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Lurper
February 7, 2007, 03:02 PM
I wasn't going to post this, but my nephew talked me into it because it shares some good tactics with the community.

Two weeks ago, I was awakened at 11:00 p.m. by a knock on my door. I live in an apt. in not the greatest neighborhood. I grabbed my PT1911 and went to the door. Standing off to the side of the door, I turned on the outside light and peeked out the peephole. I couldn't identify who it was and since both of my neighbors are single woman (one in her 20's, the other 89) and have asked me for help before, I decided to open the door. I put my left shoulder against the door and leaned into it (figuring it would take quite a bit to move me out of the way before I could fire). I cracked the door a couple of inches. There was a guy standing in front of the door (not big - about 5'6", 160lbs) so I asked him "what do you need?" He just stared at me with a blank stare, so I repeated the question. Same response, so I closed the door and locked it. I keep my front window (next to the door) cracked about 3 inches to let in fresh air. It has one of those little devices with the set screw that is supposed to stop the window from sliding and I have an entertainment center with the TV, stereo, vcr and dvd in front of the window. The guy knocked on the door again, so knowing he could hear me, I said "look buddy, get the hell outta here." He replied "open the f**** door, B*tch!" Then he started kicking the door. I went to the kitchen, grabbed the cell phone and dialed 911. I told the operator what was happening. I also told him "make sure you tell the responding officers that I am armed so there are no misunderstandings." He asked what I was armed with and if the other guy was armed (I didn't know). He then asked me several questions, all the while the BG was hollering epithets, saying he was going to kick in the door and actually kicking the door. The 911 operator could hear him. Meanwhile, I moved into my bathroom. I positioned myself behind the doorjamb just like shooting around a barricade. From there, I could see the window and the foyer, but not actually see the door. Knowing that 911 calls are recorded, I told the operator "I have retreated into my bathroom because it is the safest place and farthest from the door. However, if he enters I have no escape and I am afraid I will have to defend myself." The operator said "hang on, I show one officer just arriving on scene." Then I heard aluminum breaking (turned out to be the screen on the window), so I told the operator that I believed "he is coming thru the window." The operator said that 3 officers were on scene now. Next thing I know, the window slides open and the BG's arm reaches across the top of the entertainment center. I told the 911 operator, then everything got quiet. I again reminded him to tell the officers that I was armed so there were "no mistakes." Then I saw flashlights and finally I heard an officer identify himself. I hung up the phone, made my pistol safe (empty w/slide locked back) and went to the door. Two officers came in, I pointed to where my pistol was, one walked over and put the magazine on top of my computer monitor. The other asked me to step outside and identify the suspect. The arresting officer asked me what I wanted him to do and I said "taking him away is probably the most prudent course of action because if you don't, he'll probably just come back and I'll be forced to shoot the S.O.B." He agreed. The suspect was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. His preliminary hearing was this morning.

Turns out he was drunk (you think?) and was at the wrong appartment. He thought his wife was in mine (I even had the cops check so they could tell him). They are having marital problems obviously.

For me, the incident points out several things.

First it highlights the importance of training and the connection between competence and confidence. Knowing you have a high level of competence instills confidence. It also illustrates that you fight the way you train and that proper training makes all of the difference in the world. This is not anywhere near the first time I have been faced with shooting someone, nor the most dire situation. I can tell you that I was not scared in any of the situations. I fell back on my training and remained calm throughout. Much of what we believe in life comes from our experience. Therefore, I take issue with the claims that some people make that your reactions/perceptions/skills suffer in these situations (perhaps I should post that as a seperate thread). Not just from my experience, but from several of my LEO and military friends. My skills didn't suffer, my thought process didn't suffer, in fact my focus increased.

It also illustrates that the most important weapon you have is mindset. There was no doubt whatsoever in my mind what would have transpired had he entered the living room. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have hit him every shot I fired (and yes, I was focused on the front sight). I already knew that I would tell him "I am armed and if you come any closer I will be forced to shoot." But, that is because I have given these situations much thought BEFORE they occured. The first question I ask people who seek instruction when buying a firearm for self-defense is "Can you take another person's life?" If there is any hesitation in answering the affirmative, then I advise them to think about it and come back when they can answer without hesitation. I am amazed at how many people including LEO and miltiary have never even thought about shooting someone. While one can never say with complete certainty until the event happens, I can tell you with as near complete certainty as possible that I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Man, woman or child. Nor will I feel guilt about having done it. Those issues have already been resolved in my mind and should be in anyone's mind who contemplates a firearm for self-defense. I think I'll stop there for now as I am sure there will be some comments.

