The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 30, 2007, 11:55 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: February 5, 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 406
Why and when would you pull the trigger?

A quote in another thread got me thinking. It was:

Some guy I couldn't find said:

a cell phone and some credit cards are not worth ending someone’s life over. You don’t shoot someone to punish them for their bad deeds, you shoot them because if you don’t you will likely die. I think it is a great mistake to kill someone over material items.
While I am a huge proponent of every scenario being different and a judgement call, engage brain, etc., this got me wondering about the "general" reason you would consider using lethal force. A lot of folks say they are unwilling to use it to protect property. Some are. But what about that situation when someone is pointing a gun at YOU but says they only want property?

JohnKsa said:

Armed robbery is grounds for use of deadly force, NOT to allow you to shoot someone to retain property but because it is absolutely abhorrent to any sort of civilization to allow a criminal to bargain with you for your OWN LIFE.

You're not shooting someone over your wallet and credit cards, you're defending your LIFE against a person who says that AT BEST it's only worth what you have in your pockets.
And I think that sums up my view on it "AS A GENERAL RULE". If someone is pointing a gun at me and threatening me with anything, robbery, arse whoopin, foot massage (durn fetish muggers...), etc., they have threatened me with lethal force and have crossed the line of where I feel comfortable with retaliating. I'm not saying I would or even should engage in a situation like this. But I am saying, it would be past my moral "NO GO" or "think veeeery carefully" point. In my mind, I'd have the green light.

So, where do you folks stand at this point?

I am not trying to get into the details here but if you feel the need to go into that to explain your position, it's not like I can stop you!
Greg Miller

"Remember, a valid point never overrules a family tradition." - Me
Groundhog is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 12:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 2006
Location: Reno, NV.
Posts: 1,026
Maybe my rant on that other post should've gone here lol... Better place without going offtopic.

When they pull a weapon on you, they've made their intent clear. There are no guarentee's for your safety unless you make them yourself. They may decide the want no witnesses to the "smaller" crime of robbery, or they might have decided before hand to kill their target regardless.

BG pulls a gun on me, there's gonna be a fight until one of us is down or he's running with his tail between his legs...

Disclaimer: This internet commando would like to sound big and macho in front of his screen, and whole heartedly believes this is what he would do. If something like this ever happens to him, he will be posting the result here.
Rock out with your Glock out!
jfrey123 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 01:33 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 13
If they pull a gun on me and ask for my measely little bit of money or my out of date cell phone I would put the money and cell phone on the ground and back away at an angle to him and go for cover.

If they already have their gun drawn, I am not going to go for mine. That is an invitation to get some nasty pits of metal and lead in parts of my body.

If I go for cover, I will get my gun and if I feel no innocents are likely to get shot behind the BG, I would shoot when they go to pick up the money and cell phone for I would have no reason to believe that a BG who does armed robbery would be true to their word and not shoot me when they find out I had nothing of real value and a very out of date cell phone that most people would have thrown away by now.
Xenia is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 02:37 PM   #4
Junior member
Join Date: May 7, 2006
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 626
If I feel I am in danger of being killed or maimed.
revjen45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 04:10 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 4,040
Why pull the trigger?

To protect yourself, your family and loved ones, and maybe even an innocent third party from violent felonies such as murder, arson, rape, or the like.

When to pull the trigger?

When there is a clear and present danger to the life of a confirmed innocent person, you are sure of your target and what is beyond it, and your weapon is on target.

/Wow, that was easy to explain.
//I expect it will be MUCH harder to practice...
Technosavant is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 04:50 PM   #6
Arizona Fusilier
Senior Member
Join Date: September 19, 2000
Posts: 1,080
Anyone threatening lethal force, regardless of their alleged goals or limited criminal objectives, is worthy of a bullet.

Getting it done on someone who already has the drop on you is problematic, and perhaps a completely different subject.
Arizona Fusilier is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 04:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: September 9, 2006
Posts: 1,853
Groundhog; the Savant summed it up well...

