Escalation of Force: How To Choose the Appropriate Response to Potential Violence
“I’ll just pull out my Glock/HK/Ruger and deal with those punks. Once they see their buddies drop, they’ll back off soon enough.”
“We could end this by just killing anyone who sets foot on our block.”
“All good Americans need to do is start mowing down protesters with their cars if the roads get blocked.”
Chances are, if you ever read the comments or visit any type of social media outlet online, you’ve read some comments pretty similar to the ones above. After all, this is America, land of the free, home of the brave. It’s up to all good patriots to defend our property and our country from scumbags with deadly force.
But not so fast.
Things are never as cut and dried as people with 3-second solutions like to make it seem in the comments.
You can’t escalate directly to lethal force in every situation.
Let’s take a look at the situation Terry Trahan wrote about the other day, where the lady was sitting in a restaurant having dinner when she got surrounded by an unruly mob who insisted she raise her fist in the air in support of a group of activists. The comments section is filled with people who are apparently ready to open fire on a city street into a crowd of people.
Is that really the appropriate response? While I absolutely agree that the behavior of that mob is horrible and that these things shouldn’t happen, is this a moment that requires the use of uncensored deadly force?
Have any of these folks stopped to think about what happens after they open fire?
Because I can tell you what is very likely to occur if you unload a magazine in a public space in the middle of downtown Washington DC. At best, you will be arrested and charged with brandishing a weapon or illegal discharge of a weapon. At worst, one of your bullets will go through its intended target and hit an innocent bystander – maybe a child – maybe even your own child who is making his way back from the bathroom. Or you’ll kill a member of the angry mob and someone will take the gun away and turn it on you and you’ll be dead. Or you’ll valiantly take down three attackers and find yourself awaiting trial for homicide, among other charges.
And you know what else? Every idiotic off-hand comment you ever made online about blowing people away will come back to haunt you in court. If you think you’re anonymous online, I assure you that you are not. Even when you use a VPN, your actual IP can be traced given enough resources and time.
Choosing how you escalate your response
We’ve all heard the saying, “When your only tool is a hammer, you treat everything like it’s a nail.” The same is true when your only tool is deadly force.
Obviously there are life and death situations in which deadly force is the only possible response if you want to live. When someone bursts into your home waving a gun screaming that they’re going to kill you, when someone in a mask is trying to drag you into a van with dark-tinted windows, when someone is clearly intent on beating the crap out of you until you’re dead – all of these things are situations in which your use of a lethal response is entirely justified.
But… a lot of situations require more finesse unless you want to risk a) spending the rest of your life in prison and praying you don’t drop the soap or b) vengeance from your adversary’s friends or family or c) criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits forever and ever until you die.
You need to have an understanding of the appropriate escalation of force.
A book I read last year has a place on everyone’s shelf during these times in which
Article from LewRockwell