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Old November 15, 2008, 01:58 AM   #1
SquattingDog
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I hope I did the right thing...

At about 10:20 pm on Friday in the first time in my life I took my Glock 26 out of its holster and pointed it at another human being. I'm a young guy only 22 and the shock of what just happened is still settling in, the only thing is I hope what I did a few hours ago was right.

I went to a local bar to meet up with a few friends inside. As I was stepping outside of my car two men in their early 30's walked by shouting and cursing at me. They didn't know me but they were very intoxicated. I personally think I really slipped up here and I replied to their drunken rant and I simply said "excuse me". Both of them came literally charging towards me with their fists clinch. I immediately with out a hint of hesitation drew my pistol from its holster and pointed it at the torso of one of the drunk idiots. Surprisingly this did little to faze him but his buddy immediately grabbed him and high tailed for their vehicle and left.

Now I'm sitting here and I'm thinking did I do the right thing. Was it justifiable to draw my weapon on two unarmed men? I knowingly replied to these two drunk morons when I knew it would only end in a negative result. Was I in fear for my life? I know that my life was being put in immediate danger.


Any opinions on this situation or if I should of gone about things differently please let me know.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like they were fully "ARMED" they actually had four of them at the ready... In Florida that would be a justifiable use of force... But taking the gun in a bar is not legal.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:10 AM   #3
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Were you in in fear of immediate grave bodily harm or possibly death from an actual or imminent attack?

If yes, then you were justified in most states. Usually being attacked by a greater number or significantly stronger person, even unarmed, is reasonable justification to fear grave bodily harm.

You said nothing to escalate the situation with a normal person.

From your account it sounds like you had good awareness, training, and instincts. You defended yourself, no one had to get physically hurt, and you aren't in jail. Seems like a win-win.

Enjoy being alive and unharmed. Later on you can critique your choice of location and time of night, etc. But for now just enjoy being alive and doing what was needed to stay that way.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:17 AM   #4
New_Pollution1086
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I believe you did the right thing.

but check your local laws on carrying in the bar/while drinking. I have a buddy who got caught for this (happened at my house) and still doesnt have his CCW back.

I would have done the same in your situation.

T
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:20 AM   #5
hoytinak
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You did good...in PA you can carry into a bar. I looked into their laws before I visited a buddy up in Nanty Glo, PA.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's response. Yes in PA were allowed to carry in bars. But keep in mind this altercation happened in the parking lot I didn't even reach the bar yet. I was actually my friends designated driver.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:26 AM   #7
dirty magazine
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It's always hard to second guess... but I'll give it a try anyway...

You didn't shoot anyone, so you get some points for that.

Do you think you could have out run them or put some distance between you and them. Drunken running usually ends up badly for the drunk. What if the other guy didn't grab his buddy and end the situation? Would you rather run or shoot at a drunk?

I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds like you were justified to draw. You were outnumbered and they indicated their intentions by their actions. Good on you for not pulling the trigger too quickly.

It's my opinion that the second amendment gives us a right, but also a responsibility.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:30 AM   #8
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You didn't mention whether you had contacted the police. If you did not do so, please do so immediately. Should you brandish your weapon and point it at another human being, it could be construed as an assault with a deadly weapon, and they give you time in the big boys' prison if you're convicted of it. Not notifying the police of the event could be interpreted as consciousness of guilt by the district attorney's office.

Here's the thing. This event occurred in a public place. There may have been folks around who witnessed it and later reported it to the police. Perhaps the guys you ran across may report it themselves. You simply don't know, and the worst position you could be in is having the cops contact you and you seemingly coming up with a story - you need to get out in front of this and get YOUR understanding of events into the record first.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:35 AM   #9
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Dirty Mag: Running wasn't an option I had my back to the drivers seat of my vehicle. If his friend hadn't stopped him I really don't know 100% if I was going to pull the trigger. I'm sure I would of seeing how the adrenaline was overwhelming and so little time to think of any repercussions but I just don't know. I rather not shoot and run but I wasn't in the position to evade them.

csmsss. I contacted the police immediately after the altercation. They came I told them what happened I describe the suspects and they wrote up a report. They said it seemed like an act of self defense. They were very blunt.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:38 AM   #10
Ricky B
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Since you asked for Monday morning quarterbacking ...

First off, you recognize you made a mistake by engaging with two drunk and disorderly men. This is a mistake that anyone could make, but from the way you describe it, your response encouraged them to become more aggressive. Now that is not your fault. It is the fault of the two drunks. But I think you're looking more to what you could have done to avoid the situation than "win" the right-wrong contest. So perhaps you could have ignored them and darted into the bar. Maybe not. You have to look at the situation yourself and see if some form of scampering away was possible.

In some states, you have a duty to retreat if you can safely do so. In one of those states, you can't claim self-defense if you don't.

Even in states where you are permitted to stand your ground (and most states allow that), self-defense is a defense to conduct that is otherwise a crime. That means in your state you might have the burden of proving that your actions were legitimate self-defense. If you don't succeed in proving it, you can be found guilty.

