The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 10, 2011, 05:16 AM   #1
razorburn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2006
Posts: 260
Did I do the right thing? Or should I have used force?

Driving home alone tonight, got into a confrontation. A car was swerving and driving slowly, probably a drunk driver at this time on a saturday night. I pass it quickly to try to minimize the amount of time I'd be near the car for the rest of the night. The car was very aggravated by this and started to follow me. As I drove towards home, they passed by me and stopped in front of me, trying to block me in the road between the median and the curb. Then 3 men got out and one opened my car door and threw a punch at me and another kicked my car. I reversed, pulled into a roundabout and drove along a main road and called the cops. They followed for a while but then turned off. I took a long way about home.

I had my carry piece with me. While this was happening, I actually spent time thinking about what I'd have to go through in terms of legal process if I shot them.. Having to testify before a jury, possibly jail... Now looking back, I feel like I kind of wimped out about it. I think I should've at least brandished and ordered them to stop when I saw them getting out of their car. I feel bad about my situational awareness. What would you have done?
razorburn is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 05:31 AM   #2
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
sounds like a road rage incident but I guess that is an obvious assessment. I am glad you weren't hurt, but I am sure you were rattled. Yeah, that is more than an incident - that was an assault. Is there anything else you haven't told us yet? I am not doubting you; I just am trying to get a full, better understanding of this incident. How old approximately were these guys or you? Have you ever seen them before? Did you do anything to them when you passed them(any kind of communication or anything at all)?

You made it out ok, you didn't escalate the incident, you were able to drive away, and you showed caution by 'taking the long way home'.

The above mentioned are credible to you. I don't think I could've let 3 guys approach me and open my car door, But I wasn't there & I haven't had that happen to me before.

About 7 years ago before I was CCW, I did have two guys in a truck want me to pull over so we could fight because I passed them on the way to work. I declined and kept driving. That one and only road rage incident of mine taught me a lesson, as I was rather rude when I passed them. I didn't use any hand gestures, but I pointed at my head as to telling the guy to "use his noggin" as he cut me off and someone else on a major roadway. I was wrong to escalate the incident. That being said, this dude was a major meathead and I think he needed some anger managment courses as well.
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864

Last edited by youngunz4life; July 10, 2011 at 05:41 AM. Reason: added story after fact(last paragraph)
youngunz4life is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 05:35 AM   #3
Maxem0815
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2011
Posts: 216
Well let's just say that if you chose to use deadly force you have to conceder the fact that there are 3 of them and one of you. Laws are different State to State in FL your car falls under the Castle Doctrine but you may need a witness. On the other hand 3 dead guys cant testify against you. But if you have the shell cases and no one is around well .... your call.
As for me if 3 idiots come out of a car and head my way, I put it in reverse and get out of there, if they open my door I shoot. Deadly force is the last option always, except in your home!

Mace
Maxem0815 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 05:50 AM   #4
razorburn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2006
Posts: 260
These guys were mid 20s to 30, and I am also in my mid 20's. I didn't expect them to come out attacking, so I didn't reverse out of there immediately. I have never had to fight in my adult life. I am rattled and just feel badly about it.. like I wimped out of standing up for myself?
razorburn is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 06:11 AM   #5
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
razorburn

what happened when you passed them? did you make eye contact and they took it the wrong way, did you mouth something, or did you do nothing and not even look their way when you passed? either way you should be able to move on from this. maybe you would've known if it was more serious and instinct would've had you pulled then?
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 06:14 AM   #6
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
Then 3 men got out and one opened my car door and threw a punch at me and another kicked my car. I reversed, pulled into a roundabout and drove along a main road and called the cops. They followed for a while but then turned off. I took a long way about home.
You were able to put your car in reverse and drive off when you were under attack as they opened your car door and threw a punch.

Wouldn't it have been easier to back on out before the attack began?
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 06:21 AM   #7
9-ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2011
Location: Belgium
Posts: 340
Razorburn,

You're gonna get punched in your life a few times, sometimes you'll just have to take it. I for myself have been in some fights, in which I had to take some punches without other choice. Me and my friend got surrounded by 8 guys at a moment, which were trying to pick a fight. We both practiced martial arts, which gave us the disadvantages that if we fought back, the legal consequences would be much more severe (judges seem to think that martial artists are some kind of super-ninja that can subdue enemies without physical harming them ). So we didn't fight back as long as nobody seemed to be a real threat. After punching me a few times and noticing they wouldn't get their fight, they left off.

What I'm trying to say with all this: not everyone who uses violence against you is a threat, as long as you know that you can master the situation if needed, it sometimes is worth the pain not to escalate things and regretting the legal consequences.

About this particular case: if a car with 3 men would try to stop me at night, I'd drive away as fast as possible. If someone opened my cardoor and I had a firearm, I'd have pointed it at him and would ask him to leave. (if I were in the US that is) Shot him if he moved too fast after that.

