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Old September 9, 2005, 05:27 PM   #1
leadcounsel
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Pepper spray

I am of the opinion that if you carry pepper spray and decide to use deadly force (gun or knife), you may have to answer why you did not use non-lethal force.

Maybe you should leave the pepper at home for seasoning food and only bring lead.

Thoughts?
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Old September 9, 2005, 06:10 PM   #2
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You have to decide if it's a lethal threat or a nonlethal one and choose the weapon.
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Old September 9, 2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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Or

You could use the fact that you had pepper spray, but did not use it, to support your position that lethal force was necessary - otherwise you would have used the pepper spray.
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Old September 10, 2005, 09:09 AM   #4
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Pepper spray is a force option when lethal force is not warrented. It is not

a supstitute for lethal force.
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Old September 10, 2005, 09:35 AM   #5
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You have to justify ANY use of force and it better stand up to the lofty court standard "reasonable and prudent man" and alot of arm chair quarterbacking by folks that have luxury of deciding what you should have done in two seconds while uder attack ...while sitting around a table. and most of these folks may have not been in a threatning situation in years if (ever) If you live in a state that allows you to carry a ASP/OC spray..do consider the option AND get trained to use them....nothing like spraying OC at someone and it blows back in your face(its best to know what it feels like beforehand)..if you use OC YOU WILL GET SOME ON YOU AS WELL MOST OF THE TIME so you have to be ready for that so you can keep fighting.
but "gun or nothing" leaves you with few options to deal with a guy that dont have a weapon but still wishes to punch your lights out for 5 min.
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Old September 10, 2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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There are MANY situations where lethal force isn't justified but OC is.
And OC is great to break contact to retreat/evaluate further.
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Old September 12, 2005, 10:12 AM   #7
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Most 4-legged aggressors respond well to pepper spray, even when lethal force is justified.
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Old September 12, 2005, 11:55 AM   #8
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I'm not an attorney, but here is my personal opinion.

I think it is a good idea for a CCW carrier to carry pepper spray also (I almost never do, though...).

Peace officers carry a variety of force options. Any use of force has to be morally and legally justified. The minimum force to deal with the threat should be used. Force options are not necessarily sequential, i.e., you don't need to have used OC prior to using your firearm. Instead, you react to each situation as it develops, increasing or decreasing the level of force as appropriate.

You are not precluded from using your handgun if you carry pepper. Your use of a firearm in self defense will be based on the incident, and if you are justified in using lethal force in self defense, whether or not you had pepper probably won't be an issue.

Anything you do (or don't do) will be scrutinized when (not if) you get sued. Don't worry about it. Use common sense and discretion. Obey the law.

If you pepper someone, especially indoors, you are peppering yourself and your partner...

I peppered a dog yesterday on an enforcement contact. Worked good, didn't get bitten, didn't have to shoot the dog.
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Old September 12, 2005, 12:29 PM   #9
Glenn E. Meyer
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I have done a good deal of civilian self-defense training. All the instructors deal with the force continuum concept and when various instrumentalities and options are to be used. Legal aspects are discussed. Various books by experts also discuss these options.

It is also important for the serious student to engage in some FOF training. That will clear up mythologies and opinions that are not well founded.

At the NTI, folks with very lethal gear also have OC - that's an 'opinion' for you.
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Old September 12, 2005, 12:47 PM   #10
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Thanks Glenn,
How much stuff can one reasonably carry? Carkeys, wallet, handgun, spare mag, flashlight, pepper spray, knife, etc....

Fight or flight is good for everyone to consider.

Maybe a good topic for a new post...
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Old September 12, 2005, 04:48 PM   #11
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as long as were on the subject of OC, where's a good online place to buy it at?
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Old September 13, 2005, 07:53 AM   #12
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By having the spray you give yourself more options in that big gray area between your fists and a gun. If lethal force is called for the fact that you have the spray can show your desire and willingness to use it if it was appropriate. Remember, the rule is not that you use the least force possible. The rule is that the force you use is reasonable and neccessary.
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Old September 13, 2005, 08:21 AM   #13
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I agree with the rest - a gun may only be legally used if you are confronted with clear deadly force (knife, gun, etc)... but pepper spray may be used in situations that are less clear, but might still be quite dangerous... just as LEOs use it, it gives you a force continuum. Be sure to check any state laws regarding pepper spray though.
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Old September 13, 2005, 09:23 AM   #14
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Mike:
I've ordered from J&L Products and found them to be reliable, quick, and fairly priced. I've ordered from them a grand total of one time, so take that with a grain of salt. They do carry a wide variety of configurations for Fox Labs spray, though, as well as a large number of other products.

