Shelagh, the question remains hypothetical. The “what if’s” cannot be predicted. I’m once again reading Don Stephen’s books that describe his experience in clandestine operations in S.E. Asia. His description of events includes his mental state and thoughts associated with action before and after an attack. Analysis of these actions and the people he led, although helpful, could not be used to predict future encounters. His highly trained team had some predictability, however much had to do with reaction based on the actions of the enemy and reactions were often instinctive. Hesitation can be fatal.
In my younger years, being physically fit and fearless, my attitude reflected a more aggressive stance. During the time that I was taking frequent flights to and from the M.E. when high jacking was prevalent, my wife would plead with me not to do anything stupid if I was on such a flight. She was aware of my tendency to step in and become involved. Age together with wisdom tends to alter one’s attitude together with experience in dangerous situations. Seeking a peaceful solution is more difficult than knee-jerk reactions. We are witnessing that in current world events. Evaluating action and possible reaction is wise. Iraq is a good example. Even when/if we learn from history, no two events are exactly the same. Trying to predict the reaction to the break-in of ones home is futile. How would one know in advance if the break-in was for the purpose of theft or to harm the occupants? Trying to defuse a situation may buy some time to think more clearly. Unfortunately events can happen so fast that reaction cannot be predicted. Having a weapon may be more dangerous than not having a weapon.
Discussing potential threats is useful. We must also be aware that there is no right way to resolve an unpredictable situation.