Survival Psychology “Deadly Force”


A great deal of survival talk and survival psychology centers around weapons and their use. The use of weapons for hunting or protection from aggressive animals is a (relatively) morally neutral action, but the use of weapons against another human being is not.

Note: remains “Religion” neutral, this entry was submitted by a man of the cloth and we felt that it had enough merit to be posted for all.

While you can be a Vegan and a survivalist, it is extremely difficult and even a Vegan might see theBug Out Bag, Go Bag, Survival Rifle, Survival Knife need to protect people and crops from predatory animals.The moral dilemma arises when the discussion turns to the use of deadly force against fellow human beings.

For those of us raised in the Jewish or Christian faith, the prohibition against murder is absolute. The commandment is actually, “Thou shall not commit murder”, not “Thou shall not kill” but that is a different discussion.  Let’s address survival, preparation and the use of force against people.

The Scripture, both Old and New Testaments have many examples of being prepared.  Joseph in Egypt is a prime example in the Book of Genesis.  In the New Testament, note that Jesus wasn’t born in a stable because Joseph and Mary were homeless, he was born in a stable because the central government in Rome ordered them to relocate for the purpose of being taxed.  The Holy Family fled to Egypt because the local government was bent on destroying the Infant.

Nowhere in Scripture or the earliest Church writings are soldiers told to put up their arms or to change jobs.  They are told to due their job honestly and to the best of their ability.  Paul explains that government has the power of the sword since it is their God given role to enforce law and punish evil.

The early Church fathers addressed this issue at the same time as they addressed the issue of war Bug Out Bag, Survival Carbine, AR15, AR-15, M4 Carbine. 556 mm, .223in general. Men like Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas explain in detail what constitutes a just use of deadly force. There are three main events that must be met before deadly force can morally be used:

1.  Force may only be used defensively.  Deadly force may only be used against people to protect one’s own or another life.

2.  The amount of force must not be excessive.  You cannot kill someone for minor offensives.

3.  There must be a reasonable possibility of victory.


The first requirement means that open aggression is never morally justified.  Deadly force may only be used against actual or reasonably threatened force.  The leader of the biker gang who threatens my family and me, gets off his bike and walks in my direction has not actually used force against me.  The threat is however creditable and deadly so a deadly response is justifiable.  It further means that deadly force is never available to an aggressor even to defend his own life.  Shooting a homeowner who is using deadly force against me after I have broken into his home is not self-defense.  It is murder.

“Eye for an Eye”

The second item is rather straightforward but is often misunderstood. The Scriptural “eye for anGOOD Bag, Bug Out Bag, Bugging In, Survivalist, Survivor, Survive, Survival Knife eye” injunction is not a command to seek revenge but is an absolute limit on the amount of retribution that can be sought. If you break my tooth I may not kill you for it.  I may do no more than break yours in return.  This was a great limitation in a land where blood feuds last centuries.  Interesting arguments crop up discussing what is ‘justifiable’.  There is an old saying from the American West that ‘Horse thieves are hung not because they stole a horse. They are hung so that horses may not be stolen.’  In a time and place where having your horse stolen was often a death sentence, being a horse thief was a capital offense.  In the Eastern cities of today or even of the same era this was not true because the result of being afoot was not nearly as severe.  Horse thieves are not hung today, not even in Texas.


The final criterion requires a reasonable chance of success in your endeavor.  Attacking an armored column with a bow and arrow is suicidal and suicide is forbidden.  You are not allowed to murder, not even yourself.

The final, perhaps most interesting, point brought out by the Church fathers is that if there has ever been such a thing as a just war (justifiable defense) then it follows that there is such a thing as an unjust peace (failure to act).  As a husband and father I do not have an option, morally speaking, when it comes to defending my family.  I have an absolute responsibility for their welfare.  This means I must also defend myself, even if they are not present, or I deprive them of the care they are entitled to.

The time to think through this responsibility is before TSHTF.  In fact, it should be done before the bug out bag, survival pistol, survival knife, survivor, survivalist, preppingfirst weapon is purchased.  Establish your limits of what is and is not acceptable force. Then if the time comes to act, there will be no hesitation. The same applies for survival in general.  I know what I believe is my responsibility to my family’s welfare and no person or act of government can remove that responsibility from me.  The Moral and Natural Laws set requirements that man made law cannot alter or remove.

People must decide for themselves what their responsibility is to their family and community.  They must then take appropriate steps to ensure they can carry out that responsibility.  Any other action is not in keeping with the long Christian tradition of just wars and self-defense.

By Captain Bart
Catholic Deacon, Retired US Army Pilot, Suburban Survivalist

Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply

Photos by:
Mr. Smashy

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Emerson January 31, 2011 at 11:02 am

I have my CCW (carry concealed weapon) permit in Ohio, and the law states that you can only use deadly force if "you perceive the threat as inevitably causing serious bodily harm or death to yourself or someone else." You are allowed to use this force in the defense of yourself or another. I believe it is our RIGHT (2nd amendment) to defend what is ours, especially our LIFE! As the US military states… kill or be killed!


@Preparedhoser January 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

very interesting article i really enjoyed it and it touched on some personal things for me. one of the first points got me thinking however, someone really needs to write and article for us vegan survivalists, survival ism can be a whole different ballgame for us.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

LOL – vegans…


Tom January 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I was a police officer for over 20 years and totally agree with the article..believe it or not a lot of police officer wrestle with these facts..there are officers that have killed someone in self defense then not been able to return to work because they believe what they did was wrong…so taking a life is serious..BUT..I do believe we all have an obligation to defend our families and ourselves…like one Marine Sniper said once "Someone has to take out the trash"


Specialist January 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

To survive a life or dead situation such as confronting an individual who intends to kill you, you need to have the proper mind set. The warrior mind set instilled in me can be summarized simply enough.
"When it comes down to either you or me, you're going to lose. At the end of the day, I'm going home to my family. Period."


survival96 January 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

i dont want to offend any one but the first rule "1. Force may only be used defensively. Deadly force may only be used against people to protect one’s own or another life." i the first rule to go just look at what happend when hurricane katrina hit people were geting guned down it the street


Jacob Shoop January 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Aside from the bits of scripture I enjoyed the article and concur on many points. However I find it very difficult to name a "just war".


