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Old February 20, 2009, 09:19 AM   #101
OldMarksman
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OldMarks, I'd really like your take on the 2 scenarios I listed in a prior post up on this page.
In the case of the pharmacy shooting, Hkmp5sd answered very well, I think. Yes, one can speculate about what might have happened had the guard not fired, but the assailant was threatening people with a deadly weapon and putting them in imminent danger of death at the time the shot was fired. Shooting him did not involve applying sanctions for a crime he had already committed.

Regarding the home intruder, I believe that the intent of most castle laws is to establish the fact of an unlawful entry (in some place it must be forcible) as reason to believe that the occupant is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. The shooter used deadly force to prevent that from happening. Again, it wasn't a case of trying to hold the perp or punish him.

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If you were in the same situation in two different states, one where shooting is legal and one where it is not, would you truly act differently? Perhaps you just wouldn't shoot in either case, and that's fine. But that isn't the question.
Good question.

I don't know of any state in which self defense is not legal. Some states have a stand your ground law, but I don't think that would encourage me to shoot rather than to try to evade, avoid, or escape, though it might help in my defense.

Some states have castle laws, some do not, and the ones that exist differ in the detail. I've read legal opinions to the effect that some apparently controversial castle laws that caused concern in the media did not really change the law in the states in question. I know I wouldn't ever presume that such a law would legalize murder--I'll fire when I have no choice and only then. Again, what the laws would do is clarify the defense.

What I hope is that I can keep my wits about me and fire only if I have to. I don't know if you've ever had someone break in or try to break in, but it's a terrifying experience. So far, I've been able to get by by exhibiting a firearm and telling the perp to get going.

I know I would not shoot someone in the back at night because I don't think I could reasonably recover my propane tank any other way. That's provided for in the law in one state at this time.

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Anyone on here can say they'd only do what is legal, but that's truly B.S. when the situation turns dire in a heartbeat. They'd do what they think is right, and if they're lucky, their choice will be one that is also legal. The law isn't exactly perfect, you know... if it was, it wouldn't be different across the 50 states.
That's right, but the reason we do have laws is to codify what is "right" uniformly. There are those who would feel justified in using deadly force to prevent the taking of their pick-up truck or wallet, or to get their property back. After careful deliberation by the finest minds, it was established that that was not OK some time after the time of Henry II, and most sates have specified accordingly in statute. Thinking it right does not make it so. So it's a very good idea to know what is OK before you ever even think about picking up a gun, and to not rely on dramatizations that one has seen in TV westerns and cop shows.

You've mentioned talking to the police. I've seen the lecture you posted and everyone should listen to it all the way through. You've also mentioned Massad's advice. Here it is:

Massad Ayoob’s Five-Point Checklist
1. Tell responding officers “I’m the victim; he is the perpetrator.”
2. Tell responding officers, “I will sign a complaint.”
3. Point out pertinent evidence.
4. Point out any witnesses who saw what happened.
5. If there is any hint that you are a suspect, say “Officer, you will have my full cooperation in twenty four hours after I have met with counsel.”

Step 0 is to be the first to call the police.

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Would you rather have a person of high moral conviction (whose convictions you agreed with) or someone knowledgeable in the law as your neighbor?
I have both. I guess I can't say that my preferences would be doctor, police officer, plumber, heating and air conditioning man, ....

About once a week several friends get together to solve the world's problems. One is a retired attorney, and one is a former police officer. We often discuss ongoing threads on this forum. I don't rely on what I hear but I do find it helpful.

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I'm still waiting for OldMarksman to tell me exactly what he would do if someone broke into his home. If they surrendered immediately on seeing you had a gun, then what? Do you not keep your gun out while you wait for the cops? Or, do you insist that the BG leave your premises immediately and just hope that the police can find him?
The former.

The original question was whether to hold them. Should they choose to leave I will not put myself in physical or legal danger. Should they opt to stay I'll keep a gun on them--for self defense.
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Old February 20, 2009, 10:08 AM   #102
Glenn E. Meyer
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I've done this is FOF, JG0001 - you find a person in your house. You tell them to get on the ground. They:

1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).