Why wouldn't you be able to prove it? First you have to have a reasonable fear. You say you know it, but could you prove it in a trial? Second, you can't have provoked the adversary so you can shoot him. If you shot and killed one of the men and the other ran away, the survivor will be denying everything you claim by way of justification. Not only was he and the poor, innocent dead victim not aggressive and they were simply happily singing out of tune like happy drunks, but you were the one cursing them and issuing threats.

So for the foregoing reasons, avoidance is preferable to confrontation. I'm not saying that you could have avoided the confrontation. Only you can determine that with the benefit of hindsight.

As for drawing the weapon, that seems reasonable under the circumstances, but you don't say anything about issuing a loud and clear warning.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:43 AM   #11
dirty magazine
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Thanks for posting this. It's a tough situation to be in and I'm sure you didn't wake up this morning thinking it would play out like this.

No one was shot, you're not in jail, and you still have your gun. Given the gravity of the situation, I think you did the right thing and everyone goes home happy.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:56 AM   #12
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SD, thanks for the clarification. If it sounded like I was coming down on you, I apologize - I just wanted to emphasize the importance of reporting the event to the police yourself. You did the right thing. I see nothing wrong with anything you did, assuming you've described the events accurately.

I don't necessarily agree with the idea that we always have a duty or obligation to avoid all contact with others who may appear drunk or drugged or whatever. Frequently, these types will only get MORE aggressive and dangerous if they think you are ignoring them, or take it as a sign of fear and submission on your part.

Each situation is different, and at a certain point you have to trust your own instincts as to what is the safest and most reasonable way to handle a situation. There just is no one-size-fits-all response to all potentially hostile encounters with others.
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Old November 15, 2008, 04:00 AM   #13
chris in va
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Sounds like you did alright. I suspect you don't have extensive hand-to-hand combat training or are the size of a horse. Perhaps you carry for...wait for it...self protection. Nobody got killed/shot, everyone went home intact.

Let's put it this way people. Would he have been MORE justified in his actions if he had his wife and 5 year old daughter walking next to him? Anyone care to comment how many people have been killed by fists alone? Give you a hint, it's a lot. The police apparently feel the same way.
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Old November 15, 2008, 05:35 AM   #14
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I think you did the right thing. It can be frightening enough when one stranger approaches you aggessively. Add only one more person and that doubles the danger and the fear factor. I think you did great by drawing aiming, and then realizing you did not have to fire so you didn't. That's the difference between a responsible gun owner and one who is not. And chris in va is right. Would a law enforcement officer either on duty or off have drawn his weapon? All the cops I know would have. I'm not a cop and I would have drawn. This is a perfect example why I'm pro gun and pro carry. Situation was diffused without anyone going to the hospital or the funeral home. I hope the two drunks went home and learned a valuable lesson.
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Old November 15, 2008, 05:41 AM   #15
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Blunt?

LEOs tend to be that way outside a Bar in the AM.

Effect a huge limp and say "sorry sir" works as well! And your famous "Excuse me" is very close to "What the hell did you say buddy.

Ancient Chinese custom of engaging brain before mouth also works kind of good. At 22 this is called experience, heed it, you will probably reach 72! I did!

Only thing that counts, you are alive and well, and you don't need a Dr's visit to know your heart is OK! Around 150 BPM is a good cheap stress test.
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Old November 15, 2008, 06:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
But taking the gun in a bar is not legal
In some states it is.

That said, I would never take a gun into a bar myself, legal or not.

Then again, as I've gotten older, I'd like to think I've gotten wiser. I really don't go into bars, period

Quote:
personally think I really slipped up here and I replied to their drunken rant and I simply said "excuse me".
For being 22 years old and carrying, you sound very mature and also have a brain. By chance if this were to get to a court, I don't think saying "excuse" me could be viewed as an escalation of the situation. But, I'm no lawyer.

What you didn't mention, and what I'm curious about, is how many alcoholic drinks did you have that night? From your account, I've guessing little to none, but that fact alone could of had major implications if you had to discharge your firearm.

By chance if you would of had to shoot someone in this situation, and it went to a court of law (keep in mind, in some states carrying in an establishment that sells alcohol is illegal), AND you were not drinking, I'd like to think you'd get off scott free other than a bunch of legal fees.
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Old November 15, 2008, 09:42 AM   #17
indiandave
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You did good.If you didn't say something would they have left you alone? You said from your position you could not run. You could have taken your beating like a good little boy, then you might have lots medical problems. They could have found your gun and killed you. In the insident no one was hurt . You called the cops. You did the right thing . Now next time have better situational awareness. Don't get in the situation in the first place.
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Old November 15, 2008, 09:56 AM   #18
OldMarksman
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Perhaps an attorney can comment here.

From RickyB:
Quote:
In some states, you have a duty to retreat if you can safely do so. In one of those states, you can't claim self-defense if you don't.
Actually I think that's true in most states.