While every situation is different, the answers to your questions seem obvious to me.

I agree with what Technosavant said whole heartedly. This question reminds me of all of the posts having to do with Home Invasion scenerios, another topic dealing with the issues of Why? and When?

Not every situation calls for the use of deadly force, and there's nothing cowardly with complying to a criminals demands with the intent to preserve life. Having a firearm on you does not mean that you must use it, or for that matter, draw it in every situation just because you had it handy. I fear that far too often the mentality portrayed here celebrates the use of firearms with deadly force (with posts like "What is the "BEST" 9mm round?" or "What gun do you have next to your bed?" etc.") and while most of these posts do not address the question directly, the heart of most of these questions lay in the most basic "What kills best?" Plain and simple.

Now, I'm not saying that the need to use deadly force never arises, or that people should somehow train to wound and not kill, what I am saying is maybe the questions should be "When do I draw my weapon?" and "What are the reasons I should?" because make no mistake: drawing your weapon commits you to using lethal force, only the situation dictates whether you do or not. Everytime you draw your gun you should be 110% prepared to use lethal force, otherwise why draw it?
Just a big fan of guns.
FS2K is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 05:02 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 17, 2002
Location: Orl Fla
Posts: 3,254
I think Savant and Arizona pretty much answered everything

When they produce a gun they have shown the limits they are willing to go and the limits you must go to get out of the situation
Joab the Bugman
Founding member- Lords of Pomposity
It's a Yankee Doodle thing
joab is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 05:04 PM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: January 14, 2007
Location: So. California, Desert style.
Posts: 745
If someone confronts me or my family with a weapon, for any reason, I feel I am then free to fire (so long as I have a safe opportunity to draw my weapon). But if someone is breaking into my truck, or stealing a wheel-barrow out back, and attempts to run when I confront them, no, that is not a time to shoot.
Thunderhawk88 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 07:02 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: October 16, 2005
Location: Oley Pa
Posts: 281
Very good topic and I think you have gotten to the heart of a lot of recent topics.

I believe as most here have said that each situation is to be addressed differently. While the need for drawing may be present and I agree you should be ready to end a life when you do so, there are exceptions with that being said. If the person pointing a gun at you is not ready to end your life and out of desperation has begun this act they might not be as hostil as they were when they drew down on you or someone else.

Example A:
While shopping at your local market somone pulls a gun and points it at the clerk 8 feet in front of them. You are standing 3 feet behind them on a 9 o'clock position. They are quakeing and obviously nervous. They are not paying attention to anything going on around them. You quietly and calmy bring your sidearm to inches from their head and begin to calmly demand they lower their firearm at once. They comply...

Example B: While returning home from a night out you pull into your driveway and find two males fighting on your front lawn. One produces a gun and points it at the other. You get behind your vehicle and produce your sidearm. The male with the firearm raises his hands but does not release the gun...

While I agree that when someone threatens you with deadly force you are more than justified in defending, I think each situation has to be acted upon in its own fashion. Training and discussing these topics are essential into prepareing for these situation. Because when the time comes you have seconds and much less concentration to decide on the spot.
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" -Freud
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." -Thomas Jefferson.
WhiteFeather93 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 07:50 PM   #11
The Tourist
Junior member
Join Date: June 20, 2005
Posts: 2,348
As a younger man, I would have answered this question very differently, indeed.

And as an older man, my mindset has changed not because of the world, but because how the world has change for me.

There is not secret that I have lived my life in two halves, and I have some regrets. Not over the deeds, but more to the people I may have hurt and how those actions can never be taken back.

Frankly, I got that big "second chance" I never really deserved.

To that end, I can only permit action needed to save someone else, even if it's only my dogs. If I cannot discern some good of this action and operate from some moral compass then the action is somehow flawed for me.

Most people paint the scenario as a "you and him to the end" argument that leaves no alternative. I don't believe reality lives by a formulated debate. I do not believe a hardened, trained, deranged psychopath with layers of modern weapons and a sacrifical agenda often presents himself.