http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/pepper.htm
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Old September 14, 2005, 09:47 AM   #15
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If one chooses wisely, it is not difficulty to carry along with your keys and wallet:

1. A major handgun, +1 mag
2. A small OC
3. A Surefire - like the Executive line
4. Two knives - like Delicas
5. A small cellphone

Backup - a Photon - led on your key chain

BUG - that depends on your level of BUGiness. The little Kel-tecs are no sweat to carry, as are the NAA mini 22 revolvers. Bigger BUGs take some planning - with enough pants pockets, J frames and Kahrs. Ankle hoster J's and Kahrs, I've seen.

But even more important than the gear is the mind. You always have it with you. As I said before legitimate training goes over the force continuum. Also for a lawyer or with access to data bases, there is a rich legal literature on the local laws and the doctrines of the use of self-defense. Quite a few law review articles out there.

The basic issue is whether you are going to prevent grievous bodily harm to yourself or if allowed someone else. That permits the use of lethal force.

You also need to know how to handle the police after the incident and have legal counsel that is aware of the nuances of such.

Not really rocket science and is available for all. A better read then endless debates over the right gun and ammo.

Last, as I said before - there's nothing like serious FOF training to let you see how internet conversations on this or that make not really handle the dynamic of fluid situation. Easy to say that you will do a head shot or use Asian combat mastery on the internet.
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Old September 14, 2005, 10:52 AM   #16
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I love discussing this stuff so bear with me and I appreciate the input of others, particularly Glenn, as I think he has a lot of valuable experience to divest.

So, here's my follow up discussion/questions.

For those that carry mace, knives, a flashlight, a kubaton, a club, a gun, or whatever else.... do you find that it might be crippling to decide what to use in any given situation? And what if the situation immediately escalates? Then do you "switch horses" midstream?

Mace seems great to de-escalate a non-violent situation where a person may need to apprehend or control someone. As a civilian, I'm not really into "apprehending" non-violent combatants. Also, I've sprayed mace in enclosed areas and the effects were painful for anyone in the room. Outdoors the direction of the wind becomes important (ever sprayed against the wind; my city can be very windy sometimes).

A knife is very handy for many tasks, but IN MY OPINION is a clear second to a gun in MOST circumstances for MOST people in a self defense situation. I love knives and own many and carry one too... But I recognize its limitations and it's mainly for DIFFERENT tasks than my pistol.

Also, is an extra mag or gun really necessary? I just don't know? Are you expecting a deadly situation that will unfold and resolve in moments with a few shots or an OK Coral style gunfight or a standoff that requires more than 10 bullets? I'm not being critical whatsoever... I have considered carrying a spare gun or magazine, but just never bothered. My primary gun has never failed and I can't really imagine getting into a real shootout or standoff where a second gun or mag is needed.

My mentality may be very different (and I suspect that it is) from many people on this forum. I visualize two different scenarios in public. One is non-lethal and the parties go their separate ways unharmed. The second is lethal and somone (or both) get badly hurt.

First scenario is a non-violent disagreement with someone where there is no threat of force and the parties disagree, maybe exchange some harsh words, and nothing is escalated and the parties go on their merry way. No need for mace, knife, gun, etc.

The second occurs when someone introduces deadly force or a weapon into the mix. It can happen as clearly as a knife or a gun, or introducing mace into the above non-violent situation MAY escalate it and turn it lethal in a moment. Imagine if you were in an argument over something trivial (e.g. parking space, spot in line for a show, whatever) and the other party reaches into his coat and produces a shiny metal object and points it at you. What is your immediate thought and reaction. Mine would probably be, "He's drawing a weapon, I don't know what it is, but I"m not waiting to find out the hard way," and I would react appropriately. Hence, I think mace is a bad idea.

