followed by claims that the dead man was “…a good boy.”

Well, I won’t delve too deeply into the idea that some “good boys” are good boys right up until the time they pick up a weapon and threaten other people with imminent death or great bodily harm. Once they do that, they are no longer good boys.

Right now I’m talking about what it takes to stop those good boys turned bad. How much force is reasonable?
I want you to remember that I am most familiar with Wisconsin state laws, so I will be talking about the laws I know best. This is not legal advice and you should contact a knowledgeable attorney in your area. If you can get a local prosecutor to come speak to your gun club, that’s even better.

So, here in the state of Wisconsin I was trained at the police academy in Defense and Arrest Tactics. DAAT includes deadly force decision-making and the use of deadly force. Our training, which is based on the same state statutes that apply to all self-defense cases in the state, teaches us that the goal of deadly force is to stop the threat.

That is the goal: Stop the threat.

We are not shooting “to kill.” We are not trying to wound the subject and we damned sure are not capable of shooting the gun out of his hand.

Deadly force is defined as “the use of a firearm or other instrument—the use of which would cause a high probability of death.”

The justification for the use of deadly force says deadly force can be used against “any action which has caused or imminently threatens to cause death or great bodily harm to you or another person or persons.”

As stated above, the goal is to stop the threat. Once the threat is stopped you must stop using deadly force.

We were trained to keep shooting until the threat stopped. One instructor put it succinctly, saying, “The threat stops when the person falls away from the front sight.”

What that means is you need to be able to articulate to the investigating officer that you fired your gun in self-defense only until the threat stopped. Then, upon seeing that the threat had stopped, you remained behind cover, called 9-1-1 and continued to scan the area for further threats. If you are answering questions, make sure you are doing so with your attorney present.

If the question is asked, “Why did you shoot him six times?” the correct response is, “I fired until my attacker was no longer a threat. Then I stopped firing.”

There is no set number of rounds that you should or should not fire. If one round stops the deadly assault, you had better stop shooting after one round. If it takes 15, fire all 15 and be ready to explain why you considered the person to be a threat.

Remember, it’s not just a right…you have the responsibility to know the laws of your state.

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