Quantcast

A scenario that has me thinking...

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by c919, Jun 9, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. c919

    c919 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    where else? TN.
    Ok, to just to clarify from the get go, I know this will be vague. However, I don't think it really matters in this case. After all, I'm just asking for a little armchair speculation on a subject that has me thinking. I'm normally not too big on imaginary scenario threads, but this is something that I've wondered about for some time now. Had a few things not gone my way, I would have recently been in a situation of this sort. It has bothered me ever since, and I think it's definitely worth discussing.

    So here's the scenario:

    You are by yourself (but in public) facing a certain attack from an unknown assailant. Let's say it's not a robbery or anything like that, just a really enraged individual who has for whatever reason decided to harm you. Although in the real world one can never tell if an attacker is truly unarmed, but let's assume (for the sake of this topic) that they are unarmed. Also, let's say that this individual is around the same size as you (to eliminate any argument of disparity of force). From an outsider looking in, this looks to be a run-of-the-mill street fight in the works.

    ETA: You have no less-than lethal weapons, MA training is ok, but either hands or gun. You have already done everything possible to avoid, and nothing has worked. You have yelled, ran, called 911 and he's still on you.

    There are times when deescalation is not an option, so I hope to avoid any comments like "walk away" or "don't be there in the first place."

    At this point I'd like to add a disclaimer. In no way do I think that it is justified to shoot someone just to avoid a scuffle or humiliation.

    It is well known that one can be permanently disabled as a result of a fist fight. It doesn't take much to put you in a wheelchair and diapers for the rest of your days, and you never know just how crazy another man may be. There is no way to know on the front end if you will walk away unharmed, with a black eye, a broken arm, on a stretcher, or not walk away at all. Heck, they could intend to simply sock you once or twice, but instead you fall on a curb and end up in a coma.

    We all know (I hope) that a firearm is not to be used unless you are facing grave bodily harm or death. However, there are times when it would be impossible to know that you were facing these outcomes until it is already too late.

    So my question is: How would you assess this type of situation?

    Knowing that grave bodily harm or death can easily come as the result of a fist fight, and if you do scuffle you risk the attacker procuring your weapon, would you...

    A. Not be willing to take that gamble, and stop the threat via firearm?

    B. Risk it and try to stop the attacker via hand-to-hand combat?


    And once again, hand-to-hand or gun are the options. I do carry pepper spray, knife, etc, but (for conversation's sake) I'd like to keep this one option A or B for now.



    I forgot to add the poll, and rolling with Lee's suggestion, we will keep this one as conversation only
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  2. FourteenMiles

    FourteenMiles Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    USA
    I would run as fast as possible away while stating how I feel threatend et cetera. If someone chases you it reveals how dangerous they are and that will help you decide what level of force to use.
     
  3. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    21,218
    Location:
    AL, NC
    Let's leave it poll- free, and stick to discussion.

    I'm not getting into a fistfight that I can avoid. I will talk my way out of it if possible, leave if I can (ADEE), if I cannot avoid a furball, then the ASP Street Defender will get some exercise.

    Anyone who carries a gun regularly should IMHO carry intermediate level of force tools as well, where it's possible to do so. Pepper spray has too many uses as a 'contact breaker' not to carry it when it's as convenient as the ASP offerings are.

    lpl
     
  4. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    803
    One individual, same size, no worries.

    Once they start getting at about a 20-30% plus advantage in size is when I start to have problems in training depending on their skill level. However, in training, you can't use the most dangerous and potentially effective techniques either, in a real fight, you can.
     
  5. mrokern

    mrokern Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Minnesota
    This. As Maslow put it, "It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

    This is why folks will often see me post things such as "You do have self defense training outside of shooting, right?" I'm not doing it to be a jerk, I'm doing it because not every scenario can be ethically and / or legally solved with gunfire.

    If you aren't used to the action of using a can of OC, look at the Kimber Pepper Blaster II. The new version works and feels just like a mousegun.

    -Mark

    ETA - Personally, I carry my gun, a knife (also considered a deadly weapon, and it would be my absolute last-ditch item...it's mainly a daily use tool, and I do not have enough training with it to consider it a viable option), and rarely OC (Pepper Blaster). Why? Because a) I'm a big guy...disparity of force is unlikely to be on my side; b) I've trained in martial arts; c) between a background in security and corrections, I can go to the mat if need be.

