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Thread: Self Defense Scenario Question

  1. #1
    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Self Defense Scenario Question

    Here is the scenario:

    It is late at night and you have to go to the ATM (this actually happens to me a lot because of my job). As you are finishing your transaction, a man starts walking toward you, saying "Hey I need to ask you something." You say, "I don't want to talk," but the man continues walking toward you. You tell him in a firm, clear, and loud voice to stop. He continues to slowly make his way toward you while going on about how he needs to talk to you. You pull your gun and again order him to stop. Assuming the guy isn't stupid, he runs away.

    What do you do now? (Also, what if this situation occurs in broad daylight, in a shopping center with people around? The last thing I want is to either shoot someone who is just stupid or wants to sell his product, and I also don't want to look like the BG if I do have to engage.)

    or B) he IS stupid and continues his approach, and you shoot him.

    What do you do then?

    I know the basics of what to do after a defensive shooting. I am more concerned with what to do if you DON'T pull the trigger.

    If anyone is interested, on YouTube there is a series call "First Person Defender", and that is what got me thinking about this.
    Last edited by Esanders2008; 08-15-2013 at 04:11 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    You run like hell, all the while hoping the ATM security camera did not catch your face as you committed attempted murder, and that he does not tell the cops to check the ATM records to find out who used it just before that person shot him. (Might try claiming you gave some bum permission to use your card and are waiting for him to bring the card back to you. Probably won't work, but you can try.)

    The guy is advancing towards you, circling - which means he is probably trying to cut off a line of withdrawal (I hate calling it a "line of retreat"). All he has done so far is speak to you - and none of the words he used would meet any definition of a threat, let alone a threat of violence or the proverbial threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    Tell him stop in that "firm, clear voice." Make the universal "stop" hand gesture. Possibly say something about not wanting to hurt him if he does not stop - but there is some risk in making threatening statements.

    He is slowly advancing towards you, which means he has not yet cut off your line of withdrawal - so get off the "X" and start withdrawing. Be sure to look around as much as you can to prevent yourself from being blindsided by some possible partner. While you are withdrawing, figure out where places of safety might be - solid obstacles you might put between yourself and the advancing man. Watch out for corners, and for places with deep shadows, and stay away from them.

    Then, after following this advice either completely or partly, explain why the %#$* you want to shoot someone.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    You run like hell, all the while hoping the ATM security camera did not catch your face as you committed attempted murder, and that he does not tell the cops to check the ATM records to find out who used it just before that person shot him. (Might try claiming you gave some bum permission to use your card and are waiting for him to bring the card back to you. Probably won't work, but you can try.)

    The guy is advancing towards you, circling - which means he is probably trying to cut off a line of withdrawal (I hate calling it a "line of retreat"). All he has done so far is speak to you - and none of the words he used would meet any definition of a threat, let alone a threat of violence or the proverbial threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    Tell him stop in that "firm, clear voice." Make the universal "stop" hand gesture. Possibly say something about not wanting to hurt him if he does not stop - but there is some risk in making threatening statements.

    He is slowly advancing towards you, which means he has not yet cut off your line of withdrawal - so get off the "X" and start withdrawing. Be sure to look around as much as you can to prevent yourself from being blindsided by some possible partner. While you are withdrawing, figure out where places of safety might be - solid obstacles you might put between yourself and the advancing man. Watch out for corners, and for places with deep shadows, and stay away from them.

    Then, after following this advice either completely or partly, explain why the %#$* you want to shoot someone.

    stay safe.
    Yep!

    Eddy, despite some of the advice you get here and the extremely poor advice by gun writers...walking up to someone isn't illegal. Brandishing and or shooting without cause is.

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    The road to Hell is paved with stones of what-if.

    My plan is to not draw until it's time to shoot, and then in one smooth motion, that I have practiced many more than a thousand times, draw, aim COM fire Double Action, aim COM fire Single Action, decock, ... and the shooter's world turns to brown.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Self Defense Scenario Question

    I thought the scenario as presented seemed a little fishy. I will post a link when I get off work tonight. The scenario they showed was different, as it took place on a trail, not at an ATM.
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    Re-deposit the money? After all, he ran away .. its an option ..

    And then do the cycle over and over and over ..
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 08-15-2013 at 06:43 PM.

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    Regular Member half_life1052's Avatar
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    Maybe it is simpler than that

    What would you do if you didn't have the gun? Put him at your 3 or 9 o'clock and try to circle away from him? If he moves to intercept make a break for it? Only when trapped would you escalate?

    The bottom line is the gun doesn't change the equation as to when to escalate levels of force. A very old korean man once taught me that the best defense was "don't be there". He was a very interesting teacher.

  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I have heard of an ol' timer, that would reach to the small of his back with non-dominate hand (where there was no gun) and in a commanding voice say, "Don't come any closer - back off!" Think he was a bit of a country boy
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  9. #9
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    Social people, decent people, do not want to alarm others. If you were approaching someone, say to ask directions or something, and they commanded you to "Stop! Leave me alone! Do not approach any closer!", would you continue walking toward them? You might be surprised. You might be perplexed. But, you would stop, not because it was commanded, but simply because you could tell you had caused an unpleasant reaction for the other person.