2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).

3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.

What's your take on the action?
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Old February 20, 2009, 10:42 AM   #103
jg0001
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I've done this is FOF, JG0001 - you find a person in your house. You tell them to get on the ground. They:

1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).

2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).

3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.

What's your take on the action?
[Explain the FOF term please...]

(each of the below presume I or my wife has called the police already; where I live, the police show up in under 3 minutes (my boy has dialed 911 by accident before and my wife had an incident (which turned out to be harmless) which also involved the police))

1. Keep the gun trained on them. Repeat again the command to get down, motioning the same. English speaker or not, unless they are mentally deficient, they'll get the idea. If they do not get down, I suppose I just keep the gun trained on them, period. I would not get closer to them than I had to be to maintain a visual lock on them. If anything, I would stay OUT of immediate physical range to the extent possible. (understanding that crossing a standard room length really doesn't take very long for a determined BG -- one of the links provided notes that a BG can cover 20 yds in 1.5 seconds, so there is little true safe distance here)

2. This situation would depend on what they DID already and whether or not they were or still are armed. If any level of physical altercation had taken place, I'd be less inclined to let them go. If any of my loved ones had been seriously injured, there's no way they're going to walk away. If they are still armed (and just had their hands in the air, with the gun still in their hand), that too is a threat requiring response. [I've asked the same question of others -- if someone stops the violence they are committing based on your presentation of a gun, but they then try to leave, what do you do?] In this case, any injury incurred to a family member of mine that requires my assistance would take precedence over holding the BG. For example, if my wife or kid was bleeding to death at my feet, they become priority #1 after the BG is no longer in a position to inflict further injury. Exactly what that would mean will depend on the situation.

3. Obviously, the distance involved would determine whether an additional verbal warning is given or not. Otherwise, the risk is too great and their 'stroll' towards me could easily turn into a lunge at me.. in this case ->boom. Whether or not I'd shoot someone in the leg or other non-vital would depend on if they were armed or not, the distance and lighting conditions, etc. I don't think my first instinct would be to kill them rather than incapacitate them. I understand that a self-defense course may say otherwise, that you wouldn't be capable of making a specific shot and that COM is your only safe bet, but I imagine I would take any effort possible to not shoot to kill. Again, this is them SLOWLY closing in on me and me having a direct bead on them. Anything else and center of mass applies.


[for anyone skimming this thread, all of the above relate to a situation in your own house, not out in public]

Last edited by jg0001; February 20, 2009 at 10:58 AM.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:12 PM   #104
Glenn E. Meyer
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FOF - force on force training. My view - quite the necessity for the serious gun carrier - although I note the time and expense required for it.

You go through a simulation with trained role players of various scenarios. Research shows that it significantly aids in the performance of military and police as regards to actual tactics, performance, stress innoculation and the like.

As a FOG (fat old guy) - it makes you engage in serious thought when it goes awry.

BTW - shooting in the leg is not necessarily not a vital or lethal hit. Courts don't see it that way and folks have bled out very quickly from leg shots.

As far as an armed opponent fleeing - is that not a good thing as long as you maintain awareness. Engage him and you are no assurance that your shots are lethal (we've debated that before) and he can easily re-engage you. You can miss and he can re-engage you. Unless you have some real reason that enhances your immediate safety and that of others, having the armed person go away seems reasonable.
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Old February 20, 2009, 03:28 PM   #105
BillCA
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1. Just stand there (maybe they don't understand English - not uncommon here).
¡No mueva! ¡manos arriba! ¡En el suelo, ahora!
(Don't move!) (Show me your hands!) (Get on the ground now!)

Or simply get right to the point:
¡No mueva, hombre muerto!

Quote:
2. They turn their back on you and walk towards the door and say - Man, I'm leaving - Don't shoot me - bro (dude, amigo).
Continue to aim COM and track his movements. If possible to safely change your position quietly, do so. This way if he turns to attack, you're not where he expects you to be.