SCCop
February 7, 2007, 04:16 PM
Sounds to me like you did an admirable job of keeping your head on straight and behaved well under great pressure. Good job on keeping the dispatcher informed. You'd be surprised how many people expect us to know who's who at a house we've never been to. It can get pretty tense on a prowler call when somebody runs around the house with a gun in their hand only to find out it's the resident. I'm sure they'll be some disagreement from members, but I think you did pretty well.

Desert Heat
February 7, 2007, 04:40 PM
You did well. Didn't freek out and do something stupid and kept your cool. That is one crazy situation and nobody got hurt. Most people would have waited for the jerk to come in and not even have called 911 and who knows how well most people handle themselves in that scenario. You made sure that the cops who were arriving on scene knew you had a gun through dispatch so you didn't end up shot. Well done.

I think that if I were in that situation I would have picked up the shotgun instead.

markj
February 7, 2007, 04:58 PM
This was one of the best tactical posts I have read so far, thank you for posting.

I grabbed my PT1911

A Taurus? how do you like it? I am thinking of buying one myself to add to my .45 collection.

yomama
February 7, 2007, 05:51 PM
Guys one lucky drunk.

Don H
February 7, 2007, 06:37 PM
Then I saw flashlights and finally I heard an officer identify himself. I hung up the phone, made my pistol safe (empty w/slide locked back) and went to the door.
How did you know that it was an officer? Did you look out the window before opening the door? Did you disarm yourself before confirming that there was a LEO outside?

quintos
February 7, 2007, 06:50 PM
"While one can never say with complete certainty until the event happens, I can tell you with as near complete certainty as possible that I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Man, woman or child."

:eek: Would you even bother checking if they are a threat.

towerclimber37
February 7, 2007, 07:21 PM
Would you even bother checking if they are a threat.

If you have ever taken a life, or contemplated taking a life, surely you would understand the consequences of your actions. I would think that he's done quite a bit of thinking on the matter and has, like many folks with a good, strong survival instinct, decided that its better to live through a bad situation than to be a sacrificial lamb.
To those who have never taken a life, or experienced life threatening situations where another human is trying to take your life, this may seem callous. Its not.
I would say the man has a great mindset, and coupled with his training, and cool thinking, it makes him a credit to his community.

nass
February 7, 2007, 07:29 PM
Nice playout of the situation. excellent "by the book" response on your part.

I do have the same concern about making sure it is truly a LEO by listening to both the responding officer and also the dispatcher. Make certain the dispatcher or officer directs you to hang up. There may still be more necessary recording that could occur before the situation is completely diffused.

Otherwise, THANKS for sharing for others.

tydephan
February 7, 2007, 07:37 PM
Kudos!

Thanks for sharing! :cool:

Lurper
February 7, 2007, 08:46 PM
MarkJ: Yeah, I love my Taurus, but we did a lot of work to it. It is both my carry gun and the gun that I use to compete in Single Stack division. The quality is okay and as a basic platform it is good. Mine had rust in a lot of places because the bluing salts had not been properly cleaned off (you could still smell them). Also, fitting the trigger group components and even the mainspring housing was a bit of a chore. It seemed like the dimensions were slighty different than other 1911's. But, for $450.00 I think it is a good buy. If I get a chance, maybe I'll post a picture so you can see what we did.

Quintos: Touche, I meant after they had already been assesed as a threat to my life, not that I would wantonly roam the streets engaging targets of opportunity. :)
I realize that there were some mistakes that I made, but I felt it was safer to go to the door unarmed than to answer it with the gun in my hand. In fact, the initial officer who made contact with me said that dispatch had not advised them that I was armed. He also asked me if I was in Law Enforcement because there were pistols, magazines, holsters, etc. in my bedroom. I told him I was a competitive shooter and that was good enough for him.

Thanks for all of the kudos as well. The main thing is that noone had to die that night.

akr
February 7, 2007, 09:00 PM
When you think of all the trouble you would have to go through if you shot him, it tends to make one not want to shoot....same way with LEO's, and it could cost you your life. You did a fantastic job, though.

allenomics
February 7, 2007, 09:31 PM
Appropriate response. Your guidance to authorities was spot on. You did everything well, especially while under some pressure/stress. Others should read your post.

AR15FAN
February 7, 2007, 09:46 PM
Only mistake was opening the door the first time, that could have cost you big time. Other then moving from your neighborhood, it was good you had a gun to defend yourself.

