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Old August 1, 2008, 06:19 AM   #1
Shorts
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Defending 3rd party against stranger vs known person

This question came to me today for a recent reason or two. Do you think a person would be more or less inclined to physically defend a 3rd party victim from an attacker who is either family or friend?


For example, you arrive at a family member's home only to walk in on an altercation involving a parent and sibling, or a sibling and a friend. Imagine this has escalated to the point that physical intervention is the only way to stop the attack in order to save the victim.

What would you do? What are you thinking? What if it goes really bad and you get to the point where you are deciding on drawing your weapon? Do you think it would get to that point? Do you think you could fire on your own family or friend to protect another they were harming? How do you decide? Do you take past incidents and personal history into account? Is any of that even relevant?

This is a difficult scenario to think about. I know everyone has someone in their family or circle of friends who can or does pose a threat to others due to their life and choices they make. Sometimes, in fact often times, the trouble a person seeks out in the world is often brought home to the place and the people that are closest to them.


And an extension from the first questions, do you think it'd be easier to take action on an attacker if that person is a stranger instead of being a friend or family member?



As for my answers, I cannot speak for the first half of my questions. For the stranger vs known, I think it would be easier to act on a stranger.
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Old August 1, 2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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My immediate family kids sisters parents, I could not draw on them. Aunts uncles cousins etc if they were in the wrong and attacking someone and it came to the point that physical intervention was the only option theyd get the business end of my baton. Unless they themselves had a firearm I do not think in most cases a physical fist fight or beating is grounds for shooting,unless the person is already knocked out and the person is trying to kill them,
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Old August 1, 2008, 07:19 AM   #3
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I have had some of the same general problem, and occurances that have happened or could happen again.

There was and still is another possibility. The Family Member, is not attacking another family member, but instead is threatening YOU! This is not a blood relative, but BIL, who most of us feel is Bi-Polar, and not medicated.

He switches from nice guy, to raging threatening person in an instant if something in his mind set him off. I had him go off on me, with threats of violence to my person in the last month.

I had been asked by my wife to check on her mother, and when I arrived at her home he was present with his wife.

(I happened to be armed, with both my primary and Bug). He, by the way does not even know I own a gun, let alone carry.

He was fine for a few minutes, but then started losing it and threatened me with physical harm. The only witness would have been his wife, if I had chosen to draw my weapon. (Not a good thing for me).

I chose to back my way to my vehicle, and get the heck outa Dodge! Running thru my mind was what the heck would I do if he followed up with his assault threats. "My god, I do not want to go to jail for possibly killing my wife's brother, on his mothers property."

So another thing, in the OP theme is!! WHAT IF YOU ARE THE TARGET not another family member, or friend?? What if it goes beyond the hollering and threats to become physical, and you have no witness who would stand for your side?

I chose wisely in my mind to disengage before he could get physically in contact with me. (No I did not run, but I also did not stop facing his threat).
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Old August 1, 2008, 08:51 PM   #4
tony pasley
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Confronted 2 brothers fighting one day used a garden hose to put a stop to it.
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Old August 1, 2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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i like tony pasley's thinking. use something that will get their attention that will not end up killing/seriously injuring someone.
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Old August 1, 2008, 09:05 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I know everyone has someone in their family or circle of friends who can or does pose a threat to others due to their life and choices they make.
Um, no. If I had "friends" like that they wouldn't be friends. If I had family like that I would not associate with them. (I say this from experience as I HAVE disassociated from friends who got into drugs and other such things.)
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Old August 1, 2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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Another, "um, no."

---

Now, to answer:

"Do you think a person would be more or less inclined to physically defend a 3rd party victim from an attacker who is either family or friend?"

All people? No. Most? Maybe. Many people? Yes. I am among the many.

But... When it comes to loved ones, I can only imagine resulting to lethal force in the most unlikely of hypothetical extremes; to the extent that I would allow damage to myself and others I would never suffer at the hands of non-loved ones.
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Old August 1, 2008, 09:18 PM   #8
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...but hypothetically, to answer the question(s), I HOPE I would do whatever I had to do to make the situation right, up to and including firing on someone I know/love.

But I can NOT imagine a scenario with anyone I know that would lead to anything remotely deadly or even physical for that matter.
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Old August 1, 2008, 10:38 PM   #9
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My wife is almost always with me when we are around "extended
family", and she always carries a little 1 million volt stun gun I bought
for her a while back. I think I might use that to dissuade the
disagreement.

It won't kill anybody, but it will darn sure get their attention.