    For me, if someone gets beyond what I can handle with my hands, I've treed a bad one. It's my personal situation, and may not apply to others. I present OC as an option to all of my students, and discuss its use and the legalities of it (and Tasers) in class.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  6. lions

    lions Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,204
    Location:
    Kansas
    I think it would be wise to loudly and clearly declare that you don't wish to fight, keeping the onlookers from thinking this is another run of the mill street fight. Use whatever phrase you wish, "I don't want to fight!" "I'm not looking for trouble!" "Leave me alone!" etc. In Kansas, anyone engaged in mutual combat cannot legally declare self defense if things go awry. I won't answer A or B but whatever you decide to, or are forced to do, you'll want witnesses supporting your account of the story.
     
  7. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I think this is an excellent tactic.

    IF an assailant continues to escalate after you have declared your peaceful intentions...

    IF you have no escape route...

    THEN you are justified in ratcheting up the force continuum.
     
  8. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,963
    Location:
    NW
    You've already mentioned one thing to consider in the scenario that you have given us: there is at least one firearm present in the conflict... yours. You do not want to end up in a struggle over your own weapon.
     
  9. uspJ

    uspJ Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Georgia
    i would make sure when i called 911 that i let them know that i am armed (this may help get leo's get there faster.).

    i have made it obvious to both onlookers and leo that i am being chased and that i fear for my safety. if i can't wait it out for leo's to arrive then i would put my hand on my weapon and tell him to stay back and that i don't want any trouble. i would keep moving even if i didn't have an avenue of escape , move laterally, try to circle around the attacker... anything to keep him from closing distance. i would keep my hand on my weapon untill the police show up or i was forced to draw and shoot to stop the attack. i would not try to fistfight anyone while i was carrying a gun, winding up in a bad position trying to grapple with someone could expose your firearm and leave you open to attack with it.
     
  10. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    PA
    IANAL, but I will pass on what I have been taught. Take it for what it’s worth. I highly recommend talking to a lawyer in your area to know what your local laws are. That's what I did, it's worth the fee.

    You have 2 things to think about, your safety and the legal ramifications of your actions.

    IMO this is one of the worst scenarios to be in legally. You are armed, he is not and you're in a fist fight. If you shoot someone just to avoid a fist fight a judge is going to have a field day with you. On the other hand you don't want to avoid prosecution by dying.

    If in a fist fight (your opponent is unarmed) for you to use lethal force you will have to be able to prove that you did not contribute to the escalation and that your opponent used lethal force or there was disparity of force.

    Disparity of force:
    Between a man and a woman disparity of force is almost a given. But between 2 relatively healthy men you're going to be on some really shaky ground using this as a defense.

    Disparity of force could be:
    A young man vs. a senior.
    You have an ailment or disability that would prevent you from defending yourself.
    Your opponent is a trained fighter e.g. Boxer, martial arts expert etc. and you are aware of this during the fight. Finding out after the fight doesn't count.

    Your opponent uses lethal force:
    If your opponent arms himself by picking up a rock, brick, big stick etc. he now has the ability to cause death or serious bodily harm.

    If you are being pounded against a hard surface, for example if you are on the ground and he is stomping you with his foot or kicking your head or if you are against a wall and he is kicking you into it. These actions could be considered lethal force.

    He has to show lethal force first. He has to arm himself first or you have to already be taking a serious beating before you can draw.

    What would I do?
    I would try to avoid this situation if it is in any way possible.
    If I can't avoid the situation, fight hard and depending on how the fight plays out respond accordingly.
     
  11. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    21,218
    Location:
    AL, NC
    One other thing to keep in mind. If physically set upon without warning by an unknown assailant, it may be difficult or impossible to tell that said assailant is armed (knife, shiv, screwdriver etc) until you are already bleeding. It's fairly easy to hide a weapon of this type in a reverse grip.

    Situational awareness is a key self defense skill, but as 'Southnarc' puts it, "Sometimes your awareness fails." It is a good idea to train with someone who teaches contact distance gunfighting, because you may well not have that oft-practiced 21 feet when your turn to scuffle comes. Your first order of business is protecting your own gun, and then opening up enough distance to use it. This takes hands-on training IMHO, as do many "serious" skills.

    lpl
     
  12. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,589
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    I recently bought a gun from a guy who said he didn't carry it anymore because he got into a fight with somebody at a bar while he was carrying it. He said the thought of pulling it never came into his mind but if it had somehow fallen out of his pocket while fighting and scuffling on the ground he would likely have been shot.


    He has good point.
     
  13. bababooey32

    bababooey32 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    To answer the OP: Given the assumptions presented in your scenario, I would likely draw on the attacker. I am not willing to submit my face to a test to find out how good a fighter this guy might be before deciding on what to do. In fact, I disagree with several here that the attacker must demonstrate use of deadly/grave force before I may do the same. The standard for UODF is a "reasonable fear" standard. That is, I must have a reasonable fear for life or limb. Based on the assumptions presented in the scenario, I believe I could demonstrate reasonable fear: unyielding pursuit by an "enraged assailant", I have attempted to break contact, I have notified LEO and the surrounding public of my fear and the attacker continues after me.