Lurper
February 7, 2007, 09:58 PM
MarkJ:
Here are the photos of my PT1911. I changed the trigger (the original was too heavy), sear, hammer, disconnector, mag release + button, mainspring housing, sights and thumb safety (the original broke on disassembly - it was rusted together). I also added the mag well. I have about $550 in it ($650 if I would have not had the Bomar lying around), and would put it up against any other 1911 you could buy for that price.

BOPLEO
February 7, 2007, 10:32 PM
This is why less than lethal should always be in your self defense strategy. Your gun was your only option and you could not use it.

BobK
February 7, 2007, 10:48 PM
Not trying to bash you. But you lost the element of surprise by turning on the light. And never open the door. Otherwise you did good.

Had a coworker that answered the door late one night. When he turned on the front light and looked through peephole, he was shot 3 times through the door. He lived fortunately. Turned out to be case of mistaken identity.

Just so you know, I made the same mistake as you did 25 years ago. And the guy was a drunk.

markj
February 8, 2007, 10:37 AM
MarkJ:
Here are the photos of my PT1911.

Now that is one nice 1911. I like it. HAvent had the pleasure of actually seeing one yet tho. Maybe it is time to make the journey to the gun shop, every time I do tho I end up with a new weapon :)

Lurper
February 8, 2007, 11:45 AM
This is why less than lethal should always be in your self defense strategy. Your gun was your only option and you could not use it.

My gun wasn't my only option since I am a trained martial artist (aikido). But as I told the cops "Ten years ago I would've just opened the door and kicked his ass but I'm pushing 50 now and don't want to be bothered." :)
However I must disagree if you are implying that there was a better alternative. Had I gone outside w/a Taser for example and he died as a result of the confrontation then I would have legal issues to resolve (probably costly ones too). I can't think of a better altenative than to retreat to a position of cover and concealment while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I am open to suggestions however.

BobK, I agree. I did have enough sense to not stand behind the door and look out the peephole though. I have seen Sharkey's machine too many times. I leaned over from the side of the door. I opened it because I was worried that one of my neighbors needed help. I had told them both that if they ever needed anything to let me know and they both had done so in the past. Since word of the incident got out, they come over even more to let me know when they are not going to be home, etc. We also devised a code for them to let me know if something was wrong in their apartment. lol
Thanks for the advice.

BlueTrain
February 8, 2007, 03:12 PM
I suppose this thread is something about the castle doctrine or something but to paraphrase something from a book about gunfighting, the more my home is like a castle, the more I like it. In other words, we need better doors.

riverkeeper
February 8, 2007, 09:10 PM
Lurper--
IMHO your head is on very strait. Thanks for taking the time!!

clem
February 9, 2007, 01:58 AM
Very good, you did well!:)

Donovan655
February 9, 2007, 03:13 AM
cool post. I like your insisting on the operator knowing that you are armed so that she/he can realy that to the cops.

akr
February 9, 2007, 03:19 AM
Lurper, I think you would make a good cop, the way you handled everything. Have you considered it?

Nortonics
February 9, 2007, 08:23 AM
Text book quality - nice style...

Beckerich
February 10, 2007, 07:20 AM
yeah you did handle that quite well, I think I would have been more nervous and would have shouted that I had a gun... then again if he was kicking the door I would have thought he must have been drunk or something. Probably wouldnt have been helpful if you shouted you had a gun or grenades he would have probably said " ah shut up mary, I know you keep them at your mothers" in a drunken slurr.

OJ
February 10, 2007, 03:07 PM
Lurper--
IMHO your head is on very strait. Thanks for taking the time!!
__________________


Yep - great response and handling.

If you have the choice of construction, this is my choice. The front door is 1/2 level below the window on the left of my 5'3" wife and this is where we always answer the front door as she is doing here with the other 2/3 of the welcoming committee. If we don't know them, they don't get the front door opened and, somehow, we've never had anyone try to forcibly open it.:rolleyes:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/P1100001_edited-2.jpg

Even door to door solicitors leave after about the third time I explain they have to speak up to be heard over the sound of the barking - even the religious ones.:D

Stan_TheGunNut
February 11, 2007, 12:29 PM
Gotta love the Mastifs. I agree, the OP handled the situation as well as can be expected. While I wouldn't wish something like that on anyone, I do think it's better that it happened to him than one of his neighbor ladies. At least he was prepared to deal with the situation, and they may not have given it much thought. I hope they can learn from this too.

