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Old February 23, 2012, 03:44 PM   #1
Dashunde
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To defend a stranger?

My state says we can use deadly force if:

Quote:
He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;
Considering all of the possible negative consequences of justifiably shooting someone, would you defend a total stranger from attack with a deadly weapon?

With my luck I'd save a pedophile by shooting the victim's raging father.
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Old February 23, 2012, 03:48 PM   #2
ScottRiqui
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That's a good one. For starters, just how certain are you of "who's who in the zoo" when an altercation starts (or you come upon one already in progress)? I'm sure it's often unclear who the "good guy" and "bad guy" are.
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Old February 23, 2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Long Island just had a retired NYPD officer responding to a roberry at a neighboring business to his where he shot and killed an off duty ATF agent wrestling with the robber over a gun.

Take the shot and you are liable for the consequences. Unless the situation were outright obvious like a rampage shooter I have observed I am not going to pull the trigger to save a stranger. My nightmare is witnessing a child abduction... I would intervene and would shoot if they refuse to stop but really really hope they do. Kids who are taken very often turn up dead and or raped, at the same time it could be a parent with a nutcase child. I'd rather we all sort it out with an Leo present.
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Old February 23, 2012, 04:49 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Here is a defense of a stranger shooting in Missouri that we discussed in Tactics and Training: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454222

As that account shows, it is a lot easier to get into trouble with third party shootings than it is to get out of it. Another good example is some of the Force-on-Force training from the Spike TV series "Conceal and Carry School" (available online at: http://www.spike.com/full-episodes/t...eason-4-ep-113). It provides some reality-based scenarios showing how quickly the person you are saving can become your attacker.

Given the degree of uncertainty involved in those situations, I would probably opt to be a good witness and call police unless I had a very, very clear picture of what was going on. And even if I had a clear picture, I don't know that I would be all that excited to risk my life, my freedom, and my financial well-being to save someone else who didn't value their own life enough to get a CHL and use it.
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Old February 23, 2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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I hate to be a coward in my mind but I have too much to lose to defend someone when I am not certain of the situation. Only obvious situation when I might intervene is if a child is involved or if I see a LEO in obvious danger. But even then, I would not jump in without assessing the situation.
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Old February 23, 2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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As with everything, it would depend on the situation. I couldn't stand by and and let an unarmed woman be beat to a bloody pulp or any unarmed person being attacked with a weapon be hurt or killed because I was afraid to act. You have a moral obligation to protect if you have the ability to do so, regardless of whether you have a pistol on your hip. Two grown men (or women) fist fighting is one thing, I'm certainly not going to intervene, but once certain lines have been crossed then I feel I must. It's purely a judgement call.
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Old February 23, 2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
You have a moral obligation to protect if you have the ability to do so...
I'm with Ben Towe. I'd need to be sure someone is at immediate risk of suffering death or great bodily harm; I'd also need to know I wasn't jumping into the middle of an arrest; I'd also need to be sure of my target and whatever lies behind it.

I think we Americans have always stood up for the victims. I hope we always will.
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Old February 23, 2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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B Roberts, just when your link got me all excited I see in the descriptions on several episodes- Rich Wyatt- ugh



As to defending a stranger, a lot have already mentioned they'd need to be able to be sure what they perceive and what is going on in fact are the same thing.
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Old February 24, 2012, 12:38 AM   #9
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Towe
...I couldn't stand by and and let an unarmed woman be beat to a bloody pulp...
What if she's a drug dealer resisting lawful arrest by an undercover cop, and you don't know that?

Under the laws of pretty much all the States, if one comes to the defense of another, the actor "steps into the shoes" of the person he's trying to help; and his use of force will be legally justified only to the extent the person he is helping would have been legally justified in using that force.

So if you use lethal force to defend someone who could not have legally used that force himself (e. g., he was the initial aggressor or he had a legal duty to retreat and didn't or he was actually resisting a lawful arrest, etc.), you will be going to jail.

The "take home lesson" is that you need to be sure that you know what was actually going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Standing Wolf
...I think we Americans have always stood up for the victims....
Fine, but everyone you think might be a victim isn't necessarily one.
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Old February 24, 2012, 03:28 AM   #10
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I have a moral responsibility to take care of my family; something that is hard to do from jail.

Perhaps I would intervene with a woman getting beaten by a man but I strongly suspect the interference would be announcing the polive had been called and recording rather than shooting. As many LEOs will relate, as bad as you may feel for the woman many of them wind up turning on their would be saviours in domestics.
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Old February 24, 2012, 07:16 AM   #11
Baylorattorney
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Why else carry if not to defend yourself and others from deadly attack? Of course you defend a stranger, if that stranger is being assaulted by an attacker who intends to kill him or her.
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Old February 24, 2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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Against an animal in a heartbeat.
A child vs. an attacker in a heartbeat.
Some aging elderly grandmother in a heartbeat.

