Do You Want to Consider “Less Lethal” Ammunition?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Police departments across the nation and around the world have been experimenting with “less lethal” ammunition options for a number of years now. If anything, those efforts have intensified since the “defund the police” movement, as law enforcement across the United States has come under much more intensive scrutiny; some of it justified, but most of it not.

The idea of using less lethal ammunition, which might stop or even incapacitate the target, but hopefully not kill them, fits in nicely with our country’s legal principles, specifically the idea that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As the police don’t have the authority to make the determination whether someone committing a crime is guilty or not, it would make sense that they avoid using any sort of lethal force. That should, at least, eliminate any accusations of the police acting as judge, jury and executioner.

This leaves out one other important legal principle though; the idea that the police have a right to defend themselves, just like anyone else does. Police who use deadly force in the execution of their duties are investigated by their respective police agencies. Part of that investigation is about whether they used excessive force for the situation, while another part is whether the officer acted in self-defense. Different laws and regulations apply to self-defense, than apply to the use of deadly force in the execution of their duties.

But what about you and I? We are not under the same regulations and scrutiny that law enforcement officers and agencies are. The only question that applies in our case, is whether or not our actions were taken in self-defense or the defense of others. The law allows the use of deadly force in self-defense, but not in any other circumstances. This is something we all know.

A large part of that is how the courts define self-defense, which can vary somewhat from state to state. One common standard that is used, is what is known as the “reasonable man rule” which states that the actions taken must be what a reasonable person would do, acting reasonably. In other words, if that reasonable man saw that the only reasonable course of action they could take, to protect themselves or others from serious injury or even death, would be to use deadly force, then your or my use of deadly force would be considered to be self-defense.

With that being the case, why would we even consider using less than lethal force in the defense of ourselves and our loved ones? I’m not talking about a situation where deadly force is not called for. There’s no circumstance I can see, where you or I would have reason to draw our firearms, if we are not confronted by an assailant whose apparent intent is to use deadly force against us. So, if we draw, it’s because we’ve already decided that deadly force required. Again, with that being the case, why use something “less lethal?” It would be worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight; it would be more like bringing a baseball bat to that gunfight.

So, while those “less lethal” options are interesting, from a purely academic point of view, I can’t see where they have any place in defending our families, unless it would be to help ensure that we don’t accidentally kill an innocent bystander. But keep in mind, trying to avoid accidentally killing an innocent bystander in this way, could be a costly step to take. It would be better to count on our practice and ability to protect the innocent, rather than handicapping our ability to protect anyone.

If you’re not sure about that, then by all means, buy some less lethal rounds. Try them out for yourself. See what they can and can’t do. Then, based on your own experience, ask yourself the question, whether or not they would be sufficient, if you were facing off against an armed criminal, with deadly intent.

Preparation comes in all forms. One of the most important is knowing what you can do and what you can’t. Like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand, it helps make sure that you know what to do, when the time comes.

Dr. Rich

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