    Anybody who continues to approach after those commands clearly intends something against your interests, especially after dark. And, super-especially if you're at an ATM or just walked away from it.

    Regarding drawing your gun or reaching behind your back, possibly creating legal jeopardy--sometimes life just hands you tough choices and you have to work with what you have.

    One thought does occur to me. You could clearly announce your intention to defend yourself without mentioning a weapon.

    Also, I'm a big fan of "show me your hands."

    I've used the "stop! don't approach me" command three times in the last, oh, four or five years. On one occasion, the fella approaching took his hands out of his pockets just as I was about to give the stop command. So, I gave the stop command, and omitted demanding to see his hands because although after dark there was enough light to see his hands were empty.

    At some point, you have to decide whether to draw and come to ready. If the guy kept coming and wouldn't show his hands, and I was cornered or couldn't retreat, I'd probably unsnap the retention and have a hand on the holstered gun as he crossed that 21' line. Continuing to command stop, leave me alone, show me your hands at the top of my voice so every witness within half a mile could hear it.

    And, after it was over, I'd be sure I was the first to call the police and report an attempted robbery. Its a tough choice--risk admitting that I brandished defensively, or let him report me for brandishing offensively.

    No easy choice here.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Social people, decent people, do not want to alarm others. If you were approaching someone, say to ask directions or something, and they commanded you to "Stop! Leave me alone! Do not approach any closer!", would you continue walking toward them? You might be surprised. You might be perplexed. But, you would stop, not because it was commanded, but simply because you could tell you had caused an unpleasant reaction for the other person.

    Anybody who continues to approach after those commands clearly intends something against your interests, especially after dark. And, super-especially if you're at an ATM or just walked away from it.

    Regarding drawing your gun or reaching behind your back, possibly creating legal jeopardy--sometimes life just hands you tough choices and you have to work with what you have.

    One thought does occur to me. You could clearly announce your intention to defend yourself without mentioning a weapon.

    Also, I'm a big fan of "show me your hands."

    I've used the "stop! don't approach me" command three times in the last, oh, four or five years. On one occasion, the fella approaching took his hands out of his pockets just as I was about to give the stop command. So, I gave the stop command, and omitted demanding to see his hands because although after dark there was enough light to see his hands were empty.

    At some point, you have to decide whether to draw and come to ready. If the guy kept coming and wouldn't show his hands, and I was cornered or couldn't retreat, I'd probably unsnap the retention and have a hand on the holstered gun as he crossed that 21' line. Continuing to command stop, leave me alone, show me your hands at the top of my voice so every witness within half a mile could hear it.

    And, after it was over, I'd be sure I was the first to call the police and report an attempted robbery. Its a tough choice--risk admitting that I brandished defensively, or let him report me for brandishing offensively.

    No easy choice here.
    I think this is the best articulated response yet.

    And, as promised, here is the link to the video in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbnSTW7Ar44
    ...To make my bullets go faster!

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esanders2008 View Post
    --snipped--

    And, as promised, here is the link to the video in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbnSTW7Ar44
    Think the first mistake that the "victim" made was not moving out of the line of attack - held his ground.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Think the first mistake that the "victim" made was not moving out of the line of attack - held his ground.
    are you referring to the first or second scenario?
    ...To make my bullets go faster!

  13. #13
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Think the first mistake that the "victim" made was not moving out of the line of attack - held his ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Esanders2008 View Post
    are you referring to the first or second scenario?
    The only one I saw on the link was the knife attack.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Esanders2008's Avatar
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    Self Defense Scenario Question

    At the end of each video, they do a "redo" of the scene, where they change a few details
    ...To make my bullets go faster!

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    In this day why anyone would use a walk up atm that isn't inside a business etc...is beyond me.


    When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
    Having a less than lethal option gives you options.


    Broken jaw takes 3-4 weeks to heal , ego 3-4 days, taking a life is forever... hit cancel on the atm and walk cautiously away, all the while making sure you speak loud and clear enough for the agggressor and your dvr to hear your commands of stay away etc.....
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esanders2008 View Post
    ....

    And, as promised, here is the link to the video in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbnSTW7Ar44
    re: guy walking down a trail in the woods -

    The trainee said he saw the guy approaching him had a knife in his hand, but did not respond to that threat until the attack was actually launched. Knife in hand = imminent threat.

    Yes, the Teuller "Drill" says at 21 feet the BG can be on you before you can draw and shoot. But the imminent threat exists out past 21 feet - that distance is just the point at which you are more than likely going to walk away very hurt, if you can walk away at all.

    While the Code of Virginia does not provide for the defensive display of a handgun as a defense to anything, a case might be made that overcomes the misapprehension that any "threat" outside the magic 21-foot circle is not imminent and is not deadly. Even going with some situation where a security camera is present and records your first defensive move starting while the aggressor is more than 21 feet away, the deadly nature of the threat can be established.

    21 feet is too close. 50 yards away is obviously too far. 50 feet might be reasonable, depending on a host of variables.

    But getting back to the video - the trainee did nothing until the attack was launched, even though the video narrative says he was aware of the threat before the BG was on top of him.