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Old August 2, 2008, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Do you think a person would be more or less inclined to physically defend a 3rd party victim from an attacker who is either family or friend?
I will not defend a third party, Unless my family, or a child who has no choice...........Everyone adult out there has the same choice of deciding whether to become self-reliant or dependent, If someone doesn't care enough about themselves or their family to defend them.........Well, they made the choice. Should I put myself at risk and open myself or family up to injury or exposure.............??
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Old August 2, 2008, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
If someone doesn't care enough about themselves or their family to defend them.........Well, they made the choice.

I wouldn't call that an applicable blanket statement.


Quote:
Should I put myself at risk and open myself or family up to injury or exposure.............??
That's a question for everyone to decide on their own. Some people will, some won't. Case in point - the Canadian Greyhound bus stabbing/beheading. Everyone on the bus had your point of view.




I would say from the few responses my concerns must be unique. But from the screwed up society we live in, the entire reason we all carry, I'm pretty sure I'm not.


This was a much too complex and in depth question to post to random. Thanks for the input this far folks. Interesting.
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Old August 2, 2008, 09:30 AM   #12
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Thanksgiving and Christmas are alway real busy for the police because a lot of family gatherings turn into domestics where somebody gets beaten or stabbed, or more rarely shot.

I often wonder if a little strategically placed pepper spray early on wouldn't have saved somebody's bacon. One of the great things about non-lethal weapons is the leeway you have in using them, compared to deadly force.
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Old August 2, 2008, 09:57 AM   #13
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Sorry... I'm more inclined to help family and friends in an altercation than to draw on them. I would possibly intervene physically by pulling them off the person they were beating to a pulp. I would probably even assume that it was probably a self defense situation where a bad guy was getting what he deserved. Now if it was between two people who knew each other, you get in the middle and threaten to whoop both their rear ends if they don't cut out the nonsense. If it has gotten to the point where you need to intervene to save the "victim", you should only need to deal with one person.

This is one real reason to carry less than lethal defense. I bought my wife a tazer (mostly because I can't get her to go to the range) and I would have much less of a problem tazing someone who really needed it. Good quality pepper spray would also come in very handy. Would I shoot a family member of friend, even if someone elses life was in danger? I guess it really depended on who the "victim" was. If the victim is closer to me than the attacker, and physical intervention was not possible, there is a possibility that someone might get drawn on.
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Old August 2, 2008, 10:53 AM   #14
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Number one is to know who is who in an altercation. Number two is to know what started it.

If you came upon a Liquor Store and a fight was going on outside where one man was on top of another bashing someone's head in, it could be the owner beating up a robbery suspect.

Family matters are charged with emotion and drawing a gun to impress is not a good idea. Talking and backing away with a call to 911 might be the best option.

Drawing a weapon as a threat with no intent to use it might get the pistol shoved where the sun doesn't shine. Only get it out when you think you might use it. A lot of people are not impressed by seeing a pistol and it might incite them further.
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Old August 2, 2008, 04:55 PM   #15
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stephen, I like your thoughts.

Spade Cooley, the situation is not about brandishing. It is a no s***, things are going south in a real hurry and its looking like a culmination of years of "bad behavior" to say the least. This is a very real situation, someone is a real victim, on the floor getting beaten, not just another family argument.
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Old August 2, 2008, 07:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Imagine this has escalated to the point that physical intervention is the only way to stop the attack in order to save the victim.
You answered your own question. As to lethal force - who do you let die? The aggressor or the victim? That's the reason we carry weapons - to protect life against aggression.

HOWEVER...in a family dispute, oftentimes the victim will not press charges, and will actually side with the aggressor against the LEOs. You've seen it too many times. A beaten wife not only will not press charges, but she will fight with the LEO who's attempting to arrest her husband. If that happens after you've used lethal force, you're hung out to dry.

Most states have a "third-party defense" law for CWP holders, but I'd be VERY slow to use it as a reason to pull the trigger, be it family, friend, or stranger.
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Old August 2, 2008, 08:12 PM   #17
Frank Ettin
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One thing to remember if you are considering coming to the aid of a third party, whether a friend or family, or against a friend or family, is that you generally step into the shoes of the person to whose aid you come. If that person was the original aggressor and did not have a right to use force (because he wasn't defending himself from the unjustified force of another), neither do you. So you need to ask yourself whether you knowe enough about what was going on.

So it might be a good idea to think of a "Plan B" ahead of time -- ways that you might be able to stop things without having to use force. Sometimes merely letting the participants in the fray know that you are there and a witness may be enough. Maybe you need to call 911 and let them know you've done so, If there's a garden hose handy, that might do the trick. If you have a camera with you, you might want to start taking pictures.
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Old August 2, 2008, 08:26 PM   #18
Shorts
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fiddletown, you've touched on a bit of an ingredient.