Quote:
Even in states where you are permitted to stand your ground (and most states allow that), self-defense is a defense to conduct that is otherwise a crime. That means in your state you might have the burden of proving that your actions were legitimate self-defense. If you don't succeed in proving it, you can be found guilty.
You sure about "most states"? I beleive it's the other way around.

Here's where we need an attorney. I believe that in an affirmative defense situation it is the defendant's duty to provide evidence that the shooting was justified, but that the burden of proof of guilt remains with the state.

Qualified comments?
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Old November 15, 2008, 10:36 AM   #19
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Just hope they dont wise up and call the police to press charges against you claiming that you unlawfully threatened them with a gun or robbed them. It's their word against yours. Since you didnt call the police to report this incident when it happened, the "who ever calls first, wins" axiom is still in effect.

You seriously need to rethink the why, when and where you pull a gun. Carrying a gun means taking extra precaustions not to have to employ the gun...and that means not being around drunk people. Period.
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Old November 15, 2008, 11:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Since you didnt call the police to report this incident when it happened
but he did call the police...
Quote:
I contacted the police immediately after the altercation. They came I told them what happened I describe the suspects and they wrote up a report. They said it seemed like an act of self defense. They were very blunt.
Quote:
Yeah, 1) quit drinking which leads to 2) stay out of bars.
He wasnt drinking... he was the DD, a very noble thing... stop getting on his case about the bar thing... Any one of you would have gone to be a DD for a friend...
Quote:
I didn't even reach the bar yet. I was actually my friends designated driver.
Im glad the cops were okay with what you did... Down here in the awesome city of Norfolk :barf: the cops told my friend, who was threatened by a screwdriver in a very lethal way, that they would have arrested him for mutual combat if he hit the guy in defense... maybe its almost better to have a gun in that case? Pull it and not use it rather than having to explain a physical altercation? Just a thought...
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Old November 15, 2008, 11:43 AM   #21
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The problem with CCW

In my younger days I was involved in Karate for many years and although
I'm not real big physically (5'8', 165) I'm still pretty fit and feel that I can take care of myself better than the average drunk. As I see it though, If I were to be carrying a concealed handgun I would avoid any hand to hand type of confrontation. Even a drunk (or two) can get lucky and I certainly would not want to be shot with my own gun or have my gun taken from me.
It seems to me that your actions were perfectly acceptable and thankfully nobody got hurt.
Hopefully those guys will think twice the next time they are feeling rowdy.

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Old November 15, 2008, 12:35 PM   #22
Ricky B
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OldMarksman:

According to a treatise that I looked at, the majority of states allow the defendant to stand his ground and not retreat. That said, it doesn't matter what the majority rule is. It only matters what the rule is in the state where the events take place.

As to the burden of proving an affirmative defense, I believe it wil vary by state. In some states, you are no doubt correct. All the defendant would have to do is produce sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue and the prosecution would have to negate it by the usual standard of "beyond a reasoanble doubt." In other states, the defendant might have to prove his defense by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it's more likely than not true what he claims. Again, it doesn't matter what the majority rule is, only what applies in the state where the events take place.

But even where the standard is to produce sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue, that may mean that the defendant is forced to take the stand to provide it, and many a defendant has been convicted as a result of taking the stand and being a terrible witness when cross-examined.
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Old November 15, 2008, 03:29 PM   #23
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KLRANGL: Thank you for replying to all those messages it saves me time!

As I think about the situation more I think I did the absolute right thing. What if one of these fools got a lucky hit on me and got me to the ground. I'm only 5'8 150 lbs both of them were noticeably bigger then me and easily could of gotten a hold of my gun if it were still residing in its holster.



Again just try clarify with everyone I did contact the police right after it happened and I was just arriving at the bar too pick up my friends, I hadn't consumed any alcohol. Also when I drew my gun I told them "To get away from me". That was their warning, maybe next time I should make them better aware that I'm drawing a firearm on them, in such an intense adrenaline filled situation one doesn't think of warning somebody they just react. Thats my humble opinion..
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Old November 15, 2008, 04:44 PM   #24
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Ricky:

Here in Fla. engaging just using Karate could be considered assault with a deadly weapon if they found you had training in the art. Sort of like a professional boxers fists are determined to be a weapon. Seems the more training you have the less options you have to avoid the "deadly weapons " trap. It puts an even higher emphasis on situational awareness and confrontation avoidance.

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Old November 15, 2008, 05:17 PM   #25
heyduke
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Quote:
Again just try clarify with everyone I did contact the police right after it happened and I was just arriving at the bar too pick up my friends, I hadn't consumed any alcohol
If I would of taken the time to read your response on post #6, my question would of already of been answered. Apologies.

Knowing that, you did the right thing.

Quote:
maybe next time I should make them better aware that I'm drawing a firearm on them,
The quicker you are at unholstering your weapon, the better. If a man does not know when to stop when he's looking down the barrel of a gun, there's nothing you can say that will stop him, other than pulling the trigger.
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