The phrase I’m most remembered by in the CCW community is when I say “Just because something is legal that doesn’t make it smart; and just because something is illegal that doesn’t make it stupid.”
When teaching Utah concealed carry classes I sometimes wish that I could bypass the state ccw instruction requirements and take out the section that discusses justifiable force. I would replace that 1 hour lecture with a discussion about the emotional repercussions that come from taking someone’s life and where we should each draw the line.
Don’t misunderstand me; I see the value in understanding the law and how it is applied but I am always nervous that my students will leave the class more focused on what they can do instead of what they should do in self-defense scenarios.
I often explain this concept by making this point, “you would rather be in prison than dead.” Or just as often, “you would rather loose your flat screen tv than kill someone’s father, mother, child, or spouse. Human life truly is valuable and while the Utah Concealed Carry laws (Justifiable force) allow for us to defend our habitation and the lives of complete strangers we should all keep in mind the spirit of those laws.
I strive to be a law abiding citizen in our society but in regards to personal protection and self defense I honestly admit that its the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law that stays in my conscious. Here is the question that I always explain to my students, that I would pose to myself before firing the gun: ” Is this action worth any consequence?”
Truly I hope that most of us would draw that line in the place where we wouldn’t care what the consequences were in order to protect our own lives or the lives of our loved ones.
Jacob S Paulsen