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Old June 2, 2016, 03:38 PM   #101
briandg
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I apologize that I have mistaken your intent.

You are going to get answers from everybody from the cowboy shoot em up types to the grannies, getting dozens of complex philosophies about where lines are drawn and what measures should be taken, and a lot of what you will hear will be just plain wrong on many levels.

Your intent to de escalate if possible isn't always going to work, so you must keep options open. Sometimes deadly force is called for just because of a violent threat, because all that it takes is a single punch to disable in some instances. You are, however, imo, right to plan on using lethal force when you genuinely fear that you may be seriously injured, and sometimes it's better to err on the side of caution. If you see a weapon, the goon seems to be out of control, just seeing that person putting his hands near a weapon may indicate the need for using lethal force. For example, if you have already shown your weapon and the guy grabs a chair or a pool cue, well, what are you waiting for? Your warnings were answered with further aggression.

As far as spray or an electric device, if a person is within reach of that gun and is aggressive, I would hit him with it, no more need to consider it, for the most part. Spray is different, the fall back zone is a little farther, an aggressor is going to take it before he is six feet away.

This obviously follows whatever attempts I make to de escalate.

Put yourself in this situation. You are an old man, arthritic, tired,blind without your glasses, and you find yourself confronted. The guy looks extremely dangerous. His movements and speech don't necessarily show intent to kill, but are you going to trust your better instincts, or are you go I g to risk death, or being forever crippled? The new game is to jump unsuspecting people. When I find myself in such a position, I'm not going to blindly start stepping backward into who knows what, give three wArnings and the warning shot, anyone who advances on my weapon, no matter what I present, will be neutralized.

That's just me. You have to find your own level of comfort and work with that.

The most important points to our situation is that if you aren't vigilant and aware, there is no chance of retreat or peaceful resolution. If you aren't trained for and are carrying mace or tazer,you're in trouble. Getting to your weapon when the threat is already literally in your face is a challenge.

A g ain, I suggest reading about armed defense, spend a few hundred in some defense training, spend some time and money learning some hand to hand. Read about krav maga.

There are probably going to be people who jump on this post as nothing but bs, but it doesn't matter. Whatever they are reading into it isn't important. What matters is that our world is controlled by chaos, not order, and you must plan accordingly and act accordingly.

Remember that video of the lion that charges up and hugs his buddy? Don't count on it. It might have been the wrong lion.
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Old June 2, 2016, 03:44 PM   #102
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Oldmarksman:

Absent a weapon I am willing to be convinced the attack will not actually happen until proven wrong. I am gambling on being right OR not being injured is n a way that makes response less effective
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Old June 2, 2016, 03:50 PM   #103
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Sometimes deadly force is called for just because of a violent threat, because all that it takes is a single punch to disable in some instances.
We've been over that. The fact that one punch might disable is not a lawful justification for the use of deadly force to prevent that punch.

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You are, however, imo, right to plan on using lethal force when you genuinely fear that you may be seriously injured, and sometimes it's better to err on the side of caution.
Your "genuine fear" is necessary, but it would not be sufficient. The other issue is whether one would have an objective basis for a reasonable belief that serious harm were imminent--not possible, but imminent.

Whether such a belief had been reasonable would be determined by others on the basis of what you knew at the time.
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Old June 2, 2016, 04:11 PM   #104
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deleted...

I misread that post

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Old June 2, 2016, 10:40 PM   #105
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At what disparity would you suggest that my 5 foot 90 pound daughter resort to deadly force?
When she truly AND reasonably believes that serious injury or death is imminent AND she can not escape safely AND can not end the attack by any other means.
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Old June 3, 2016, 10:42 AM   #106
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Why?

Force may be used when immediately necessary to prevent harm, assuming all other elements of justification are present. One need not wait to be struck.

If one is defending against something less than deadly force, deadly force is not appropriate.

There are pros and cons of using pepper spray. It may not work against some individuals. Wind may prevent its effective us
I keep coming back to this in my mind and its a good question. Why am I willing to allow my aggressor to land the first strike?

I am in reasonable physical shape. While I understand that situations like this are unpredictable I have been hit enough in training to believe (perhaps wrongly) I can react reasonably well to a thrown punch. So to me I have, at least partly, mitigated the risk.

Separately I know that I have absolutely no idea how to tell if someone is actually going to throw that punch. I have not been involved in one of those verbal altercations since I was in my 20s and looking back, even when I was entirely a jerk, those verbal altercations did not escalate to physical fights if either party was willing to back down and even then it was, the vast majority of the time posturing. Now I am more than willing to back down.

