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Old August 8, 2009, 11:51 AM   #126
Vanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsetactical
As I understand it under FL law all you have to do is be threatened or feel threatened with bodily harm.
Umm, no. The "feeling," or belief, has to be a reasonable one.
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
Dr. Strangelove beat me to this, but I've reposted the most relevant part of the Florida statute in order to emphasize one word: reasonably.

It is not enough just to "feel threatened." There has to be a reasonable basis for the feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove
Sitting in a closed automobile with the windows up while an unarmed man screams at you and strikes the car a couple of times would be a hard sell to me as a juror as justification for use of deadly force, or even pointing a firearm at someone.
Just so...
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Old August 8, 2009, 12:06 PM   #127
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Old August 8, 2009, 12:32 PM   #128
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Great to see the actual FL Laws

Like I said it was my understanding through what others had said about FL law that it was more leaneant than KY law. Sounds like it is just like KY law though because that is how it reads here as well. You have to be faced with "imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself" or have a reasonable belief of such.

Alaska just cause you have taught classes up in Alaska does not mean you know jack about KY law or FL law. Just like I obviously didn't know as much as I thought I did about FL law. [deleted section]

I will be the first to admit when I am wrong and love to be more educated about things by people who can actually state thier sources like Strangelove. Who taught me something after reading his post that I can now take with me as actual law and fact about FL laws.

I still hold the opinion that with the guy being handicapped that would hold some bearing in the court room had the perp say broke through his driver window or grabbed him or as you all were talking about had the "reasonable belief" that he was going to do so. Which with the guy already striking a window and telling him he was going to kick the @#@$ out of him, I can see how reasonable belief of serious bodily harm could be obtained. You can hurt some one with a disablity alot worse than you can one that is completely healthy.

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Old August 8, 2009, 12:41 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsetactical
I will be the first to admit when I am wrong and love to be more educated about things by people who can actually state thier sources like Strangelove. Who taught me something after reading his post that I can now take with me as actual law and fact about FL laws.
Eclipse, it's a fine thing to be able to admit when you're wrong about something.

As to stating sources, it's not hard -- you just have to want to be accurate. Google is your friend. It took me about 45 seconds to find the statute above on the Florida govt. website.

Quote:
You can hurt some one with a disablity alot worse than you can one that is completely healthy.
I hope you're not speaking from experience...

Just kidding.
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Old August 8, 2009, 12:49 PM   #130
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Nope just speaking logically

Just common sence that you could hurt a disabled person more seriously than a completely healthy one. I do have experience with disabled vets which also gives me an informed perspective of how injury prone a disabled person is as oppossed to a healthy one.
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Old August 8, 2009, 01:52 PM   #131
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Someone is going to have to explain this one to me because I just don't get it. To me, being "injury prone" means that you are more likely to sustain an injury than someone who is not, but you said that "you could hurt a disabled person more seriously than a completely healthy one."

I am pretty sure that if I took a 33" solid maple Louisville Slugger and whacked you on the back of the head and a disabled person on the back of the head, both of you stand and fairly equal chance of sustaining the same level of injury.

Now I will grant you that a physically disabled person may not have as many options in terms of their response to a threatening situtation, but an injury is an injury no matter what! Maybe you're just not expressing yourself well.

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Old August 8, 2009, 02:47 PM   #132
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Well a disabled person's body is usually not able to take as much abuse. Your Louisville slugger thing for instance. If you hit a disabled person who has already had head trauma as oposed to someone who has not, you are much more likely to cause a much more serious injury to that disabled person. As far as a fight in general if you are fighting a disabled person who has sustained injuries to thier body in some sort of way you are more likely to agrivate those already sustained injuries as opposed to a healthy person you may cause new injuries but they are not going to be as severe as what you would do to a person physically disabled. Lets give a for instance, my friend Master Sergent Raferty has a partial prostetic leg and just doesnt get around that well. If you hit him with a bat it is going to cause serious life threatening injury with a definate slow recovery time as compared to you hitting me with that same bat with the same force. Yes you are going to hurt me but I do not have already weakened bone structure or a partial prostetic therefore my injuries would not be as severe and most likely not life threatening.

Did I explain it better that time?
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Old August 8, 2009, 03:05 PM   #133
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I agree. Although I don't recall reading WHY the OP needs to park in a handicap spot, it really does not matter, nor is it any of our business. Regardless, in most instances it would be safe to say that disabled person has a higher risk of sustaining crtical bodily harm compared to an otherwise healthy, non-disabled person.

