The March issue of Force Science News contained a very interesting article about how police and private citizens differ in their views of “justified” shootings.
While some may see the article as having application to law enforcement only, they would be wrong – it is well worth reading because it deals with differences in perception of a critical incident, differences which are not necessarily “cops vs. civilians” but more like “trained vs. untrained.”
Private citizens are both more critical of decisions to shoot, yet simultaneously less skilled in making those decisions themselves. This has grave implications for those who carry concealed weapons for self-defense; it suggests that an untrained person might shoot with less justification, while at the same time be held to scrutiny that is not commensurate with the risks of an evolving scenario.
My take on the research is that it is imperative the person carrying a defensive firearm be very well trained in the judicious use of deadly force. (Sadly, very few are.) At the same time, that person has to retain defense counsel who can educate a jury in the dynamics of a deadly encounter, so that they can judge the defendant’s actions more realistically. You need to be able to show the jury what you knew, and when you knew it.
Think carefully: how’s your knowledge of the judicious use of force?
-=[ Grant ]=-
- Posted by Grant Cunningham
- On May 4, 2009