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Old September 12, 2005, 12:43 PM   #1
leadcounsel
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Advice for a friend that carries knives ONLY

I have a friend that owns a pistol and also has a CCW and we took the course together and have had our CCW's for two years. Yet, he is reluctant to carry. That is fine, but I am concerned because he carries a knife instead. Let me be clear: I WOULD NEVER FORCE OR ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO CARRY IF S/HE WERE NOT 100% CONFIDENT AND COMFORTABLE WITH CARRYING.

Now, in Colorado where we live, guns, bats, and knives are considered deadly force. The laws states that a person can defend himself against deadly force with deadly force, but a person can also ONLY use deadly force to defend himself or another with deadly force or the threat of deadly force. For instance, if someone starts a fistfight with you, you can legally defend yourself ONLY with non-lethal force. However, if you defend yourself with lethal force, such as draw a knife, club, gun, or any weapon, suddenly you have elevated the situation and now the original attacker has the right to defend himself with lethal force against YOU. Hence, drawing lethal force makes you the attacker. If you draw a knife in a fist fight to defend yourself from an attack, and the original attacker draws a gun and shoots, the original attacker was in the right to defend himself even though he started the first attack!

The moral is twofold. 1) Be careful not to draw lethal force unless someone is using lethal force and 2) Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

Now, there will be some that say that a knife is better than a gun and list several reasons and in certain situations I agree. I personally like knifes and feel they have a place in self defense. But in nearly 100% of SELF DEFENSE situations, I would chose a handgun of any common self-defense caliber over any legal-to-carry 3" knife due to reach and intimidation.

I seriously think that my friend is just asking for trouble by carrying a 3" knife as his primarly self defense weapon because he CANNOT legally draw it unless someone is using lethal force against him. And, despite the fact that he may be very good with it, if someone is threatening lethal force agaisnt him, it will likely be with a large club (e.g. ball bat), knife, or gun. In any of these more common situations, he'll be either even or at a disadvantage.

He's comfortable with guns and I've suggested that if he's intent on carrying deadly force, it should be a pistol. I think he's going to start, but I wonder whether anyone has any opinion on whether one should carry a knife.
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Old September 12, 2005, 02:12 PM   #2
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So let me get this straight....

If you came upon someone beating the life out of someone on the ground, you could not draw you gun to intervence on behalf of the victims life?
You could only jump in with your hands to stop the 300 pound attacker?

And if you drew a knife to stop the attack, he would be justified in drawing his gun and meeting your "deadly" force with his EQUAL deadly force?

Who makes up these rules anyways.
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Old September 12, 2005, 02:21 PM   #3
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To be clear, you'd have to justify "deadly force" was being or going to be used, not based on what you believed the case to be, but what the reality of the situation was at the time. Getting beat up is alot different than getting stabbed or shot... hating to state the obvious.

In the defense of yourself or another you can ONLY use the minimum force necessary, and you can never counter non-deadly force with deadly force (unless you're in your own house and there's an intruder, but that's different).

So, if you saw someone getting pummeled with open fists, it would be a gray area and interfering with your gun (or knife) will open you up to criminal and civil liability. The same is true if a 6'3" 300 lb strongman was coming for you with open fists (unless you're in fear of rape or preventing rape, which is a special case). It's a gray area, and if you just shot a really big strong man with no weapon, even if he was threatening you and going to beat you up, it would be a very difficult case for self defense with a deadly weapon. You might win or might lose. It'd be alot better for you if he had a weapon, ANY weapon in his hand (even a beer bottle, stick, brick etc.). That's why I discourage my friend from carrying JUST a knife. If he draws that, it's open season on him.

I don't want to split hairs about the law, really, more to see if my friend should continue to just carry a knife or step up to a pistol or carry mace stop carrying anything for that matter.

To answer your other question, yes: If attacker is using non deadly force (open fists) and you draw a deadly weapon in defense (gun, knife, club), he is entitled to now be the defender and counter your AGGRESSION with deadly force, including a knife or gun in HIS defense.

NOW, you may win or lose at trial, but I would not want to have to make that defense argument as to why you drew on an unarmed man.
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Old September 12, 2005, 02:30 PM   #4
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Lead, re-read the laws.

