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Old June 24, 2014, 03:15 AM   #51
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD0x0
Not in my car. You must be assuming that everyone drives large vehicles.
No, I'm just assuming most people don't drive cars as small as a Mazda Miata convertible. Your car is an extreme example; there aren't very many cars smaller or less-hardened than yours. You don't need to drive a large car to drive a car bigger than a Miata. Obviously the situation dictates your tactics, but I still think the best tactic under most circumstances is to remain inside your car, even in a Miata convertible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD0x0
The follow through from a baton, bat, crowbar, etc. hitting a window would likely strike me, especially if I have a passenger as I would not have room to lean away from my window enough to ensure safety.
Inside your car, an impact weapon is highly unlikely to cause you any serious damage on the first swing. Have you ever smashed a car window with a hammer or other impact weapon? It's much more difficult than it looks and the window absorbs most of the energy from the swing. Instead of getting out of your car to confront an attacker with an impact weapon, it still makes more sense to stay in your car with your gun and be prepared to shoot if needed, even in a Miata convertible (as long as the windows and top are up). You're still a lot more protected from an impact weapon inside a Miata convertible than you are outside of it.

Getting out of your car removes the protection you have from an impact weapon. Sure, if you have a chance to get out of your car before your attacker is too close and you're also fast enough to always stay on the opposite side of the car from him, then that might work. But the better option is usually to simply to stay in your car and be prepared to shoot if the person starts to breach your car, even if you're in a Miata.
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Old June 24, 2014, 09:23 AM   #52
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@Theohazard

Quote:
In the Marines, I was taught to get out of a vehicle when it was hit. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s we didn't have armored Humvees or 5-tons, and the worry was that we'd get hit with rockets or other explosives. But civilians and law enforcement officers rarely have to deal with explosives, so inside a car is often the best place to be.

I have worked with a few law-enforcement instructors, and when I told them that my first instinct was to get out of my car if I'm getting shot at, they pointed out that being inside a car can be a good defensive position in a gunfight.
Theo, when you see stand off scenarios or police officers using their vehicles for cover, are they ever IN their vehicles? They are using their vehicles as cover from outside their vehicle.

If the situation had turned into a gun fight, he would have to shoot through the window, which would likely deflect his shot. While the car itself is maneuverable, a passenger in the vehicle is not very maneuverable. Cars provide very poor coverage, especially newer cars (in the name of fuel efficiency). They provide very little concealment as well.

If I had to shoot at a car, I would aim where the occupants would be seated. As I mentioned, the attacker is in FRONT of the other vehicle and he is approaching. It has not been determined if he is armed or not. Approaching him with the vehicle reduces the distance, making it easier for him to shoot you. Backing up is not really an option on an off-ramp.

You are entitled to your opinion, but if I was in the situation, I would draw my weapon and prepare to exit my vehicle. The door offer little protection so I after a verbal warning, I would move to the back of the vehicle. I am not a cop and I don't play one on tv, but I did have a situation once that has caused me to believe my course of action would be the right one.
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Old June 24, 2014, 09:26 AM   #53
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I don't necessarily think the OP did anything wrong, except claim he would have started shooting at 21 feet. If he was truly blocked in, getting out of the car may have some merit - it gives you some freedom to move around if the road rage guy happens to be armed. Otherwise, you may be a sitting duck. We've had this discussion before, and depending on the details of the situation, I could go either way on whether to stay inside your car or not. Details like: how blocked in was he; how many aggressors was he facing; avenues of escape; size and type of the OP's vehicle; size of the aggressor's vehicle....

Personally, I'd stay inside my vehicle. If there was any ability to get around the aggressor's car, including hitting it with my vehicle, I'd opt for that. If not, I would hide inside of my Jeep, if I had time - my jeep's big enough to give me some options with multiple doors, etc. As my EDC only has 8 shots of 9mm, and to make sure that I am not shooting anyone who just intends to yell at me, I'm not firing any shots until someone is trying to break into my car to do obviously do harm to me or my passengers. Getting out of the car is an option, but from what I've seen, your chances go way down when being attacked by multiple attackers once you are outside of your car.
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Old June 24, 2014, 09:34 AM   #54
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A lot of folks are still hanging on to the idea that the OP's car could drive away. Sorry folks, you don't get to choose the scenario or modify it to suit.

