Often in home defense episodes, people ask 911 dispatchers for permission to use effective means of self-defense. “Mother, may I please, please save my life by fighting those who’d murder me?” I would guess this stems from being unsure of own right to use deadly force in self-defense. This is precisely why handgun courses usually cover the legalities of self-defense. The decision to fight with all you’ve got should be made long before the emergency happens.
Many movies promote the idea that most people just can’t bring themselves to resist criminals. Just as a grease fire in the kitchen has to be handled soonest with the use of a fire extinguisher, so does criminal aggression must be handled at once with the most effective measures available. Being defenders, lawful people always begin behind the reaction curve and only prior what-if planning allows them to catch up with the aggressors and beat them at their own game.
A lawful, peaceful person should not be apologetic about doing in a criminal aggressor. Human life is worth defending. Life of a home invader or a mugger or a rapist has negative worth and continues at the sufferance of the real humans. And it’s quite all right to treat violent criminals as less than human — they aren’t being stereotyped for some common congenital trait (such as ethnicity or appearance) but treated according to their immediate unlawful actions. Wanton initiation of aggression is a very certain denial of humanity.
Just as a great potential dinner may have to be ruined on a moment’s notice if the oil in your frying pan flashes, a potentially good human who just happens to be a murderous thug at present has to be stopped. The stopping process may ruin the critter but that’s his problem, not yours. A couple of years ago, one of my friends was grabbed by two older men right off the street in Oakland. They dragged her towards a construction site, she managed to slice one of them with a knife and the attackers took off, presumably for the nearest hospital. Whether the wounded rapist lived or died is not important, the important thing is that she escaped. Fortunately, her sense of self-worth is sufficient to ward off any second-guessing or misdirected guilt. My friend is quite comfortable with the outcome of that encounter and that’s how it should be.
Save your pity and consideration for the humans in your life. Goblins masquerading as humans do not deserve it. Know how to protect yourself and be willing to apply that knowledge if necessary. And don’t think that you have to request official permission to protect yourself.