OJ
February 11, 2007, 12:34 PM
Gotta love the Mastifs.

Yep - thanks. They are great!!! They get a little testy if you can't wait until half time to talk, however.;)

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/DOGS/PA210005.jpg

:D

Daniel BOON
February 14, 2007, 05:22 PM
when i am at home, I answer the door with my 45 auto, and my fully loaded Rottweiler. when I am not at home, my Rottweiler answers the door; when the wife is at home (shes so cute) she pulls the door wide open, and lets Oscar (my Rott) answer the door. I know hes not a colt auto. or a Taurus, but when he speaks, people listen. nobody has gotten shot, or hurt. and no, he cannot digest lead. but he would die with somebody's throat in his mouth. how deep is the jugular? :)

Trope
March 1, 2007, 12:30 AM
Sounds like a very good job handling the situation to me. It kind of resonates with me as being one of those situations I fear the most. The guy was a threat, but it would really stink to have to deal with shooting someone who was too drunk to know they had the wrong door. I'm very glad for you that it didn't turn into that.

One small thing, I'm not sure I'd have let the police in to ask questions about whatever they saw in my bedroom. I know you said why, but they're taking him away at that point anyway. Not that I have anything in particular to hide, it just creeps me out that he was asking about your (legal, I presume) guns.

JAXX
March 1, 2007, 01:08 AM
From what I gathered, he let the cops in to show the drunk for sure that his wife was not in his apartment. The cop saw the weapons and merely asked if he was LE due to the weaponry. I did not gather that the cop was asking for any other reason than that. Could be wrong though, it's happened before.

Lurper
March 1, 2007, 01:09 AM
Jaxx, that is correct.

The Body Bagger
March 8, 2007, 03:09 AM
You did a great job in an elevated stress enviroment. Now you have decide, do you continue on with the relationship with his wife? :p

EJJR
March 8, 2007, 09:26 AM
"I would say the man has a great mindset, and coupled with his training, and cool thinking, it makes him a credit to his community."


+1

I think it was handles as well as could be expected if not better.

IMO it goes to illustrate that intelligence coupled with wisdom are just as, if not more important than, calibres and barrel lengths.

Though I do think the charges against the perp were a little light handed. Around here, criminal mishchief would be what kids do the night before Halloween.

Musketeer
March 8, 2007, 10:57 AM
This is why less than lethal should always be in your self defense strategy. Your gun was your only option and you could not use it.

I agree that you shold try to have a response avaialalbe appropriate to the threat but the only Less than Lethal responses I see were

1. Chemical spray. A very bad idea in an enclosed space where your avenue of escape is THROUGH the target to be sprayed. The effect is most likely going to be a blind attacker and defender. This is the same reason using a spray from inside a car is touchy, odds are you are going to get a good secondary does yourself.

2. Hand to Hand. Frankly this is, in my opinion, a bad response. A physical encounter can escalate to lethal in the blink of an eye. An experienced street thug is most likely to have far more dirty street fighting experience than the average civilian.

When someone is trying to force entry into your home there is NO REASON not to resort to a lethal response. The poster did well (door openning aside and already acknowledged).

When I am out and about I will have on me a pepper spray in addition to the firearm of the day (depending on dress). I am a BIG FAN of less than lethal. You can get into trouble fast though by misapplying less than lethal when lethal is the most prudent response. THis is not about fighting fair or on equal terms. It is about surviving unharmed.


OJ,

Nice Mastiffs. My family were Mastiff breeders and we travelled the NE show circuit in the spring, summer and fall on the weekends as a child. They are great dogs. My wife likes them but needs a dog with less drool.

Lurper
March 8, 2007, 11:51 AM
Not to hijack my own thread, but adding to what Musketeer said:
I see no need as a civilian for less than lethal response. I studied Aikido for more than 10 years and have extensive military training. However, I see no point in engaging someone in a physical altercation when escape is possible. I can only hope that my training buys me enough time if I am ambushed to reach my pistol. Other than that, my first response is to run away.
In this particular instance, there was no need for less than lethal as I would be perfectly justified under AZ law to have shot him had he entered.

OJ
March 8, 2007, 11:56 AM
OJ,

Nice Mastiffs. My family were Mastiff breeders and we travelled the NE show circuit in the spring, summer and fall on the weekends as a child. They are great dogs. My wife likes them but needs a dog with less drool.