    Keeping everybody outside a 50-foot circle probably will not work in downtown Norfolk, even if you see the person has something thatb is/could be a weapon. But it would have been easy-peasy out on that trail.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    What is the legal size of your personal bubble in VA? Once "they" pierce your bubble drop them like a bad habit?

    Seriously, I would have looked at the dude and said "Hey, ya got 20 bucks, I need some gas to get to work, first day on the job, and the ATM says I'm a little short this week."

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    What is the legal size of your personal bubble in VA? Once "they" pierce your bubble drop them like a bad habit?

    Seriously, I would have looked at the dude and said "Hey, ya got 20 bucks, I need some gas to get to work, first day on the job, and the ATM says I'm a little short this week."
    My personal bubble? Or some theoretical personal bubble as defined by statute or case law? Mine flexes depending on a whole lot of thinjgs. I don't think trying to create anything from case law would be worth the time, effort, and cost.

    Interrupting the other guy's OODA loop (go look it up) is a good tactic.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  19. #19
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I will reiterate.

    What is the legal size of your personal bubble in VA? [for the ocularly challenged]

  20. #20
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I will reiterate.

    What is the legal size of your personal bubble in VA? [for the ocularly challenged]
    Being situational, being subject to personal preferences and experiences, and given that there is no legal definition, the question is impossible to answer.

    Speaking non-legally (since there is no legal definition), the personal bubble will vary based on where I am, who I am with, how I am armed, who else is around me and what those others are doing.

    The 21-foot "bubble" scenario is often quoted as the minimum self-defense distance, but we often find ourselves among others that are closer to us than 21 feet, where situational awareness must be heightened. In other situations, that minimum distance must expand based on a good OODA loop analysis.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    Here in Fly Over Country, my personal bubble is pierced when I get touched, unwantingly that is. Until then I am compelled by my law abidingness to wait and watch for obvious signs of imminent physical harm that would very likely justify my use of lethal force to prevent my personal bubble from being pierced. VA may be different than MO.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    It's amazing the constraints that a LAC is under in a SD situation. We can't fire a warning shot, we dare not brandish, we dare not even say 'I haz a gun' (unless we don't have one), and we have to retreat, we dare not shoot an unarmed person even if they are a giant athletic type and we are a small person, and in the end we have to prove to a jury that we were, indeed, in fear for our lives. Even with that, a small female who accidentally discharges her firearm at an abusive spouse has the spouse testify against her and she faces a 15 year prison term.

    However, LEOs can shoot a small female with a paring knife 5 times, can shoot an elderly person in his driveway 15 times, can taser a 14 yo child to death, can taser a 95 yo disabled elderly person to death and nothing at all happens to them.

    I ask you who are the real danger to our lives and well being? It's not the typical bad guy on the street.

    IMO a typical LEO probably breaks the law, be it constitutional or other ordinance (such as traffic laws) more times in a day than I do in a lifetime.
    Last edited by Maverick9; 08-16-2013 at 11:43 AM.

  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Thanks.

    Here in Fly Over Country, my personal bubble is pierced when I get touched, unwantingly that is. Until then I am compelled by my law abidingness to wait and watch for obvious signs of imminent physical harm that would very likely justify my use of lethal force to prevent my personal bubble from being pierced. VA may be different than MO.
    I'm willing to yank you chain in response for you trying to yank my chain.

    Does your response (above) mean that if you clearly see the presence of a weapon, displayed in an offensive manner, by someone approaching you either on a direct path or in a manner reasonably interpreted as being designed to cut off your avenue of withdrawal, that you will not/do not interpret those actions as part of an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury? In otrher words, are you saying that any such threat must reach the point of being carried into action resulting in contact by a weapon before you are justified (personal decision or case law ininterpretation) in using lethal force to defend yourself?

    What you wrote actually seems to be two contradictatory statements. 1 - That you must first be touched inpermissively; and 2 - that the identification of an imminent threat is sufficient.

    I may be blind in both ears and deaf in one eye, but what's left of my mind is as sharp as the proverbial tack. Printing back at me in enlareged type will not change the fact that the explanation of what you seem to have been seeking was already supplied. But, just for the heck of reading my own words once again: there is no hard and fast rule in either Virginia statutory/case law or in my personal interpretation as a resident of Virginia of what one specific situation poses in the way of a threat - imminent or otherwise.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    The road to Hell is paved with stones of what-if.

    My plan is to not draw until it's time to shoot, and then in one smooth motion, that I have practiced many more than a thousand times, draw, aim COM fire Double Action, aim COM fire Single Action, decock, ... and the shooter's world turns to brown.
    I think you might want to consider that last step. If you train to fire two shots in that sort of situation, you'll fire two shots. Two shots might not be enough to end the threat, or they may be more than is necessary to do so.

  25. #25
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    As I understand it, the short answer to this is that you should draw your weapon only when you are legally able and morally compelled to do so. That means you must be facing an imminent risk to life.

    Imminent is not the same as immediately. To put it another way - if you drew now and shot the guy, would you be able to stand in front of God and a courtroom and honestly say that you felt that you had no other viable option?

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