If I *knew* my attacker was going to throw the first punch I might be willing to strike first. Truth be told I am still working that one over in my mind. However because I cannot know this I am having a hard time figuring out when one would deploy force (either a strike or pepper spray) prior to the other person actually striking or attempting to strike you.
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Old June 3, 2016, 11:07 AM   #107
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I am having a hard time figuring out when one would deploy force (either a strike or pepper spray) prior to the other person actually striking or attempting to strike you
That is one of the best things about carrying OC (or some other less lethal option). They are SO much lower on the use of force scale and thus so much easier to deploy SOONER in the event.

Lets go back to my Gas station scenario. The irate "road rage" guy would get 1 (and only IF i could do it safely) chance at de-escalation. I would be apologetic and deferential as i attempted to open some distance. If he continued to advance in a threatening manner...i would spray him.

That would be a TOTALLY defensible use of force. Be was the aggressor and i responded with the least amount of force LIKELY to stop the assault. I dont have to let him swing. I dont have to let him close within arms reach.

A TASER (not a "stungun) would be used in the same exact manner, if i carried one in my civilian mode today.

The mere threat of physical force coupled with his ability AND opportunity to assault me satisfies my use of a defensive spray. Couple that with my apologetic attitude and attempting to disengage/create distance and my use of that level of force is pretty solid
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Old June 3, 2016, 01:47 PM   #108
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... I am having a hard time figuring out when one would deploy force (either a strike or pepper spray) prior to the other person actually striking or attempting to strike you.
First, I hope you understand that you may not lawfully strike someone in retribution for his having struck you. Your only lawful justification for using force is the necessary and (that means last resort) defense against an imminent threat of the unlawful use of force against you.

It is not necessary for you to know with absolute certainty that he would strike you but for your defensive action. What is necessary is a basis for reasonable belief that you will be attacked after having done everything possible to dussuade him or prevent him from doing so.

And you most certainly do not want of get into a situation in which it appears to eyewitnesses that you willingly engaged in a fight. That would destroy your justification for using force at all. Personally, I think that willingly accepting a first blow could cause difficulty on that point.
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Old June 3, 2016, 02:38 PM   #109
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This is a muddy topic without a good answer. Two different agencies could investigate the exact same shooting in the same state and come up with a different conclusion.

There is an entire world of "gray" situations where you may find yourself facing a deadly physical threat that isn't perfectly defined by your state statute or case law. An unarmed attack can absolutely constitute a deadly threat. Factors that have already been pointed out, such as disparity of force, the length of the attack, the severity of the attack, etc. all come into play. You may find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to use deadly physical force or be knocked unconscious, regardless that it is going to be a legal hurricane after the fact.


The one thing I am in solid agreement on is to carry pepper spray, train with it, and don't hesitate to use it liberally in any of the already cited scenarios. People say "it doesn't always work", but the fact is that NOTHING does. The effects of pepper spray are very well studied, and the bottom line is that it has a VERY low chance of causing any sort of physical injury, hence the reasons most police agencies consider it an almost bottom level use of force. That also means you get in less trouble if it is decided that you misused it.

Think of it this way in the gas station scenario. If the guy starts coming toward you aggressively, you paint his face orange with pepper spray, and after the fact it is decided for whatever reason you weren't justified, you are probably facing a simple assault charge. If you are convicted, you may be required to pay fines, spend a few days in jail, and/or undergo some sort of probation.

In the same situation, the guy starts coming toward you, you back up, he attacks you, eventually forcing you to shoot him, and after the fact it is decided for whatever reason you weren't justified, you will more than likely be facing aggravated assault to 2nd degree murder charges, the conviction of which will result in several years to life imprisonment.

If you spray the guy, he continues to launch a brutal attack, and you have to shoot him anyway, I personally feel it would be easier to explain why you felt your life was in danger. It shows you tried to use a lower level of force and it didn't work. It also generally perceived as more of a defensive measure and doesn't reek so bad of a chest thumping road rage brawl.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old June 3, 2016, 03:08 PM   #110
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First, I hope you understand that you may not lawfully strike someone in retribution for his having struck you. Your only lawful justification for using force is the necessary and (that means last resort) defense against an imminent threat of the unlawful use of force against you.
I failed to articulate that well. Frankly if someone actually carries through and hits me it is likely my concept of using defensive movement to try to mitigate the damage is overcome to a large degree be sheer surprise. I would at that point likely back up and try to deescalate again (hey look - maybe he has proven he is "top dog" and will stop). I cannot know for certain that the second blow is not going to surprise me - perhaps not as much. By the third or fourth blow I am going to have to accept that this is really happening and if I simply allow it to continue will result in injury to me. I will, at some point, likely use some form of offensive blow to stop it (or try to). To be clear I do not believe at this point it involves using a firearm.

