Road rage incident...


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sniknah
July 22, 2009, 08:52 PM
I was driving today on the freeway and must have <upset> someone..he followed me for a few miles and when I pulled into a gas station he drove off..he took a picture of my truck with his cell phone? My question is this: If he would have gotten out of his vehicle and came rushing to my door with a baseball bat for instance..could I pull my weapon and shot <...> him?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Boy there are some crazy <people> driving on our roads.

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The_Brass_Shack
July 22, 2009, 08:58 PM
I have taught CCW and it really depends on which state you are in and how much of a threat you preceived it to be.

I am not a lawyer so I am not really for sure.

Michael

HKUSP45C
July 22, 2009, 09:25 PM
Why do we get so many threads that begin with a benign encounter (albeit possibly slightly alarming) between a group of people that invariably end with a hypothetical scenario followed by the question "can I shoot them?"

The post nearly never mentions what state the encounter occurred in, time of day, the other person's (or people's) perspective or cite any relevant law.

The laws in your state are probably meticulously clear on when deadly force, the threat of deadly force or homicide are justifiable. You should consult them.

Barring that, since it's nearly impossible to find a state's laws online(:rolleyes:), you should consult an attorney. Or, if your desire to shoot someone is so strong that you're wondering when you're going to get your "golden ticket" to drill some guy, just do it. The prosecution will be happy to explain all of the applicable laws you've broken.

Just my two cents, it seems this kind of question is a recurring theme here and I, personally, find the underlying mental exercise a bit unnerving.

The real answer is: It depends entirely on the laws in your state and the totality of the actual circumstances, pondering hypotheticals is just mental exercise and in this case (and the others I mentioned) it's in poor taste.

IMHO, IANAL, YMMV ect.

ETA: Did he actually indicate that he was angry with you or was it an assumption. It could be you were driving the exact make, color and model car he wants to buy one day and he was getting an action shot of you for his computer desktop wallpaper. Not all encounters are "the balloon going up" in most places. Heck, I talk to and drive near thousands of people a day and it seldom occurs to me that the mechanations of their daily business are malevolent.

Avenger
July 22, 2009, 09:25 PM
I doubt a baseball can be considered much of a threat, unless you're facing off with a major league pitcher. Even then, you can just drive off while he's going into his wind-up. Remember, if he pauses, it's a balk and your runners advance!

rbernie
July 22, 2009, 09:26 PM
There is no short answer to this question, and the data that TBS identified above (state, threat factors, etc.) is the minimum necessary to craft a reasoned answer.

Why do we get so many threads that begin with a benign encounter (albeit possibly slightly alarming) between a group of people that invariably end with a hypothetical scenario followed by the question "can I shoot them?"I am convinced that most of these posts are from folk who do not actually carry and have not been through a CHL/CCW class. They are simply acting out mental fantasies along the lines of what they've seen in the mass media.

bdickens
July 22, 2009, 10:05 PM
I wonder why we get so many "threads that begin with a benign encounter (albeit possibly slightly alarming) between a group of people that invariably end with a hypothetical scenario followed by the question 'can I shoot them?" started by low post-count individuals who don't bother to tell us where they live. State laws vary and what might get me a tickertape parade through downtown here in Houston might get you thrown in prison for life there in Boston.

I think it should be mandatory for you to tell us where you are before you can ask if something is legal or not. Otherwise it is real hard to get an intelligent answer.

2nd 41
July 22, 2009, 10:35 PM
HKUSP45C....good post. Well stated.

ants
July 22, 2009, 10:42 PM
Note: Hankins edited the original post before I read it, so I'm not sure what it originally said. Either way, I can offer a decent answer.

The other gentlemen are absolutely correct about knowing state laws.
The answer to the question "Can I shoot or not?" is that it varies from state to state. You better find out what your state laws say on the matter.

Here's a different offer: You did good to be aware of the situation. Next time you drive into the gas station (or wherever) while being followed, don't park where you can get boxed in by the angry man. Baseball bat or no weapon at all, do not confront anger. Just drive away. But in order to drive away, park your car where the exit is unobstructed.

And if you are being followed near your home, don't drive home. Then the angry idiot would know where you live.