That in itself could give a disabled person more of a REASONABLE fear of great bodily harm. Thus giving him the legal right to use deadly force.

Bottom line is that the situation likely happened in a matter of a minute or two. It escalated quickly and the OP was NOT the aggressor. You can sit here and say "should have" done this or that all day... But when it came down to a man stuck between two cars, with some jerk making physical threats, I still side with the OP's judgement in doing what he did out of fear for his safety.
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Old August 8, 2009, 05:11 PM   #134
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Everyone's probably going to have to agree to disagree. There's no way to end this argument, and I don't see where anyone has changed their position (of those who participated anyway), but this was an educational conversation for sure...
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Old August 8, 2009, 05:25 PM   #135
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Ok I went to the FL State Senate website (http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes) and re-read the statutes that apply here. Here is what I found.

Brandishing - as I read the statute below he was not brandishing the firearm because he was doing so in defense of himself, weather that defense was justified has nothing to do with the brandishing. The fact is that it says that you can show the weapon in self-defense and be cleared of any wrongdoing...legally that is.
790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.--If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083

Use of deadly force/Crimes committed - I do think that the BG was guilty of Simple Assault, but not aggrivated assault. The guy was threatening to harm the OP and was showing that he was capable of hurting the OP by poinding on the glass with his fists. All he needed was a metal object such as a key or a carabiener(sp?) to get through the glass and he would have upped the charge to agg battery.
784.011 Assault.-- (1) An "assault" is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

784.021 Aggravated assault.--
(1) An "aggravated assault" is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.
(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

So, as I read the statutes(I'm not a lawyer or a judge so I won't say for absolutely) legally speaking the OP was justified in showing the handgun but would not have been justified in shooting the BG. It would have been very unlikely for the State Atty General to have prosecuted him even if the police had arrested him...IMO. That being said I personally would have kept the handgun hidden from sight but still had my hand on or very very close to it.
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Old August 8, 2009, 05:56 PM   #136
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Have to go with Ken (Wildalaska) on this one. Does Harold Fish ring a bell with anyone? If you shoot an unarmed person you are behind the eight ball from the get-go with any jury. You may get off but you will have to really show the jury something to justify it.

In the OP the nutcase was separated by the car door and window and therefore could not do anything. I liked Ken's tactic of keeping the gun ready and if and only if the nutcase breaks the window then fire away and no jury would convict. Brandishing the gun just escalates the situation. You were safe in the car, so stay there, call the cops, and have your firearm ready.

If you had shot him from your car without the window being broken I think you would have been prosecuted.
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Old August 8, 2009, 06:58 PM   #137
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Alright, im going to state a fact that I have not seen posted so far

It is nearly impossible to break safety glass with your hands. And by nearly I mean maybe the hulk could do it. I have never seen a case where someone was able to just smash through with their fist. It take a sharp edge to shatter it, and then it can be smashed away.

That said, I am not really leaning toward either way on this one.
Not so. I punched out a side window in an 85 Monte Carlo once. Shattered to hell and back. Cut my hand up pretty well, but it popped wide open. They don't have a sheet of plastic in them like windshields do.
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Old August 8, 2009, 08:12 PM   #138
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I don't think it would be a hard sell for a jury. Some laws in states say that if you get out of your car to confront another it is AUTO road rage. Road rage=rage. Rage=danger. Danger=self defense.
I am not saying shoot the guy, I am saying point the gun. The third bang on the window could have broken it. Never know till it happens
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Old August 8, 2009, 08:53 PM   #139
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Some laws in states say that if you get out of your car to confront another it is AUTO road rage. Road rage=rage. Rage=danger. Danger=self defense.
Citation please?

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Old August 8, 2009, 09:53 PM   #140
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http://www.roadragers.com/what-is-road-rage.htm

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/curriculum/Unit%202.pdf

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc13210.htm

The handbook specifically says trying to get someone to pull over to settle a dispute. Old boy came to his car to settle it. In cali thats 6 months no license.
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Old August 8, 2009, 10:09 PM   #141
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No one disputes road rage is an assault, where is the citation that allows one to threaten or utilize deadly physical force against a road rager absent normal self defense standards?

