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Thread: 'The imminent threat of...' vs 'The threat of imminent...'

  1. #1
    Regular Member Lafayette's Avatar
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    'The imminent threat of...' vs 'The threat of imminent...'

    Okay, in another thread that I now can't seem to find, there was the discussion as to whether or not there was a difference between the "The imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death" and "The threat of imminent of grievous bodily harm or death".

    In that thread, several people posted all kinds of 'evidence' stating that there was a difference between the two, scolding me for using one and not the other and since then I've researched it and spoken to people of knowledge on the subject and they can't see a real difference between the two either.

    The two are very much interchangeable with no significant difference and before making such posts claiming there is a difference you should really consider whether or not you are helping the self defense community or harming it by causing unnecessary confusion.

    Perhaps I should be following the advice of others not to even waste my time trying to correct this issue but given the fact that there can be real world ramifications with such confusion I thought it would be irresponsible not to.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/fed.../case.html#466 - note the order of the words:

    Held that if W. believed and had reasonable ground for the belief that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm from....
    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/2193992.pdf - note the order of the words:

    And if they believed from the evidence that this was true, and that the killing was under reasonable apprehension of imminent peril....
    Kevin Harris v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (2001 Unpublished)

    "Justifiable homicide in self-defense occurs [when] a person, without any fault on his part in provoking or bringing on the difficulty, kills another under reasonable apprehension of (N.B. thhat would be an imminant threat) death or great bodily harm to himself. "Smith, 17 Va. App. at 71, 435 S.E.2d at 416 (citations omitted).
    Case law speaks of the imminent threat. It does not interchange that with the threat of imminent. You may also want to review basic grammar regarding the placement of adjectives and the determination of that which they refer to.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/adjectives.htm

    Unlike Adverbs, which often seem capable of popping up almost anywhere in a sentence, adjectives nearly always appear immediately before the noun or noun phrase that they modify. Sometimes they appear in a string of adjectives, and when they do, they appear in a set order according to category. (See Below.) When indefinite pronouns such as something, someone, anybody are modified by an adjective, the adjective comes after the pronoun:

    Anyone capable of doing something horrible to someone nice should be punished.
    Something wicked this way comes.
    http://www.edufind.com/english-gramm...tives-english/

    Adjectives in English usually appear in front of the noun that they modify.
    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1010071.pdf

    "There must [also] be some overt act indicative of imminent danger at the time." Vlastaris v. Commonwealth, 164 Va. 647, 652, 178 S.E. 775, 776 (1935). See also Yarborough v. Commonwealth, 217 Va. 971, 975, 234 S.E.2d 286, 290 (1977); Mercer v. Commonwealth, 150 Va. 588, 597, 142 S.E. 369, 371 (1928). In other words, a defendant "must wait till some overt act is done[,] . . . till the danger becomes imminent." Vlastaris, 164 Va. at 652, 178 S.E. at 777. In the context of a self-defense plea, "imminent danger" is defined as "[a]n immediate, real threat to one's safety . . . ." Black's Law Dictionary 399 (7th ed. 1999). "There must be . . . some act menacing present peril . . . [and] [t]he act . . . must be of such a character as to afford a reasonable ground for believing there is a design . . . to do some serious bodily harm, and imminent danger of carrying such design into immediate execution." Byrd v. Commonwealth, 89 Va. 536, 539, 16 S.E. 727, 729 (1893).
    None of this is going to change your mind, but waiting for a threat of imminent death or great bodily injury will get you dead or hurt greatly a lot faster than dealing with an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury.

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

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    In my mind, the difference is this:

    "The imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death" - an attack that is coming at you right now and which will, with almost absolute certainty, cause death or serious bodily harm


    "The threat of imminent of grievous bodily harm or death". - A situation whereby someone is in a position to deliver death or serious bodily injury, but has not yet performed the physical act necessary to deliver that action.

    That's my .02, off the top of my head.
    James Reynolds

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  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    In my mind, the difference is this:

    "The imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death" - an attack that is coming at you right now and which will, with almost absolute certainty, cause death or serious bodily harm


    "The threat of imminent of grievous bodily harm or death or grevious bodily harm". - A situation whereby someone is in a position to deliver death or serious bodily injury, but has not yet performed the physical act necessary to deliver that action.

    That's my .02, off the top of my head.
    Fixed it for you. Take a deep breath and relax. While Lafayette is fun to play with, he's not worth a stroke.

    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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  5. #5
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
    Okay, in another thread that I now can't seem to find, there was the discussion as to whether or not there was a difference between the "The imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death" and "The threat of imminent of grievous bodily harm or death".

    In that thread, several people posted all kinds of 'evidence' stating that there was a difference between the two, scolding me for using one and not the other and since then I've researched it and spoken to people of knowledge on the subject and they can't see a real difference between the two either.

    The two are very much interchangeable with no significant difference and before making such posts claiming there is a difference you should really consider whether or not you are helping the self defense community or harming it by causing unnecessary confusion.