TwistedMinded_Biker
July 22, 2009, 10:46 PM
I,m starting to get scared with all these scenario's seem like some got there CWW hoping to use there old mouse gun . I think back to when I got mine and thought of it as a tool i hoped i never had to use

SA Town
July 22, 2009, 11:05 PM
I'm surprised some Rambo hasn't come in here yet suggesting that he buy an AR-15 for all of his defensive needs.

shooterfromtexas
July 22, 2009, 11:12 PM
He can pull up your plates and find your house.

gmark340
July 22, 2009, 11:43 PM
The simplest answer to the post as presented is "no" under most circumstances I can think of. You were in your truck (no mention of having gotten out) and that would have allowed you to leave the scene in safety against only a bat. Even assuming you couldn't move your truck (you were blocked in, for instance), someone would have to do more than just pound on your truck with a bat to merit a lethal response. In short, this situation could have been messy but would not likely have justified your shooting this person. Were you able to retain your cool enough to note his tag number? You could have reported him for aggressive driving so that at least he will be on record in case you run into him again.

I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a recurring theme but, rather than bite the OP's head off, I'd be inclined to respond in positive manner. For one thing, many people get their permits without truly knowing not only the law but how to apply it to specific situations. The old pilot joke about "using your superior knowledge so you don't have to use your superior skills" to bail out a bad situation applies equally well to CCW.

The fact that the OP posted the question demonstrates a desire to learn. The general minimum standard to meet in order to employ deadly force is that you must be in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm (GBH). Sounds good, but what does it mean? The standard I learned, both in CCW courses and at the police academy, was the AOJ test, which is something that can be performed quickly in a developing situation:

Ability - does the person have the ability to inflict death or GBH?
(in this case, he is able-bodied and has a bat)
Opportunity - does the person have the opportunity to inflict death or GBH now?
(he is right here at my window)
Jeopardy - would a reasonable person (substitute "jury") believe that the person is preparing to inflict death or GBH on you right now?
(he is target focused, bearing down on me, telling me he is going to kill me, etc. or he is standing there with the bat asking directions, or for the time, etc. and is not a threat)

If you can't answer "yes" to all three questions, you can't use deadly force yourself. However, even if you can answer "yes" to all three questions, you still may not be able to use deadly force. As other posters have said, state law plays a critical role. In some jurisdictions you may only use force proportional to that used against you. In others you may have a duty to retreat if you can do so in safety.

I can suggest several ways for the OP to learn more and hope that the OP takes advantage of some or all and continues to, over time. First, continue reading in this forum. You will gain some insight after seeing the back and forths between the members. Second, buy and read, and reread Massad Ayoob's book, In the Gravest Extreme. It's on Amazon, among other places. Although slightly dated, it is still the best review of the law and its application that I have seen and is quite readable. Third, take some classes from reputable teachers. What you know has to be integrated into what you can do and the only way to do that is to practice. If you constantly strive to learn, and sort through conflicting opinions and advice, you will gradually get to a point where you can answer many of your own questions which, after all, is what you will have to do in a shoot - no shoot situation. Good luck.

cyclopsshooter
July 22, 2009, 11:48 PM
rbernie +1

krs
July 23, 2009, 10:59 AM
RBernie:"I am convinced that most of these posts are from folk who do not actually carry and have not been through a CHL/CCW class. They are simply acting out mental fantasies along the lines of what they've seen in the mass media.

I'm not so sure that at least some of these kinds of queries aren't coming from young newly permitted people who now carry a gun.

Some states (Washington at least) have no requirement that a carry permit applicant pass any sort of CHL/CCW class or any gun safety instruction at all. Like it or not there are some people who obtain licenses to carry who should not have them, even though there's nothing in their background to prevent it.

For example, I had occasion to talk to a young man about this. He is twenty years old and during his queries to me about carrying and permitting he said that he "couldn't wait" until his 21st birthday so he could get a carry permit so that a pair of local brothers, who sound like typical bullies, "won't mess with him any more". Although I did try to impress upon him that he sounded all wrong about his reasons for wanting to carry I was left with the impression that I hadn't convinced him even though he expressed a quick agreement and told me that he didn't mean he wanted to shoot those guys.

This kid was shooting at my local club range and caught a glimpse of my holstered pistol, I guess, and so picked me to ask about getting a permit. I'd seen him before and he seems mostly to be a friendly and outgoing sort, not one that displays an 'attitude'.

I've been getting convinced that the average age of posters to this forum falls somewhere between 16 and 20 years. (Allowing for those under 16 gives room for those over twenty-one). Some in those ages don't develop the seriousness to get the full meaning of the ramifications of having a pistol on their person during the sometimes emotionally charged social interactions of youth.

