Podcast 65 Shoot First?

By on September 8, 2013

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Should you shoot first?  On TV the bad guy always shoots first and then the good guy wins. We have to get this out of our minds.  The good guy doesn’t have to wait until the bad guy shoots.  This is a dark subject, but one that needs to be discussed.  In the Podcast we talk about:

  • When you can shoot first,
  • My choice in a gun fight,
  • Proactive vs Reactive fights,
  • Can up your chances of survival,
  • They don’t have to be shooting to be a danger,
  • They don’t have to escalate further once the person started the attack,
  • Person has to be an immediate threat;
    • Prove ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy
    • Marine Corps Definition of deadly force “…to be used only when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.” MCO 5530.15 US Marine Interior Guard Manual
    • Have to be able to articulate the situation.


  • September 14-15, 2013 Advanced Beyond Concealed Carry in San Antonio, TX
  • October 5, 2013 Beyond Concealed Carry in Brownsville TX
  • October 12, 2013 Rifle Fighting Dynamics in San Antonio TX
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Stay Safe,



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  1. William
    September 23, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    I certainly understand, if I am a customer at a fast food restaurant that is being robbed at gunpoint and I am in the immediate vicinity of the robber, I have the right to shoot to stop the threat he poses towards me. I probably have the right to do so to protect the clerk/victim.
    But look at it from the viewpoint of the clerk that is being robbed. The “sheepdog” fires at the robber to stop the threat, probably multiple shots are fired. This Sheepdog is nervous, of dubious skill sets and training, in what is probably his first gunfight (Ben, you and those like you are obvious exceptions), is firing multiple shots directly in the general direction of the clerk. Also don’t forget the robber’s firearm is pointing at the clerk’s chest, probably with his finger on the trigger. Do you think that as the sheepdog fires his first shot, or makes his first hit, that the bad guy’s firearm pointed at the clerk might discharge?
    I feel there is also the probability of an ensuing gun battle, further endangering the clerk, customers and would be hero? Let’s also not forget, the bad guy may not be alone.
    I may be wrong, but I feel from the clerk and other customers’ perspective, the laws of probabilities favor the action of submitting to the robber, giving him what he wants, a pray he isn’t an animal set on murder.
    As I don’t do this kind of thing for a living, I understand my reasoning may be flawed, perhaps even dangerous.
    Obviously, if the gunman turns toward the exposed sheepdog, or starts shooting, all bets are off.
    I am sincerely open to suggestions from the author.

    • Ben Branam
      September 23, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      You are right and wrong at the same time. Sounds crazy, but you are right that this will endanger the clerk and once the shootout starts then all bets are off and the plans kind of go out the window. All of that puts everyone in danger. I only advocate taking the shot when the bad guy is going to kill someone and you have to act to save a life. How do you know if the guy is going to kill someone or not? I can’t give you a for sure formula on that. Wish I could (it would make me rich and more importantly save a lot of people). If the bad guy is going to kill the clerk and someone else steps in, the clerk really has nothing to lose at that point. And I wouldn’t fault the person making the decision to fight or just let it happen. They where the one that was there and the one that had to make the impossible choice of life in death in about 2 seconds. Not something that I wish on anyone. As a responsible gun owner and carrier I may have to make that decision and no matter what I do lots of people will tell me I’m wrong. I have to win the fight to survive the encounter and have to be able to look myself in the mirror every morning when I shave. Life and death is a horrible decision to make and hind sight will always be 20/20.

      Thanks for the comment and the situational example given. I can totally see where you are coming from and gave me a chance to explain more. Great question.

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