Otherwise let him leave. Remain alert, eyeball his departure if you can (relay to PD). Secure the house.

Quote:
3. They walk towards you with a big smile and hands up.
Boom! Boom!

The above is my reaction because distances in my house will be no more than about 18 ft. If he's just inside the door and I'm at the end of the hallway nearest, it's only 10-ft. He moves towards me while he's illegally in my home AND I'm pointing a gun at him, he's going to get seriously hurt.

In a larger setting - over about 20-ft:
"Don't Move!" (alternately: ¡Alto! ¡No mueva!")
[continues advance]
Boom! (lather, rinse, repeat)
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Old February 20, 2009, 03:31 PM   #106
Daugherty16
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Tough Call - Know the Law

The OP was, do you hold them or let them run. Worst thing i can imagine is holding the BG then being shot by cops when they arrive and see a gun in my hands. I am surprised nobody mentioned that possibility. Or for those Wyatt Earps on this thread, the strong likelihood of not shooting accurately in the dark, after being woken up short, with the adrenaline rush of drawing down on a perp, or worse the rage of having a family member brutalized.

Once the arguments started tho, and the scenarios started popping out, the difficulty of these "what-if" threads immediately surfaced. Would you react the same way to stopping a guy from coming in your living room window, as you would catching a guy brutally raping your daughter? Doubtful. Even a trained LEO - you guys are out there - would you react the same to these two totally different events?

I think there's a necessity for everyone who carries to know the laws they are subject to. (That way, when you beat the child-rapist unconscious with your bare hands and stuff down his throat the parts that fall off when you castrate/emasculate him, you'll know just which laws you are violating.) Okay, sorry for that...

But seriously - we all need to be responsible citizens, and advance the CCW cause by being educated and trained to react as well as possible. We carry not because we are frightened, but because we choose to have a decisive, life-saving advantage if ever needed. Most likely it never will be, but you have to train as though it will. And you have to know the difference when it counts.

Truly the greater danger may seem to lie in not shooting a perp. The incident can become protracted, the dangerous conditions/threat can recur, etc - but by far the longer-lasting implications occur once the trigger is pulled. If the sitatuation defuses itself and the guy walks away, I won't be too quick to trade my freedom, my family and my hard-won possessions for a testosterone moment.

Okay - the truth - the BG raping my daughter will not walk away under his own power.
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Old February 20, 2009, 04:19 PM   #107
BillCA
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This really isn't rocket science.

We've all seen articles in "The Armed Citizen" were an intruder is detained at gunpoint by some citizen, sometimes even senior citizens. If grandma can do it, so can you. It's simply a matter of being alert and being prepared to take command of the situation.

As I see it, taking command of the situation requires;
1. That he acquiesces to your commands
2. You issue clear, concise and firm commands.
3. His desire to escape is outweighed by his safety concerns.
4. He does not perceive reluctance, hesitance or confusion on your part. (i.e. weakness, indecision, unwilling to shoot)

If he obeys your commands, that's a good first start. If he fails to obey your commands it may be for any of the reasons in 2, 3 or 4; or he may just be a whackjob.

Your commands must be unambigious. Clearly say what you want him to do, say it without embellishments and say it in a tone that indicates you expect compliance.
"Don't move!" is preferred to "Stay where you are, I have a gun on you!"

If his desire to escape is high enough, he'll do anything to get away. Including charging an armed homeowner. Never put yourself between him and an exit. If he bolts for a nearby exit (you won't lose sight of him) then let him go. Why?
a) Hitting a moving target is much harder, esp. in the dark.
b) If he leaves, the threat diminishes. Problem solved.
c) If he's that desperate, he may be desperate enough to hurt you or kill you to escape.

Thugs like to prey on the weak, not the strong. They are often adept at spotting weakness -- reluctance, hesitation, confusion - in their victims. If you display these characteristics, he may think he can take you. Especially if he can do something unusual and take advantage of your hesitation while he acts.