EDIT: I'm always wary of multiple men sitting in a car, it's not that natural.
9-ball is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 06:52 AM   #8
Lokpyrite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2009
Posts: 367
When he opened the door he would caught some slugs. you got REALLY lucky.
__________________
The more people I meet the more I'm beginning to root for the zombies.
Lokpyrite is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 07:02 AM   #9
jad0110
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2007
Posts: 610
Quote:
I am rattled and just feel badly about it.. like I wimped out of standing up for myself?
When you carry a firearm, retreating or "wimping out" as you describe it becomes more of a necessity. If you do end up using lethal force, nothing will muddy up your defense case much more than hopping out and getting into a wild fist throwing melee with 3 drunks before one of them pulls a weapon on you (perhaps without any witnesses).

Quote:
You were able to put your car in reverse and drive off when you were under attack as they opened your car door and threw a punch.
If any error was made on your part, I'd say this was it. Not a biggie in this particular case though, I suppose you have nothing more than a dent in your car to show for it. I'm not Monday night quarter backing you or anything, I wasn't there and I know you were in a stressful situation, and you admit you had a lapse in SA (we all do at times, we are human). Something to consider and learn from perhaps.

Quote:
I think I should've at least brandished and ordered them to stop when I saw them getting out of their car.
Unless you were completely boxed in by other cars, this would be a tough sell if things wound up in court. You are already sitting in the perfect escape capsule. Even if this would fall under a particular states "stand your ground" law, you gotta ask your self if it is wise to get into a scrap with three idiots who might well be armed when you can just slip away.

I wouldn't call that wimping out. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor as they say.
jad0110 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 07:49 AM   #10
Terminus009
Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2011
Location: SoIL
Posts: 71
Hey RB,
Nobody died, you made it home safe. I don't see anything 'wimpy' in your actions. Sometimes it takes more stones to keep the peace than to make a peace.
JA
Terminus009 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 08:05 AM   #11
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,775
You did okay.

Despite what others have said already, in this situation I would NOT have shot the guy who opened the car door and attempted (successfully) to throw a punch at you. Why? Because it doesn't warrant the use of deadly force.

Had you simply locked your doors, there would have been no imminent danger...hence, no reason to use deadly force. You were, for all intents and purposes, safely ensconced in your vehicle. Don't forget that your car is a refuge ... and weapon.

Unless dragged from the car and physically attacked by the three drunks, you would likely have been in a heap of trouble if you had shot the guy who threw the punch.

Moral of the story, lock your car doors if a stranger approaches. This simple precaution just might save you from having to shoot someone.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 08:47 AM   #12
Wag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Posts: 572
Whatever you do, don't second guess yourself.

You came out alive and uninjured. What more do you want?

That said, however, I really think you got super lucky. Next time, you may want to pull the firearm and defend yourself because it should be considered a rare occasion that three drunk guys won't take you to task for whatever unknown reasons.

Count your lucky stars.

--Wag--
__________________
"Great genius will always encounter fierce opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein.
Wag is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 08:47 AM   #13
Come and take it.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 999
being outnumbered would give me the feeling of imminent death. heard too many stories of guys getting their heads kicked in by a group of thugs. How do you know they didnt have lethal weapons ready to pull out at any time. One crazed drunks chance of having a deadly weapon may be small or half an half. 3 crazed mens chances of at least one being armed with some kind of deadly weapon is almost certian. If they committed a crime and beat the snot out of you and you saw their faces, they could kill you so there wouldn't be witness to identify them.

Also your carry weapon wasnt your only weapon. A motorized vehicle is a powerful weapon as well. Which in actuality was used to an extent by both sides. Perhaps next time don't let a car stop you. Lock the doors and keep mobile, even if you can only drive 5 miles an hour.
Come and take it. is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 09:05 AM   #14
Unistat76
Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2011
Location: SE Michigan, near Detroit.
Posts: 40
You got away, un-harmed so you did the right thing.

The fact that you carry gave you another option, should you have needed it, but fortunately it was unnecessary. Trust me when I say you are happier and better off this morning having not shot someone.
__________________
There are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those that believe in the Moon Landing and those that don't.
http://unistat76.blogspot.com/
Unistat76 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 09:22 AM   #15
Hiker 1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 505
Trust me when I say you are happier and better off this morning having not shot someone.

+1

That is very well said. You didn't wimp out. You came out unharmed with lessons learned, no bodies at your feet and not on the opposite end of a Casey Anthony-type jury.
Hiker 1 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 10:20 AM   #16
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,928
From what I can tell about your story, there was absolutely NO 'wimpiness' involved. You did the right thing in getting away unscathed, contacting the police, and taking the long way home. All of those are smart, smart decisions, so don't second guess yourself!

When caught in an encounter with an aggressor, people always want to WIN that encounter. And I agree: Winning is good. We always want to win. We always need to win. But sometimes "win" is defined as "I killed that bastich" or "I made that sumbich back off." And that's not necessarily a win. A win is when you go home safely, with your entire life intact. Nothing else counts as a win. Spending the next two years in & out of the courthouse, defending what you did and why you did it, would not be a win. At most, it would be a dreary ending to a crappy situation that you handled as best you could.

