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Old July 9, 2010, 12:24 PM   #51
stephen426
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I'm glad that there are many of you who would call the police and wait for them to clear the house if you noticed your home was broken in to. I'm somewhat surprised actually. I was using that as a possible scenario where you would have your gun out, but not necesarily have to shoot the intruder. I'm sure there are other scenarios where you might get the drop on a bad guy and have the option of not shooting him. This is probably more common in disparity of force situations where the bad guy has not shown he is armed. Regardless of how you get into the situation of having a gun on a bad guy that has either put down their weapon or not displayed a weapon, I believe it is important to show enough resolve to shoot so it does not turn into a attempted gun grab.

As for cocking back the hammer, I mentioned that extreme caution must be used. Some double action pulls are pretty heavy and people with weaker hands (older people or some women) may have a problem shooting accurately the first shot. I think a bad guy would also be more likely to try a gun grab on those same people. I will read what was written about cocking back the hammer, but for me, it would be one last step before pulling the trigger.

Like I said, I will do what I can to prevent pulling the trigger, but if I have no other choice, I would do so to protect myself and my family. I just don't agree with the notion that you have to shoot someone if you are justified in pulling your gun. If you don't believe how many crimes are prevented by someone pulling out a gun and not shooting, try reading the Armed Citizen section of American Rifleman. If the person stops is no longer a threat because they surrender or flee, I am not shooting. Often time it will require the use of force, or the threat of force to get the bad guy to surrender or flee. While some of you are the "take out the garbage" kind of guy, I'm more the shoot only if really necessary type.
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Old July 9, 2010, 12:58 PM   #52
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I was in the 70s a patrolman for the Reno Police Department. I was half way through a 4 year degree in college at University of Nevada Reno. Our training then was the weapon was never drawn unless we had to shoot. We never brandished our guns to a problem unless the situation meant to draw and shoot without any warning shots or display of lethal force. When the weapon is drawn for the last response the intent and training was to fire "center of mass" with our .357s loaded with issued Remington 125 SJHPs until the threat was subdued.

I cannot recall a case where a second shot had to be fired. All threats were stopped by the one .357 bullet in every case since the early 70s when Reno adopted the round for standard issue. Some still carried their old .38s but I am not talking about that and can't recall a .38 having to be shot.

I do remember a sergeant who shot a warning shot in a house development area above King's Row but I can't remember the details except his "warning shot" was brought under review by the Shooting Board.

When I became a police officer in Reno our training then in the 70s was to shoot or not to shoot using DA only and range time with .38 semi wadcutters in the basement range. I had two guns then, one the SW 19 in a 4" and an SW 28 in 6". I later just used the 28 because my 19 had timing issues just after firing .38s for our range time. We would shoot every month to qualify and it was around 50 or 60 rounds each time.

The main thing is the gun was never drawn unless it had to be fired at the targeted human being. We had to be evaluated on the Oral Board, the physical, the psychological, the written exam, and the polygraph before even being considered for the academy. By that time hesitation concerning killing a human being was definitely ruled out. No officer ever sacrifices his life for anyone. When he draws his gun he is in a survival situation and whoever is preventing or threatening survival is going to be shot.

We have films and movies showing the "sensitive" cop or something that won't shoot unless he has to. This is Hollywood or Italian Spaghetti stuff. It is not real in the LEO department.

The Shooting Board reviews every discharge of a weapon. The process is reviewed and judged. It can look bad or look right for the officer but no officer is above the Board when it happens and it means painstaking inquiry into the discharge of the weapon.

This was all back in the 70s and 80s for me. I remember it crystal clear.

If the weapon is taken into the hand it is not to be used as a threat. It is to be used to kill and nothing else. Once it is brandished it must be fired. All the options have gone out the window.

Now you see why I like the Colt SAA in the hip holster to this day. If you have to draw a gun (and, of course, you must shoot it at center of mass) you must follow through and fire it. Period. No warning. End of conflict.
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Old July 9, 2010, 01:46 PM   #53
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You got it all right except this one. Except for controlling the bleeding and treating for shock, there's very little a layman with no equipment can do for a gunshot victim (and I use that term loosely) in the field.
Nothing said about surgery or sutures, just plug the hole with a rag to slow down the bleeding. whether he dies or not is moot for your situation. You tried to render aid but it was to late. If the authorities show up, he is bleeding profusely but breathing and you have been watching him for 10 minutes before they got there you can be charged with intentionally letting him die if he dies before they can get him to the hospital.

