In the beginning, American shooters trained the concept of legitimate self-defense. Use of force training and de-escalation methods were discussed and trained. Using the vaunted "Big Boy Voice" to challenge the bad guy from ready positions was promoted far and wide. And gun writers admonished the novice gunman about the concerns over legal liability, regaling them with horror stories intended not so much to frighten them into inaction, although they often did just that, but rather to create the need for the book to be bought or the liability awareness class to be attended. And for the most part, unless someone did something stupid (Zimmerman comes to mind), the muggers in the parking lots of America, and the gang members invading homes from coast to coast were dealt with efficiently.
But those halcyon days of the J-frame in the side pocket and the "Courtroom Tactics" column in the gun magazine are gone. It is now 2017 and the reality is that within a month of this article being published there will inevitably be another active shooter event in the USA. The San Bernardino Jihad Event was just a few short months ago, and between then and now there have been more, dare I say, minor events.
But whenever I write about shooting bad guys in the back of the head, or shooting them in the face when they are down as you pass them by on the way to kill their friends, some will scream in protest.
"You will go to prison".
"A jury will never understand".
"OMG, you are insane to say such things".
So here is the reality. You of course don't have to agree. You can continue to think you can treat the Jihadist, or the Crazy Guy Bent On Killing Everyone In The Room in the same way you would handle the mugger in the parking lot. But I think if you try to do that, the bad guy will kill you and that will be that.
The mugger in the parking lot involves de-escalation, threat management, avoiding bad neighborhoods, and all of thosethings you learned in the Police Academy...or in basic gun school. Posturing and voice commands, as well as a sharpened level of alertness, and all of that will likely make it so you don't even have to shoot that mugger/gang member. You see, the mugger has an expectation of tomorrow. He wants to rob you and leave to spend his loot. He wants a long thug life. They not the same thing as the jihadist.
The Jihadist (and the Crazy Guy as well) is committing what is essentially an act of war. Attempting to handle an enemy combatant who has already decided to die in the act of killing you, like a mugger in the parking lot is foolish. And fearing that the legal system will crash upon you as a result of such aggressive tactics is also foolish.
A TERRORIST - RIFLE IN HAND - KILLING PEOPLE is not the same as a street mugger. The terrorist, by his actions, gives you license to do things that would never be justified if the adversary was different. Keep these things in mind. You may be at ground zero tomorrow.