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Old September 27, 2010, 08:22 AM   #26
LordTio3
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Quote:
Quote:
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Originally Posted by pax
"Feeling" you are in danger does not justify using any level of force, let alone lethal force. Reasonably believing you are in danger does.

The two are not synonymous.
For all practical (and, in the context of this discussion) legal purposes, they ARE synonymous.
I have to agree with pax here, as I don't think you completely grasped what she was saying. The discrepancy was not between using "feel" and "believe";
it was the idea of reasonably believing that you are in danger. Someone who is operating under what society and the general public (that a jury may be composed of) believe to be a REASONABLE belief is acting rationally and understandably. Someone who is acting upon their emotions may or may not act in accordance with what society perceives as appropriate behavior, as people's emotions about very similar things can vary wildly between individuals, in direct contrast to what is reasonable or rational/logical.

"Reasonable" is a useful tool that is very commonly used in all levels of litigation, prosecution, and legislation. I would be quite surprised if you found the word "Feel" anywhere in there.

To the OP: I believe this individual gave you Reasonable Suspicion to the point that you were justified in confronting him. I would have turned, looked him dead in the eye and told him (just like pax said) in a stern and loud tone, "Stop. Don't come any closer to me." If he came any closer, I'd have gone through my unlock codes...

1. Distance, eyes, surroundings, intent...
2. Where are his hands?
3. Does he have a weapon?
4. How big is he, does he carry himself well, strength, speed, BMI?
5. Assess course of action...

This should take about a second before you decide how to act, but you should NEVER turn your back or CONTINUE TO PRESENT your back to a person of which you are suspicious. If they have given you reason to feel threatened or suspicious, you have every right to confront that person and "get to the bottom of it". It could be a complete mis-understanding, or it could be that you need to defend your life and quickly. That is the particular chance that I'll not be taking by ignoring them.

If you made a quick get-away, then I'd say you handled it fine. If this guy what close enough to lunge at you with a weapon you hadn't seen previously, and you had your back turned to walk away, I'd call you very lucky and ask you to never do that again. As for pulling your gun... well, now you know the value of having it "readily accessable". You should almost never pull until you've confronted or been confronted. And then, you will probably be pulling very quickly. So adjust your carry method as needed.

I'm glad you made it home. Make it a habbit.

~LT3
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:05 AM   #27
pax
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LordTio3 nailed it. In order to justify using any level of force (including deadly force) fear is necessary. But the feeling of fear is not -- on its own -- sufficient to make your act justified or justifiable. If the assailant's action merits a deadly-force response, fear will be present, but the feeling by itself is not enough to justify using force. What justifies using force is your reasonable belief that you are in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.

Some state statutes use the language "bare fear" and contrast that with "reasonable fear." The distinction is that the feeling of fear alone ('bare' fear) isn't enough to justify your actions. Only reasonable belief (sometimes called 'reasonable fear') that your life is in danger justifies a deadly force reaction.

Bare fear, a feeling of fear by itself, isn't enough -- no matter how strongly or genuinely you feel that emotion.

See, for example, http://www.c2csecurity.com/NRS_FOR_CCWS.pdf -- at NRS 200.130

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Last edited by pax; September 27, 2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:33 AM   #28
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What if's are the lifeblood of the internet forums. There are a few things to point out from this real life encounter.

The individual was aggressive. What caused that, don't know, they were willing to make contact. Contact made, the response will be bare hand combatives, in whatever level of force seems justified. The push off worked. Had it not, going for a gun would weaken the stance to defend against a counterattack.

Most gun guys miss that. Grabbing for a weapon takes that arm and hand out of play. It can't be used to deflect or punch. Since lethal force wasn't in play, going to lethal force wasn't justified. Had the aggressor pulled a gun, it would still be the better option to physically strike the aggressor to prevent them using it - disarm or mortal blow.

If combatives aren't studied, then it's likely a really aggressive and experienced fighter would get the upper hand while the other reached for a weapon. The advantage of a gun is there IF IN THE HAND, going for it is the disadvantage.

It's been said a handgun is a tool to fight your way to a rifle, step that down, combatives are the tool to fight your way to the handgun.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:02 AM   #29
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On the way home I began to wonder how quickly I could have retrieved the gun from the cargo pocket if he had indeed produced a weapon or physically attacked me.
You should have already known the answer to that question.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:12 AM   #30
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I have a "feeling" that the oft-quoted term "reasonable belief" is not worth the time it takes to type it unless you are very knowledgeable of the society in which your trial might occur.

I could take you into communities within Tennessee where where the act of merely pushing someone in an angry manner will substantiate the existence of the "reasonable belief" of danger of serious injury or death. On the other hand, I suspect that there are other areas of our country where the use of a gun to fend off an knife attack would be counsidered inappropriate because of an escalation of force.

