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Corpsman
February 2, 2009, 02:22 PM
I am sure this is going to cause an out cry of controversey. If you have to pull your weapon, is it better to try and detain the person or let them go. this is based on the assumption that no shots are fired and the situation is able to be de-escalated. Also, are there any laws against an everday citizen holding a person while waiting for authorities to arrive?

NRAhab
February 2, 2009, 02:26 PM
For me, drawing my gun is an act of self-preservation, and not law enforcement. Detaining a suspect/criminal, even in the event of a home invasion creates a whole list of fun and dangerous things that can happen while you're waiting on Officer Friendly to show up.

Again, YMMV, but if I draw and the Master Criminal decides that discretion is the better part of valor, than I'll let him go - I'm still going to call the cops and give his description to the best of my ability; but I'm not going to expose myself to undue risk by trying to hold someone prisoner without the aide of 1) backup, and 2) handcuffs. I don't get paid to do that any more.

M1911
February 2, 2009, 02:42 PM
I am sure this is going to cause an out cry of controversey. If you have to pull your weapon, is it better to try and detain the person or let them go. this is based on the assumption that no shots are fired and the situation is able to be de-escalated. Also, are there any laws against an everday citizen holding a person while waiting for authorities to arrive?
How are you going to hold them? Threaten to shoot them? In most states, you can only use deadly force if you, or another innocent, is in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury. If the person is no longer a threat to you (i.e., is running away), then shooting them would be illegal, with a penalty up to life in prison.

Trying to physically subdue the perp engages you in a wrestling match. And now the perp knows that you have a gun, so you've just put that gun within his reach. Not a good plan.

If the perp runs away, let him go. Don't try to stop him. Your goal is to defend yourself and your loved ones. If you've done that, then you've accomplished your goal.

Brian Pfleuger
February 2, 2009, 02:47 PM
In some places you'd be charged with kidnapping, regardless of whether or not the use or presentation of your weapon was initially justified.


BUT, if they're willing to stand there, I'm going to take a picture, literally, and then tell them to scram.

bigghoss
February 2, 2009, 02:49 PM
if I have to draw my weapon I'm going to try and detain them for the cops, if I can do so somewhat safely. I'd rather have them learn that crime doesn't pay rather than them get a weapon of their own to use on the next person.

Corpsman
February 2, 2009, 02:55 PM
I guess I am mainly concerned with the legaL aspect of it. Is it against the law (i.e. kidnapping, detention, etc). I agree with BigHoss that I would rather them learn a lesson from it if at all posible rather than be free to commit another crime, this time better prepared with graver consequenses.

ZeSpectre
February 2, 2009, 02:56 PM
This is not something that has a "one size fits all" answer.

Random mugger sees you are armed and flees as fast as he can is one thing, however a home invasion robber who turns away from you might still present a threat to others in the house.

Things get complicated fast.

Keltyke
February 2, 2009, 02:58 PM
I am authorized to draw (and possibly use) my weapon ONLY to defend my "life or severe bodily injury". In class, we were taught to shoot until "the threat is negated". If the guy takes one look at my weapon and books like Jessie Owens, I have NO authority to attempt to hold him. What would I do, shoot him? If I shoot someone attempting to FLEE, I'm in deep ca-ca.

If he runs, let him go and give the police a GOOD description. Even if he's shot at you - if you haven't put him on the ground - when he flees, he's no longer a threat.

OldMarksman
February 2, 2009, 02:59 PM
If you have to pull your weapon, is it better to try and detain the person or let them go. this is based on the assumption that no shots are fired and the situation is able to be de-escalated.

M1911, Keltyke, and peetzakilla have nailed it. I'll add that there is also the risk of civil liability.

Also, are there any laws against an everday citizen holding a person while waiting for authorities to arrive?

Actually, there are laws that permit a citizen to do so under specific circumstances. In all states but one, that involves citizen's arrest.

Usually, a felony must have been committed or attempted.

And don't assume that deadly force is ever justified.

If you have one perp, how would you hold him alone? What if there were two or more?

If one attempts this without knowing exactly knowing what he or she is doing, there can be hell to pay, as has been pointed out. And the citizen is not indemnified in the same manner as a peace officer.

Shorter answer: BAD IDEA.

Erik
February 2, 2009, 03:08 PM
First: Check you state laws regarding citizens arrest. Pay particular attention to the level of force allowed, and under what circumstances.

Second: Once you understand that, the issues of prudence, tactics, risk, ability, liability, etc come into play, with each instance likely being unique unto itself.

---

That said, assuming you have done your homework and find yourself in a scenario such as you describe, my generic advise is to hold the person at gun point until police arrive. Issue basic, simple commands as necessary; i.e. "don't move" and "keep your hands where I can see them." Maintain available distance and cover. If the bad guy flees, let him flee.

Some will take exception to the term "hold the person at gunpoint." Fair enough. I use it to denote the portion of the encounter where a gun in hand produces the cessation of action on the bad guy's part. It ends when either the police arrive or the bad guy flees; or of course you are forced to shoot him, something outside your scenario.

Brian Pfleuger
February 2, 2009, 03:13 PM
In case anybody cares;) Here is the law regarding such in NY. There is also a secondary law allowing force to be used to prevent a trespasser from leaving OR in forcing them to leave. It's interesting that detaining or forced eviction are both acceptable.

Article 35.30(4)
4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical
force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to
the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom
he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in
fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for
such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to:
(a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she
reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical
force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.

I am attempting to essentially memorize the NY physical force laws. I thinks it's advisable for anyone who carries a gun to do the same. It could be argued that it is advisable whether you carry a gun or not. Most of the time deadly force is simply a sub-set of the law regarding use of force on ANY level.

Corpsman
February 2, 2009, 03:18 PM
I am going to have to look into the laws in Florida

AZAK
February 2, 2009, 03:26 PM
While I can envision only two places that I would find myself in such a situation, in my home and out in the world somewhere, both places would have very different responses.

If someone takes the liberty of invading my home, I will do my best to have them sitting on their hands until authorities come to take them away.

Why the difference? Because in the first location/my home, they have breached my security including dogs, targeted me or my home, and by the time they would have gotten to me (short of breaking out a window - closest ones being behind me) do not have a quick exit. Even if they were not armed to begin with, they would have access to kitchen knives, tools in garage, etc... with which to arm themselves if I let them go. And I don't want them coming back.

Anyone this determined to continue forward into my home, after dealing with security/deterrents, including verbal challenges, is obviously a threat to me and needs to be taken away by LE.

On the street someone asking for change and then attempting to rob me, I believe has a different motivation. Also, has an easy quick exit.

While both can end in bodily harm or death to me, very different motivations. My response would likely be the same initially for either location, it would be if I had any control after the initial conflict where location becomes a factor.

I would say that if the motivation appears to me to be personal, then they may just need to go away with LE. Why, because I don't want a highly motivated criminal who has targeted me coming back in three days or a week. And this person has already shown disregard for common sense and human life by continuing forward into my home despite obvious layers of barriers to dissuade entry.

I would agree that the street thug, can be just as dangerous to the general population and needs a ride with LE also.

I would attempt to make a "citizens arrest" in either location; but not at the risk of myself or other innocents. Police can chase down the BG.

oldkim
February 2, 2009, 03:35 PM
Posted from the Seattle PI Newspaper

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattle911/archives/158118.asp


Q: Can people really make a citizen's arrest, or is that an urban legend?

A: People can make a citizen's arrest, but it's not encouraged because of the risk of injury or litigation.

"A citizen may arrest another person for a crime committed or attempted," Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said. "But you must have probable cause to believe the person did the crime."

There are several dangers with performing a citizen's arrest.

How do you restrain someone you've apprehended? How do you call for help once you've done so? Is it clear to the person you're arresting that you're making a citizen's arrest and not assaulting them? And if the suspect becomes violent, how will you protect yourself?

Police operate under what officers call the color of law. Patrol officers have a uniform and car. Detectives still carry a badge and identification card.

Officers go through hours of training, wear bulletproof vests and are armed. Even if a citizen does have some of those three components, officers at several departments believe things will be more difficult for someone who is not a sworn member of a police force.

"We appreciate people's good intentions, but we'd rather you be a good witness," Kappel said. "Walk us to the problem, and we'll take care of it."

tirod
February 2, 2009, 03:42 PM
This all hinges on why you didn't pull the trigger when YOU presented deadly force to oppose HIS.

While the pistol waving crowd is pretty good at stopping the small time, non-violent offender, I have to ask, where was lethal force justified? And if lethal force is justified, then detaining them will depend on the severity of the wounds. If they are determined to leave, let them.

The average CCW or homeowner is not trained or equipped to detain or arrest. I don't remember that part of the CCW course I took - they never mentioned it.

Brian Pfleuger
February 2, 2009, 03:44 PM
And if lethal force is justified, then detaining them will depend on the severity of the wounds. If they are determined to leave, let them.

There are times when the THREAT of deadly force is legal even when actual use of deadly force is not. There are also times when deadly force may be technically legal and a weapon is presented with no intention of firing it unless the BG escalates the situation farther. Armed robbery where the BG has a knife but is on the other side of the counter is one example.

tirod
February 2, 2009, 04:00 PM
If inside inside the homeowners domicile, deadly force can be can be used against them, especially under Castle state laws.

Again, the homeowner or CCW is not trained to detain. They are schooled to resist deadly force and call 911.

A police officer has to act in the interest of the alleged perpetrator's rights, but the homeowner doesn't. If an intruder is in the house - identify them accurately, order them to leave immediately, and shoot them if they don't.

It's really a clear bright line situation if the perp is inside. Don't complicate it with maybe's and what-if's. All those semi-innocent situations are not the majority, and many intruder's are negligent - knowingly under the influence.

Yes, it's important to understand your local jurisdiction's interpretation, but we're not going to list the variations of 50 states, thousands of counties, and hundreds of thousands of municipalities. What they commonly boil down to - in general - is shoot the intruder. Don't detain.

Your Municipality May Vary.

AZAK
February 2, 2009, 04:27 PM
It's really a clear bright line situation if the perp is inside. Don't complicate it with maybe's and what-if's. All those semi-innocent situations are not the majority, and many intruder's are negligent - knowingly under the influence.

It is these very "maybe's and what-if's" that we need to be aware of.

Years ago a relative of mine almost shot a man who had climbed in one of his home's windows in the wee hours of the night. It was dark and my relative challenged the man to stop and identify himself. It turned out that it was his next door neighbor/a good friend, drunk, entering into what he thought was his home after his key did not work on what he thought was his front door. He found the open window, summertime, and just thought that he was letting himself into his own house.

Whenever possible, I personally believe in a verbal challenge. Also, depending on the proximity of the person a visual search for the presence of weapon and or aggression. I also have deaf relatives, so I also keep that in mind.