You won.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 10:36 AM   #17
2damnold4this
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2009
Location: Athens, Georgia
Posts: 1,319
Good post, pax
2damnold4this is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 11:14 AM   #18
chack
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2011
Location: dixie
Posts: 477
You broke contact, which was the right thing to do. A lot depends on your state laws, some left leaning states would require you to flee even if it means abandoning your car. States with a castle doctrine like Tx or Fl allow you to defend your life and property. I imagine I would have had my CCW out and chambered a round as soon as the potential for a confrontation occurred (I usually keep it with an empty chamber and in the glove box unless I feel a threat).

It sounds to me like you would have been justified in using lethal force; morally even if not legally. If they had been better organized and one of them was blocking your car you would have been confronted with the choice of hitting him with your car or shooting them. A shooting would have been a lot easier to explain and prove than hitting him with your car.

I've told everyone I've ever talked to about buying a gun for self defense that you shouldn't own one if you're not prepared to take someone's life with it. That is doubly true if you plan to carry it. You can hope that brandishing it is enough to stop an attack, but not being prepared to pull the trigger is the best way to have your gun taken from you and turned against you.
chack is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 11:44 AM   #19
DAS9mm
Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 61
You are in one piece, you win.

Another angle, call it an attempted car jacking....
DAS9mm is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 12:20 PM   #20
Archer 9505
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 213
"You got away, un-harmed so you did the right thing"

+1 albeit conditionally. Sometimes you can do the exact wrong thing and get lucky other times you can take the text book perfect action and get screwed. You are the best witness to critique your performance. From what I read, you did fine; your alive, your not in jail and your not getting sued.
Don't beat yourself up. Take some time and give this incident a objective critique. I think you may find that there were some things you could / should have done differently. Perhaps (Perhaps; I wasn't there) locking your doors, exiting the scene sooner etc. I don't think blasting away with your firearm would have given this incident a happier ending.
__________________
NRA Life Member
"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
It's a free country; in a free country, freedom is for more than just those that conform to the accepted.
Archer 9505 is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 12:24 PM   #21
yaonttwo
Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 21
You did the right thing . . . . no question.
However, in Louisiana the law says that any stranger that "attempts" to open your car door while you are in it, is assumed to be a potential carjacker and you have the right to shoot (regardless of the age, sex, etc.).
This was brought about because of an incident 10+/- years ago when a 2 year old child was killed by a man attempting to hijack a car. The mother refused to get out of the vehicle and attempted to drive off. The lowlife shot at the rear of the vehicle killing the child.
Sure stopped the windshield cleaners from approaching car at red lights.
yaonttwo is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 12:53 PM   #22
threegun
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Location: Tampa,Fl
Posts: 4,000
Quote:
These guys were mid 20s to 30, and I am also in my mid 20's. I didn't expect them to come out attacking, so I didn't reverse out of there immediately. I have never had to fight in my adult life. I am rattled and just feel badly about it.. like I wimped out of standing up for myself?
Someone said earlier that while carrying you may have to "wimp out". Swallowing your pride to deescalate is not only smart its required in most states. That said you made several tactical errors IMO. If someone ever cuts you off and blocks you in, take immediate action. If possible reverse out. If not possible prepare to use your firearm instantly even before the bailout. If you cannot back out and your opponent/s aren't armed LOCK all doors and roll up windows. Now what you have done is to force them to come in to get you. In court, should you be forced to shoot once they have breeched the vehicle, it will look that much more justified.

Once they have exited the vehicle and begun to assault your vehicle I would have pointed the gun at the closest one and warned of the consequences should the glass break.

Thankfully for you the guy hits like a sissy or you have a chin like an Italian prize fighter LOL.
threegun is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 12:58 PM   #23
Crazy88Fingers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 936
ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS.

It's the first thing I do as soon as I get in my car, and it may be a habit you want to pick up.

Otherwise, any landing you walk away from is a good one.
__________________
"And I'm tellin' you son, well it ain't no fun, staring straight down a .44"
-Lynyrd Skynyrd
Crazy88Fingers is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 12:58 PM   #24
old bear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2009
Location: Not close enough to the beach
Posts: 1,158
Razor, it sounds as if you did all the right thinks, good for you. Any time anyone can avoid using any type of violence and escape unhurt they did the correct thing.
old bear is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 01:05 PM   #25
razorburn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2006
Posts: 260
Thanks pax. It is hard not to try to "win" the confrontation.

My car is undamaged and I have a slightly swollen lip, it doesn't hurt though, and most wouldn't be able to tell looking right away. It was a little guy, maybe 5'6 or so who threw the punch. From now on, I will lock my doors and be careful to leave the situation immediately. I really didn't expect them to do anything right away, I was expecting words. Situational awareness.

I am in Wa state, not sure about any stand your ground laws here.
razorburn is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15634 seconds with 9 queries