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Thread: What If

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    What if you were in some store and someone came in to rob the place at gunpoint? At what point do you think you'd actually fire at them? Immediately? After they fire first? Never -- unless in danger yourself?

    I know most people are conditioned to think like LEO have to act, ie, say "Halt, or I'll shoot" or something like that. The more knowledgable of us know that you are well within your rights, at least in VA, to defend yourself or others the moment a gun makes its presence known.

    But what really sticks out in my head is what my CCH instructor said. He said, "If I was in a store and it was being robbed at gunpoint, I wouldn't do anything. My life isn't in danger and it doesn't affect me if the store is held up. Unless, of course, the gun is turned on me." It might be too late at that point. It should be noted my CCH instructor was an ex-LOE.

    Anybody have any other thoughts? Experience?

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    That depends on the situation...

    a. If I am in close proximity to the situation, and there is a reason to believe that the perp may cause harm to those in the store, I will draw and fire, at the first opportunity, to stop the threat and end the situation.

    b. If I am far away from the situation, and it is not entirely clear to me what is occurring (can't hear what is being said, can't see a weapon, etc...), I will not take any action which might escalate the situation until it is clear to methat physical harm is intended by the perp.

    c. In either case, if I would not have a clear shot, or be able to safely confront the threat, I would not engage except to preserve my own well being.

    molonlabetn

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    This is a tough question that we have all asked ourselves more than once.



    None of us wants to have to take a human life ... and if we do have to do so, it should only be to protect life not property or money.

    Having said that, when a perp points a gun at a clerk or a customer, then that perp is threatening the life of that person and I believe that legally, you would be within your rights to act to protect their life.

    What would I personally do? It would be situational. If I felt the perp was going to take the money and leave, then I would take a stance that would allow me to react as quickly as possible and try to be as good a witness as I could be.

    If I felt he was irrational or on the verge of opening fire, then I would open fire immediately without playing by movie rules. He would get no verbal warning.

    By waiting to try to determine his motives, is it possible I could misread and get myself or someone else killed? Yes it is. However, I don't want to take a life if I don't have to. It is not a psychological scar that I wish to bear unless absolutely necessary.


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    All good points.

    The other thing that sticks in my mind from my CCH class is VA law stating that, even in cases of self defense, you are guilty of murder until you prove it was in self defense. It was explained to me that in order to claim self defense you automatically admit to murder and then have to back your way out of that corner.

    That always seemed to contradictory to the whole "innocent until proven" thing. Isn't it the state that must prove it wasn't sefl defense, not the other way around?

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    Confess to murder, by reason of self-defense?

    I don't know VA laws, but that gives me the willies! There is no way that I would ever intend or say I intended to kill someone, when self-defense is a reaction to a threat out of one's control! If the perp dies, that's a side-effect of the force that was required to stop him from harming me.

    A carry permit is not a 'license to kill'... It is an indication of responsibility taken upon ones-self. I don't decide to shoot somebody, I am forced into that position and react with state sanctioned force.

    molonlabetn

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    molonlabetn wrote:
    Confess to murder, by reason of self-defense?

    A carry permit is not a 'license to kill'... It is an indication of responsibility taken upon ones-self. I don't decide to shoot somebody, I am forced into that position and react with state sanctioned force.

    molonlabetn
    I think molonlabetn put it best. Intent is the key factor. Neutralization of the threat is the intent.

    ProguninTN

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    GlockMan wrote:
    The other thing that sticks in my mind from my CCH class is VA law stating that, even in cases of self defense, you are guilty of murder until you prove it was in self defense. It was explained to me that in order to claim self defense you automatically admit to murder and then have to back your way out of that corner.
    If you go to trial, then that is true.

    However, in most self-defense situations, the prosecutor or the grand jury can find that your actions were justified and you will never go to trial.

    If you are indicted and charged with murder or manslaughter, then self-defense is the only type of trial in the American judicial system where the burden of proof shifts to the defense.

    The reason is simple. You are accused of killing a human. You admit you killed the human. The prosecutor can now sit down and smile at your confession and your defense team has to get to work convincing the jury that it was justified.

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    Getting back to the original question, my actions would probably depend on the circumstance. If the BG is waving a deadly weapon such as a gun or a knife, I would try to shoot without warningas soon as I had a good opportunity. If the perp is armed with a less lethal weapon such as a baseball bat or justtheir fists, I would attempt to use my gun to hold them until LE arrived. At that point, if the BG made any further aggressive moves toward me, I think shooting would be justified. Bottom line, I don't want to ever see a thug run back out on to the street when I have the ability to ether put them in jail or in the ground.

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    This discussion is a good opportunity to ask a question that I have been mulling over: if you are in a situation such as a store robbery, and you are armed, are you legally obligated to protect others in the store? Is there a chance that if the robber were to kill the clerk, and you had the chance to prevent it from happening, that the clerk's family could sue you for some type of failure to act?

