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Old May 23, 2016, 11:39 AM   #1
ms6852
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To use your gun or not to use it.

My father in law asked me if we were at a restaurant and an armed robber came in demanding our wallets and jewelry if I would use my gun to stop the robbery. He also asked if I was getting my truck hijacked if I would use it, and was surprised to hear my reply when I said no. He than wondered why I bother to carry any gun at all.

I explained to him that been licensed to carry does not obligate me to assume the role of police officer. I also explained that if no shots have been fired that I could actually cause the situation to escalate and possibly an innocent bystander could get shot. As for the truck I told him taking the life of a human being over a vehicle is insane and living with that knowledge is worse than living without a truck for a few days until things get resolved with the insurance company and you buy a new one.

I was just wondering what your thoughts are and if any what contingencies you may have as to when you would feel necessary to engage with a deadly response.
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Old May 23, 2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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The only time a deadly response is justifiable is when there is a deadly threat.
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Old May 23, 2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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A high jacking attempt would probably fall into the category of a deadly threat.
How else would it happen except at the point of gun?
If the highjacker wasn't armed, you could simply give him the finger and drive away.
Lots of folks have been shot even after complying with the thief's every whim.
Might want to reconsider that example.
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Old May 23, 2016, 11:56 AM   #4
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Yes, I also struggle with these scenarios. I’ve always felt I would never fire unless someone pointed a gun at me first, but this often happens in a robbery or carjacking. Yes, I realize most of the time they don’t shoot their victims, but sometimes they do. I suspect in the armed robbery scenario I would probably go along, but not sure I wouldn’t fight back in a carjacking.
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Old May 23, 2016, 01:24 PM   #5
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My gun is a last and very desperate resort. I have virtually no back-up and its intended to take a situation that is already gone badly and I have already failed to extricate myself and my family from into something tenable. I think that I have a fairly unique perspective in that I accept that if I am forced to draw my weapon I am probably making a desperate grasp that is not likely to succeed. Even if I do succeed there are psychological issues related to being forced to use that amount of force that make even a successful action negative.

1) I have put myself and my family in a setting that has gone badly
2) I have failed to recognize it was going badly and remove myself and my family before things actually started flying
3) When things started flying I have failed to safely retreat

And this is likely where things most directly address the situation

4) I have failed to appease my attacker with any material goods I have

An active random shooter is a slightly different scenario. If I have the ability to safely retreat with my family I am safely retreating. However I am not putting myself in harms way to do so.

I am extremely unwilling to meet deadly force with deadly force or escalate to deadly force. I don't like any of the potential outcomes and I question if I can overcome a determined attacker (let alone several). I am hoping my attacker is either not committed or incompetent and I simply don't like risking the life of myself or others (or even my attacker) to see if that is true.

Too many stories of someone attempting to use deadly force and there target returning the use of deadly force even if mortally wounded.
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Old May 23, 2016, 01:45 PM   #6
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Again, I was taking a conceal carry class when the subject of a good shooting came up. I ask "Were you there?"; the answer was no. There were at least 50 witnesses missing from the story. And I wonder how that can be a good shooting.

I heard a noise in the early morning; I hesitated, I ask myself if I should take a gun, I decided not to. I found 12 burglars/thieves. My neighbor/lawyer said he could not defend me if I go looking for a gun fight and find one.

And then there was that time in Houston, I walked into what could be described as an episode of 'Criminal Minds' before the TV show started. And then there was that time in San Antione, TX. My wife said she did not like the way things were looking and I said "Nor do I". She then asked me what we were going to do and I told her I was going to show them how difficult things were about to get.

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Old May 23, 2016, 02:26 PM   #7
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-Too many restaurant robberies ended with everyone in the back dead execution style.

-Too many carjackings ended the same way.

These have nothing to do with valuables and everything to do with protecting the lives of your family.
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Old May 23, 2016, 02:27 PM   #8
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It's a gamble either way

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-sou...ver-cigarettes

Just one example of the many times a compliant victim was killed anyway.

If you draw, someone is going to get shot for sure. If you don't draw, someone may not get shot, but if someone does, it's going to be you.

Everybody has to personally work out what their line is. My personal line is that if somebody points a gun at me or anybody else nearby, they've crossed the threshold of being a deadly threat. If allow me the slightest advantage (looking away momentarily to check for cops, putting the gun down to take money, etc), I'm going to do everything I can to end the threat.