Everyone else gets 911.
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Old February 24, 2012, 07:49 AM   #13
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If you have had training why not just shoot the person in the knee or leg with all that time at the range and this is what you get out going to the range to take a life. I would think its to sharpen your skills shot the guy in the leg or arm he still has a chance of bleeding out but atleast you know you didnt shoot'em in one of the kill area's. Just something to think about dont be another gun happy cop that see's a reason to to kill someone. Officer's are suppose to wound the person not go for a kill shoot thats what their trained to do serve & protect i hope.
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Old February 24, 2012, 07:53 AM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baylorattorney View Post
Why else carry if not to defend yourself and others from deadly attack? Of course you defend a stranger, if that stranger is being assaulted by an attacker who intends to kill him or her.
Yeah, but how do you KNOW? I mean know as in life and death, lose everything you own, go to jail, lose your reputation kind of "know".

How often would you "know" what's happening between two strangers? Yes, there are lots of scenarios we can all invent where we would know. Real life isn't that clean.

-------------------

On the "moral obligation" issue... I have no moral obligation to get killed for a stranger. My moral obligation is to my wife and kids. They're the only people I've promised anything.

Let's say this "intervention" doesn't go quite as "Superhero-ish" in the real world as we picture it in our Internet imaginations.... and we get killed during our "moral obligation" to help this stranger....

Who has the moral obligation to take care of my family?
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Old February 24, 2012, 08:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Officer's are suppose to wound the person not go for a kill shoot thats what their trained to do serve & protect i hope.
I'm not sure where you heard that, but it is not true. I know of no school or instructor, private or government, that teaches shooting to wound.

Furthermore, we really need you to proof-read your posts and present them in a manner that's easier to understand.
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Old February 24, 2012, 08:36 AM   #16
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There are too many scenarios.

Bottom line, for me anyway, is it will have to be clear cut, before I intervene. I mean like if its a 220 pound 25 year old beating a 90 year old lady clear.

Edit: I carry around a firearm so I can fight with it, IF I think MY life, or physical well being is in jeopardy. Too many people, in my opinion, have dreams of being the White Knight and fighting crime with their CCW. You had better carefully weigh the consequences and be damn sure, before you get involved.
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Old February 24, 2012, 08:52 AM   #17
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Towe
You have a moral obligation to protect if you have the ability to do so, regardless of whether you have a pistol on your hip.
YOU might have a moral obligation. I don't. Any grown adult who isn't a prohibited person has the same opportunity I do to get a CHL and carry a firearm for self-defense. If they don't value their own lives or that of their family highly enough to do that, then they have absolutely zero right to expect me to pay all of the financial, health, and legal costs of a shooting to protect them. Anything I decide to do is a result of me being generous, not something they have a right to expect or demand.

Quote:
Two grown men (or women) fist fighting is one thing, I'm certainly not going to intervene
I am not understanding you. You say you have a moral obligation to protect if you have the ability to do so; but if the combatants are both of the same gender and only using their fists/feet to kill or seriously injure each other, you no longer have such an obligation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RamItOne
B Roberts, just when your link got me all excited I see in the descriptions on several episodes- Rich Wyatt
There are several different gun-related shows on Spike at that link. You want "Conceal and Carry School" for the Force on Force scenarios I was talking about - it has nothing to do with Rich Wyatt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edavis456
If you have had training why not just shoot the person in the knee or leg with all that time at the range and this is what you get out going to the range to take a life. I would think its to sharpen your skills shot the guy in the leg or arm he still has a chance of bleeding out but atleast you know you didnt shoot'em in one of the kill area's.
A firearm is lethal force - it is likely to kill or seriously injure someone if you use it in self-defense. This is one of the reasons the scenarios in which it can be used are so strictly limited in most states. As a general rule, you can only use a firearm if you believe there is an immediate threat of death or serious injury to yourself or others. In some jurisdictions, you must also retreat if you are able to do so safely and not in your own home.

So in a situation where you or someone else is immediately going to die or be seriously injured if the attacker isn't stopped, you don't shoot people in the arm or leg because it is both a very difficult target to hit and has a low probability of stopping the attack. In addition, the arm or leg has less muscle and bone than the torso - the possibility that a shot exits the target and continues on to injure someone else is increased when the arm or leg is hit.

For these reasons, every single federal, state, and local law enforcement agency teaches to shoot center mass of the torso as the preferred target.

