The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 5, 2008, 08:35 PM   #1
Recon7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Posts: 707
Would you shoot an attacker with a tazer?

I have been wondering what to do if somebody attacks with a "less lethal" weapon. I don't know how I could find myself in this situation, but for the sake of argument what if I drop my tazer of a purse snatcher tries to use pepper spray against me. Couldn't you argue that an attacker could inflict "severe bodily harm" to you after they attack with a less lethal weapon? or maybe they could take your gun and finish you or shoot others.

I am sure some here will see this as another unlikely scenario, but I am really more interested in the law and tactics involved with using lethal force against less lethal. Obviously, you have no leg to stand on if you started the conflict, but would there be situations where such a response is justified?
Recon7 is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 08:38 PM   #2
MeekAndMild
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 2, 2001
Posts: 4,988
I would think the prudent answer would depend on the question of to what extent your state honors the rights of self protection versus the fictional duty to retreat. There are some states where you'd fare very poorly, even though a Tazer is just as dangerous if you're shot while running away.
__________________
In a few years when the dust finally clears and people start counting their change there is a pretty good chance that President Obama may become known as The Great Absquatulator. You heard it first here on TFL.
MeekAndMild is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 08:41 PM   #3
JollyRoger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2005
Posts: 168
From a LEO perspective, any weapon a bad guy can use to disable you and take your weapon puts you in fear of death or great bodily harm. So does an active attempt by an unarmed bad guy to disarm you. Deadly force is therefore permitted.

I can't see why this would apply differently to a CCW.
JollyRoger is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 08:45 PM   #4
JollyRoger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2005
Posts: 168
Quote:
From a LEO perspective, any weapon a bad guy can use to disable you and take your weapon puts you in fear of death or great bodily harm.
Maybe I need to modify that a little. You always have to have an articulable fear: the fact some guy has a can of spray or a taser in his possession doesn't do it unless he is threatening with it, of course.
JollyRoger is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 08:50 PM   #5
Chui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 28, 2004
Posts: 1,657
I've wondered this as well. I don't think that there is a single "right" answer. I'd certainly be leaning towards using deadly force as you don't know if you you'll have a heart attack from being hit with one. They are termed "less lethal" but they most certainly aren't "non-lethal".

Just my two cents.
__________________
"Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves." ~ William Pitt, 1783
Chui is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 08:50 PM   #6
Recon7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Posts: 707
My thoughts too, I just think it would be hard to justify yourself. Especially if you are not a cop. If you are carrying concealed it would be tough to say the individual was trying to disarm you. I think you would be left saying the guy MAY stomp the heck out of you after you are taken down by the tazer or spray. If a person has a distinct advantage over you (blunt instrument, friends, man vs woman) you are sometimes allowed lethal force, what about using lethal force to prevent that situation. Like to prevent being blinded by OC before a fistfight.
Recon7 is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 09:38 PM   #7
KLRANGL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 958
Attempted abduction?

Unless someone can think of a compelling reason not to, im fairly sure I'd shoot someone coming at me with a tazer, situation dependent of course.
__________________
And it's Killer Angel... as in the book
KLRANGL is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 09:54 PM   #8
troy_mclure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: gulf of mexico
Posts: 2,716
the correct answer is of course "i was in fear of my life", nomatter what they attack you with.
__________________
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
troy_mclure is offline  
Old December 6, 2008, 02:16 PM   #9
doh_312
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2008
Posts: 312
troy mclure says it all. If you're in fear of your life, it just may be time to put that trigger finger to work. A taser takes me out of the fight, in a very bad way, unless it's a LEO.(Whom you shouldn't be a problem person with in the first place) Taser or pepper spray renders me unable to defend myself and at the mercy of the assailant. I'd do my best to prevent that from happening.
doh_312 is offline  
Old December 6, 2008, 09:08 PM   #10
Erik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
"I have been wondering what to do if somebody attacks with a "less lethal" weapon."

Appropriately defend yourself as, to include the use of lethal force.

"I can't see why this would apply differently to a CCW."

Neither can I.
__________________
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
Erik is offline  
Old December 6, 2008, 11:35 PM   #11
mav88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2008
Posts: 121
yes..i would if i felt it would stop the attacker from doing harm..also depends on how many volts etc. If it was a 14 year old teen trying to mug me with a knife or something..i would just taze him..and not shoot him..thats just me though of course..compared to say..a 6'5 300 pounder ex convict who has experience holding a shank coming after me with a knife..then its simple..i would reach for the revolver instead...but of course i dont everrr want a scenario happen like that...
mav88 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 12:00 AM   #12
Recon7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Posts: 707
I am sorry, but I can only fit so many words into a thread title. a more clear title might have been:

If you have a gun and somebody attacks you with a tazer, would you shoot them with a gun?

Surprisingly this issue is not as controversial as I thought.
Recon7 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 12:35 AM   #13
Rich Miranda
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2008
Location: San Antonio, not San Antone...
Posts: 1,203
Quote:
1) If you have a gun and somebody attacks you with a tazer, would you shoot them with a gun?

2) Surprisingly this issue is not as controversial as I thought.


1) A loud, and resounding 'Yes', and the 3 COM shots would probably be long-gone before I even began to consider whether it was justified. Maybe I'd go to prison, but my gut would be to defend my life.

A taser probably won't kill you but it will disable you much the same way a baseball bat to the head might. Ask yourself this: "Would I shoot someone who was going to hit me in the head with a baseball bat?" I know I would.