Hikeitout February 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

My state Colorado still has the "Make My Day Law" where if someones enters your home or property you have the right to shoot to kill. There was an incident a year or so back where a guy drunk out his mind had the cab driver drop him off at what he thought was his home but was not. After trying his key in the door several times he climbed though a open window and was shot by the owner and killed. I happen to be a neighbor that knew the home owner. I think that a scared person with a weapon can be dangerous. I on the other hand wouldn't pull a gun unless I knew for sure I was pulling a trigger and making sure the person is dead. In some states an intruder that is only wounded can sue for medical bills and win. When I was in the middle east every time i squeezed the trigger I thought its him or me. I just hope that the American people will still have the decency to co exist with little blood shed. I know there may be a few gangs and groups that will roam the streets, but I just hope I'm in my bug out cabin by then. A nervous, paranoid scared person with a gun is not a good thing at all. The person with the clear, calm mind will always come out on top. To keep it as humane as possible just remember one shot one kill.


Chefbear58 February 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

CaptBart, I was raised by a very spiritually based Baptist family. I am the first male member of my family (either side) to not serve in the military (health reasons), but I am in school to become a Game Warden. This article seemed to speak right to me because in my Police Ethics class we are discussing use of force and "state sanctioned" violence. I tried to form an argument in a class discussion revolving around spirituality and use of force, but could not find the right words. This article will help me with this in class next week. Also, I have often "wrestled" with the idea of having to take a life. While I am willing to lay down my life in protection of others, the section where you mentioned defending your life for protection/responsibility to your family REALLY hit home! I do not have children, but I have a woman that I feel God made for me, parents who are getting older and may not be able to fend for themselves if/when TSHTF and a niece who could use an uncle to keep her safe. Thank you for an EXCELLENT article! You have helped me with some of the questions I have had in regards to the profession I wish to pursue and my faith.


Nurseryman75 February 2, 2011 at 11:19 am

You lost my attention as soon as you started quoting scripture. Being an Atheist, none of what is written in any holy book holds any credibility because all of them are not historical documents, merely moral stories and attempts to explain things that we have (or had) no scientific explanation for. For the record, I as well as most Atheists I know have as much or more moral integrity than many theists that I know. Religion does not equal morals and lack of religion does not equal lack of morals. The fact is, any sane person will use deadly force to defend themselves or their loved ones. If you are one of those people who say that they would never harm another human being, even in self defense, I have two things to say about that: 1) I would not believe that until I saw it. 2) If that really is true, then you are not a true survivalist and will likely perish with the people who just did not prepare for disaster. I'm also having a major issue with the "Eye for an Eye" topic of this article. So, if someone pokes my eye out, I can't kill him for it, I can only poke his eye out back. Do I have to wait for him to kill me before I can kill him back? Not logical. Also, BTW, if someone pokes my eye out, unless it was a mistake… They're history.


Chris January 1, 2013 at 2:50 am

It's not surprising that an atheist who claims possession of morals would not understand the explanation of 'an eye for an eye'. Your last sentence: "Also, BTW, if someone pokes my eye, unless it was a mistake… They're history.", proves that you don't understand the moral use of force. Your eye isn't worth a life, get over yourself.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

yea, that's the bottom line, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt over this one – the heat of the moment is…

Well, I'll put it this way, if I had just lost an eye while he's still clawing at my face than I have no problem blowing his brains-out, but if a freak-accident punch has burst my eyeball and I stumble back with enough time to consider the situation, than I sure hope I don't take the headshot cause that would haunt me for life. Then again, if I knee-capped him in retaliation than I wouldn't lose sleep over it cause that's just ending the threat.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Your argument makes it seem more like you're an atheist because you desperately want to be, not because you've actually convinced yourself it's logically sound. Also, what is this crap about "none of what is written in any holy book holds any credibility" – ALL world historians study the Christian Bible, the Jewish Torah and all the others, so what you just stated actually is the thing holding no credibility here! Gyah, atheists go on-and-on about the voice of reason but in my experience they're always way more judgmental than any theist I've ever met.

As far as the "Eye for an Eye" thing goes, they were referring to the ideal situation and how to deal with being wronged IF YOU HAVE THE TIME TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT, like AFTER THE DUST SETTLES, not IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE.


Dave H. February 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Great article! I will go one step farther in supporting his article from a Christian point of view. I believe that most all Christians and Jews would agree that suicide is not compatible with their beliefs. Based on this if you have a means of defending yourself (and family) ie. deadly force and you are presented with a situation in which someone is going to kill you and you do not employ said force wouldn't that be suicide? BTW I am a retired LEO (23 yrs) and also retired military. I have always been very supportive of second ammendment rights for any law abiding citizen. I also firmly believe that any of these citizens that choose to arm themselves seek COMPETENT training in whatever weapon system they choose to utilize. Then practice, practice, practice! Anyone who has experienced a deadly encounter will attest to this! YMMV.


Enzo February 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

To anyone who wants to survive, this article is a non issue. Its kill or be killed. If you can't do that, then you aren't going to survive. I guess my military background helps me in this area, but I would suggest that everyone else adopt this attitude at least. I'm an atheist so I don't believe in your holy books and superstitions.


mr.keltec August 17, 2012 at 6:17 am

Although a great deal of the Bible is manupilated or lost in translation, for the most part the book is proven to be credible. The Bible is a history book of sorts wheather you believe in god or not?


knightrider November 11, 2012 at 6:09 am

my (superstition) that you refer to has been getting christians through tough times for 2000 years. i cant tell or wouldn't tell anyone that their religion is wrong i myself believe that their is only one god. I have a cousin who is an ARMY RANGER. HE CARRIES HIS BIBLE OR HOLY BOOK as you call it into every situation for 26 years. so good luck to you ENZO. I WILL PRAY YOU SEE THE LIGHT BEFORE IT'S TO LATE!!! p.s. this article helped a whole lot of people who had this question. so you should think before you speak. i hope you get right with the lord !!! your life could be so much better. i will not try to push my beliefs on you . so good luck when the time comes!!!


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm

@ Enzo

as a Christian, I can respect your perspective much easier than Nurseryman75's approach to this issue. Some days, I still wish that I could afford to think your way – it would make things much simpler and it's how I originally saw things as a prepper, but times have changed and there's just too many prophesies being fulfilled for me to risk thinking that way anymore. Call me crazy if you like, I wouldn't blame you!