It is a good thing to be aware of the language of the law. It is not a good thing to assume that it replaces your own judgement when it comes to your self-protection. Hopefully, knowledge and judgement combined will keep you out of both jail and the hospital (or morgue!).
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:16 AM   #31
STEINER
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You did the right thing.
We live next to the river and good weather pretty much all year.
The people "down and out" live over the levee. They hang out begging around the fast foods and 7/eleven within walking distance to the bushes at the river.
I have never had to deal with someone getting physical yet, I got a feelin' that if I drew a handgun on one of them, they would probably not care.
They don't value life like you do.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:38 AM   #32
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kraigwy, I think you did the right thing, given what you knew at the time and the resources that you had. I'd also strongly recommend that you consider carrying, not just a handgun, but some less-lethal means of self defense such as pepper spray. I carry both, and this story explains one of the reasons I do. There are plenty of situations that don't justify lethal force, but that are unpleasant, ugly, and do justify non-lethal means of self defense.

Aggressive panhandling or an encounter with a mentally disturbed persons are among them. Even if the law allowed me to shoot when somebody deliberately grabs at me without my permission on the street, I couldn't justify shooting at the person that did it unless the size disparity or some other factor made it a credible threat of death or great bodily harm. An unpleasant encounter is *not* the same thing. You can't justify shooting to prevent an unpleasant encounter on the streets.

But you could justify giving somebody who behaved as your harrasser did a faceful of pepper spray, and could probably also justify defending yourself with a taser. Even better, in most cases that would end the encounter quickly and with no permanent harm done to anybody.

It's all about keeping the response proportional to the threat.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:41 AM   #33
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Southern Rebel,

My point was that if you're not aware of the rules of engagement, and instead just fly by your "feelings," you're likely to end up in a lot of trouble. Your guts should inform your reactions, not dictate them.

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Old September 27, 2010, 10:43 AM   #34
michael t
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I did have a handgun in a pocket holster inside one of the large pockets in a pair of cargo shorts.
I think you did fine Other than you now realize that those cargo pockets are not place for a pistol. If you going to pocket carry use a pocket. I like a front pocket As stated Your hand on gun ,but no threat shown . Or carry IWB . Carry where you can reach quickly . That's not cargo pocket or ankle .
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Old September 27, 2010, 12:08 PM   #35
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I'm going to agree. Front pocket. You need to be able to access the pistol in the critical moment, no questions asked.

According to the law in my state if you "feel" (And that is the word used) that you are at risk of loosing life or limb, you are justified. However you are expected to be responsible and you are held accountable for each round fired so spray and pray in my state is just plain stupid.

The instructor I have feels the same as I do. You build your case as it happens. He had a similar situation downtown in a parking garage. What he did was grab the pistol grip. The homeless guy saw him do it and left. He gave him an out.

Truth is, no one knows what they will do till it happens. About all you can ask for is to remember what your class covered and by the grace of God, no need to use a pistol.

So you just have to go over the laws in your own state and what took place and see if you can learn something or if you did it right.
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Old September 27, 2010, 03:12 PM   #36
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FoxtrotRomeo,

Which state, please? I'd like to look up the law you're talking about.

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Old September 27, 2010, 03:15 PM   #37
Jeremiah/Az
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I'm glad that it worked out well for you. I carry a small can of pepper spray on my belt in a small holster type carrier. With all the things people have on their belts now, no one will even notice. I am a firm believer in strong eye contact & point my finger at them if they are very aggressive & tell them that they will get pepper sprayed if they continue toward me. This will draw attention to the situation by witnesses. The gun is the very last resort.
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Old September 27, 2010, 03:31 PM   #38
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Although he never threatened me
Then whats the big deal? Do analyze every confrontation? or person you meet you dont know? You did right by not shooting him.


I was attacked in a mickeyDs once. Older guy at counter giving new cashier trouble, young African American behind grill offered the cashier some steps to ring older guy out. Older guy says something real bad to young guy behind grill, I say to my friend "thing about these old bigots is they will soon die off and we can all live like God intended" older guy hits me upside my head with his tray of hot food and COFFEE I picked up older guy (he was 6'6 and built good) slammed him onto a table and told him I dont work here you cant treat me like that. About 10 of my friends grabbed me and pulled me off, police came and took older guy away. I got free breakfast, was in bellevue NE 36th and hwy 370.

Never once did I feel I needed a gun.

I used to get into this stuff a lot when younger.

Last week I was at a stop lite, lite turns green, I proceed thru the lite a car runs the red and I hit him. Totalled out his car, he calls his uncle (owner of car) then his girlfriend, then 10 other calls, I didnt have a cell on me and asked him to call 911 several times. Jeep wagoneer pulls up 2 guys get out. Both have cells, neither one would call 911, wanted my insurance information. I explained I would show it to the police officer that responded to the 911 call one of them had to make. Young guy gets in my face, wants card and info now. I was looking down at him, told him he best back off or I would beat him, the other two and everyone he knows ass.

