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Old January 20, 2015, 06:49 PM   #51
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Posted by TimSr:
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Please explain. I witness a crime. The guy is leaving and I take his picture. He sees me do it, and comes after me and says he's put my phone where it will cause me great pain. Did I escalate the situation and therefore, forfeit my right to claim self defense?
Earlier, you mentioned yelling at him as he departs. Not prudent.

If he turns and attacks you simply because thou took a picture, and if he has the ability and the opportunity to injure you seriously and if it reasonably appears to you that he is about to do so, you most certainly have a right to claim self defense. Whether you will prevail will depend on what evidence you are able to produce after the fact, and on what others say they saw. And if you do prevail, you may be seriously impoverished.

Is it clear that his yelling at you would not suffice?

And then there is physical risk--he and/or his accomplices could cause you all kinds of pain and anguish.

Take a pic is a good idea, but it would be much, much wiser to do it surreptitiously.
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Old January 20, 2015, 07:16 PM   #52
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Tim, I did not mean to come across as argumentative, but I have become absolutely convinced of one thing. That is that one should always, always, avoid confrontations wherever and whenever possible.

I am very risk averse. There are two kinds of risk that I want to avoid: legal and physical.

The first encompasses both criminal and legal proceedings, against which the defenses could be panlful and costly, and that could have extremely serious consequences.

Regarding the second, we need to always remember that our firearms, even if we are able to access them timely, provide absolutely no ballistic protection against those whom we see and those whom we do not see.

I hope this is helpful.
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Old January 20, 2015, 08:21 PM   #53
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Be a good witness. Call the police, give description, direction of flight and ask for an ambulance for the victim.

There is a theory of mistaken defense. You see a fight. One guy is winning. You intervene and subdue him. Later it is determined that the guy who was winning was the victim and that he was besting his attacker. Opps!
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Old January 20, 2015, 10:07 PM   #54
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Helping the wrong guy in the fight even happens to the police too, from time to time. This is why you must be MORE than just certain you know exactly what is happening, and who is who BEFORE you choose to intervene.

The law gives you the right to do so, but YOU have to be sure and your assessment of the situation MUST be accurate. Even beyond the potential physical risk and legal risk to your self, your well intentioned help could wind up causing MORE suffering instead of less.

Never an easy call.
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Old January 20, 2015, 10:44 PM   #55
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If he is still deploying force as he withdraws then jeopardy still exists. You see, now we get into reasonable belief. That can be a rough row to hoe. Is it reasonable to believe he intends to continue his use of force? What factors bring that conclusion? Convince the prosecutor.

Jeopardy and Proclivity are the factors her. While he may still have the ability the other two have to be a reasonable belief.
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Old January 21, 2015, 04:59 PM   #56
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... I have become absolutely convinced of one thing. That is that one should always, always, avoid confrontations wherever and whenever possible.

I am very risk averse. There are two kinds of risk that I want to avoid: legal and physical ...
There's another risk: moral failure. Life doesn't always present us with clear choices. Sometimes the law is wrong, sometimes confrontation is good & moral, even when illegal.

As much as I don't want to injured when it could have been avoided, and as much as I'd rather avoid anything which could (even mistakenly) land me in prison, I am equally haunted by the notion of having done nothing when I should have, and living with the consequences of my inaction.
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Old January 21, 2015, 06:41 PM   #57
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Posted by zombietactics:
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I am equally haunted by the notion of having done nothing when I should have, and living with the consequences of my inaction.
I do not want to judge here, but quite often that postion belies an attitude that is fraught with problems.

If you believe that you "should" intervene in a conflict, and it turns out to be domestic violence, and both parties testify against you and report you as having attacked them and you go to trial and jail, will you have done something that you "should have"? That happens.

Or if, as 4V50 Gary suggested, it turns out that you intervened on behalf of a violent criminal actor... (no, we do not have to ask; you most certainly did do something that you should not have done). That happens.

What if you intervention made matters worse for a legitimate victim, or resulted in the injury or death of an innocent third party? That happens.

What if you are seriously injured and can no longer support your family or yourself, and they have nowhere to live? Will you have "done something that you should have"? That happens.

And what if you are otherwise deprived of your livelihood and fortune as a result of your actions and can no longer support your family or yourself, and they have nowhere to live? Will you have "done something that you should have"? That, too, happens.

You will not be the only one who lives with the consequences of your action or inaction or your poor judgment or your mistaken assumptions.
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Old January 22, 2015, 02:58 PM   #58
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You draw your gun and call to him to stop.
You might be brandishing and your hand is full of gun instead of camera/phone.

