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Old May 1, 2006, 07:48 PM   #1
roger-ruger
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Personally, this doctrine is difficult to adhere to!

"Draw only when you intend to use it." 'Have been thinking in purely defensive state of mind that this doctrine is quite a disadvantage to the shooter. The words 'use it' can either mean shooting the firearm or drawing to deter a potential threat from someone. But in my mind not drawing your fiream in 'advance' to diffuse a possible threat is obviously disavantageous to me. A few seconds not to draw can be a life and death situation.

Your thoughts pls.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 1, 2006, 08:22 PM   #2
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It makes mo sense to me.
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Old May 1, 2006, 08:59 PM   #3
pickpocket
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It's a sound philosophy - you're simply splitting hairs.

Only you can decide when to draw, as the legal criteria are whether or not you felt your life to be in danger and whether or not a reasonable person would feel the same.
The "rule" wasn't designed to make you hesitate when acting to protect life or limb - it was meant to warn people against showing the prick who just cut you off in traffic your brand-new XD-40 just to show him who he's messing with.
It was meant to warn people against flashing their weapons around in order to impress their buddies in a bar.
It was meant to warn people against irresponsible disregard for their responsibilities as a concealed handgun carrier.

Let's look at this another way - using your logic. If you draw your weapon in order to deter a potential threat, at what point do you decide that it's a potential threat? I would hope that if you have felt the need to draw your weapon in order to deter a potential threat that you would have done so with the full intent of "using" it if necessary in order to stop that same threat.

If you're not prepared to pull the trigger, leave it in the holster.
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Old May 1, 2006, 10:44 PM   #4
Edward429451
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Yeah, that's one of the 'not supposed to say it' (because some jerks will abuse it,) things. I agree with don't draw unless you're prepared to shoot it, but that doesn't mean that you have to shoot if the agressor instanly backs down. This can be easily practiced at the range, just hold your shot at the last second.
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Old May 1, 2006, 10:55 PM   #5
cgraham
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"Draw only when you intend to use it."

I agree with Pickpocket.

The original wording is misleading. It cannot mean you are _bound_ to fire.

Better: "Draw only when you are _prepared_ to fire" means that you are legally justified in firing at the time you draw, and you are mentally prepared to fire.

If, while you draw or before you pull the trigger, the deadly threat abates, (e.g. the BGs run away) you must not fire. Obvious.

There is a big difference between _intent_ to shoot and being _prepared_ to shoot. Both require presence of deadly threat, but only the continued presence of a threat of grievous bodily harm can justify actually shooting.

I believe I have seen figures to indicate that something like 9/10 draws do not result in a shooting. That's good, as long as the draws are not brandishing. There has to be both an imminent deadly threat and preparedness to shoot, to justify a draw.

This raises a silly semantic argument: if you draw your weapon and in doing so scare off the BG, is that brandishing? IMHO not if you are _prepared_ to shoot rather than to intimidate. I infer the threat has to be too immediate to permit time for brandishing, to be labelled as such. So if you draw, prepared to shoot, but have the opportunity to utter a command to back off, have you just brandished, or merely attempted to deescalate a deadly situation? (You also have the option of drawing, but keeping the weapon out of sight while you see how the apparently deadly threat situation develops: I don't believe that's brandishing). If you feel menaced, you can prepare yourself, but not threaten.

The hair -splitting goes on. the court ultimately gets to decide. Courts don't like "intent to shoot". Understandably.

I'd be interested in differing views.

C
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Old May 1, 2006, 11:14 PM   #6
Blackwater OPS
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I was trained even in LE that you do not draw unless you intend to fire. This was not "official" policy but your arse was in a sling if you did not follow it. There are a few obvious exceptions (i.e. felony stops) but in general I agree with it.

Why on earth would you draw if you do not intend to fire? Now you have ZERO options as you cannot fire and your hands are occupied preventing most other uses of force. Also your gun is hanging out there for anyone to grab. If you did not intend to fire you just escalated the situation to a huge degree.

Now if you have a good reason to believe you might need to fire you can draw as an LEO, but as a civilian, just get the hell out of there. You can what if this to death but a little common sense goes along way here.
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Old May 2, 2006, 12:13 AM   #7
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It is clearly a time issue. If you have a revolver IWB under your shirt, you might not have time to draw if you aren't Jelly Bryce. By pulling it out and having it at low ready, you have probably reduced your necessary reaction time to about 1/3.

