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Old November 21, 2012, 09:52 AM   #148
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 3,470
OK, now that we're past the emotion, let's summarize this from the standpoint of tactics and training.

The original question was whether the woman went too far in drawing her gun. Pax has shown us that justification under the law in her jurisdiction would depend upon whether she had reason to believe that doing so was necessary to protect herself or her child from presently threatened unlawful force.

That's it. Nothing else really matters. Whether we may we have an actor for whom we may be sympathetic-and we do, a woman with a disabled child--doe not show up in the code, nor does our opinion of the person she threatened. Those who insist on believing otherwise need to study more, and to consider some of the very upstanding citizens who have been convicted of felonies after having drawn when it was later not deemed justified, and some of the criminals who have won acquittals in self defense cases.

The threshold in other jurisdictions is different. Penalties for violation very widely.

There may be those who contend that when the outcome is favorable, the actor did the right thing. That doesn't follow. Luck will not always smile on us. We can learn from after action reports on successful encounters as well as from failures.

Personally, I do not think that carrying a semiautomatic pistol without the magazine, or with the magazine unseated, depending upon which report is accurate, is a very good idea at all. True, she was not overcome, disarmed, raped, or beaten, but it is a very good idea to be able to react very quickly to a rapidly unfolding attack. The consequences of failure can be very severe indeed.

We cannot judge from news reports whether drawing was either justified or a good idea. The man reportedly approached "aggressively." We cannot tell whether a present threat of unlawful force existed.

Personally, I do not think it very bright at all to shout "I'll blow your brains out" when pointing a gun at someone who is seated. Had things gone bad, and had there been an earwitness, that could have tipped the scales against her, all other things being equal.

Did she do anything right? Yes indeed. She contacted the police immediately. We talk about that all the time here.

Yes, she is a sympathetic character. Yes, the other guy is anything but sympathetic. Yes, she came out of it unhurt, and most probably legally OK.

But there are a number of things she did that she could have done a lot better.
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