While he is a danger to you and your family as far as I am concerned he has no rights to any consideration. Once the danger is past and he is neutralized he is back to human status again and should be accorded at least minimal aid even if its only compression. I'd rather have him live than fill another body bag, I never want to see that again, ever.
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Old July 9, 2010, 02:40 PM   #54
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It alarms me a little that some folks think they can't draw a gun on a violent offender until they are justified in killing him. If they wait that long, they won't be able to do anything BUT shoot him...or die...and if they wait that long, those two outcomes may not be mutually exclusive.
I agree. I wonder how many lives have been lost because the victim waited until the attack was underway rather than draw a weapon when the attack looked imminent.

In the former case, the gun may never get drawn in time, and if it is, shooting an assailant is the best that can happen.

In the latter, drawing the gun may prevent the attack in the first place and having to shoot would be the worst outcome.

I believe Mas has pointed that out before.

Again, I'm not talking about brandishing, but rather being sensible enough to access a weapon when the attack looks "imminent", lest we not have time to to access it at all. Remember the Tueller drill?.
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Old July 9, 2010, 03:13 PM   #55
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IT ALLOWS YOU TO WATCH THE OPPONENT'S HANDS!
Some of my friends that came back from Iraq said they watched the peoples hands not their faces etc. I took this as a good thing for self defense.
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Old July 9, 2010, 03:38 PM   #56
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If you use a gun you have to expect the dead result. You can attempt to save a life but the thinking here is a bit beyond the delivery.

Don't deliver unless the delivery is absolutely needed.

The rest is up to others and you have to trust the others to work the situation while someone working with you is defending you.
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Old July 9, 2010, 06:43 PM   #57
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Oy vey! This thread's responses overlook the obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hog_hunter
IMHO a "BG" is someone that puts you or one of your loved ones life in danger, and in that instant, Shoot to kill without hesitation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by booker_t
As a civilian, if I pull a firearm on an attacker I'm pulling the trigger unless they immediately cease the attack as I draw. There are no intermediate levels of escalation between drawing and firing. Until I'm ready to deploy lethal force to stop an attacker, the gun stays holstered.
To wit: It's just before midnight and you're awakened by the sound of a car out front. A moment later you hear someone on your front porch. You tell your wife to call 911, grab your trusty [insert choice] and tac-light and step to the end of the hallway. Your intent is to (a) be between "him" and your family and (b) visually see what's going on. However, you reach the end of the hall only to find the front door open and the BG standing there, about 10-11 feet away longingly looking at your HDTV. You're in the dark hallway and you have the pepper on him for a short trip to Hades.

Do you shoot him? Or do you issue commands from the darkness? Or light him up and then give him commands? Or do you simply retreat quietly back down the hallway?

To answer the OP's question presumes we take some action. From the corner of the hallway you light him up with your Xenon powered death-ray tac-light and (with all the macho as you can¹) issue the command "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! GET OUT OF HERE NOW!"²

We do this because our position is one of surprise and tactical advantage of being ready to squeeze the trigger. If he sees anything it might look something like this...

(your appearance...and mine...will certainly vary)

Once you've issued the command, what happens next determines if people have a really bad night or not. If he flees out the door, well and good. We have done our job of protecting the home.³ No one was hurt and he may spend extra money cleaning his shorts.

If his actions are to abruptly face you and/or make any threatening move, use your own judgement. Prepare for a long night, new carpeting and some paint and spackle on the walls.

If he freezes up and doesn't move, you order him to leave. If he still won't move, I'd be very wary. Order him to put his hands on his head. If he still won't comply after two tries, hold on him and tell him as long as he remains still, he will get to meet the cops in one piece.

Lastly, we come to the one I'd dread the most. If the intruder starts talking to you about getting the "wrong house" but then starts telling you that you really don't want to shoot or that shooting him will cause all sort of legal hassles, that's a red flag warning! Watch his hands and his position. If you see him trying to inch closer he's trying to jump you. I saw films of convicts practicing this on each other in the 70's. If I catch the guy doing it, a step back, if practical, and telling him to get on the floor would be next.