Some may choose to roll the dice the other way, and hope that the person will leave if they get what they want. One option isn't really better than the other, there is no way to "win" when you're the victim of a violent crime.
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Old May 23, 2016, 02:43 PM   #9
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Ton;

You are right and at least one of us expressing compliance intended to express limited compliance. The story of the clerk who complied by offering cigarettes and still being shot is a good example of how compliance (even the limited compliance I intended to express) does not always work.

Limited compliance: I am not going to be shot execution style. Nor am I going to stand there as others are (though this may be out of self preservation). Nor am I going to hand over my firearm (which they should not know I have)

As your title suggests its a gamble either way. I am not convinced that I am going to overcome and escape unscathed against a determined attacker.
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Old May 23, 2016, 02:46 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms6852
My father in law asked me if we were at a restaurant and an armed robber came in demanding our wallets and jewelry if I would use my gun to stop the robbery. He also asked if I was getting my truck hijacked if I would use it,...
There is no good way, beyond, "It depends", to answer such vague questions.

Any decision about whether to use lethal force must be based on exactly what is happening and how it is happening. That must include an assessment of --
  1. whether a use of lethal force under the circumstances would be legally justified;

  2. whether your response with lethal force would stand a reasonable chance of favorably resolving the incident or would be most likely to make things worse; and

  3. whether you have the skills to favorably solve the tactical problem.

Of course one's assessment of those points and one's decision will generally need to be managed in an instant. That's one reason good training and practice is important. You will need to focus your attention on your assessment of the situation, not on whether you can make your gun work of hit an identified target.
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Old May 23, 2016, 05:23 PM   #11
Doyle
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The only time a deadly response is justifiable is when there is a deadly threat.
^^ This

HOWEVER, the fact that it is an armed robber or carjacking means that the deadly threat threshold has been crossed. Therefore, all options are on the table.
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Old May 23, 2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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We must all find our own personal line in the sand.

For me a restaurant robbery is a time to be a good witness. If they start herding people into the back..its time to fight. As soon as it looks like they are going to shoot the first person...its time to fight. If they start searching individuals...its time to act
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Old May 23, 2016, 06:15 PM   #13
1-DAB
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if you ask me for a dollar, and i say no, that's the end of the matter.

if you shove a knife/gun/bat in my face and ask for a dollar, my use of opposing force is justified. and you still aren't getting a dollar willingly.
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Old May 23, 2016, 07:36 PM   #14
Doc TH
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The hypothesized "armed robbery" and the armed hijacking both posit an armed assailant attempting to rob you through the use of violence. In my simplistic view, since you are at risk of injury or death even if you comply, the use of potentially lethal force on your part is justified and rational.
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Old May 23, 2016, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
HOWEVER, the fact that it is an armed robber or carjacking means that the deadly threat threshold has been crossed. Therefore, all options are on the table.
Here both situations are specifically called out. Both are good shoots.
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Old May 23, 2016, 10:33 PM   #16
Moonglum
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There's a moderator on THR named Sam1911 that put it like this

It's not when can I use my gun it's when must I.
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Old May 23, 2016, 11:07 PM   #17
Deaf Smith
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My father in law asked me if we were at a restaurant and an armed robber came in demanding our wallets and jewelry if I would use my gun to stop the robbery.
First off I live in Texas.. thus Texas laws apply to what I say since I'm there and not in New York Or such.

If robbed and I fear violence will soon commence for such reasons like they discover my gun or they are getting a mite agitated, then I may open fire depending on the tactical layout.

Quote:
He also asked if I was getting my truck hijacked if I would use it
Same here. No hard and fast rule as to if or when I pull me roscoe.

But I do point out here in Texas we have the 'stand-your-ground' law. As long as I am legally there and I have not provoked the incident, then I can (not necessarily will) employ deadly force. And Texas law specifically allows use of deadly force to prevent carjacking.

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Old May 24, 2016, 12:52 AM   #18
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Many people practice drawing and firing their carry piece while standing on the range. Drawing while in your vehicle or sitting at a booth in a restaurant usually isn't practiced. My wife and I have been practicing this alot lately. Another thing we have been practicing is running a 40 yard dash, drawing while we are screaming at the top of our lungs, ( this could be hollering at our kids or the attacker ) and firing the first shot one handed with both eyes open, ( instinctive but as precise as possible while also maintaining awareness of where the family is ) just trying to make things as chaotic as possible but also being precise with shot placement. We even holler and scream at each other while the other is doing the drill. She will not surrender her body, purse, or vehicle unless they already have the upper hand to the point she feels there's no way she can defend herself.
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Old May 24, 2016, 03:39 AM   #19
Brit
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A wide answer really. So many variables in a robbery?

