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Old June 13, 2009, 09:22 AM   #111
Senior Member
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
+1 Sigma 40 Blaster

I am also one of the people who chose "No, never." I really don't feel it should be my moral responsibility to protect an attacker. The BG chose to create the situation, and bears full responsibility for what happens to him from that point.

WA didn't create a category of "There should be no legal nor moral responsibility to retreat, but I would if I could do so safely and ethically."

More to the point, in the few occasions where I have had force used against me in my adult years, belligerents have walked away unharmed; in most cases talked down, in another case choked out but otherwise unharmed, in another case punched once and convinced to desist, and in yet another case double arm-barred and held for the police. In the funniest one, I just made the guy miss with a couple of haymakers by the simple expedients of sidestepping and ducking under - the guy decided at that point that he'd mistaken me for somebody else, and left without me having to lay a hand on him.

Point being, I've never voluntarily inflicted more than the absolute minimum of damage.

Now, before you think I go looking for trouble... one of those guys assaulted a woman in broad daylight in downtown Orlando. (Note: any number of business suited attorneys just walked by; this was just outside the Federal courthouse building on Hughey - I was headed there to meet the regional Navy officer recruiter; it amazed me how many people just kept going, not saying a word, and apparently not calling the cops because they never showed up)

Another attacked me when he showed up after the fact, when his girlfriend and I had a fender bender, before the police showed up (she was cited for pulling out of a parking lot onto a highway directly into traffic, go figure).

Another was a 250lb former football player who had a beef with a 130lb, asthmatic friend of mine and chose to attack him in front of me.

Yet another was just some drunk who started a brawl outside a Hooter's as I was leaving; I think he really did mistake me for the guy he was fighting - that's the one I intimidated just by avoiding his punches.

Recurring themes to those guys, though: immature, not too bright, drunk on one or two cases, but most of all not armed. The presence of a weapon would have drastically changed scenarios, and upped the odds of either or both of us receiving severe injuries. However, I could not have retreated from any of them. A couple were surprise attacks on me directly, and the others were on smaller, weaker victims, and I could not have retreated in good faith.

Do I think I had a moral duty in any of those real-world cases to retreat? No, in fact in some cases it was the opposite. Did I make a conscious effort to inflict minimal damage? Yes.

So, if WA wants to add a category, "No legal or moral duty to retreat, except when doing so is safer for bystanders, but moral duty to use minimal force to achieve necessary end-state," then I'll go with that.
MLeake is offline  
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