Muggers, cat burglars, saloon bullies and other loud mouths are actually quite tame. There is a very tall, well muscled female triathlete at my gym who could really inflict damage and scares me much more.

I have several very nice Tussey automatics, and I never wish to hurt anyone, ever.
The Tourist is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 08:26 PM   #12
Tim Burke
Senior Member
Join Date: February 17, 1999
Posts: 551
But what about that situation when someone is pointing a gun at YOU but says they only want property?
If he only wants property, he needs to figure out a way to get it that doesn't involve threatening me with death.
Tim Burke is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 08:47 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2007
Posts: 188
If someone got a gun pointed at me imma point my gun back...same with a knife...they got a knife and its coming at guns going to be pointed at them and if i see fit then ill use deadly force...not for the sake of money but for the sake of my life over theres
epic4444 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 08:58 PM   #14
PTR 91
Senior Member
Join Date: April 7, 2007
Posts: 264
Weapon or not as far as I know if you feel your life is in danger then you can kill the person if you must, but i'm sure shooting out their knee caps will slow they down without killing them. My point is if I came home and someone is kicking open my front door, i'm gonna jump out and say lay face down on the ground with your hands and legs spread out and then call the cops. If they run off I won't shoot but I will call the cops. If they come at me to do harm, well i'm going to throw some lead.
PTR 91 is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 09:21 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 29, 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,391
I have not been in any situation where I had to put this to the test, but the way I figure it is two ways. First, the BG came to the party with his dance card out so he had to know that being shot was a possibility. On the other hand it would be best to try to end the situation without shooting.
w_houle is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 09:46 PM   #16
Join Date: June 7, 2007
Posts: 25

I'll pull the trigger if I feel that my life or the life of others are in danger, not over property... :-)
Acosta is offline  
Old June 30, 2007, 10:02 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: April 2, 2002
Location: Falcon Colorado
Posts: 239
But what about that situation when someone is pointing a gun at YOU but says they only want property?

If he only wants property, he needs to figure out a way to get it that doesn't involve threatening me with death.
I don't think you can trust an armed robber's word that they only want property. They've already demonstrated a willingness to breach social convention and the law. They might use that statement to gain compliance and still do as they please. I note an increasing number of criminals who go ahead and shoot or otherwise harm their victims. Whether they do it for thrills, to leave no witnesses or another reason is irrelevant to the victim. Instead of overanalysing their motives, distill it down to resisting force with force
MikeG is offline  
Old July 1, 2007, 12:13 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,936
The hardest thing to learn is when not to pull the trigger, this gos also when not to even show your weapon. When to shoot is easy to learn. Just MHO based on the real world.
RJay is offline  
Old July 1, 2007, 02:39 PM   #19
tony pasley
Senior Member
Join Date: April 13, 2006
Location: western north carolina
Posts: 1,641
Why: I believe that there is no chioce
When: when I come onto the target.
tony pasley is offline  
Old July 1, 2007, 04:04 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: March 21, 2006
Posts: 943
This is a pointless question if it is asked from a morality standpoint because it is an individual decision. From a legal standpoint it is clear. Stated intent doesn't matter if the assailant has a weapon. If you are in fear of serious injury or death or under the threat of serious injury or death to yourself or someone else, you are justified.

Trying to talk someone into dropping the weapon or to surrender is not necessary nor really wise. That is what LEO's are for. Any hesitation can get you killed. Know your state's laws and the parameters they set, then act accordingly.
Lurper is offline  
Old July 1, 2007, 10:55 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: June 24, 2007
Location: CNY
Posts: 790
learn to read people

living in a country where there is barely any Legal liability at all it all boils down to social and moral choice. The art of reading into someone’s character and intentions becomes honed very quickly. Driving through an unfamiliar town late the other night and pulling up to a store to ask directions, two men drinking cokes get up and put their hands on their pistols(one man drawing)
I realized immediately that they were just waiting for me to display my intentions and as son as I did they sat down. In their mind I was the potential threat and I need to respect that.

