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Old September 1, 2015, 11:26 AM   #1
stagpanther
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CCW question

OK--first let me clear and state that I've been carrying for a very long time--though I vary according to circumstances.

This is a question that I've always had in mind but have been unsure about--so I pose it to the collective.

Let's say you are carrying and 1 or more aggressive individual perceive that you are armed--and decide that you're an easy mark taking you on and attempting to disarm you and take your weapon. Essentially--within the 6 or 7 ft personal space zone they are a potential but "unproven" threat.

From the legal standpoint--I don't see how you can justify drawing and aiming until you have already been assaulted--in other words it seems like you have to "allow" an escalation to the point of heightened and easily proved threat before drawing.

Whatcha think?
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Old September 1, 2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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to quote....."I was in fear for my life"....was stated over and over in our ccw class. and when the cops show up....that is exactly what we were taught to say...and of course they "could" ask the dead guy...what were his intentions..

just to add, I require a cane to walk, some days a walker, and when the cops inspect the corpse, and find the powder burns, showing how close the idiot was to me, and the fact I could not flee.....kinda says it all.....
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Old September 1, 2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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Posted by stagpanther:
Quote:
From the legal standpoint--I don't see how you can justify drawing and aiming until you have already been assaulted--
No, you do not have to wait for that, if by "assaulted" you mean attacked.

Quote:
...in other words it seems like you have to "allow" an escalation to the point of heightened and easily proved threat before drawing.
Look at it this way: before you would be justified in the use of deadly force, you would have to be able to provide evidence that a reasonable person, knowing what you knew at a time, would have believed that the immediate use of deadly force had been necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, and that you had used no more force than had been necessary.

Those are the basics.

Now lets examine your scenario.
Quote:
Let's say you are carrying and 1 or more aggressive individual perceive that you are armed--and decide that you're an easy mark taking you on and attempting to disarm you and take your weapon.
What would characterize an "aggressive individual"?

How would you have any way of knowing what they "perceived" or what they had "decided"?
Quote:
Essentially--within the 6 or 7 ft personal space zone they are a potential but "unproven" threat.
You may like to consider a 6 or 7 foot radius as defining a "personal space zone", but the law will not, nor will many other people agree with you.

Don't even think about threatening or using force , deadly or otherwise, against a "potential threat".

If and only if you had reason to believe that the other persons had the ability (weapon, numbers, or markedly superior strength) and the opportunity (proximity) to seriously harm you; and you had reason to believe that you were in immediate jeopardy (you cannot know their intent, but you can know if they have actually threatened to harm you or judge whether they appear to be about to do harm you); and you have no other safe alternative, you would be lawfully justified.
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Old September 1, 2015, 02:21 PM   #4
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You need to read the law of your state. However, most statutes permit the use of deadly force using a "reasonable person" standard to defend against "death or grievous bodily injury to self of other". As in all cases being able to articulate your actions under the circumstances in a way that makes sense is the key. If they are going to take your gun, its pretty reasonable they will hurt you badly or kill you. A "strong arm" robbery attempt to get your gun or attack, is going to be a pretty compelling argument for drawing down before they are armed with your gun or hurt you. Being able to explain your escalation and actions from the draw to shoot is all part of the process. You may be able to draw, but further justification may be needed to shoot. However, you don't have to wait for them to be in the process of killing you before you take action.

As a side note, in LE we have to be sprayed as part of the OC certification. Part of the reasoning is, that should you ever get sprayed or are threatened with OC, you might want to consider deadly force. The spray has potential to put you down in such a way that the attacker will then be armed....with your gun. Again, many factors to consider like, distance, circumstances, words spoken/threatened, inside vs outside and your own known reaction to OC. All are part of being able to articulate your actions.

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Old September 1, 2015, 03:06 PM   #5
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How about backing up if possible and issuing a direct command, something like "Stop, don't come any closer or I will treat you as a threat."
Then, if they continue to close on you, you will know their intentions, without any doubt, and act accordingly.
And be able to truthfully say so if questioned.
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Old September 1, 2015, 04:07 PM   #6
James K
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In the only case I knew of in which an individual was attacked in order to get his gun, he was a police officer and had no chance at all of resisting as he was hit in the back of the head with a heavy piece of rebar by one individual while another distracted him. (Fortunately, the officer was not killed, but suffered severe trauma and had a long recovery.)

I can't see thugs attacking someone they know is armed and doing so in a way that gives him any chance to draw his weapon, or issue commands, or much of anything else.