Quote:
It also generally perceived as more of a defensive measure and doesn't reek so bad of a chest thumping road rage brawl.
This is a really really interesting point. While others may have made it before it never really stuck with me. It is unlikely that any third party witnesses are going to see the first blow. Most of the consideration I have made to making very certain its clear I did not start the fight could be wasted and engaging in physical combat might very well look more like that willing brawl than the use of pepper spray. That is a point I had not considered well.

There is still a hurdle and one that the discussion over the past few days has not allowed me to clear. I am convinced that in the vast majority of circumstances deescalation will work before the first blow is landed. Tactically this means my response will not be until after it and at contact distance. Perhaps it is an issue of naivety. Still its something I have considered and I just am not willing to strike someone (or use pepper spray) until they have proven me wrong on that. I'm thinking of, in a controlled environment, seeing how badly pepper spray impacts myself because its use, because of this caveat, may impact me to some degree as well as the target.
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Old June 3, 2016, 03:13 PM   #111
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I just am not willing to strike someone (or use pepper spray) until they have proven me wrong on that.
And that Sir, is your personal choice. Mine is different and again, that is ok. I truly hope you never have to test your theory.
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Old June 3, 2016, 03:29 PM   #112
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I truly hope you never have to test your theory.
Me too
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Old June 3, 2016, 05:35 PM   #113
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I am convinced that in the vast majority of circumstances deescalation will work before the first blow is landed.
You may be right.

What about when it does not?

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Tactically this means my response will not be until after it and at contact distance.
Which, of course, means that you may not be able to respond at all.

Quote:
Perhaps it is an issue of naivety.
That's my take on it.

Quote:
Still its something I have considered and I just am not willing to strike someone (or use pepper spray) until they have proven me wrong on that.
Why?

If you have been struck or pummeled by someone who is within one arm's reach, you are at considerable risk of not being able to defend yourself at all.

Quote:
I'm thinking of, in a controlled environment, seeing how badly pepper spray impacts myself because its use, because of this caveat, may impact me to some degree as well as the target.
Go ahead.


Do realize that pepper spray may not work at all. But as Ton has pointed out, your having tried it will put you in much better stead legally, and doing something before your attacker has grabbed you will be a whole lot safer.
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Old June 3, 2016, 05:59 PM   #114
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I am in reasonable physical shape. While I understand that situations like this are unpredictable I have been hit enough in training to believe (perhaps wrongly) I can react reasonably well to a thrown punch. So to me I have, at least partly, mitigated the risk.
How closely does that "training" correspond to a real violent attack?

Are they allowed to thumb or gouge your eye in your training sessions?

In your training, do you risk being bitten by someone and possibly have your blood contaminated with infected bodily fluids?

Do you really think it prudent to expose yourself to such risks?
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Old June 3, 2016, 09:54 PM   #115
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Lohman you sound like you've had some martial arts training. You then know that one open-handed punch by a trained or lucky attacker can end the fight. Letting an attacker have that opportunity is a very dangerous strategy.
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Old June 4, 2016, 07:54 AM   #116
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One of the issues I have involves the "when". The aggressor has threatened to kick your butt. If he is focused only on closing the distance and landing that punch I would think the 21 foot rule would apply to some degree. But he is not just closing, there is some posturing involved and further threats. Let's assume you can discreetly get pepper spray in your hand and ready at your side. Even then it takes a second to "aim" and use (I assume?). Using it may or may not stop the aggression that may or may not have led to that first swing. Ten feet? Five feet? Any closer is contact distance but five feet is close enough that, even coughing and somewhat blinded that aggressor can still attempt the unarmed attack. My further concern (I may be wrong) is I have given up the "I didn't throw the first punch" defense (so to speak).

While I am aware a single punch holds some danger I think that may be easy to over estimate. My biggest concern is ending up on the ground with someone trying to fight from there (where eye gouging and biting become a major concern). I am somewhat disregarding that concern in this conversation.
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Old June 4, 2016, 08:23 AM   #117
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I would make a point of verbally expressing that you do not want to engage in anything verbally or physically--establish right up front that you wish to be left alone while still trying to evade or retreat. If the potential aggressor presses his pursuit--verbally and/or physically, you have at least established reasonable basis for intent for anything that follows after that. Guys have gone to jail for a very long time after a woman established that "no means no."
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Old June 4, 2016, 10:14 AM   #118
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Any closer is contact distance but five feet is close enough that, even coughing and somewhat blinded that aggressor can still attempt the unarmed attack.
If you are still standing in the same place that you we're when an attacker was twenty feet away, you will be in a heap of trouble. You will most likely not have had time to draw anything quickly enough to stop him.