My preference is for the BG to flee the area so I can call the cops and we can all live for another day.

Note that we get into a similar situation in a car park if Harvey Hoodlum approaches you as you reach your car and you draw on him. If he drops his weapon and backs up, hands raised... what do you do with him? Me... I tell him to get lost. Once he departs, then I'm going to depart while still in high-alert until I'm safely miles away.

What if he doesn't? Then command him to back up. You want distance from him and it's best to make him move. If he won't depart the area, try to get him on the ground so you can call police (or a bystander calls).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mas Ayoob
It alarms me a little that some folks think they can't draw a gun on a violent offender until they are justified in killing him. If they wait that long, they won't be able to do anything BUT shoot him...or die...and if they wait that long, those two outcomes may not be mutually exclusive.
While I sometimes have a difference of opinion with Mr. Ayoob, this is not one of them. On some occasions we can "see trouble coming". At those times, where possible, I'd rather unholster and keep a low profile. If I'm wrong, simply reholster. If I'm right then I have an advantage.


Re: Warning shots: Don't.
Re: Clearing your house: Don't. You pay the cops for that. Stay outside. If a thief leaves watch for a 2nd one. Get all the info you can.

Re: Shoot to kill vs. to wound: Don't be silly.
If the situation is really life threatening, your shots should go COM until the threat stops. IF for some reason your only shot hits the pelvic girdle and stops him fine. If police asked, I'd say "I guess I flinched."

re: Applying first aid: Don't. At the risk of sounding cruel, heartless or vengeful, I'm not going to go near someone who a second ago was threatening my life. I am not in a position (especially if solo) to administer any medical aid while also keeping him from suddenly attacking me. If he's down, but conscious, alert and in pain, telling him to put pressure on it or tossing him a towel/bandage to self-administer is as close as I'll get.


¹ For some, no matter how hard they try, their voices will crack with nervous tension. Thus, those commands may sound like they're coming from Don Knotts going through puberty.
² One can substitute other commands, such as don't move! depending on your preference. Just don't use the word freeze.
³ Always be sure to turn on the lights afterwards and check the house for accomplices however.
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:03 PM   #58
stephen426
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^^^ What he said! +1,000,000
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:14 PM   #59
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If a situation requires immediate deadly force to prevent great bodily harm or injury,
And if it doesn't?
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:23 PM   #60
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...but I've had thoughts about the old issue related to people having a gun thinking it will scare the BG into submission.
Not sure what you mean.
I don't mean anything. I'm simply referring to the notion that merely pointing a gun at someone guarantees your safety.
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:48 PM   #61
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It occurs to me to wonder how such a BG would react if you moved your point of aim from the heart to ...you could always say you were going for a non-lethal pelvis knock-down (tricky at best).
BAD IDEA!

First, deadly force is deadly force. Second,
You sort of totally missed my actual "question." How would a BG react.

I didn't say that it was a good idea. I didn't say you will always encounter single BG's. I didn't say he was theoretically close enough to constitute an instant deadly threat requiring instant deadly force. I didn't say anything at all about actually shooting. (One can assume that the BG would SURELY say you did this and that if he later had the chance and need to talk. So I postulated how one might counter in such a case.)

I do not at all disagree with the points you posted except that they have nothing to do with point of my OP. As for the assumption that I need training, I got that at the Academy decades ago, but, again, that has nothing to do with my actual "question."

Regarding that, you said that they usually run when abruptly presented with the idea of lead poisoning. I assume you are not saying you can count on that being 100% reliable in all situations, otherwise all the girls and guys could merely carry guns and feel perpetually safe. But I am still curious about my question. Would "he" turn and run quiicker?
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:52 PM   #62
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A friend of mine who was a LEO used to teach gun related self defense to women. He always taught to aim a gun at a BG's junk.
Ah, I'm not the only one who ever thought of that notion. Someone actually got the point of my post!
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Old July 9, 2010, 08:56 PM   #63
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I have heard the pelvic bone shattering idea bandied about... I think the only application it has is the first shot of point shooting. Start at the pelvis, and use the recoil to work your way up to the chest/head. The idea would be to try to land that quite difficult pelvic-bone-shattering shot (which is so unlikely...
Kindly note that I didn't suggest the shot, rather using a _reference to_ it - but DID say it was "tricky at best."
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:00 PM   #64
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Shoot to wound? Not hardly.
Again, shoot to wound was not my point, rather "aim to startle," and _THAT_ quizzically, not as a declaration.
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:05 PM   #65
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Now the idea of scaring a BG off by threatening his manhood... I think a situation would unfold too fast to think of that strategy
I suggest that that would depend on the distance.

