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Old January 23, 2010, 09:36 AM   #1
45Gunner
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IN Your Space?

Do you have a predetermined "Comfort Zone" in which no stranger is allowed to enter?

I had dinner with a detective friend last night that was working a case in which a person went on a shooting spree because the laundry room at his condo building wasn't kept clean enough to his liking. He started yelling at a woman outside the building. Her husband came outside because he heard the yelling. The perp then walked up to the husband, got in his face, poked him a few times with a finger, then took out a 9mm and shot this poor guy in the leg and then in the face. It came out in the investigation that the perp had told a friend the night before that he was going to kill someone soon.

Our dinner discussion then became about "personal space", the invasion of said space, and the proper reaction to having that space invaded. In this particular incident, it is evident that the perp was not playing with a full deck. So, to further complicate situations such as this, how do you determine that you are dealing with a frustrated person or someone that has gone off the deep end?

What really makes this a difficult call, it is illegal in Florida, and probably most other states, to brandish a gun if you perceive a threat. The threat must be real and the opposing force must be deadly in order to use deadly force against it.

In my opinion, the guy that got shot failed to stop the BG before he entered his personal space. He couldn't have known the shooter had a gun before hand so he was not prepared for that. I have maintained that our society is becoming one is which it is ludicrous to go anywhere or do anything without having some form of personal protection. I have my idea of personal space and I do not let anyone violate it. If someone I don't know gets a little too close to me, I will give them more distance. If they continue to get close, I have no problem telling them they are making me uncomfortable and to please give me a little more breathing space. It hasn't happened to me, but if they continued to crowd me, I would be prepared.

Do you have "Personal Space" established and how would you react if it were invaded?
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Old January 23, 2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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Personal Space - Great Question!!

I may be sticking my neck out a bit. I would think that this has a lot to do with local law.
In my state it's defined as your House, including Property, oh it also is within your personal vehicle. There are also laws regarding the use of Deadly Force outside this space (protecting your life or the life of a 3rd party).
The problem is always when you draw the line. When do you say that's enough...that's the big question??????
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Old January 23, 2010, 10:48 AM   #3
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Many years ago I had a "personal space", my neighbors in the hole next to me, had their "personal space", we lay awake at night scared poopless that some one would enter that space, and were willing and did open up on anything that entered that space.

I don't want to live like that anymore.

Yes I do carry and I will protect my family, but I'm not going to set up a defensive position range card every every night, or every time I go somewhere.

Stranger or Friend, everyone is welcome at my door, the coffee pot is on, and there's always something to eat.

If things go south, I'll deal with it the best I can.

I dont want to live a life where I am so paranoid that I constantly have to worry about my FPP constantly (Final Protective Plan).

Experence, Training and Practice will give you the confidence to eliminate ones paranoid feelings.

So the answer is NO.

IMHO
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Old January 23, 2010, 10:56 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
He started yelling at a woman outside the building. Her husband came outside because he heard the yelling. The perp then walked up to the husband, got in his face, poked him a few times with a finger, then took out a 9mm and shot this poor guy in the leg and then in the face.
This is why we make windows to look out and "911's" to call. I'm not a counselor, psychotherapist, EMT or cop. Why would I put myself in that position?

Everyone has a "space". If a person with seemingly belligerent intent enters said space then my intent is to find a new space. I'm not going to stand there and get poked with fingers OR bullets. I have legs that can take me to a new space.
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Old January 23, 2010, 11:03 AM   #5
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I’ve been a victim of violent crime years ago and have been carrying ever since.
Yes situational awareness is a great thing but when someone gets inside arms reach your options and mobility are greatly impaired.
When someone gets inside arms reach then you must step back and there are times there is no place to step. Also the perp may take this as an act of fear and push the envelope even harder.
Yes, I have a “Do Not Violate” space; its inside arms reach.
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Old January 23, 2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
This is why we make windows to look out and "911's" to call. I'm not a counselor, psychotherapist, EMT or cop. Why would I put myself in that position?
So if some guy was being verbally abusive to your wife out in the street, you'd peek out the window and call 911?
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Old January 23, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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I have also been a victim of a violent assault, would up with a 12 ga held to my head.
It alters your perspective, and brings things into a clearer focus.

The problem is that you don't know what you don't know.

Are they on drugs? Are they mentally disturbed, hearing voices? (Did they tell someone the night before that they intended to "kill someone"?) You don't know.

Since I am too old to go fisticuffs with someone who may be younger, stronger, and seriously escalated, I would have no hesitation regarding "brandishing" a firearm if someone suddenly was yelling at my wife, up in my face, and getting frisky with his finger.

There is no one more responsible for your personal well-being than you are. That said, I do not have any defined "personal space" pre-determined where I would react defensively if someone invaded it.

IMHO it's situationally dependent.
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Old January 23, 2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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"Personal space" is often a culturally defined concept. Personal space for Americans is 'conversational distance-' about three feet, roughly arms' length. For some other cultures it's much closer- halitosis range, basically. I've seen people from this sort of culture seem to be chasing Americans around a room in the course of a conversation- the American keeps backing up, while the other person keeps getting closer.

http://www.worsleyschool.net/sociala...nal/space.html
When two people are having an argument, often the first thing one of them will do is move in close, invading the other person's personal space. This is interpreted by that other person as aggression. The term for this, in fact, is 'getting in someon'e face'.

Someone invading your personal space is a clue- either they are from a culture with a closer personal space, or they're being aggressive. Their actions and words prior to 'getting in your face' should be an adequate clue as to what they are up to. I've done one FoF exercise where a 'personal space' invasion was the big clue something bad was about to happen. People who stood there got had, people who slid away and opened some distance, made it out OK.