Quote:
My further concern (I may be wrong) is I have given up the "I didn't throw the first punch" defense (so to speak).
If he attacks you unprovoked, that defense will not be necessary.
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Old June 4, 2016, 10:18 AM   #119
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I believe that you are getting a lot of very bad advice. I'm sure that i will be slapped down, but do you really want to die? Spend time in a coma? Be kicked until a kidney or your spleen bleeds?

Leave all of the simple scenarios out of this point. A woman is yelling and may slap you. A guy in a bar may be about to shove you. Maybe even your son hits you during an argument. This isn't about to turn deadly.

Otoh, a stranger approaches you, he's got no reason to bother you, he verbally and physically threatens you with aggressive behaviors. You try deescalationn, backing away, making some attempt to prevent injury, and he continues to advance. You will then have to warn him, if he is far enough away to safely do so, then if he ignores the warning that you are going to stop him, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, because he is threatening what can only be interpreted as grievous harm. He's advancing into the face of a weapon? The only possible interpretation is that he is so intent on whipping your butt that nothing else matters. That he'll risk his own safety for a chance of stomping your face. In the face of a truly violent presentation, you must assume that battery is imminent. Do you know how far he intends to go? Is your life at risk? Hell yes it is. Did you know that the most common instrument of manslaughter is a bludgeon? People can, and will gladly kill you with a beer mug. You don't have to be beaten until your skull looks like a scrambled egg, all it takes to kill or permanently disable you is a single serious hit.

The philosophy of letting the other guy draw first or draw first blood is romantic bull. Letting him belt you in the face before deciding whether he wants to hurt you is unreasonable. As a reasonable person of good reputation and little or no history, wouldn't you rather face a trial for either battery, or at the worst, manslaughter?

It's your decision. Your judgment.not mine, not anyone else's, and remember this, people who tell you to wait until it may be too late will be partially responsible for your death if you freeze on the trigger of your taser and never use it, and you are then stomped down.

Get in touch with the laws of your state regarding castle law or stand your ground. In a home, regardless of being visitors or owner, as long as I am there legally by invitation, I am allowed to deploy deadly or other force if life or property are threatened to the level that I am certain of.

Castle doctrine reaches the entire areA of my yard, out to the furthest easement, and that's immutable. It also includes my vehicle, inside and out, to a few steps away, allowing any deadly or other force. It could be that a lot of this discussion is moot. If a guy anywhere on my property presents with a threat that is probably not just posturing, and you are certAin that you are in imminent danger of injury or worse, you owe it to yourself to live, remain uninjured, and prevent injury to other potential targets, such as the other occupants of your "castle".

Be ready to read good old cherry pick posts in which people take a sentence or two, maybe even out of context, and try to discredit the whole thing. Out of all these pages,your first and last concern should be "do I have a right and obligation to defend myself from probable physical harm? Would I rather strike first in the face of that threat and risk facing trial, or should I let a bad guy strike first, almost guaranteeing that your further options are weak?"
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Old June 4, 2016, 12:40 PM   #120
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Briandg,

Ar you saying its sound LEGAL advice to draw your FIREARM against an unarmed solo assailant who is threatening to "kick your Butt"?

In a lot of States that would probably be construed as "Brandishing". Some States allow the display of a firearm for defense with a lower level of justification then "deadly force". Some, on the other hand, reguire the same justification to display as to shoot.

Another thing to consider is that in todays environment of fairly common CCW usage, a blue on blue encounter is more likely then ever before.

A verbal altercation, that you whip out your pistol in the middle of, may result in you appearing to be the deadly aggressor and cause a CCWing bystander to engage YOU.

Having been in the LEO business all my life, both uniformed, soft clothes and as a trainer. I can say definitively, that its much easier to go UP the use of force scale then DOWN.

If you draw your gun and he continues to advance...do you then shoot an unarmed attacker? What do you do if you e drawn and then dont shoot? Do you reholster and prepare to go empty hands? He now KNOWS exactly where your gun (probably in a zero retention holster) is.

Bad tactics there, Brother....
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Old June 4, 2016, 05:47 PM   #121
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I am having a hard time figuring out when one would deploy force (either a strike or pepper spray) prior to the other person actually striking or attempting to strike you.
Let me give you a real life situation that happened to me - and then YOU tell me what you would have done to NOT use physical force.