Thanks - in years past we did show them but have retired from that. Showed several to obedience titles, though - not easy with the breed. Not that they are hard to train but they respond at their own speed which is a lot slower than Border Collies - for example. Have one trophy for Mastiff high score in obedience - a 200# brindle who would rather clown for the crowd than get trophies.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/P7120006.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/P7050002.jpg

For them - drool is cool - we soon learned to not try to clean it off the walls (and ceiling) until it dries - then it just flakes off leaving no evidence.;)

I grew up in the sandhills of western NE a hunter - this in about 1934.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/Jackatage6WhitmanNE.jpg

:D

SeaMariner
March 8, 2007, 12:34 PM
One REALLY LUCKY drunk.... people where my family lives get shot when they break windows... Weapon of choice? Double barrel Shotgun.... survival rates are pretty low.

Smokin Joe
March 8, 2007, 02:16 PM
those are VERY Cute dogs. Love how that one sits on the couch. with paws on the floor, very nice,,, very nice...

I guess you have to be sure to have a very strong door.

sdj
March 8, 2007, 08:27 PM
Lurper:

Thanks for sharing! That was a long thread, and a good one! :)

kiov
March 9, 2007, 11:41 AM
Good example for those of us who are armed, but have not had a drunk try to kick in the door. I dont think I would have thought to call 911, and would have just shot the poor bastid when he got thru the door. Maybe your post will help me avoid that someday. thanks!

Dang, I don't think I could afford to keep those dogs fed. No money left for ammo. Cool dogs tho.

Musketeer
March 9, 2007, 12:39 PM
Dang, I don't think I could afford to keep those dogs fed. No money left for ammo. Cool dogs tho.

They are not too bad to feed when fully grown since they tend to enjoy laying around alot. The exception was one male we had that liked to play with a 16 pound bowling ball. He would chase it around the yard, hitting it with his forepaws, and even get it airborne. We took it away and replaced it with a plastic ball when he cracked the foundation on the garage with it.

While growing you tend to feed them with a shovel.

OJ
March 10, 2007, 06:33 PM
They are not too bad to feed when fully grown since they tend to enjoy laying around alot. The exception was one male we had that liked to play with a 16 pound bowling ball. He would chase it around the yard, hitting it with his forepaws, and even get it airborne. We took it away and replaced it with a plastic ball when he cracked the foundation on the garage with it.

While growing you tend to feed them with a shovel.
__________________


That's true. I had a very large lean brindle male (200#+) a few years ago who had his own basketball he carries around in his mouth like most dogs do with tennis balls. One sad day, he bit down a little too hard and punctured it and he just lay there crying with it between his paws slowly dying (losing all the air). I swear, he looked at while whimpering as if to say,"You're a doctor - DO SOMETHING".

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/DOGS/CAMPINGDOGS.jpg

:D

oldbillthundercheif
March 10, 2007, 09:54 PM
those are VERY Cute dogs

Cute?

Those are the descendants of the ancient Roman dogs of war! Things may be different now, but the forefathers of those dogs tore the hell out of my barbarian ancestors.

I like mastiffs, but they are not "cute".


Lurper- You don't see any use for pepper-spray? I can understand that beanbags and the like are not much use without a team of fellows ready to jump on the guy while he's down, but the vile spray is different...

Some of us can't brawl like we used to anymore. The same goes for the nimble running skills. You won't be a super-athlete forever either unless you were dipped in the river Styx as a child. Time is not kind and pepperspray works better than elderly fists.:D

Lurper
March 10, 2007, 11:11 PM
I'm no spring chicken at 48 Oldbill, but I figure that if I get jumped I can present a reasonable argument for being in fear for my life. Otherwise, I'll rely on my super sales skills to de-escalate the situation. :D

OJ
March 11, 2007, 12:35 AM
Cute?

Those are the descendants of the ancient Roman dogs of war! Things may be different now, but the forefathers of those dogs tore the hell out of my barbarian ancestors.

I like mastiffs, but they are not "cute".


Yes - I agree - very lovable but - cute???

It's been more than half century now but I remember being told certain girls thought I was "cute"????

I was a young cowboy who could ride any cayuse (horse) and rope any steer and she thought I was cute??? CUTE was for kittens and puppies and such - and not for us really tough cowboys.

At any rate, it worked out.:D

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/PA260002.jpg

Taking care of the property.

:D :D

Smokin Joe
March 11, 2007, 12:44 AM
yes cute cuddley and lovable. I'll go out of the way to give them a doggie bisket treat.

