|At this point, aim and fire|
When you carry a concealed weapon it should be primarily to protect yourself and your loved ones. You are permitted by law to use your gun to protect strangers if you believe that they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. However, my instructor, a 20 year veteran of the Cincinnati Police, advised that in practical terms, should it come to it, it is much easier to convince a jury that you feared for your life than to convince them that you were able to determine that another person was in danger of dying.
When carrying concealed you must also be aware that not everything is as it appears. The best example of this was a story my instructor told about a small businessman in Brooklyn, NY. After closing his store for the night, he was on his way to his car when he passed an alley. About 20 ft. down the alley he saw a well groomed woman in a nice business suit being held up against the wall by a man in jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and a knit cap. The man had a gun pointed at the woman's head. The store owner drew his concealed gun and as the man turned toward him he put two rounds in him center mass. The man died instantly. The man was an undercover cop and the woman an armed drug dealer. The store owner will be in prison for a long time. The moral is that it is probably best not to intervene in a situation unless you know all the facts. In most all situations it is best to call the police and let them do their job.
It was also impressed upon us that when carrying concealed your first duty is to remove yourself and any family or friends from harm's way. Even in your own home it is best to retreat and call the police. Lock yourself and your family in a room. Call 911 and explain the situation. Leave the line open so your actions are recorded. Loudly tell the intruders that you are armed, the police have been called and if they breach the door to the room you are in, you will shoot them. In a public place, be aware of your situation before something may happen. Know where the exits are and if possible sit near them. If something does happen see if escape is possible. If not, do not try to be a hero. If you draw your weapon and try to stop a robbery for instance, it is more likely that you or other innocent people will be hurt than it is that you will thwart the robbery.
Carrying concealed also requires you to change your mind set about things. If a driver cuts you off in traffic, let it go. No yelling, no obscene gestures, do nothing that could provoke someone into a confrontation. When someone says something derogatory about your favorite team, your wife, your dog or your mama, walk away. Even if confronted by someone with a weapon try to retreat, yell at them to startle them, back away continuously, keep yelling to attract attention, keep backing away. If they continue to advance, then you must determine if you are in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm. Remember, a person 7 yds. away (21 ft.) can close that distance on you in under 2 seconds.
If you determine you are, remember your training. Proper grip, sight the target, squeeze the trigger. Repeat for good measure.