Jim
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Old September 1, 2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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This example sounds like something that might have been done on some of the simunition type exercises to be found on youtube.
You might take a look at the First Person Defender youtube videos and others to see if they've done one like this.
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Old September 1, 2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
How about backing up if possible and issuing a direct command, something like "Stop, don't come any closer or I will treat you as a threat."
In a public space, one may not prevent someone from coming close t, and telling someone minding his own business that one will "treat" him "as a threat" would be a very poor idea indeed, unless there were a clear indication of danger--say, the person approaching is hiding something in his hand that could be a weapon.

Quote:
Then, if they continue to close on you, you will know their intentions, without any doubt, and act accordingly.
Since the "command", as it were, would not have been a lawful order, failure to abide would give no real indication of intentions.

Now, if one has retreated and tried to evade and has been followed this way and that, making it most unlikely that the person is going to his car or some such, getting ready to draw would probably be prudent, particularly if multiple persons were involved or if there were reason to believe that the person approaching had a weapon.

As James points out, the original hypothetical scenario is most unlikely. Why would a person "perceive" that someone is armed, unless concealment has failed or the person is carrying openly? And then, should the person want to take the gun, what person in his right mind would give anyone the chance to draw, issue commands, or anything else?

More likely the yowled try a bang on the head or a sharp stabbing from behind without warning.
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Old September 1, 2015, 05:50 PM   #9
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I'm not the only one to ponder this conundrum...I know of anLE officer that was similarly "surprise attacked" at close body space and disarmed.

My opinion is--unless you are already drawn--anyone within 6 ft of you can "sucker punch you" and have you down before you can draw--that's why I set a 6ft "awareness space." It may sound funny--but there is a bodily "energy field" that I think you can tune into if you are really aware. The problem is a split-second response is called for--and making the wrong call may cost you your life--or someone else their's.

HOW the potential attacker becomes aware you are armed is irrelevant IMO.
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Old September 1, 2015, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
My opinion is--unless you are already drawn--anyone within 6 ft of you can "sucker punch you" and have you down before you can draw--
Go out and run some trials, and have a number of different people attack you without warning.

You will find that they can get to you before you can draw and fire from a whole lot farther than six feet.

Quote:
The problem is a split-second response is called for--and making the wrong call may cost you your life--or someone else their's.
Yes, if you have a basis for a reasonable belief that you are about to be attacked, you will have very little time in which to react.

Quote:
HOW the potential attacker becomes aware you are armed is irrelevant IMO.
What will be important is your basis for suspecting that they "perceive " that you are are armed. If you have no such basis, you will not react. You may do something for whatever reason, but you will not be defending yourself.

And more than that , what it is that gives you a reasonable basis for believing that the will attack you if you do not threaten or use force.

he idea that you will be afforded the chance to realize that and react is pretty far out.
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Old September 2, 2015, 06:23 AM   #11
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Deadly force - It should be easy to find numerous cases of a man hit with one punch and immediately killed !! So much for the idea of responding only with equivalent force !
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Old September 2, 2015, 07:11 AM   #12
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Perceived or possible threat but no overt action taken:

This is something I think needs covered in every SD or CC class.

#1: You are pumping gas at and some weird looking dude approaches your pump. Is this a car jacker or an employee out to check the numbers on the pump (we've all seen weird looking dudes working at gas stations.

#3: You're at an ATM and some guy is hanging around watching you. Does he want your money or is he in line to use the ATM

#4: (Something covered in Personal Defense Training Vedios)
You're at the mall during an active shooting situation. You're hunkered down in one of the stores. You hear something that some one about to enter your space.


Each and every one may be a threat, and each incident my be a case where you can easily find yourself being charged for assault or brandishing.

You need to be prepared instantly to present empty hands or you handgun. You might have a second to make that choice if your lucky.

Might want to consider this in your training. Your hand in your pocket on a revolver will allow you to re-act as necessary in about 1/2 second, either coming out with empty hands or the revolver.

The first two incident could get you arrested. The third could get you shot by first responders or other CC carriers.

If your gun isn't needed you go on about your business like thousands of other people who walk around with their hands in their pocket.
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Old September 3, 2015, 10:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Go out and run some trials, and have a number of different people attack you without warning.

You will find that they can get to you before you can draw and fire from a whole loft farther than six feet.
Oh my God yes. Nothing opens your eyes and mind more than a mock trial.

People are mentally conditioned with Hollywood when it comes to situations like that. They feel there is a sound or look about a person.

You. Won't. Know.

Most of the time you'll have no idea when it's coming. Is that scary? Yes.

