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Old April 28, 2006, 02:01 PM   #31
Junior member
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,119
While you make some interesting points, your example of the plane hijacking is irrelevant and just a failed debating trick. We now know that a plane hijacking is an immediate lethal threat. Implying that the wait and see attitude is related to attacking someone with a known plastic gun makes no sense.
One NEVER knows what the criminal element has in mind. Maybe the bank robber with a fake gun really has something more diabolical in mind ala 9/11. We just don't know, do we? I'm not about to wait and find out. Besides, he could very well kill someone or cause pursuing police to kill someone in his flight.

Also, engaging in physical combat with said plastic gun carrier makes no sense. I'm glad that folks have such confidence in their physical ability but once in close contact, your risk level goes up dramatically. Said plastic gun person might easily have a knife and deploy such on you.
All the reason that it does make sense. Maybe he intends to take a hostage? I have NO idea what he intends. I'd rather fight a battle on MY terms at MY choosing than on HIS terms. The element of surprise is important and I would attempt to take full advantage of that. Put HIM on the defensive and make HIM alter his plan.

The interesting question is whether if you are sure that the gun is fake, you kill or attempt to kill the person under the cover of:

1. The law doesn't distinguish between fakes and real (because it assume you don't know at the time).
Interesting point. It would be interesting to hear the arguments from the prosecution and defense. Under most state laws a robbery is considered an armed robbery if it is completed with force or threat of force, no matter how believeable or slight. Defendant used a pistol that appeared to be fake, but his actions still qualify as armed robbery. And, you may know it's fake but others may not. They perceive this as a very real threat.

2. You think you can get away with it and thus take the opportunity to kill someone as that is congruent with your personal 'philosophy' , personality structure or fantasies of monetary/societal reward.
No more than I would if I were defending my life or the lives of others or my home. Take away the toy gun and say he appears unarmed and comes up to you on the street and says give me your wallet or I'll kill you in a very intimidating and threating way, cornering you.

Taking a life for those reasons is rather problematic. The use of lethal force is usually to prevent grievous bodily harm. Thus, you know that the weapon is fake and will not produce grievous bodily harm and you decide that to be executioner. Does the law in your state mandate capital punishment for an armed bankrobber where no one is killed? However, you decide given your perfect knowledge of the gun being fake that you will apply such a penalty.
Lethal force can be used to defend yourself against the threat or reasonable perceived threat of imminent serious bodily harm. It can include a severe beating and someone committing a violent felony. Last I checked, a man robbing a federal bank, even with a toy gun, is a violent felon endangering the lives of many (directly and indirectly). Even if the world knew he had a toy gun, the police would still come and draw down on him and shoot him if he made any attempt to point the gun at anyone.

Call me "Judge, jury and executioner" if you will, but I don't distinguish this between if a person trys to rob me through force or the threat of force. As a CCW I will shoot him dead if the situation requires.
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