Duxman
March 29, 2007, 09:05 AM
Lurper,

Nice one. Glad you are alive to tell the tale.

Certainly hope that the next time something like that happens to me - I can be as cool.

Musketeer
March 29, 2007, 09:44 AM
Not to hijack my own thread, but adding to what Musketeer said:
I see no need as a civilian for less than lethal response. I studied Aikido for more than 10 years and have extensive military training. However, I see no point in engaging someone in a physical altercation when escape is possible.

Escape is the first goal. At the same time all physical encounters are NOT deadly force encounters. The handbook I cot from my county in NY with my permit was very specific in saying a punch in the face is not grounds for lethal force. It also went on to explain that physical NON-LETHAL force could be used in several instances where lethal force could not be used in resisting a crime.

The bottom line is that a private citizen is allowed to use force in resisting but that force is not always allowed to be lethal. For those cases, in particular those where my immediate escape is not possible, I carry OC. The rowdy drunk on the street, the dog that wants to eat my leg, the youth looking to show off for his friends or girl by being tough without the threat of lethal force, all of these are perfect candiadtes for OC followed by a hasty retreat.

There are also times where you may be legally justified in using Deadly Force but can get away with less than lethal. There are plenty of things one is legally justified in doing (burning flags, calling people morons, etc) but that does not always mean it is the right thing to do.

There was a gentleman (retired teacher?) recently who went to jail in AZ for what I believe was a justifiable shooting. It involved a deragned homeless man and his dogs. We all agree probably the shooter was justified. The jury though did not and an honest man is now in jail. If he had simply OC's the mangy mongrel and the deranged homeless man he would be free today.

Using that gun is a huge gamble. I will if I have to but if I see another way out that will keep anyone from being killed and ensure my survival I will take it EVEN IF SHOOTING IS LEGALLY JUSTIFIED. I want to NOT have to shoot and OC is one more way I can avoid doing so.

Lurper
March 29, 2007, 11:49 AM
Mr Fish got tried in the press and was basically railroaded for a justifiable shooting. There have been and are still efforts to rectify the situation. One change so far is that the burden of proof whether the shooting was in self-defense or not now lies with the prosecutor, not the defendant (duh).

In AZ, you are justified in using deadly force if you are in fear of your life or serious bodily injury. Someone assaulting you while you are armed meets that criteria. What if you are rendered unconscious? What happens to your weapon? Frankly, by the time I pull my pistol, the decision has been made that the situation warrants the use of deadly force. Otherwise displaying my weapon is a crime (brandishment). So, if the situation is serious enough to draw the pistol, it is serious enough to shoot. You are not required to retreat, even though in many cases that is the most prudent course. You are also not a hero waiting to happen. In most cases, the best thing to do in violence against others is to be a good witness.

Philosphically, legally and morally if you are justified in using deadly force it should be used. There is no reason not to. Also, LTL responses have an extensive history of failing to stop the threat. If the threat is severe enough to warrant deadly force, then the threat needs to be removed as quickly as possible. The bottom line is that you survive.

Musketeer
March 29, 2007, 12:46 PM
In AZ, you are justified in using deadly force if you are in fear of your life or serious bodily injury. Someone assaulting you while you are armed meets that criteria.

First, you are only justified if you can convince the authorities you were and they do not prosecute or you can convince a jury so. You must be in fear of your life as a reasonable person would be. There is the gray area that put a good man in jail. It does not matter that HE was in fear for his life, it matters that the jury of "reasonable people" did not believe so. I don't agree with the decision but that is how it goes.

I do not see that someone assaulting you while you are armed automatically escalates it to a deadly force encounter. It certainly does not automatically do so in my state. If you have an exposed gun (open carry or in hand) and someone is attacking you that case MAY be made but if you are CCW then it is very debateable. You are going to have a hard time making the case that you shot a guy for punching you becasue you thought he was going to go find your concealed gun and then kill you with it. That leap of intention is a big one and very few jurys will go for it. One would have to assume that someone who intended to hit you also intended to kill you... a big difference in the eyes of the law.

Now if you have the gun drawn at the start of a physical confrontation simply because you believed your life was in added danger by having it you have escalated the situation in the eyes of the law. No court is going to let you off with killing someone ont he grounds of "I had a gun so I had to shoot him." There is also the possiblity that the person who you shot will live to say that you drew on him with no justification and he was defending himself, or you provoked the fist fight and then drew the gun. Both are VERY REAL possibilities.

Philosphically, legally and morally if you are justified in using deadly force it should be used. There is no reason not to.