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

- or if you don't like the term "prophesy" than I suppose you could also phrase it as, "9 or 10 out of roughly a dozen major historically aforementioned convenient coincidences have already occurred recently and with great frequency, being described even secularly as 'biblical' in nature" and I just don't like them odds…


Slobyskya R February 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Excellent article, well said. And indeed these points should all be considered before the fact, not after; in WWI a number of young American boy died because they were suddenly faced with the moment of pulling a trigger and taking a life, and many of them froze up due to the inner conflict. Many of them were killed, because their enemy had been trained in this way.
Unless one is a psychopath, then one inherently draws back from killing.
And if one actually HAS had the regrettable but necessary experience of killing others in battle, one does NOT post the mall-ninja "look how tough I am!" macho BS that some people post about their gung-ho backgrounds. You tend to remember the first kill and the last, at least if it was ground combat. I do not know what pilots, bomber pilots, deal with as I am not a pilot, so cannot speak to that issue.
There is an excellent book available called "Warrior Mindset" by Askin, Grossman and Christensen, which addresses the mental / emotional side and prepares the reader for victory through overcoming the hesitance. It might be very helpful for those who think about these things. Amazon and B&N sell it.


CaptBart February 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

Please don't use your atheist beliefs to deny your basic psychological needs as a human being. The high suicide rate among LEO who have had to kill in the line of duty is a testament to how ingrained in the human psyche is the prohibition against killing. Humans are social animals and as such the natural laws that cover our behavior are inbred in us by evolution if you don't believe in a Creator. We are either created this way or evolved this way but denying the human reluctance to kill is to ignore who we are. Those who don't have such a reluctance we label 'sociopaths' since they do not or can not fit into society. Such a person would not be welcome in any of the survival groups I am aware of and the solo survivalist has a much more difficult time than the survival group in actually living through TSHTF event.
Because of who we are, we need to prepare for the aftermath as much as for the event.


LesStroudfan February 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm

This is a decent article about our god given right to defend ourselves. Yet, this is one error I perceived in your viewpoint; like it or not, when you kill a bad guy due to the need of self defense when he or she is not actually doing anything to you, that is murder not the other way around. It is kind of like when a gang member threatens to break into an elderly guy's residence, but does not; however, when the senior citizen sees the punk on his land he has the right to shoot him regardless. like it or not, in the eyes of the law, gramps could be convicted of murder. all I am saying is to clarify that statement about when someone breaks into your house some more.


CaptBart February 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

The law in your state may vary. In Texas or in most Castle doctrine states the rule of law says in my house unwanted and I can shoot. On my property I can't unless I'm in fear for my life. This changes at night. The low light level increases the personal risk to the point that lethal threat is assumed on the part of the BG. In other states the law varies. In some more liberal states you are required to flee from the aggressor even if in your own home; not exactly the Texas style. As an example, a visitor from Scotland came home drunk at o-dark-thirty. Unfortunately he went to the wrong address. When he couldn't get in the front door, he climbed over the fence and tried to open the patio door. The 73 year old home owner yelled at him to go away and the guy got loud and angry. The heavy brogue, made worse by booze, was not understandable. The result was the home owner fired through the door with a shotgun, killing the man. No charges were fired – justifiable homicide since the homeowner was defending his home.
The question of legal can be clear and can change depending on your state's law but the question of justified can be less clear cut. In this case, while there was no evil intent on the part of the guy breaking in; the home owner had no way to know that and was home with his disabled wife. Under those conditions at that time, I would think he was justified. I removed a gun from the home of a relative who wanted to shoot teenagers for walking through her parking space behind her town house at all hours of the night. They bothered her and wouldn't stop using the parking area (open to the public) as a walk way so she wanted to 'wound' them to chase them off. Absolutely unjustified – annoying perhaps but NOT rising to the level of justifying lethal force.
In your question, as long as the gang member is mouthing off but not taking action, you are right, it doesn't justify a lethal response. Even on your own land, it probably doesn't raise to the level of requiring a lethal force response. On the other hand, at night, in close proximity to the home the rules change. The problem with prudential judgement is that honest people can come to different conclusions. When does fear for your safety justify a lethal response?
In Mass. or CA. if you can flee you must; in castle doctrine states you have the right to stand your ground and defend yourself. The truth is that legal and justified are not always the same thing.


CaptBart February 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

As far as are you justified, only you can determine that for yourself. You may use lethal force if the rules for use of force are met. Is the threat of violence creditable enough that you realistically fear for your life. Is the threat serious enough that lethal force is the only reasonable response. Can you survive a lethal force response. Obviously, a three year old threatening to kill you is not exactly a creditable threat. That 27 year old biker is a much more creditable threat. If he is a member of a violent gang it raises the stakes even more. Where the questions get more difficult is when the threat is not immediate. When does a threat alone justify a lethal response? In the old west, a threat by a known gunman was taken very seriously. In several cases, after such threats were made, the threatened party killed the gunman in cold blood – it was considered self defense since the intended victim had no other chance to survive an encounter.
I am not advocating situational ethics or morals by any means. The situation can change the severity of an encounter – it does not change the rules of engagement. I am not required to let the BG initiate action if I can not survive his first move. Pre-emption is very tricky morally but if absorbing a 'first strike' is fatal you don't have to wait for that.
My basic contention about home invasion/break-in is that the presence of the BG in my home endangers my family and myself. If you endanger my family you have 'latae sententiae' (Canon Law term meaning "by the act") authorized me to use deadly force. The entire concept of felony murder rests on the premise that if your illegal action results in the death of anyone, for any reason, you are guilty of that death. The law will judge based on the law. In Texas it is basically 'would a reasonable man' fear for his safety. In terms of one's own mental/moral health, the rule has to be was the perceived threat severe enough to justify a lethal response. Note it is perceived, not actual. An air-soft gun in the teen's hands on a neighbor's roof at midnight almost earned him a load of buckshot. He was shooting at people's cars and houses. I heard a strange noise and came outside to check it out. Fortunately for him I've been shot at before and the sound of what went by my ear was wrong so I hesitated and he lived. In Texas had I shot him it would have been legal but since I questioned the level of the threat, it would not have been moral for me to fire. Had I not known what a slug traveling past sounds like, I would have been justified as well as legal it shooting him. If your state doesn't allow you the right to stand your ground and defend yourself, I recommend moving just as quickly as you can manage it before you find yourself morally required to use deadly force when the law forbids it.


