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Old November 22, 2012, 08:56 AM   #163
OldMarksman
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Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,987
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Posted by TennJed: The fact that he would do this shows clear unstableness.
We encounter mental instability all the time. Cause for concern, but not necessarily cause for the display of a weapon.

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This lady could only assume what this man's intent was.
Excellent point, and that is the crux of the situation in many self defense scenarios. The consequences of an incorrect assessment can be severe either way.

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Given the fact he has directed his action at her and he is unable to seperate legal from illigal acts (your words) why should she assume he is not dangerous?
She shouldn't, but that's not the question at all. The question is, what would give her reason to believe that he did present a threat of unlawful force, and at that moment.

That's in her jurisdiction. In most states, the threshold would be one of reasonable belief that he had the ability, the opportunity, and the intent to cause death or great bodily harm, and that she had no alternative but to draw.

But one more time, we're basing our discussion of her particular case on news reports, and we just don't know.

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Oldmarksman, if I came across as saying it was legally justified then that was not my intent. You may very well be correct about this type of situation as it stands in a court of law.
That was the original question.

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....I would want my loved ones to put their safety first.
A good way to do that would be to have the firearm ready first, which she did not; to warn the man, not threaten him with blowing his brains out; and to get out of there while exercising extreme vigilance.

Taking a chance on losing one's ability to own a firearm does not promote one's safety.

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We obviously differ on his mental state and potential danger.
Not necessarily. But the key question is one of an immediate threat, not "potential danger."

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I just feel sexual assault tends to be one type of activity that has more potential to be violent and dangerous.
I have observed persons performing the same act as the perp discussed here three or four times in the last four decades. None of them attacked anyone physically, or even appeared to pose such a threat. Had I pulled a gun on any of them, I would not be carrying one now.

On the other hand, I have seen individuals watching women walking to their cars and looking around for witnesses; I have stopped a robbery by recognizing the signs; my doctor's wife has witnessed two car-jackings in the same place. These were the dangerous ones.

And again, potential does not justify drawing a firearm in any state or US territory.

The point is to draw when you have to and to do so timely, and to not draw when you don't have to.

A high court ruling in one state really got my attention. The ruling was that if someone pointed a gun when it was not justified, the other person, even if in violation of a law, could justify the lawful shooting the first person as self defense.

There is a natural tendency for people here to identify with, and have sympathy for, someone who has employed a firearm in some kind of encounter. We've seen it in the case of a pharmacist who shot a robber and was later convicted of first degree murder; that of a person who pointed a gun at a trespasser and received a mandatory prison sentence; of someone who shot a teen who had fled from his house; and in cases still pending. We need to be more objective and to avoid that tendency.
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