Shotgun Breakup

I was reading a post over at about a girl having trouble with an ex-boyfriend who wasn’t quite convinced that it was over.  It turned violent on the part of the ex and he took actions that could be considered kidnapping.  Police were called.  Then Dad was called. 

Now, reading it, a question is asked – at what point does an altercation like this cross the point where you feel that deadly force is authorized?  Was it when the ex tried to prevent the daughter from leaving?  Was it when he followed the daughter to her house while threatening her?  Was it when, confronted by dad with a firearm, he knocked dad to the ground and proceeded to physically assault him?  Each of us has a different point where someone’s crossed that line.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and it’s not something I’ve hidden from my daughter or her older brothers (I’d do the same for them, but it’s more obvious and out in the open with her).  It’s been so obvious that my daughter instantly dubbed Cleaning This Gun by Rodney Atkins as my theme song the first time she heard it.  So, this isn’t a topic that I take lightly. 

For me, the point where I would start considering the use of deadly force would start at the beginning of the encounter when he tried to prevent her from retreating from the confrontation.  These actions are a clear threat to the health and safety of the girl, and should be treated as such.  When he stalked her back to the house and then threatened her dad … well, for me, let’s just say that the police wouldn’t have had to worry about chasing him and his buddy (the getaway driver) wouldn’t have had the police find his hefty stash of pot.  He would not have made it that far.  Would I have killed him?  If necessary to stop the threat.  It’s not something that I take great pleasure in contemplating, but it is on the table if it’s necessary to take it that far.  

As is covered all over the place (one of these days, I’ll actually pull the research together and put a post together about it … just toss it on the growing pile of things to get to, around here.  :), folks who attack someone unprovoked or threaten to attack someone unprovoked  break the agreed upon social contract between members of society.  Breaking the contract removes any and all requirements by me to show undue restraint.  I will act to remove the threat, using any means necessary.  Sometimes, this is as simple as a display of force.  Sometimes, this has to go farther to a limited use of deadly force (initial short prompts the aggressor to back off, etc.).  Sadly, other times, the threat cannot be removed prior to repeated and effective use of deadly force. 

Now, know what actions I might take in a given situation doesn’t mean that I am ignorant of the consequences of the necessary actions.  I’m aware of (and moderately prepared for) the legal repercussions of deadly force in a defensive situation.  I am aware of the possible mental/physical/emotional issues that might arise from the defensive situation.  I’ve studied them, to an extant.  I’ve tried to prepare myself for them.  However, never having been in this kind of situation, or other combat related situations, I have no idea about how my mind/body will react, afterwards.  But, I do know that I am going to deal with the consequences.  No matter the hell that the legal community will try to put me through, or the devestation that my mind and conscience might subject me to, I know that there is one thing make sure I will do the same thing in that situation – my safety, and the safety of my family, mean so much to me that I will act to defend them, using deadly force as necessary. 

So, to answer the question the author at asked, in that scenario, the young man was in danger as soon as he started threatening the daughter.  When he made threatening moves against the dad at the house, well, if that was me, I’d be getting the bleach, rags, and paint and brushes to clean up the bloodstains that would mar my wife’s nice porch.

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