Chefbear58 February 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm

CaptBart- You "stole my thunder" a little bit with your last response…. I was going to say that *MOST* states say you can use lethal force in a situation where a reasonable person would fear their life or the life of another. For me, the Biker guy is probably not gonna eat a bullet from my gun, he will however have one hell of a fist fight on his hands if he doesn't back off. Now if the same Biker is walking towards me, saying he is gonna kill me and then do something to my the woman I love, I would likely warn him to back off, if he doesn't I would draw my 1911 and hold it at my side, if that doesn't get the point across, another verbal warning as I raise my pistol… once he is within 3 yrds and still hell-bent on what he is gonna do *BLAM *BLAM* *BLAM* (2 center mass, 1 head). Because in that situation I am not only defending myself (personally I have no problem taking a beating, and actually enjoy giving it back at times) but also the woman I love, NO ONE will hurt her while I am around. In that situation, my priority is not myself, but rather my girl. She can kick butt with the best of 'em, but that biker is a threat. I am a "reasonable" person, I had given him plenty of opportunities to end the situation that it appears he started, he is (from what I can tell) legitimately threatening my life, but more importantly is threatening my girl, at that point I would feel threatened and I know she does… Heck she might even put a slug in him before I do! Nothin' hotter than a beautiful woman who knows how to handle the pistol she keeps in her purse!


CaptBart February 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

Amen, brother. 'She who must be obeyed' can roll a tin can at 10 yards with her Smith. Uncanny as all get-out the way the ladies seem to be able to put six on target like that and, yes, after almost 42 years of being married to my high school sweetheart she is about as 'hot' as they come.
You are also correct – if I am above room temperature, NO ONE HARMS MY WIFE!
As to the fight, at 62, I'm not quite as ready for a rough and tumble as I once was. Since I can not afford to lose I invoke a saying I heard somewhere – 'never pick a fight with an old guy. If he's too old to fight you, he'll just kill you!'


Chefbear58 February 13, 2011 at 12:15 am

One of my instructors showed a video in class the other day that was taken from a convenience store surveillance camera, some guy tried to rob the store and a retired 75yr old Marine who was purchasing something at the counter. The guy came in with a knife and cut the Marine on his upper arm, the clerk started to give the guy the money out of the register. It seemed like that was the opening the Marine was looking for, because he pulled out a "wheel gun" so fast you almost couldn't see his arms move, and pointed it at the robber, the robber suddenly realized what happened and swung around with the knife, then he appeared to try and lunge at the Marine, and the Marine just opened up on him. The Marine put 4 rounds in the robber, we learned later that the marine was a squad marksmen in Vietnam, the police report said that he shot the robber 4 times at point blank range (within 5 ft) all of which impacted the robbers chest and were all in about a 2.5" group, exactly center.

After hearing that, not that I would mess with anybody unless absolutely necessary, I don't think I would want to screw with any old dudes! You never know who they are, and pick the wrong one… end up dead!


mr.keltec August 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

Slightly change the scerenio. The biker doesnt say he will kill you. Instead he says he will clean the parking lot with you. You are with your lady and are bothering no one. Do you duke it out with this guy hopeing you win and you and yours get to go home together, or do you use deadly force because you feel that your safety has been threatened. Maybe it just depends on how big of a boy this biker is. lol. This is an important thought to consider before hand instead of in the heat of the moment.


CaptBart February 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

My experience has been the talkers are seldom, if ever, the doers. I've been at parties with a man I know to be a Special Ops troop from the sand boxes and listened to loud mouth BS from the mall-ninjas (I like the term – haven't used it before but it fits). Often I've found that if they served at all they were a clerk in NJ or some such. Pilots can be a different breed. It can be almost a video game. (forgive the coming racial slur – my apologies but it fit at the time) You didn't kill a human – you "zapped a gook". Sort of insulated you from what you'd been doing. I was on a damage assessment team and got to see my 'handiwork'. Changes perspective completely. That coupled with some ground duty gave a different perspective than just looking down from above. Take pride in your job, sure, but God help you if you ever start liking the killing!


mr.keltec August 17, 2012 at 6:25 am

There are people who talk the talk and those who walk the walk. The talkers rarely walk because they are to busy talking. I thought about this reading nurseryman's post above. I think that the real doers in life don't have the need to have diaerrah of the mouth to be a man. Actions speak so much louder than words.


badt44 February 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

Excellent !


SurvingJerry February 11, 2011 at 12:53 am

Just a little something to keep in mind.
Palomas Man who killed in self-defense is murdered…

Just because it was legally justified as self-defense doesn't mean that all parties will see it that way.

You have to assume this was a revenge killing. (or they originally intended to kill him and just finished the job with no bias towards payback?)

Especially in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario where the written rules of law may be off the table. If someone killed your loved one, what would you (want to) do. No reason to expect the moral high ground from family/friends of the guy you shot breaking-into your BOL. I expect it will be like the wild west…. He killed my brother because my brother killed his Pa because his Pa was stealing our cattle.


CaptBart February 11, 2011 at 8:23 am

Agreed. Louis LAmour's Sackett stories all revolve around families feuding. In some cases it makes sense, in others it's just a stupid way to get yourself or loved ones killed. If the BG is a gang member, the 'honor' of the gang means it isn't over when the smoke clears. After TSHTF it will take clear thought to determine if going after the other gang members is self-defense or revenge. Revenge is always wrong – preemption in the face of overwhelming threat is prudent. Interestingly, two men out after the same gang and working together may have one man justified by the desire to preempt an intolerable threat and the other committing murder because he is out for revenge. Revenge clouds judgment and makes you stupid. Never be with someone out for revenge if you can possibly avoid it. The need for vengeance is not a survival trait.


kjr February 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

I live in Alabama. Laws here are fairly one sided toward the land owner, home owner, or your vehicle. If some one enters with the intent of breaking the law (i.e robbery), you are given the benfit of the doubt that they will also harm you and or your family.

Now, you cannot shoot them dead on your front lawn or even for looking in the window, but once they enter the home via breaking and entering, it is 100% at their risk. And any gun is your gun, even CCW permits do not require a certain weapon be registered or limit what weapon you can carry, you can carry any "legal" weapon CCW including ones purchased in a private party transaction that are not registered in your name.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm



Texas Red Neck February 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Wow- – - This is just the thing I used to teach to police officers in Idaho. Also to those who elected to carry a weapon, usually a handgun. I wish I has your article then. Excellant vision and perception, wish I had it.