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Old August 9, 2009, 12:45 AM   #142
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assault is assault. there is no special thing that says "if you road rage I can shoot you" point is Cali and other states have equalized it as assault. so, when SD applies to assault, this is included in assault.
that is what happened. Guy came out to bang on window. Assault. Legal self defense allowed. When do you determine if assault is life threatening?
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Old August 9, 2009, 01:06 AM   #143
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When do you determine if assault is life threatening?
When it crosses the line to the imminent use of deadly physical force against you, objectively and subjectively.

The OP was not in imminent danger of having deadly physical force used against him and therefore had no business in threatening the use of deadly physical force. His actions were irresponsible (on the facts given) and he lucked out in not being prosecuted.

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PS...you (generically) aren't safe because of your gun. your gun is as dangerous to you as to the person who threatens you. your weapon is your brain.

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Old August 9, 2009, 01:09 AM   #144
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Reading is your friend.

The Florida Department of Agriculture, which issues concealed carry permits in Florida has a lot of good info here:

http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/wea...f_defense.html

I posted this link in this thread already, but I think it's important information, so here it is again. Please do read it. Here is the most relevant info for those who won't bother to click on the link:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Dept. of AG website
Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?

A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:

Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.
Using or displaying a handgun in any other circumstances could result in your conviction for crimes such as improper exhibition of a firearm, manslaughter, or worse.

Example of the kind of attack that will not justify defending yourself with deadly force: Two neighbors got into a fight, and one of them tried to hit the other by swinging a garden hose. The neighbor who was being attacked with the hose shot the other in the chest. The court upheld his conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm, because an attack with a garden hose is not the kind of violent assault that justifies responding with deadly force.

Q. What if someone uses threatening language to me so that I am afraid for my life or safety?

A. Verbal threats are not enough to justify the use of deadly force. There must be an overt act by the person which indicates that he immediately intends to carry out the threat. The person threatened must reasonably believe that he will be killed or suffer serious bodily harm if he does not immediately take the life of his adversary.

Q. What if I point my handgun at someone but don't use it?

A. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument. Threatening someone verbally while possessing a handgun, even licensed, will land you in jail for three years. Even if the gun is broken or you don't have bullets, you will receive the mandatory three-year sentence if convicted. The law does not allow any possibility of getting out of jail early.

Example: In a 1987 case, a woman refused to pay an automobile mechanic who she thought did a poor job repairing her car. They argued about it, and the mechanic removed the radiator hose from the car so she couldn't drive it away. She reached into her purse, pulled out an unloaded gun, and threatened to kill the mechanic if he touched her car again. The mechanic grabbed the gun and called the police.

The woman was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to serve a mandatory three-year prison term. The fact that the gun was not loaded was irrelevant. Even though she was the mother of three dependent children and had no prior criminal record, the statute does not allow for parole. Her only recourse was to seek clemency from the Governor.
Here for your reading pleasure is the summary of that Florida State web page, cut and pasted. Bolds and underlines are mine to emphasize what is most relevant to our discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Dept of AG website
Summary

1. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument, even if it isn't loaded or you never intend to use it

2. The amount of force that you use to defend yourself must not be excessive under the circumstances.

Never use deadly force in self-defense unless you are afraid that if you don't, you will be killed or seriously injured;
Verbal threats never justify your use of deadly force;
If you think someone has a weapon and will use it unless you kill him, be sure you are right and are not overreacting to the situation.
3. The law permits you to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman or a "good samaritan."

4. Never carry your concealed weapon into any place where the statute prohibits carrying it.

This is not a complete summary of all the statutes and court opinions on the use of deadly force. Because the concealed weapons statute specifies that concealed weapons are to be used for lawful self-defense, we have not attempted to summarize the body of law on lawful defense of property. This information is not intended as legal advice. Every self-defense case has its own unique set of facts, and it is unwise to try to predict how a particular case would be decided. It is clear, however, that the law protects people who keep their tempers under control and use deadly force only as a last resort.
The Florida law reads "reasonably believe" and that doesn't mean one can just say "Eeek. I'm scared. Bang." It means would a reasonable person in that situation have cause to believe they were in imminent peril of loss of life or great physical harm.

