You are learning to shoot. Are you learning when and when not to shoot, when and where you cannot have a weapon? It’s amazing how many people spend hours a week learning the pistol but spend no time learning when to use it. Properly using force to avoid being a victim of assault, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and homicide you need to read and understand what these statutes/laws say. Most states have their statutes online or at least in the library. Go read the above list along with the weapons laws of your state.
I printed the Arizona laws out and then grouped the definitions and presumptions together. I then made notes on them. Laws and presumptions change, so it is worthwhile to look them up every few years or when you hear about changes.
To make it easier get some paper and while reading the statutes answer when you can legally do the following:
1. When can I threaten to fight someone (Get back. Get back or I’m going to hurt you)?
2. When can I fight (punch, kick, scratch, push or pull)?
3. Is pepper spray treated the same as Question #2 (when can I use it)?
4. When can I threaten to kill (Back off or I’m going to shoot you)?
5. When can I display my gun but NOT point it at the bad guy (i.e. I’ve got a gun, back off)?
6. When can I point the gun at the bad guy (i.e. back off or I’m going to shoot you)?
7. When can I use the pistol on the bad guy (ie. shoot them)?
8. When and where am I not allowed to have a gun to do all the above things? Think bars, schools and such.
In many states the answers to these questions are the same. This gives you a very simple idea of when to do what. Don’t confuse the law with “what if” scenarios. Laws are clear-cut definitions that tell you when you can do something. Scenarios are all the little things that life throws at you including but not limited to how your particular locale handles and interprets the laws. So how you apply the law to your life is a few “what if’s”.
Laws are fundamental to “what if” scenarios. Just like you must learn the fundamentals of shooting before trying to apply them in an advanced way, you need to take a few hours to learn the law before you try to answer “what if” scenarios.
Failure to learn the fundamentals of the laws and shooting often leads to you doing something with your pistol based on fear, ego, anger or ignorance. Any of these can lead you to the police, the courts, the hospital, the jail, the prison, the poor house, the nightmare.
Just take your education in a logical order. Read the state and local statutes/laws. Understand the circumstances that you can defend yourself legally. Then study a few “what if” scenarios to apply the law correctly, morally and without hesitation. Don’t get bogged down in endless what if’s. Start with the most likely. Learn the laws first. Then we’ll go from there.