The main problem I see, in both scenarios, a person, or persons, who you can not know what their intention's are, is holding a firearm, most likely a loaded firearm?

The only control you have, is to shoot this person, or persons. Two yards away, one shot in the nose! further away, two rounds center chest, and move!
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Old May 24, 2016, 03:59 AM   #20
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Deaf Smith makes some good points about local laws. By the way way, nice user name. I get it.

Winning a gunfight may not compensate for the world-of-hurt you may find yourself in if you happen to employ a gun to get out of a tight spot. Who would want to lead a life similar to George Zimmerman's living Hell? I think he's a dim-witted wanna-be cop, but he was acting entirely within the law and did a real favor to humanity when he took out that thug. Look where it got him.

Of course you do what you have to do, but pre-thinking various situations relative to your state's laws is critical. Some states allow you to chase a kid across your front yard as he's absconding with your lawn mower and shoot him in the back, but do you really want to do that even if the law says it's OK? Remember, avoiding criminal charges is one thing, but who's going to pay to defend those pesky civil law suits? And what are you going to do with a million dollar judgement against you? I think about this kind of stuff, but all you have to do is read the newspaper to see that not everybody does.

For example, I'm pretty sure I won't find myself doing much more than making a phone call if I see a man beating a women in the Walmart parking lot; sorry gals. If you're looking for a hero, don't look for me.

But I'm also pretty sure I'm going to try shooting an intruder in the chest before he knows I'm awake and aware if someone breaks into my house in the middle of the night; sorry drunk guys who mistakenly come home to the wrong house and smash down the door 'cause they can't figure out why the key won't work. My family comes first.

I'm perfectly willing to watch a restaurant robber take the till and I might even be willing to let him rob me, depending on the circumstances (number of accomplices, robbers level of excitement, etc.). But I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a punk kid to save my life because I think it might keep me awake at night even though it probably would.

I believe if you're not prepared to take a human life you shouldn't carry. But you gotta' have a plan and be willing to modify it as necessary, perhaps in a split second.
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Old May 24, 2016, 07:02 AM   #21
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folks going around armed, and using weapons to commit violent confrontational crimes, are probably just one second from killing you. Happens all the time. A gun in his hand means "I will harm, or kill you if you don't do as I want".
I tend to think I'll take him at his word, and defend myself. Putting your life in the hands of strangers, that already show little or no regard for your safety, is a fool's bet.
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Old May 24, 2016, 07:17 AM   #22
Lohman446
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Quote:
folks going around armed, and using weapons to commit violent confrontational crimes, are probably just one second from killing you. Happens all the time. A gun in his hand means "I will harm, or kill you if you don't do as I want".
I tend to think I'll take him at his word, and defend myself. Putting your life in the hands of strangers, that already show little or no regard for your safety, is a fool's bet.
You may be correct. Let me suggest the other side of the argument though. At least for me the chances of being able to draw from a concealed position and put aimed shots on an attacker before that attacker can fire is not high. Even if those aimed shots hit there is still a good chance those shots do not immediately stop my attackers ability to fire or return fire. Add to it the concern about a second less obvious attacker willing to join the fray in such an instance and I do not see the situation as clearly as you do. While training always will help I am not of the belief that any amount of training I am likely to receive is going to entirely remedy that situation.

Its a matter of how much each of us risks the aggressiveness of that hypothetical attacker. As Mozella notes your plan has to be fluid and you must have the ability to change that plan at a moments notice. Ton offered an example of where my "plan" failed another person following it. However that example does not mean another plan would have actually been successful.
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Old May 24, 2016, 08:12 AM   #23
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Some states allow you to chase a kid across your front yard as he's absconding with your lawn mower and shoot him in the back,
HOLY COW...what State is THAT???
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Old May 24, 2016, 08:15 AM   #24
Lohman446
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HOLY COW...what State is THAT???
I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE AND AM GOING BY POOR MEMORY AND HEARSAY

It was my understanding, at least at one point, in Texas deadly force could be used to stop the commission of any felony. I have never lived in or visited Texas and do not often have to worry about the "bare minimum requirement to use deadly force" but I recall being surprised when I had heard it.
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Old May 24, 2016, 08:48 AM   #25
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Well "Legalities" aside. I would have a very hard time justifying shooting a kid over a lawn mower.

I think the gun owning/carrying portion of the population needs to have a stronger moral compass then the avg guy. Our Rights are under attack and viewed thru a microscope.

What i do today, can effect your rights tomorrow. We all need to be cognizant of that fact.

Just because you CAN shoot someone, doesn't mean you SHOULD shoot someone.
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