Poor Mr. Fish could give you a reason. I do not think one is morally justified in using deadly force if one can find another way to resolve the situation. Mr. Fish had no other way and I do believe was wrongly convicted. I could think of another reason besides wrongfull imprisonment... the legal expense of a defense sould cost you all your life's savings and then some. Finally... wouldn't you rather NOT kill someone if you could avoid it?

The claim that LTL has not always worked can be made just as well against lethal force. It is, in both cases, how that force is employed. Talk to an actual police trainer with regards to OC and you will probably get a better view of its effectiveness than you will get online. I did, and therefore elected to carry it as far back as when I started carrying a gun. When attacked by a dog in FL while deliverring pizza well over a decade ago I could have shot the dog but I elected to use a more approriate response. The dog came out alive and I dig not have to answer a great many questions from the police regarding the firing of a weapon inside city limits.

OC is a very effective tool, but you must know how and where to use it. That is no different than your gun. If one can put in the time to learn the hows and whys of lethal force they should put the same effort into less LTL force.

Lurper
March 29, 2007, 01:57 PM
First, you are only justified if you can convince the authorities you were and they do not prosecute or you can convince a jury so. You must be in fear of your life as a reasonable person would be. There is the gray area that put a good man in jail. It does not matter that HE was in fear for his life, it matters that the jury of "reasonable people" did not believe so. I don't agree with the decision but that is how it goes.
Bottom line is that he lived to try to convince the jury. The other outcome is not acceptable.


Now if you have the gun drawn at the start of a physical confrontation simply because you believed your life was in added danger by having it you have escalated the situation in the eyes of the law. No court is going to let you off with killing someone ont he grounds of "I had a gun so I had to shoot him." There is also the possiblity that the person who you shot will live to say that you drew on him with no justification and he was defending himself, or you provoked the fist fight and then drew the gun. Both are VERY REAL possibilities.
First mistake is drawing the gun without justification for use of deadly force. That should never happen and as I stated in AZ is a crime. Also in AZ, it doesn't matter who started the altercation. You are not required to allow yourself to be beaten senseless before you defend yourself. If you and your assailant are grappling and fighting for control of the weapon, killing him/her is perfectly justified or if you have been beaten to the point that you fear losing consciousness. Courts in many states have agreed.

More important are your actions before it reaches that point, but that is for another thread.

Poor Mr. Fish could give you a reason. I do not think one is morally justified in using deadly force if one can find another way to resolve the situation. Mr. Fish had no other way and I do believe was wrongly convicted. I could think of another reason besides wrongfull imprisonment... the legal expense of a defense sould cost you all your life's savings and then some. Finally... wouldn't you rather NOT kill someone if you could avoid it?

Because of my position, I will not give my personal comments on Fish's case. However, he was railroaded and by one juror's admission convicted because he used "hollowpoint bullets that are only designed to kill". Also, character witnesses testifying to the voilent tendencies of the deceased weren't allowed by the judge among other things. Legislation was passed that would have helped get Fish's case reviewed under the new law, but our governor refused to sign the bill. All in all though, the bottom line is that Fish is still alive which IMO is better than the alternative.

Again, my point is that there is no reason for civilians to carry LTL at least in AZ. The situation either calls for deadly force or does not. There is no in between. When the situation calls for it, deadly force should be delivered swiftly and surely. Anything else is asking for trouble.

Musketeer
March 29, 2007, 02:52 PM
Again, my point is that there is no reason for civilians to carry LTL at least in AZ. The situation either calls for deadly force or does not. There is no in between.

Belligerent drunk wants to fight... shoot him.
Dog wants to bite ... shoot it.
Stupid kid wants to show off... shoot him.

Sure, in every case you may convince the jury you were legally justified. You may be coverred under the law in your actions. Did you REALLY need to fire that weapon though? I don't think so.

I would be surprised if there is no room in AZ between no force and deadly force. Even if there is not I would want to know I did everything possible to avoid the shooting. We are going to have to agree to disagree but I think it very worth whiel that people look further than the discusion between lurper and I when making the decision of using LTL in addition to their gun.

I know from personal experience there is a place for LTL. The dog I OC'd was on the steps of a frat house I was deliverring to. Very quickly there were several angry frat boys. What is the answer... flash the gun? I don't think so. Simply keeping the OC in one hand while I deliverred the pizaa while reasuring them the dog would be fine did the trick. None of them meant to kill me, but they would have roughed me up. Am I justified in using LF against a guy I know just intends to slap me around? Not in most places (AZ may be different.) The OC solved the dog problem and it kept the frat boys at bay allowing everyone to go on with their lives.