It doesn't have to be a gunfight to make 'getting off the X' a good idea...

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Old January 23, 2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
So if some guy was being verbally abusive to your wife out in the street, you'd peek out the window and call 911?
I did miss that it was his wife. I was thinking "some women" and "a guy".

If it's my wife:

I would look outside, see that it was my wife (or if she's not home and it could be), call 911 on the way out, get my wife and go back inside. Being poked in the chest implies standing there and arguing/fighting. That I will NOT do. I will retreat as quickly and safely as possible. If the guy draws a gun then we're into a whole 'nother world, but I'm sure as hell not going to stand there and give him time or reason to do it.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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I try to keep a good bit of distance between myself and strangers. If someone can reach out and touch me they're too close. Doesn't always work out that way going about day to day business, but I try.

In a confrontational situation I don't let someone get closer than ten feet to me without a reaction (assuming no visible weapon). This is after giving repeated warnings for them to stay away. The last time this happened they guy got a face full of Fox Labs. Silly drunk.

If there is a weapon involved the whole situation changes.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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I believe that ‘personal space’ changes depending upon the environment. If you throw a party in your home and invite your friends, your personal space is extremely close to your body. If there is a stranger in your home at 2 AM, your personal space is the entire inside of your home. If you are in the street and a stranger is verbally abusing your spouse, the definition of personal space is dramatically increased. Additionally, most men will be more concerned with their wife’s wellbeing at the sacrifice of their own. And, if the abuser makes a wrong step or two (which has its own definition) physical confrontations will probably follow.

If some nut was verbally abusing my wife, I hope that I would call 911 on my way out the door. I hope! But my first concern would be with my wife’s safety. And honestly, I would not be overly concerned with the other person’s health or personal space. And hopefully, my reactions would be faster than his pulling out of his firearm.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:47 PM   #12
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Combative situation.

1st, I live in California, no carry permit. Although I might carry sometimes it just isn't prudent or possible to carry all the time. That being said, in the described situation, apparently at finger-poking distance having a gun in a holster might be next to useless, I imagine that things probably went pretty quickly and there would probably not be time to use anything but your hands.
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Old January 23, 2010, 02:59 PM   #13
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The OP might want to clarify this statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 45Gunner
If someone I don't know gets a little too close to me, I will give them more distance. If they continue to get close, I have no problem telling them they are making me uncomfortable and to please give me a little more breathing space.
I'm picturing you in line at the grocery store telling the mom with a baby behind you to back off as you're so uncomfortable, then drawing down on her when she insists on crowding you when she tries to put her groceries on the register.

I swear, the way people talk on this board they're more on edge and controlling than we were in Iraq.
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Old January 23, 2010, 03:07 PM   #14
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Personal space in our society and many western cultures for that matter, is considered to be just outside your arms reach. If the right hand is offered we think of this as a polite gesture for a handshake. It is in fact an age old practice showing that your fighting hand is not holding a weapon and therefore you mean no harm. It still applies to most social situations today. As for being prepared to take defensive action once an adversary is within an arms reach you're in serious trouble. Learn something about body language, and eye contact and you might be better prepared to stop a problem before it starts. That applies to both lethal and nonlethal means with nonlethal being preferred. You can't just place a quick shot from your trusty .45 into a stranger's bread basket because he invaded your space. His hand going inside his coat might be an attempt to grab a business card to hand to you rather than going for his gat. JMHO
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Old January 23, 2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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The perp then walked up to the husband, got in his face, poked him a few times with a finger,
If someone *I don't know makes intentional physical contact with me in an aggressive manner such as this I think that it is plenty reason to believe I am in some sort of danger (whether that be danger of just physical injury or death) and am therefore justified in presenting a firearm. Not firing it right away but drawing it and being prepared to take the next step; I think that is certainly justifiable. If the DA doesn't agree then he's a moron. Just my $.02
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Old January 23, 2010, 05:38 PM   #16
45Gunner
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Quote:
he OP might want to clarify this statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 45Gunner
If someone I don't know gets a little too close to me, I will give them more distance. If they continue to get close, I have no problem telling them they are making me uncomfortable and to please give me a little more breathing space.

Response
I'm picturing you in line at the grocery store telling the mom with a baby behind you to back off as you're so uncomfortable, then drawing down on her when she insists on crowding you when she tries to put her groceries on the register.
Of course, the definition of personal spaces changes with the environment. Read the story...this happened in the street, not in a grocery line. But let it be known, that when I get crowded from the back while in a grocery line, I will politely ask that I be given a little more room. As far as I am aware, the store is not on fire and there is no need to crowd me.

Look, not all responses to every situation can be the same. Every situation has its own unique properties. Lets not make more of this than what it was...just a discussion about what YOU consider to be personal space and what You would do if it were violated.
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Old January 23, 2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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i dont like people getting close to me(especially strangers), this was verry difficult for me in korea, and iraq.

but if somebody gets aggressive in my personal space I AM going to react, either a few steps back, or a knee to family jewels.
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Old January 23, 2010, 08:36 PM   #18
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I'd have to agree that when the guy pokes you in the chest, it's time to take him down.
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Old January 23, 2010, 08:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
I'd have to agree that when the guy pokes you in the chest, it's time to take him down.
Please specify what you mean by "take him down." If you are referring to deadly force, I think a poke in the chest is unlikely to be justification for a shoot in many or most jurisdictions.
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Old January 26, 2010, 08:39 PM   #20
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Please specify what you mean by "take him down." If you are referring to deadly force, I think a poke in the chest is unlikely to be justification for a shoot in many or most jurisdictions.

I was thinkin' more of an arm bar. Although, this is Texas.
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