So, having PCSed to Fort Bliss, I learned that all soldiers 26 and under have to attend a course on defensive driving. Just a class that's about two hours long. As dumb as I thought this was, I went this afternoon. At one point, the instructor, this gruff old ex-NCO type, tells us this story from a few years ago. Some retired CSM was driving down the highway in the left lane in a sedan, when a large SUV driven by some woman came flying up behind him. Got right on his butt, started honking, flipping him off, just showing crazy amounts of road rage. Well, the soldier drives on, taking several miles to pass all the people he feels like passing before getting into the right lane. The lady then pulls up next to him and continues flipping him off and yelling at him and so on. Then she starts SWERVING at him, deliberately trying to run him off the road. At this point, I nudge my friend and say "If that was me, that would be about ready to get shot." I figure, the swerving constitutes a deadly threat to his life, and a corresponding amount of force is now authorized to protect his life. At the very least, a gun could be drawn to persuade the lunatic to stand down. The instructor continues on with his story, telling us that the CSM then pulled out a 1911 (especially eerie since I often carry a 1911) and immediately fired a shot through the passenger side door, hitting the crazy woman in the abdomen. Turns out she was pregnant, unbeknownst to the soldier, and the bullet performed an on-spot abortion. The soldier went before the judge and said that in all his SF combat experience, he'd never been as terrified by anyone as he was by this woman (hey, I'm just telling this story as it was related to me). It didn't work, and he got 15 years for manslaughter while the lady got 90 days for being a whackjob. I just thought it was kinda spooky because after my smart-alec remark to my friend, that turned out to not be such a good idea. But, I mean, if any person is pulling maneuvers like that in a vehicle that is so much larger than what you're driving, wouldn't self defense have a valid argument? Trying to run someone off the road with a Suburban is just as threatening as holding a gun or a knife on someone as far as I'm concerned. And if there were witnesses to testify as to what the whacky woman was doing, I just don't see how this wouldn't stand. And on another note, I think we can all agree that someone with those sorts of mental issues shouldn't be having children. Not that her kid deserved to get popped by a .45 ACP, or that loony people should be sterilized...I'm just imagining how things would be in a more ideal world (i.e. the lunatics and the morons keep their legs shut). Flame on.