Keyword in the word "gunfight" is "fight" and not gun. You may even be fighting for your gun. Who know's what'll happen then either.

Training is so important. I've trained and been trained. I STILL don't feel like I can pretend to know how every scenario would be like.


I've been tested a few times and I had a couple real life runs. I thank God I am here today after one of them. I still don't understand how.
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Old September 3, 2015, 12:17 PM   #14
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My experience is kinda the opposite from most of you guys responding--I've never done any scenario training a tactical class or anything and I know I should.

On the other hand, I spent the past 7 years living in the heart of a contested gangland area and witnessed several shootings, been shot at once, had "turf-warning" drive by shootings directed near my home and twice pulled a weapon out on "suspicious characters" trespassing on my property and headed towards me or my home.

I'm physically a pretty small and wimpy guy--so I make a tempting target.

Honest to God I can think of no other way to explain these encounters than "animal instinct" and a very heightened awareness of body language and eye movement. If I blasted someone I know that wouldn't count for much when explaining in a court of law.
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Old September 3, 2015, 01:00 PM   #15
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If you want to do some research, I'd recommend plowing through these two books:

Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Force-U...s=massad+ayoub

In the Name of Self-Defense: What it costs. When it's worth it. by Marc MacYoung

http://www.amazon.com/Name-Self-Defe...=marc+macyoung

I trust they will give you as much food for thought as they did me.
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Old September 3, 2015, 01:29 PM   #16
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I always tell my students to use these questions to determine if they can draw their gun: 1. Do you perceive that your life (or that of a loved one) is in imminent danger? 2. Do you perceive that you (or a loved one) are about to receive great bodily harm?

One must utilize situational awareness to prevent being in a situation that requires drawing a gun. However, we know there are times that situations can sneak up on us, if you will. Perfect example: I pulled into a gas station in an area that I usually do not stop in but had to as I was going onto a turnpike and needed gas. Before exiting my car, I checked the surroundings and saw nothing to cause me concern. I began pumping gas and from out of no where this rather big young man was approaching me. He was walking rather fast looking directly at me. I released the handle of the hose but left the nozzle in the filler. I stood up straight, stared right at him, and told him, STOP. YOU ARE INVADING MY PERSONAL SPACE. At the same time I held out my left arm straight and put my right hand on my gun which was concealed under my shirt but never exposed it. I got lucky. He did stop and his demeanor changed. "Hey man, I need some money for a bus ride. Can you give me $5?"
I told him I had no cash, all the time locking his eyes and keeping my hand on my gun. He then said, "Can you give me a ride?" I said, "I was late for an appointment and didn't have the time." He backed off and went from where he came. All the time this is happening, I am thinking of how this is going to go. My left arm would fend him off while my right hand went under the shirt for the gun.

Let's assume he kept coming towards me even after I told him to stop. I would obviously feel threatened but could I say that my life was in danger or could I say I was about to receive great bodily harm? The answer to both questions is no. However, if he tried to grab me or take a swing at me, we have a completely new situation. I am nearly 70 years old ( but look more like 50) and this diddly bopper was in his early 20's, outweighed me by at least 30 pounds and had a couple of inches of height over me. Once he grabbed me or hit me, I definitely would feel I was about to receive great bodily harm. The refueling hose was still in my car and as a result of a severe back injury, I cannot run. I was basically cornered and my gun would be my last resort to prevent further bodily damage/harm.

Every situation is unique and the ending has numerous potential outcomes, depending upon how you and the adversary play it. For me, I need bodily contact before I draw my gun. I have been in many, many fights over the course of my life which was all part of the job. Until one takes a hit, it just may be intimidation by the adversary and answering intimidation with a gun is usually not the best idea. But, once again, if we change a variable and a 5'5" person is being threatened by a 6'4" individual, the degree of threat may change.

If one is confronted by an individual or a group of individuals and it looks like someone is going for a gun, would you wait until you actually see that gun before you go for yours? Looks like a whole new can of worms. What would you do?
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Old September 3, 2015, 01:35 PM   #17
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...and twice pulled a weapon out on "suspicious characters" trespassing on my property and headed towards me or my home.
Be careful with that one.

People have served time for displaying a weapon in the presence of a trespasser.
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Old September 3, 2015, 03:53 PM   #18
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First time I pulled: A gang of hooded gangtahs (6 of them) were doing a quick scan of my house for a "smash and grab". How do I know this? Cause I've seen them do the same thing several times before at other nearby houses. Had my SA XD 45 drawn pointing up--they decided to call it a day and left in a hurry. I guess I'm lucky they were not armed as well-or chose not to draw--cause 6 against one were bad odds.