There is another point I haven't seen made. The timing could very well depend on the mental capacity of said BG, whether natural or chemically induced. Let's face it. Not everybody bought their brains from a properly certified vendor.
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:12 PM   #66
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Absolutely, positively, without a doubt. Whatever is in there, he can have. I will not kill, or be killed (never assume victory), over stuff.
There are always mixed factors. Believe it or not, some people don't have a cell phone. Some people live where they MUST take care of things themselves.

And, forget about killing over stuff. Where are you going to sleep? In a room with an armed creep hiding under your bed?
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:18 PM   #67
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It also may convey (to a jury) that you were going to shoot no matter what happened.
I would like to add, as "Mas" frequently does, that those who scoff at this as not factual must realize that lawyers can be very convincing and juries very gullible.
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:46 PM   #68
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The shot to the pelvis most certainly IS deadly force.
I think making up your mind about "stuff" well in advance is critical, so here's an advance question. _IF_ one were to want to use a pelvic shot, would it make a difference whether he were shooting ball or hollow points? I'm guessing not, unless you're dealing with one whale of a lot of intervening blubber.
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Old July 9, 2010, 10:48 PM   #69
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just plug the hole with a rag to slow down the bleeding.
And what if, instead of slowing the bleeding, you exacerbate the injury? You "finished him off".

Make sure the threat is ended.
Don't approach the BG.
Safety your weapon.
Call the LEOs. Give a detailed description of yourself and a brief description of what happened.
Call your lawyer if you have one on retainer.
Ask any witnesses to talk to the LEOs when they arrive.
Sit down by yourself and take some deep breaths.
Don't answer questions from ANYONE.
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Old July 9, 2010, 10:59 PM   #70
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And what if, instead of slowing the bleeding, you exacerbate the injury? You "finished him off".
Seems like I heard something about this somewhere. Oh yeah. "Damned if you do and damned if you don't."

What a wonderful litigious society we've constructed.
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Old July 10, 2010, 01:22 AM   #71
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They can't hang you for trying to render aid. You aren't a professional healer so they can't expect professional care till the emergency people get there. I for one cannot just let a man bleed to death on my living room floor if the danger has passed.

The bad guy was where he wasn't supposed to be, you put him down and now he is helpless, maybe unconscious, just my 2 cents but if you can render any aid you should try. Nothing tells the jury that you aren't a cold blooded killer but just a scared homeowner protecting yourself and then when you weren't in danger you tried to render aid.

It may not do any good for Mr. Boogerman if he has 5 large holes in his belly or a throat full of #4 shot but at least you tried. Makes me sleep better, you do what you want.

Been there done that, will do it again if need be.
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Old July 10, 2010, 02:02 AM   #72
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If I ever have to draw my gun, it's show time. It's no game and the BG is going to get some. No warning, no aiming for alternative (non COM) targets; gun is drawn, the situation is beyond salvaging.
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Old July 10, 2010, 07:15 AM   #73
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BillCA: I think we said the same thing, or at least meant the same thing. Just said it in very different ways.

Also, I specifically was talking about being confronted by an active physical attack.. not necessarily an intruder or thief.
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Old July 10, 2010, 12:45 PM   #74
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i wouldnt pull the gun unless i intend to shoot. anything less is asking for trouble.
There are cases were waiting to pull would increase the danger level potentially to loss of your life.

There are cases that pulling would prevent the need to shoot.

Nothing is set in stone. If you can articulate your justification for preparing to use deadly force you should be fine legally. Just ask Microgunner who was caught in one of these in between situations. If he waits bad guy will have "opportunity" and definitely need shooting. The bad guy had already displayed intent and ability.

Police sided with Microgunner. Hopefully I can get him to chime in about his story.
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Old July 10, 2010, 02:00 PM   #75
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Police sided with Microgunner. Hopefully I can get him to chime in about his story.
What surprised me most was that having a pistol pointed at him didn't set him to shaking in his boots but rather emboldened him, at least verbally. Thankfully no one was injured.
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