    What I'm getting at is, do you have some responsibility to actively protect others instead of following the "duty to retreat" course? -Opie

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    Opie wrote:
    This discussion is a good opportunity to ask a question that I have been mulling over: if you are in a situation such as a store robbery, and you are armed, are you legally obligated to protect others in the store? Is there a chance that if the robber were to kill the clerk, and you had the chance to prevent it from happening, that the clerk's family could sue you for some type of failure to act?

    What I'm getting at is, do you have some responsibility to actively protect others instead of following the "duty to retreat" course? -Opie
    That is a good question for which I don't have a great answer.

    Certainly civilians do not have the same obligation to protect the public safety that an officer of the law has. However, if you had the means to protect someone and didn't, could you be sued in a civil court for "Wrongful Death"?

    I am not sure. This sounds like a job for a law student. Mike

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    jpierce wrote:
    Opie wrote:
    This discussion is a good opportunity to ask a question that I have been mulling over: if you are in a situation such as a store robbery, and you are armed, are you legally obligated to protect others in the store? Is there a chance that if the robber were to kill the clerk, and you had the chance to prevent it from happening, that the clerk's family could sue you for some type of failure to act?

    What I'm getting at is, do you have some responsibility to actively protect others instead of following the "duty to retreat" course? -Opie
    That is a good question for which I don't have a great answer.

    Certainly civilians do not have the same obligation to protect the public safety that an officer of the law has. However, if you had the means to protect someone and didn't, could you be sued in a civil court for "Wrongful Death"?

    I am not sure. This sounds like a job for a law student. Mike
    Well, since the Supreme Court of the US upheld that even LEOs are only required to protect society in general, and are not responsible for the protection of individuals, I don't see any court having any grounds to findan armedprivate citizennegligent in such a case. Plus, they would have to know that you were carrying, wouldn't they? If I don't see fit to use my gun, they likely won't know that I had it.

    You have no 'duty to protect' in most states ( I think there was one or two states that had some kind of requirement for an armed-citizen to intervene... ). But, if a police officer requests your assistance, you must comply.

    molonlabetn

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    Opie, this is the way it was explained to me. You do NOT have a responsibility to defend anyone (this isn't Seinfeld!). Furthermore, I've also learned that LE aren't required to do so either. That's right, LE is not required to come to your aid. At least that's what I've heard from sound sources.

    Makes sense if you consider the number of lawsuits that would ensue against LEO's when something goes bad, or they didn't do what they "should" have done.

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    jpierce wrote:
    Opie wrote:
    This discussion is a good opportunity to ask a question that I have been mulling over: if you are in a situation such as a store robbery, and you are armed, are you legally obligated to protect others in the store? Is there a chance that if the robber were to kill the clerk, and you had the chance to prevent it from happening, that the clerk's family could sue you for some type of failure to act?

    What I'm getting at is, do you have some responsibility to actively protect others instead of following the "duty to retreat" course? -Opie
    That is a good question for which I don't have a great answer.

    Certainly civilians do not have the same obligation to protect the public safety that an officer of the law has. However, if you had the means to protect someone and didn't, could you be sued in a civil court for "Wrongful Death"?

    I am not sure. This sounds like a job for a law student. Mike
    Remember Mr. Pierce, the courts have said that LE does not have anobligation to protect us either. That leaves us to take care of ourselves.

    And Opie, if anyone tried to sue you for not protecting them or their family members, you could try a counter suit for them failing to properlyprotect themselves and you. Either way, I don't think it would get very far in the courts.

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    I agree that there is no legal obligation to protect others, however I believe some states have statutes or case law allowing protection of others or certain others(family) at times. Generally if you could use force to defend yourself if you were in the victims situation you could defend the victim.
    As to the hypothetical situation I would hold back use of force on the likelihood that the criminal will take the money and run. Because I am not going to expose myself to any liability or legal consequences. I am not going to defend 7-11s $20 and then get sued later because I doubt 7-11 will chip in the legal fees. This is not to say I would not help if a life was at stake but until we have the same 'good samaritan' shield laws for use of force I am hesitant to use force for lesser crimes.

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    longwatch wrote:
    I agree that there is no legal obligation to protect others, however I believe some states have statutes or case law allowing protection of others or certain others(family) at times. Generally if you could use force to defend yourself if you were in the victims situation you could defend the victim.
    As to the hypothetical situation I would hold back use of force on the likelihood that the criminal will take the money and run. Because I am not going to expose myself to any liability or legal consequences. I am not going to defend 7-11s $20 and then get sued later because I doubt 7-11 will chip in the legal fees. This is not to say I would not help if a life was at stake but until we have the same 'good samaritan' shield laws for use of force I am hesitant to use force for lesser crimes.
    I don't remeber to what exstent the law covers you, but I believein theVirginia Code there is a referance to "good samaritan" defence.