Hence, I don't carry mace. It's either a situation I can walk away from OR a situation I must draw on. I don't see any gray area for a civilian. If I draw I can then decide whether it warrants shooting or not (I imagine some situations will dissolve with the show of force and shooting may not be necessary -- e.g a mugger is coming at you in a dark parking lot with a knife, you draw and he aborts his deadly assault, you call the police and file a report or go on your merry way). As a result, my "arsenal" is offensive and defensive. First I use my brain and feet. If I can leave a bad situation, I will. But in those situations where you cannot leave, or must stand your ground, I have a primary offensive weapon in a handgun, a secondary weapon and cutting tool in a 3" pocket knife. Third, I wear level II body armor, which was the price of a handgun, is comfortable, flexible, and lightweight. Statistics show that most gun fights are about 3 shots fired, and most are with a .40 caliber bullet or less, which a level II vest is designed to stop. If there are 3 shots, odds are at least one of them is coming my way. Odds are that it won't strike me, but if it does the majority of my vitals are protected with the level II body armor. I recognize that my gun, knife, and body armor have limitations, and I like to think I'll act accordingly.
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Old September 14, 2005, 01:39 PM   #17
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?

Why would you wear body armor and not carry a spare magazine?

A spare magazine might not be there for "extra" ammo, but in case your gun fails, well...you can make a clearance and put another magazine in and continue your escape or still survive if the confrontation is still on your hands.

If you're preparing for being shot, why aren't you prepared for your gun to fail? Your gun failing could be a major possibility. Why not put on an extra magazine and practice failure drills if you're going to walk around with a $500.00 investment?

A second gun can come in handy if one arm is injured, you lose the grip on your primary arm or you can only reach your back up due to being put in an odd position (against a wall, on the ground wrestling, etc). It can also be handy if you can't reload your weapon in case of failure or cannot reload a gun due to injury. A back up is a wise thing to have. Is it a must? Well, nothing is certain during a fight.

As for spray. I don't carry spray. So I can't say a lot about it. I can say it might come in handy in certain situations. Say you are in a state that does not allow concealed firearms carry. Well...I'd rather have it and a knife than just a knife..."just in case."

Also, it can be used in this such encounter: someone keeps asking you for money, a vagrant (whomever), and will not leave you alone. You've been firm, stated no or even yes and given them money and they still won't leave you alone. Well...instead of punching them, pushing them, pulling a knife or gun, you could just spray them...particularly if you're female and not wanting them to get too close to you.

I know the whole vagrant bum thing is another can of worms, but that is one aspect I see it being used. Also, as stated earlier to take care of any angry dogs you might encounter. It's a lot safer and quickly dispatches most four legged critters.
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Old September 14, 2005, 02:10 PM   #18
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I've debated carrying a spare, but choose to not carry one. I carry a gun for "just in case." I wear a vest because if it's "just in case" I'll likely also need the vest and it is a passive way to save my life. I think the string of "just in case" gets quite long if you start also carrying a police type utility belt of a tool for every situation.

Gun failures and ammo jams CAN happen and the gun you chose to protect your life is very important. To that end, I chose Glock and Springfield, and for situations where it is impractical to carry the former I carry the P3AT. In the Glocks and Springfields I've never experienced a jam. I"m working on the P3AT so that I use the proper ammo and have it broken in so it is also reliable, but that is an uphill fight. They're newer, tested, and I use quality self defense ammo. If in the extremely unlikely situation that I both need to use it and it jams, I can clear most jams in 1 second and move on. It takes several seconds to replace a magazine.

And I think carrying a second magazine opens one up for more criminal and especially civil liability. Shooting up to 32 bullets in an urban area just isn't a good idea. I would hesitate shooting even a few of magazine #1.

I can hear the DA now, speaking to the Jury in the murder prosecution case:

"The defendant has the right to defend himself from imminent deadly harm. However, this defendant carries with him on a daily basis 32 bullets for his 9mm pistol. During the altercation, the defendant shot all 16 bullets from his gun, stopped, reloaded his gun, and then shot several more times."

I think that it would not sit well with a Jury in most anti-gun courtrooms in America. It seems that carrying one gun and ammo for it is justifiable. But when you are carrying an arsenal, you may destroy your credibility for "self defense." I think carrying more ammo makes you look like you're looking for a reason to get into a gun fight. Also, in my opinion, if you can't handle a garden variety self-defense problem with 1 magazine, you're in over your head. It's either because
A) you're a really really bad aim, in which case you need more practice
B) you are severely outnumbered and have no business drawing your gun, you should leave the situation immediately
C) you are severly outnumbered and should draw your gun and leave the area immediately

Conversely, while I don't think I could justify such a two magazine approach for use of force, I CAN justify one gun, one magazine, and a passive vest.