If someone breaks into my home, I am going to be "bunkered down" already dialed 911, verbally challenged them and will wait and see what happens.

Navy joe
February 2, 2009, 04:41 PM
I once detained someone burgling cars at night, I had just left the house to go get dinner with my wife, heard breaking glass and saw the guy. I retrieved an AR-15 from the house and interdicted the guy as he had himself inside someone's car working on the radio. At this point I learned the old Clintism, "A man has got to know his limitations." The guy took orders well, I lead him back across the street to a spot in front of my house on the corner of the main and side street so I wouldn't have to stand in traffic and also to talk to the cops from the comfort of my own property. The guy was fine with that, probably would have stood there until the cops came. Then I told him to lie down on the ground, and that was a sticking point. He didn't want to, and said "What you gonna do, shoot me?" Then looked at me and walked off. Bluff called, I had a gun but with no hostile action on his part there was no cause or desire to shoot him.

Like the old jokes "and that's when the fight started..." it was on. I didn't like this turn of events and I wanted him in a cop car due to my irritation with previous similar crimes and being "in the moment." I trailed him down the street, about 70 yards from the house and unseen to him I safed the rifle to include removing the mag/chambered round and then ditched it. (Good part of the plan.)

I then pursued him a little more aggressively and tackled him. (Bad part of the plan.) With enough speed in the tackle we rolled several times ending with him on top, no real danger to me but he was able to struggle out of his coat and beat feet. I could have re-engaged but opted to stay close to rifle and wife, picked up the gun, talked to the cops when they came, then went to dinner. All's well that ends well, could have been much worse.

These days, if they want to walk away and I'm not letting a killer or rapist go, they're walking, I'll talk to the cops.

john45colt
February 2, 2009, 05:03 PM
One other thing to be considered here is "if" you do detain someone and take them into custody, once they are detained (handcuffs, cable ties, rope or whatever) you become responsible for their safety from that point forward till police arrive. Once someone is incapable of protecting themselves the one detaining them IS.
This means that if you’re in a public forum and others can get to your prisoner then it’s up to you to stop any threat to your prisoner since they are incapable of defending themselves.
No matter your personal opinion of the subject, it’s up to you to protect them.

Yankee Traveler
February 2, 2009, 05:11 PM
Depends on the situation.
If I have them covered and feel there I am no longer in danger while I call 911, I will detain them. If I am safer to escort them out of my Castle, or they have already turned tail, I will provide LE with as many details as I can.
And if I have to go to court for unlawful detention, my argument will be that my life was in danger if I let them go.
The whole judged by 12 or carried by 6 thing...

Frank Ettin
February 2, 2009, 08:35 PM
What you can legally do to hold someone will depend on the exact circumstances and the law in your jurisdiction.

If I ever find myself in that situation, if the BG chooses to stay, he may. If he decides to go for a stroll, he's welcome to do so.

Milspec
February 3, 2009, 08:29 AM
In this area of the world you can use deadly force to protect yourself (or others under limited circumstances) from death or serious bodily harm. Without arrest powers I wouldn't even think of trying to detain somebody, probably be arrested for kidnapping or some such thing.

Milspec

Wagonman
February 3, 2009, 09:33 AM
Good posts----The only thing I can add is be a GREAT witness, the more precise you are in descriptions the better off you will be at any future court proccedings. I would advise to jot thing down even prior to calling 911 when the main thrust should be theFEAR FOR YOUR LIFE YOU FELT due to the actions of the BG especially on TAPED 911 line.

hogdogs
February 3, 2009, 11:45 AM
HOLD 'EM!!! In florida you can hold a person in the commission of a "violent felony" which I am positive is any case where I could feel my life and safety were at risk. I am legally allowed to use any level of force to hold the suspect. when they initially submit I will block the exit and if they try to flee they are coming at me thus lethal force to protect myself may be used and it is not shooting a fleeing BG...
Brent

cjw3cma
February 3, 2009, 12:12 PM
Back in the early 70's while living in northern San Diego county (Oceanside). It was about 10pm or so and my two younger brothers were out in the garage packing up the van as my brother was getting ready to head up to UCLA. My 2 daughters were asleep but my wife and my sister-in-law were in the family room watching TV. 2 members of a Mexican motorcycle gang entered the garage and began pushing my brothers around. My little brother ran into the house to warn me and the 2 "idiots" followed him into my home where they found me pointing my .357 revolver (with its 6" barrel) directly at their torso yelling at them to stop and don't move because if they did I would pull the trigger. My wife called the police and for what seemed like an eternity I held them at gun point until the police arrived - actually less than 5 minutes. The officers who came to the house 1 of them I went to high school with and the other I knew from college. They arrested the "idiots" and had to pry my fingers off of the trigger.

If anything like that were to ever happen to me again I do not think that I would hold them at gun point - they get into my house and I assume that deadly force is required to protect my loved ones. Inside the house they are shot / outside the house depending on their actions they either can run away or if they make a threatening move - I shoot to protect.

OldMarksman
February 3, 2009, 04:09 PM
From hogdogs:

HOLD 'EM!!! In florida you can hold a person in the commission of a "violent felony" which I am positive is any case where I could feel my life and safety were at risk. I am legally allowed to use any level of force to hold the suspect. when they initially submit I will block the exit and if they try to flee they are coming at me thus lethal force to protect myself may be used and it is not shooting a fleeing BG...


Coupla assumptions there....

Everyone I have ever known, or directly known of, who has gotten into trouble with respect to contractual, legal, and/or regulatory compliance had been supremely confident that he would be able to justify his actions completely. Most, if not all, had been completely convinced that they had been doing the right thing.

Things didn't work out exactly the way they had expected.

I think these are the relevant portions of the law--don't rely on that or on a lay interpretaton:

776.05 Law enforcement officers; use of force in making an arrest.--A law enforcement officer, or any person whom the officer has summoned or directed to assist him or her, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. The officer is justified in the use of any force:

(1) Which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest;

(2) When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or

(3) When necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice. However, this subsection shall not constitute a defense in any civil action for damages brought for the wrongful use of deadly force unless the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by such flight and, when feasible, some warning had been given, and:

(a) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon poses a threat of death or serious physical harm to the officer or others; or

(b) The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm to another person.

776.07 Use of force to prevent escape.--

(1) A law enforcement officer or other person who has an arrested person in his or her custody is justified in the use of any force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to prevent the escape of the arrested person from custody.



Emphasis added. Note the influence of Garner v. Tennessee.

Without consulting an experienced Florida trial attorney, I would not feel comfortable using the threat of deadly force to hold anyone, unless it were clearly immediately necessary to protect loss of life.

There's much to lose, and in my mind, little to gain.

I don't carry a badge, I am not indemnified, authorized, or paid by a county or municipality to enforce laws, and I haven't been trained in how to make an arrest.

I have a friend who is a former police officer who has a concealed carry permit. In his words, his gun will only come out when he is about to die.

Milspec
February 3, 2009, 05:33 PM
When I was pulling Post Staff Duty Officer at Fort Riley I ran across a drunk carving up a picnic table with a combat knife. When I asked him to stop he started swinging the thing at me. I drew my .45 then backed off about 50 feet and called the MP's on my little radio. I suppose I could have placed him under apprehension and used whatever force was reasonably required to enforce my lawful order...but it was so much more fun watching the MP's beat the guy down with their nightsticks... :D

Milspec

M1911
February 3, 2009, 06:26 PM
Emphasis added. Note the influence of Garner v. Tennessee.

Without consulting an experienced Florida trial attorney, I would not feel comfortable using the threat of deadly force to hold anyone, unless it were clearly immediately necessary to protect loss of life.

There's much to lose, and in my mind, little to gain.
Amen. Many people simply don't understand just how limited you are in using deadly force as a result of Tennessee v. Garner.

Jim March
February 3, 2009, 07:34 PM
My PERSONAL policy is fixed in stone: let them run unless I'm 100% certain they've committed either murder, attempted murder, rape or attempted rape. (The latter two are influenced by the existence of AIDS and other serious STDs.)

I *think* that will pass muster under Garner.

Para Bellum
February 4, 2009, 02:19 PM
Holt them, it's the only way of making sure that they won't stab you in the back later on.

Make sure you carry your cell phone in a way that allows you to grab it an call 911 with your weak hand.

Put 911 on Quick dial on the three lowest buttons on your cell phone (makes callin 911 under stress much easier).

Good post, makes many of us us check our local laws.

OldMarksman
February 4, 2009, 07:26 PM
Holt them, it's the only way of making sure that they won't stab you in the back later on.

Really?

Well, maybe they won't take you out before they're apprehended... it happens.

And maybe the lookout or driver won't come around to see what's holding things up and shoot you from behind (had you considered that?)... it can happen.

And maybe you won't end up being arrested and charged.... it happens.

But how do you know they won't be released in short order, on bond or otherwise? It happens all the time.

I'd rather have them gone right away, give a description, let professionals pursue them, and give them as little motivation for retribution as possible.

Much to lose, little to gain.

scorpion_tyr
February 4, 2009, 11:26 PM
Depending on the situation I would probably tell them to remain still and that any movement may be seen as a hostile one and I will fire. If they move and it is obvious they are retreating away from me and/or my family and no longer pose a threat, they are free to go.

If they attempt to retreat via a path that takes them any closer to myself of anyone else I'm attempting to defend I'm going to fire.

If they do remain still I will stay at least 6-10 feet away. I'll keep my sights on them until LEO's arrive, but I will NEVER try to physically detain them. If I'm close enough to touch them, I'm close enough for them to disarm me and kill me with my own gun.

goldfacade
February 5, 2009, 02:04 AM
"HOLD 'EM!!! In florida you can hold a person in the commission of a "violent felony" which I am positive is any case where I could feel my life and safety were at risk. I am legally allowed to use any level of force to hold the suspect. when they initially submit I will block the exit and if they try to flee they are coming at me thus lethal force to protect myself may be used and it is not shooting a fleeing BG... "

I think you need to re-check your facts...
http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/weapons/self_defense.html

"forcible felony" is what i believe you were trying to refer to, is narrow in its definition. The included link is a simple FAQ that will help you understand your rights in FL. In Florida State Statute 790 you will find the complete articles.

Rich Miranda
February 5, 2009, 09:03 AM
- when he flees, he's no longer a threat.

Often true, but in many states there is castle doctrine. If they are still in my home, they are still a threat. What if they're running away to go grab a knife from the kitchen? Or to take a hostage?

Like someone said, complicated.

hogdogs
February 5, 2009, 12:11 PM
I ain't gonna hold 'em then... just stand in their path, armed, refusing to retreat...
:eek::D
Brent

OldMarksman
February 5, 2009, 12:33 PM
I ain't gonna hold 'em then... just stand in their path, armed, refusing to retreat...