I highly doubt CO makes it ok for someone to instigate a crime, then use deadly force to defend themselves.

I know in TN, if you start something (a fistfight for example) you cannot resort to lethal force, unless you want a visit to jail. For a long time.
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Old September 12, 2005, 02:39 PM   #5
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getting beat up is different than being stabbed or shot, hate to state the obvious.
A big or skilled person can kill you with deadly blows to your head or throat as quickly as you can be killed with a knife or gun!
Fist fighting is not a game!
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Old September 12, 2005, 03:02 PM   #6
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To you and me, we know that open fists are deadly weapons.

I'm only saying that I would not want to defend myself against a homicide prosecution where the "big mean man" wasn't present but instead there were pictures of him and his family and he looked really peaceful, while your defense is that you drew this evil looking gun that can stop a charging rhino and shot him dead while he had no weapon.

Like I said above, you can use the minimum force necessary to stop any physical attack against you a 3rd person. That CAN include using lethal force against an unarmed person, but it's much more clear when that person has a lethal weapon. So, if you shoot an unarmed aggressor who is REALLY a threat, will you win? Maybe? Will it bankrupt you? Probably. How much money do you have to spend on your defense? A murder rap will probably cost you 50 large and you'll likely get lots of bad press and lose you job.

To clarify the other point... Technically speaking, if an aggressor starts a fistfight with you, you are required to use the minimum amount of force necessary to defend yourself. It's debatable whether you can draw and would be the question the jury would have to answer. IF you do draw, you'll likely be charged or at least made miserable. IF you do draw, the initial aggressor CAN use lethal force against you if he tries to disengage and your pursue. For instance, he picks a fight with you, you are in fear for your life despite he has no weapon. You draw a (deadly weapon) and he says or shows his interest in disengaging. You strike anyway. YOU are liable.

Anyway you slice it (no pun intended), if you shoot an unarmed person, you'll not be enjoying life for some time even if you're exonerated. It doesn't matter if the guy is a world class martial artist. Sure, you'll probably be found not guilty, but at what cost? So, just make sure he has a weapon!


CRS 18-1-704. Use of physical force in defense of a person.
Statute text
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.

(2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and:

(a) The actor has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury; or

(b) The other person is using or reasonably appears about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling or business establishment while committing or attempting to commit burglary as defined in sections 18-4-202 to 18-4-204; or

(c) The other person is committing or reasonably appears about to commit kidnapping as defined in section 18-3-301 or 18-3-302, robbery as defined in section 18-4-301 or 18-4-302, sexual assault as set forth in section 18-3-402, or in section 18-3-403 as it existed prior to July 1, 2000, or assault as defined in sections 18-3-202 and 18-3-203.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a person is not justified in using physical force if:

(a) With intent to cause bodily injury or death to another person, he provokes the use of unlawful physical force by that other person; or

(b) He is the initial aggressor; except that his use of physical force upon another person under the circumstances is justifiable if he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his intent to do so, but the latter nevertheless continues or threatens the use of unlawful physical force; or

(c) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.

(4) In a case in which the defendant is not entitled to a jury instruction regarding self-defense as an affirmative defense, the court shall allow the defendant to present evidence, when relevant, that he or she was acting in self-defense. If the defendant presents evidence of self-defense, the court shall instruct the jury with a self-defense law instruction. The court shall instruct the jury that it may consider the evidence of self-defense in determining whether the defendant acted recklessly, with extreme indifference, or in a criminally negligent manner. However, the self-defense law instruction shall not be an affirmative defense instruction and the prosecuting attorney shall not have the burden of disproving self-defense. This section shall not apply to strict liability crimes.
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Old September 12, 2005, 04:19 PM   #7
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he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.

(2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and:

(a) The actor has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury; or

If an 80 year old lady comes upon a thug beating a man and has a CCW and the man looks like he is liable to be killed looking at what you just posted I would say that she is justified in drawing her pistol to protect the third party.

Most laws use a reasonable person standard. What would a reasonable person do in that particular situation. I am not as physically capable as I once was. If I came upon a guy beating an unconsciuos person with his feet and hands.

1. I am afraid that the third party will be killed or receive great bodily injury.

2. As a citizen I should render assitance, but I amfraid that if I call 911 and wait the third party will be dead or receive a great bodily injury and I will be in the same danger also if I use less than deadly force.

