Thread: Run Away!
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Old March 13, 2011, 12:56 PM   #68
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 3,473
Posted by Seaman: I was trained by professionals who instructed me very clearly, if you are ATTACKED, you draw and shoot. Period.
I respectfully suggest that that instruction is oversimplified, or that it is incorrect, or that you have remembered it incorrectly.

What's wrong with it? First, to justify the use of deadly force or the threat thereof, the threat must be imminent and very serious (capable of causing death or serous bodily harm), and you must have no other means of avoiding the danger; second, your having drawn does not mean that you have to shoot.

I suggest that you study this, very carefully.

So, to try to put it in the terms of a decision tree:
  1. Do you have reason to believe that the person, or persons, have the ability, the opportunity, and the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm? If no--do not draw; if yes, go to (2).
  2. Do you have any safe (to you) means of avoiding such harm, short of threatening or using deadly force?If yes, avail yourself of the alternative; if no, draw, and go to (3). Note: there is no requirement that an actual attack has been started.
  3. Does your presentation of a weapon cause the imminent danger to dissipate? If yes--do not shoot; if no, you may shoot.

There are minor variations in a couple of jurisdictions, namely, Arizona and Texas.

I hope you find this helpful.

In the real life example cited, I would have ordered the perp to stop and drop,...
And should he for some strange reason comply, you would now be liable for anything that may happen to him, your fault or not, and you would be potentially subject to criminal sanctions, should you be unable to produce adequate evidence that he had in fact committed the kind of offense that justifies a citizen's arrest in your jurisdiction.

All downside, no upside. Better to leaver that to trained, indemnified, sworn officers.

Last edited by OldMarksman; March 13, 2011 at 01:06 PM.
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