    Perhaps I should be following the advice of others not to even waste my time trying to correct this issue but given the fact that there can be real world ramifications with such confusion I thought it would be irresponsible not to.
    interestingly, in an effort to discern some type of background to get a tone and tenor of your previous conversation(s) held on the subject so i could provide an adequate framed response to your OP, i was unable to find any posts in your 62 or so posts on this forum which lend credence to your statement(s) above.

    therefore, since i can't determine how the conversation was going, and believe skid adequately answered your point...i shall just sit and ponder why you stated you were engaged in a previous conversation here on the subject.

    ipse
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  6. #6
    Regular Member Lafayette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    interestingly, in an effort to discern some type of background to get a tone and tenor of your previous conversation(s) held on the subject so i could provide an adequate framed response to your OP, i was unable to find any posts in your 62 or so posts on this forum which lend credence to your statement(s) above.

    therefore, since i can't determine how the conversation was going, and believe skid adequately answered your point...i shall just sit and ponder why you stated you were engaged in a previous conversation here on the subject.

    ipse
    I think the thread was deleted. Not sure what happened to it. I think it was in the Joe thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    In my mind, the difference is this:

    "The imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death" - an attack that is coming at you right now and which will, with almost absolute certainty, cause death or serious bodily harm


    "The threat of imminent of grievous bodily harm or death". - A situation whereby someone is in a position to deliver death or serious bodily injury, but has not yet performed the physical act necessary to deliver that action.

    That's my .02, off the top of my head.
    The crucial difference being an imminent threat of harm and a threat to imminently cause harm.

    Bottom line: AOJ applies. Ability. Opportunity. Jeopardy. I can verbally threaten to attack you just a moment from now (threat of imminent harm), or I can provide you with all the indicators of imminent harm by actually beginning an attack on you.

    Don't get too wrapped up on the word imminent, Lafe. Step back and take a look at what its doing. If it was not in there, any threat of grave injury or death, verbal, or even by mail, would justify lethal force. The point of is to qualify the threat to the right-here-and-right-now. Not next week. Not last week. Now!

    Also, consider why the word "threat" is used. If the word "threat" wasn't in there, the law would require you wait until you've actually been stabbed or shot before being able to legally respond with lethal force.
    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?

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  8. #8
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Take a deep breath and relax. While Lafayette is fun to play with, he's not worth a stroke.

    stay safe.
    Just trying to be helpful.....I'll stop that now.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    Just trying to be helpful.....I'll stop that now.
    Your help is always appreciated. Please keep it up. Just don't want to let your fingers get ahead of you.

    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

  10. #10
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    One of our most esteemed members wrote the following three sentences which I have saved due to their significance in our state. I deem them all that is required for this most important topic.


    "If you hold a good faith belief, based upon objective facts, that you are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm, or worse, you may use whatever force is needed, up to and including deadly force, to repel the attack."

    "If you have a reasonably held good faith belief, based on objective fact, that you or another innocent person is faced with the imminent threat of serious bodily injury, then you are authorized to use such force as is reasonably necessary, up to and including deadly force, to stop the threat."

    "If a person reasonably believes, based on objective fact, that he or another innocent person, is faced with the imminent threat of serious bodily injury, then he may use whatever force he believes is reasonably necessary, up to and including deadly force, to stop that threat."
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Is this thread ready for the dead horse emoticon?

    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

  12. #12
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    BUT WAIT!!! There's MORE!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Is this thread ready for the dead horse emoticon?

    stay safe.
    Forget all that legal mumbo jumbo - is the dude like, really going to hurt you bad, like, right now? That's what it means. Also, you don't have to be faced with "serious" or "grievious" bodily injury before you're entitled to defend yourself. As I've said before, "If you have a reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact, that you or another innocent person is faced with the imminent threat of serious bodily injury, then you may use whatever degree of force is reasonably necessary under the circumstances, up to and including deadly force, to quell that threat." It doesn't really require the threat of serious bodily injury unless your means of defense also involves serious bodily injury. If someone is about to punch you in the nose, you can punch him first. Or block the punch and use O-soto-gari or koshi-garuma as appropriate.
    Last edited by user; 08-06-2015 at 01:44 PM.
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    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  13. #13
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Forget all that legal mumbo jumbo - is the dude like, really going to hurt you bad, like, right now? That's what it means. Also, you don't have to be faced with "serious" or "grievious" bodily injury before you're entitled to defend yourself. As I've said before, "If you have a reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact, that you or another innocent person is faced with the imminent threat of serious bodily injury, then you may use whatever degree of force is reasonably necessary under the circumstances, up to and including deadly force, to quell that threat." It doesn't really require the threat of serious bodily injury unless your means of defense also involves serious bodily injury. If someone is about to punch you in the nose, you can punch him first. Or block the punch and use O-soto-gari or koshi-garuma as appropriate.
    Mornin'. I take it you recognized the quotes I posted.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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