Now tell me why I cant draw my weapon under Colorado Law under that situation?
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Old September 12, 2005, 04:43 PM   #8
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I think perhaps a knife is a poor choice. For most people anyways they probably wouldnt have what it takes to actually stick a piece of metal into somebody. If he wants something less than a pistol..what about sprays? stun guns? or my personal favourite an asp.
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Old September 12, 2005, 04:46 PM   #9
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Eghad,
YOU ARE in the right that most often the law is the "reasonable person" test. Therefore, YOU CAN draw if the circumstances are as the statute defines.

The caution is that it's MUCH harder to defend yourself in the eyes of the law or "reasonable person" when the other person is unarmed, that's my point that I try to convey to my friend that carries ONLY a knife. I think he's asking for trouble.

You shoot an assailant with a knife, and most witnesses agree he was an assailant with a knife, no jury will convict you. In fact, the DA will know this and likely won't even press charges. So, you probably won't have to answer in a court of law and may not even be arrested. The newspapers will read "Man successfully defends himself with lawful handgun from attacker with knife, gun, club, whatever."

Now, if you shoot the meanest ugliest rottenest most threatening man twice your size who is the assailant and IS GOING TO KICK YOUR BUTT OR MAYBE WORSE with his bare hands, and there are 100 witnesses that say this, the police will almost certainly arrest you and the DA will likely give serious consideration to charging you with a serious crime in hopes of getting a lower plea or a fair chance of a conviction. The newspapers will read, "Unarmed man shot and killed in disagreement; shooter charged with 2nd degree murder."

Hence, I don't think it's a good idea for my friend to carry only a knife, but I don't know. I think the real issue is that if he carries the knife, he darn well better know that if he draws it 1) it better be because he fears for his life or in defense of the LIFE of another and 2) he's opened himself up to lethal force, be it with a gun, from another.
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Old September 12, 2005, 05:48 PM   #10
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I disagree....

here is an example

TOLUCA - A Toluca homeowner shot and killed a shouting, swearing intruder who broke into the family home early Tuesday after heaving a piece of backyard playground equipment through a window, authorities said.
The bizarre episode, which terrified a young family and ended the life of Douglas Allen Sullivan, 37, was quickly declared a justifiable shooting by Marshall County State's Attorney Paul Bauer after he visited the scene and reviewed preliminary police reports.

Sullivan was unarmed and was pronounced dead at the home by County Coroner David Lenz Jr.

Homeowner Brad Burns, who killed Sullivan about 2 a.m. with a single shot from a 9 mm pistol, "was defending not only his life, but the lives of his wife and child," Bauer said. "There's no doubt in my mind that they were in fear of their lives."
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Old September 12, 2005, 10:43 PM   #11
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Eghad,
Most states, including my state of Colorado and probably that state, have special statutes for protecting ones homestead from burglars and uninvited intruders.

In Colorado, for instance, CRS 18-1-704.5, gives EXTRA protections for homeowners using deadly force, and was enacted into law in the late 80's. It was coined "the make my day law" and entitles a lawful resident to use any amount of (read even unreasonable) deadly force against any (armed or unarmed) intruder whom the resident feels will commit any other crime in the residence beyond the burglary. Colorado residents are 100% IMMUNE from criminal prosecution and civil liability.

Where was your example? Kansas? If so Kansas adopted the same Colorado statute language ver batim after the overwhelming success of the law in Colorado at reducing breakins.

That's likely why the guy in your example got off.

Now, if that example had happened away from his home then he'd have some answering to do to law enforcement. Would he be prosecuted? That's up to the DA. But at his home it's not really even up to the DA, it's up to a judge whether he can even be prosecuted.

If you want I can send you the statute language.
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Old September 12, 2005, 11:43 PM   #12
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I live in colorado too. Besides my normal CCW class I also took the advanced class that included a lawyer. While I myself am not a lawyer ...

Colorado law gives you pretty much unrestricted right to use lethal force in your home. It's an excellent law that likewise protects your from civil liability.

In terms of using lethal force against a person without a weapon ...