Here is what was presented: OP is riding in a car. Road rage guy exhibits extreme anger and traps the car so it can't move. Then RR Guy starts to get out of the car. You are armed, and you and your driver are capable of exiting the vehicle. That's it. And the question is, what do you do?

I am absolutely correct in saying that if RRG has a gun, you better get out of the car before he does. That's worst case, and it is unlikely, but you are already in an unlikely situation. If you guess that he doesn't have a gun and you are wrong, you are probably dead. Inside the car you are a stationary target with no cover.

So, what do I do? Get out of the car, make no move to draw my weapon, and tell my driver to call 911 Right Now. That's it. What happens next has to be evaluated, and it could go a hundred different ways.
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Old June 24, 2014, 09:35 AM   #55
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The news story would read:
-
-
Men from two cars were involved in yet another tragic road rage indecent on the freeway this week. The indent started on the freeway where it's unclear which driver starred the altercation.
After exiting the freeway and stopping on the ramp men from both cars excited their vehicles. At this point the passenger from one car fatally shot the unarmed driver of the other car.
Witnesses say the victim was shot just while exciting his vehicle.
One witness was quoted as saying " the guy was just getting out of his car - he was just shouting at the guys in the other car and walking over and they just shoot him. This is why we need more gun control, man. I mean these psychos shouldn't have had guns. "
The victim is survived by a whole bunch of family that all remember him as a great guy. The shooter is in police custody awaiting arraignment. Some politicians who want to be seen as "tough on violent crime" are demanding the shooter be tried for murder.
State police are investigating the indecent, and declined to give comment.
-
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Maybe not your perception of the truth, but to anyone not on the car you'd just be a guy that killed someone in a road rage indecent.
Unless he's approaching with a gun (or shooting at you) the best option is to either drive away, or let them smash up your car a little.

Unless you're driving one of the more expensive Ferraris, any damage to your car is going to be a drop in the bucket next to what you pay in legal fees to defend yourself in both the criminal and civil trials, and then any appeals that come after.
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Old June 24, 2014, 09:50 AM   #56
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@dayman,

That is your assumption of what the news story would read and what would occur. You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but there are other plausible scenarios.

The ticked off road rage guy decides to draw a weapon and shoot both occupants of the car. No one caught the license plate since the other car was blocking the view. The passenger was armed but could not shoot accurately from within the car. yada yada yada survived by yada yada yada...
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Last edited by Frank Ettin; June 24, 2014 at 05:04 PM. Reason: delete vulgarity
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Old June 24, 2014, 10:31 AM   #57
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Quote:
Inside the car you are a stationary target with no cover.
No, this depends on the car. I have a 4-door Wrangler. I can easily get into the back. Then, I have the option of exiting the vehicle on the right side, left side or back. I will not be staying buckled into the front drivers seat. But, if you exit the vehicle, you better be ready to deal with the legal consequences when you shoot someone without a mark on your vehicle...not a position I'd like to be in. In a small sedan, I might choose to exit the vehicle, possibly on the left side, if I have time, to create more distance between me and the aggressor.
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Old June 24, 2014, 10:57 AM   #58
motorhead0922
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Quote:
I can easily get into the back.
You may be concealed back there, but you will have no cover.

Quote:
you better be ready to deal with the legal consequences when you shoot someone without a mark on your vehicle...not a position I'd like to be in.
Really? I have to wait until after RRG damages me or the vehicle to protect my life? It doesn't work that way. There just has to be an eminent threat.
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Old June 24, 2014, 11:20 AM   #59
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Thanks for everyone's input, I've been reading posts and doing a lot of reflecting. This is where I am:

1. I think preparing to exit the vehicle was the right choice. Say the aggressor comes to the driver side window (I'm in passenger seat) and busts the window or presents a firearm of his own. The driver is now caught in crossfire and were both like shooting fish in a barrel.

2. It was very irresponsible for me to just say I would shoot if he got within 21 feet.
For me to get to that point, the following would need to happen; he would have had to fully exit his vehicle and I mine. With my pistol at the low, I would tell him to get back in his car. If he continued at us, aggressively, I would have raised my pistol. If he continued, he is probably psychotic with intentions of doing physical harm and may even have a weapon of his own. Serious thought would be given to pulling the trigger.

There are a lot of variables that would affect decisions made in mere seconds. Do I fire a warning shot? Not at the ground, it could ricochet and hit an innocent person. Would I shoot his trunk? Good possibility.