In the early 80's we watched a chilling training film. It was survelliance film of two prisoners "practicing" in their cell. Like Glenn's FOF (Force on Force) training scenarios. One prisoner played the "citizen" and the other the thug. Thug had his hands up but talked to the citizen thusly:
BG: Whoa man! I thought this was Jimmy's pad!
GG: You just stay right there. I'm calling the cops.
BG: (sotto voice: Watch my feet) "Look, I got the wrong place, man. I'm sorry, just let me leave, ok? Whaddya say?" [shifts weight and slides one foot forward half step]
GG: No. Stay there. I'm calling the cops.
BG: Look, man. If you shoot me (sotto: watch the feet) the cops will arrest you as well as me. You don't want that, do you? [Shifts weight and moves other foot half-step forward]
GG: Ah, no. Just stay there. [emulates reaching for phone]
BG: Wait, man! [moves other foot forward] You shoot me and a lawyer will cost you ten grand easy. [moves other foot] If you just let me go, we're all happy, right?
GG: (holding phone) Uh, no, I ... [BG lunges]

Analysis: The BG starts off with a "plausible" explanation - he mistook your place for someone else's. Never mind that he came in through a window or jiggered the back door.

He senses weakness in the victim who doesn't really take firm control. He also knows the cops are NOT yet enroute. Two points to his advantage. So he now does three things - talks back to the victim who patiently listens and while he's distracted, moves a foot forward, testing his awareness while closing the distance between them. Lastly he asks a question to further distract the victim.

He then tries to invoke doubt by telling the victim that cops will also arrest him (the victim) if the victim shoots him. This causes the victim to doubt his actions or internally debate if he's doing the right thing. Note the question a the end again. Meanwhile he's creeping closer.

Seeing more weakness and inattention to his movements he presses the issue, trying to seed doubt (and financial worry) in the victim while moving close enough that he can jump the victim while distracted by the talk.

Once you have an intruder at gunpoint, your job is to take control. Command (not ask) him to get on the ground. Command him to not look in your direction. Command him that he is not to talk. If he fails to comply and you see that his feet move to get closer or prepare to lunge your reaction should be clear and immediate.

It's common for someone caught to plead for you not to shoot. But your firm commands (repeated rapidly) leave him little time to keep talking. You want him on the ground with his hands visible. The only thing you care about is his compliance. Once he's on the ground, tell him no talking allowed. When he's immobilized call the cops and wait for their arrival.
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Old February 20, 2009, 07:44 PM   #108
OldMarksman
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The BG starts off with a "plausible" explanation - he mistook your place for someone else's.
Actually that happens frequently. I've done that and so have friends of mine. No breakage, of course. I'm reminded of the old Limeliters song, "Charlie the Midnight Marauder," which probably few people here remember.

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He then tries to invoke doubt by telling the victim that cops will also arrest him (the victim) if the victim shoots him.
If there is a shot, if there's any suspicion, and if the facts aren't pretty clear, the prosecution will say that the intruder is the victim.

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Once you have an intruder at gunpoint, your job is to take control. Command (not ask) him to get on the ground.
No, not for me. My job is not to make a citizen's arrest. I'm not paid for it, I'm not trained for it, and I'm not indemnified.

I'm not willing to assume the risks of getting killed or injured, of being charged for a criminal offense, or of being sued.

A friend who is a trial attorney believes that the last of these is the most likely and by far the most serious. Preponderance of the evidence...

If I were an off duty or a former LEO, or a prosecutor or former prosecutor, I might act differently, but I'm not.

As I've said before, I've used a weapon to stop three home invasions and have never shot or held anyone. Here's the scoop:

The first guy was still outside and trying to break in. He ran when he saw me with a gun through a largely blocked window at his side.

The second entered through an unlocked door and was threatening murder. He appeared to be unarmed. He had followed someone he knew into the house. The safest thing to do was to get him out.

The third got into my remote rented mountain cabin in the early hours of the morning. There was no telephone and it was a long way to town. The man was stoned, unarmed, and naked except for a headband and a peace sign pendant. I had no idea how to hold him, and I watched him cross a roaring river and amble across a moraine in the light of the full moon and the bright stars. I did stay awake for a long time afterwards!
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