As has been said, that is a situation that is going to be worked out months after the fact by people sitting in air conditioned rooms -- not the same people who were around on the street where it happened who saw what was going on. And parents/friends will be there to tell tearful stories of the assailant and pictures of them smiling for their high school book.

That's just the reality of it, and if somebody shot you you would want your loved ones to be able to present their view of you. So ... if you're arguing with a guy over a parking place and he starts throwing punches because he's a jerk ... right or wrong, you'd better wait until you're bruised up enough for some scary pictures before you take him down. And make sure you go to the hospital and get checked out. Make sure you go in an ambulance.

It sad, because waiting until a few punches fall can get you killed (because which punch will cause a cerebral hemmorhage?) but you're taking your chances if you start throwing lead. And again ... right or wrong you would want the person who shot you to face a jury. That's the only way it can work no matter what the law says.

If the person is committing any kind of a crime against you, though, it is a whole different story. For one thing, a person perpetrating a crime cannot sue the victim in Colorado. So ... as long as he's in the act of robbing or assaulting you, if you shoot him he can't sue you in civil court. It's a law that goes back to the 80's, when there was a case of a robber climbing on someone's roof to break in when the roof gave way. The robber actually sued the homeowner for having a faulty roof, even though he did so from jail. And he WON the suit! As a result Colorado immediatley changed the law so that a criminal cannot sue his victim.

With this law and the home protection law, Colorado is a great state.

We also don't have any requirement to retreat, and can use deadly force at any time we reasonably feel threatened (and an impending assault by multiple attackers has fit this bill in past cases). I think only Floridians have it notably better, though I haven't checked state by state.

I think our laws are incredibly reasonable.

In terms of carrying a knife ... a knife is only effective when as a last ditch weapon. I.e. when the 200lbs heavier BG is sitting on your chest turning your face into hamburger, inserting 3 inches of serrated steel into his side is going to change the balance of power. Suddenly slashing out at and cutting at group of otherwise unarmed attackers (multiple attackers) may turn them back as well.

Nothing wrong with carrying a knife. There are many situations where it might come in handy. But with how easy it is to CCW in Colorado and all the small weapons out there ... why do it?
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Old September 13, 2005, 05:39 AM   #13
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Folks should think about doing like us cops do, increase their options, carry a small can of pepperspray and use it against any non-deadly threats.
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Old September 13, 2005, 10:37 AM   #14
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As promised, in Colorado, here is the "defense of homestead" law, AKA the "make my day" law:

CRS 18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
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Old September 13, 2005, 10:43 AM   #15
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Thank you for your comments Garand. You've accurately stated the law and my position as well and given the best advice for my friend, who is on the fence about carrying his gun despite taking the class and having a CCW. He carries a knife religiously and I think it's alright but he needs more "firepower" because if he's in a situation which "justifies" deadly force (eg a knife) then that same situation will also justify a gun. Why NOT carry one if you're comfortable with it, which I think he says he is.

Colorado is a great state. What part of the state do you live in?
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Old September 13, 2005, 11:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
So let me get this straight....

If you came upon someone beating the life out of someone on the ground, you could not draw you gun to intervence on behalf of the victims life?
You could only jump in with your hands to stop the 300 pound attacker?

And if you drew a knife to stop the attack, he would be justified in drawing his gun and meeting your "deadly" force with his EQUAL deadly force?

Who makes up these rules anyways.Who makes up these rules anyways.
Our idiot legislatures and court systems run by politically correct blue state/county wannabes who work in metal detector covered courthouses and government buildings and live comfortably in security walled and camera covered high rises and houses covered by security guards and police while ruling over you and I who live in the real world. They are better known as elitists. They exist as Democrats and Republicans, liberals and neoconservatives. That's who makes up these dumb rules that nobody can make sense of or even follow.

as to the orignal post, I will just say a knife is cool, but as the old saying goes, "Never bring a knife to a gunfight." You and he will likely do what you have to do to live when the situation arises regardless of how the screwy system defines "use of deadly force blabla". You are alive, that's what counts, if some DA or police official doesn't like it, tell it to the jury...they are supposed to be made up or real people like you and me. Supposedly there is the option of jury nullification even if your act does fall under a violation of the "use of deadly force" even though most court officials don't like Jury's to know about jury nullification options.
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Old September 13, 2005, 03:48 PM   #17
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We Floridians won't have it better until October, when our "no-duty-to-retreat" law goes into effect. There will be no duty to retreat if you are in any place you are legally entitled to be; there will be civil liability shield if you shoot someone in lawful self defense; there will be presumption of lethal intent for anyone breaking forcefully into a home, entitling the occupants to use lethal force even in the absence of a weapon presented by the intruder.

