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This is adapted from a round-robin email, so the credit for the original goes to whoever puts their hand up.
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly a wild eyed man carrying a large knife comes round the corner, locks eyes with you,screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock .40 and are an expert shot. You have mere seconds to respond before he reaches you wife and family. What do you do?
English Police officer's answer:
"Well, that's not enough information to answer the question.
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Have I done anything which could have caused him to attack us?
Could we run away? What does my wife think? Should I ask the kids if they are scared?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation? Does my Force have a Management Policy covering this?
Does the Glock have an approved safety function built into it and am I using it in an authorized Health and Safety fashion? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway and what sort of message does this give to society?
Is it possible he'd be content with killing just me and leaving my wife and kids alone? Does he definitely want to kill me or does he intend to merely wound or maim me?
If I were to grab his knees could my family escape while he is busy stabbing me? Should I call 999 or try and phone for a taxi?
Why is this street so deserted? We need to have a paint and weed day and make this a happier healthier area where behaviour of this sort would not be tolerated.
If I raise my gun and he turns around and runs away, will I be blamed if he falls over and injures himself? Will I, or the taxpayer have to foot the legal and medical bill for any injuries he may sustain?
If I shoot him and lose the court case, would this give him the opportunity to sue me, costing me my job, pension, credibility and loss of my family home?
Am I being culturally sensitive enough and will I be offending his family, ethnic background, racial or religious group if I wound or kill him? Will I have to defend myself against accusations of racism if I shoot him?