Rules of Engagement
There are a few things that must be in place before we can use lethal force.
The person you apply lethal force against must have been “able” to kill you or inflict serious bodily harm to you.
You have a 93 year old man with a walker with a knife that is 10-15 feet away that moves at snails speed: Not able
The same man has a gun pointed at you: Able
Are you in effective range of his weapon(s)?
Above example 1: NO
Example 2: YES
Now, let’s say it’s a seemingly healthy 21 year old man with a knife at 15 feet. Does he have ability? Well, yes; but is he close enough to you?
We must go over some statistics to figure this one out:
The average person can run, from a standstill:
21ft in 1.5 seconds
32ft in 2.0 seconds
So, does he have the opportunity? YES
The danger must be mortal and imminent.
The 1 example of the old man with a knife had a lethal weapon, but is unable to use it in a manner to be lethal. Not close enough, not fast enough, no imminent threat.
The 2 of same man with gun was close enough for the gun to be used fast enough, with deadly force so you are in imminent danger.
The 3 man had a lethal weapon 15ft away and is fast enough to be an imminent threat.
All three of these must be met at all times for us to be able to use lethal force against our attacker. If the 3 example is attacking us and we shoot him to stop him and he drops to the ground and has stopped attacking us we must stop because we are no longer in imminent danger. However, if he rolls over and starts pulling a gun out of his pocket we are once again in imminent danger, all three are met and we can use lethal force until he stops the aggression.
***Remember that ALL three of these must be met at ALL times before we can engage our attacker with lethal force.