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Old November 12, 2000, 10:21 AM   #1
Forrest Summers
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Here in New Mexico its hard to get a straight answer. What type of situation would it take for you to legally shoot someone in self defense.

-If some was coming at you with a baseball bat could you shot?

-If a group of 4-5 guys were going to beat you ruthlessly?

-If someone was going to run you over with their car?

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
-forrest
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Old November 12, 2000, 11:59 AM   #2
dragontooth73
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Um ... I'd say all of the above.

(1) Baseball bat counts as a lethal weapon.
(2) 4-5 guys ... command 'em to halt (2 second pause) etc etc and if they don't then fire. Don't miss, don't shoot anyone fleeing.
(3) Car counts as a lethal weapon.

So what's the word from the experts?
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Old November 12, 2000, 12:19 PM   #3
chadintex
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If you, as a logical person, think that there is a good chance of you or someone else being killed.
I recommend a NRA handgun class or some other training. There you will get a better understanding. Take care.

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Old November 12, 2000, 04:21 PM   #4
Forrest Summers
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Thanks for the replys. The State Police are very hush, hush about giving advice. The only answer I received was "not to shot anyone....you will go to jail". No further explanation. I don't want to shoot anyone, but at the same time I don't want to be shot/stabbed/beaten/ran over. I'll check into a firearms class next week.

thanks again
-forrest
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Old November 12, 2000, 07:02 PM   #5
LawDog
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I can tell you the legal grounds in Texas, but I'd rather give you the moral grounds for Use of Deadly Force:

Deadly Force may be used to prevent imminent Death or Serious Bodily Injury to yourself or a third party.

The key words are: Imminent, Death and Serious Bodily Injury.

However, consulting a lawyer is always recommended.

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Old November 12, 2000, 08:06 PM   #6
Mike in VA
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1 - Threat of death/grave bodily injury
2 - Means to inflict above
3 - Opportunity/proximity (close enough to be taken seriously (50' is my comfort zone)

All three scenarios qualify, #2 by disparity of force, even if they're unarmed. "In teh Gravest Extreme" bu Masaad Ayoub is a good primer on this subject, but shoudl be supplemented with instruction on how NM law applies. Stay safe, M2
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Old November 12, 2000, 08:38 PM   #7
Jay Baker
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The "reasonable person" test is generally applicable in most states. Would a reasonable person, in the same situation, believe that his (her) life/health was in danger from the assailant(s) and did the assailants have the means to carry out an attack? Again, that's generally. Check your N.M. laws.

That said, if you ever have to defend your life and shoot and kill an assailant, the one thing you must NEVER DO, is start talking to the police. You must say, "Officer, I was in fear of my life, and sir, with all due respect, I can't speak with you until I've spoken with my lawyer."

Period. Nada. Zilch. Nothing else. No matter how you know you were justified, and naturally you want to explain to the cops, don't say another word!! Call your lawyer. if you don't have a lawyer, don't say a word until you speak with one.

Everything you say to a cop can be used against you by some zealous D.A., and a whole lot of D.A.'s in this country are extreme left wingers who hate, loathe and despise honest serfs who defend their own lives, especially with evil firearms.

Keep your mouth shut!!

FWIW. J.B.
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Old November 12, 2000, 08:56 PM   #8
ctdonath
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Deadly force may only be used if there is immediate and unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to an innocent.

Start there; all else is refinements of understanding a given situation.

Attacker with baseball bat?
If he's within 21', he can deliver a deadly blow within 1.5 seconds (assuming a clear path).

4-5 unarmed attackers?
Legal term: "Disparity of force". As a whole, they're 4-5 times your power and 4-5 times as fast (parallel processing). You can shoot until the balance of force is evened out (1-2 left).

About to be run over?
A one-ton projectile beats a 115-grain one. Just remember that the car may continue on its course even with driver disabled.

Focus on the basics first. Read my first paragraph above. Ponder these words: ability, opporutinity, jeaopardy - need all three in deadly force terms before you can use deadly force back.
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Old November 13, 2000, 12:33 AM   #9
Forrest Summers
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I would like to thank everyone again, you have really directed me to a safe way of thinking.

-forrest
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Old November 15, 2000, 01:49 PM   #10
David Scott
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First thing to do is read the law. Florida is very specific about the justification for deadly force:

* Florida is a "retreat state". You MUST disengage from the confrontation if you can do so without risking harm to yourself or others. They are serious about this, if the plaintiff can show you could have walked away but didn't you're screwed. The exception is the "castle doctrine", you have no obligation to retreat from your home or place of business.

* Immediate threat of death or serious injury to yourself or another party. There must be means and intent. That means that some yobbo shouting "I'm gonna kill you" is not enough, he must also show means (weapon). If another person is being threatened, you may shoot if you could "stand in their shoes" and be justified.

* Stopping a violent felony in progress. Car theft is not a violent felony, carjacking is. The state cites robbery and rape as examples.

Second thing to do is read court cases. This will tell you how the courts interpret the law. Is a baseball bat a deadly weapon? Probably, if the guy say he's going to beat your head in. However, if you're a 6'6", 340-pound linebacker and he's a 5'4" lightweight with severe arthritis, they might argue that he was no real threat.