To expand the scope for the sake of the discussion, you know the person is your family, has been in very regular and felony trouble with the law, continues said lifestyle, in and out of jobs, can have a volatile attitude, known to get into arguments with other family, particularly parents. This person is the typical person you probably see on COPs. Possibly children out of wedlock. Drugs and alcohol more than likely. A mental disorder such as bipolar probably exists yet not officially diagnosed. And this has gone on for years. Less than productive member of society. Can't ever seem to get it together. Etc. You can now picture the suspect you may or may not take action against.


Put aside why the suspect might still be allowed in the home. I know that answer already. It is the suspect in that profile.


How does knowing the information above influence or not influence what you do? Should it?
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Old August 2, 2008, 08:42 PM   #19
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Adding that information now gives me a reason to infer that if I see him fighting with someone else, he was probably the aggressor. But then again, maybe not. It's possible that this one time he was actually legitimately defending himself. It all depends on exactly what went on and exactly what I know about what happened.

And also, I might be the wrong person to ask, because I can be pretty hard on people -- especially my family. I'd see a character such as you describe as a blot on the family honor. If I knew that he in fact was the aggressor in this situation, I tend to doubt that I'd give him any family discount.
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Old August 2, 2008, 09:21 PM   #20
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"If that person was the original aggressor and did not have a right to use force (because he wasn't defending himself from the unjustified force of another), neither do you."

Not so. Scenarios involving disproportionate responses to aggression are common place. That disproportionate response may be disproportionate enough to warrant intervention regardless of the initial facts. There are many examples, a classic one being when a man pummels a woman for slapping him. Nobody here's stand by and watch her get hospitalized because she started it and therefor deserved it, right?
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Old August 2, 2008, 09:27 PM   #21
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That may be true, Erik, in theory. But the fact still remains that if you come in in the middle of something, you may not know enough about what has happened to know who you could legitimately help. And AFAIK, in most jurisdictions you don't even get a reasonable mistake. If you take the wrong side, you will be in trouble.
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Old August 2, 2008, 10:33 PM   #22
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Shorts... ever consider keeping a baseball hat handy or even a frying pan for that matter? One good wallop upside the head ought to stop the attack. If you know this trouble maker is likely to be present at a family function, seriously consider bringing less than lethal defense.

An adopted cousin of mine is bi-polar, but he is pretty good about taking his meds. He is a pretty big guy and I would not want to tangle with him. If he was beating someone else to a pulp, I would defiantely find something to knock his butt out. Hopefully he would be too preoccupied with his human punching bag to notice me about to turn his lights out! I don't think my aunt and uncle in law would appreciate me adding any extra holes to their son.
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Old August 3, 2008, 03:19 PM   #23
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The entire scenario is one which we must all think about even if we never face it, . . . remembering that every perpetrator of evil deeds is someone's sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, etc, . . . and it may some day be our turn in the bucket to have a relative do something less than honorable.

I would probably be like most, . . . more prone to doing something non lethal, but only if it looked like it might succeed, . . . and if the knowledge of the person would give me reason to believe it would be a worthwile risk.

Pulling a firearm on a family member can be a stickly situation, . . . but I guess that I made up my mind long ago that sticking to facts will sort out what is right, . . . leaning toward emotion will get you killed, . . . so I will hopefully do what needs to be done for the moment, . . . without regard to the kinfolk element.

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Old August 3, 2008, 05:50 PM   #24
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Should I put myself at risk and open myself or family up to injury or exposure.............??

Quote:
That's a question for everyone to decide on their own. Some people will, some won't. Case in point - the Canadian Greyhound bus stabbing/beheading. Everyone on the bus had your point of view.
You don't know the one that got beheaded wasn't molesting the suspect's daughter..............

They call it self - defense for a reason...........Every adult (male or female) had the same choice as you or I on whether to be able to defend ourselves should the need arise.............Third party defense is Bad news, too many variables
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Old August 3, 2008, 05:59 PM   #25
Shorts
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Quote:
You don't know the one that got beheaded wasn't molesting the suspect's daughter..............
They call it self - defense for a reason...........Every adult (male or female) had the same choice as you or I on whether to be able to defend ourselves should the need arise.............Third party defense is Bad news, too many variables

I don't know that answer to the molestation allegations you put forth, and frankly, neither do you. But it makes a good case for your point.


"They" also allow for 3rd party defense in most state laws (I know my state laws, not sure about the other 49). You're right, there are a lot of variables to consider. It's in knowing the information that I'll decide to intervene or not versus making the blanket statement, "I will not get involved in a 3rd party defense", YMMV.

Also, the blanket statement about the same choice is not about a choice or not. Have you considered capacity or ability? How about those variables? There are some not based on "choice".
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