Originally Posted by upgrayedd
I've always been told to shoot only when "...my life or the lives of those around me are in imminent danger..."
draw your weapon
take two or three steps AWAY from the attacker(so that in court, you cannot be made to out to be the aggressor)
order the assailant to stand down
If the assailant does anything (run at you, point the weapon at you or others)
Some would argue that backing away is the wrong thing to do. I was taught that backing away is proper because a) it shows that you are not the aggressor, and b) it might buy you an extra few fractions of a second of time. That simple step could mean the difference between being indicted and being no-billed. It could also allow a shooting situation to not develop.
Of course, it's going to depend on the situation, but as my kids learn in Martial Arts, avoidance is preferable to fighting. But then, if you can't avoid it, "hit fast, hit first, hit hard".