George S. Ledyard wrote:
A guy with a knife is by definition Deadly Force. You can use whatever means a "reasonable" person would use to end that threat. You can shoot him (assuming that you are allowed to have a gun and even if not, the charge would be violation of the gun law, not excessive force).
In Italy this does not apply.
Even if you are one of the rare private person with a gun and the permission to use it, against a knifed attacker you CAN'T shoot to kill, no matter what, unless this is the last and only possible resort.
Even police should follow this general rule.
You must shoot in the air or in legs/arms first... or you'll be prosecuted for overreaction and intentional homicide.
The same may be told about MA utilization in some self defence situations.
If you break the wrist or the nose of a robber caught with the hand in your wallet, he goes to jail but you'll be prosecuted, too, for overreaction. You only legal options are a) block b) call autorithy for help.
You may hurt (only proportionally to the threath, and never kill) only people who pose a direct threath to you or your relatives integrity or life.
The problem is that "proportionally to the threath", which is subjected to interpretation by lawyers, jury and judges.
In the case of MA use, it's hard to avoid the charge for overreaction and expecially in case of a killed or badly hurt opponent; I suppose because in the eye of a judge a martial artist should put TWICE the effort to control his reactions than a non skilled, normal person.
Just recently, 1-2 years ago (media and readers loves this kind of stuff so it had quite a resonance), a local kung-fu sensei surprised 3 men in his house after they wacked hard and blocked on a chair his wife, and threathened him of killing her if he had not opened the safe. They had no weapons, and this was their fatal error.
He killed all three in a mess of blood, flesh and broken limbs, reporting only minor scratches himself; a whitness said that he pursued the third down the stairs and snapped his neck from behind when he was trying to escape, and this costed him 20 years of jail for overreaction and intentional homicide, even if he told his intention was to stop, not kill, the third, and that he was worrying for the life of his battered wife.