I'm a "Nam vet and have seen my share of death and destruction. Now I'm a retired federal agent that was involved in"black box Ops" However, when it comes to my family- – - I don't have any compuction in pulling the trigger. I had to learn all about trust and faith. I trust that I will pull my weapon and I have faith that I will use it!

Here is one that I picked up from a friend, " you cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family!"


mr.keltec August 17, 2012 at 6:46 am

I like the trust and faith slogan!


NerdyAdventurer February 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Great article! I would suggest going one step further than thinking about this and deciding your limits before the situation arises: Discuss this with people in your group that will be carrying guns. You need to be on the same page. It can be an uncomfortable topic for some to openly talk about, but I feel it is essential.


CaptBart February 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Yes, sir. By all means discuss it with your family and group. Someone freezing the first time they see someone shot is not uncommon but it could be fatal to themselves or others. The 'rules of engagement' must be clear to all, especially if you are coming back inside the safe area from 'Indian country'. Being shot by your own people after you've cleared the area of any threats would be miserable for all concerned.


JohnDoe1999 February 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

Sir, I am continuing the conversation from the PDW article. I am definitely feeling a "light at the end of the tunnel" now that mother is at least talking about a weapon and through much patience, has finally been convinced about the merits of preparedness. (the Family Survival: Spouse article surmises it well) And I agree, many of her questions could just be solved if she took some courses on firearms and home defense. We already have emergency exit routes and meeting points for house fires, but complacency has kept us from practicing intruder drills. At this point, I sleep in the bedroom next to hers so that i can move to her bedroom and barricade the door… My father passed when I was 11 years old, but not before he taught me about preparedness and self defense mindsets. It's just my mom and I, (and an un-intimidating but useful early warning system called buster) so i feel that i am responsible for protecting her if SHTF or anything else.


KvG March 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

I enjoyed the article. In a survival situation hesitation kills, and mostly likely will cause you your life and the life of your love ones. There is no legal or moral debate when defending against animals. I have categorized people into three groups: defenders, lambs, and animals.

Defenders: those who take the initiative to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Lambs: men, women, and children who are not capable to defend themselves (mentally, physically, or because of religious beliefs.) – My wife and child would be considered lambs

Animals: those that choose to take advantage of a situation to loot, rape, and murder.


KvG March 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

Katrina and that people where getting gun down in the streets. Animals started shooting rescuers in boats, firing on rescue helicopters, looting, raping, murdering, and burning houses and buildings (Monday after Katrina.) No communications, no electricity, no food (3 day supply of food in any city), depleted law enforcement force (by the Thursday after Katrina hit New Orleans most police locations in the greater New Orleans area ran low on ammo), no food and/or water, no fuel, restricted travel do to flood waters, downed trees and utility poles, and roving bands of animals. All this led to a situation never seen before in the United States. defending and shooting gunning people down in the streets are tow different things


jkmatyi March 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

This is my first post here. I served in the infantry in Vietnam, and I worked for the Sheriff's Department here in Alabama in 1990/1991. I developed the Mental Health system for the county jails and from day one I volunteered my self to work with any officers that had to use deadly force in the line of duty. They did not have to go through their unit commander, they just called me at home and we would meet for a cup of coffee.

Having served in a combat role in the military I believe this made them feel a little more comfortable talking with me about having to take a life, even when it was quite obvious that they had little choice in the situation. This was an excellent article and I am glad to have found this site today. Keep up the good work,


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Thank you, sir, and welcome to the site. Thank you as well for helping the LEOs in your area who had to use lethal force. It is a life changing event even thought it was fully justified and legal. Adapting to the instant change within yourself and your family/community is very traumatic and can lead to real problems if not handled well.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm

and a big WAR EAGLE to you too, sir! Unless of coarse you're a Tide fan and then your kindness and military service count for nothing…

Just kidding.
Not really.
Yes, I am.


Regulator5 April 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

Something to consider, if allowed to in your local area/range, is to use silhouette targets. The Army switched to them just for the ability to overcome that mental block normal people have with taking another person's life. Spending hours and thousands of rounds at the range will be of no use if you are not able to utilize the training when the SHTF and it's needed. I personally hope and Pray that we never need to use this option and the preparing is for our self fulfillment and confidence, but just by buying gear and practicing will not allow the survival of you and yours if you do not prepare the biggest hurdle, your mindset. There are several books on the subject that uses historical data to offer suggestions. Also remember that in most cases, women and men are "wired" differently and need different approaches to conquer the same hurdle. Russia found this out after WW2 and there have been some studies done on this.
Avoidance is the best policy, but when it can't be avoided, be ready and be prepared to not only deal with the situation at hand, but the after action effects it will have.


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I agree with you about the targets. There is a caveat: do not keep 'perp'(targets that have an image of a perpetrator on them) targets that you've fired on around. Yeah, it is cool to show how well you shoot but those silhouette or picture perp targets can be held up in court as PROOF that you wanted to KILL a human being. If you were that good a shot on the perp target why didn't you just wound that poor, unoffensive gang banger who wanted to knife you? I am appalled that considerations like this have to even come up but be prepared to defend your choices in court if you have to use lethal force.


Regulator5 April 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I just use the "plain" silhouette form targets and throw them after reviewing them. I agree, they would be used against you in court. When deploying to Iraq, it is drilled in that if questioned about why you "killed the terrorist" to always refer to training… "I am taught to shoot center mass at all targets." I do not wear any marksmen badges or any other identifying symbols that "show me as blood thirsty or aggressive", I may wear an Army hat/shirt and almost always keep a set of rank with me. In the Balklands, you were taught to E&E in civvies, but wear rank under your collar to be compliant with the Geneva and Hague Conventions. This means you are a formal military member and NOT a spy. It'll be the little nuances that save your bacon.
Keep up the great articles and comments. Your insight will help and save all who care to understand, including me.


mr.keltec August 17, 2012 at 6:55 am

It is sad to me that this is true. I've read somewhere, maybe here, about the use of specialty bullets being held against the shooter who was in fact the victim. In our society over justification has become the norm. A good example is the burglar who falls through the roof and then sues and wins case against the homeowner for his injuries.