DHJenkins
July 23, 2009, 11:29 AM
Maybe he just liked your truck.

sniknah
July 23, 2009, 02:41 PM
GMARK30...thanks for a informative post! Sounds like if you ask a simple question or pose a situation you get you're head bitten off here...I don't see the harm in posting this..we are all here to learn a little something from everyone. I will have to be more careful in the future to post things on here...oh well..good day.

mcdonl
July 23, 2009, 03:08 PM
GMARK30...thanks for a informative post! Sounds like if you ask a simple question or pose a situation you get you're head bitten off here...I don't see the harm in posting this..we are all here to learn a little something from everyone. I will have to be more careful in the future to post things on here...oh well..good day.

Dont sweat it man... I am new here to, and you will learn some procedural errors of your own along the way, you will also encoutner some people who think you should already be an expert before you even come here... just keep coming back and you will find it is worth your time.

rbernie
July 23, 2009, 03:42 PM
Sounds like if you ask a simple question or pose a situation you get you're head bitten off here...I don't see the harm in posting this..we are all here to learn a little something from everyone. I will have to be more careful in the future to post things on herePosting questions is encouraged. Some questions come up frequently, and for that reason it's generally a good idea to use the search function in the forum, to see what past discussions can teach. That way, questions can cover new ground and not rehash the same old debates endlessly.

Welcome. :)

Lou McGopher
July 23, 2009, 03:49 PM
I'm surprised some Rambo hasn't come in here yet suggesting that he buy an AR-15 for all of his defensive needs.

Rambo prefers the M60.

Really though, if you think you are in danger of grievous bodily harm, and you can't easily get away, draw your weapon.

Alan Fud
July 23, 2009, 03:52 PM
Why do people post hypothetical scenario? Because the time to analyze what one should do and what is the best course of action to take and perhaps get the input of others who have experience or training in such areas is before TSHTF and not during the split-second heat of the moment.

rbernie
July 23, 2009, 03:58 PM
Concur. We all do need to be aware of the limitations, however, of seeking advice on tactics or legalities on Internet forums. ;)

HKUSP45C
July 23, 2009, 04:03 PM
Why do people post hypothetical scenario? Because the time to analyze what one should do and what is the best course of action to take and perhaps get the input of others who have experience or training in such areas is before TSHTF and not during the split-second heat of the moment.

I would concede that you had a point if the answer wasn't more easily obtained by a passing knowledge of deadly force statues in his state. We aren't talking nuances of case law here. He said :
If he would have gotten out of his vehicle and came rushing to my door with a baseball bat for instance..could I pull my weapon and shot <...> him?
(which is a heavily edited version of his original question which included a baseball [not bat] and ended with "can I shoot the expletive")

and it would seem that barring any further information he's actually in a BETTER position to answer the question than ANYONE on this board since he has all of the missing pieces of necessary information and we don't.

He wasn't asking about tactics, equipment, training, case law or even ethical opinions (as far as I could tell). So, any answer we half-heartedly offer is most likely going to be incorrect and probably won't be applicable in his state or municipality. It certainly isn't going to contribute to his ability to be prepared when "the balloon goes up."

Corey
July 23, 2009, 04:28 PM
When I taught CCW classes in AZ I would answer all hypothetical situations at the beginging of the class with this:

You may use deadly force to defend yourself or a third party from the imminent risk of death of serious physical injury. Notice I said may, not shall, that means you have that option available but it does not mean necessarily mean that it is the best option.

After that any questions that started with "what if" were generally answered with "you should consult an attorny"

jfh
July 23, 2009, 04:43 PM
probably reflect the social dynamics of a group of people as much as any meaningful information exchange. IOW, it's the get-acquainted waltz for THR gunny-types--the newest as well as those around here for some time.

If we've been here awhile, we've seen the oft-posted problems, and formed opinions--probably too quickly.

I've reached the conclusion that a lot of "what if" questions can really be dealt with as an exercise in imaging--which, IMO, is an important part of SD training. Formulate the scenario--as sniknah has done--and then figure out the questions. Then research the answers. Select the most authoritative answer; integrate into your response set and loop back for another round.

For this question, you really need the benefit of starting out with knowledge of your (state's) local laws--then add to that, the local gun culture--and then the discrete knowledge you may get in a carry/permit class.

Jim H.

mgkdrgn
July 23, 2009, 06:51 PM
If he would have gotten out of his vehicle and came rushing to my door with a baseball bat for instance..could I pull my weapon and shot <...> him?


Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier (and not nearly as loud) to just drive away?

71Commander
July 24, 2009, 07:55 AM
I am convinced that most of these posts are from folk who do not actually carry and have not been through a CHL/CCW class. They are simply acting out mental fantasies along the lines of what they've seen in the mass media.


I'm thinking anti gun trolls.

rbernie
July 24, 2009, 01:19 PM
Time to close this one and allow it to slowly sink off the front page......

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