The justification for homicide is immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent. ‘Otherwise unavoidable’ is important, here; if you can run, you run. Castle doctrine or stand your ground laws might legally mitigate this, but it’s Presidentendential policy to maintain standard of care as if Castle Doctrine and SYG do not exist.
Other than Castle Doctrine states, the danger must be immediate, unavoidable, and presented to the innocent. You do not shoot the police in order to protect a felon from being shot by them. You do not shoot the vice cop who’s being arrested and crying ‘rape.’ You don’t shoot the big guy beating up the little guy if the little guy has a knife. You don’t shoot unless you must.
Badguy must have the ability to present the threat, the opportunity to exercise his ability, and put the innocent in jeopardy.
Ability means that badguy has the power to kill or cripple. This power might stem from a weapon, such as a knife or gun; it might stem from vastly superior strength, or from some other factor. The important consideration is disparity of force. Numbers can create such a disparity. A very strong man faced with violence by a gang or a lynch mob cannot rely on the strength of his body.
Men versus women are always assumed to have the ability to cause harm. If Woody Allen attacks Chyna, Allen is probably fucked in court. This also means that a rapist is automatically using disparate force and is therefore susceptible to being stopped by justifiable homicide. Women with guns tend to have the advantage, even against similarly armed men.
If you have become disabled during a confrontation, then the force becomes disparate, even if you were physically peer to your adversary at the outset. This means that if opportunity and jeopardy are present, a shoot might be justified.
If the attacker is known to the victim to be skilled in the use of force, then responding with lethal force to a threat by him is justified. As an aside, it might be best not to run around bragging about your days with the Airborne Ranger SPEALZNAZ.
Opportunity means that badguy cannot reasonably kill you from across the street. If he shouts “I’m going to kill you,” but can’t reach you, then you have a duty to flee. Opportunity applies mostly to contact weapons rather than guns. Badguy can probably shoot that far.
Distance might prevent opportunity. Obstacles might prevent opportunity. ‘Distance’ is for the jury to understand. Always tell the truth. Don’t claim that he could reach you if he couldn’t. Don’t kill just because you think you might be able to get away with it. Killing is to be avoided.
Jeopardy means that the assailant is acting in a manner a reasonable person would conclude is in line with an intent to kill or cripple.
When ability, opportunity and jeopardy exist, then and only then is lethal force justified.
Ayoob covers several self-defense cases. I will not recite them, because his analysis of them is a huge part of the value of the class, and I want you to have to pay for it rather than getting it all for free.
If you carry, do not carry an insufficiently energetic cartridge. Do not carry a .22. Carry a spare magazine.
At this point Ayoob begins to discuss the skills of handgun use. Again, you will have to give Ayoob money to learn what he has to say, although someone might at some point have written some things on /r/guns and maybe you could use the search function possibly to learn about how to shoot a handgun.
Ayoob recommends the affirmative defense: the defendant acknowledges that he shot the deceased, and then proceeds to argue that the shooting was justified. This differs from other options, arguing that someone else shot or that a specific other dude shot or that it went off by itself. Again, pay Ayoob for a complete version.
The priorities of survival must be straight. Just as a Stradivarius doesn’t make you a violinist, expensive gizmoshit doesn’t make you a great hero. Don’t get hung up arguing about 9mm vs .40 vs .45 or Glock vs H&K or what-have-you. None are magic.
Priorities: mental preparedness, tactics, skill with the safety equipment, and only then optimum choice of safety equipment.
The gun is not the weapon. The mind is the weapon. The gun is a tool. A competent man with a .38 is better off than some fool with a .44 Magnum he purchased as a codpiece.
Jeff Cooper was a soldier. Mas Ayoob is a cop. Cooper’s 4 colors are Ayoob’s 5; Ayoob adds condition black back to the mix.
If you agree to be interviewed by the police in the aftermath of a shooting, you should have the interview videotaped by a professional legal steganographic service.
Ego-investment careers, such as attorneys, doctors, and police, make for bad defendants. They can sound especially callous, especially if the interview is reduced to a transcript. The video guarantees that the jury can see facial expressions and hear inflection. And make sure that your attorney is in the interview with you.
Can shoot does not mean must shoot. Many threats will surrender when faced with the gun. Let the threat live if he ceases to present a threat.