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Old April 24, 2010, 08:54 PM   #26
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Anything can be a lethal weapon, including bare fists/feet.

In SC, the requirements to shoot are not "if a weapon is shown".

First, the BG must have:
A. The ABILITY to inflict serious bodily injury. He is armed or reasonably appears to be armed.

B. The OPPORTUNITY to inflict serious bodily harm. He is positioned to harm you with his weapon, and,

C. His INTENT (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy - to do you serious or fatal physical harm.

Given that, you:
" you must believe you are in imminent danger of loss of life or serious bodily injury or actually be in such danger."
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:38 PM   #27
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IANAL, but as I recall from my CCW class....

In Nebraska, if AOJP requirements are met:

The perp has the Ability to cause death or serious bodily harm,

Opportunity to do same,

You are in Jeapordy of same,

and You are Precluded from any other course of action, i.e. retreat is not possible (though you are not reqired to retreat from your home or place of business).

There is also something in there about preventing rape as a justification, but I forget just what..... I always thought of rape as pretty serious bodily harm.
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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Old April 25, 2010, 09:13 AM   #28
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I have my own simple rule. IF THE WEAPON IS CAPABLE OF KILLING ME WITH ONE HIT OR SWIPE... I'LL DEPLOY DEADLY PHISICAL FORCE. I probably wouldnt shoot someone brandishing, or threatening a stun-gun, or a can of pepper spray. They are less than lethal by definition. I'd say that I would decide on a case by case basis. A baseball bat welded by a 93 year old cant possibly have the same consiquences as one threatened by a 23 year old.

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Old April 25, 2010, 06:13 PM   #29
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I believe in Va it is a Force for Force law , in that you can only use equal or one step higher level of force in order to protect yourself.

Unless that is : you are in your home , car , etc etc. Where it's a reasonable fear for your life.

Then again , if someone was raising a Tire Iron/Bat/Knife to my Fiance or one of my children , I would shoot him in a heart beat and face the consequences with full confidence in our legal system.
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Old April 26, 2010, 07:37 AM   #30
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Seems to me that if you have a good moral compass, you will know when and when not to shoot someone in self defense or defense of others. Regardless of what the law says, I'd venture to say that most folks who carry guns really don't want to live with the doubt that they shot an innocent person, or even someone who was being a jerk but not presenting an immediate life-threatening danger.

The tough part for most folks is going to be pulling that trigger quick enough if they are faced with an immediate life-threatening situation. Since firing a gun is really a last-resort solution (as opposed to walking, running, or driving away from a potential attacker), the crap's probbaly hit the fan and your moral compass is more likely to get in your way and cause a person to freeze up under that kind of pressure. Good training really helps keep that moral compass in check so that if the situation presents, you can do what must be done.

It's good to know what the law in each state you might be carrying says. Still, I have it in my mind as to when I'd shoot and when I wouldn't which doesn't exactly mirror the law, but I believe is within the bounds of the law.
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Old April 26, 2010, 03:54 PM   #31
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Texas is a prety fair state when it comes to deadly force laws. There is no duty to retreat from anywhere you have a "lawful right to be."
There was in the adjoining county from where I live a case that made headlines. Which was in the local paper.
The whole story was not given. He was aquited of the asault with a deadly weapon charge. He will be going to court in the future for the unlawful cary charge. His antics in the court room almost cost him his feedom. He Actualy waited outside the door of the bar for the other guy to come outside. Then insulted the guy, and challenged him. The other pulled out his knife at that point. Then Mr. Shaver asked him "where do you want it?" He then shot him in the face. Truly I belive both were in the wrong. The prosecutor's point was why did Mr Shaver wait in the parking lot for over 10 minutes before confronting the other guy?
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old April 29, 2010, 08:48 PM   #32
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Quote "simple questions


1) if a man pulls a knife on me am I "weapons free" to engage him with a firearm?

2) what about not so obvious weapons like

a) baseball bat
b) taser gun
c)pepper spray
c)farm implement (hole, hookbill)
d) axe

If these weapons are brandished as if the person in possession of them is without question going to attack me?

