A Somber Warning: Deadly Force Gone Wrong

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A couple days ago a Rochester man used lethal force in what he claims was a self defense capacity.  To read one of the news stories that covered this event click here.

A couple of things to learn from this event.

1) In MN you have the duty to retreat.  There were several points at which Weiss (the suspect, who is now being charged with 2nd degree murder) could have left.  If you can safely retreat, do so.  Or stay in your car till the police show up.  Don't retrieve your pistol and get into a shouting match.

2) Deescalate.  If someone hits your car with their car and gets out and starts acting aggressive.  Don't egg them on, act aggressive, or do anything to ramp up the confrontation. The goal here isn't to protect your pride, it's to avoid shooting someone.  

3) Don't use your gun unless your life is in imminent danger.  Even according to Weiss (the shooter) it didn't seem as if his life was in imminent danger.  It more sounds like they were in an argument, things got out of hand and someone got shot and died.  You need to be in danger of dying (or great bodily harm) or you are committing murder, not self defense.  

4) From reading a couple stories it would seem that the victim (who died at the scene) came out of his car looking to start a fight.  He was posturing aggressively, and acting in a threatening manner.  Remember, that doesn't matter unless a reasonable person would be in fear for their life if they were in your situation.  Even if the other person shows their bravado and needs to puff their chest out, that doesn't mean you should be caught up in the same "monkey dance".  Rather, try to get out of there because you don't want to put yourself in a bad situation.  

Remember, your first go to should be to AVOID the situation, if that fails, then ESCAPE the situation, if that fails, then DEESCALATE the situation.  You only go to your gun as an absolute, rock bottom, you're all out of options and you are about to die LAST RESORT.