When it comes down to it. I'm glad things never escalated to such a serious situation and I appreciate all the feedback. I've learned a lot from this experience.
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Old June 24, 2014, 11:55 AM   #60
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Good post. Sounds like you've done a lot of thinking since your original post.

Quote:
Would I shoot his trunk? Good possibility.
Warning shots might not be a good idea, as Marissa Alexander found out. If you're in fear of imminent death, you need to shoot whoever is causing the threat until they stop, not other inanimate objects around you.

Quote:
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey will seek to triple Marissa Alexander’s original prison sentence from twenty to sixty years, effectively a life sentence for the 33-year-old woman, when her case is retried this July, The Florida Times-Union reports.

Alexander was convicted on three charges of aggravated assault in 2012 for firing warning shots in the direction of Rico Gray, her estranged husband, and his two children. No one was hurt. Alexander’s attorneys argued that she had the right to self-defense after Gray physically assaulted and threatned to kill her the day of the shooting. In a deposition, Gray confessed to a history of abusing women, including Alexander.

“Remember that when Marissa Alexander fired her warning shot to save her own life, she caused no injuries. Now she’s facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison for that act of self-defense,”
http://www.thenation.com/blog/178641...t-self-defense

Just remember that you can't use deadly force unless you're in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm. Why would you shoot someone's trunk instead of them if you were in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm? Must not have been too imminent if you had time to shoot at their car.

Last edited by 45_auto; June 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM.
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Old June 24, 2014, 12:13 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
Theo, when you see stand off scenarios or police officers using their vehicles for cover, are they ever IN their vehicles? They are using their vehicles as cover from outside their vehicle.
Those police officers are prepared ahead of time and they're not on the defensive. They are also police officers, so they have a lot more legal leeway than we do when it comes to using their firearms. But when police officers are in their cars and they're ambushed by someone with a gun, they're usually taught to stay in their vehicles and return fire. Then, once they've initially returned fire, only then are they taught to exit the vehicle when the situation allows.

Here's a police training article describing the tactics. In an ambush by a gunman, police are taught to use the car for cover, return fire from inside the vehicle, and only exit the vehicle when the situation allows it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
You are entitled to your opinion, but if I was in the situation, I would draw my weapon and prepare to exit my vehicle.
In that situation, Drawing your gun and exiting the vehicle is a terrible decision from both a tactical and a legal standpoint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indie_rocker
I think preparing to exit the vehicle was the right choice.
No. That would've been a very bad choice. Everyone telling you to exit the vehicle right away is just plain wrong. If I were you, I would seriously re-evaluate your tactics, because they're going to get you in trouble some day.
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Last edited by Theohazard; June 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM.
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Old June 24, 2014, 01:37 PM   #62
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Some may think showing the FA solves the problem. Do not be surprised if the individual throws his arm up and say "what you going do shoot me"...and continues to cuss you out. You ready to shoot him now? If not he may take the gun from you and report the nut who just tried to kill him. You were the one who turned a verbal altercation into a gun fight by pulling first. Cry all you want how scared you were, but absent a weapon or physical injury YOU appear the aggressor who pulled a gun on an unarmed man.

If you pull it, better be ready to use it! Getting out of your vehicle totally negates any "fear" argument. Even a punch or assault in most cases does not justify use of deadly force. You prob recall the arguments in the FL case. Many might say because you had a gun you felt more aggressive in pressing the matter and engaging to inflame matters.
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Old June 24, 2014, 01:40 PM   #63
manta49
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Just remember that you can't use deadly force unless you're in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm. Why would you shoot someone's trunk instead of them if you were in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm? Must not have been too imminent if you had time to shoot at their car.
I understand what you are saying but I find it strange that you could get jailed for firing a warning shot that could stop the aggression no one hurt. but if you shoot instead then that's OK. I think the person in the example you give would have being in trouble warning shot or if they shoot them, the court must of decided neither would have being justified.
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Old June 24, 2014, 01:55 PM   #64
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With my pistol at the low, I would tell him to get back in his car. If he continued at us, aggressively, I would have raised my pistol. If he continued, he is probably psychotic with intentions of doing physical harm and may even have a weapon of his own. Serious thought would be given to pulling the trigger.