The reason why I include non-lethal weapons is that they could be used to disable me so that the attacker could kill or kidnap me or someone under my protection."

A knife, baseball bat, farm equipment and an ax all can be deadly weapons.
Imho you would be justified to shoot an attacker weilding one of these weapons.
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Old April 29, 2010, 11:27 PM   #33
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This is not a legal answer, just one to give you some advice on staying alive.

If you think they want to hurt you, hurt them first. If they beat you to it, hurt them back.
A hit with a .45 ACP beats a hit with a .22 LR everytime. A hit with a .22 LR beats a miss with a .50 BMG everytime.
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Old April 30, 2010, 10:46 AM   #34
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I don't know Kentucky's laws on self defense.

You should, if you live there. Both black letter and case law.

For legal advice, I would talk to the best criminal defense attorney I could find in my jurisdiction, and then carry his business card thereafter.

The best generic training I've ever had on the topic was Skip Gochenour's presentation, the lecture notes from which can be seen at . I suggest you study those notes- if you need a glossary for the ATSA-speak, see .

Keep in mind that if you are carrying a gun, ANY fight you get involved in is a gunfight- because even if no one else did, you brought a gun to the fight. I fully agree with Skip's assertion that ADEE (as opposed to AOJ, which is more suited to LEOs) is the best approach for an armed citizen, whenever it is possible.


Mindset - Skillset - Toolset. In that order!

Attitude and skill will get you through times of no gear, better than gear will get you through times of no attitude and no skill.
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Old May 1, 2010, 12:54 AM   #35
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If anyone brandishes something that could hurt/incapacitate me, I'll respond the same, wether it's a pistol, a pitchfork, or a 2x4. they'll get shot.
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Old May 2, 2010, 12:45 PM   #36
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The post about OPPORTUNITY, INTENT, and ABILITY is correct IMHO.

If your assailant has demonstrated these, and you can reasonably articulate your fear of death or great bodily injury then in my estimation you should defend yourself.

I personally would not shoot someone for pepper spray alone, because it does not truly incapacitate you. Being pepper sprayed may put you at enough of a disadvantage that other factors result in your needing to deploy deadly force, but being sprayed alone is something you can fight through. Also, most use of pepper spray I have seen is either by citizens defending themselves or by robbers, usually doing a purse snatch. The robbers spray, jerk the purse, and run. This generally happens so fast that they are running away before the victim could deploy force, and by running away have removed themselves as a threat.

Also, just because your state laws may say you have no duty to retreat doesn't mean that retreat is not a good option. If you neighbor comes outside and threatens you with a baseball bat, go in your house and call the police. You're not less of a man because you don't stay outside confronting him, pushing the situation into a deadly force scenario. I am obviously not talking about a blitz attack, but the more common "two jerk offs get in each others way" style of attack.
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Old May 2, 2010, 08:21 PM   #37
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I believe in Va it is a Force for Force law , in that you can only use equal or one step higher level of force in order to protect yourself.
That may apply in something like a bar fight, but pulling a weapon of any sort in a mutual fight is going to get you thrown in jail and if things escalate to serious injury or death you are going to prison. An innocent person being attacked has the right to use deadly force in defense if they feel they are facing death or serious injury. If you are in mutual combat you do not have that right in VA, the best you can do is stop fighting and retreat, showing to your opponent and any witnesses that you are seeking peace. If at that point your opponent continues the attack you can defend yourself, but legally you are on much weaker grounds than the attacked innocent.
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Old May 4, 2010, 02:07 AM   #38
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If someone pulls a Knife on me, i would assume that they would be willing to kill me. So simply put if a Knife is pulled a firearm is obviously justified.
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Old May 5, 2010, 01:48 AM   #39
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State-local gun/use of force laws...

I agree that you should learn & follow the state/local laws. Check or
In general, you can use a firearm or deadly force regardless of what type of weapon(gun, knife, stick, bat, saw, etc) or bare hands. A sworn LE officer in Utah was cleared in 12/2009 after he shot a violent subject who was beating his brother in a nightclub event.
This may or may not mean you wouldn't face civil court actions either.

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