CaptBart August 19, 2012 at 6:41 am

true. I like the name, by the way. I like Kel-Tec almost as well as Ruger. My pocket carry is the P11.


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I had forgotten the Code of Hammurabi. You are quite correct and thank you for mentioning it. The 'mal en se' crimes have universally resulted in expulsion from the tribe or death (often the same thing). The Natural Law are those things that are ingrained in us that allow two or more to live together. No civilization can survive when the Natural Laws are ignored.


FelineFurry August 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm

To everyone who is bringing their religion into this trying to knock down this mans' religion, I say, "Really?" I will be totally honest, it brings up a point that most of us already know and have considered in depth, however, religion has little to do with this area to most people. ADPA. Assess, Determine, Predict, Act. That is the way I see it. You have to ADPA in a split second, and mistakes can be made, but a lot of times it will be kill or be killed. So, have your weapon ready, your wits about you, and your moral code and will to survive strapped to your heart.


The_Mastermind September 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Your point is well-made. There is a world of difference between what only takes a twitch. I at least at the moment in my life, have a dream that I'll never have you use deadly force nor be on the end of it if the SHTF (Or otherwise, for that matter) but if I need to, I will.


MjeanM September 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

thank you for posting this. this is something i struggle with. im not afriad of guns and i dont have a problem with hunting for food. i do have a problem with pointing that same gun i use for food to a person for defense. when it comes down to it. i will alway protect my family but i dont know that i wont be greatly affected by it. its certainly something to think about.


CaptBart September 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm

you will most certainly be effected by the enormity of taking a human life. If you have not already done so, I suggest you look at the Aftermath article for a discussion of what happens after you have fired. Thinking about it before hand can help, just remember, if the bad guy dies, it was his choice to be there, you didn't force him to kick in your front door. The choice was his and you have every right to be very angry that he forced you to defend yourself. Again, I suggest the aftermath article.…


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Here's what gets me through it:

This is my burden as a husband/father. It is expected of me because it is required of me and my loved ones are depending upon me to act on their behalf. The consequences will rest on my shoulders so that the weight will not be on theirs. I do it because I must.


squiddy1 October 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

In Virginia the law states that Deadly force may be used in order to:
A) Protect your own life
B) Protect the life of another person
C) To stop a rape
Clearly defined Just because you have a Gun does not give someone the right to pass judgement on someone , However to violate one of the above is pass judgement on yourself


Joshua October 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

If the assailant has the intent, opportunity and capability of inflicting deadly force upon you and your family it is time to use deadly force.


squiddy1 October 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I do not believe in pulling out my handgun to intimidate anyone , nor would I take it out to show off or act like some bad ass. People like that piss me off.
Its called concealed carry for a reason. I made a promise to myself long long ago and that is this. Say what you want, Threaten me, Tell me all the bad things you are going to do to me.
Its America we still have free speach. With that being said I have an artifical knee so I cannot run, Soooooo If you try to Harm myself or my family then I will produce the gun for one reason and one reason only TO MAKE IT THE LAST THING YOU EVER SEE


KansasScout May 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

Sooo true squiddy1, we as American citizens under the First Amendment have the right to speak our minds. Likewise we all have the right to make asses of ourselves when we do. Now when you go from words to actions that threaten my life, limb or the lives and limbs of others well…


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Well said, sir. The 1st Amendment is the only thing that trumps the 2nd in this country.


Erik October 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

THANK YOU for bringing to light the “Eye for an Eye” as a legal retribution limit. This piece has been misquoted, misused and misunderstood by the masses since Hammurabi erected his “code”, or laws, in stone all those years ago.


.null November 5, 2011 at 3:19 am

see the problem with what your doing captbart is you judging other views in all reality rather than understanding, even your self, what your saying. to state that two "good" men could not come to dis-conclusiveness is to be talking about men who would HAVE to be seen from a single view. that is to look not from another view but to state outside what you consider is right is absolute wrong. people that hate even, if they communicate in an i perspective rather than a you(judgmental) then true understanding could be obtained because each, if they allowed them selves, would have to understand a discouragement in light of hearing from them rather than at. not to say theres not terrible people out here, but what you said was halfed logic making it not logical at all..fruitless words if you relate to that better. (also i dont wish any ill wills or feelings to be felt rather i speak without emotion in a striving for knowledge everywhere) i like your stuff alot and agree in many ways.


CaptBart November 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

I'm not sure what you mean by "dis-conclusiveness". Since the article is about the morality of the use of deadly force, I tried to approach this from the position of Natural Law. Unless you are into situational ethics/morality then there are absolute rights and wrongs. IF there are absolute right and wrong, then there are such things as moral and immoral (good and evil, if you will) decisions.
The key to my statement about two "good" men choosing different sides of the same issue is based on the fact that a great deal (almost all) of the time, full knowledge of a situation is lacking so we make prudential judgements based on what we know. This being the case two moral people (in terms of natural law) can reach different decisions.
In terms of clear natural law violations, the prohibition against murdering a member of your own family/tribe for example, then all "moral" people MUST reach the same decision. There is such a thing as absolute right and wrong, to deny that is to destroy the foundation of all human society.


.null November 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

well i agree in universal law and fairness as and entirety. as in beliefs are irrelevant as long as neutrality between humans rights, of there own selves, are met. however you state you are a, "man of god," and god says the devil is evil. things outside the bible are evil. thus creating wars and murders (and i mean murder) through time over and over again taking will and life of "bad" parties. so in following that you state that you dont believe in simple good will but a side of a never ending fight. to me i see you saying two different things back and forth seaming linked but double minded also….which the bible says that's bad too. its kind of confusing :( . once again, i mean no disrespect, i would love to meet and learn from you! (as a man of science i also believe in the structure for none progressive obsolete functions. they're to be erase emotionlessly for the sake of progress and future.)