There are a lot of variables that would affect decisions made in mere seconds. Do I fire a warning shot? Not at the ground, it could ricochet and hit an innocent person. Would I shoot his trunk? Good possibility.
Do you look particullary good in orange? Is that why you are desprate to display a weapon (assault with a deadly weapon) or employ deadly force (warning shot; recently shown to be a bad idea)... But luckily you are willing to make your "warning shot" look like attempted murder! ("he shot at me, but missed and hit my trunk!")

But at least exiting your vehicle, weapon in hand, sets you up nicely for a charge of Mutual Combat negating your claim of self defense. But its not like there is any case law in Michigan covering how mutual combat negates the claim of self defense. The law is not want we want nor what we think it should be. It is what it is. Determined ignorance of the law is less than helpful.
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Old June 24, 2014, 02:00 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manta49
I understand what you are saying but I find it strange that you could get jailed for firing a warning shot that could stop the aggression no one hurt. but if you shoot instead then that's OK. I think the person in the example you give would have being in trouble warning shot or if they shoot them, the court must of decided neither would have being justified.
Other than the risk of stray bullets injuring bystanders, warning shots are a terrible idea because they can be used to show that the person firing the warning shot wasn't in fear for his life at that moment.

If someone fires a warning shot, it can be argued that this means they weren't in fear for their life: After, all, if you're in fear for your life, why not actually fire at the person attacking you? And therefore, if it can be shown that the person wasn't in fear for their life because they fired warning shots, any subsequent shots that hit the assailant are more likely be called into question.

Basically, the argument would be that when the person started shooting, they obviously weren't in fear for their life, otherwise they would have aimed directly at their assailant. So, when the assailant ends up shot, there might be more questions about whether the shooting was actually legally justified.

Keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer nor am I an expert in the legal use of self-defense. But this is how it's been explained to me by people who are experts.
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Old June 24, 2014, 02:24 PM   #66
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If someone fires a warning shot, it can be argued that this means they weren't in fear for their life: After, all, if you're in fear for your life, why not actually fire at the person attacking you? And therefore, if it can be shown that the person wasn't in fear for their life because they fired warning shots, any subsequent shots that hit the assailant are more likely be called into question.
I would need to be in fear for my life before I would fire a warning shot, I don't get the logic. So the law encourages shooting someone rather than trying to stop the threat with less lethal force strange. As for bystanders obviously don't pull the trigger if you are likely to hit an innocent bystander, that goes for shooting at the person or a warning shot. I think it would have to be justifiable whether someone fired a warning shot or shot at the person, if it was not doing either could get you in trouble.

Last edited by manta49; June 24, 2014 at 02:33 PM.
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Old June 24, 2014, 02:33 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by manta49
I would need to be in fear for my life before I would fire a warning shot, I don't get the logic. So the law encourages shooting someone rather than trying to stop the threat with less lethal force strange.
You're missing the point here. The claim of self-defense hinges on proving that you were in fear for your life at that exact moment. If someone is in the process of attacking you and you're in fear for your life at that moment, why in the world would you just fire a warning shot? Don't you actually want to stop the attack by shooting the person?

So, by firing a warning shot, you're simply providing evidence that you weren't in fear for your life. And therefore lethal force may have not been justified at that moment.

Warning shots have proven time and again to be a terrible idea from both a tactical and a legal standpoint. I'm amazed that there are still people here advocating for the firing of warning shots in a self-defense situation.
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Old June 24, 2014, 02:45 PM   #68
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You're missing the point here. The claim of self-defense hinges on proving that you were in fear for your life at that exact moment. If someone is in the process of attacking you and you're in fear for your life at that moment, why in the world would you just fire a warning shot? Don't you actually want to stop the attack by shooting the person?
I am not missing the point I know exactly what you are saying. My point is that I would need to be in fear of my life before I would fire a warning shot, would you not.? The key is justifiable shoot to kill or fire a warning shot. If you were justified in firing a shot at the person , then you would certainly be justified in firing a warning shoot. Just drawing your firearm could be enough to stop someone's aggression, should you shoot them anyway to make you drawing your firearm look more justifiable. If people are being told that if they are in fear of their life rightly or wrongly the one and only option is to shoot them, that bad advice the shooter could end up in jail. Just because you said you were in fear for your life is no guarantee, a jury could decide differently.

Last edited by manta49; June 24, 2014 at 02:51 PM.
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Old June 24, 2014, 03:12 PM   #69
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If your life/safety is threatened to the point where you have to at the very least draw your weapon out, do you honestly believe that you will have the mental fortitude to take a carefully aimed shot in the direction of the threat yet aim it so that you dont hit the threat, and you are positive your bullet will safely fly off without harming anyone?

