Why Warning Shots Are Such a Bad Idea

By Rob Morse. January 2nd, 2018

You've heard the saying a thousand times. You will never need a gun until the moment when you need one immediately. Like a parachute or a fire extinguisher, a gun is a life saving tool and not a toy. We use a firearm to stop an immediate and lethal threat. That is why we don't fire warning shots.

You probably heard this in your concealed carry class, but here are the key factors that need to be present to justify using lethal force:

  • You (or another person being attacked) are innocent. You did not start this fight.
  • You are in immediate danger. You don't have time to do anything else but defend yourself.
  • The threat is credible. Your attacker has the means, intent, and the ability to kill you or cause great bodily injury or harm.
  • The threat is unavoidable. You can't step back and lock the door. You can't step on the gas and drive away.
  • Your response is proportional or "reasonable." Is a more moderate response sufficient to save your life?

That reasonable factor gets us into trouble, and I'm going to use a tough example. .......

This is a contentious issue for some but when it comes to defending your life then it is probably a bad idea for several reasons. Our sidearm is a weapon of last resort and escaping a situation is generally by far the best choice - if that fails, then the "warning shot" is not the best choice. At worst it can get you shot, not to mention it can open a whole legal can of worms.

"You don't have to be Jewish to fight by our side."

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