And that wouldn't constitute detaining them?

I guess it would serve to keep them in, if your have only one door and no windows, unless an accomplice outside shoots you in the back.

Of course, if they are not charged you may have a real problem, and maybe even if they are--civil, criminal proceedings--you may prevail, but at what cost? And then again, maybe you won't. And if they are released right away, a problem of a different kind.

But--if that helps your ego and you are not risk adverse, proceed.

Let's just hope that nothing you do helps the anti gun crowd infringe our rights.

Coyote Hitman
February 5, 2009, 12:34 PM
HOLD 'EM!!! In florida you can hold a person in the commission of a "violent felony" which I am positive is any case where I could feel my life and safety were at risk. I am legally allowed to use any level of force to hold the suspect. when they initially submit I will block the exit and if they try to flee they are coming at me thus lethal force to protect myself may be used and it is not shooting a fleeing BG...
Brent

Nothing personal, and I believe you are well intentioned, but I think this is extremely bad advice and a surefire way of bringing trouble upon yourself.

--Life and safety at risk; block the only exit--
Any decent attorney is going to eat you alive on this.
I.E.

So Mr. Hogdog, you were in fear of your life because Mr. Y was such a threat to you, correct? Yes, that is right. So you drew your pistol and threatened Mr. Y with deadly force--to protect yourself because he was a viable threat, correct? Yes. Then you blocked Mr. Y's only means of egress, preventing him from leaving the area and alleviating any threat to your safety? Uh, well...um.... So then you shot and killed Mr. Y as he tried to get away by running out the only entrance? Uh, well......um... The very entrance you blocked? Uh, well......um... Essentially, what you did is create and maintain a condition that would enable you to use deadly force. But I though he would come back and hurt me. Objection, speculation. Objection sustained. Are you a cowboy Mr. Hogdog? No sir. You could have fooled me, how many notches in the belt are you up to now, anyway?

In a civil trial where the burden of proof is P.O.E., you are hung.
In a criminal trial, you might also face conviction on several charges.

Win, lose, or draw, you have problems that will get VERY expensive to sort through.

IMO, it doesn't take much to make a well intentioned person appear a gun toting cowboy looking to carve a notch into his belt. This is what I seek to avoid. If I were a civilian without an oath to uphold, I would let them walk UNLESS I could reasonably articulate (not speculate) doing so posed a greater risk to my safety.

hogdogs
February 5, 2009, 02:09 PM
So Mr. Hogdog, you were in fear of your life because Mr. Y was such a threat to you, correct? Yes, that is right. So you drew your pistol and threatened Mr. Y with deadly force--to protect yourself because he was a viable threat, correct? Yes. Then you blocked Mr. Y's only means of egress, preventing him from leaving the area and alleviating any threat to your safety? Uh, well...um.... So then you shot and killed Mr. Y as he tried to get away by running out the only entrance? Uh, well......um... The very entrance you blocked? Uh, well......um... Essentially, what you did is create and maintain a condition that would enable you to use deadly force. But I though he would come back and hurt me. Objection, speculation. Objection sustained. Are you a cowboy Mr. Hogdog? No sir. You could have fooled me, how many notches in the belt are you up to now, anyway?
No sir, I did not block his egress, I chose a spot of floor to stand in my dwelling and refused retreat, then he ran at ME and I was forced to "stand my ground"... I didn't know he was running for the door, he was running at me and I felt my life was treatened by this home invading criminal entity. No i have no notches in my belt as I do not celebrate the taking of this person's life... I thank my lucky stars to have lived thru that nightmare...:o

BTW, I did not give advice, rather an opinion only.
Brent

OldMarksman
February 5, 2009, 02:41 PM
I chose a spot of floor to stand in my dwelling and refused retreat, then he ran at ME and I was forced to "stand my ground"... I didn't know he was running for the door, he was running at me and I felt my life was treatened by this home invading criminal entity

Mr. Hogdog, you would have the court believe that you do not know where the door is in your own dwelling?:D:confused:

By the way, nothing forces you to stand your ground. The law in your state simply says that you do not have to retreat from a place where you can legally be without forfeiting the right to a justifiability defense.

I wouldn't try to extend that to a justification for shooting a fleeing suspect. The test case could be extremely expensive monetarily, and perhaps in other ways. What's to gain?

hogdogs
February 5, 2009, 02:51 PM
Since this was another "what if" scenario thread I opted to play along... In all actuality I will not have the chance to hold 'em or let them go... Intruder in my home is going to be a lead receptacle in too short of order.
A home invader has me in fear for my life by gaining entry... No warnings from me at all. Simply defend my loved ones from danger results in 2 COM... I don't multi task well enuff to play games with the intruder.
Brent

Deet
February 5, 2009, 05:19 PM
If the BG was in my house he'd be dead. Anywhere else if he ran I'd let him.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 5, 2009, 05:35 PM
Why is everyone so sure that the shots they fire will be necessarily lethal? That's not really the case - no offense to your marksmanship or stopping power of your gun.

When you say, he will be dead - isn't that posturing? Not all COM shots are lethal or head shots. So if you do hit the BG and they fall down - maybe they aren't dead. So you can call the cops.

So I find the statement that they will be dead or whatever, not really realistic.

hogdogs
February 5, 2009, 05:43 PM
Mr.Meyer, If the BG is not dead how can one be positive it is safe turn your back on them to call the LE agency? I am guessing 2 COM followed by a head shot if BG is still standing will likely allow me to call 911... At which point I can likely let them crawl out if I did my job. Blood trails find plenty of BG's. As I understood the hold 'em question, it was without shots fired...
Brent

Glenn E. Meyer
February 5, 2009, 06:03 PM
No one suggested turning your back on a person. My point is that two in the chest and in the head (unless you have X ray vision) don't guarantee death as some posters usually suggest. Folks say in many threads that if the BG is in their house, they will be dead.

However, I've heard enough lectures to know that there is no gurantee that your shots will be lethal. If they are not immediately lethal - modern medicine saves most gun shot victims.

As for the tactical issue - one would continue to be oriented towards the downed person. If you live with someone - tell them to call for help. If you live alone, you might have a problem but what are your options:

1. Try to get to a phone with the BG in sight
2. Since the BG is incapacitated for the moment - remove yourself at speed to a safe distance or room to get help.
3. Finish him off and face murder charges as I don't think any castle or self-defense doctrine will support a finishing shot - yeah, you can lie and hope you don't get CSI'ed.

So, I was just objecting to the throw away - they will be dead in my house as I am the dead eyed lethal shot meister.

As far as holding them - if they want to leave - fine with me. Call the law and up the firepower and hunker down waiting for help.

While you might defend yourself on shooting a fleeing felon, you might not. And it will cost you a fortune. The idea that a fleeing felon will come back for revenge needs to be proven empirically. It might happen with stalkers or if you are in some gang mess. I don't see reports that pure B&E guys do that.

hogdogs
February 5, 2009, 06:11 PM
Gotcha... Well rather an a coup de gras shot... one could just take a few minutes trying to remember the phone number to "911"...:D
Brent:eek:

BillCA
February 5, 2009, 07:21 PM
Back to the OP...

In order to draw my weapon the BG has to clearly pose a threat of great bodily harm or death. Fair enough.

Let's suppose Mr. BG accosts me in the parking lot of a 7-11 or similar stop & rob, displays a large fixed blade knife or bayonet and demands my money. The lethal threat is implicit in his brandishing the knife. I tell him "Fine! Okay fine! No sweat man!" As I sweep my jacket aside and begin to draw, he gets a clue and realizes what's coming, so he drops the knife and shows his palms, apologizing profusely. Now what?

Well, he's attempted a felony for which I may legally arrest him under the citizen's arrest doctrine. If I quickly follow up with commands to put him on the ground until help arrives AND he obeys, all is well and good.

I can tell him it's his lucky day and he has 10 seconds to get out of visual range. Let him run somewhere else and count his blessings.

But...
What if you order him down on the ground and he just turns and starts walking away?
If you tell him to get lost or start running, what do you do if he decides to simply walk away 50 feet? Or only 30 feet?
Do you do anything different if he walks off across the parking lot some 50 feet away, then starts angrily cussing you and telling you how he's "gonna whip yo' a**"?


In (1) above, I'm going to keep him covered until he is either out of sight or too far away to be a viable threat, while maintaining a "watch-six" attitude. I may even retreat out of his sight. It's certain that I will modify my location while his back is turned.

For (2), the obvious answer is to use a cell phone or a nearby phone (if available) to call the PD and have them deal with the guy. Heck, he just may want his knife back.

For (3), the response is about the same as for (2) except that a careful eye is kept on him at all times and for any buddies lurking about.

Home Intruders:
Someone in my home who fails to follow instructions to leave or surrender will leave slightly heavier than he arrived. He may or may not survive his injuries.

In the event that one faces an intruder conveniently in the livingroom and at your first shot they double over, drop to the floor screaming and curl into a fetal position, you are now stuck with it.

Obviously the BG can be faking or not hurt as bad as you think. At this stage, obtaining help is your next step and dialing 911 is second to keeping him covered. SOP says you do what you can to keep out of his line of vision.

If you shoot someone who is down on the ground, I guarantee it will come up in the forensic examination. You'll need a solid explanation for those shots.

Deet
February 5, 2009, 08:01 PM
Glenn you are right I wasn't meaning that I am the greatest shot in the world. I should have stated that in my home I use a 12ga with 00 buck for HD, and most likely the BG would be dead. Or in your reality maybe he will live and I will die, but rest assured at 10 feet away the BG and I fire, someone is going to die. I do take exception with you knowing what kind of shot I am, or anyone for that matter. I shot a running 6pt buck at 35 yards away straight thru the heart. I have a witness and I also posted on this forum with a picture and story. (I'm sorry I don't know how to link to it but it is out there) So yes some people may not be able to shoot, may need more than one shot, or may not know how to handle a gun, as for me in particular I don't believe your statement holds water.
As far as letting the BG run it still remains ok by me.

Sand Rat
February 6, 2009, 01:51 AM
Many a buck has hit my dinner table and most of them seemed like pretty amazing shots at the time. The difference is they weren't attacking me in my sleep, scaring my family and myself then threatening our lives as I tried to grapple with my bedside blaster. They were just trotting through the forest on cold, quiet mornings...much different situation. Not doubting anyone's skills, just seems like apples and oranges.

I'd ask them to sit on the ground, facing away from me, keep my distance and have wifey call for LE>>>if they ran, I'd let them go.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 6, 2009, 10:10 AM
I don't like to repeat myself - but it is a mistake to think that shots will be necessarily fatal or you won't miss.

Experts miss under stress and folks survive massage damage. That was my point.

The initial statement was that if someone was in the house, they would be dead - if you deconstruct - that was an overstatement.