CaptBart November 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I'm not sure we're communicating but I'll try again. First, I don't think I said things outside the bible are evil. There is a famous quote that basically says, "I can accept the evil men do in the name of evil, God save us from the evil they do in the name of good". The Natural Law does not depend on the contents of the Bible, whether or not you believe in God or Allah or YHWH, Budda or Visnu, or no god at all, or any form of believe at all. Natural law just IS and the result of ignoring it is plainly visible in history. If you are a convinced atheist then you accept Natural Law as the result of the evolutionary process that developed behaviors that have definite survival benefits for the species. These laws work, violate them at your own risk.
If you are saying that folks who should be solid, ethical Christians are not always solid or ethical, you are right; I am guilty of such misconduct myself. Not proud of that but we are all sinners, or slackers depending on your reference.
As to God saying the devil is evil, well Jesus actually said he was the "Father of Lies, a Murderer from the beginning". From a Christian prospective, Jesus didn't come for the righteous but to safe those in need of redemption. Most Christians will admit they often fall short of following the Lord's will and are in need of forgiveness. Those who won't admit that they need forgiveness are people to stay away from because they are the ones that Jesus called hypocrites.
I do not want to let this become a religious discussion so I'll let the rest of the religious stuff go. I'm sorry that my posts have been confusing; my point was that the use of deadly force has moral, ethical and psychological impacts for human beings. Prudence and survival instinct demands that you be prepared for those effects. Anyone who can take life without any impacts or with pleasure is a psychopath and is to be avoided.


.null November 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

sigh, i can see im getting nowhere on my side, so i'll agree on the underlying point (which i do agree) and now you have explained a few things in that i have heard a more personal side of it (heh heh heh) ;) i have a better understanding and i see better. i want to state though, i actually do not follow evolution, hate it actually. if i were to do that i would be stating facts through beliefs and that defeats logic. evolution=religion however, science=god, god=science :o .

.null November 5, 2011 at 3:22 am

the first instance of the word,"absolute should have a comma after it. sorry its been awhile since sleep. to much to learn!


.null November 5, 2011 at 3:34 am

also once again i have to post to say….sigh..i understand this can appear unclear in exactly what i mean. look for literality. and im sorry if that doesnt help i put my email in the email box, idk if you'll be able to see it but it seems your part of the site so if you can
(if wished) email and i can take more time to write alittle less decryption but its hard to not do such naturally.


Instructor April 1, 2012 at 5:10 am

I'll pray for you. I believe that having an eye poked out is SERIOUS injury. Therefore the use of deadly force would be justified. JMO.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I'll say this much; I would hope that I would remember the whole "Eye for an Eye" logic if I knew for a fact that he just wanted my eye and not my life, but I don't honestly believe that that would be the first thing to pop into my head if I'd just had an eyeball ripped from it – I would probably instinctively switch to, "CRAZY MAN TRYING TO KILL ME!" mode, because what kind of demented sociopath just collects eyes?! If I've already lost that much then I'll assume the attacker is trying to kill me with a clean conscience.

Then again, as a Christian, I don't really deal in the old testament approach to things. Israel's response to Munich? Justified, because they do live by the law of Moses. As a Christian however, as stated in Matthew 5:38-42 outside of initial self-defense, revenge is a big "No, No"

In fact, it's all a bit hazy, because the New Testament specifies somewhere how life must be preserved, but the above passage also specifies not to resist evil men and turn the other cheek, instead – however, that's still the clincher. You can't turn the other cheek if you're dead and knowingly allowing yourself to be killed is arguably the same as suicide.


waterjetguy April 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

some of these words send a chill down my spine . the wording is awesome . i have sent a link to this to most people in my mail box . everyone needs to feel these words . the speak mountains

"I know what I believe is my responsibility to my family’s welfare and no person or act of government can remove that responsibility from me"

thats the nail on the head / lets roll america


KansasScout April 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I'm a former member of the Kansas Army National Guard and had worked for a time as a private security officer (both unarmed and armed). As a Guardsman I carried every thing from an M1911A1 to an M16A2 as a personal firearm. In my service I was trained that there is an escalation of force involved in the use of "Deadly Force" or "Leathal Force." This training included my training by the Wichita Police Department in their Private Merchan Police School on the use of force. As a private security officer I had no more right of use of force than a private citizen, but between the two sources of training on this I've learned the simplest and first is to warn the assailant to stop. Failing that if the individual is within a threatening distance according to how they're armed, use that force needed to stop the attack. A person at ten feet or farther with a gun is more dangerous than a person with a tire iron at the same distance whereas the one armed with the improvised club is just as deadly at five feet or less as the one with a gun. So you have every right to shoot either at that lesser distance to defend yourself and others.


KansasScout April 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Enzo, even in a time (hope that it doesn't come to pass) where the world as we know it is now gone it is never justified regardless of your belief system to kill someone just because he or she poked out your eye. However if someone stole your water in a dry region (high planes or desert) then by all means use of deadly force is justified because this is the same form of capital murder as stealling of one's horse in similar enviroments a century and a half ago or more. The idea of sending an enemy to the morgue because he or she sent one of yours to the hospital is not the correct way to do justifiable force. Now if you are in a home invasion situation the potential is there that the attacker will kill you or your family so it is justified to kill. The reason you kill as explained to me is that if the assailant survives even if he or she loses the criminal case he, she, or their family may still according to state and local laws have the right to sue for damages.


KansasScout April 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

CaptBart, I agree with you that before, long before someone takes up arms to defend themselves, their families, or others people need to think over what the ramifications are of killing someone. I've been told in the Kansas Concealed Carry Handgun course that if you have to draw the weapon besure of your shot and make sure that it is leathal. There were two reasons for this, 1) all uses of a firearm outside of a range or hunting in Kansas are investigated as a crime, 2) Each person that uses leathal force has to prove that it was justified and in self-defense in Kansas. So it is best that your shots are fatal and that you are the only one to survive the deadly encounter so that it is only your story that is told.


SurvingJerry April 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Enter George Zimmerman.