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    Please, please don't turn this excellent site into another PDO. These "what if" scenarios are of little value. They invariably become too specific and numerous. If you don't know what the general principles of carrying are then you need more training. Eventually these scenarios attract the "Walter Mitty" types that use packing fantasy as a substitute for real life. The racists and skinheads won't be far behind.

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    i'm sorry, i haven't been on this site for very long but there's one thing i keep seeing coming up in a lot of these topics, and that is PDO. not to change the subject of this topic or anything, but could someone please tell me real quick what exactly that is? thanks.

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    darrel_h wrote:
    i'm sorry, i haven't been on this site for very long but there's one thing i keep seeing coming up in a lot of these topics, and that is PDO. not to change the subject of this topic or anything, but could someone please tell me real quick what exactly that is? thanks.
    PDO is short for Packing.Org. It is a website that catalogs concealed carry the way we attempt to catalog open carry.

    It has been one of the premier sites for those who carry for years. Recently, the forums there have suffered because of the lack of moderation and attacks from a small number of users. This has been referenced in a number of posts here. However, it is still a great resource for state level concealed carry info.

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    apjonas wrote:
    Please, please don't turn this excellent site into another PDO. These "what if" scenarios are of little value. They invariably become too specific and numerous. If you don't know what the general principles of carrying are then you need more training. Eventually these scenarios attract the "Walter Mitty" types that use packing fantasy as a substitute for real life. The racists and skinheads won't be far behind.
    I agree that there are those who might fall into that category, but I think there are some positive aspects to "what-if" scenarios if used correctly.

    For example, in another thread there is a story about a man in Michigan who shot an unarmed streaker who was running away from him. If that man (who is in deep legal trouble) had been exposed to some of the knowledge held by the fine posters we have here, perhaps he would have known better than to do such a stupid thing.

    You mention that "If you don't know what the general principles of carrying are then you need more training."I bet that some people consider this forum, and others like it, to be a form of training. I know that I personally have learned a LOT about proper carrying from other forum participation down through the years.

    Just my thoughts. I want this forum to be a place where everyone who truly is pro-gun and pro-self-defense to be able to discuss any topic. Racists and skinheads need not apply. I AM ACTIVELY moderating this board and I will not tolerate any attacks on someone based upon Race, Religion, or Sexual Orientation.

    However, attacking someone for being anti-gun is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done without being vulgar.

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    ok, i am very familiar with PDO then, i just wasn't aware of the acronym. makes sense. PDO is definitely a very good website, i don't think i've really gone into the forums on there though so i wouldn't know much about that. thanks for the heads up.

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    I agree with jpierce that what-if scenarios can be a form of training. And that was certainly my intention on creating this one.

    There are certainly grey areas with regard to actually using your weapon. The more we explore those areas the more we can be sure what is the correct action, through others experience on knowledge of the laws. That way, if we are ever in that situation we will react definitively (sp?) instead of hesitating which may cost lives.

    That being said, I understand your point in that some discussions can get way off base. Hopefully, with both sides of the issue in mind we can keep the discussions here interesting and meaningful.

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    jpierce wrote:
    . . . skinheads need not apply.

    Can we please refrain from using such terms? The contextual use of the word may be misinterpreted by some, thereby greatly harming their sense of self-worth.

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    VApatriot wrote:
    jpierce wrote:
    . . . skinheads need not apply.

    Can we please refrain from using such terms? The contextual use of the word may be misinterpreted by some, thereby greatly harming their sense of self-worth.
    i'm not positive whether this was meant to be sarcastic or not, but to expand on this, most "skinheads" are not racist at all. i have had many friends of the "skinhead" persuasion and most were as far from racist as you could come. it is like any other sub-culture out there, the few bad ones give the entire group a bad name.please rest assured that many are not, and the ones that are are pretty discernable. that's all. thank you.

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    darrel_h wrote:
    VApatriot wrote:
    jpierce wrote:
    . . . skinheads need not apply.

    Can we please refrain from using such terms? The contextual use of the word may be misinterpreted by some, thereby greatly harming their sense of self-worth.
    i'm not positive whether this was meant to be sarcastic or not, but to expand on this, most "skinheads" are not racist at all. i have had many friends of the "skinhead" persuasion and most were as far from racist as you could come. it is like any other sub-culture out there, the few bad ones give the entire group a bad name.please rest assured that many are not, and the ones that are are pretty discernable. that's all. thank you.
    I go high and tight. Several of my long haired friends often refer to me as "Skinhead."

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    it's all good, i skinned my head for years. just trying to let people out there know that there is a difference between a neo-skin and a traditional skin. i get it a lot when i shave it now, especially because i'm covered in tattoos too, so i know how it feels, i guess that's why i'm trying to educate.

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