I am very curious about what will happen if and when some home invaders (Palm Beach county, where I live, has a lot of burglaries and yes, occupied home invasions) get their asses blown away. There are a lot of loser teenager wayward youths around who think nothing of going around breaking in and taking electronics, jewelry, etc. I can't wait til their jerkoff parents find out that the son they exercised no control over, who they never taught right from wrong, got himself shot to death while terrorizing some family in their home, and they can't sue the homeowner who shot him. Maybe things will change for the better as a result of this law.

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Old September 13, 2005, 05:07 PM   #18
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However, if you defend yourself with lethal force, such as draw a knife, club, gun, or any weapon, suddenly you have elevated the situation and now the original attacker has the right to defend himself with lethal force against YOU.
This is simply untrue. I know this isn't the case in my state, and I'm fairly certain it isn't the case in most other states. You cannot start an altercation and then claim self defense cause the other person escalated it.

You may get charged for using deadly force when it wasn't justified, but the other person cannot claim self defense against you if he started the fight.

Quote:
is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such otherĀ“s imminent use of unlawful force; however, except as provided in Code Section 16-3-23, a person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he:
(1) Initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant;

(2) Is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or
(3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.
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Old September 13, 2005, 05:30 PM   #19
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Whitefalls,

Scenario: You are walking in the city along a public street and you see one man beating another man with open hands in the alley.

You wisely evaluate the situation (who knows, it could be a self defense situation, a mugging, or an undercover cop) and determine that a BG is mugging and beating another man.

You take cover, draw and aim your pistol. You shout a command "STOP."

The BG stops and and turns toward you. Do you shoot him? Say you do shoot him.

He (or the state on his bahalf) can claim self defense and you are the assailant if, when you draw your gun, he stopped his imminent threat severe of bodily harm or death. First, how could you tell that there was threat to someone's life. Second, the BG stopped the threat when you shouted the command. Third, was this the LEAST amount of force necessary to stop an unarmed assailant, who stopped when you shouted the command?

This whole scenario changes if the BG has any weapon in his hand, and that's the whole point. I think you have a much greater chance of prosecution in the unarmed situation than in the armed situation.

I'm afraid that my friend will escalate what would otherwise be a non-lethal conflict into a leathal conflict by carrying his knife.
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Old September 13, 2005, 05:35 PM   #20
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So let me get this straight....

If you came upon someone beating the life out of someone on the ground, you could not draw you gun to intervence on behalf of the victims life?
You could only jump in with your hands to stop the 300 pound attacker?

And if you drew a knife to stop the attack, he would be justified in drawing his gun and meeting your "deadly" force with his EQUAL deadly force?

Who makes up these rules anyways.
Forget legal justification. The fact that the other BG may have something that will trump my knife is certainly what I would worry about.

If all someone can or will carryis a knife, make sue they know how to use it and that they consider carrying more than one. JM2CW.
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Old September 13, 2005, 05:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
So let me get this straight....

If you came upon someone beating the life out of someone on the ground, you could not draw you gun to intervene on behalf of the victims life?
You could only jump in with your hands to stop the 300 pound attacker?
Wouldn't this senario really play out this way? You arrive at the scene of the beating, draw your pistol, and tell the brute to stop. If he goes for a weapon you would then be totally justified to shoot him. He has a weapon and the shoot is clean.

If he does not stop beating the crap out of the guy or starts to come after you, I would then think you would be justified also. Now, a large man with the full knowledge that you are armed, continues to beat the victim or tries to beat you down. I don't know who would not be in fear of their life or the victim's life at this time. If it involved a jury months later I would also think that they would be on your side, even if a overly zealous DA tried to press charges.

Now if you are the guy getting beat silly, and you CC, at some point you should be justified to save your bacon. I would think that at a last resort your defense would be, he tried to take my gun and kill me so I had to use deadly force. As to the guy being able to now use a gun against you if he does and you let him....