Quote:
Just something to think about dont be another gun happy cop that see's a reason to to kill someone. Officer's are suppose to wound the person not go for a kill shoot thats what their trained to do serve & protect i hope.
Again, the whole point of lethal force in self-defense is to stop an immediate threat of death or serious injury. If that isn't why you are shooting, a firearm is the wrong tool to be using. If that is why you are shooting, you need to stop that attack as quickly as possible to prevent and/or limit the amount of damage caused.

Officers are trained to shoot to stop the attack. Whether the person is wounded or killed is irrelevant, so long as the attack is stopped. However, it is understood that the most effective means of stopping the attack may also kill the attacker - which is why those means are limited by law to very specific scenarios.
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Why else carry if not to defend yourself and others from deadly attack?
"Others" has always meant friends or family for me. While I may opt to help a complete stranger, never once have I thought that my carrying of a gun was to be some sort of Captain America figure, protecting the weak and innocent from those that would prey upon them. If the weak and innocent haven't bothered to become self defense savvy, why should I put everything on the line for them? The risk to me is only injury, death, arrest, conviction, and total financial ruin if my hero efforts do not turn out as anticipated.

Quote:
I think we Americans have always stood up for the victims. I hope we always will.
Nice sentiment, but apparently most of the time it will be we Americans who are victimizing the person in need here on American soil. The shallowness of such feel-good sentiments becomes apparent when the situations in which they occur are examined more closely. It is a zero sum that as an American we protect the victim from another American.
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:18 AM   #19
Dashunde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baylor
Why else carry if not to defend yourself and others from deadly attack?
I carry to defend myself and my loved ones, the "others" part is just attached to the state statue.
Defending those others was definitely not on my radar when I sought to obtain my cc permit.
If defending those others was any sort of priority my reasons for carrying would be faulty from the start, its sort of a LEO-wannabe mentality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
Too many people, in my opinion, have dreams of being the White Knight and fighting crime with their CCW.
There are a few distinct characters around that fit that description, fortunately they seem to just that, a few.
Most of us, as partly evidenced by this thread, mind our own business, have the right mental perspective on carrying and will think before we act.

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Roberts
If they don't value their own lives or that of their family highly enough to do that [obtain a ccw], then they have absolutely zero right to expect me to pay all of the financial, health, and legal costs of a shooting to protect them. Anything I decide to do is a result of me being generous, not something they have a right to expect or demand.
Very true.
Theres also a 50/50 chance you would be protecting someone who would or has voted against ccw in your state.
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Old February 24, 2012, 11:58 AM   #20
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These types of scenarios are probably the most difficult. There are so many variables in these situations as described in previous posts that one is really putting oneself and possibly family at risk.

Every situation is different. Unless someone is suffering grave bodily harm or under the imminent threat of grave bodily harm I would not do anything more than dial 911 and be a good witness if possible. If someone is being harmed, then the answer would be - "It depends". No solid answers here.
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Old February 24, 2012, 01:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
If you have had training why not just shoot the person in the knee or leg with all that time at the range and this is what you get out going to the range to take a life. I would think its to sharpen your skills shot the guy in the leg or arm he still has a chance of bleeding out but atleast you know you didnt shoot'em in one of the kill area's. Just something to think about dont be another gun happy cop that see's a reason to to kill someone. Officer's are suppose to wound the person not go for a kill shoot thats what their trained to do serve & protect i hope.
Absolutely incorrect in almost every way. Please seriously look into the legal realities of deadly force before giving the above information. Those statemeys are Hollywood fantasy and arm chair commando pieces o lore which need to be addressed There is much you need to have explained to you.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:17 PM   #22
Im a 'Pistol'
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As a Civilian, have you ever had to pull a Pistol on anyone ?

If you did, did you fire ... and what was the outcome ?
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Im a 'Pistol' View Post
If you did, did you fire ... and what was the outcome ?
Respectfully, I think you'll find that for the most part those who have will not be willing to discuss it, at least not in detail. Many may have pending or recent litigation, and others most likely will not wish to air a traumatic personal memory publicly, especially to - no offense intended - a pretty brand new member.

I world direct you to any number of sites searchable on google that summarize "Armed Citizen" encounters. I think Guns Save Lives is one. Just google that term and you should be set.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:27 PM   #24
Im a 'Pistol'
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Can we chat about making 'a Citizens arrest' using a gun ?

When i lived around Chicago , I routinely witnessed from my car , men roughing up their wives/g-f's while in their own car at a stop or men swinging fists at each other outside usually at a Bar . This prompts my post today . Im wondering what the correct protocol is for a typical concealed carry Citizen who needs to halt a life threatening situation immediately, should the occasion ever arise ? Im talking about taking affirmative action after the Police have been notified but before they show up on the scene to prevent loss of life

How would YOU handle a situation of a man beating up a woman severely...perhaps with a blunt object , for example ? Thanks.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:32 PM   #25
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Moving to T&T.
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