For police who can just place thir hand on the grip, that is fine, but when I draw I have to pull my shirt away with my off hand and draw from 4:30 IWB. That takes less than 2 seconds, but a lot can happen in 2 seconds.
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Old May 2, 2006, 01:03 AM   #8
cgraham
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"Intend to fire"

We may be saying the same thing in different ways, Blackwater. One may draw with the intent to shoot, but changing circumstances may modify that intention.

If the BG throws his arms in the air or runs away at the sight of the drawing gun, you don't shoot, do you? Or maybe as a LEO you can shoot if a suspect ignores a police order to stop. I don't have that authority.

A LEO can get away with things a civilian cannot - LEO's enjoy a greater measure of benefit of the doubt, I believe. They are certified GGs. Sure, an internal investigation may be unpleasant.

The civilian perspective is rather different. As a civilian, being arrested, imprisoned and having charges preferred, followed by a few days in court hoping to prove one's innocence are a lot worse.

I absolutely agree a civilian should retreat if it's an option. Unless the civilian is assaulted and has wounds to show it (outside of his home) he is probably going to have to prove his innocence to an extent a LEO would not have to.

I just want to make the point that the LEO and civilian situations are not comparable in practice, even if they are the same in law.

There are these nasty scenarios where a civilian may be confronted by a gathering threat (closing punks in a parking lot - lets say a couple of threats are uttered by them); nowhere to run to. I think a natural response would be to seek a locationto prevent encirclement, hand on weapon. The problem here is establishing means and intent. If one BG deploys a weapon and positions himself to use it, both criteria are satisfied, and a draw with intent to shoot would likely be permissable. But if the BGs scatter and you shoot, you are going to jail. So the "intent to shoot" had better be provisional.

I entirely agree a little common sense goes a long way. Witholding a shot if the threat is dissipated, however, is not common sense, it is in this instance, the law (for me, anyway).

There are other situations where the threat is so imminent that there is no option other than to draw and shoot, because there can't be time for the situation to change.

I hope I am never in either situation. However I'm seeking the mental preparation for the proper response if either should warrant it.

Discussions such as these may be "splitting hairs", but I find them helpful in developing a mind-set to respond appropriately in various situations. As such, every opinion is food for thought.

C

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Old May 2, 2006, 01:29 AM   #9
Blackwater OPS
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Just to clairify, I agree that if there is no longer a threat, the level of force should be dialed down, that's a given. But if a person drops their weapon and decides he wants a fist fight now, what do you do? These are things police are trained to deal with, and for the most part, non-leos are not.

I am just stating that some people will draw because they feel a threat, even if it may not be one that should be met with lethal force.

For example- You are at an ATM alone late at night, a person who appears to be a "crackhead" also approaches you alone. He walks right at you, hands visible, with a look of determination on his face.

Do you draw here? No. He is not a clear serious threat. Same situation if someone tries to start a fist fight with you. He may be a danger, but you cannot draw.
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Old May 2, 2006, 01:51 AM   #10
Edward429451
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Quote:
Why on earth would you draw if you do not intend to fire? Now you have ZERO options as you cannot fire and your hands are occupied preventing most other uses of force.
Well, once when I was working security I went hand to hand (well...pr-24 to hand) with a guy and I beat him back to a standoff and then he suddenly went to his pocket while standing there cursing me (knife? derringer?) and I drew to a low ready position without aiming at him. He was going for his keys to leave before po po got there. We had already thrown multiple blows both ways and I thought he may be escalating it at that point. I immed reholstered and kept my distance and let him go. (I know, I was working security but it could happen to a civilian like that). If it happened as a civi, and he was backing off, I'd back off and leave too. If he ditched his knife (real fast!) and wanted to fisticuffs, I'd stay at low ready while making my exit. If they advance on a drawn weapon, you have to shoot. Or run if possible.
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Old May 2, 2006, 02:07 AM   #11
cgraham
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Agree

Blackwater, we agree.

I hate situations like the two you mention where one has insufficient legal basis for drawing, even though one might be in great danger. At my age, running from a close quarters encounter is not an option likely to succeed. I don't consider getting beat up an option either. I'm not trained to recognize and ward off an immobilizing blow. Drat, no options except evasion, and possible 911 call.