If you do CC you should not have let things escalate to the point that you would need to shoot the guy. If it still got to that point then you either take a woopin' or hope your peers show some compassion.
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Old September 13, 2005, 07:35 PM   #22
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Scenario: You are walking in the city along a public street and you see one man beating another man with open hands in the alley.

You wisely evaluate the situation (who knows, it could be a self defense situation, a mugging, or an undercover cop) and determine that a BG is mugging and beating another man.

You take cover, draw and aim your pistol. You shout a command "STOP."

The BG stops and and turns toward you. Do you shoot him? Say you do shoot him.

He (or the state on his bahalf) can claim self defense and you are the assailant if, when you draw your gun, he stopped his imminent threat severe of bodily harm or death. First, how could you tell that there was threat to someone's life. Second, the BG stopped the threat when you shouted the command. Third, was this the LEAST amount of force necessary to stop an unarmed assailant, who stopped when you shouted the command?

This whole scenario changes if the BG has any weapon in his hand, and that's the whole point. I think you have a much greater chance of prosecution in the unarmed situation than in the armed situation.

I'm afraid that my friend will escalate what would otherwise be a non-lethal conflict into a leathal conflict by carrying his knife.
If he stops when you yell stop, of course you're wrong for shooting him, and I certainly wouldn't shoot him IF HE STOPS. If he charges you, then you should shoot him, as he has refused to stop and is now in the process of attacking you. I'd be surprised to see a DA press charges against you in a situation like that (not the response you gave in the example, the response I just gave.)

If you have a case that shows otherwise, by all means lets hear it. Theres just an awful lot of talk about what DA's "will" do without ever any evidence that they ever do that. People saying aiming for the head will get you charged, this will get you charged, that will get you charged, if the attacker is unarmed you'll get charged. The list goes on and on... some hard evidence or past cases would do a great deal to shed some light on the actual truth.

Also, as a carrier of a concealed weapon, seems to me there is no such thing as a "beating that isn't life threatening". If you allow yourself to be pummeled because you think a fist attack isn't justified use for deadly force (which I would disagree with), what exactly do you plan to do when you get knocked silly and the attacker finds a gun on you?
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Old September 15, 2005, 08:23 PM   #23
DanV1317
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Join Date: August 27, 2004
Posts: 330
If you are in a fight and you feel you are being faced with a threat of extreme and severe bodily injury, you are justified. Just beacuse it is a fist fight, doesn't mean you can't be killed.

A teacher of mine was a local cop before his teaching career. He said a guy on their force got into a fight with a guy who they had a warrant for. The guy shoved the Police officer and then punched him in the face. The police officer fell back and hit his head on a piece of metal, killing him instantly.
Do you still think a fist fight is not capable of involving deadly force?

The guy then had murdered added to his list of offenses.
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Old September 15, 2005, 08:53 PM   #24
wayneinFL
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Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
Do what you must to survive, and worry about what to tell the jury later. That's what a good lawyer and expert witnesses are for.

That said, a gun and knife are both lethal weapons and must only be used when you are countering lethal force. A knife is just less effective in most circumstances than a gun, IMO.

Quote:
you see one man beating another man with open hands in the alley
With his hands open? I'm picturing a slap fight.

Seriously though, if a man is beating someone and then charges you, knowing you have a gun, you'd better run or shoot him. If someone is beating you and you could be incapacited to the point he could get your gun, you'd better shoot him. Happens to cops all the time. A cop gets beaten and is executed with his own gun. Or he gets beaten and shoots his attacker and is cleared when his lawyer brings in a police instructor to explain a cop is trained not to be beaten to death or to get his gun grabbed.
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Old September 16, 2005, 11:06 PM   #25
hso
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Join Date: May 10, 2002
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 170
Tell your buddy that the gun, like the knife he carries, is another tool to help him protect himself. In some situations the gun is a better tool, in many others it's equivalent, in some the knife is better, but without the gun he has no choice. The same for a baton or spray.

I train with gun, baton, knife and empty hand. I've been attacked on the street before. In all those cases I never had the time to draw any weapon and what was in my head and what my body "remembered" from training saw me through. If there had been numerous attackers or I had had more warning I would have preferred to have been able to respond with more force all the way up to firearms. I want options.
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