I then explained the kid run a red lite, Iwas going to the hospital and get a full exam, take my truck and get the license plate holder fixed (only thing wrong with my truck) and the er folks would call 911 for me and he best have insurance on the kid was driving. Uncle told them at this point to shut the hell up, I walked to a store to call 911, guys left in a hurry, car was still there 3 days later. Filed a report with the county sherriff.

Never once did I feel the need for a gun.

Maybe I was raised up in a time when we didnt worry about what ifs, we take it head on and do what needs to be done, not fearing everyone we meet.

But then again I was 3 times the size of them fellars......
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Old September 27, 2010, 03:48 PM   #39
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If he laid a hand on you that would have given you the right to break his nose.
Gotta love it when people reveal their civility.

How about using a wrist lock on someone who comes at you aggressively and lays hands on you? Armbar? Crossface?

Theres a plethora of ways to address such a situation, without having to risk being charged with an assault, or brandishing a handgun.

When all you have in your tool belt is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, right? How about adding a few other tools to YOUR belt?
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:51 PM   #40
Southern Rebel
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PAX,

I think we are close to saying the same thing. Your point is well-taken as to reacting based totally on gut feelings. I am just emphasing that "reasonable" tends to relate more to the judgement of jury members as to it's meaning as opposed to a nice, clear legal definition (if there ever is such an animal!).
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:30 PM   #41
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Southern Rebel,

Gotta agree with that -- and you make a good point, too.

Thanks.

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Old September 27, 2010, 11:36 PM   #42
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Incident at MacDonald's

1st thing, Stay out of MacDonald's. That **** will kill you. :< )
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Old September 28, 2010, 06:16 AM   #43
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markj,

Please tell me the make of your truck which totaled out a car but got only the license plate holder bent.

OR, where can I get a license plate holder like that?

Clay
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Old September 28, 2010, 06:48 AM   #44
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Agree with Ricky, stay out of McD's. You should feel far more threatened by what they're serving than what anybody in the parking lot can do to you.

---

Let me summarize pax's comment for us those who can't memorize all the specific commands and distances:

1) Say "No thanks, pal." Replace with your choice words, as deemed necessary.

2) Yell "Shove off!" Combine with appropriate hand signals for your region/ethnicity.

3) If touched, yell "Go hug yourself!" (see above)

4) If that doesn't work, hopefully you have some knuckle game. Drop him and be on your way. If not, I guess you could use pepper or whatever else people like to carry these days but rarely if ever train with.


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Old September 28, 2010, 06:57 AM   #45
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booker_t,

Simpler still: as they get closer, you get louder.

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Old September 28, 2010, 07:05 AM   #46
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Yes!

I was out in Baltimore at a little dive bar nearly 15 years ago with a college friend. Maybe 8 people in the place total. Her and I were near the door minding our business and a group of college-age boys came in, clearly they've been bar-crawling and were quite charged that evening.

They put some songs on the juke box that the locals didn't particularly like, and one of them (a late-30s female) made an off-color comment. Apparently she couldn't wait 2min30sec for the song to end. The energized young men started to puff their chests out and verbally engage with the local and her boyfriend.

After about a minute of shouting, the cook (a 6'2" 230lb bearded man, built like John Henry) came out through the swinging doors yielding a Louisville Slugger and yelled, "AY! I'm the only one who gets loud in here!!"

The place fell silent, the young chaps dropped $20 on the bar, downed their libations and hit the road! It was a spectacular show.
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Old September 28, 2010, 02:59 PM   #47
markj
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Please tell me the make of your truck which totaled out a car but got only the license plate holder bent.
Uh it was broke off the front of the truck, it is a 97 chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 ext cab short box. Hit the car right at the rear wheel, he was going fast, I was just crossing the lanes, he bounced off and did several circles before he came to rest. Tore his bumper cover off, pushed the wheel in, car was not drivable after that.

I used a plastic tie to attach the plate to my grill so I am legal.

Was witness's too, not one would call 911? 2 folks stopped and asked if I was OK then left.

Still didnt think I needed a gun......
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Old September 28, 2010, 06:57 PM   #48
Nnobby45
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Simpler still: as they get closer, you get louder.
Yes, that tactic, as taught in John and Vicki Farnums' class, worked for me in downtown Reno, and kept an iniebriated individual from getting sprayed. Gun involved never crossed my mind, but it was the raised voice that stopped his aggression and saved him from a snout full of Mace Brand 10% gel.

While the unwanted attention from bystanders may be a factor in many cases, we were somewhat isolated, and witnesses would have been in short supply. It simply took the loud voice to get his attention so he noticed the pepper spray about to be unleashed. When he did, he still thought about it, and then, with hands raised, "I'm not looking fo any trouble".

As far as reasonable is concerned, I think we make that too complicated at times. What would a bunch of non gun owning, retired people who really aren't your peers, think? The jury. Reasonable will be by their definition and no other, and if they wouldn't have acted as you did, you're in trouble.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Last edited by Nnobby45; September 28, 2010 at 07:06 PM.
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