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Old May 2, 2006, 06:32 AM   #12
invention_45
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Quote:
Draw only when you intend to use it." 'Have been thinking in purely defensive state of mind that this doctrine is quite a disadvantage to the shooter. The words 'use it' can either mean shooting the firearm or drawing to deter a potential threat from someone. But in my mind not drawing your fiream in 'advance' to diffuse a possible threat is obviously disavantageous to me. A few seconds not to draw can be a life and death situation.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like ruger's problem is not drawing and then having the situation change. But it's that you really should "draw" BEFORE you really think you are in danger so that you won't waste two seconds unsnagging your gun from your holster.

I've read an account of a SD use of a revolver that addresses this issue somewhat nicely, and I use variations on it myself. A woman went into an alleyway after staying late at work to go to her car. She had little choice but to be in that risky spot. She was approached. But, before she had entered the alley, she understood the problem, thinking all along how paranoid she was, and unholstered her revolver, placing it still concealed in her hand under a pile of folders she was carrying. When a creep stepped out from behind a dumpster, she was ready that second.

She used SA to anticipate a problem and, if you will, pre-drew. She did not brandish.

I do things like that, too, since I read that information. My IWB holster is on the snug side. I know for sure that if faced with an instant threat, I would be tugging on the gun long enough to die. So when I have no choice but to go somplace where drawing would be likely, I first grab the butt of the gun and wriggle it enough to make it loose. Then I proceed.

There are other little tricks. But since it's unlikely that most of us here are the Waco Kid, being pre-drawn in some way is always a good idea.
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Old May 2, 2006, 07:40 AM   #13
18DAI
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If you do draw your pistol , and the threat retreats ,make sure you draw your cell phone next and call 911 to report the incident. In my experience the "Firstist with the mostest" is percieved as the "Victim" by the legal system. You don't want a dirtbag using his stolen/cloned cell phone, phoning in as he runs away describing how you threatened/attacked him as he was out looking for a job to get his life on track. YMMV Regards 18DAI.
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Old May 2, 2006, 08:35 AM   #14
Model520Fan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwater OPS
Just to clairify, I agree that if there is no longer a threat, the level of force should be dialed down, that's a given. But if a person drops their weapon and decides he wants a fist fight now, what do you do? These are things police are trained to deal with, and for the most part, non-leos are not.
What is this, the Dice Man wants to go mano a mano? Anyone who drops a gun and claims he wants to fist fight while I am holding a gun knows something I don't. Whether it's another gun, his unusual skill, or just an assumption (correct, I might add) that I'm an old fart with one good eye who can't fight worth beans, if he moves towards me, he's getting shot repeatedly until he is not moving towards me and has his hands empty and in sight. I already know his intentions from his gun, and his dropping it and offering to fist fight indicates a change in tactics, not in intention.

Maybe you just hypothesized that case to make a point. Have you ever actually drawn on a perp and had him drop his gun and offer to fight you hand to hand? Has ANYBODY reading this ever had that happen?
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Old May 2, 2006, 09:02 AM   #15
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What happens if, in anticipation of something happening, you pull your gun at the low ready as you call it. If the guy you are worried about has NO intentions and you just thought he did, you just pulled a gun for no reason, or for a speed advantage for you with no real threat. That just isn't a good thing, and what if the guy you thought was a danger is armed. In his view, some nut just pulled a gun on him for no reason, what if he moves to cover, pulls his legal gun, and shoots you? All this nonsense because some of you can't keep that gun holstered, you have to get that rush by pulling it and giving all responsible gun owners a bad name. Instead of carrying a gun for a real emergency, a lot of you are carrying a gun looking for an excuse. And you wonder why non gun people are scared of you???
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Old May 2, 2006, 09:27 AM   #16
pickpocket
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We're all singing the same song. Intent does not mean committed.

Intent means that you have decided that if the situation does not de-escalate then you are prepared to use deadly force. Does anyone here REALLY believe otherwise???

Come on - we're debating the word intent....
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Old May 2, 2006, 09:27 AM   #17
Edward429451
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All this nonsense because some of you can't keep that gun holstered, you have to get that rush by pulling it and giving all responsible gun owners a bad name
Pythonguy, I don't see that here. It's just being beat to death acadademicaly, sorta like math class where students want to see the xxx.0173624 problem not rounded off ie exact answer and see the decimals.

