So you and your wife are walking back from charity work at the local homeless shelter one night and a thuggish looking scumbag with "FELON" tattooed on his forehead in Arial Bold font jumps out from an alley way 15 yards away, full stop, holding a knife in one hand and a box of condoms in the other. He yells "This is a stickup and a rape and a murder! Give me your wife, your money, and your car keys or I'll kill you both dead with this here bowie knife!!". . . .allowing you ample time to think and draw your sidearm and get into that Isosceles stance you learned about on the range. Scumbag takes a single step offering you the chance to blow him away with your fang-face patriot-ninja-warrior ammo and save the day.
Sadly, lethal force encounters don't usually look like that as far as I can tell. Here is a real example of a lethal force encounter that fortunately resulted in not only no fatalities, but justice served as the scumbag in question went back to prison for the rest of his life ***Warning: Graphic pictures near the end of the thread*** -- My CCW Shooting AAR.
The victim was maimed forever from the encounter, and the scumbag was dumb enough to leave a prominent blood trail from the crime scene to his bed, complete with bloody weapon containing empty shell casings. All in all, though, it could have been a lot worse. The victim was never charged with any crime, got his weapon and personal belongings back (after two years! Yikes!), and mostly recovered. Some of the things that stand out from this story to me are that this is a specific example of a grip safety causing a defensive weapon not to fire at the precise moment it needs to, and also that appendix carry would have not only allowed a more covert draw by the victim, but also may have prevented the scumbag from discovering the empty holster, thus arousing suspicion. Also, even though it wasn't needed in this fight, a spare loaded magazine is definitely something that you should carry.
I post this story because there are armed folks out there -- good people, mind you -- that it seems can't wait to get into a situation where they take out the bad guy and save the day, going home victorious knowing they did the world a service. There are those also who are cluelessly armed and under prepared. This story is a stark reminder of why I try my best to live a life of avoidance, de-escalation, and deterrence in order to not end up in a situation like this one, but if trouble does find me, that I'm prepared and focused.