Is there such a thing as citizen's arrest? How much force is allowed to detain the suspect in that case?

What about the hew and cry? Does yelling "stop that man" get us out of bounds? If we can get a group of people to gang up on the bad guy are we instigating mob violence?

The limit of my involvement in this kind of thing was helping a store security guy restrain and handcuff a shop lifter. It was even less impressive than it sounds. My main concern was not hurting the guy as we ground his face in the pavement and twisted his arms behind his back.

I'd be very hesitant about using force unless the bad guy was small and weak, unless there was more people to help.
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Old January 22, 2015, 04:59 PM   #59
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I do not want to judge here, but quite often that postion belies an attitude that is fraught with problems.
PLEASE judge, the world needs more (good) judgement, and we need to get used to - once again - recognizing good judgement vs, bad judgement.

All of your points are valid, and detail quite well many of the problems with real world decisions. There are countless "what if"s which can imagined on any side of any question.

However, I do believe that "what if" is seldom the basis of good judgement.
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Old January 22, 2015, 05:04 PM   #60
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Everyone on the planet has a cell phone with a camera. Call 911 and use the camera function.

That is not true, Zinc warrior. There are still a few of us holdouts left.
I would advise getting at least a cheap cell phone (thats what we have). They are excellent for emergencies.
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Old January 22, 2015, 05:22 PM   #61
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Posted by zombietactics:
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PLEASE judge, the world needs more (good) judgement, and we need to get used to - once again - recognizing good judgement vs, bad judgement.
Alrighty then. I think that in general, believing that one will be able to tell when intervention is "good and moral" is very unrealistic and extremely naive.

Quote:
There are countless "what if"s which can imagined on any side of any question.
More accurately, there are countless possibilities.

There are so many, inf fact, that the only time I will intervene on behalf of a third party is when I know that third party very well and when it is crystal clear what is happening. Not very apparent, but crystal clear.

Quote:
However, I do believe that "what if" is seldom the basis of good judgement.
"What ifs" are the very basis of sound risk management.

Rob Pincus happened to put out the following to today.

This timely article is worth reading, slowly and more than one.
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Old January 22, 2015, 05:50 PM   #62
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That is a really good article by Pincus. Thanks for the link.
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Old January 22, 2015, 07:32 PM   #63
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I closely align with the following from Rob's article:

Quote:
... None of us should want to live in a society where people refuse to get involved because they fear solely for their own safety. None of us should want to live in a society where people roam the streets looking for opportunities to use force against their fellow citizens without regard for solid observation, critical thinking, their own safety and that of those around them, and the rule of law and due process. Somewhere between these two scenarios is the society that most responsible gun owners want: one where the evil that exists in this world is tempered by good people with the training, tools and willingness to act prudently on behalf of good. ...
Some earlier comments seemed to me to recommend the complete opposite of the underlined text (the UL added by me). That forms the context for my statements to the contrary.
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Old January 22, 2015, 09:07 PM   #64
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Alrighty then. I think that in general, believing that one will be able to tell when intervention is "good and moral" is very unrealistic and extremely naive.
I think you are 100% correct

To those who would draw their gun to prevent escape, just stop and think what will happen if someone with your same ideas steps around the corner when you draw

In their eyes, YOU could be the "bad guy with a gun"
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Old January 23, 2015, 12:07 AM   #65
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Zombie, I'm afraid you missed the main points of the article completely.
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Old January 23, 2015, 12:11 AM   #66
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There was a study done awhile back that showed police officers tend to shoot the wrong person (identify the wrong person as the bad guy and shoot him) more often than armed private citizens do.

The analysis indicated that the reason for the difference was that an armed citizen had a better chance of seeing the incident develop and therefore had a better chance of actually understanding what was going on, who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

Cops tend to show up after being called to the scene and must make a rapid assessment of the situation with very little information and while under considerable stress. Not surprisingly it can be extremely difficult to do that accurately and sometimes mistakes are made.

We have to understand that unless we see the situation develop and therefore have a reasonably accurate picture of what's actually going on, that there is significant potential for trying to rapidly assess a stressful situation and getting it wrong.

Does that mean we shouldn't act at all? No. But it does mean we must be very careful about deciding when to act and how that action should be carried out. It's one thing to point out the wrong guy to the cops when the evidence and other witnesses will likely sort things out in the end. It's another thing entirely to end up in a situation where you would like to "unshoot" someone now that you know all the facts.
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Old January 23, 2015, 07:01 AM   #67
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If he is still deploying force as he withdraws then jeopardy still exists...

I am glad you clarified your point, garryc, because your original statement...