I just like to be realistic so that one is aware of the contingencies.

Erik
February 6, 2009, 07:40 PM
Mr. Meyer is correct.

BillCA
February 6, 2009, 08:54 PM
that was an overstatement.

I think many of us (myself included) tend to think in terms of the ultimate outcome. I know very well that many gunshot victims survive their injuries and recover, with and without permanent disabilities.

The OP's question isn't really about shooting someone. It is actually an excellent question in that he is asking what to do if it turns out shooting is not necessary.

An example given in a training class was where you hear someone inside your home at night and when you peek into the living room, he's sitting on your sofa, with one of your beers, watching the TV. Worse, he is unresponsive to your commands at all.

In such a case, shooting him is not a legitimate action because he poses no immediate threat. Those who would suggest that his mere presence poses a threat have not had to deal with prosecutorial investigations or questioning.

Likewise, a street encounter at 10 feet where your attacker suddenly drops his knife/gun/club but does not flee when given the chance nor obey commands is not an immediate threat. [Though in such a case I'd be tempted to increase the distance between us.]

OldMarksman
February 6, 2009, 09:20 PM
The OP's question isn't really about shooting someone. It is actually an excellent question in that he is asking what to do if it turns out shooting is not necessary.

Exactly.

An example given in a training class was where you hear someone inside your home at night and when you peek into the living room, he's sitting on your sofa, with one of your beers, watching the TV. Worse, he is unresponsive to your commands at all.

In such a case, shooting him is not a legitimate action because he poses no immediate threat. Those who would suggest that his mere presence poses a threat have not had to deal with prosecutorial investigations or questioning.

Right again.

We are given the natural right of self preservation. The law entitles to do what is necessary to preserve ourselves.

Our duty is not to use force to enforce the law and apprehend those who break it. We select, train, empower, and pay others to do so.

Nor is it to decide what constitutes due process. The second to last thing I ever want to do is shoot someone.

nemoaz
February 6, 2009, 10:35 PM
Quote:
Note the influence of Garner v. Tennessee
...
Many people simply don't understand just how limited you are in using deadly force as a result of Tennessee v. Garner.
...
I *think* that will pass muster under GarnerSorry guys, but Garner is a Fourth Amendment case which simply has no application to a private citizen. If it did, then it would preclude castle doctrines.

As for current Florida law you'll have to get an opinion from someone licensed there, but the rule used to be the common law rule, that a private citizen can make a citizen's arrest for a felony or breach of the peace. Even things like DUI and public intox have been found to be breaches of the peace. Again, do your own research or consult a FL lawyer.

As for whether a citizen should attempt an arrest, transitioning from gunpoint to going hands on is the most dangerous part of the job of a LE agent or officer. We spend a great amount of time practicing these, then learning what new countermeasures the human excrement have learned in jail or from their fellow gangstas, then learning new ways to defeat their countermeasures, over and over again. An untrained person is just asking for trouble attempting to "try to detain" a bad guy.

As for the other variations of the hypothetical, the answer is always the same, did the bad guy have the means, opportunity, and intent to do serious bodily harm to you or someone else. You can make a million hypos and you'll never get a definitive answer. There simply is no bright line test on which you can rely.

OldMarksman
February 6, 2009, 10:58 PM
Sorry guys, but Garner is a Fourth Amendment case which simply has no application to a private citizen.

Correct. I was merely pointing out some nuances in the law as it relates to the use of deadly force in making an arrest.

If it did, then it would preclude castle doctrines.

Nope. Castle doctrine has to do with use of deadly force in instances of unlawful entry of a residence. Nothing to do with siezure of an escaping suspect.

As for current Florida law you'll have to get an opinion from someone licensed there, but the rule used to be the common law rule, that a private citizen can make a citizen's arrest for a felony or breach of the peace. Even things like DUI and public intox have been found to be breaches of the peace. Again, do your own research or consult a FL lawyer.


Good advice indeed.

As for whether a citizen should attempt an arrest, transitioning from gunpoint to going hands on is the most dangerous part of the job of a LE agent or officer. We spend a great amount of time practicing these, then learning what new countermeasures the human excrement have learned in jail or from their fellow gangstas, then learning new ways to defeat their countermeasures, over and over again. An untrained person is just asking for trouble attempting to "try to detain" a bad guy.

Also a very good input, and much appreciated.

1BigOak
February 6, 2009, 11:07 PM
the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people. you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding. there was some looting we have the most relaxed law now. but now they know dont step on properties with ill intent if you wanna live.

Nnobby45
February 6, 2009, 11:13 PM
In some places you'd be charged with kidnapping, regardless of whether or not the use or presentation of your weapon was initially justified.


What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?

I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?

JAYBIRD78
February 7, 2009, 04:52 AM
This is not something that has a "one size fits all" answer.

Random mugger sees you are armed and flees as fast as he can is one thing, however a home invasion robber who turns away from you might still present a threat to others in the house.

Things get complicated fast.


+1 to what this guy said

OldMarksman
February 7, 2009, 09:48 AM
the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people.

Yep. Citizens can carry concealed, and both states have castle laws. In Texas, there's a provision that relates to property.

you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding.

In Texas, yes, if they're taking property and you cannot stop them in any other way, but only after thirty minutes after sundown and before thrity minutes before sunrise. That law is controversial, and "demand of the people" may result in amendments. Don't try it in Florida.

OldMarksman
February 7, 2009, 10:07 AM
What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?

Many places. Consult a criminal trial attorney in your state.

My CCW instructor says that Missouri is one of them. When the immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm dissipates, the justification for using deadly force goes away.

Now, if there has been a serious felony, one may be justified in making a citizen's arrest, assuming high physical, criminal, and civil risk. One of the perps gets hurt or suffers from a medical emergency and there may be hell to pay. Again, talk to a knowledgeable trial lawyer in your state. Not the guy who does your will.

I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?

There's no central data base for either civil or criminal trial court actions. I have read accounts on this and other fora.

I have no idea why anyone would want to expose himself to serious physical risks or assume the significant risks of criminal prosecution or civil liability to "hold them for the law"--particularly when there's a high likelihood that the assailants will be on the streets again in short order.

And that brings to mind the thought, and that's all it is, that somehow the citizen's actions might themselves provide the ammunition the perp's lawyer's need to get him off. Unlikely, maybe, and perhaps very unlikely, but why risk it?

In my case, as soon as the danger has passed I become a witness.

TEDDY
February 7, 2009, 10:09 AM
Its an interesting thing BUT Mass has a castle law.in that you can use force to eject an intruder up to and including deadly force.there was a case on this I believe in Watertown,Mass.and the shooter was released.
there is no better way to resolve this question than get a copy of the law.
all the posts on these sites gets you nothing but personal opinons.
I might note if the perp is dead he cant tell tales."why was he shot in back,answer:just as I shot he turned away."end of story.:rolleyes: :eek:

Brian Pfleuger
February 7, 2009, 11:21 AM
What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?

I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?


I don't know if it has ever happened or not. I do recall a story posted here by someone about a guy holding illegal aliens that were stealing or killing his sheep. When the cops came they arrested the OWNER for kidnapping. True? I don't know.

What I DO know is that in the class I had to take to get my carry permit we had a Q&A with the county DA. He told us in no uncertain terms that our rights to carry is EXCLUSIVELY for protection and that ANY use beyond that, mentioning specifically attempting to hold or restrain the BG, would result in charges against us. The only exception is under NY law which allows for restraining or even shooting a BG who is not a direct threat but has committed certain crimes.


35.30(4)-

"4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical
force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to
the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom
he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in
fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for
such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to:
(a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she
reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical
force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom."


He also made a special note that the "robbery" justification is not "attempted" but actual. In other words, some guy walks into my shop and says "Give me your money." I pull my gun and he runs, I can not shoot him. If one of my people gives him the money while I'm out back and I see him when I come up front I could, technically, shoot him. I wouldn't but I could.

To confuse matters there's also the law regarding trespassing which does specifically allow the owner to detain the trespasser, by force if necessary.

jg0001
February 7, 2009, 12:20 PM
There seems to be a general assumption here that if you are tried that you are required to provide witness against yourself. Let's not forget the 5th Amendment. Any good defense lawyer will grill and test his own client before ever letting them take the stand to provide an opening to a prosecutor. Unless you were grossly negligent in some manner, I'd have to imagine that popular opinion would also be greatly in your favor. That may not carry "official" legal weight, but don't think it doesn't help you with a jury.

As for what would I do? Assuming we're talking about a HOME INVASION (since NJ is anti-carry), well, unlike so many here that think they'll be recalling the LAWS during such a crisis period, I think I would be more focused on the safety of my family, laws be damned. For me, it would depend greatly on what the perp did, if they were armed or not, and/or if I felt they would be the type I'd worry about for the rest of my life every time I left the house with my wife & kid by themselves. I'd very much like to see the person either (a) taken away be the police or (b) dead if need be. Again, this is under the assumption the person went to the trouble to break into my house (not just on my property, but IN my house). I don't trust that the police would find someone that escaped. Injured perhaps, but not someone that just ran. Somehow I would feel that it was my CIVIC DUTY to ensure that the person was unable to go off to the next house and try again. Wouldn't you feel guilty if you let someone run off who you COULD have detained, only to learn that they later killed or raped or injured one of your neighbors, OR, god forbid, came back and did the same to one of your own family members when you weren't around? (I'll repeat again that I'm talking about a home invasion situation, not a mugging, not someone just in your yard.)

NJ is an anti-CCL state. That doesn't keep the criminals from carrying. I'd hate to chase someone off only to have to look over my shoulder anytime I ever went outside in the dark again. I'd also be incredibly worried anytime I left my wife & kid alone in the house thereafter. Threat reduction should include concerns about FUTURE possible encounters, affecting my family or someone else's.

Para Bellum
February 7, 2009, 03:15 PM
So I find the statement that they will be dead or whatever, not really realistic.

Glenn is right (as usual).

Kline605
February 7, 2009, 04:07 PM
I shot a running 6pt buck at 35 yards away straight thru the heart.
Much easier to make "Great" shots when the other side isn't shooting back.

Folks say in many threads that if the BG is in their house, they will be dead.


Now I admit that I do not know every states laws concerning self defense shooting, but as a LE I would caution someone from making statement like "If he enters my house he is dead". I have no problem responding to a house where the homeowner defended himself and his family, and the bad guy died from it.

But remember one thing, the civil lawsuit that most likely will follow, will use statements like that to crucify you. Even if you win the suit, those statements can be costly. A perfect example of this is the North Hollywood Shootout. It didn't matter that the **** had just tried to rob a bank and kill numerous people, he was still the victim (Dirtbag) in the following civil lawsuit.

As a LE, I have several million in insurance to help with this type of lawsuit, and several other legal means to protect my family and assets, do you?

