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Old January 10, 2009, 12:13 AM   #1
MothersLilHelper
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Painting a possible aggressor with a flashlight

On another active thread, I wrote:

...I've been approached by a couple of shady types at Walmart/HomeDepot on Highland in Cincy. Body language and firm tone of voice have worked well but I did paint one with a flashlight when he was aggressive.


And thinking about it right now, as I did after the incident, I'm left with the question: is the flashlight more aggressive than it is assertive, and have I actually been monumentally stupid by shining it in somebody's face after they didn't get that I really don't want to talk? It produced instant compliance, but that's a sample size of one so there's no inferring.

Apologies if this topic has been covered already--I did a search of this board and didn't see it. If so, just point me over in the right direction.

In a funny parallel with the other thread, my wife was with me at the time and was also pregnant. Baby is 3wks old today!
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Old January 10, 2009, 12:38 AM   #2
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Was it a tactical light or basic flashlight? I'm glad that it worked out for you.

I prefer the tactical lights in my left hand (I'm right handed). The BG's will shoot towards the light. Personally the darker it is the the better off I am.
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Old January 10, 2009, 12:44 AM   #3
jesus5150
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Ahhh My Eyes!!!!

I may have missed the point of the question, but if i were that persistant in getting something from you and you shined (shown?) a flashlight in my face it would just push my buttons and **** me off potentially turning my focus from "can i have a few bucks" to "you wanna do this tough guy?!" but then again i have a short fuse and don't like to take crap from people. (and i'd never panhandle lol.)
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Old January 10, 2009, 02:10 AM   #4
T. O'Heir
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"...Was it a tactical light or basic flashlight?..." And the difference is what? The term 'tactical' is a marketing thing only.
"...It produced instant compliance..." Rule Number One. It worked, don't fix it. There's nothing aggressive about a flashlight. The gun shop I worked in, long ago, sold Pro-Light flash lights to a lot of cops. ABS bodies(Al gets really cold in Canada) with mediocre switches, but a 100% guarantee on the switches. One cop came in with a damaged switch. The body had tooth marks in it. Cop said the guy resisted arrest.
"...Body language and firm tone of voice..." That alone can fix a lot of situations. How you carry yourself makes a difference. Even if you're of a normal size.
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Old January 10, 2009, 02:33 AM   #5
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O'Heir, if you don't understand the difference you have obviously never been confronted with one. It robs a primary sense for a few seconds that can be critical. The M84 attacks two fronts, sight and hearing. Totally disabling. The primary charge is light.
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Old January 10, 2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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It was a Surefire e2d.

Jesus, you did not miss the point of the question.
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Old January 10, 2009, 10:39 AM   #7
ckd
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It has a couple of uses. As others have said, it can cause a brief disorientation if bright enough and directed to the eyes, and of course potential target identification. The down side can be it just p... off a practiced felon, and it didn't buy you the time to get away or...

Carrying a small powerful lamp is always a good idea, assuming it will cause submission would be overating it.
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Old January 10, 2009, 10:54 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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I wonder if there's not a bit of "What the...? Nobody carries around flashlights but cops! I'm oughta here!"

Sure, most people have one in their car but on their body? It's got to make people think. Maybe even, "Hell, if he's got a flashlight on him what else has he got?"
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Old January 10, 2009, 10:58 AM   #9
Tim Burke
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Just like most things... it depends. Sometimes it will serve as a deterrent, sometimes it'll escalate the situation. Even if it escalates the situation, if it interferes with his night vision enough it may still serve to help you make your exit unmolested.
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Old January 11, 2009, 09:46 PM   #10
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Sounds like a good idea to me. The world I live in if I'm approached by someone in a parking lot, sidewalk, alley, etc. I tell them to leave me alone. They don't do it. I speak louder. They still keep coming, the CCW comes out. The flashlight gives you a great buffer between speaking louder and pulling a lethal weapon out. It does all of the following:

1. Gets their attention.
2. Blinds them.
3. Their night vision is shot so even after you turn off the light they can't see as well as you can.
4. It confuses them.
5. If it's bright enough it hides your movements so if he keeps coming he doesn't see you draw your weapon. Depending on the scenario this can be good or it can be bad.