    Heh. That doesn't cut it for me. Again, I'm not willing to be a guinea pig to find out if this guy can kick my ass or not. I am not trained, nor am I a fighter. I have zero confidence in my ability to "scuffle" with an assailant and THEN, MAYBE draw and fire if I'm losing. Sounds like horrible tactics. I might find out I'm losing when he breaks my neck or I go un conscious!!

    As I mentioed above, I diasagree with this assesment. If an enraged assailant is pursuing me, I do beleive I have the right to stop that attack (that's what it is at this point) with deadly force. Also, you are really going to wait till you are "taking a serious beating" before considering using your defensive sidearm? Huh....:confused:

    Edited to add

    emphasis added
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    9,341
    So, what do you think it would look like to said outsider if you were to draw and shoot? Expect him to so testify.

    Sounds like a good idea. Add "STAY BACK!"

    Excellent idea.

    Unless you would be abandoning a loved one who could not leave with you, escape or an attempt at same would be your best approach, by far, both tactically and legally, even in a "stand your ground" jurisdiction.

    Yes, you must reasonably believe that deadly force was immediately necessary, but others must agree that reasonable people would have believed the same thing based upon what you knew at the time.

    The evidence (no weapon) and the testimony of witnesses will be weighed.

    That's what gives rise to all of the discussion about A, O, J, and P, and ADEE.

    By the way, Bababooey, the text you pasted from Section 9.32 is no longer in effect. The blurb about a reasonable person attempting to retreat is no longer part of the code in Texas.

    However, retreat is probably the best option, by far, even though it is not required in Tennessee. If one does depart, and the other person pursues, it should be a lot more evident that it was not a case of mutual combat.
     
  15. wulfhart

    wulfhart Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    New Mexico
    If you give a clear warning, "Stay back or I will shoot you!" "Do not make me shoot you!", wouldn't it give the witnesses something to testify in your favor for. It would also indicate to the assailant that they will be shot if they persist. If they continue to attack knowing they will be shot, I see that as reason enough to defend myself with whatever it takes to stop them. That would probably sound a lot better in court too. "Wulfhart gave clear warnings to his assailant, but the assailant continued undaunted in his enraged assault."

    I would hate to be in this scenario. I always carry a knife, which I can use much better at stopping with less likelihood of killing. Seems better to cut someone's flexor, preventing them from gripping a weapon, then to shoot them and end their life.
     
  16. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    PA
    You don't get to kill someone to avoid getting your ass kicked. You have other legal recourse, you can have him arrested and you can sue him for damages.

    Self defense by definition is a horrible tactic. You are already being attacked before you can defend.

    You can use deadly force to prevent death or serious bodily injury not just an attack. It depends on the severity of the attack.

    When I wrote "taking a serious beating" I was referring to the examples I gave above, being stomped into the ground, kicked against a wall or kicked in the head. I consider any of these taking a serious beating.

    Having spoken to a lawyer and to LEOs (in my area, this may differ in yours) being an unwilling participant in a fight and getting punched equates to assault, a misdemeanor. Introduce kicking or stomping against a hard surface or an assault with "extreme indifference to human life" equates to aggravated assault, a felony. Using an improvised weapon like a rock, brick etc. equates to assault with a deadly weapon, also a felony.

    Do you think you are going to fare well if you shoot someone for committing a misdemeanor because they may commit a felony?
     
  17. wishin

    wishin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,430
    Location:
    Georgia
    At my age, "A" is the only option. Let the cards fall where they may. I don't expect to win any fair fights these days and just hate to lose a fight.
     
  18. LT1coupe

    LT1coupe Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    AZ
    I agree with wishin. At 50 years young, I'm in fair shape, but I have no idea how well I can take a hit. I'm not going to gamble away my advantage of being armed. If I've done my best to retreat & warned them my next option would be to draw, then fire if they are still coming. AZ recently changed it's brandishing law to being in fear of illegal contact.
    before it was in fear of your life. Being a pretty big guy was a legal disadvantage with the old law.
     
  19. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    Gaston County, NC
    Well by NC law, I had better truly believe myself to be in risk of serious physical harm or death AND be able to convince 12 other total strangers of that because in this type of case, I will be standing in front of them if I use deadly force.

    I like the idea of a loud verbal warning with the key points being "I feel I am at risk of serious harm or death.", "I do not wish to engage in any hostilities.", AND "I will use lethal force if you do not desist in causing serious harm or death to my person".

    Of course, the idea of potentially ending someones life being the last resort you had better be absolutely sure their intent crosses the line to allow you to use deadly force and if you are, you may already be too injured to use it anyway.
     