Just my opinion, If the **** is not a threat to my family, me, or someone in the immediate area, I would let him go and be a good witness.

OldMarksman
February 7, 2009, 10:54 PM
I might note if the perp is dead he cant tell tales."why was he shot in back,answer:just as I shot he turned away."end of story

Should the poster of this ever end up shooting anyone in an instance in which the evidence is not clearly to his benefit, this post will likely work against him. How could anyone explain that?

Even if the occasion never arises, I submit that such words do not help our cause one bit.

Somehow I would feel that it was my CIVIC DUTY to ensure that the person was unable to go off to the next house and try again.

Sounds noble, but unless you know exactly what you are doing RE: citizen's arrest in your jurisdiction, better not try it. Even if you do, and even if you are not charged, convicted, sued, or injured, what makes you think the perp will not be out in a day or two anyway? What will you have accomplished? No one can ensure anything.

Threat reduction should include concerns about FUTURE possible encounters, affecting my family or someone else's.

Not even a SWAT team is permitted to act on the basis of what might happen in the future. Without addressing the slippery slope of citizen's arrest, the citizen's rights to use deadly force extend only to what is immediately necessary and otherwise unavoidable to protect himself, family, and possible third persons from death or serious injury.

When one includes citizen's arrest, I submit that the safety of one's family may not be enhanced at all by such action. You now have someone with a grudge against you, and he may be on the street before you hear about it. And can you assume that you will still be free to protect your family and that you will still be able to afford to support them? The police are trained, authorized, and indemnified when it comes to detraining criminals. Citizens may be authorized under certain circumstances, but very few are trained, and none are indemnified.

BillCA
February 8, 2009, 11:05 AM
the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people. you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding. there was some looting we have the most relaxed law now. but now they know dont step on properties with ill intent if you wanna live.
Last time we lived in Texas, "he needed killin'" was a legitimate excuse for homicide. :D

In Texas, yes, if they're taking property and you cannot stop them in any other way, but only after thirty minutes after sundown and before thrity minutes before sunrise. That law is controversial, and "demand of the people" may result in amendments. Don't try it in Florida.
The killing of a thief at night comes from the Bible 0 Exodus 22:1

If a thief be found breaking open a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die: he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood. But if he did this when the sun is risen, he hath committed murder, and he shall die.

In other words, if the thief comes in the night and dies as a result of wounds inflicted by the homeowner it is not murder. But killing a thief in daylight is frowned upon. Later passages in the bible address "mortal combat", such as what one does when the thief changes from one who steals to one who tries to murder.

obxned
February 9, 2009, 09:02 PM
They are either already gone (if they were quick) or waiting on the EMTs or coronor. I would rather they be gone, but people who do evil are not always using good judgement.

FireForged
February 15, 2009, 01:39 PM
....speaking just for myself as a common joe:

I have no reservations about using reasonable force to protect myself, family and friends. However, I do not have any obligation or plans to detain a bad-guy. In most instances, If he runs away then he is no longer a threat to me.

Being forced to shoot a bad-guy while he is trying to harm you in one thing.

Being forced to shoot a bad-guy during the course of trying to detain him, is something else.

That being said, if I felt that allowing someone to flee would put others in immediate-imminent lifethreatening danger, I "might" detain someone.

JohnH1963
February 15, 2009, 02:33 PM
If someone was pointing a weapon at you, then you would probably just sit very still. Would anyone here try to walk away from someone who is pointing a pistol directly at them?

BillCA
February 15, 2009, 09:07 PM
JohnH,

I don't think I would do that and I don't think many here would risk it either. But then, we are not criminals nor do we think like criminals.

Folks that have either had some kind of LE training or who have thought it through may go through the same drill upon catching someone -- Don't Move! Let me see your hands! Get on the ground, now! The thugs may interpret this as someone who is a "rules player" and the rules say you cannot shoot someone who isn't a threat. Thus calmly walking away means no threat & no shoot.

In the mid 80's, a sharp security guard stopped at a nearby liquor store for cigarettes. Just after his purchase, before he left the store, some guy came in to hold up the place, waving a Taurus .38 around. The guard challenged him from behind and he put the gun down. After the guard ordered him to the floor, he glanced back, then started calmly walking towards the door. His mistake was reaching for a 2nd gun and the guard double tapped him with a Beretta 9mm. We were eating dinner next door and heard the shots and we had to wait to get to our car. The BG was complaining to two of the cops though. "He shouldn't a shot me, man! Cops got rules. Cops got rules. You can't shoot someone in the f----- back, man! That ain't right."

From the bandages, it looked like one round hit above the left shoulderblade and the other in his right buttock. :D

But it shows some of the mentality out there. You, a good citizen, are supposed to play by the rules. He, the bad guy doesn't have to follow the rules and can be deceived and lied to.

David Armstrong
February 16, 2009, 12:28 AM
If someone was pointing a weapon at you, then you would probably just sit very still. Would anyone here try to walk away from someone who is pointing a pistol directly at them?
I'd bet a lot of the LEOs here can tell of at least one experience where that has happened. BG just looks at yo with your gun out, laughs, and says "whatcha gonna do, shoot me?" and begins to try to leave the area.

For me, it is simple. I don't want the BG around. I want him to go away. The longer he is near me the longer he poses a threat to me and mine.

jg0001
February 18, 2009, 04:03 PM
I remain very surprised at the number of people that would like little more than for the BG to simply go away.

Whatever happened to "'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"?

Glenn E. Meyer
February 18, 2009, 04:54 PM
What attempt to hold them?

Physical contact is risky. Shooting them seems the only other option unless you are a webslinger as compared to a gunslinger.

Also, cases of an economically motivated criminal returning to an armed household aren't common.

jg0001
February 18, 2009, 05:08 PM
Why do we all assume the BG will just run on first sight of you? What if he won't? What if the BG WAS armed and you just drew on him first? Are you really going to let him just walk? Would ANYONE tolerate the same of the police?

God forbid any potential criminals come in here and read this thread. They would be emboldened to new heights of criminality. If even the gun nuts would just let a BG walk, what's to fear from anyone?

Criminal mindset becomes: *Hell, I can try and steal stuff (or worse) and the worst thing that will happen is I just walk. What's the downside? Maybe you describe me to the police and maybe they bother looking for me?*

Good thing you're all just thinking about your own safety and not the safety of anyone else in the neighborhood. I hope you don't live near me. I'm not saying I'd have the nerve or skill to hold someone at gunpoint, but I sure as hell wish I would do so if the situation came up. Do you think it will be any safer for the police to catch the BG later on compared to you already having him in your sights?

Hkmp5sd
February 18, 2009, 05:25 PM
Why do we all assume the BG will just run on first sight of you? What if he won't? What if the BG WAS armed and you just drew on him first? Are you really going to let him just walk? Would ANYONE tolerate the same of the police?


Why do we all assume we can shoot better than the BG? If the BG chooses to flee, why would you force a gun fight? The whole idea is to stay alive. You are not a law enforcement officer and have no obligation to detain criminals. Why risk your life unnecessarily?

I'm not saying I'd have the nerve or skill to hold someone at gunpoint, but I sure as hell wish I would do so if the situation came up.

So what exactly do you do? If the guy turns and starts to walk away, are you going to shoot him in the back? Jump on him and wrestle with him? How do you detain him?

jg0001
February 18, 2009, 10:28 PM
Why yes... if someone refuses a command to hold, perhaps the idea is to shoot them **speaking hypothetically**. What benefit is it to remove tactical superiority and resort to hand-to-hand action, that's just plain stupid. Don't assume that they'll just up and saunter out. For all you know, they'll make a run at you once you've shown no willingness to actually USE the defensive weapon you are holding. The LESS you think you could do without your gun versus a determined intruder of unknown ability and intent, the greater the reason you should maintain control. I'm no expert, but I'm certain I read somewhere that you need to at least project a willingness to actually use your weapon in order for it to be an effective defense.

Interestingly enough, all the (admittedly biased) positive outcome situations in the American Rifleman and similar mags often involve a homeowner shooting an intruder FIRST and not trying to offer them krumpets before they depart to find their next potential victim.

Would your willingness to hold and/or shoot change if you caught the BG assaulting your wife or kids upon returning home? Would you be just as happy to let them run away then?

The point is you DON'T KNOW what the BG was going to do, what they're willing to do, if the cops will ever find them, if they'll simply find another house to break into, or whether or not they'd come back. At the time you do have some modicum of control over the situation (i.e. have them at gunpoint), it would seem the worst thing you could do is to once more loose them unto the world.

BillCA
February 19, 2009, 03:33 AM
So what exactly do you do? If the guy turns and starts to walk away, are you going to shoot him in the back? Jump on him and wrestle with him? How do you detain him?
Let's presume for the moment Dudley brings a knife to a gunfight and accosts you in a parking lot. You whip out your weapon and as you raise it, he suddenly turns and walks away, dropping the knife. Now what?

a) The gun just did its job by preventing an attack on you.
b) Dudley poses no immediate threat, but
c) He is still a known danger and within range
d) Keep your front sight on him and wait for him to leave the area.

If Dudley has broken into your home and simply walks out the front door, ignoring your commands, then legally there isn't much you can do. Let him go, but keep your guard up until the police arrive.

If you arrive and find Dudley already in your home assaulting a family member his first indication of your presence may be a loud noise just before his lights go out.

However, if challenged after assaulting others and he starts to walk away, I would not trust him worth beans. Especially if he made some "furtive movement" for his waistband or headed towards rooms occupied by others.

Hkmp5sd
February 19, 2009, 06:18 AM
Would your willingness to hold and/or shoot change if you caught the BG assaulting your wife or kids upon returning home? Would you be just as happy to let them run away then?


Obviously, if they are in the middle of an act where deadly force must be immediately used to stop that act, then shoot them.

If you walk into you house and find him unplugging your stereo, you point your gun at him and he merely raises his hands and starts walking to the door, you gonna shoot him?

In the State of Florida, a sworn officer can use deadly force to stop a fleeing felon, even one unarmed under certain conditions. I'm not sure that also applies to civilians.

Main point is that you use your gun to stop an immediate threat. If the guy is running away, he is no longer an immediate threat and you have no legal right to shoot him. An attempt on your part to detain him may result in your arrest for armed kidnapping.

Don't try to be a hero. Be a good witness for the police and go home alive. Do exactly what BILLCA recommended above.

If you want to detain BGs at gunpoint, join the police force.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 09:08 AM
Interestingly enough, in all the "armed citizen" style letters in American Rifleman and the like, it would seem that in many burglary/home invasion scenarios, the homeowner seems likely to shoot first and ask questions later, rather than provide any moment of hesitation for thought on WWJD and the like. Somehow I imagine that that would be the likely outcome for many on here... adrenaline & emotion take over and the first reaction is to neutralize the threat. I don't recall reading any such reports where there was any kind of time out period... either the BG fled immediately at the brandishing of the defensive gun or was shot immediately (and then ran or died). **granted the stories printed are selected and not a random sampling**

Let's just hope none of us are put in that situation.

