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Basically...the firearm is for deadly force only. It is not see as injuring force. So the crippling thing goes out the window..you shoot to kill and nothing else. Plus, in a stress situation your aim will not be as true as you think it will be.>Either way, you can use deadly force to protect your life or the life of another person. You cannot use it to defend property. As far as what constitutes a weapon and the use of deadly force. The law falls on something called, "reasonable and prudent." Basically they will look at a situation and ask themselves if a reasonable and prudent person would believe what the person had could be used as a weapon and if there was a belief that their intent was to use it on you.

Now, you can draw on someone, but if they run that doesnt mean you can shoot them. If they decide to fight though, that changes things. But without a witness, if they charge you and you pop them one, you could be in for some trouble because they were unarmed. So pick your battles. losing some property from a vending machine is a hell of a lot better than going down for murder or possibly being over powered and having your gun taken away from you.
This is how I understand it to be, even in Colorado. I've already taken the class, so I just need to actually go and apply for the CCW. In Colorado, unlike Texas, you can defend your home only if you think your life is in danger. If someone breaks into your home and you catch him stealing your TV, you can't shoot him unless he is coming at you in an attacking manner. If he is running from you with his back to you, you're going down for Murder if you kill him, and probably attempted murder if you wound him. Better to replace a TV than to not be able to provide for and protect your family if you're in prison.

Also, I'm not sure quite what the actual laws are for detaining suspects, but personally I wouldn't draw unless my own or someone else's life is in danger. Don't point it unless you intend to use it (sort of the reason why it's not exactly smart to have a tactical light or laser attached to a handgun), because it could be a member of your family that you are aiming at.
 
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