Lurper
March 29, 2007, 03:36 PM
Belligerent drunk wants to fight... shoot him.
Dog wants to bite ... shoot it.
Stupid kid wants to show off... shoot him.
Your answers, not mine. In every case, walking away is the best action.

I know from personal experience there is a place for LTL. The dog I OC'd was on the steps of a frat house I was deliverring to. Very quickly there were several angry frat boys. What is the answer... flash the gun? I don't think so.
As I mentioned, "flashing" the gun is a crime in AZ. Your life is either threatened or it is not. It really is that cut and dry.

None of them meant to kill me, but they would have roughed me up. Am I justified in using LF against a guy I know just intends to slap me around? Not in most places (AZ may be different.)

The fatal flaw in that logic is assuming that they just intend to slap you around. How can one arrive at that conclusion? How do you know that they are not trained martial artists, boxers or even unarmed? So they slap you around, how do you know they aren't going to disarm you and use your weapon against you? You don't. The law does not require you to use less than lethal force. It does require you to only use lethal force when a lethal threat is present. If the threat isn't lethal, then don't use lethal force. But in your scenario, had the dog attacked you, you would have been justified to shoot it and anyone else who presented a lethal threat. Perhaps a more prudent course of action would be to retreat to your vehicle and ask them to come there before brandishing your mace (not armchair quarterbacking, just offering an alternative).

Use of non-lethal tools also opens as many legal doors as lethal force does. It can also put you at a disadvantage. If you spray or tase someone and it has no effect, they will have most likely closed the distance and be on top of you. Now the fight is much more serious.

Escape is always the most prudent course of action. My point is that LTL is just as likely to escalate the situation. The law does not require you to use it. One can argue that if you can employ a LTL tool, you still had the opportunity to escape. If however, you aren't comfortable with the thought of being forced to take someone's life and equally uncomfortable having no protection, then LTL is a viable option. It's an individual choice.

Musketeer
March 29, 2007, 09:00 PM
You use the LTL to facilitate escape from harm.

Getting slapped is not a lethal force encounter. Period. Shoot someone over it and you will go to jail.

Escape is not as easy as you think it is. I have talked my way out of plenty, avoided other and run away from encounters. There are times though when trunning is not an option because the drunk is between you and the door, the dog is between you and the car or other such problems.

Ask a LEO if there is such a thing as a non-lethal force encounter for a civilian.

FLA2760
March 29, 2007, 10:06 PM
You did GREAT.
Here is my story:

When we moved to Fl in 1997 we first rented a house to see if we wanted to buy in Fl. We were in the house like a month; Palm Coast in Flagler county pretty rural then. Anyway I am up watching the tube in the LR at about 1am. I hear a car going up and down the street slowly. I had recently purchased a Rossi .357 so my new toy was with me in the LR as I watched tv. Well the car pulls into my driveway blacked out and two big dudes get out and are talking and smoking in my driveway. I now have the Flagler county sherrif dispatcher on the line and I am saying that these guys were acting suspicious by cruising up and down the block slowly and they are now in my driveway and do not belong here! Suddenly; they are banging on my door and saying open up we want our money! I realize they must be looking for the previous tenants and I tell them that you have the wrong guy and that the cops are on the way. They shout f--K the cops your ass is ours. I yell I am armed and will shoot! They stop kicking my door and start to mumble to each other. Get this, the 911 operator that was still on the line is screaming at me to PUT DOWN MY GUN! I am like NO WAY but when your deputy's arrive I will meet them with empty hands. The guys took off. When the deputy (1) arrived it had been like 12 minutes. He later told me he had been running at about 85 mph. When his backup arrived ( another 10 minutes )they began to search the neighborhood. They stopped these guys a few blocks away peering into a house under construction. Both of them were arrested on prowling charges and one of them had a warrant for a drug case. The cops found several dagger type knives and one revolver
(loaded) with scratched off serial numbers in their truck! My wife had already taken cover in our MB with my daughter who was 4 at the time. She was under the bed at my wife's knees. My wife had the mossberg 12ga trained on the locked BR door. She would have unloaded on anyone who tried to come in! We were only a mile from interstate 95 and I guess the community was seen as easy pickings due to the few LEOs on duty on the graveyard shift. We now live clear across the state in a community that has much better response times.
Thank God for the outcome
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