Defensive Response: Justification vs. Necessity

Ken Murray
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Duration:   7:08   mins

Just because you can use lethal force in defensive response doesn’t always mean you should. Ken Murray, author of Training at the Speed of Life, discusses how in his reality-based training, he addresses the aftermath of employing lethal force, and how his attitude toward justification versus necessity has evolved over the years. Do you need both justification and necessity in order to shoot?

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7 Responses to “Defensive Response: Justification vs. Necessity”

  1. Robert Prol

    I sometimes get asked by anti-gunners if I look forward to shooting someone. I generally respond by asking them if they have health insurance in the hopes of getting cancer, or wear a seatbelt in the hopes of having a high speed collision. That generally puts it in perspective.

  2. Hugh

    Great topic. Where can we get such reality base training? In our case Southern California.

    • Customer Service

      Hi Hugh!

      Check out our contributor Alessandro Padovani’s website for classes as well as a direct line to contact him specifically about RBT courses.

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  3. Peter E. Schultz

    Excellent job in raising the educational bar! There is no way our 2A rights will survive many more years of neanderthal “Grab gun, go boom!” self-defense mentality. Defenders need to be very skilled and very smart. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. Dave Wolf

    Twice ive had to pull a gun in a dangerous situation. Neither time did I brandish it, just had it at the ready because I did not know the intentions of the attackers or if they were armed. I survived both instances, one was against 4 men in the desert. They say if you pull it out you better use it that’s bs. Not every time. Three times i was justified in using lethal force (pulled weapon twice) and i never fired a shot and im glad I didn’t. Just the sight of my weapon caused the aggressors to calm down quickly. The third instance I talked the guy down without pulling the weapon. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should in all instances. I am professionally trained, however, and am skilled in the use of my firearms. I am glad I have not had to injure anyone and I hope i never have to in the future.

  5. JOHN

    Even with the justifiable use of so-called lethal force, we can and should distinguish between shoot to kill and shoot to stop/disable. Perhaps not always possible under certain circumstances, but I think more likely possible.

    • ALAN

      Not clear what you are saying… The use of deadly force is only justifiable to stop the deadly/severe injury attack. Not really “shooting to kill” as you are “shooting to stop the threat”. But your comment also mentions “disable”. No self-defense trainer would advise you to aim to disable (unless there was some truly unique circumstance). There are fantasies about aiming for arms/legs/weapons that are not realistic, and probably more hazardous for bystanders than the standard training of aiming for center of mass

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