As far as the mace and the bum situation, I think that is totally unnecessary. Bums ask me for money all the time. I say NO and move on. I don't hang out with them where they can ask again. I also pay attention to make sure they aren't going to rob me. This is either a non-lethal or lethal encounter, depending on the bum's actions.

Last edited by leadcounsel; September 14, 2005 at 04:29 PM.
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Old September 14, 2005, 04:17 PM   #19
Glenn E. Meyer
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I'm sorry, Leadcounsel - but you continue to post lots of urban myths and for a lawyer, you don't even seem to aware of common use of force concepts in various penal codes.

Tell me, have you trained seriously in the use of firearms and with whom? I would be interested in their views of how you interpret the force continuum.

Also, don't say Mace anymore, it's OC. Mace was a brand name of a tear gas based product that really didn't work. There are OC containing Mace brand products now but I tend to think you are just a touch confused on this.

If you would take a course like Insights SVT or LFI-1, much of this would be clear to you.

But whatever, post what you want - it's really not that useful to anyone.
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Old September 14, 2005, 04:21 PM   #20
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Please Glenn, I'm all ears. What are the "myths" above that I've posted? If I'm wrong then I want to learn. And it would be useful for all involved in the discussion to hear your side, not just that I'm wrong.
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Old September 14, 2005, 04:59 PM   #21
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It's interesting that 9 gunfighters shot 34 shots in the famous OK Corral gunfight. That's an average of 3.7 shots per person.

Now, in todays incredibly busy urban areas and with the sue happy and anti-gun climates, and our CCWs really hanging by one or two bad incidents, those of you carrying 30+ bullets REALLY think that even in a worst case gang-jumping scenario that you're going to be shooting a full magazine, reloading and shooting another magazine!

For those expecting a stand-up OK Corral gunfight, then you should invest in some serious body armor. For those that don't think someone will be shooting back and you'll just zip off 30 rounds, then you'll be serving some hard time. I hope a stray bullet doesn't hit an innocent civilian, but with 30 shots that aren't hitting the BG they've got to be hitting something. I honestly can't even imagine a scenario where you're shooting 30 rounds and nobody is shooting back at you. It seems contradictory to think that you'll be using deadly force against someone, and having the full backing of the law, 20-30+ times, yet in no danger yourself of being shot.

For instance, for you to use deadly force, there must be a PRESENT fear that someone is GOING TO INFLICT IMMINENT deadly or severe bodily harm against you. NOT a PAST fear, but a PRESENT FEAR. So, that danger is probably going to be because the aggressor has a weapon. If it's a knife you aren't going to need 30 bullets, are you? If the aggressor has a gun and you're shooting 30 times, which takes say one minute with 30 aimed shots and a reload, then my money is you're getting shot at and possibly hit.

Finally, with the PRESENT fear requirement, you're making the decision with each and every shot "Am I in present danger of immident bodily harm." If the answer is ever NO, then you're breaking the law. Such an example is if the BG has a knife and turns to run. If you shoot him, you are criminally liable.

Note: This is the law in Colorado. Check your own state for specifics.
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Old September 14, 2005, 05:22 PM   #22
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Re OC Spray

Hi
I carry OC spray and feel that the more options you have the better. A previous poster mentioned the idea of an escalating force scale that law officers are taught, this is something we should keep in mind. But; if you must shoot..SHOOT! PS My 24 year old daughter dumped a can of OC into the face of a guy who approached and cornered her on the subway platform in NYC. She then ran up to the street and dumped the empty cannister in a dumpster. She did not report it because even a can of SEASONING is a no-no in the people's republic of NY! She did good.

Steve

Last edited by FLA2760; September 16, 2005 at 10:52 PM.
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Old September 14, 2005, 05:25 PM   #23
leadcounsel
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Good for your daughter!

It's amazing that the sheep in places like NY and CA allow themselves to be dictated so they cannot even have a sporting chance to legally defend themselves. It's no wonder they have so much crime; it's easy pickin's for criminals.
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Old September 14, 2005, 05:56 PM   #24
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re Sheep

Hi Leadcouncil
I am trying to get my daughter to move to FL. near me.But; they have their own minds! PS she knows how to shoot a gun very well. Dear old dad takes her to the range here in Fl everytime she visits. Proficient up to .38+P She hates my Glock 27!

Steve
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Old September 14, 2005, 06:01 PM   #25
leadcounsel
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Funny thing about Glocks, most people either love em or hate 'em. I love 'em. My girlfriend doesn't like 'em and prefers my 9mm Beretta 92FS.
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