Yes it will probably anger all of them. Only a very small percentage of these types will act more aggressively from it. The most important thing it does is draw attention to the BG. That's something they don't want at all and will most likely cause them to re-think their actions.
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Old January 11, 2009, 10:51 PM   #11
Mike in VA
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I agree with Scorpion and others. While it may annoy those who are up to no good, it shouldn't bother an honest person. On the plus side, it does draw attention, interferres with night vision, may disorient & confuse, obscures your moves, lets you get a better look at who you're dealing with, and may be intimidating.

IMO, there's a very minor downside with a lot of upsides. FWIW.
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Old January 12, 2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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use of a light

IMO use it.

What's the stardard equipment load for CCW? Gun, knife and flashlight right...

Non-lethal to lethal use of "force." If you carry a flashlight.... USE it. 60, 90+ lumens.

Have you ever tried it out? Some night have a friend flash you in the eyes and see if you can see - momentarily?? You are blinded.... period. I'm not saying forever but longer than you think, long enough for you to move and prepare. TRY IT out and see for yourself.

Plus using a light you are in control. Remember this is mostly at night or in a dark area (movie and such). You can see and it puts focus on them. It's like turning the lights on in Texas - the cockroaches just scurry away - run and hide).

I've used it in a movie with 3 teenage boys just being disorderly. Some people said things to them but they just ignored them. I stood up and flashed a light in their eyes and kept it on. We could all see them and I gave the command from god to leave - they left.

So, carry a light and use it when you need to. It's not a hide and seek game. Your not playing a James Bond role as a super spy.
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Old January 12, 2009, 04:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'm left with the question: is the flashlight more aggressive than it is assertive, and have I actually been monumentally stupid by shining it in somebody's face after they didn't get that I really don't want to talk? It produced instant compliance, but that's a sample size of one so there's no inferring.
MothersLilHelper,
I've gone 'round and 'round on this topic with different folks some of whom absolutely insist that "spotlighting" someone is an aggressive act and invites retaliation.

Now I'm NOT saying that my experience is what will happen all the time but the -many- times I've felt the need to "spotlight" someone either on duty or off (formerly worked in LE) almost always brought the other person up short.

The rare (maybe one or two) times I can remember that it triggered an aggressive response the aggressor was still blinded enough to have trouble determining my body position, location of my arms, and/or what I had in my hands and that gave me a powerful tactical advantage. (When the flashlight blinded person rushing you can barely see your dodge and doesn't even see a PR-24 swinging in the fight's usually over before it really starts).

Additionally, I COULD see the aggressor BECAUSE they were already lit up.

Now I'm a bit of a flashlight nut so the lights I carry are small but very powerful so that may also have something to do with it but in general I don't think appropriate spotlighting is a poor tactical choice.

Also, if you are one of the rare breed who has a powerful professional grade light on hand that tends to make the person on the other end notice that you are a PREPARED individual (unlike 90+% of the rest of the world). That usually leads to the thought that you might be PREPARED in other ways and tends to immediately remove you from the "easy mark" category.
Quote:
Have you ever tried it out? Some night have a friend flash you in the eyes and see if you can see - momentarily?? You are blinded.... period. I'm not saying forever but longer than you think, long enough for you to move and prepare. TRY IT out and see for yourself.
I agree oldkim, and in those few seconds most people can put a LOT of distance between themselves and a threat if necessary.

Last edited by ZeSpectre; January 13, 2009 at 06:57 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:54 PM   #14
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Thank you, everybody, for your input and advice.

As a new member here, I very much appreciate the community's response to my question. Thanks for the welcome.

I think I'll keep the Surefire in the pocket, and keep working at having to avoid anybody who would give me reason to shine it in their general direction.
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Old January 13, 2009, 03:02 AM   #15
Bill DeShivs
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If you use one of these, and keep his face lit with it, he won't even be able to open his eyes! http://billdeshivs.com/bd1/modules.p...howpage&pid=18
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