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Old March 12, 2015, 04:30 PM   #17
tepin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 129
First, I think it would be incredibly stupid to leave the safety of your home to check on the mysterious banging on your front door. A good rule is... if you aren't expecting company, its likely a sales person, bible thump-er or criminal. If its the cops, you don't want to talk to them anyway because if they are initiating contact, it is probably because you are a suspect in a crime. Be it letting your dog bark all night or a bogus complaint made by a neighbor. People that know me don't come over unannounced so when my doorbell rings and I am not expecting a delivery (UPS or FedEx), I grab the pistol and wait for them to leave. Sales person, bible thump-er, criminal or cops, I don't want to talk with any of them. Something else to consider is, a person generally has more legal rights defending themselves in their home as opposed to in their yard.

If compelled to answer the door because curiosity has gotten the best of you, at least check the situation from a window. I have heard of homeowners answering the door with gun in hand, police waiting and they either get shot or charged with assaulting a police officer with dangerous / deadly weapon.

Drawing in half-second from concealment would be difficult. I believe the Tueller Drill says 1.5 seconds to draw and fire from an exposed police holster.

Gas station issue? As soon as I pull into the lot I scan and select a pump as far away from the most thug looking person I see. I get out, lock the doors and I slowly circle my vehicle as though I were inspecting the tires, lights, etc.. and I keep an eye on folks. If someone starts to approach, keep the car between me and perp and ask, "what can I do for you"... and proceed from this standpoint based on their reaction.

ATM? First, I never carry cash so its rare I would be stopping at an ATM. If I do need the ATM, I'll go to a bank with open lot and drive-up. Again, scan the lot etc... If in a bad part of town the G19 will move from holster to crotch.

I attended Massad Ayoob's MAG20 class in 2013 and he presented a helpful method of deciding when to draw and or fire your gun. He aligns the Cooper color codes of awareness and levels of proof. Here it is:

Levels Of Proof
  1. Mere suspicion (MS): Beliefs are unfounded. You are making a wild-a$$-guess.
  2. Articulable suspicion (AS): (if you cannot explain it, don't do it!).
  3. Probable cause (PC): Grey area between suspicion and proof. Can be less than 50% certainty.
  4. Preponderance of the evidence (POE): Gray area between suspicion and proof but with greater than 50% certainty.
  5. Beyond a reasonable doubt (BARD): 95% to 99.9% certainty.

Color Codes of Awareness
  1. White: You are not aware of your surroundings
  2. Yellow: You are aware of your surroundings (relaxed awareness)
  3. Orange: Unspecified alert. Danger exists but not yet known. Look for the "target stare", whats in peoples hands.
  4. Red: Threat has identified itself (fight or flight). Will experience high level of body alarm response.
  5. Black: The lethal assault is underway and someone is trying to kill you.

When to Draw and Fire in Self-Defense
  1. Mere suspicion and condition White: Never draw gun. Heart Rate 60-80 (normal range)
  2. Articulable suspicion and condition Yellow: Never draw gun. Heart rate 100-115
  3. Probable cause and condition Orange: Never draw gun. Heart rate 115-145. Fine motor skills deteriorate. Optimal for survival and combat performance.
  4. Preponderance of the evidence and condition Red: Take at gunpoint. Heart rate 160-175. Common effects: Tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, loss of near vision, loss of depth perception, vasoconstriction, cognitive processing deteriorates. A person may experience some, all or none of these body responses.
  5. Beyond a reasonable doubt and condition Black: Fire your gun. Heart rate 175-220. Common effects: Irrational fight or flee, freezing, submissive behavior, void bladder and or bowel... including effects experienced in condition Red. A person may experience some, all or none of these body responses.
The heart rates and body responses were also covered in class. You can also find them in Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's book titled On Combat, ch. 4 pg. 31

I believe there is a grey area between drawing and not drawing your firearm. Furtive movement isn't something only reserved for criminals but it can work to our benefit as well.... Long story short, last year I was followed into a gas station parking lot on a Sunday morning at about 4:45AM. I pulled up to a pump and the tail circled up to the side of the building facing me in the car. Because of lighting, I couldnt see into their vehicle but they could see into mine. It took about 3 seconds for my brain to register WARNING and that is when I did the long reach across to my glove box and puled out my G19. I would call this a furtive movement that telegraphed a specific message to the occupants in the other vehicle. Based on the context of the situation, my movement was consistent with going for a weapon. The driver of the other car knew this and immediately rolled out of the lot and left.

So here was a situation where I didn't have to display a firearm but was able to send the message, "you may have selected the wrong victim".

On another occasion I was pushing the trashcan to the curb at about 6AM and two thugs are walking up my alley. "Hey whats in the can?" as his foot stepped off of the alley onto the shared driveway in my direction. I slid my hand into my (empty) front pocket while backing up and I replied, "why dont you take a look". They straightened their direction of travel, hands came up to the chest with a laugh like its all a big joke. Felt more like an interview.

If a persons awareness is up when in public, distance and obstacles will buy a person time. If a person is approaching, backup while saying, "that's close enough. what do you want". If they continue to close, their intent is beginning to manifest itself and on the AOJ scale, Opportunity and Jeopardy are in-play.
This was a scenario a female friend of mine was faced with about a week after she got her permit to carry. Leaving a grocery story with 2-3 bags of groceries in her arms a thug twice her size calls from across the lot heading in her direction, "hey can I ask you a question". She yelled twice demanding he stay away and his approach quickened util she dropped her bags and reached for her pistol at four o'clock. Then the thugs hands go up, he turns and leaves.
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"Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife." by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335, 343 (16 May 1921).
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