OldMarksman
February 19, 2009, 09:09 AM
God forbid any potential criminals come in here and read this thread. They would be emboldened to new heights of criminality. If even the gun nuts would just let a BG walk, what's to fear from anyone? Criminal mindset becomes: Hell, I can try and steal stuff (or worse) and the worst thing that will happen is I just walk. What's the downside?

If a criminal knowingly and unlawful enters an occupied dwelling, his biggest concern is not being held at gunpoint. His intent undoubtedly extends beyond stealing "stuff." The downside? Getting shot in self defense. Not for ignoring a "command" but for getting into a situation in which the occupant had to do so and was justified.

Would that distinction embolden you to "new heights of criminality?"

[Are you really going to let him just walk?] Would ANYONE tolerate the same of the police?

No, not at all, but the police are trained and paid to arrest a criminal using carefully established department policy and procedure, and the officers are protected against civil suits. The civilian is not.

Police officers (plural) will use force-physical force--to get the perps in cuffs and into their cars.

Do you think they would shoot? Not likely! Read Garner v. Tennessee. The old "fleeing felon" rule is no longer operative.

If the guy turns and starts to walk away, are you going to shoot him in the back? Why yes... if someone refuses a command to hold, perhaps the idea is to shoot them.

Probable outcomes: your arrest, trial, conviction, incarceration, and loss of your gun rights forever, for committing a felony...

Plus civil suits and large settlements against you for wrongful death or injury.

Don't even think about it.

For all you know, they'll make a run at you once you've shown no willingness to actually USE the defensive weapon you are holding.

Make sure they know your willing to use your weapon for defense, but if you shoot someone to keep him from leaving, how would you characterize it as a "defensive weapon" As BillCA says, he remains a danger until he is gone.

Heed the good advice of Hkmp5sd:

Main point is that you use your gun to stop an immediate threat. If the guy is running away, he is no longer an immediate threat and you have no legal right to shoot him. An attempt on your part to detain him may result in your arrest for armed kidnapping.

Don't try to be a hero. Be a good witness for the police and go home alive. Do exactly what BILLCA recommended above.

If you want to detain BGs at gunpoint, join the police force.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 09:36 AM
**later posts express my sentiments with greater clarity**

OldMarksman
February 19, 2009, 11:03 AM
Did I just read that a forum member does not intend to abide by the law?

Glenn E. Meyer
February 19, 2009, 11:18 AM
Saying on the internet, which will be found, that you will ignore legality is a very good plan for your trial. If you study police cases - you find they are sued over and over for the level of force to be used. Assume it will happen to you.

This discussion is a good ad for well run FOF classes. Do a simulated burglary or street incident where the BG just turns and walks out of your house or someone is peeing your gas tank. Hold 'em at gun point - so they don't comply. Now what?

It is fun to be a role player for someone in that situation. I just did that in a simulated convenience store incident. The GG had the drop on me and I didn't comply - just stood there and raved - So, shoot me, tough guy. Gonna shoot a disabled vet hard on his luck!!!

In front of a bunch of witnesses. BTW, I had a rubber knife but I didn't approach the GG, just ranted. Without approach, the Tueller case would be hard to prove and cop cases show that the Tueller story isn't universally accepted by the DA or civil courts.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 01:11 PM
Did I just read that a forum member does not intend to abide by the law?

Please. What you read was that a forum member was going to be guided by his own conscience regardless of what the then current law might say. I'd be surprised if 2% of the population even KNEW what the law in their STATE even said, let alone the fact that the law in every state is different, let alone that the law in any given state changes periodically -- that doesn't keep them from acting, they just act as best they can using their own moral compass, good or bad as it may be. Whether it's legal in FL but not in NJ (or wherever) really shouldn't be the guidepost used by someone in such a situation.

I'd have to understand the law before I could defy it, correct? I posted on here a question regarding hollowpoints in NJ and still am not clear what the answer is. My wife is a lawyer (though not specializing in criminal offenses or firearams) and she can't make much sense of it either. Hence my blanket suggestion to treat everyone you encounter during and after an incident very carefully, including the police. Don't take it from me, this is straight from Ayoob. Last I checked, the FIFTH amendment was still in place. EVERYONE should assume, regardless of how well they know the law, that the prosecutor may be out to get them, and not be so quick to bear witness against themselves. For all you know, something was passed a week before your incident and now what you thought was okay is now illegal. It's been known to happen.

Anyone that would trade in their morals & ethics for laws written by politicians may as well hand over their very souls while they're at it. If our founding fathers thought like this, we'd still be a colony of the United Kingdom.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 19, 2009, 02:23 PM
My point was that I'm not a lawyer and not going to be dragging out the lawbooks or checking the internet for the current regs if someone is in my house. I'll do what I think is best at the time, guided by my own conscience, knowing that I'll have to live with the decision.

The point is to be aware of the law before an incident. Having some knowledge of what is legal can guide you. Also, it is easy to talk about conscience but what we usually see in some forum debates are the emotional vs. the rational. A sense of territorial violation overcoming a hard look at the consequences of a shoot.

Can you shoot someone who got up from raping your daughter or your son or you? Maybe it would be good to know that. How can that knowledge hurt?

But rape is emotional and clouding the issue for the discussion. How about the guy holding your prized possession and runs towards the door? Might it be good to understand if you could shoot him in the back?

Anyway - make your own path - be aware of the consequences of choosing the emotional over the rational.

OldMarksman
February 19, 2009, 02:47 PM
Anyone that would trade in their morals & ethics for laws written by politicians may as well hand over their very souls while they're at it.

Do not take this as argumentative.

It is true that our laws are written by legislators, who are politicians.

It is also true, however, that most of our laws that pertain to self defense and related subjects (with the exception of those that limit gun ownership) have been carefully thought out and have evolved over centuries, and are based on ethical standards that most of us believe in.

The English Common Law held that murder was wrong. It also recognized that homicide committed in an act of proper self preservation was justifiable. But the question was how to distinguish between wrongful or reckless homicide and lawful self-defense, and to prevent the defendant from wrongly using that justification. Hence, the duty to retreat was specified. That did not apply within the home ("a man's castle"). And while it was permissible to use force to protect property, that meant reasonable force--deadly force was not permitted.

For the most part all of our state laws on this subject today are primarily rooted in those long-standing legal and ethical principles, though some detailed changes have been made over time, and the castle doctrine has not been codified in all states.

The only area that I know of (perhaps a legal scholar might help here) in which our current laws are more favorable to the suspect than the original common law in states with strong Castle laws is in the area of the use of deadly force by the police to stop fleeing suspects. I don't think that (the effects of Garner v. Tennessee) is a bad change, but an attorney friend disagrees.

These foundational laws were established, tested, and modified over an extended period by judges, on the basis of ethics, common sense, and prior judicial decisions.

So, the legal considerations that prevent an American citizen today from avoiding punishment, should he decide to shoot someone to prevent the potential commission of future crimes, are not the result of "laws written by politicians", nor are most of the other concepts in our criminal codes. Rather, they are rooted in long and well-tested legal and ethical traditions.

My moral compass would never lead me to fire a gun at someone simply because I thought he needed to be taken into custody. I learned a long time ago that there is such a thing as due process, and that that process does not include my deciding guilt or innocence, passing sentence, or executing that sentence.

I hope you find this worth while.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 02:52 PM
Can you shoot someone who got up from raping your daughter or your son or you? Maybe it would be good to know that. How can that knowledge hurt?

Not saying I would or wouldn't, but how could you let the law determine whether or not you'd kill someone? Isn't this something that you yourself better be okay with one way or another?

Think about it. Are you going to shoot someone because the law says you can? Are you not going to shoot someone who you think NEEDS shooting because the law says you cannot?

I would hope that anyone who shoots someone would find it important enough to do so whether or not it was legal or not -- taking a life should be that big of a deal. At the end of the day, a human pulls the trigger. Don't you want that person to be responsible for their actions and not say 'the law said I could, so I did'?

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 03:09 PM
My moral compass would never lead me to fire a gun at someone simply because I thought he needed to be taken into custody. I learned a long time ago that there is such a thing as due process, and that that process does not include my deciding guilt or innocence, passing sentence, or executing that sentence.

I appreciate your argument, really I do. I'm curious, then, what you think of the actions of those who, when faced with a threat simply pulled their weapon and fired, not necessarily knowing whether or not the BG would have otherwise left peacably?

Two examples come to mind:
(1) the Delaware drug store shooting versus a clearly armed BG (thread on here recently locked, so let's be careful here); here the BG had the tactical advantage of having the weapon trained on an innocent and was prepared to do harm, though it's questionable if he would have
(2) example from current American Rifleman: woman with kids sees BG enter her house, she grabs a handgun and shoots him (he escapes wounded); it's not clear that the BG had any weapon or intent to do harm

In either case above, it could be argued that shots should not have been fired. It could (and probably will) be a legal hassle for #1; for #2, it's doubtful (even people on this board can't agree about #1, to the extent the other thread was locked).

I don't see how either person acted with respect to the law rather than with respect to what they felt they needed to do at that point in time. I don't know what state #2 took place in, but I doubt her response would have differed based on state law.

vranasaurus
February 19, 2009, 03:30 PM
For all you know, they'll make a run at you once you've shown no willingness to actually USE the defensive weapon you are holding.

What do you mean by willingness to use your weapon?

The moment they make a run at you you would have a valid argument for the use of deadly force. If they are walking away they are not a threat.

No one is saying to let your guard down and relax while he is walking away.

Hkmp5sd
February 19, 2009, 03:55 PM
not necessarily knowing whether or not the BG would have otherwise left peacably?


In either case above, it could be argued that shots should not have been fired.

You're missing the point. It is not what the guy might "otherwise" do. It is what the guy is doing right now. In the case of the drug store shooting, the guy was pointing a gun at someone, threatening to shoot them. For the safety of the pharmacist and security guard, he needed to be stopped immediately. That justifies using deadly force. The law does not require you to show your gun and give the guy the opportunity to surrender or leave. It says you may do whatever is necessary to stop the individual from being a threat.

Hamour
February 19, 2009, 04:04 PM
In general Joe Horn here in Texas had it right. "Move! You're Dead!" Followed by shotgun blasts when the thieves moved.

pax
February 19, 2009, 04:20 PM
OldMarksman ~

Excellent post, very well said. :)

pax

publius
February 19, 2009, 04:20 PM
Judgement call according to the situation. there's a big difference in my mind between stopping a rape or kidnapping and stopping some redneck from beating me w/baseball bat b/c I looked at his girlfriend. the first two are going to be held, baseball bat dude just learned a valuable lesson and may leave.

OldMarksman
February 19, 2009, 05:50 PM
Are you going to shoot someone because the law says you can?

NO! David Armstrong often says something to the effect that it's not just a matter of whether you can shoot, but also of whether you should shoot.


Are you not going to shoot someone who you think NEEDS shooting because the law says you cannot?

I most certainly will not shoot someone on the basis of my thinking that he "needs shooting," particularly when it would be illegal! The citizens of the state have not vested in me the powers of judge, jury, or executioner. Rather, they have given those powers to others, who would almost certainly find me guilty of some variety of murder, and impose sentence accordingly.

And of course, there would be the most serious issue of severe civil liability.

Here are some things that are worthy of your most careful study:

http://www.useofforce.us/

http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/01c1e7698280d20385256d0b00789923/f587d7d10c34fff2852572b90069bc3c?OpenDocument&Click=

http://www.teddytactical.com/archive/MonthlyStudy/2006/02_StudyDay.htm

These are rather lengthy but anyone with a gun should read them and study them.

I also recommend The Ayoob Files and In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob.

Finally, it might be well worth the investment to invest in an hour or two of consultation with knowledgeable criminal attorney in your state. The return could be incalculable.

I do hope you find these discussions helpful. Be aware, however, that posts that would seem to indicate a lack of respect for the law or for human life may, as Glenn Meyer pointed out (and so, by the way, has Mas), prove most unhelpful to the poster later on, and they can be used against us by those who do not favor private gun ownership or carry.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 11:18 PM
You're oversimplifying my commentary. I've never said that what I would do was directly opposite what the law said I could do. What I did say is that what I would do is not determined by what the law says I could do. There is a difference. 99% of the time, my own personal morals & ethics would probably line up with the law. That last 1%, however, will depend on what is right, regardless if the arbitrary law at the time matches up with it or not. I'm a human with a soul first, and a citizen second.

If you were in the same situation in two different states, one where shooting is legal and one where it is not, would you truly act differently? Perhaps you just wouldn't shoot in either case, and that's fine. But that isn't the question.

Anyone on here can say they'd only do what is legal, but that's truly B.S. when the situation turns dire in a heartbeat. They'd do what they think is right, and if they're lucky, their choice will be one that is also legal. The law isn't exactly perfect, you know... if it was, it wouldn't be different across the 50 states.

Would you rather have a person of high moral conviction (whose convictions you agreed with) or someone knowledgeable in the law as your neighbor?

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 11:27 PM
For the safety of the pharmacist and security guard, he needed to be stopped immediately.

Would OldMarks agree here? Not only would he be playing the judge, jury, and executioner he doesn't want to play, but it is EASY to argue (and has been) that the mere act of confronting the BG increased the chances dramatically of someone getting shot. Has the security guard lost that shootout, who knows who else may have been shot. The fact that the security guard was a former LEO is irrelevant beyond the point that he had the nerve to act decisively.

OldMarks, I'd really like your take on the 2 scenarios I listed in a prior post up on this page.

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 11:29 PM
Judgement call according to the situation. there's a big difference in my mind between stopping a rape or kidnapping and stopping some redneck from beating me w/baseball bat b/c I looked at his girlfriend. the first two are going to be held, baseball bat dude just learned a valuable lesson and may leave.

Quoting you above, "the first two are going to be held" - or else what? That's the real question, no? [Assuming your presence with the weapon stopped the assault, but didn't require you to immediately shoot the BG to do so.]

jg0001
February 19, 2009, 11:38 PM
http://www.useofforce.us/
http://tinyurl.com/defselfdefcase
http://tinyurl.com/lpitjotuof
[I tinyurl'd the ones that were ridiculously long, in case anyone wants to be able to easily copy these and send them around without them being truncated]

Excellent stuff OldMarksman. Everyone should read it. I think you'll find much of what I said is already in line with this, especially the below. I'll be sure to review it all and also make sure my wife (who is a lawyer, though not a criminal lawyer) is up to spec on this issue. More than anything, I repeat the below because everyone needs to know that once the incident is over, the police are not your friend and you are a very poor witness against yourself. If what you did was truly innocent, you'll be just as innocent once you get a lawyer to consult you. If there is anything that could put you in a bad light, it could be magnified by your post incident overly emotionally charged mouth with someone out to get you. And you should assume that someone is always out to get you. If you're wrong, no big deal. Ayoob's own best comment on this was something I read recently -- provide enough info so that it's clear that you are the victim, but no more. Applies more so to incidents in public than in your home. i.e. if the incident occurs in a parking lot, you don't want someone else just saying you pulled a gun on them and the police having nothing else to go on, esp. if the other person isn't armed*

From one of the links provided by OldMarksman:
When the police arrive, identify yourself. If you used a weapon and still have it on you, tell them so in non-threatening manner. Do not be alarmed if they handcuff you. Cooperate but tell the police only those facts that are necessary for them to know immediately (e.g., point out injuries, witnesses, etc.). To be safe, say nothing more at all; you are under a great deal of stress and the adrenaline is pumping, which may lead you to say things you do not mean. Explain this to the police and tell them that you will not make a statement or answer questions until your attorney is present. (Here (http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/28/law-prof-and-cop-agr.html) is an outstanding and compelling run-down of the reasons why not to talk to the police, whether innocent or guilty, presented by an attorney and an active-duty officer.) Do not apologize or verbally express remorse for what happened; remember, your actions were justified.

The "HERE" bit is a link to this:
http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/28/law-prof-and-cop-agr.html

Best part from the first video in the above: "everything you tell the police can and will be used against you -- it cannot be used to help you - ever" (around 9:15 into it)

Bottom line -- if you've exercised your 2nd Amendment to protect yourself during an alteraction, be prepared to use the 5th Amendment to protect yourself thereafter.

jg0001
February 20, 2009, 01:09 AM
I'm still waiting for OldMarksman to tell me exactly what he would do if someone broke into his home. If they surrendered immediately on seeing you had a gun, then what? Do you not keep your gun out while you wait for the cops? Or, do you insist that the BG leave your premises immediately and just hope that the police can find him?

OldMarksman
February 20, 2009, 09:19 AM
OldMarks, I'd really like your take on the 2 scenarios I listed in a prior post up on this page.

In the case of the pharmacy shooting, Hkmp5sd answered very well, I think. Yes, one can speculate about what might have happened had the guard not fired, but the assailant was threatening people with a deadly weapon and putting them in imminent danger of death at the time the shot was fired. Shooting him did not involve applying sanctions for a crime he had already committed.

Regarding the home intruder, I believe that the intent of most castle laws is to establish the fact of an unlawful entry (in some place it must be forcible) as reason to believe that the occupant is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. The shooter used deadly force to prevent that from happening. Again, it wasn't a case of trying to hold the perp or punish him.

If you were in the same situation in two different states, one where shooting is legal and one where it is not, would you truly act differently? Perhaps you just wouldn't shoot in either case, and that's fine. But that isn't the question.

Good question.

I don't know of any state in which self defense is not legal. Some states have a stand your ground law, but I don't think that would encourage me to shoot rather than to try to evade, avoid, or escape, though it might help in my defense.

Some states have castle laws, some do not, and the ones that exist differ in the detail. I've read legal opinions to the effect that some apparently controversial castle laws that caused concern in the media did not really change the law in the states in question. I know I wouldn't ever presume that such a law would legalize murder--I'll fire when I have no choice and only then. Again, what the laws would do is clarify the defense.

What I hope is that I can keep my wits about me and fire only if I have to. I don't know if you've ever had someone break in or try to break in, but it's a terrifying experience. So far, I've been able to get by by exhibiting a firearm and telling the perp to get going.

I know I would not shoot someone in the back at night because I don't think I could reasonably recover my propane tank any other way. That's provided for in the law in one state at this time.

Anyone on here can say they'd only do what is legal, but that's truly B.S. when the situation turns dire in a heartbeat. They'd do what they think is right, and if they're lucky, their choice will be one that is also legal. The law isn't exactly perfect, you know... if it was, it wouldn't be different across the 50 states.

That's right, but the reason we do have laws is to codify what is "right" uniformly. There are those who would feel justified in using deadly force to prevent the taking of their pick-up truck or wallet, or to get their property back. After careful deliberation by the finest minds, it was established that that was not OK some time after the time of Henry II, and most sates have specified accordingly in statute. Thinking it right does not make it so. So it's a very good idea to know what is OK before you ever even think about picking up a gun, and to not rely on dramatizations that one has seen in TV westerns and cop shows.

You've mentioned talking to the police. I've seen the lecture you posted and everyone should listen to it all the way through. You've also mentioned Massad's advice. Here it is:

Massad Ayoob’s Five-Point Checklist
1. Tell responding officers “I’m the victim; he is the perpetrator.”
2. Tell responding officers, “I will sign a complaint.”
3. Point out pertinent evidence.
4. Point out any witnesses who saw what happened.
5. If there is any hint that you are a suspect, say “Officer, you will have my full cooperation in twenty four hours after I have met with counsel.”

Step 0 is to be the first to call the police.

Would you rather have a person of high moral conviction (whose convictions you agreed with) or someone knowledgeable in the law as your neighbor?

I have both. I guess I can't say that my preferences would be doctor, police officer, plumber, heating and air conditioning man, ....:)

About once a week several friends get together to solve the world's problems. One is a retired attorney, and one is a former police officer. We often discuss ongoing threads on this forum. I don't rely on what I hear but I do find it helpful.

I'm still waiting for OldMarksman to tell me exactly what he would do if someone broke into his home. If they surrendered immediately on seeing you had a gun, then what? Do you not keep your gun out while you wait for the cops? Or, do you insist that the BG leave your premises immediately and just hope that the police can find him?

The former.

The original question was whether to hold them. Should they choose to leave I will not put myself in physical or legal danger. Should they opt to stay I'll keep a gun on them--for self defense.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 20, 2009, 10:08 AM
I've done this is FOF, JG0001 - you find a person in your house. You tell them to get on the ground. They:

1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).

2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).

3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.

What's your take on the action?

jg0001
February 20, 2009, 10:42 AM
I've done this is FOF, JG0001 - you find a person in your house. You tell them to get on the ground. They:

1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).

2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).

3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.

What's your take on the action?

[Explain the FOF term please...]

(each of the below presume I or my wife has called the police already; where I live, the police show up in under 3 minutes (my boy has dialed 911 by accident before and my wife had an incident (which turned out to be harmless) which also involved the police))

1. Keep the gun trained on them. Repeat again the command to get down, motioning the same. English speaker or not, unless they are mentally deficient, they'll get the idea. If they do not get down, I suppose I just keep the gun trained on them, period. I would not get closer to them than I had to be to maintain a visual lock on them. If anything, I would stay OUT of immediate physical range to the extent possible. (understanding that crossing a standard room length really doesn't take very long for a determined BG -- one of the links provided notes that a BG can cover 20 yds in 1.5 seconds, so there is little true safe distance here)

2. This situation would depend on what they DID already and whether or not they were or still are armed. If any level of physical altercation had taken place, I'd be less inclined to let them go. If any of my loved ones had been seriously injured, there's no way they're going to walk away. If they are still armed (and just had their hands in the air, with the gun still in their hand), that too is a threat requiring response. [I've asked the same question of others -- if someone stops the violence they are committing based on your presentation of a gun, but they then try to leave, what do you do?] In this case, any injury incurred to a family member of mine that requires my assistance would take precedence over holding the BG. For example, if my wife or kid was bleeding to death at my feet, they become priority #1 after the BG is no longer in a position to inflict further injury. Exactly what that would mean will depend on the situation.

3. Obviously, the distance involved would determine whether an additional verbal warning is given or not. Otherwise, the risk is too great and their 'stroll' towards me could easily turn into a lunge at me.. in this case ->boom. Whether or not I'd shoot someone in the leg or other non-vital would depend on if they were armed or not, the distance and lighting conditions, etc. I don't think my first instinct would be to kill them rather than incapacitate them. I understand that a self-defense course may say otherwise, that you wouldn't be capable of making a specific shot and that COM is your only safe bet, but I imagine I would take any effort possible to not shoot to kill. Again, this is them SLOWLY closing in on me and me having a direct bead on them. Anything else and center of mass applies.


[for anyone skimming this thread, all of the above relate to a situation in your own house, not out in public]

Glenn E. Meyer
February 20, 2009, 01:12 PM
FOF - force on force training. My view - quite the necessity for the serious gun carrier - although I note the time and expense required for it.

You go through a simulation with trained role players of various scenarios. Research shows that it significantly aids in the performance of military and police as regards to actual tactics, performance, stress innoculation and the like.

As a FOG (fat old guy) - it makes you engage in serious thought when it goes awry.

BTW - shooting in the leg is not necessarily not a vital or lethal hit. Courts don't see it that way and folks have bled out very quickly from leg shots.

As far as an armed opponent fleeing - is that not a good thing as long as you maintain awareness. Engage him and you are no assurance that your shots are lethal (we've debated that before) and he can easily re-engage you. You can miss and he can re-engage you. Unless you have some real reason that enhances your immediate safety and that of others, having the armed person go away seems reasonable.

BillCA
February 20, 2009, 03:28 PM
1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).


¡No mueva! ¡manos arriba! ¡En el suelo, ahora!
(Don't move!) (Show me your hands!) (Get on the ground now!)

Or simply get right to the point:
¡No mueva, hombre muerto!


2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).
Continue to aim COM and track his movements. If possible to safely change your position quietly, do so. This way if he turns to attack, you're not where he expects you to be.

Otherwise let him leave. Remain alert, eyeball his departure if you can (relay to PD). Secure the house.


3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.

Boom! Boom!

The above is my reaction because distances in my house will be no more than about 18 ft. If he's just inside the door and I'm at the end of the hallway nearest, it's only 10-ft. He moves towards me while he's illegally in my home AND I'm pointing a gun at him, he's going to get seriously hurt.

In a larger setting - over about 20-ft:
"Don't Move!" (alternately: ¡Alto! ¡No mueva!")
[continues advance]
Boom! (lather, rinse, repeat)

Daugherty16
February 20, 2009, 03:31 PM
The OP was, do you hold them or let them run. Worst thing i can imagine is holding the BG then being shot by cops when they arrive and see a gun in my hands. I am surprised nobody mentioned that possibility. :eek: Or for those Wyatt Earps on this thread, the strong likelihood of not shooting accurately in the dark, after being woken up short, with the adrenaline rush of drawing down on a perp, or worse the rage of having a family member brutalized. :mad:

Once the arguments started tho, and the scenarios started popping out, the difficulty of these "what-if" threads immediately surfaced. Would you react the same way to stopping a guy from coming in your living room window, as you would catching a guy brutally raping your daughter? Doubtful. Even a trained LEO - you guys are out there - would you react the same to these two totally different events?

I think there's a necessity for everyone who carries to know the laws they are subject to. (That way, when you beat the child-rapist unconscious with your bare hands and stuff down his throat the parts that fall off when you castrate/emasculate him, you'll know just which laws you are violating.) Okay, sorry for that...

But seriously - we all need to be responsible citizens, and advance the CCW cause by being educated and trained to react as well as possible. We carry not because we are frightened, but because we choose to have a decisive, life-saving advantage if ever needed. Most likely it never will be, but you have to train as though it will. And you have to know the difference when it counts.

Truly the greater danger may seem to lie in not shooting a perp. The incident can become protracted, the dangerous conditions/threat can recur, etc - but by far the longer-lasting implications occur once the trigger is pulled. If the sitatuation defuses itself and the guy walks away, I won't be too quick to trade my freedom, my family and my hard-won possessions for a testosterone moment.

Okay - the truth - the BG raping my daughter will not walk away under his own power.

BillCA
February 20, 2009, 04:19 PM
This really isn't rocket science.

We've all seen articles in "The Armed Citizen" were an intruder is detained at gunpoint by some citizen, sometimes even senior citizens. If grandma can do it, so can you. It's simply a matter of being alert and being prepared to take command of the situation.

As I see it, taking command of the situation requires;
1. That he acquiesces to your commands
2. You issue clear, concise and firm commands.
3. His desire to escape is outweighed by his safety concerns.
4. He does not perceive reluctance, hesitance or confusion on your part. (i.e. weakness, indecision, unwilling to shoot)

If he obeys your commands, that's a good first start. If he fails to obey your commands it may be for any of the reasons in 2, 3 or 4; or he may just be a whackjob.

Your commands must be unambigious. Clearly say what you want him to do, say it without embellishments and say it in a tone that indicates you expect compliance.
"Don't move!" is preferred to "Stay where you are, I have a gun on you!"

If his desire to escape is high enough, he'll do anything to get away. Including charging an armed homeowner. Never put yourself between him and an exit. If he bolts for a nearby exit (you won't lose sight of him) then let him go. Why?
a) Hitting a moving target is much harder, esp. in the dark.
b) If he leaves, the threat diminishes. Problem solved.
c) If he's that desperate, he may be desperate enough to hurt you or kill you to escape.

Thugs like to prey on the weak, not the strong. They are often adept at spotting weakness -- reluctance, hesitation, confusion - in their victims. If you display these characteristics, he may think he can take you. Especially if he can do something unusual and take advantage of your hesitation while he acts.

In the early 80's we watched a chilling training film. It was survelliance film of two prisoners "practicing" in their cell. Like Glenn's FOF (Force on Force) training scenarios. One prisoner played the "citizen" and the other the thug. Thug had his hands up but talked to the citizen thusly:
BG: Whoa man! I thought this was Jimmy's pad!
GG: You just stay right there. I'm calling the cops.
BG: (sotto voice: Watch my feet) "Look, I got the wrong place, man. I'm sorry, just let me leave, ok? Whaddya say?" [shifts weight and slides one foot forward half step]
GG: No. Stay there. I'm calling the cops.
BG: Look, man. If you shoot me (sotto: watch the feet) the cops will arrest you as well as me. You don't want that, do you? [Shifts weight and moves other foot half-step forward]
GG: Ah, no. Just stay there. [emulates reaching for phone]
BG: Wait, man! [moves other foot forward] You shoot me and a lawyer will cost you ten grand easy. [moves other foot] If you just let me go, we're all happy, right?
GG: (holding phone) Uh, no, I ...

Analysis: The BG starts off with a "plausible" explanation - he mistook your place for someone else's. Never mind that he came in through a window or jiggered the back door.

He senses weakness in the victim who doesn't really take firm control. He also knows the cops are NOT yet enroute. Two points to his advantage. So he now does three things - talks back to the victim who patiently listens and while he's distracted, moves a foot forward, testing his awareness while closing the distance between them. Lastly he asks a question to further distract the victim.

He then tries to invoke doubt by telling the victim that cops will also arrest him (the victim) if the victim shoots him. This causes the victim to doubt his actions or internally debate if he's doing the right thing. Note the question a the end again. Meanwhile he's creeping closer.

Seeing more weakness and inattention to his movements he presses the issue, trying to seed doubt (and financial worry) in the victim while moving close enough that he can jump the victim while distracted by the talk.

Once you have an intruder at gunpoint, your job is to take control. Command (not ask) him to get on the ground. Command him to not look in your direction. Command him that he is [B]not to talk. If he fails to comply and you see that his feet move to get closer or prepare to lunge your reaction should be clear and immediate.

It's common for someone caught to plead for you not to shoot. But your firm commands (repeated rapidly) leave him little time to keep talking. You want him on the ground with his hands visible. The only thing you care about is his compliance. Once he's on the ground, tell him no talking allowed. When he's immobilized call the cops and wait for their arrival.

OldMarksman
February 20, 2009, 07:44 PM
The BG starts off with a "plausible" explanation - he mistook your place for someone else's.

Actually that happens frequently. I've done that and so have friends of mine. No breakage, of course. I'm reminded of the old Limeliters song, "Charlie the Midnight Marauder," which probably few people here remember.

He then tries to invoke doubt by telling the victim that cops will also arrest him (the victim) if the victim shoots him.

If there is a shot, if there's any suspicion, and if the facts aren't pretty clear, the prosecution will say that the intruder is the victim.

Once you have an intruder at gunpoint, your job is to take control. Command (not ask) him to get on the ground.

No, not for me. My job is not to make a citizen's arrest. I'm not paid for it, I'm not trained for it, and I'm not indemnified.

I'm not willing to assume the risks of getting killed or injured, of being charged for a criminal offense, or of being sued.

A friend who is a trial attorney believes that the last of these is the most likely and by far the most serious. Preponderance of the evidence...

If I were an off duty or a former LEO, or a prosecutor or former prosecutor, I might act differently, but I'm not.

As I've said before, I've used a weapon to stop three home invasions and have never shot or held anyone. Here's the scoop:

The first guy was still outside and trying to break in. He ran when he saw me with a gun through a largely blocked window at his side.

The second entered through an unlocked door and was threatening murder. He appeared to be unarmed. He had followed someone he knew into the house. The safest thing to do was to get him out.

The third got into my remote rented mountain cabin in the early hours of the morning. There was no telephone and it was a long way to town. The man was stoned, unarmed, and naked except for a headband and a peace sign pendant. I had no idea how to hold him, and I watched him cross a roaring river and amble across a moraine in the light of the full moon and the bright stars. I did stay awake for a long time afterwards!