What IS self defense? You'd think it is a pretty simple answer...and it IS...but the interpretation of "self defense" by a LOT of people is skewed and in many cases I have seen on here...COMPLETELY off the mark. Self defense is SIMPLY put: Use of force that is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary for the defense of oneself or another against the immediate use of unlawful force. However, a person must use no more force than appears reasonably necessary in the circumstances. That is a pretty broad and legal definition of SELF DEFENSE...note however it is NOT a definition of LETHAL FORCE and we will talk about that in a minute. Okay...now that that's out of the way. You must have noticed how many times "reasonable" or a variation thereof was used? That is the yardstick by which one WILL be judged when defending one's self. Assuming similar size and physical condition, is it reasonable to draw your pistol and shoot someone who punches you? The text book, and real world answer is an absloute NO. The REASONABLE response is to retreat or use "ONLY THAT FORCE WHICH IS NECCESSARY TO STOP THE ASSAULT". This may be a punch in return, but really? Now you're just engaging in good old fashioned fisticufs. Not smart...but hey..some knuckle draggers like that kind of thing, and if you do enjoy it...DON'T CARRY A GUN, or get involved with MMA so some other knuckle dragger can punch you for a while. A better response would be to engage ONLY long enough to stop the assault, then unass the area. After all...that is really what SD is all about...stopping the assault so you can retreat to safety. I have seen SO many misguided douchtetards on forums say that "If he punches me, I'm gonna shoot him!" A simple punch is just that. Many will argue that if punched I could: 1. Fall and hit my head and die. 2. Lose my gun. The above examples are the two most popular. Really folks...I have been hit MANY MANY times in the face and NONE of them came close to knocking me out, down, or unconcsious, let alone killing me. If a simple punch was lethal danger...MMA fighters would die everytime they got into the ring. If you lose your gun...your weapon retention plan (i.e. good holster or general self defense skills) sucks, and you shouldn't be carrying a gun. Look back to the above...your BEST plan is to stop the assault, and unass the area. A simple punch or even a reg'lar ass whoopin' do NOT rise to the level of IMMEDIATE AND OTHERWISE UNAVOIDABLE DANGER OF DEATH OR GRAVE BODILY HARM. Sorry to be the burster of bubbles to those who want to get them a killin' under their belt...but there you have it. Keep your eyes open, pie hole shut, and your common sense and MANNERS turned on, and the vast majority of the time, you won't even need to be in a scuffle. Now some of you will bring up "Castle Doctrine" or "Stand Your Ground Laws"....that's fine. It is still MUCH SMARTER to just leave if you can do so in safety. Unless you've got a hard on to shoot someone...that's what a SMART person will do. If you have the aforementioned priapism to gun some scumbag down...you've got more issues than Lindsey Lohan, and your boobs aren't nearly as nice. So...in a pretty well evenly matched confrontation...if someone punches you and you kill/maim/wound/shoot them....DING DING DING...you just bought yourself a whole heap of legal trouble. If you have been in a confrontation, extract yourself, then arm yourself and go back and re-engage LIKE AN IDIOT...the other person NOW HAS THE ABILITY TO DEAL WITH YOU AND CLAIM SELD DEFENSE. Enjoy going to prison for being stupid. You were SAFELY extracted from the situation and "went back for some payback" or because your weak assed pride was wounded a WHOLE LOT more than you were and you had to show them what a tough customer you were. All you are is an IDIOT. Okay...yes...there ARE times when lethal force could be used against someone...that is DISPARITY OF FORCE and has been covered to death, and I don't feel like getting inot it right now. Female, elderly, handicapped, seriously outnumbered....yes...you can use lethal force. Assume I am right, save time and move on. SO...the point of all this is to clarify what SELF DEFENSE really is. I may...after coffee...get into Lethal Force...who knows?