Second time I drew was when two local toughs--who were so drunk a storm-front of alcohol breath preceded them-- decided to rush me in the woods behind my house. They were screaming crazy stuff and may have been on drugs as well. Once again, out came my XD--and as wasted as they were, they had enough sense to stop 10 ft from me and beat a retreat. Nothing scares me more than the thought of actually having to shoot someone--but that doesn't mean I wouldn't do it if I felt I had no choice and I felt reasonably sure they would do me serious harm.
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Old September 3, 2015, 04:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
First time I pulled: A gang of hooded gangtahs (6 of them) were doing a quick scan of my house for a "smash and grab".
A "scan" would probably not constitute sufficient justification.

Quote:
Second time I drew was when two local toughs--who were so drunk a storm-front of alcohol breath preceded them-- decided to rush me in the woods behind my house. They were screaming crazy stuff and may have been on drugs as well. Once again, out came my XD--a....
The question would come down to ability.

Read and heed the sticky in the LC&R forum on the presentation of a firearm.
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Old September 3, 2015, 06:25 PM   #20
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I wont speak to what is legal but I will speak generally about what my thoughts and inclinations would likely be in a similar circumstance.

I am not likely to pull a handgun to prevent or stop a fist fight

I dont consider 6 people beating on me to be a fist fight

I dont think anything good will come from a badguy taking my gun

I have been in a several fist fights and never sustaining serious injury..if this situation is something dramatically different and dramatically more dangerous, I should be able to explain that very easily.
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Old September 3, 2015, 07:13 PM   #21
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The inner city neighborhood area I lived in had one of the highest violent crime rates per capita in the country. Shootings were nearly a daily occurence as were break-ins, robberies etc. I was familiar with the gang's activities and their MO's--as well as their ability to shoot and kill anyone. If i was off my property I always took evasive action when I sensed trouble headed my way--as well as knowing what areas had chokepoints and which ones had quick escape avenues. Once cornered on my property--that's a different deal--and home/property invasion incidents were very high in my area. In fact--my house was the only one in the 2 block area that hadn't been broken into or robbed (some houses were hit more than once)--mostly because I kept odd hours--and I'm sure the word was out that I was a hunter/sport shooter.

Random shootings were a way of life in the neighborhood--the street lamp and road signs directly in front of my house had been shot out multiple times. When walking my dog in the mornings it was interesting to find what kind of spent cases were lying around. Some, I'm sure, were simply chucked out the window of a car after a drive -by shooting

Whatever the law may be--pulling my weapon out (not pointed at them, BTW) and having it seen by the "trespassers" at the time had exactly the desired outcome. It "could" have been a mistake--but in both cases the threats were real--I'm positive of that.
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Old September 3, 2015, 07:55 PM   #22
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I agree your personal safety is first and foremost! If showing your weapon is what it takes than so be it!!
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Old September 3, 2015, 10:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
Let's say you are carrying and 1 or more aggressive individual perceive that you are armed--and decide that you're an easy mark taking you on and attempting to disarm you and take your weapon. Essentially--within the 6 or 7 ft personal space zone they are a potential but "unproven" threat.

From the legal standpoint--I don't see how you can justify drawing and aiming until you have already been assaulted--in other words it seems like you have to "allow" an escalation to the point of heightened and easily proved threat before drawing.
from a legal standpoint you just admitted you didn’t have any reason to justify drawing your gun.

There is a lot in this scenario that begs for questions but I don’t think the focus here should be about if you can draw. There should be no question about that...

my take is to work on what to do when someone your not comfortable with attempts to enter your personal space. I occasionally refer to this article for managing unknown contacts: http://web.archive.org/web/201205222...SNContacts.pdf
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Old September 4, 2015, 07:37 AM   #24
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Posted by stagpanther:
Quote:
Whatever the law may be--pulling my weapon out (not pointed at them, BTW) and having it seen by the "trespassers" at the time had exactly the desired outcome. It "could" have been a mistake--
Absent sufficient evidence to show justification, it sure could.

Do read the sticky, and sleep on it.
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Old September 4, 2015, 08:48 AM   #25
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We shouldn't let fear of legal repercussions inhibit us to the point that we're afraid to act in our own defense.
Or leave us indecisive until it's way too late.
Like the old adage sez (I like old adages) it's better to be judged by 12 rather than carried by 6.
Sounds corny but kind of true in many cases.
Lets not let thoughts of justifying our actions cloud our abilities to survive.
First things first.
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