  20. Diggers

    Diggers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    890
    Laws differ from state to state. I believe in most states in order to use deadly force you must be faced with death or great bodily injury. (i.e. physical injury suffered by the victim of a violent crime that causes a substantial risk of death, extended loss or impairment of a body part or function, or permanent disfigurement
    physical injury that is more serious than that ordinarily suffered in a battery must be present. )

    Now GBI can be some what subjective buts its NOT a black eye and fat lip. Broken bones probably qualify.

    Prior to attack its pretty hard to articulate an unarmed person was going to cause GBI or death (even though its happened with one punch before) so that really puts you in a tough place.

    So much depends on what happens prior to attack. For example, is the guy large and screaming "I'm going to kill you!" ? That probably would make a difference in the eyes of the DA and or jury.

    BUT you never know, its a very subjective thing, and on top of that the DA most likely WILL have issue with an unarmed person getting shot, regardless of the situation, thus taking a VERY close look at you.

    SO do what LEO's do and carry different levels of force with you. Carry a can of Pepper Spray.

    This will do a couple things, first will give you an option that is less than deadly to hopefully get you out of a bad situation.

    Second, if you use the pepper spray and it does not work you can better justify the escalation of force to the deadly level.

    Look for pepper spray with 10% O.C. or more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  21. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,461
    Location:
    S/E Michigan
    I'm too old to run or fight-I had a guy come at me one day--he wanted money--he had no weapon.I pulled back my jacket & put my hand on my pistol. He backed away & left.
    Very very lucky for him...............
     
  22. wulfhart

    wulfhart Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Totally agree. If the assailant's goal is to beat the crap out of me and not cause permanent damage/death. Sure a boxing match would be fun.
    However how do I know that this attacker's intent is just a "well natured boxing match" with a complete stranger on the street?

    Basically, no just shooting a man for wanting to fight is unethical or even illegal, but if he continues to assault, even after warning and myself attempting to flee. If he is fully aware of my possession of a gun and that I am willing to use it and continues the assault. I am forced to believe that he wants to kill me. I have taken every step to flee and avoid conflict, but he continues to attack.

    Shooting would be my last resort. Assuming the following
    1. I don't believe I could best him physically.
    2. He pursues me despite my running and he can outrun me.
    3. He is aware I am armed and I have warned him that I will shoot if he persists
    OR
    1. He is attacking my wife/child
    2. I don't believe I could best him physically
    3. I have removed him physically from my family's vicinity and he persists in attacking them or me.

    Arresting is only an option if he doesn't flee before police arrive and he doesn't have me arrest first. My word vs his, past experiences tell me that there can be a crowd of people and nobody will be a witness.
    A law suit assumes he has money.
     
  23. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Boulder County, CO
    So... when deciding to accept your ass kicking, you are going to believe that either:
    1. someone who is willing to assault you for no good reason, whom you cannot fend off, will not able to successfully cause you grievous bodily harm (somebody else stops them? they just get bored?) OR,
    2. they don't actually intend to cause you grievous bodily harm, AND are sufficiently careful in administering their uncalled for beating that they will avoid accidentally causing any form of grievous bodily harm
    did I miss an alternative?

    I'm curious, which one do you think will be the more likely of the two?
     
  24. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    PA
    I didn't say I would accept an ass kicking. I said I would fight hard. The OP never stated you can't fend him off, the scenario assumes you can't avoid the fight and whether you would fight hand-to-hand or with a gun. I have no intention of not defending myself and I will do so aggressively.

    I have been in a few fist fights and I have witnessed several more and in none of them did I ever think someone was going to die or that there was a need for lethal force. As a matter of fact looking back on the ones I was in, I'm pretty sure I could have avoided them had I tried.

    I have managed to live on this earth for 40 years without needing to shoot someone, not because I wouldn't but because it has never been necessary. I don't go looking for an opportunity.
     
  25. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    Seattle, WA

    This is, of course, a popularly recurring debate to which I have contributed in the past.


    I am always amused by the folks who are willing - duty-bound even - to engage in a street fight rather than end the threat by whatever means available. They usually are certain that it would be illegal and/or immoral to use deadly force against a "merely" physical assault.

    They are equally certain a punch to the head is NOT potentailly lethal, and therefore does NOT justify a response with deadly force.

    One should always wait until they hear their own bones breaking before drawing a firearm - or risk serious legal repercussions.

    Those that believe these things should carefully consider that if they are willing to "mix it up" - until it doesn't go the way they expected - they will likely be considered a "mutual combatant."

    At that point - it WILL be illegal and/or immoral to use deadly force.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice