PDA

View Full Version : More than one Attacker...


mav88
March 30, 2009, 04:10 AM
My question is quite simple, but here's the story that goes along with it.

Me and my gf came home late night the other day, and we do not live in a safe neighborhood, we live next to some wannabe gangbanger hoodlums (im sorry to say it that way but its true) and their is always street people and them walking up and down the street day and night. Anyways, when we were getting out of the car there were 4 males walking in the street with baggy hoodies on their head in front of our house, remind you this is late at night around 11:35 pm?

Anyways, one of them was really loud, and tried to talk to me asking for money. I replied no, sorry man i dont have anything.

Well they began stepping on my lawn, and i told them that they are on my property and said to go away i have no money. They kept on insisting, so i began thinking a big confrontation was start, so i placed my right hand on my revolver which i ALWAYS keep held in my pocket ready just incase this situation may become a robbery.

After talking to the loud one of the group, in a firm,but calm serious manner...him and i believe his "drunk" buddies began walking away slowly after i kept on repeating to him to get off my property or have to call the police.

My question is, Lets say they didnt have a knife or a gun, but did try to rob me and my gf simply because we are obviously outnumbered, am i legally allowed to draw my weapon? to keep the attackers away?, even though they might have had no weapon.

chemgirlie
March 30, 2009, 04:14 AM
It depends on what state you're in. In my state I am required to retreat as far as possible before using deadly force. If I was in, lets say TX, that would be a totally different story.

Creature
March 30, 2009, 04:46 AM
Instead of wanting to "pull" your gun, you should should have pulled your cellphone and dialed 911 immediately after you told them the first time to go away and their stepping onto your property. A cellphone is as effective as a gun sometimes.

Keltyke
March 30, 2009, 07:07 AM
In SC, the Castle Doctrine is in effect, and there is NO duty to retreat.

You threatened to call the law, why didn't you? Making a phone call is a lot better than shooting someone. You should have made a beeline to your house while calling the cops. Having your hand on your still-concealed gun was a good move.

There are three criteria that must be met before you can shoot:

A. The ABILITY to inflict serious bodily injury. He is armed or reasonably appears to be armed. (In your case, numbers would fulfill this requirement.)

B. The OPPORTUNITY to inflict serious bodily harm. He is positioned to harm you with his weapon, and,

C. His INTENT (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy - to do you serious or fatal physical harm.

SC law states you must "be in fear of your life or grave bodily injury."

Hirlau
March 30, 2009, 08:34 AM
+1 Keltyke

Also, never let the BG see the weapon. Displaying the weapon, with the intent to deter the attack is a poor tactic. No law requires that you must show him the weapon.

Let Saint Peter tell him how he got there;)

Maromero
March 30, 2009, 08:41 AM
Let Saint Peter tell him how he got there

I don't think St. Peter would be involved in that welcoming committee.:D . Joke aside, you are 100% right.

scottaschultz
March 30, 2009, 08:52 AM
Also, never let the BG see the weapon. Displaying the weapon, with the intent to deter the attack is a poor tactic.
One of the four basic rules of firearms is Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. Once the weapon comes out, you must be prepared to follow through to its logical conclusion. The intent should not be to scare the aggressor or to simply wound or subdue him (or them), it should be to kill them. Using your weapon should be your last line of defense.

Scott

Creature
March 30, 2009, 09:04 AM
Once the weapon comes out, you must be prepared to follow through to its logical conclusion.
Does pulling your handgun mean you absolutely must shoot?

Brian Pfleuger
March 30, 2009, 09:06 AM
The intent should not be to scare the aggressor or to simply wound or subdue him (or them), it should be to kill them.

The correct answer is none of the above.

The objective is to MAKE THEM STOP. Whether they live or die is not a direct concern. Shoot to stop.

Creature
March 30, 2009, 09:07 AM
The intent should not be to scare the aggressor or to simply wound or subdue him (or them), it should be to kill them.

Negative. The intent is to stop the threat...not to kill.

edit: peetza has it correct.

Hirlau
March 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
Quote: "Does pulling your handgun mean you absolutely must shoot?"


IMO, ---No . it does not. The point trying to be made, I believe, is to not use your gun to scare; I feel, though it has worked for people in some cases, gives away a tactical advantage.

OldMarksman
March 30, 2009, 09:36 AM
Does pulling your handgun mean you absolutely must shoot?

Absolutely not! Common but serious misconception.

You may not pull it in most states unless you are justified in using it in self defense (Texas law includes a slight wrinkle in that you must be justified in using force, but that merely producing the weapon to dissuade an attacker does not in itself constitute the use of deadly force).

However, should the imminent threat of death or serious harm dissipate after the gun is drawn, you are no longer justified in shooting.

Creature
March 30, 2009, 09:44 AM
Absolutely not! Common but serious misconception.

Now you see what I was getting at...

Many believe that pulling a gun and letting the BG see it is a tactical disadvantage...or that it is basically nothing but brandishing. Many times the mere sight of a gun can halt an aggressor in his tracks and be all that is needed to dissolve a threat. Other times, waiting to pull your gun at the last second can be seconds too late. And many people have no real idea of the legal definition of brandishing.

Brian Pfleuger
March 30, 2009, 09:48 AM
Many believe that pulling a gun and letting the BG see it is a tactical disadvantage...or that it is basically nothing but brandishing. Many times the mere sight of a gun can halt an aggressor in his tracks and be all that is needed to dissolve a threat. Other times, waiting to pull your gun at the last second can be seconds too late. And many people have no real idea of the legal definition of brandishing.


That is very true. Some laws actually specifically allow for what many on here would call "brandishing". As OldMarksman said, if force is justified, even if deadly force is not, it is quite often legal to use the gun as a deterrent. Which coincidently allows for the gun to be ready should Mr BG decide that you're bluffing and escalate to a deadly force situation.

Skyguy
March 30, 2009, 09:51 AM
Does pulling your handgun mean you absolutely must shoot?

No.
People and cops pull their handguns millions of times a year and no one gets shot and the situations somehow resolve. I've lost count of how many times I've had to draw down.

Personally, I wouldn't show the weapon till it's obvious that the situation is escalating toward a deadly confrontation. But, at least have it in hand.

I've heard many a gunslinger say that their weapon isn't coming out until they're going to shoot.
Now that is a seriously bad tactic.
.

Keltyke
March 30, 2009, 10:06 AM
Does pulling your handgun mean you absolutely must shoot?

NO! At that point - your first option is to draw your weapon, your last option is to shoot. Sometimes the mere presentation of a weapon by an "unarmed victim" is enough to make the perp change his mind.

Draw and aim.
"Stop or I'll shoot!"
1. Perp turns and runs away - holster your weapon and start breathing again.
2. Perp continues to advance - do what you gotta do.

The correct answer is none of the above.

The objective is to MAKE THEM STOP. Whether they live or die is not a direct concern. Shoot to stop.

Come on, peetza...OK, we "shoot to stop", but let's face it - dead is a pretty effective "stop." Let's be honest with ourselves. If we really "shoot to stop", we'd be shooting the gun out of his hand or hitting him in the arm, leg, or shoulder. We shoot COM, what does that tell ya?

Brian Pfleuger
March 30, 2009, 10:10 AM
Come on, peetza...OK, we "shoot to stop", but let's face it - dead is a pretty effective "stop." Let's be honest with ourselves. If we really "shoot to stop", we'd be shooting the gun out of his hand or hitting him in the arm, leg, or shoulder. We shoot COM, what does that tell ya?


It tells me exactly what I said. Whether the BG lives or dies is not the point. I am not shooting to kill or NOT to to kill. I am shooting to make him stop. If he dies, so be it. The most easily hit and effective "stop" area happens to be an area that is likely to kill. I don't care- He dies, he lives. I'm alive, that's the goal. What happens to the BG 5 minutes (or seconds) later is inconsequential at that moment.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 30, 2009, 10:10 AM
We shoot COM as it is the easiest target to hit when faced with a full on attacker. Geez.

Peetzakilla had it right. You didn't.

chilie23
March 30, 2009, 10:17 AM
I can only echo the sentiments of the two astute gentelmen directly above me. Shoot to stop and shoot COM to hit.



EDIT: I should probably go ahead answer the OP now, lol. With no way of knowing your states laws, I can only answer that in Ohio if you are faced with multiple attackers, on your property, there is an assumed articulation of grave bodily injury or death if they are able to get the jump on you. A kick to the head (let alone a series of such kicks) while on the ground can kill as easily as any bullet. You handled the situation well considering the circumstances. I have seen myself in such circumstances before and have felt the same need to place a hand on my weapon, but never felt the point had been crossed where a draw was neccesary. Helps it was a SW rvolver in a jacket pocket in those situations and I felt comfortable "tailoring" it to my specs in a grave situation

Creature
March 30, 2009, 10:53 AM
Peetzakilla had it right. You didn't.

That's putting it mildly...:eek:

Keltyke
March 30, 2009, 11:38 AM
Peetzakilla had it right. You didn't.

Whatever. I know how and to what effect I'll shoot if I have to (whatever coy name you give it) - you guys do whatever.

I'm outta this one.

Creature
March 30, 2009, 11:39 AM
Well then you failed to get your "point" across clearly the first time. Shooting to kill should not be the intent of a COM shot..no foolin'.

Brian Pfleuger
March 30, 2009, 11:43 AM
Good, we all agree that we all agree.

Let's not fight over our agreement.:);)

David Armstrong
March 30, 2009, 12:43 PM
OK, we "shoot to stop", but let's face it - dead is a pretty effective "stop." Let's be honest with ourselves. If we really "shoot to stop", we'd be shooting the gun out of his hand or hitting him in the arm, leg, or shoulder. We shoot COM, what does that tell ya?Like Glenn said, we shoot CoM because that is the easiest to hit. If someone is partly behind cover, we shoot CoM of what is available. Let's be honest, as you say it. If pulling out the gun and yellin "BOO!" loudly stops the BGs threat, that is all we are after (or should be all we are after). Whether the BG lives, dies, or colors his hair green should be totally irrelevant to us in a CCW DGU incident.

Dingoboyx
March 30, 2009, 01:03 PM
Shooting and wounding someone can lead to you paying the victims medical bills for a very long time if you are proven in court to have been in the wrong :eek:

Drawing your gun might deter him if you feel you really are in serious danger, planting a shot in the lawn in his general direction would make him think twice (very quickly) and also draw neighbours attention to your plight and also give you possible witnesses to say that you did warn him verbally, and fired a warning shot, in case things get UGLY :eek:

Trouble is, hoodlums like that knowing you are armed, might attract their retaliation at a later date, and they might come armed next time, to show you a thing or 2 :eek:

IMO, showing your hand "gun" I believe is the last (but not too late) thing you should do. Probably you should have made sure your Gf got to the door and opened it safely, then you follow, lock the door and call the cops :D

However, I wasnt there, so what would I know?:o

Glad you were ok & it worked out ok 4U ;)

Muzza

Glenn E. Meyer
March 30, 2009, 01:10 PM
No one really knows what effect a shot will have when they let off the round.

The position is that we let off the round or rounds to stop the bad thing that is happening. I don't mean to overinterpret but it is a fault of Internet debates to assume that a fired round will be a decisive stopper or even killer.

If one claims that, then it is bravado or ignorance of the effects of the typical firearm and their interaction with performance variables under stress.

Also claiming that you wish to kill as compared to stop does increase your potential liability in an ambiguous shoot or if the DA wants to make a test case of you.

Dingoboyx
March 30, 2009, 01:18 PM
One can only hope it never happens to them (to be put in the situation of making a split second decision that could/would change their life for ever):eek:

Muzza

scottaschultz
March 30, 2009, 01:54 PM
Skyguy wrote: "People and cops pull their handguns millions of times a year and no one gets shot and the situations somehow resolve. I've lost count of how many times I've had to draw down."Yes, but as a veteran LEO, I am sure you have had many more hours of training specifically geared towards handling these situations than most civilians. Plus I am assuming (which is a very dangerous thing to do!) that you have had some sort of psychological screening that demonstrates you are fit to carry, something civilians are not required to do before buying a firearm and frankly, sometimes that scares me... A LOT!

And I agree that if you ever are in a situation where you draw your weapon, you are certainly not obligated to discharge it. I guess my less-than-subtle point was that if you just want to subdue an aggressor, use something like pepper spray. This may be a "Well duh!" comment, but a hand gun of any caliber is a lethal weapon and you should be prepared for the very real possibility that discharging it in the general direction of something or someone can lead the its destruction. In the case of a living creature, that means killing it. There is no way to sugar-coat that.

No matter how much you train at the range, most of us are not good enough to shoot to simply wound or subdue, especially under an extremely high stress situation when you may only have a fraction of a second to make you choice.

Scott

skydiver3346
March 30, 2009, 04:23 PM
To each his own I think, as it would depend on what was actually happening at any particular moment of this confrontation.
Bottom line, you have the right to come home to your residence at anytime you so desire. You and your girlfriend should not be intimidated or worry about being mugged, or worse by a bunch of scum bags like you describe.

This is what I feel I would do in this situation:
1. If carrying a weapon, it is your duty to retreat as far as you can from any danger. You are now in your own yard. Don't discuss anything with them anymore and no threats, etc. Try and enter your home where you can call 911 immediately. If you are trying to enter your home and you are still being threatened or they block you from entering your home, then this is a completely diferrent situation
2. Tell them in a firm and louder voice to remove themselves from your property immediately and continue to try and enter your home.
3. If it continues to escalate to the point that your fear for your life and/or your companion's life, I would place my hand on my gun (in my pocket) and inform the intruders that you will use force if needed to defend yourself and that they are making you feel threatened. Leave now or else........
4. If they continue to come at me, I pull my weapon (not aiming at him at this time) and let them see your intentions.
5. If he or others in the group still close the distance anyway, then at that point you have done all you can. Time to take aim and pull the trigger!

Bottom line, is all this can be done pretty quick (just seconds) but you need to have some sort of sequence of events to explain to the authorities that you tried to retreat but they would not let you. That you did everything you could to prevent this "unfortunate" circumstance but that you were in fear for your life. Of course its easy for me or others to say what they would do in a situation like this but I believe that I would follow this sequence.

OLNfan
March 30, 2009, 05:01 PM
I would say you handled the manner perfectly. You didnt lose your cool but you were ready to get down and dirty if needed. But I agree check your state law's and better luck next time hope they stay away!

Deet
March 30, 2009, 06:44 PM
I'll add one bit of advice, if 4 BG's are walking in front of my house as I pull up in my car, it might make better sense to drive around the block once or wait in a running car to see what they are doing etc. If they are standing on my front yard waiting for me to exit my car, I'd call police, and drive down the block and wait for the police. Situational awareness- four against one ain't good odds. I'm not knocking what you did, but if you could have avoided the confrontation, that would have been the best move.

LoneWolf22056
March 30, 2009, 07:40 PM
If it were me, I would've walked past the entryway, and crop dusted them with the most vile fart I could muster. It's the universal crowd dispersant!

J/K
I live in orlando (which has a fairly high crime rate) and I have people asking me for money all the time. Rather than answering them and making it a personalized confrontation, just don't answer at all. Keep walking. If they touch you or otherwise physically contact you, begin the implement of force. All I need here in FL is to feel a threat. If it's just a beggar asking for money, they'll likely realize that you're not interested and they'll start looking for someone else to ask. If it's someone who wants to take your belongings by force, they'll be persistent.

You might say that this is an overreaction. In my case, I do not think so. I'm a big man, and a normal beggar looking for change is not going to press the issue out of self preservation. If someone really intends to do me harm, they aren't going to say a word, they're just going to spring on me. So that's how I prepare. Anyone risking physical injury by laying hands on me is not somebody who wants my change. They want to cause me physical harm.

srm970
March 30, 2009, 09:53 PM
the movie tombstone comes to mind when i read this. .. point your gun at the loud bad guy.. say your friends may get me in a rush. but you die first..

sorry. burbon kicking in

Hirlau
March 30, 2009, 10:05 PM
Quote: "Also claiming that you wish to kill as compared to stop does increase your potential liability in an ambiguous shoot or if the DA wants to make a test case of you."

Very True !



Well;), here lies the magic sentence that we all agree on. Now lets not confuse it with "Mind-Set" of the shooter/defender/YOU. If someone or something requires you to use deadly force to stop the life-threat, YOU had better enter that encounter committed to the fact that "Killing" may be the only way to win.

You can rest assurred that the BG is there to hurt/kill YOU; I will not press the "pause button" on him; I will not allow him to "tap-out" when his plan fails. He will never be a threat to my family or yours ever again.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 31, 2009, 10:08 AM
That is called the question - you must be willing to take an action that has a real chance of lethality. That is different than stating you 'want' a lethal outcome.

What does 'tap-out' mean? You shoot the COM shot and the BG falls but is still breathing, or is still standing and assumes a surrender position - are you going to continue firing?

One continues to fire until the threat ceases being a threat. Subtle isn't it?

Saying you don't want him to be a threat again - are you saying you will continue to fire at an obviously surrendering opponent?

Hirlau
March 31, 2009, 10:21 AM
Quote: "Saying you don't want him to be a threat again - are you saying you will continue to fire at an obviously surrendering opponent?"

Glenn,
No that is not what I said. Will I answer this question( on open forum) any more specific than I have, NO I won't.

"Surrendering" was your choice of words, Glenn.

Creature
March 31, 2009, 10:26 AM
You can rest assurred that the BG is there to hurt/kill YOU; I will not press the "pause button" on him; I will not allow him to "tap-out" when his plan fails. He will never be a threat to my family or yours ever again.

That sounds to me, and I am sure pretty much everyone else on this forum, like you plan on not stopping until you have killed your attacker.

Hirlau
March 31, 2009, 10:43 AM
The point of this back and forth ??:confused:

Brian Pfleuger
March 31, 2009, 10:51 AM
The point of this back and forth ??

The point is that bad guys kill people on purpose. Good people don't.

Defending yourself may or may not result in the death of the other party. I might have to shoot him in the head. I still am not trying to kill him. Will it kill? Probably, but that's NOT the point.

The point is that his death is NOT the goal.

I DO NOT kill on purpose. That's the point.

pax
March 31, 2009, 10:53 AM
Glenn,
No that is not what I said. Will I answer this question( on open forum) any more specific than I have, NO I won't.

You just did.

And with that: please get this thread back on topic, everyone.

The topic is whether a defender can draw their weapon when they are attacked by a group of unarmed individuals.

Thanks.

pax

Hirlau
March 31, 2009, 10:54 AM
I think the Moderator "Pax", just asked you to get back on topic!;)

Glenn E. Meyer
March 31, 2009, 10:55 AM
Sorry for the thread drift, Pax. :o

pax
March 31, 2009, 11:02 AM
It's a good topic for another thread. (hint...)

;)

pax

ZeSpectre
March 31, 2009, 11:13 AM
The topic is whether a defender can draw their weapon when they are attacked by a group of unarmed individuals.

I've seen the aftermath of a "group stomping".
I've seen someone killed by a bare fist strike.
It is easy to conceal weapons.
It is possible, even easy, to strike from concealment such that a weapon is never observed.

Knowing these things my default assumption is that someone who is actively assaulting me believes they have enough "horsepower" (be it strength, training, weapons, backup) to think they can take me down.

"MMO" is a good yardstick (means, motive, opportunity) but in a case of group aggression I don't consider there to be any particular need to actually observe a "weapon" before I can legitimately call it a self defense scenario.

HOWEVER

You'd best have additional plans because sometimes responding to a group like this will cause them to scatter, but other times it will trigger pure bloodlust and you'd get mobbed and overrun.

OldMarksman
March 31, 2009, 12:56 PM
My question is, Lets say they didnt have a knife or a gun, but did try to rob me and my gf simply because we are obviously outnumbered, am i legally allowed to draw my weapon? to keep the attackers away?, even though they might have had no weapon.

As previously pointed out, it's going to depend a lot on the law in the particular state.

Where I live, a civilian cannot "exhibit" a gun "in angry or threatening manner" except while engaged in a lawful act of self defense.

For me that means I will not draw unless I can legally shoot. And as a matter of fact, I won't draw unless I intend to shoot if necessary. That doesn't mean that I will shoot, because the threat may dissipate.

Many states have similar laws. In Florida, "it is unlawful to have or carry a firearm in the presence of one or more persons and exhibit the firearm in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manners, except in cases of self-defense."

In Arizona, the prior Governor (now head of Homeland Security) very recently vetoed a bill that reportedly would allowed a person to "defensively display a gun when feeling justified to protect against unlawful physical force".

In Texas, one may draw if force is required without being guilty of having used deadly force. One can only imagine the circumstance that necessitated that provision.

On top of that , one presumes that no one would draw a gun simply to threaten, without being prepared to shoot if necessary--and if justified, of course. So the question would seem to be, can you shoot if you are outnumbered by unarmed persons?

Maybe or maybe not. It would depend on the circumstances.

Here are a couple of links worth studying. Read the articles all all the way through at least once.

http://www.useofforce.us/

Relevant excerpt:

Your attacker must have the ability—the physical, practical ability—to cause you harm. Common sense applies here, as does context. A gun gives your attacker ability (lethal ability, in fact); a knife gives ability as well. Indeed, most weapons qualify, all the way down to glass bottles, baseball bats, and screwdrivers. While the latter are not designed as weapons, if they are applied as such, they can certainly kill you just as dead.

Other “ability” considerations include disparity in size or physical power between you and your attacker—a very large man versus a very small man, a strong man versus a cripple, a trained fighter versus a bookworm, a man versus a woman, all can apply. And don’t forget disparity in numbers—four men attacking one can very easily kill or cripple, unless that one is a Hollywood action hero.

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

Relevant excerpt:
d. Excessive force
1) You may not use force greater than that offered by the antagonist.
2) The level and amount of force may not exceed that which is required to reduce the threat to an acceptable level.
3) Any blow delivered that is outside the requirements of “necessity” is not justified.


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

Relevant excerpts:

The AOJ Triad
Reasonableness can be hard to quantify. The attorney may wish to look at the factors self-defense trainers teach their students. Self-defense trainers refer to adversaries or aggressors who have the ability and opportunity to cause harm, and reasonable people who, observing the aggressive conduct, believe they are in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury. Essentially, these factors (called the AOJ triad) restate the common law of self-defense.

Ability means the aggressor has the capacity to kill or seriously injure the defender. The attorney should ask the jury to consider relative age, strength, gender, training, level of aggressiveness, weapons, number of aggressors versus number of defenders, etc.

Opportunity means the aggressor is in a position to use his ability. Look at distance, obstacles between the aggressor and defender, cover, and escape routes. An aggressor armed with a firearm has a greater opportunity to harm a defender at range than one armed with a baseball bat.

Jeopardy means that the aggressor’s behavior would lead the defender, and a reasonable observer, to conclude the defender is in imminent danger. Look to threats, gestures, and sudden movement towards the defender. Also consider the defender’s age, fitness, and health. If the defender was injured or was unable to flee due to ill health or disability, he or she might have been in jeopardy earlier than a healthy or uninjured person.14

Experts who train civilians (non-police officers) also include a fourth factor — preclusion. The defender must be precluded from retreating in complete safety. (See “Duty to Retreat” below.)
In questioning the client, the attorney is not looking for the client’s conclusion that he was in danger from the aggressor. Instead, the attorney is looking for the observations that led the client to that conclusion. What did the aggressor say and do that showed he or she was dangerous? Members of the jury should come to see the situation as it appeared to the client. They should come to the conclusion that the aggressor intended to seriously injure or kill the client, and that there was no option other than the use of deadly force.

I strongly recommend discussing the matter with an experienced local criminal trial attorney rather than relying on a lay interpretation.

I hope this proves helpful.

Creature
March 31, 2009, 02:10 PM
Where I live, a civilian cannot "exhibit" a gun "in angry or threatening manner" except while engaged in a lawful act of self defense.

For me that means I will not draw unless I can legally shoot. And as a matter of fact, I won't draw unless I intend to shoot if necessary. That doesn't mean that I will shoot, because the threat may dissipate.

You are missing the spirit of the law. Drawing your weapon in fear is NOT the same as "in an angry or threatening manner" while engaged in a lawful act of self defense. You may draw your weapon if you feel or believe that you might need to employ your weapon in self defense (or the defense of another person) from serious bodily harm or death. If you wait until you need to shoot before drawing your weapon, there is a good possibility that it is already too late. It is my belief that the continuum of force should not have drawing my firearm and discharging my firearm on the same level.

OldMarksman
March 31, 2009, 03:18 PM
You are missing the spirit of the law.

How so?

Drawing your weapon in fear is NOT the same as "in an angry or threatening manner" while engaged in a lawful act of self defense.

I agree. The law says that I may present the weapon for the purpose of lawful self defense--and no other. If I am engaged in a lawful act of self defense, however, I must reasonably believe that the use of deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm. That is, that the assailants have the ability and opportunity to harm or kill me, that I am in jeapardy, and unless I am in my house, car, or other shelter, I cannot safely retreat. Being "fearful" of what might unfold is not sufficient.

You may draw your weapon if you feel or believe that you might need to employ your weapon in self defense (or the defense of another person) from serious bodily harm or death.

"Might need to employ?" No, the way the code reads, I cannot exhibit the weapon in a threatening manner (and how else would drawing it in a "street situation" be interpreted?) unless I am engaged in a lawful act of self defense. The threat must be imminent, not potential, or I am not engaged in a lawful act of self-defense, according to my training an lay understanding.

If you wait until you need to shoot before drawing your weapon, there is a good possibility that it is already too late.

The question of when you do need to shoot is key. That's one reason the Tueller Drill is taught.

When I took my state-required CCW course and got my carry endorsement, this issue was the most troubling to me.

I've done two things: Switch to pocket carry, which allows me to get my hand on the gun without giving away my intent, shortening the time required to draw and shoot; and I carry a Kimber Pepper Blaster, which provides for an effective but less than lethal force option in circumstances that may later be seen as questionable.

It is my belief that the continuum of force should not have drawing my firearm and discharging my firearm on the same level.

I agree with your thought, and that was in fact the main argument of the supporters that Janet Napolitano recently vetoed in Arizona. A majority of the legislators not only agreed with you, but they agreed that existing law was not appropriate and that citizens were subject to prosecution if they judged wrong in drawing. Gov. Napolitano disagreed and vetoed the bill on the basis of the argument that people would be drawing guns when it was not necessary.

In our course, we were told that drawing without imminent threat, etc, would not only violate the section of the weapons law that I have quoted, but could also bring about civil and criminal assault charges. There have been threads on this and other fora on the subject of when it is too early to draw and when it is too late. It's a real dilemma.

Only S&W and Me
March 31, 2009, 07:21 PM
With all the talk about pulling prematurely and brandishing etc, do you really believe the "low life" causing the threatening situation is going to call the LEO on you and document your words/actions etc, when he/they know they are the aggressor? I highly highly doubt it. These people are low life, and want nothing to do with the law. Thus, an honest CCW holder minding his own business should be able to do what he needs to do to stop the situation threat. If he needs to pull early, then it should be justified. This does not mean he has to fire unless he needs to.

csmsss
March 31, 2009, 07:54 PM
With all the talk about pulling prematurely and brandishing etc, do you really believe the "low life" causing the threatening situation is going to call the LEO on you and document your words/actions etc, when he/they know they are the aggressor? I highly highly doubt it. These people are low life, and want nothing to do with the law. Thus, an honest CCW holder minding his own business should be able to do what he needs to do to stop the situation threat. If he needs to pull early, then it should be justified. This does not mean he has to fire unless he needs to.I would assume NOTHING in this situation. For all you know the police will arrive and will have to sort things out based on conflicting stories from you and your adversary/adversaries, as well as, possibly, witness statements - many of said witnesses possibly being unfriendly to you. They are not allowed to make their determination based on their personal opinion of who the "good guy" is. Likely they will drag BOTH of you to jail. Most folks of civil temperament and disposition would likely be horrified at the prospect of sweating it out in a holding cell. Anything I can do to avoid such an unsettling prospect, I'm going to do. In this case, that means not drawing my carry pistol unless and until I have identified an actual threat to my life or someone else's, or my property.

Creature
March 31, 2009, 09:16 PM
How so?
...did you read the rest of my post??


No, the way the code reads, I cannot exhibit the weapon in a threatening manner (and how else would drawing it in a "street situation" be interpreted?) unless I am engaged in a lawful act of self defense.

You're missing that it all depends on who is actually doing the threatening. You would be drawing your weapon because you are feeling threatened with imminent bodily harm or death. That is much different because you are not drawing your weapon to threaten anyone. You pull your gun because you expected you might need to use it to defend your life. It very simple actually and your lawyer will, if you did your part correctly, will have no trouble proving this to a jury of your peers if you end up in court. Figuring out what you feel is "Imminent Threat" is what you will have to square in your mind beforehand.

Tennessee Gentleman
March 31, 2009, 09:35 PM
Switch to pocket carry, which allows me to get my hand on the gun without giving away my intent, shortening the time required to draw and shoot;

Exactly my thinking. I think that is the best way to carry a firearm concealed for those reasons. Plus with a revolver (which I carry) you can shoot through the pocket as well.

As to the other arguments it seems that if the elements necessary for self defense are present then drawing to hold your attacker at bay would seem prudent. Of course, factors like distance and numbers may "shorten" the time you have to react and why I too like pocket carry. The fastest draw I have heard is when you have your hand on the gun.

As to pepper spray there are some who swear by it and some who swear at it. I've been hit with it and could have fought through it if I wanted to badly enough.

OldMarksman
March 31, 2009, 09:43 PM
You're missing that it all depends on who is actually doing the threatening. You would be drawing your weapon because you are feeling threatened with imminent bodily harm or death. That is much different because you are not drawing your weapon to threaten anyone.

Well, "feeling" is not the determining factor, but if you have reasonable belief that there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, you're OK. Of course, others will have to agree that the evidence was such that a reasonable person would have come to the same conclusion.

You pull your gun because you expected you might need to use it to defend your life.

"You pull your gun because you expected you might need to use it?" Where on earth did you get that idea? Best that you consult an attorney before carrying.

It very simple actually and your lawyer will, if you did your part correctly, will have no trouble proving this to a jury of your peers if you end up in court.

That will depend entirely on what evidence you are able to produce. Your attorney cannot create evidence that did not exist at the time.

Taking the point of view of the other party, you need to realize that if you or I were to draw a gun whenever we "felt threatened," it could well be reasonably be judged that we were the aggressors. That would not only deny us the ability to justify our actions on the basis of self defense, it might well give the other party the legal justification for using deadly force against us.

Think about it--or better yet, and once more, consult a criminal trial attorney.

Creature
March 31, 2009, 09:55 PM
Well, "feeling" is not the determining factor, but if you have reasonable belief that there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, you're OK.

Uh...yes, "feeling" is the determining factor. Belief is feeling! If you FEEL that your life is being threatened, then you are within your rights to draw your weapon. And if you feel threatened enough, you are justified in shooting.

"You pull your gun because you expected you might need to use it?" Where on earth did you get that idea? Best that you consult an attorney before carrying.
I see. You must be able to read the minds of the bad guys as to when they are a threat and when they are just kidding. Being that I am not a mind reader, I will be pulling my weapon based on the signals and body gestures coming from the bad guy which indicate a threat towards me. Based on enough accumulated threatening gestures, there will be a point where I will feel justified in shooting to stop the threat.

orionengnr
March 31, 2009, 10:07 PM
"Feeeeeling" works on Oprah, or on Dr. Phil.

Being able to articulate a reasonable fear for one's life is what will get you through the day.

Most all states predicate their laws on "what a reasonable person would do", and not what "a blissninny might feel".

Thank God.
Have a nice day :)

Creature
March 31, 2009, 10:15 PM
"Feeeeeling" works on Oprah, or on Dr. Phil.

Being able to articulate a reasonable fear for one's life is what will get you through the day.

Most all states predicate their laws on "what a reasonable person would do", and not what "a blissninny might feel".

This is amazing. Okay...lemme try:

Prosecutor: "Why did you pull your gun"

Defendant: "Because I felt that I was in danger."

Prosecutor: "Why did you shoot?"

Defendant: "Because I felt that if I didn't shoot, I was about to be killed or hurt very badly."

Wow. That was hard.

orionengnr
April 1, 2009, 09:15 AM
Okay...my turn:

Prosecutor: "Why did you pull your gun"

Defendant: "I was in fear for my life."

Prosecutor: "Why did you shoot?"

Defendant: "If I didn't shoot, I was about to be killed or hurt very badly."

No "feeeelings" required. Succint. Articulate. Reasonable. Statements of fact.

csmsss
April 1, 2009, 09:28 AM
Prosecutor: "Why did you pull your gun"

Defendant: "I was in fear for my life."

Prosecutor: "Why did you shoot?"

Defendant: "If I didn't shoot, I was about to be killed or hurt very badly."Substitute "Defense Attorney" for "Prosecutor" in the text above, and sure...a direct examination might go that way. Cross-examination, on the other hand? Not a chance. You as a defendant will not be given the opportunity to make such short, succinct declaratory statements in your own defense. You will be asked to provide very explicit, detailed information about the shooting and the events that preceded it. You will be grilled over ANY contradictory statements you may have made to the police, if you were foolish enough to make any statements to them, that is. The prosecutor will require you to elaborate exactly what was so threatening about the particular individual and event, and will go to great pain to show the jury that you had other means of avoiding the shooting that you chose not to pursue. You will probably be grilled about your choice of firearm, choice of ammunition, and why you were where you happened to be at that time, particularly if it wasn't a place you frequent.

In short, should you ever face trial for shooting someone and have the unfortunate experience of taking the stand in your own defense, you had best get ready for the second-worst experience of your life.

orionengnr
April 1, 2009, 09:37 AM
...and if I have acted in accordance with the laws of my state, it will never get past the Grand Jury. :)

We have drifted far afield here, and I apologize for my part in it. I'm done.

GetYerShells
April 1, 2009, 09:38 AM
Making a phone call is a lot better than shooting someone. You should have made a beeline to your house while calling the cops.

Yes I agree that a cell phone call to the cops would have been my first move before drawing my weapon, but why on earth would you want to put your back to your threat? That leaves you open to get mugged. Never turn your back to a perceived threat...that's not very smart. I would have walked backwards to my front door with my phone to my face, and my hand on my gun.

OldMarksman
April 1, 2009, 11:55 AM
Being that I am not a mind reader, I will be pulling my weapon based on the signals and body gestures coming from the bad guy which indicate a threat towards me. Based on enough accumulated threatening gestures, there will be a point where I will feel justified in shooting to stop the threat.

I suggest that you study the papers linked in Post 45 very carefully.

Here's another relevant excerpt from one of them, which was written for attorneys defending justifiable use of force cases.

In the vast majority of states, the basic elements of self-defense by means of deadly force (firearms and other weapons) include:

The client had reasonable grounds to believe he or she was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Heated words, vague threats, and the possibility of future harm are not enough. The harm must be serious and imminent.

The client actually believed that he or she, or a third person, was in such imminent danger. Establishing this subjective belief often requires the client to testify.

The danger was such that the client could only save himself or herself by the use of deadly force. Some states do not require the defendant to retreat, even if he or she can do so safely. Most states do not require the defendant to retreat if he is in his own home defending against someone who is unlawfully present. Law enforcement officers are not required to retreat.

The client had to use no more force than was necessary in all the circumstances of the case.

Now, that's just about what orionengnr said, but don't forget this little detail:

At a minimum, the defense must include some evidence, generally viewed in the light most favorable to the defense, on each of these factors in order to receive an appropriate jury instruction.

Thus, your statement that you reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger may well prove insufficient in avoiding charges, avoiding indictment, or prevailing in a trial court. I wouldn't want to have to rely on my testimony alone, particularly if my actions had been based on " 'signals and body gestures' coming from the 'bad guy' which 'indicate a threat' towards me."

The DA can be expected to try produce evidence that contradicts your testimony (that's his job). Say, an eyewitness or two who testify that they saw you draw and if you fired, saw that, but could not convincingly describe anything to evidence a compelling reason justifying your action.

Those may include those against whom you drew your gun. They'll clean up very well and do very well on the stand after coaching. Do not assume that you will be regarded as the "good guy."

So, when to draw? That was the original question.

The attorney needs to establish that the danger was imminent. Insults do not pose a danger. Threats, even credible ones, do not constitute an immediate danger. Claiming to have a weapon is not an imminent danger.

The answer will depend on the situation. Too late and it's curtains. To soon and it may well be bars. Study the Tueller Drill. Remember that Tueller's advice to draw soon if the situation appears dangerous was intended for peace officers, who may do so.

What to do? Try to defuse; try to avoid, even if your state law doesn't have a retreat requirement; and be able to draw and fire very quickly indeed should the need arise. Finally, after the event, follow these steps:


Be the first to calll the police; describe yourself and stay on the line; do not have a gun in your hand when the police arrive.
When the police arrive, point out the attacker, identify yourself as the victim, and say that you will sign the complaint.
Point out the evidence and the witnesses.
Promise your cooperation in twenty four hours after you have conferred with counsel and say no more.

Creature
April 1, 2009, 11:59 AM
I suggest that you study the papers linked in Post 45 very carefully.

I suggest you reread what I wrote very closely.

OldMarksman
April 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
I suggest you reread what I wrote very closely.

Just what is it that you think I'm missing?

You have contended "If you FEEL that your life is being threatened, then you are within your rights to draw your weapon. And if you feel threatened enough, you are justified in shooting."

You have said that you would draw and fire response in to "accumulated threatening gestures."

You have said "You may draw your weapon if you feel or believe that you might need to employ your weapon in self defense (or the defense of another person) from serious bodily harm or death".

All of those points would seem to be contradicted in the authoritative literature and all would seem to be a quick formula for the loss of a personal fortune, personal freedom, and a clean record.

If you feel I have missed something of importance or misinterpreted your views, let me know, but at this point winning an argument is not what you need to do. You need to gain an understanding of what you may and may not do with a deadly weapon, and if the posted articles don't help you in that regard, you should contact a local criminal trial attorney with a good record. Expect to pay a couple of C-notes or more. It will be an excellent investment.

Creature
April 1, 2009, 01:12 PM
Well since your the expert, perhaps you should post your phone number so that if any of us ever encounter a situation where we feel threatened with bodily harm or death, we can can call and run it by you just to make sure we are justified in pulling our weapon...

Tennessee Gentleman
April 1, 2009, 01:52 PM
To Creature and OldMarksman: call me crazy but aren't you kind of saying the same thing. I think the operative words are feel or believe

Here is Merriam's Defintion:
feel : to be aware of by instinct or inference b: believe , think <say what you really feel>intransitive verb

Isn't that the standard what a Reasonable Man would believe?

Creature
April 1, 2009, 01:54 PM
To Creature and OldMarksman: call me crazy but aren't you kind of saying the same thing. I think the operative words are feel or believe

Yep...he just hasnt figured that out yet.

David Armstrong
April 1, 2009, 02:35 PM
You have contended "If you FEEL that your life is being threatened, then you are within your rights to draw your weapon. And if you feel threatened enough, you are justified in shooting."
Don't forget to throw into the mix that your "feeling" still must rise to a reasonable belief in most states. My daughter had a feeling there was somebody fighting with a dog on her deck last night, but there was nothing to raise that feeling to a reasonable belief.

Tennessee Gentleman
April 1, 2009, 03:02 PM
Yep...he just hasnt figured that out yet.

Look out! You might be having a severe case of agreement:D

BTW officially believe and feel are synonyms.

OldMarksman
April 1, 2009, 05:20 PM
feel : to be aware of by instinct or inference b: believe , think <say what you really feel>intransitive verb

Yes, those are some dictionary definitions. There's even one that implies that the two are synonyms. But they are not. It's simply that there is an overlap. There are differences.

Some state laws even use the words "fear" or "feel". Most do not, however.

The subject of the difference between feeling and reasonable belief as it pertains to justifying homicide has been discussed many times on this and other forums. I do not have the time or inclination to find some of the older postings by attorneys that discuss that subject.

However, David Armstrong's explanation should suffice quite well:

Don't forget to throw into the mix that your "feeling" still must rise to a reasonable belief in most states.

Another way to look at that is that the extent to which threatening gestures may have made me feel afraid may not really matter very much at all.

I learned in working directly for the chief counsel of a major business for a couple of years and closely with the law department for a couple of dozen that it usually isn't very wise at all for a lay person to try to interpret the law.

Don't rely on my credibility for that. Here's a paper from Arizona attorney Michael Anthony that is on the Arizona CCW web site:

http://ccw.azdps.gov/procedures/documents/ccw_legal.pdf

You should not assume that you understand a criminal statute by
merely reading it. Courts determine the meaning of criminal statutes, and they sometimes do so with bizarre results. If a criminal statute is too
confusing, or if it conflicts with higher laws, such as the Constitution, the
courts may decide that the statute is ineffective, partially unenforceable or
wholly unenforceable. The legal principles used by the courts to interpret
the meaning of criminal statutes have evolved over centuries, and scholars argue endlessly over how the laws should be interpreted. In other words, you should not assume that you understand the meaning of a criminal law by simply reading a statute and attaching your own meaning or dictionary definitions to it.

The rest of the paper is worth reading even if you do not live in Arizona. Who knows, the reader just might learn something worthwhile.

Here's an excerpt that I think closely matches the OP's scenario; see page 39:

You are walking through a shopping mall with your spouse, child or date, and three young males, wearing gang "colors," are walking toward you. As the three young males walk past you, one of them bumps your shoulder. He immediately turns, flashes a gang sign, "flips you the bird," and starts yelling at you. He uses more profanity than you have ever heard before, and he directs it at you and your spouse, child or date. You ignore him and start to walk away, but he and the other two young males follow. Now, You ignore him and start to walk away, but he and the other two, young, males follow. Now, they are all yelling at you and cursing you. They walk circles around you as you walk down the mall. They dare you to "step outside," and they graphically describe how they are going to "cut" you and your spouse, child or date. No one comes forward to help, and there are no security personnel or police in view. You are carrying a loaded pistol under your jacket. One of the young males approaches within two inches of your face and screams that he is going to kill you. KEEP YOUR COOL! If you pull your gun and shoot, you will not be justified. Until you are threatened with imminent death or serious physical injury, you cannot use deadly force. Do not display your gun - that is aggravated assault. Do not tell the youths that you are armed - that gives away a tactical advantage (surprise) and may cause the situation to escalate. [I]Even if one of the youths shoves you, keep your cool and your balance! Rather than letting the anger build, start planning "what if." Plan what you will do if one of the youths pulls a knife, if one pulls a gun, if more than one pulls knives or guns, if one produces a club, etc. ... Maximize your distance from the youths. ... Even if one of the youths shoves you, keep your cool and your balance! Rather than letting the anger build, start planning "what if." Plan what you will do if one of the youths pulls a knife, if one pulls a gun, if more than one pulls knives or guns, if one produces a club, etc. Think it through and look for tactical advantage. What escape routes are available? What cover is available? Which of the youths is closest? Keep a clear view of all three youths! Maximize your distance from the youths. ... Can you use deadly force without hitting someone else; if so, how do you need to improve your position; if not, can you move into a position where use of deadly force and risk of harm to bystanders is minimized? In short, think, plan and stay cool, but remember that mere words never justify the use of deadly force.


Scary, eh? Would you feel threatened? I sure would. Would you feel threatened with imminent death or serious bodily harm? No less so, I would guess, than if they had merely made "threatening gestures."

Does the attorney conclude that deadly force would be justified by the threats and shoves? NO!

He does not even believe that you can legally draw, which was the OPs original question.

Does that coincide with your preconceptions? It sure didn't match what I thought before I took my CCW training!

Is it relevant to the OP's question?

Does anyone doubt it's credibility and validity, as it would apply in Arizona?

Is it right? Well, the Arizona legislature saw fit last year to change the law to change the liability for drawing a gun, but the governor disagreed.

I really wish the rest of us had a state resource such as this. Where I live, getting the CCW endorsement requires the completion of an eight hour course, and about half of that pertains to the law and such things as what happens after a shooting. This Arizona write-up is superb.

ElectricHellfire
April 1, 2009, 06:42 PM
Creature,

I don't follow. Here, you say that if you feel threatened with imminent bodily harm or death then there is justifiable cause to use deadly force.

Here is the interesting part. Just a few hours ago, in another thread (dog shooting thread), you berated me for saying that if someone violently attacked and struck myself or my wife that I did would not have cause to use deadly force and to do so would send me to prison.

You're missing that it all depends on who is actually doing the threatening. You would be drawing your weapon because you are feeling threatened with imminent bodily harm or death.

I'd say a person violently striking me or mine would constitute "imminent bodily harm".

Perhaps you can explain to me how its unlawful to react to an actual tangible threat but lawful to react to a feeling?

Hook686
April 1, 2009, 09:22 PM
creature ... correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not think, 'feeling I threatened' is not a feeling. It might be a personal conclusion, or judgement that results in a feeling, such as fear, anxiety, apprehension ..., but by itself I do not think of it as a feeing.

I'm feeling threatened ? I suggest calling Dr. Phil. I was threatened with great bodily harm, then I suggest calling 911, hunkering down and preparing to defend onself.

"transitive verb
1 a: to handle or touch in order to examine, test, or explore some quality b: to perceive by a physical sensation coming from discrete end organs (as of the skin or muscles)
2 a: to undergo passive experience of b: to have one's sensibilities markedly affected by
3: to ascertain by cautious trial —usually used with out
4 a: to be aware of by instinct or inference b: believe , think <say what you really feel>
intransitive verb
1 a: to receive or be able to receive a tactile sensation b: to search for something by using the sense of touch
2 a: to be conscious of an inward impression, state of mind, or physical condition b: to have a marked sentiment or opinion <feels strongly about it>
3: seem <it feels like spring today>
4: to have sympathy or pity <I feel for you>
— feel like : to have an inclination for <feel like a walk?>"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feel

ElectricHellfire
April 2, 2009, 11:27 PM
Ok then.

OldMarksman
April 7, 2009, 09:27 AM
This input from an actual experience and the resulting legal advice might shed some additional light on things.

A man in Ohio is approached by three youths who stick their heads into the car and ask for money. They show no weapons. He's outnumbered and is disabled.

He points a gun and they leave. Afterwards he is advised by both his attorney and a lead NRA attorney that it would have been a difficult self defense case.

The question of whether he could legally draw does not seem to have come up.

The demeanor of the youths as described in this post does not sound highly threatening to me, but that description is likely not presented in the same manner as it would be to a jury.

Always best to keep asking and learning, I think.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5498377&postcount=6

Marty Hayes
April 7, 2009, 10:06 AM
The varied responses here likely represent the confusion over this subject matter, with that confusion likely being the result of the interpretation of the 50 different laws on the books, along with the different case law of each state.

There is no one clear answer, but instead 50 murky ones.

I say murky because each state's statutes will be interpreted by their state's appellate courts. And, while that is not so bad in itself, the fact remains that the appellate courts can and do change their minds as to what the statutes mean.

My advice is to research your own state's case law on self-defense, and glean from the cases the likely position an appellate court would take on the subject.

Be ready for several hours of intense reading though.

One more thing. Seeking out an attorney to form a client-attorney relationship with regarding your right to self-defense is the right step, but make sure that attorney knows the laws of self-defense in your state. Most criminal defense attorneys do not handle many self-defense cases. Once you do your case law search, and arrange to meet the attorney, make sure he has a list of self-defense cases you would like him to interpret for you. By doing this, you can actually help train the attorney to help you if you need it. A win-win.

BuckHammer
April 7, 2009, 08:24 PM
You should not assume that you understand a criminal statute by
merely reading it. Courts determine the meaning of criminal statutes, and they sometimes do so with bizarre results. If a criminal statute is too
confusing, or if it conflicts with higher laws, such as the Constitution, the
courts may decide that the statute is ineffective, partially unenforceable or
wholly unenforceable. The legal principles used by the courts to interpret
the meaning of criminal statutes have evolved over centuries, and scholars argue endlessly over how the laws should be interpreted. In other words, you should not assume that you understand the meaning of a criminal law by simply reading a statute and attaching your own meaning or dictionary definitions to it.
I love it! So, basically, unless I'm wrong (which is always a big possibility), what a law says may or may not have anything to do with what the law means. That just makes me laugh. What in the world is the point of even having written laws? Basically, a bunch of lawyers (lawmakers) have gotten together (when they make and interpret laws) and simply provided themselves some job security (by requiring citizens to consult a lawyer about each and every single law that they wish to understand). If that were not enough, consultations must be made periodically, since the meaning of each and every single law is subject to change at any time. This sounds like a scheme to me. It is our responsibility to follow the law anyway, I'm just saying that the system frustrates, and sometimes infuriates, me.

I would say that the presence of multiple individuals, when threatening you at the proper level and in the proper manner, would allow you to respond with the use of a firearm.

In a DGU scenario, my primary goal would be to stay alive. This would most likely be accomplished (in a legal DGU scenario) by shooting to stop (almost certainly one or more center of mass shots), which I responsibly understand has a high probability of causing death in the recipient. That's at least how I think about it. I'll shoot to stop, but I'm not trying to fool myself, the shot will likely kill the assailant, but if I'm for some reason not already on the phone to the police, I soon will be, asking them to get an ambulance to my location as soon as possible. If the guy is laying there bleeding, or whatever, I want the guy to make it. I can't just watch the guy die. One reason for me wanting him to survive is that then he can face trial and prosecution for any crimes he may have committed besides the current affair. Real justice, when the system works, is so much more satisfying than street justice. Also (sorry, this is not really on topic, but I think it may help some people understand what I'm trying to say), as a Christian, I want to afford the assailant every possible chance at salvation, although not at my expense.

One thing I just thought about, I should probably not directly provide medical assistance to an assailant that I have shot in order to avoid possible lawsuits (unsatisfactory care or something similar), right? I'm not a lawyer and am interested in what people, preferably experts have to say on this subject. PM me, so as not to hijack the thread.

OldMarksman
April 8, 2009, 10:17 AM
So, basically, unless I'm wrong (which is always a big possibility), what a law says may or may not have anything to do with what the law means.

Well, no, not exactly. What I think Mr. Anthony is saying is threefold: (1) one or more dictionary definitions may not accurately reflect the legal definition; (2) one must interpret each law in the context of all of the relevant laws; and (3) one must take into account legal precedent as reflected in case law.

I invite comments from an attorney on that.

What in the world is the point of even having written laws?

Would you prefer chaos? Read about the origin of the English Common Law.

If that were not enough, consultations must be made periodically, since the meaning of each and every single law is subject to change at any time.

That's an extreme way to put it, but yes, a court decision may render a law unconstiutional, or at least clarify how it may be applied or enforced. Heller, for example. Or the limitation on the admissibility of confessions that came down the other day.

I would say that the presence of multiple individuals, when threatening you at the proper level and in the proper manner, would allow you to respond with the use of a firearm.

Yep. Where the question comes in is in what is "proper." And that's where you have to have more than a lay interpretation.

I don't know about you, but the Arizona state web page example of multiple people threatening and even shoving someone bothers me. Draw and be charged with aggravated assault? The legislature was bothered too, but the governor was OK with it.