First, you have to know that at the time this happened, I was 64 years old, and was 9 months post open-heart surgery with a new heart valve, pacemaker, double bypass, and a right leg that had a nerve damaged during vein harvesting for the double by-pass. The result was that I have no feeling in my right leg from the knee down, which often causes me to misplace my foot - so running is out of the question. I was also dealing with severe (at times) ventricular tachycardia.

Now that you know that I'm older, and have a number of physical disabilities - I'll tell you what happened.

I was coming out of the office building that I work in and going to my truck that was in a parking lot across a four-lane street. As I was walking to the curb I noticed a guy in his mid-20's on the opposite sidewalk shoot me a glance out of the side of his eyes with a slight head turn.

I walked to the middle of the four lane road and stood in the median watching the guy as he slowly continued to walk down the sidewalk.

I crossed the road and proceeded into the parking lot and the guy took an immediate left turn into the parking lot two cars away from me and paralleled my movement through the parking lot.

I walked across one traffic lane, and he walked toward me. At that point we had one car between us and he continued to parallel me alongside the vehicle that separated us.

I had to cross two more traffic lanes to get to my truck and knew he could get to me before I could reach my truck.

So, I turned back toward the office building to get away from him. He proceeded to turn back parallel to me. I turned back toward my truck again. He turned back. I turned back to the office building - he turned back.

I stopped with one car between us and told him not to follow me and leave me alone. He just laughed.

I turned back toward the office and went out into a traffic lane in the parking lot. He followed me and came around the back of an automobile and started moving towards me.

I told him to stop and not to come any closer. He just smirked and continued forward.

As he approached me I moved to the uphill side of the parking lot (it slants downhill east to west). This gave me about a 4-inch height advantage.

As he continued toward me I continually told him to stop and not approach me. He just continued forward laughing.

I was watching him very carefully and timing his footsteps. As he got within 20-inches of me and lifted his lead foot up in the air putting all of his weight on his downhill, rear foot - I punched him in the sternum with a flat palm as hard as I could.

This sent him backward about 8-feet and onto his backside. As he was recovering from getting put down, I walked as fast as I could to my truck, started the truck remotely, unlocked it, got in and locked the doors.

He had followed me to my truck and was about 20-feet away when I put the truck in gear and started driving out of the parking lot. He flipped me off with his middle finger and sauntered out of the parking lot.

He showed intent that he wanted to harass me, and would not leave me alone even when told to stop and not to follow me. He would not let me get back to the office building. He aggressively continued forward toward me and would not stop.

When you're closer that 3-feet (in this case about 20-inches) and you're still moving forward - I had no alternative but to stop him. I did.

That's why you use physical force to stop someone BEFORE they have the chance to do anything to you.

Let me guess - you'd have called 911. They'd have gotten there 25 minutes after the phone call. What do you do in the meantime?

Let me guess again - you'd have somehow "known" by his looking at you that he was going to harass you - sure, you would...'cause your psychic and can "read people." Lucky you for being so prescient.

You have to deal with the situation at hand, not thirty-five alternate realities that didn't happen.

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Old June 4, 2016, 06:30 PM   #122
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In fairness Mr Cortez I am not 64 and recovering from open heart surgery. It is a factor which likely played into the situation at bare minimum on your side and likely on your aggressors as well. I find that making it clear that I am the few times people have "sized me up" (at least in my analysis) has, in every case but one, been enough to exchange nods and move on
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Old June 4, 2016, 06:43 PM   #123
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In fairness Mr Cortez I am not 64 and recovering from open heart surgery.
Yeah...well, here's the bad news - some day you WILL be 64 years old. If you're lucky, you won't have to deal with health issues.

FYI - I'm 5' 11" and weigh 225 pounds. It's not like I present a wizened, infirm appearance and simply "look like a potential victim."
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Old June 4, 2016, 07:42 PM   #124
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Assuming my naivety doesn't kill me first you are probably right. At that time my viewpoint may have to change
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Old June 4, 2016, 09:07 PM   #125
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....I am not 64 and recovering from open heart surgery. ....I find that making it clear that I am the few times people have "sized me up" (at least in my analysis) has, in every case but one, been enough to exchange nods and move on.
Good.

Don't count on it , though. Ever speak to officers who have dealt with meth heads?

What if there are more than one? ( I once had five men try to set me up for an ambush).

What's your point?

You said
Quote:
I am having a hard time figuring out when one would deploy force (either a strike or pepper spray) prior to the other person actually striking or attempting to strike you.
Have you figured it out yet?

Why would you not want to prevent yourself being struck, if at all possible?

Do you really want to try striking someone who could injure an eye or infect you at that distance?

Don't you think it would be prudent to use a different tactic?
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