A lot of people who are not actively engaged in the training community tell Rob Pincus that they don’t know if they could kill someone. Obviously it is not necessary to kill someone in order to stop them from hurting you or your family, and it’s certainly not necessary to think you’re going to have to kill someone just to be safer.
There are a lot of areas of non-lethal self-defense that start with home and personal security, safety, situational awareness, and items as basic as locking the doors of your house, making sure you know where all your family members are and that you have open lines of communication with them. There are many ways to be safer without being armed with a defensive tool that’s capable of killing someone.
On the other side of that coin, you have to realize that even if you are armed with nothing but your bare hands, you could injure someone in such a way that kills them while you are defending yourself. For example, if someone attacks you and you flail your arms about and knock them down, they hit their head and die, what you thought of as your non-lethal self-defense has just caused someone’s death.
Remember that ultimately what caused their death is the fact that they attacked you. If someone puts you in a position of needing to defend yourself against them, the ramifications of your actions are really not your fault. The action you are taking is the action of responsibility. You have an obligation to defend yourself and your family against the bad guys.