Quote:
Let's understand that when the guy is walking away the element of jeopardy is gone.
...was all inclusive and definitive and that just is not the case.
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Old January 23, 2015, 04:14 PM   #68
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... Zombie, I'm afraid you missed the main points of the article completely ...
That's odd comment to make in response to a quote from the article itself.

I'm often enough in contact directly with Rob and/or his circle to believe otherwise.
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Old January 23, 2015, 04:45 PM   #69
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In my opinion, the main points are, in addition to those pertaining to personal risk,
Quote:
Consider also the ways in which you might be mistaken about what you are seeing when you come across an incident and how that should affect your decisions and actions. What happened before you arrived? How can you be sure who the “good guy” is?

Consider that your actions could increase the risk to the person you are trying to help.
This one pertains to personal risk, but it is extremely important:
Quote:
Remember that you are not alone in the world, and other bystanders may misinterpret your actions.
That brings to mind something that is not in the article--the risk that there may be a "tail gunner" looking for someone who may intercede.

I do believe I may have overreacted in my last post, but in addition to "personal safety" there is the issue of depriving those who depend on you of your support, in its entirety, either due to death or injury, imprisonment, or impoverishment due to the cost of a defense of justification. Which "third party" do you most want to protect?
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Old January 24, 2015, 01:11 PM   #70
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Every situation has to be judged individually, and at the time, as to whether or how one is to intervene. There are no hard fast rules that apply to all situations. Any advice that begins with "always" or "never" should be rejected on that basis alone. There is nothing wrong with discussing the criteria you should use when making your decision, but in the end, it will be your decision, and you will have to defend it after the fact. Whether you do everything right, or whether you do everything wrong, there is no way to predict how the courts will see it. You have to determine the extent of personal risk you are willing to endure in order to determine the amount of action, or inaction your conscious can deal with after the fact. The most common standard to be applied will be whether or not your actions are deemed reasonable by a panel of Monday morning quarterbacks. Sometimes people are punished for doing the right thing, and sometimes people are rewarded for doing wrong. Be thoughtful and use extreme caution, and make a decision that you can live with.
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Old January 24, 2015, 02:02 PM   #71
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Posted by TimSr:
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Every situation has to be judged individually, and at the time, as to whether or how one is to intervene.
Very true.

Quote:
There are no hard fast rules that apply to all situations.
Well, there might be a few. Try these:
  • Use deadly force to defend a third person only whan you have reason to believe that the person you are defending is the innocent party, and that that person would himself be justified in using deadly force;
  • use deadly force in such a matter that you do not recklessly put other innocent parties at serious risk.

Quote:
Any advice that begins with "always" or "never" should be rejected on that basis alone.
Probably a good rule of thumb, but again, consider possible exceptions:
  • never shoot at anyone whom you cannot see well enough to be certain that he or she is not a friend or family member;
  • (the several safety rules).

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with discussing the criteria you should use when making your decision, but in the end, it will be your decision, and you will have to defend it after the fact.
True--if you survive the event.

Several summers ago, I made the decision to use deadly force, if necessary, to prevent an armed robbery,for the reason that it could well have turned much worse, in a small store. I knew the employees very well.

A man buying one soda, not two, was looking out at someone whom I had seen acting as if he were 'up to no good"--and at the office where the cash was kept.

My first thoughts were "backstop" and "clear shot", and I moved accordingly.

In the event, I spooked the robber-to-be, and he took off, dropping his soda and his change.

Did I do the right thing? I don't really think so. When I saw the accomplice parked heading the wrong way in the lot outside, looking around very nervously, and watching someone inside very intently, I should have driven out of sight and called for help rather than going inside. I could have been shot. And my intervention in the store could have precipitated bloodshed that would not have occurred but for my intervention.

I did judge the situation individually, at the time.
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Old January 24, 2015, 02:19 PM   #72
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Probably a good rule of thumb, but again, consider possible exceptions:

never shoot at anyone whom you cannot see well enough to be certain that he or she is not a friend or family member;
How about...never shoot at anyone whom you cannot see well enough to be certain that they are the target you want to shoot.

A high percentage of people know there attackers and those attackers often are friends or family members. It is very realistic to consider the fact that if you do have to shoot a person in self defense or defense of another, that person may be somebody you know and it may be a friend or family member.
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Old January 24, 2015, 02:20 PM   #73
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That's better.
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Old January 24, 2015, 04:20 PM   #74
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... I may have overreacted in my last post ..."
it's just as likely you were misinterpreted.
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Old January 24, 2015, 04:25 PM   #75
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A good discussion covering three pages and running more than a week. I think it's a good time to call it a day.
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