2) That's because the use of a taser is a very clear act of aggression, IMO. Unless you're resisting being arrested by a police officer and get tased, I doubt the taser-er (sorry) has good intentions.
__________________
Read this!: I collect .38 Special and .357 Mag cartridges and I will PAY CASH for the headstamps I don't already have! Please PM me.
Please donate blood, plasma, and platelets - people's lives literally depend on it.
Rich Miranda is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 12:59 AM   #14
FireForged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 1999
Location: Rebel South USA
Posts: 1,186
I am not really scared of a butter knife but then again, it would really matter who has the butter knife.
__________________
Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...
FireForged is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 01:13 AM   #15
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
You're asking a question that 10 different prosecutors would have 10 differrent perspectives on.

Every Police officer has been hit with pepper spray and had to demonstrate that he/she can still function afterwards. Can you and your attorney convince a jury that you feared you'd be helpless afterwards and subject to serious bodily injury? Will the jury see it your way when you you used deadly force against non lethal force?

Would a tazer attack be better justification for the use of deadly force because you'd likely be completely incapacitated? A lawyer could better answer these questions.

Have you tried to look up any case law or do research on the subject?
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 01:58 AM   #16
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
Here's how I think of this situation. To what end would someone approach me with a taser and attempt to strike me with it? The primary reason for using a taser against another person is to incapacitate and render him/her helpless. Why would an assailant wish to make me helpless? Is there any benign reason for so doing? Is there any reason to assume he/she intends to leave it at that? No, of course not - the entire idea behind gaining control over another person is to go beyond the incapacitation. Whether it be robbery, further physical assault, rape or murder, in all cases I would be justified in using deadly force to prevent it.

In short, I feel it would be my obligation to treat anyone wielding a taser against me (law enforcement excepted, of course) as assaulting me with a deadly weapon and responding accordingly.

I think this is an interesting discussion, but it's probably all fairly academic as the taser is a particularly ineffective device except in very narrowly controlled circumstances. Further, the goal of a criminal assault (either to instill fear in the victim or inflict pain or death) is better served by other weapons.
csmsss is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 11:12 AM   #17
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,436
I'm a LEO, I've had the opportunity to "ride the lightening" and I know how incapacitating it is. Yes, the shock only lasts 5 seconds but LE tasers can shock again and again just by pulling the trigger, I don't know about the civilian models. And, even though the shock is brief, it is very intense and it takes a moment to recover enough to act afterwards. So, for me, if someone was threatening me with a taser I would not hesitate to shoot them first because I would be unable to defend myself or protect my weapon if they did.

One thing you have to keep in mind the range of a taser is only about 15 feet. If you're being threatened from across the parking lot and shoot the bad guy you're going to have some explaining to do. Of course if you are within range that's a completely different ball game.
WC145 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 11:16 AM   #18
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
Quote:
One thing you have to keep in mind the range of a taser is only about 15 feet. If you're being threatened from across the parking lot and shoot the bad guy you're going to have some explaining to do. Of course if you are within range that's a completely different ball game.
Huh? I'm supposed to wait until someone meaning to do me harm gets within his effective range before I can legally respond? I'm glad you're not an LEO where I live.
csmsss is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 12:20 PM   #19
Hondo11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 120
Quote:
Huh? I'm supposed to wait until someone meaning to do me harm gets within his effective range before I can legally respond? I'm glad you're not an LEO where I live.
Nevermind
Hondo11 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 06:06 PM   #20
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,436
Quote:
Huh? I'm supposed to wait until someone meaning to do me harm gets within his effective range before I can legally respond? I'm glad you're not an LEO where I live.
Uh, yeah. If the guy you shoot is not in a position to cause death or grievous bodily injury to you or another you're going to have a tough time defending your actions in court. That is the basic lethal force standard, I don't care where you live.
WC145 is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 06:51 PM   #21
Sportdog
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2006
Location: Southwestern Michigan
Posts: 369
Police/Civilian

I find it very interesting that the way of these type threads go. If you are in law enforcement and someone who even dares to move wrong, it is OK and a "good shoot" to drop him on the spot. When a civilian is being assaulted or may be threatened with death, he is supposed to properly assess the intentions of the BG before he can respond with lethel force. I know that I am oversimplifying but the crux of the respondent attitudes bears me out.
Sportdog is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 06:58 PM   #22
GunRus
Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 61
Use the "fear" test. Forget the law for a second. Would you feel in fear of your life? I would. From a practical viewpoint, the question is answered. The law is a secondary issue IMO.
GunRus is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 07:28 PM   #23
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
Quote:
Uh, yeah. If the guy you shoot is not in a position to cause death or grievous bodily injury to you or another you're going to have a tough time defending your actions in court. That is the basic lethal force standard, I don't care where you live.
I'm curious - is it your position that the average citizen should know, offhand and in a situation of maximum stress and fear, what the effective range of the tazer is? And, in that moment of extremity, accurately judge the distance between himself and the threat before deciding whether he can defend himself or not? Please.
csmsss is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 07:35 PM   #24
Borch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 202
Quote:
if someone was threatening me with a taser I would not hesitate to shoot them first because I would be unable to defend myself or protect my weapon if they did.
That says it all right there. You could even substitute pepper spray for taser. Having been both sprayed with a very healthy dose of pepper spray (Aerko's Freeze +P) and tased for 5 seconds on 3 different occasions (Taser X26 LE model each time). I can easily justify shooting someone threatening me with either weapon. I can do this because I know from experience that if either one is used on me I will be incapacitated to the point where I would be unable to defend myself from further more serious injury or death.

I can say in all honesty that if I am ever seriously threatened by someone with a "less lethal" weapon it just became a deadly force day.
Borch is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 07:40 PM   #25
JohnH1963
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2008
Posts: 416
In the scenario of police officer vs. random guy with the tazer, you have to be one dumb criminal to bring a tazer to a gunfight...
JohnH1963 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12646 seconds with 7 queries