View Full Version : Unarmed assailant
March 2, 2006, 09:33 AM
This is my first crack at starting a thread, so i appologize if it is not better put together. The situation is that i am at most 145 lbs, 6ft, and live in Phx. I am a small guy. Say i'm attacked, by one or more people who are unarmed, and there is no way out of it.
Question 1: If they were unarmed, being i am a small man, and in fear for my safety and life, would i be allowed to draw and or shoot?
Question 2: In regards to handgun retention, I have a gun, they don't. What would be justifiable for me to do to keep my gun? My idea is the unarmed guy knocking me out, and taking my nice 1911 will cause further harm to the public. My thinking is that on swing one, I am in trouble and will be drawing.
Don't get me wrong, I avoid situations, and I am responsible.
Thanks again everyone
It's not vengence, it's punishment - The Punisher
March 2, 2006, 09:58 AM
You answered Question #1 yourself. If you are in immenant (sp?) danger or bodily injury or sexual assault you can use your gun to defend your life- regardless of whether or not the others have a gun.
This along with four other rules justify the use of deadly force.
2) others of like mind would do the same thing - jury by your peers.
3) you did not instigate the fight
4) duty to retreat if not in your home or business
5) force is not excessive
March 2, 2006, 10:43 AM
The answer to question one is clearly yes, Aim center of mass abd shoot.
March 2, 2006, 10:48 AM
The "Duty to Retreat" varies state to state. I don't recall a specific "duty" in AZ laws from when I lived there and delt with a lot of LEO's. Go to www.packing.org an use their links to the AZ statutes.
Also... most legal types look at three factors as to whether your use of force was justified.
1) Opportunity - He/they have weapons, size difference, numbers, etc.
2) Ability - Within funtional distance for the "weapon of choice".
3) Intent - self explanitory
So, a large guy, with lots of muscles but no visable weapon, standing 30 feet away and screaming obsenities at you. Not justified... no ability at 30 feet.
Large guy, same muscles, no visable weapon, advancing on you screaming that he is going to "kill your sorry #@$%%" Maybe... some ability and apperant intent.
Large guy, same BIG muscles, physically grabs you and about to inflict "grave bodily harm". Probably justified... all 3 criteria have been met.
Retreating to a safer position, IF POSSIBLE AND SAFE TO DO, regardless of state law is generally a good idea (there are many situations where retreating is NOT a good idea or even possible). If forced to shoot, it will look a lot better to the DA or Grand Jury that you made every REASONABLE attempt to difuse the situation and used deadly force only as a last resort.
March 2, 2006, 10:55 AM
Ability, opportunity, and intent. If the badguy has the three listed requirments, to cause you or another death or great bodily injury, you can use deadly force. That was from my criminal justice notes back from high school. Here in Florida, a new law was passed which removed the requirement to flee while out in public. While no longer obligated to flee, we still must be in fear of death or GBI to shoot.
March 2, 2006, 01:00 PM
Good questions with valid concerns. Even in law enforcement, one of the primary things considered in evaluating a use of force is the size and age of the actor compared to the officer.
I'm not familiar with AZ's current laws, but you are the perfect candidate for a weapons retention class. It's a skill everyone carrying a weapon should learn. Check your area for classes and sign up. You won't regret it.
March 2, 2006, 01:26 PM
This is one of the reasons that avoidance is so very important.
You need the intent, opportunity, ability. But ability is something VERY hard to judge.
Somebody smaller catching you by surprise can crack your head against a concrete wall and kill you. They can break a beer bottle (it is possible to be in possession of a beer bottle outside a bar) and suddenly have a deadly weapon where there was none a second before.
I am certainly not out to kill anybody. But I can tell you that I'll be looking much harder at intent and opportunity than I will at trying to figure out ability if the day ever comes.
I'm a big guy, but if I get threatened and you are close enough and you look serious and are starting to act, I'm not going to consider that you're 5'2.
Even though I'm in Florida, I'll retreat if I can. I'll avoid a fight, but relative size will not be a factor.
March 2, 2006, 01:50 PM
Hopefully we never have that come up.
March 2, 2006, 02:15 PM
To play devil's adovacate, your not a really little guy, 6' is about average height of men. You might want to be careful because a jury might not look at weight but only height.
March 2, 2006, 02:24 PM
What is that quote??
"I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by six."
If I use common sense... I think the jury of my peers will use common sense too. ;)
March 2, 2006, 06:34 PM
Thank you all so much. In AZ, no duty to retreat (just for info). You really helped me out. You would think that this was reviewed in the CCW class, but i guess "this is a trigger, and this is a hammer" was more important!:)
It's not vengence, it's punishment - The Punisher
March 3, 2006, 06:46 AM
Teej, Geez 6ft tall and only 145 pounds!!!! In a strong wind he could get pushed around abit. Extremely thin is an understatment. My weight is supposed to be 165lbs @ 5'8" and 37years old. At that weight I would look like I had cancer or aids. I think his weight would override his height and he would be considered puny.
