Foreman’s Forum – Do You Know When To Shoot?

9-2-2016 3-17-55 PMDiscovering a stranger in your home in the middle of the night, or anytime for that matter, can be one of the scariest life-threatening experiences you may ever encounter. You need to be trained for such a life altering event.

Were you trained how to type properly, or do you hunt and peck, like me? Typing is a skill which can be learned on your own. But, proper typing is not a life saving skill. In America, citizens who own firearms are using them to save an innocent life up to twenty five hundred times a day. Saving a life with a firearm happens a lot more than taking a life with a firearm. I bet you will not read that in the “Lame Stream” media. Learning to use a gun safely and properly is more than just pointing and pulling the trigger. As I said in a past issue of Athens Now, learning when to shoot is just as important as knowing when not to shoot, and can either save your life, or keep you out of jail.

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Home invasion burglaries in the daytime are actually more common than at night. The only thing good about these crimes occurring in the daylight hours is that hopefully, you would be fully awake and alert. Either way, it’s going to be a highly stressful event. Unless you are prepared and have been trained in tactical home defense, you could make a bad experience end up being even worse. You and your family should have a plan of action of action to follow in case of any emergency. Both you and your family should be taking gun training classes, which should include gun safety. All of us who hold the 2nd Amendment near and dear to our hearts take our right to self defense personally.

Last year, I was giving a talk at one of the local Senior Centers about self defense in the home. This one lady stood up in class and said, “If somebody comes into my house, I’ll just shoot em!” I was trying to tell her and the group, “The bad guy might not just stand there and let you shoot him. And,” I added, “what if he has a gun and wants to shoot you?” I was trying to convince her she should retreat to a defensible location like a doorway or behind heavy furniture, and then shoot him!

Remember, the best fight you will ever be in is the fight you avoided.

You also need to know your state’s laws concerning self defense. Alabama is a “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” state. You are not required by law to retreat from danger if you are legally there in the first place. BUT, retreating might be the wisest thing to do. You need to know exactly when it is legal to shoot an intruder in your home. Overall, to use deadly force, you must be in fear for your life, or that of another innocent person. Your purpose is to stop the threat. You must be able to testify that you shot the bad guy to stop the threat. You would never want to say, “I was scared, so I used my gun to kill him.” As a matter of fact, you probably better say very little until you have a lawyer with you. In many states, to claim self defense, the bad guy must already be inside your home. Deadly force is not justified if the bad guy runs when he is confronted, and you are no longer in fear for your life. In most states, you cannot use deadly force to stop a property crime, such as if a bad guy is stealing something from your yard.

Most pistol training and concealed carry classes should include self defense laws. You should ask the instructor if self defense laws are included in the class before you sign up. If a bad guy had your loved one at gun point, using them as a hostage, what would you do? You could try begging the bad guy to turn them loose. Do you think that would work? If the bad guy was using your son or daughter as a shield, could you shoot without hitting the wrong person?

I am now offering Advanced Self Defense Handgun classes. I use various scenarios including “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” and “Hostage” targets to train my students to defend themselves or their loved ones. I will also be offering an introductory firearm safety class at the Center for Lifelong Learning on September 16th from 6:30-8pm. You can call the CLL at 256-233-8260 for more information, or to register for the September 16th class.
By: Paul Foreman

Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff, from Lee County, Florida and NRA Certified Pistol Instructor.
For further information, Paul can be reached through e-Mail at or his web site, or by phone at 256-431-6702.