Equal Force


New Member
So I generally lie more left of center than most people in the shooting community. This means I interact with a lot of people that are self proclaimed liberals. I have one friend who is very loudly pro French style socialist principles. We got into a discussion about self-defense and he's a fan of equal force. The idea that you have a right to defend yourself only in a manner equal to the assault. We went back and forth about it but I ultimately had to make a few things clear to him.

1. Not everyone is a trained peace keeper capable of measuring force during an assault. They should not have to measure it and should be able to respond as forcefully as they like in response to the the "surprise" of the situation.

2. Even if someone had that training, there are always mitigating factors that can never be judged objectively in a court later.

3. His argument that everyone has a right to life, even the assaulter, is a construct of a society functioning on a social contract. Basically a philosophical Golden Rule. I argued there is no reason for a civilized person, under the protection of law and police to assault another. When we convict people for prison terms we strip their rights. We grant no legal protection for contracts that are otherwise in violation of the law. In the same concept, a person who has chosen to assault another (violating their right to autonomy) has, in my mind, opted out of the social contract. They have waived their right to the security of their own health, well-being, and ultimately life by choosing the risk of attack.

I was wondering how other people thought about self-defense and equal force/right to life arguments. I'm always looking for a way to better vocalize, in a rational and level manner, why gun rights are important. People like to sell words like murder and rape but to opponents they see it as an emotional appeal to scare people into needing a gun. Weirdly, my arguments above actually moved someone who was hard-line anti armed society to considering it much more sincerely.
It sounds like if he were ever to be attacked, he would be in for a lengthy fight. Is his cardio up to the task? Meeting an attack with the exact same force as the adversary, puts him at risk of underestimating the amount of force the attacker is prepared to use resulting in his loosing the battle. A poor strategy, however, I believe in personal responsibility. I think he should continue along with that plan. If he were to be left in an alley in a pool of his own blood, he made the choice to end up there. Decisions have consequences.

Since he believes in using equal force, and criminals regularly use a weapon in their crimes, I assume he carries a gun in case an attacker has one?


New Member
I try to use the old "what if it was your mom" ideology. I doubt my mother will be attacked by another 65 year old woman. Whatever force is needed to protect myself/family and end the situation will be used.

My opinion is people who want equal force are the same people who go out looking for fights or worse


New Member
So, does that mean that I should carry stun gun, a stick, acid in a squirt gun, various size knives, and many other type of weapons that are used during an attack so I can match that force upon me? Many times an attack happens in seconds. You don't have time to think about matching force.

I hope your friend is never attacked.


New Member
"...<HIS> idea that you have a right to defend yourself (Only) in a manner equal to the assault." :roll:

Put it to him this way: "Since you don't believe in bringing a Gun to a Knife fight... Your attacker pulls a knife--- you can, at that very moment, choose between a gun or a knife to defend yourself--- which weapon of defense are you gonna choose ?? Pickle forks are not on the list."

Amuse yourself in his befuddlement. Reassure him someone will hopefully look after his widow and children. Give him a moment to get a handle on it, repeat the question.

"jes' how big a boy are you, anyway..?" ---Roy D. Mercer :lol:


New Member
I think he represents a general "anti-shooting-people-in-defense" crowd so I'm going to switch this to "they" so it's not so directed.

I'm pretty sure "they" know that it isn't very likely you'll win a fight with "equal force." I believe they're saying "you can carry a gun but you have to show restraint." and then defining restraint too heavily.


New Member
I'm pretty sure "they" know that it isn't very likely you'll win a fight with "equal force." I believe they're saying "you can carry a gun but you have to show restraint." and then defining restraint too heavily.[/quote]

Makes more sense, and methinks you understand your friends' definitions of Restrained Conduct better than 'they'.
Deferring "Women and Children to the front of the line" is admirable when the command to "Man the LifeBoats" is ordered---not so much when an assailant intends killing/beating/raping 'them'.

So rather than defining 'equal force', as we several agree "that it isn't likely you''ll win a fight..", help them codify their def. of 'Restraint':

"Though I intend to protect my/others LIVES, I will restrain myself from shooting anyone who chastises my pet, criticizes my choice of vehicles, impugnes the vitality of my azaleas, curses my religion( or the Packers!), defames my BBQ, misquotes/ plagiarizes my candidate of choice, ridicules me for my taste in manpurses/green tea, or backs over my lawn into my ceement pond. THOSE people I promise not to shoot with my gun."

"But ANY sob who threatens me/others LIVES with fists/gun/knife/deadly inanimate objects, or expresses any real intent to do so,
can expect and will be shot by me with my gun, gouged/punctured/beaten about the head with whatever weapon I can obtain or adapt, including my teeth, until a threat to me/others no longer exists, possibly causing his or my own death."

Oughta' make it clear to 'them' where you stand. Thankfully, I don't have that problem with my friends--but it wasn't always so with 'them' either. We got it cleared up.
Good Luck--watch your Six.
Do you have any theories or have you asked him:

A) What makes him think that people aren't already using the appropriate amount of restraint? I'm unaware of any statistically significant numbers of (law abiding) people running around shooting others over parking space disputes, and how much to tip your waitress.

B) How do French socialists propose others determine the appropriate amount of force, while restraining the urge to not be seriously injured or murdered, to use in a given situation? Does he have some sort of manual available for the less enlightened?

C) Does he think that a criminal is responsible for the end result of his decision to commit a violent crime against someone else? No one forces these people to mug, car jack, kidnap, rape and/or murder others. They decide to do it, and decisions have consequences.

Stan in SC

New Member
Equal force my foot!If I am in a situation where I HAVE to use force I will use as much as possible to stop the situation as soon as possible.

Stan in SC


New Member
Hahaha, good points for the counter argument but I'm pretty sure he's too busy with his fiance to get into a big brawl about it.

I was mostly looking for way you all think about the situation. I've had a lot of people tell me my approach to the issue (forfeit of the assaulter's rights) is over complicated. I gave the socialist comment to spell out his background, I don't think he refers to it as doctrine.

Personally I have a brother that's paid to be paranoid and when I was growing up he gave me a piece of advise. "Always avoid a fight. If you honestly can't, never fight fair. Anything can happen in a fight, by design or accident. Your one and only goal is to survive. Figure out the rest later"