Math does make my head hurt though.
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:09 AM   #18
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Pickpocket's post makes zero sense.

If you're being approached by 3 men that are drunk and want to fight you can't draw your weapon and shoot one of them when they are 20ft from you, and you certainly don't want to keep it in your holster until they are beating you senseless because it's too late then. The best option for this scenario is to draw your weapon and warn them to stay back. End of story.
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:24 AM   #19
cgraham
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Pickpocket: that's a very helpful distinction: "intent does not mean committed". I don't know if it is generally recognized, however. Some people are more literal than others, which is why I think the maxim "only draw if you intend to fire" is problematic.

Model520Fan, you have a disparity of force defense; hopefully, so do I, even though I refuse to be labelled an old fart, (except in court, if it helps)

Unfortunately, disparity of force does not, in my understanding, permit one to draw earlier when threat is feared but intent is not yet evident. Invention_45 has the right idea: make whatever preparations you can short of brandishing if you sense danger, or the potential for it.

This is an informative discussion on one of those troublesome gray areas. I hope discussions like this help others to see us as thoughtful and responsible, rather than persons to fear.

C

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Old May 2, 2006, 10:26 AM   #20
Glenn E. Meyer
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A general comment. The gun world has folks who think that these 'rules' are somehow like laws of physics or mathematical principles.

NO - they are just heuristic and not algorithmic. Perhaps, they are taught in all or none fashion to folks who are not trusted to think deeply.

Someone who just teaches a phrase such as already posted without some discussion is really not a very good instructor or thinker.
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:31 AM   #21
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I agree with ROsar , Im only 47 and people look at me and think im capable of kicking anyones ass because im big but in reality im beat up from the military and just years of work and carousing so if im approached by 3 0r 4 guys who want to beat the tar out of me, sorry but im diffusing the situation with old ironside , simply because i think 3 or 4 guys could beat me to death.The threat is there, it's real and just because they dont have a gun doesn't take away from that fact.
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Old May 2, 2006, 12:17 PM   #22
pickpocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoSAR1
Pickpocket's post makes zero sense.

If you're being approached by 3 men that are drunk and want to fight you can't draw your weapon and shoot one of them when they are 20ft from you, and you certainly don't want to keep it in your holster until they are beating you senseless because it's too late then. The best option for this scenario is to draw your weapon and warn them to stay back. End of story.
We're saying the same thing...people are just getting caught up about the meaning of the word "INTENT"... Look, if you have hypothetically drawn your weapon in order to de-escalate your impending a$$-whooping, are you prepared to use it in defense of life and limb, or have you drawn it simply to intimidate someone and flash it around?

That's the difference. If you draw your weapon having considered the fact that once you draw you may very well have to shoot, then this "rule" doesn't apply to you. It's not meant to be taken literally - like most rules, it simply puts what should be common sense into words in order to cover the lower 10% of the Bell Curve.
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Old May 2, 2006, 02:20 PM   #23
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Castle Doctrine

You may want to check out the provisions in the Castle Doctrine as passed by the State of Florida and if you do not have such a provision in your State you may very well want to get one passed, It solves a lot of your Questions and Answers.
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Old May 2, 2006, 05:56 PM   #24
RoSAR1
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Pickpocket-That's really irrelevant because you shouldn't even have the gun in the first place if you don't intend to use it if the situation calls for it.
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Old May 2, 2006, 06:36 PM   #25
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suppose you are carrying in an ankle holster?

or in thunderwear?

or strapped to your thigh under your evening gown?

how deep of concealment do you require?

what are your secondary options? do you have a bright surefire you can get to with either hand? oc spray? or can you find cover/concealment? what kind of threat are you up against? someone with a knife? bat? nunchucks? how close have you allowed this threat to get to you?

what are your state laws regarding the use of deadly force? i would bet a shiny nickel that they say you can only use deadly force when you believe your life is threatened. not 'possibly' threatened. actually threatened.
some mope yelling 'i'm going to kill you!' is not an actual threat to your life. him pulling out a knife while he yells it is.

are you willing to produce your gun simply because you *might* be endangered? for that matter, why not just walk around with your gun in your hand, forget the holster.
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