Yomama, I mean you no insult you hear. I'm just responding to Teej.
March 4, 2006, 09:55 AM
No offense taken, there is no doubt about it, I am just about as skinny as they come. :) Makes it hard to hide a full size 1911 to! Oh well.
March 4, 2006, 01:34 PM
For what it is worth, I've been told by many old timers at the ranges in AZ that the law looks at the "proportionality" of the situation. In other words, smaller people and females have far more leniency in using deadly force than larger and physically fit men.
March 4, 2006, 04:12 PM
"No offense taken, there is no doubt about it, I am just about as skinny as they come. Makes it hard to hide a full size 1911 to! Oh well."
I've got you beat. 6'/133lbs. I have a full size CCW as well, Sig P226.
While I'd say you would be perfectly justified in firing you're weapon in the scenario given, you might want to think about unarmed self-defense as well. There's allot of systems out there that would help "level the playing field" if you were to be attacked by a 6'2"/225lbs guy, etc. Also, if you were taking by surprise (I.E, since you avoid bad situations but one just happened to come out of nowhere) unarmerd self defense skills might just make the difference in you being able to draw your weapon or not. Just my $.02, something to ponder.
March 4, 2006, 04:38 PM
I know where you are coming from. We all ponder situations like this. However, I would recommend that you get yourself a can of Fox 5.3 spray and always carry it on you. It will take most people down including yourself if you aren't careful.
Give yourself some options. Use a retantion holster, carry a cell phone, the number to an attorney, and a can of spray. Just some general advice.
March 5, 2006, 12:42 PM
Around here you need to be able to articulate why you were in imminent fear of your life/safety, that you had no possible avenue of retreat (cornered, backed into a wall, couldn't get away), that they had the means/intent, and that the the threat posed by the bg would be interpreted by a reasonable person as a life or death/serious bodily harm incident.
It doesn't need to be a hulking person or two, you just need to be able to explain why you as a reasonble person felt (knew in your mind) that you had no other option in order to stay alive or not seriously injured.
After that happens, get ready to spend plenty of time in court defending your actions.
March 5, 2006, 07:25 PM
There's allot of systems out there that would help "level the playing field" if you were to be attacked by a 6'2"/225lbs guy,
I had the opportunity to wrestle and box some larger guys. Lets just say I faired better boxing. If I didn't get hit I was okay. Wrestling was difficult with 30-40 pounds difference. The power difference was very noticabable. Giving away 100 pounds holy smokes. What kind of training are you talking about?
March 5, 2006, 08:25 PM
"I had the opportunity to wrestle and box some larger guys. Lets just say I faired better boxing. If I didn't get hit I was okay. Wrestling was difficult with 30-40 pounds difference. The power difference was very noticabable. Giving away 100 pounds holy smokes. What kind of training are you talking about?"
Not to hijack the thread but I'm referring to fighting systems such as Krav Maga (real Krav, not the Mcjodo crap that floats around certain "jodo's"), Haganah, etc. I'm not saying you'll be invincible, but I'm 130-ish pounds and I train with guys upwards of 6'2/6'3 and well over 200 pounds. Bottom line is, I can hold my own with them, both sparring and in a defensive (I.E, breaking a hold, choke, headlock, etc) situation. If you want to know more, send me a PM.
March 5, 2006, 08:49 PM
Usnavy, When you "hold your own" is it full contact or light contact? The same for the grappling/wrestling? I remember while sparring in karate holding my own (I thought) against higher ranked and much larger guys. In reality using full power I would have been beaten down even if I blocked every shot. While boxing, with the physical power difference so great, I had to hit and run to survive. If I got caught ouch even on shots that just hit limbs. On the ground was the worst for size mismatches because I couldn't avoid the advantage in power. I'm going to pm you (not for me because my joints can handle the stress anymore) for my kids.
March 5, 2006, 09:02 PM
"Around here you need to be able to articulate why you were in imminent fear of your life/safety, that you had no possible avenue of retreat (cornered, backed into a wall, couldn't get away), that they had the means/intent, and that the the threat posed by the bg would be interpreted by a reasonable person as a life or death/serious bodily harm incident."
But also remember you do not have to articulate anything to the police. The correct phrase is "I need to talk to my lawyer."
March 6, 2006, 04:22 PM
That was the only good advise i got in the CCW class, get an attorney.
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