This incident never went to grand jury or trial, and we certainly won't be deciding it here on The Firing Line. I believe the lesson to be taken to heart here, no matter what our personal opinion of the actions taken in this specific situation, is that if a bunch of pro-gun folks on a web forum can't agree on a relatively simple issue (was the OP justified in drawing his pistol) what would have happened had this actually gone to trial with twelve strangers who may not be gun enthusiasts deciding the issue?

Learn the law. Follow the law. Don't depend on what you hear from a friend or see on a web forum. Or pay the consequences for breaking the law.

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Old August 9, 2009, 01:57 AM   #145
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It is clear, however, that the law protects people who keep their tempers under control and use deadly force only as a last resort.
Last clear chance boys and girls, last clear chance. Aint just the perps life on the line, it be yours to.

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Old August 9, 2009, 02:16 AM   #146
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Wrong thread

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Old August 9, 2009, 05:56 AM   #147
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Save your breath cracked91. I made a similar comment and was pretty much ignored. People here don't want to hear things like that. People on these forums don't really post things looking for advice. All they are really looking for is someone to confirm that they made the correct decision. If you disagree with what they did, then clearly you didn't fully understand the circumstances or appreciate the OP's situation.

As much as Microgunner insists it is not the case, this whole incident is over a parking space. My advice was to just drive around and let this nut case in the truck go by. He was obviously agitated and in a bigger hurry to get into the store than the OP. In the time it would have taken to drive around, that would have:
a) given the person more time to load up their car
b) allowed the OP to position himself better so as not to block the aisle
c) find a different handicapped space
Doing any one of those three things would have avoided this situation.

I am glad to see the comments from the Florida website. Something I have also said here that people don't like to hear is the fact that having a gun can indeed affect the way some people react to a situation. Having a gun is supposed to empower you. Empower you to know that you can protect your life or that of someone else in the event you find yourself in imminent danger. Obviously it also empowers people to do dumb things as well.

Yes, this was over a parking spot. While Microgunner is certainly entitled to park in A handicapped spot, it was because of his insistance over having that particular spot and refusing to move to let this other guy go by that contributed to this situation. Yeah, the guy in the truck was highly agitated, but what do most rational people do when confronted with someone like that? My vote would be to avoid the situation.

I have been going to Wal-Mart for probably close to 30 years. For 10 of those years, I drove vehicles with handicapped plates and not once have I ever had to pull a gun over a parking space... ever!

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Old August 9, 2009, 06:25 AM   #148
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Well... I would have pulled the trigger on that fool. If he looked like a dirty hippy... I would have pulled it twice.

eta.... THUMP THUMP THUMP.... BANG!
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Old August 9, 2009, 06:59 AM   #149
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Put Your War Face On

I think getting a bigger gun might help too as far as scare factor. Also when you point it at them put your war face on like you aren't playing. Refer to picture below.....This lady points a gun at me I am running for cover and so would any man in thier right mind.

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Old August 9, 2009, 08:30 AM   #150
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By my count there are about twenty replies on here that support the OP's action. One poster said he "might have shot the guy."

Almost all of these were posted before Dr. Strangelove's Post #144.

I strongly recommend that everyone go back and read it slowly and carefully.

Here's a "Cliff Notes" version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Dept of AG website
Summary

1. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument, even if it isn't loaded or you never intend to use it

2. The amount of force that you use to defend yourself must not be excessive under the circumstances.

Never use deadly force in self-defense unless you are afraid that if you don't, you will be killed or seriously injured; Verbal threats never justify your use of deadly force; If you think someone has a weapon and will use it unless you kill him, be sure you are right and are not overreacting to the situation.
3. The law permits you to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman or a "good samaritan."

....

This is not a complete summary of all the statutes and court opinions on the use of deadly force. Because the concealed weapons statute specifies that concealed weapons are to be used for lawful self-defense, we have not attempted to summarize the body of law on lawful defense of property. This information is not intended as legal advice. Every self-defense case has its own unique set of facts, and it is unwise to try to predict how a particular case would be decided. It is clear, however, that the law protects people who keep their tempers under control and use deadly force only as a last resort.

.....

Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?

A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:

Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.
Using or displaying a handgun in any other circumstances could result in your conviction for crimes such as improper exhibition of a firearm, manslaughter, or worse.
Laws vary by state, but it isn't a good idea for any lay person, untrained in legal theory, unaware of how each statute fits into the context of the entire body of law, and not knowledgeable of the case law, to try to ascertain the limits of how one might justify the use of deadly force.
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