Partially agree with Whirl…
I actually have given this some thought in the past, so this isn’t an off-the-cuff answer.
When TSHTF, I will just assume we are on a war footing. What does that mean? Well, it means we circle the wagons, Katie Bar the Door and – providing I can get everyone on the same page – our little enclave here will be sealed off. We will control who enters and exits.
That means, unless proven otherwise, anyone not of your group is one of “them”. Assuming they can read, warnings will be posted both in English and pictorially. Anyone disregarding those warnings and crossing the barriers will be considered a hostile.
Firing a “warning shot” in this situation has an actual name. It’s called a “spoiler”. Your “warning shot” – intentionally missing – will, as Brother Whirl has stated, demonstrate your lack of will to shoot someone. It will also telegraph your position to “them” (whoever “them” turn out to be) and you will probably get dead soon afterwards. Maybe along with others of your group. So, no warning shots. Besides, in a SHTF scenario, there probably won’t be any ammo being made for some time – which means you will only have what you have, or less. Probably never “more”. Which means payroll accountability of every round. No warning shots, no ‘practice’. Hunting, defense or battle.
I will differ with Brother Whirl in one respect. He is falling into the lingo and practices of the cop – which usually parses down words till they’re paper thin. They are told to “shoot to stop the threat”. Not “shoot to kill”. This is sort of a weasel way of saying “We killed him” without opening themselves up to obvious repercussions.
In a lawful, polite society with the machines of government and courts fully functional, this is a decent practice – even if only from a liability standpoint. (I mean, could you imagine the uproar if a cop actually admitted they “shoot to kill”? Not only does that open a big Pandora’s Box of vicarious liability, but it’s a PR nightmare. Plus, some shyster will flambé them with a lawsuit, brought by the surviving family – “You deprived mah baby of his cibbil rahts!!”… That sort of thing.) Not saying it’s right or wrong. It just is.
But in a SHTF scenario, I don’t see the machines of government or courts functioning at all – Rule of Law goes out the window. Which means if you have to use your weapon, then you will probably have to kill the bad guys. Yes, on purpose. No time, nor inclination, to parse phrases at this point. “Stopping” them means they might still be alive when their buddies run away and leave them in a pool of blood. NOW what, Rambo? Can’t call the cops or an ambulance.
You have three choices, two of which most people would find morally repugnant. You can 1) put them out of their misery with a pistol shot behind the ear. 2) leave them there to die slow in considerable agony or 3) you can render aid, thereby depleting your supplies meant for your group and/or family and then devote time, people and resources to care for them afterwards – if even for only a short time.
Yeah, I know someone on here will try and build one of those impossible ethical boxes that you cannot escape in order to mess with me … sort of a Doomer’s version of the Kobayashi Maru scenario where there is no right answer… only wrong answers of varying levels of wrongness…
One thing I tried to think of is an “out”. In other words, how to communicate with strangers – finding out who they are, what they want, etc – without exposing you or your buddies to risk.
Then I thought of the old TA-312’s the military used, once upon a time. Two phones, some D-cell batteries and a reel of wire. Put the phone in an obvious place, well marked. A quarter mile away, or thereabouts, is the other phone and an observer keeping Phone 1 under observation. This would allow communications without risking anyone’s life… of course, this all begs questions like “What’s to keep someone from stealing the phone, the batteries, the handset, etc? just because they’re dicks? Don’t have all the answers… more Kobayashi Maru stuff…
Post something like this… they should get the message…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1