We have learned two of the elements of self defense claims are innocence and imminence. Another element is called “proportionality.” Proportionality simply defined says you cannot use greater force than your assailant uses.
Meaning; you cannot use deadly force to defend yourself against a non-deadly threat. The problem with proportionality is the dynamics of the conflict can change very rapidly and unexpectedly. What starts out as a verbal argument can become heated and escalate to deadly force in the blink of an eye. This happens when your assailant’s force increases, or when your ability to defend yourself decreases. Naturally, if the attacker now employs a knife or a gun, you must have the right to use deadly force to defend yourself. You may use whatever is at your disposal; a baseball bat, a golf club, or your own firearm. I think it might be advisable to carry another weapon if you are carrying a concealed firearm. With the gun, you have left yourself with only one alternative for defense, which is deadly force. Perhaps pepper spray or a stun gun would give another alternative, and if that is effective, no one dies or gets maimed, and you will look better in the courtroom if it goes that far. As a responsible law-abiding citizen you must adapt your defense to be appropriate against his offensive weapon. If the attacker somehow reverts back to non-deadly force, you must do the same. These could be critical decisions made in a “heartbeat.” If you use deadly force against a non-deadly threat, your claim to “self-defense” is now invalid. The best tactic would be to avoid the conflict entirely if possible. Have a safe and Happy New Year.