Third thing to do is talk to people who would know -- judges, cops, RKBA-savvy lawyers. Pardon my saying so, but a bunch of gunnies chatting on the back porch is not guaranteed to be the best source of information.

Another key thing is to document that you have been trained in the law and are competent in the actual operation of the weapon (which I did via the Sheriff's CCW class). I could have just used my 20 year old DD214 to get a CCW permit, but I felt that if it ever hit the fan I would be more defensible with recent documentation.
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Old November 15, 2000, 03:13 PM   #11
Al Mondroca
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Forrest Summers:
Thanks for the replys. The State Police are very hush, hush about giving advice. The only answer I received was "not to shot anyone....you will go to jail". No further explanation. I don't want to shoot anyone, but at the same time I don't want to be shot/stabbed/beaten/ran over. I'll check into a firearms class next week.
[/quote]

Probably because they've had it beaten into their heads by their bosses that they should not give out legal advice. They are not lawyers. If they _did_ give you advice, and you acted on it, the legal fallout could be awful for the individual cop and for his department. YOU could sue them for giving you bad advice that gets you jailed; the guy you shot (or his family) could sue them for giving you bad advice that got him/her/them shot unjustly. Et cetera.

On the other hand, if they simply say, "Don't shoot anyone," they're covered. If you _do_ shoot anyone, they're on record advising you not to do it. It's a sad commentary on our injustice system that everyone has to be so circumspect about what they say, but there it is.

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Old November 16, 2000, 01:19 PM   #12
M1911
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Forrest:

I strongly recommend that you purchase and read the following two books:

1) Massad Ayoob, "In the Gravest Extreme"
2) Andrew Branca, "The Law of Self Defense"

Both are available from Amazon. If possible, I recommend taking a concealed carry course, e.g., Ayoob's LFI-1 or equivalent.

It is vital that you understand the laws regarding the justifiable use of deadly force. If you don't understand the laws, you could wind up in the grey bar hotel, being introduced to your new roomate, Mongo.

As others have pointed out, you, or another innocent other, must be in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury. In most states, if you are outside of your home or place of business, you must retreat if it is safet to do so.

Note that you must be an innocent party. If you have done anything to provoke or inflame the situation, then there is a good chance that you will not be allowed to claim self defense. For example, suppose you're walking along with your wife, when some guy on the sidewalk starts making crude comments to her. You tell him to watch his mouth around your later. Words are exchanged, which leads to shoving, which leads to fighting, he pulls a knife and you pull a gun. It's quite possible in a situation like this that you would not be allowed to claim self defense, since you could have kept your mouth shut and just walked away.

In your home, you don't have to retreat. That said, you may not have the right to shoot someone inside your home unless you are under threat of death or grave bodily injury. If a burglar is headed out the door with you TV, in most states you couldn't shoot him. Note as well that in most states you have to retreat when outside your home, even when on your own property.

Realize as well that coming to the rescue of a third party can be very risky, simply because you may not know what is really going on. Suppose two men come running out of a store, the second one carrying a gun and chasing the first. Is the first man the store owner, fleeing a killer? Is the first man a thief, being pursued by the store owner. Is the first man a felon, being pursued an undercover officer?

To address your three situations, you have to consider ability, opportunity, and jeopardy.

For the baseball bat, yes he has the ability to kill you. The questions are 1) does he have the opportunity and 2) have his actions put you in jeopardy? If he is close to you, then yes he has the opportunity. If you are in your car and can drive away, then he may not have opportunity.

If it is you against 4-5 guys, then as others have pointed out, disparity of force comes into play.

If someone is going to run over you with a car, I would strongly suggest that you try to dodge the car, rather than try to shoot the driver. It is quite hard to shoot a moving target and it is quite easy for your shots to ricochet off the car if you are at any angle to it. And even if you shoot the driver, the car isn't going to stop immediately, so you are still going to have to dodge it.

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Old November 16, 2000, 05:01 PM   #13
ERRainman
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Forrest wrote:
"The State Police are very hush, hush about giving advice. The only answer I received was "not to shot anyone....you will go to jail". No further explanation. I don't want to shoot anyone, but at the same time I don't want to be shot/stabbed/beaten/ran over. I'll check into a firearms class next week."

Just remember that if you have to ever shoot anyone, for any reason, count on having your weapon taken by the police as evidence, being taken to the police station and processed. This may not actually happen to you, but chances are higher that it will than that it won't.
Some key phrases to remember:
"Officer, that person right there tried to kill me" (pointing at the individual in question)
"Officer, that person(s) saw the entire thing and can verify my statement"

When asked details:

"Officer, as you can imagine, I am under a great deal of stress considering what has just happened. I would be glad to answer your questions in 24 hrs when I've had time to collect my thoughts"

Do not ever state how many times you had to shoot, or particular details because you will have just been through the most stressful experience in your life (that of protecting your own or that of someone you love) and will not get the facts straight.

Take the class and ask your instructor all these questions, then ask him who his legal consultant is concerning these matters. If he doesn't have one, both of you have work to do.

ERRainman &lt;out&gt;
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