KansasScout May 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

Well in his case he did according to the reports pursue his target. He should have waited where he was and observed to see what exactly the other man, Trevan was up to. Then and only then if there was a true threat to someone or himself should he have acted. The assault and battery by Trevan Martin upon Mr. Zimmerman seems to have been instigated by Zimmerman's aggressive approach to the situation. To me "Stand your Ground" means that you don't fall back unless your position is not good defensively. You don't attack, you defend your position from your assailant. In any selfdefense situation you will face the potential of killing the assailant and you should be prepared to face the legal and emotional fallout.


anthony barbuto December 13, 2012 at 9:19 am

Interesting article. I disagree with " he breaks my tooth I break his"….Vengeance is MINE…..Sayeth the Lord..!!!!…IF we stopped the " Tit for tat" mentality, maybe there would be no more wars….maybe even the Palestinians and Israelis, and the Indians and Pakistanis could live in peace. With the " eye for eye" mentality, this will never be……Jesus said to return violence to no one and he lived and died by this. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, even Lech Valencia turned over governments by non violence…so we don;t have to be Christ to do it…just live by his rules, if we really can call our selves Christians….In the Bible, it said not to murder….BUT…people who killed in defense, of their life , had to live in Cities of Refuge….otherwise they could be killed by the relatives of the people they killed…so " eye for eye" does not come withtout some payment.
This is what the BIBLE says…I live in New york where you must PROVE you had no other choice other than use deadly physical force. This means I must PROVE I retreated, as far as I could go before I used deadly force. Very unlike states where you can " shoot them if they are on your property".
I have a Mossberg 12 gauge because I live in a city. I know when the SHTF, my apartment building will be over run by the local scum. I have my Mossberg to protect me and my wife. If they kick in my door I will use the Mossberg. …In NY, that is the only time I can….
A lot of points to think about killing some one… is not a light matter…despite the movies and video games.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

"Vengeance is Mine" so sayeth the Lord.

That should be inscribed on the side of every Christian's EDC gun.


TommyMacca June 26, 2013 at 6:45 am

Over here in sunny England, There are no guns and we go the pub and enjoy our lives.


kiljoy616 August 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Yes we all know about the nanny state you have over there.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Go to the Winchester.
Have a pint.
Wait for this all to blow over.

oh wait, thank goodness there was a gun there in the end!


TommyMacca June 26, 2013 at 6:54 am

What about predator drones?
What about being killed by a female sniper from 500m away?
What about having your legs blown off by an IDE
What about being beaten to death by an angry mob?

Warrior mindset! PMSL


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Look, we get it. You're from the UK and they've already got yall licked. You've fallen into the trap of "just drink it away" but we don't want to live that way.


kiljoy616 August 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I hope they don't abandon their so called "morally" believes, more meat for me.


kiljoy616 August 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Yes by cops in some places. So the first rule is important but been unarmed buy so called authority could lead to a very short life.…


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm

yea, an understanding of your enemy's position falls under "strategizing"


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

agreed. still, I hate it when people try to use
"But, I was just ssooo drunk!" as any excuse at all.


Guest November 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I feel the same way. I was as desensitized to fatal violence as any other kid born in the '80s, but growing-up into the wanna-be Christian man I'm trying to be, it makes you think twice – some would call that "hesitation" but that's why I'm trying to sort this all out now, ahead of time. I found this article to be exactly what I never realized I was always looking for…


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm

good point, still though, as a descendant of the Scotts, this is where the traditionally obligatory, "F*ck the English!" comes-in…


Guest November 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm

"word" to that. My understanding of a Christian lifestyle dictates that I love my neighbor, but why are the atheists always looking for a fight, why don't you ever hear them say, "Live and let live" huh? isn't THAT the voice of reason?!


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

not in a Stand Your Ground state, also known as Castle Law


Guest November 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I love this state! I love it here!


Merry_Mac82 December 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

A very interesting article.

You raised some very good points to consider. The issue of facing that life or death situation and making the decision to kill another human being is often overlooked in survival prep. Many preppers have a military or law enforcement background and thus are able to rely on their training or past experience. Civilian like myself have no such training to fall back on.

The question of whether or not you can actually pull the trigger when the time comes is something everyone needs to honestly consider for themselves. An armed individual who is ill-prepared and untrained with their weapon puts themselves and those they are trying to protect at greater risk than an unarmed individual.

I was quite pleased to see the note regarding Survival Cache being religion neutral at the beginning of the article. Unfortunately the article itself was not particularly neutral. I have seen in your responses in the comment sections arguments involving natural law. I think the article would have been more well rounded had you included some arguments from that perspective.

All in all and excellent article on a very important issue. Thanks.


CaptBart February 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Remember that the goal is survival. As a teenager on the West Coast, having a handgun is probably too large a legal risk to take. If the money is available then a 'Circuit Judge' would be a good compromise to be followed by the Judge when possible.
An approach you might consider is to address with her the fact that if you have to pick up the 9mm in an emergency the LEO who arrive might be very unsympathetic to a teenager with a handgun. They would be a lot more understanding of a long gun than a short gun. Until TEOTWAWKI part of our survival must be living with the law enforcement structure regardless of what we think our rights should be. The other half of the argument is that you need to be able to cover her back. In Psychology I have a link to an article by Conner about 'little Lizy'. It applies to your mom as well and she may be willing to not force you to defend her empty handed.
Home invasion is only one scenario, albeit a large one, that we must prepare for. It is difficult to move slowly if you see problems that those you love refuse to recognize. Most people, even in LA don't have to deal with a home invasion. Same for Houston; you should be prepared for it because it is fairly likely and is easy to prepare for. Additionally, the grimly certain to occur SHTF event, hurricane in Houston or quake in LA, increases the risk of the home invasion event.
Read the other articles and we'll talk again.


JohnDoe1999 February 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Thank you sir for the continued responses and advice. Her and I are prepared for smaller earthquakes ( in 1994 a 6.8 occurred and help did arrive within 72 hours due to it affecting a small area) and are working towards bug in plans up to 3 weeks for "the big one" , a quake that will probably affect a very large area if not all of southern California at a VERY HIGH intensity. We are also planning on the next family vehicle being something with off road capabilities (we live on the edge of the city near fire roads in the hills), since we have agreed that if possible we will bug out in the event of a pandemic before the "flight response" and if necessary be prepared to bug in. I suppose the reason that I may seem over zealous in my desired weaponry is because my family lived through the LA riots, and I don't think that we will fare any better than New Orleans if we pass the infamous "9th meal from anarchy." Right now her and I are considering a 9mm, a 12 gauge, and a .22 for small game.


CaptBart February 28, 2011 at 10:25 am

Your preparations sound reasonable. Your proposed arsenal is not bad for survival; not bad at all. The caliber mix is a little different than what I might choose but it would work. Depending on finances adding a second 12 (single shot works as a backup and as a 'we're both armed' kind of thing) or a larger caliber rifle. I'm a fan of 30-30 or 30-06 but anything that is good out to 3 to to 500 yards in your terrain would be a solid weapon for both hunting and defense.


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