There is no justification for force unless you are being threatened with deadly force.
There is something to be said about martial arts in terms of putting yourself in a better position to either use deadly force or retreat. But there is no reason a conceal carrier should ever employ "less then lethal force". Because if you kill someone you will have an even more difficult uphill battle in the courts.
Responding with anything less then deadly force or retreat is an escalation. It's very difficult to argue self defense in a situation where lethal self defense wasn't justified, whatever the weapon.
Plenty of cases where people have gotten into legal trouble for responding to a minor physical assault with a one punch grievous wounding.
A conceal carrier is not the police, they do not need to momentarily disable to apprehend. They need to de-escalate, remove themselves from the situation, or as a last resort stop the threat. Morally and legally speaking.
The law is very clear that you are justified in responding with force to defend yourself.
Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person.(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force...
There is no mention of deadly force, lethal force, force likely to cause death or great bodily harm in the first part of the 7-1(a). It just says your force must be necessary to defend yourself.
Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person. (continued)...However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.
The second half of the paragraph specifies that you can only use deadly force to defend yourself from deadly force.
Taken together, you are justified in using non-lethal force in defending yourself against an attacker using non-lethal force against you. You are ONLY justified in using deadly force to defend yourself if your are confronted with force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
If you use deadly force against an assailant who is only using ordinary force (non-lethal force) you will probably be convicted for murder, manslaughter or aggravated battery, depending on the circumstances. This is excessive force and not justified under the law.
You are absolutely justified in defending yourself from a non-lethal attack using ordinary, non-deadly force.
This is the cornerstone of the use of force laws. Your defense cannot exceed the level of force (lethal vs non-lethal) of your assailant.
Edited by Frank, 05 August 2018 - 03:26 PM.