You’re presented with a threat and you act to defend your life.  You’re getting ready to fight… In the aftermath will you be able to testify that the threat (bad guy) had a weapon, the capability to harm you and intent to do so?   

Being able to identify those three things are essential if you’re going to defend your decisions in court and in the court of public opinion. 

If you haven’t thought about this concept, you should. 

On Target Training stresses the importance of weighing five (5) key criterion when making a decision to use lethal force.

  • Does the threat have a weapon?
  • Does the threat have the ability to use that weapon?
  • Does the threat have an intent to hurt you?
  • Can you justify your decisions from a tactical standpoint (are your decisions tactically sound?)
  • Are your decisions court defensible?


There are many other things to consider but I believe at a minimum we need to be able to articulate the top five before the use of deadly force.