If I were less prudent I could have been threatened and done something rash, ending the night on a very different note.

Alertness and awareness, and the art of listening to people can give you the jump start on survival.

I witnessed a man in his home, when three men who had been drinking came on his property, they had been shooting rounds off with browning hi-power 9mm and stumbled in front of his store demanding cigarettes(pistols drawn) he pulled up behing them about 20 feet away with a marlin semi-auto .22 rifle, fired several rounds off in the air and then held them at gun point till they left(their guns all lowered)

When do they deserve to be shot at? Unfortunately for them, once they do something disqualifying them from the natural protection of society. It varies per individual but once they have ejected themselves from that club, they are automatically downrange.
Ruthless4christ is offline  
Old July 1, 2007, 11:49 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 2006
Location: Reno, NV.
Posts: 1,026
Driving through an unfamiliar town late the other night and pulling up to a store to ask directions, two men drinking cokes get up and put their hands on their pistols(one man drawing)
In their mind I was the potential threat and I need to respect that.
How the heck is this response justified??? You're going into a place of business! That alone is not a justified reason for the two citizens enjoying cocacola to point guns at you!

Holy sidearms Batman, even on our trigger happy forum, at least one of those guys should've been going to jail. For me, some guy in a store parking lot pulling a gun on me would've started a gun fight. I sure as hell wouldn't be respecting their urge to pull a weapon on me, a lost citizen.

For me, their force toward you, and your following "justification" and respect of said force is mind blowing!
Rock out with your Glock out!
jfrey123 is offline  
Old July 2, 2007, 12:29 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: June 24, 2007
Location: CNY
Posts: 790
life in the hills

You have to understand I am giving you a scenario from the Central American point of view. Gunfights take place here everyday, and in the remote area I was in, it was to them “odd” for a car with tinted windows to pull up at that time of night. (you have to understand this town is made up of dirt roads, and the “store” is a tin shack.

Here there is no law, mostly just what the neighborhood implicates for itself. I guess it does get kind of stressful sometimes but that’s the third world. Fortunately for you guys back in the land of the free you don’t have to deal with this extremism but it can help put things in perspective.
Ruthless4christ is offline  
Old July 2, 2007, 02:50 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117

In general, I think we are in agreement in so far as an armed assault is concerned.

If someone is threatening you with a weapon (gun, knife, broken bottle, baseball bat, tire iron, etc.) to obtain your property (money, wallet, iPod, iPhone, etc.) it is implicit in the situation that they are willing to inflict grave bodily injury or death upon you to obtain what they desire. In essence it is tantamount to them proclaiming "I will cripple or kill you, if you don't comply".

That's an invitation to be the test target for JHP ammo.

Less clear is when threatened by an individual who is not armed or not obviously armed. Or perhaps he's "armed" with something not usually perceived to be a serious weapon -- i.e. a leather belt, a piece of garden hose or electrical cord.

Also less clear is when other factors such as time, place and your status are involved. For instance, if you are at a party or gathering at another person's house and the slightly intoxicated host threatens you with a knife for your bashing his favorite candidate for office (or whatever reason). Certainly if he threatens, the proper course is to leave the location. However, if he attacks with the knife and you have a clear shot, do you? Or do you call for help from others?

Unarmed conflicts are another matter. I know that currently I could not go toe-to-toe with some 25 year old punk. Others who lack physical conditioning, have debilitating injuries or ailments are in similar situations. The question here is once physical force is threatened by someone of apparent superior strength and condition, when do you justify the use of lethal force?
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old July 2, 2007, 10:10 AM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 2006
Location: Reno, NV.
Posts: 1,026
Sorry Ruthless, I didn't pay attention to your location when responding to your story. Regardless, that is a crappy way for any business man to do business. But if there are no law enforcement of any kind anywhere, then so be it.
Rock out with your Glock out!
jfrey123 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13245 seconds with 8 queries