Here is video taken at a Burnsville, Minnesota police station by a video unit that officers must wear to protect themselves against lawsuits by recording their encounters. It shows a man who apparently decided he wanted to die by "suicide by cop" (where a despondent person cannot bring themselves to actually kill themselves for whatever reason and present a menacing action to a police officer in hope that the officer will shoot and kill them). In the video you see the man come in, the officer questions him about his injury, sees the knife, and orders the man to drop it. When he refuses the officer immediately draws his Glock (??, blurry video) and summons help. I am assuming he is using his support hand to work the radio and that's why you never see a fully supported grip in the beginning. Another officer emerges close to the man holding the knife, retreats and then reappears a moment later taking the attacker down with a shot from his tazer unit.
As I have pointed out before, the difference between most of us and these officers is that they have the ability and training to de-escalate this confrontation like they did, not to mention a belt full of tools to do just that. If that had been me standing there looking at another guy with a knife staring at me and me with my pistol...well, something about bringing a knife to a gun fight rings here...but basically, unless the other guy retreats or I can leave the confrontation (a better choice) one of us would be leaving that area on a stretcher.
This shows the importance of knowing your legal rights and limitation as a CCW holder in whatever state or jurisdiction you live or find yourself in. A lot of people make a big deal that their particular CCW license means that they have reciprocity (meaning another state recognizes your license to carry in it) with XX number of states. This may be true but do you know the legalities of each and every state and what constitutes a justifiable defensive shooting and what will have you looking at a felonious assault or manslaughter charge?
This is also an example to reinforce the mandate that your CCW license is not a badge. I cringe when I see someone talk online about how much safer the world would be if everyone who could carry could have arrest powers or be a deputy or whatnot. I cringe, seriously. I do not want to be an LEO in that respect. Sure give me 20 years back and I might decide to go into law enforcement (and do a BUNCH of other things different as well), but I do not want the OBLIGATION of being a peace officer without officially being one, which is what this nonsense means. I carry to protect myself and my loved ones. Yes, if I observe a heinous crime while armed I probably will intervene once I have called police. This is not only out of a moral obligation I feel I have as a christian and a citizen, but also because legally I may do so in my state to protect the life of somebody else when they are clearly in danger...and I am sure that they are not the aggressor. Yep, you read that right. Remember the part above about knowing the laws.
Scenario: I come upon a guy getting the crap beat out of him by another guy and draw and fire to "protect" him because, like I said, he is really getting the crap beat out of him and fear for his life. Police show up and find out that this guy is a known, wanted felon for assault and robbery and had been in the process of mugging the guy I shot moments before at gunpoint before the victim got the jump on him and began to beat the living snot out of him in defense until I showed up. Oops. An Oops that could very well find me in jail and on disability to own another firearm the rest of my life once released. Yeah, know those laws folks.
Remember, onnce you have made the mental decision to engage an attacker you don't have many solutions to the problem with a gun other than hoping the attacker turns tail, surrenders or your aim is true and trigger finger solid.
Having to actually shoot another human being in self defense should never be a goal of any of us. But between having to do that or suffer the loss of our own life or that of a family member it is clearly the superior position to end up in. Just as precaution I urge you to read this article as a primer of what to do after a shooting, if you so find yourself involved in. Its written by Massad Ayoob, who is one of the foremost experts on defensive shooting and its aftermath. Its time well spent.
Important Note: As you already know, I am not a lawyer, a self defense instructor, a law enforcement official, a ninja, superman or anyone else that could be considered an "expert". The only belt I have is brown and I got it at Meijers, it occasionally supports a holster with a weapon that I am licensed to carry. As such I make a conscious effort to become not only proficient with my weapon, but my mind as well. One is useless without the other in self defense. I offer my opinions on this blog as my thoughts on what material and experiences related to self defense I am exposed to. Please consult professional training and legal advice before attempting any form of armed self defense.
2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)