With that massive adrenalin dump, do you want to add to the fecesstorm firing a warning shot?

We take the time to mentally prepare for the horrific event of using deadly force in defense of ourselves or for someone else, our loved ones, even complete strangers.
We select weapons that will do the job, and practice shooting so we are proficient with them.
We select defensive ammunition that is proven to stop an attacker, without over penetrating.
We change our language so we talk about 'stopping' instead of 'killing'.

Feel free to fire a warning shot if you like. Thats YOUR choice.
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Old June 24, 2014, 03:29 PM   #70
manta49
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Feel free to fire a warning shot if you like. Thats YOUR choice.
I didn't say I would fire a warning shot. I said I seen it as an option, every situation is different and a person could only decide what to do when they are in that situation. As for hitting an innocent bystander, I have already said if that is an issue you should not be firing a warning shot or a shot at someone that could miss and not hit your intended target. That is more of a possibility than hitting someone by firing a shot in the air i would think or at a safe back stop. Do you not see that as a possible issue.

Quote:
NEW YORK – All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence.

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Old June 24, 2014, 03:47 PM   #71
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First and foremost, get the hell out of there if possible.

Stay in the car and call 911. Make sure the guy sees that you are on the phone. Don't get out of your car. Take a pic of his plates if possible.

Most people come to their senses when they realize that they can be ID'd.

If the guy beats on your friend's car after all that; draw your gun but don't point it at him. The rest of it is a crap shoot. If he's trying to break into the car then all bets are off. Even then, though - some ADA wanting to make a name for themselves may come after you if you shoot or kill the guy.

It's always a pain in the rear to shoot someone legally.
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Old June 24, 2014, 04:20 PM   #72
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Quote:
You may be concealed back there, but you will have no cover.
What cover are you going to have once you get outside of your vehicle???

Quote:
Really? I have to wait until after RRG damages me or the vehicle to protect my life?
Are you really going to shoot someone simply for walking up to you shouting? Yeah, it really does work that way - but you go ahead and do it your way - get out of your car, pull your gun and shoot as soon as the aggressor gets within 21 feet of you. Let me know how that works out....if you still have internet access.
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Old June 24, 2014, 04:27 PM   #73
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What cover are you going to have once you get outside of your vehicle???
Still the car itself. And now, instead of shooting through 1 layer of sheet metal, the bullets will likely have to pass through both sides of the car. It's much less likely that most standard pistol rounds will pierce both doors and still have energy to do significant damage to a human. If the BG has a impact weapon they'd need to climb around the car or run around it to reach you, which gives you time, at the very least.

Cement highway dividers, trees, other vehicles. And what's more is that you have the freedom to move.

I'm not saying that exiting the car would always be the better choice, but sometimes it is.
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Old June 24, 2014, 05:10 PM   #74
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First, a warning shot is almost always a terrible, terrible idea. That bullet will be going somewhere -- and perhaps somewhere you don't want it to go. And if you're truly in a critical situation facing imminent death, you need to deal with the situation.

Second, in most cases, in most States, threatening someone with a gun (or firing the gun) must be justified on the same basis as using lethal force in self defense. Even in those few States applying a different standard to threatening lethal force you must still be able to show justification for you action.
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Old June 24, 2014, 05:43 PM   #75
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Quote:
First, a warning shot is almost always a terrible, terrible idea. That bullet will be going somewhere -- and perhaps somewhere you don't want it to go. And if you're truly in a critical situation facing imminent death, you need to deal with the situation.

Second, in most cases, in most States, threatening someone with a gun (or firing the gun) must be justified on the same basis as using lethal force in self defense. Even in those few States applying a different standard to threatening lethal force you must still be able to show justification for you action.
(I said you should not shoot a warning shot or shoot at someone unless you are a sure as you can be that it won't hit a bystander). A warning shot is no more likely if careful to hit an innocent bystander that one shot at the person you are intending to shoot. Example
Quote:
NEW YORK – All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence.
Someone walking towards your car does not equate to imminent death. You need to ( JUSTIFY ) your decision , it doesn't matter if you fired a warning shot, threaten the person with a firearm or shot the person. I can find examples of innocent bystanders being hit with bullets fired at a person, can you find examples of an iniocent person being hit with a warning shot. ?
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