lordnitrox wrote:Knowing when to draw can be a complicated thing, which is only further compounded by the legality in each state regarding the display and use of force, and necessary/justifiable force...I got what i think is a good question from my friends today, and would like your input on it. The question i got was "how do you know when to draw?" At first i said "when you are in danger and deadly force is the only way to protect yourself."
Then i started to talk about it with them and got to the point where I came to the question "how do you know the danger?". lets say this is what is going on:
you are just getting out of your car and one person much bigger then you goes up to you and demands you give them your money/items. As far as you can tell he has no weapons, and is only useing threats. You look around and see that you can not run or escape very easy...what do you do?
the five of us (3 guys 2 women) thought about it and came up with the idea that it would be ok to draw and *maybe* fire if he draws a weapon of his own or does a very quick move as if grabbing for something. This is based on the fact you are alone and can not escape, and you are being put in a spot where he already said he would hurt you. if you are a woman, you have the worry of rape, so there is even more of a danger. I am not sure about the laws, however We felt that there was enough danger to justify action.
Quite a few states now have "stand your ground" type laws, where they throw out the duty of the citizen to retreat, so you cannot pursue the person if they retreat in most cases, but you do not have to run from them.
If someone comes up to you and starts swearing and yelling at you, pulling you firearm might not always be a good course of action, it all depends again, on the state codes for use of force, and when you are justified in using certain levels of force. For these reasons, I would always encourage someone to carry a LTL form of defense, preferably OC spray, less preferable would be a stun gun as you would have to get quite close to the attacker or person before you can use it. Even better would be a TASER, however I still prefer OC spray, as you can have many "shots" and if you miss once, you can "try again", with a TASER, you get one shot, unless of course you carry another cartridge, which in trying to reload could take your attention away from the current events unfolding...
Even having an LTL form of defense can help you after the fact, even if you didn't use that form of defense, at least in my opinion... Having a form of LTL defense shows that the form of defense you used was warranted and you felt it was the only effective course of action, and if you believed that LTL was necessary, you would have used it.
As far as your scenario goes, in some states, you could legally argue that you could shoot the man for such action based on verbal threats, and physical gestures, if you felt that you were about to be in danger, or that danger was imminent, however in some cases this may be hard to prove if there are no witnesses, and the person turns out to be unarmed. (LTL can come in helpful here, even if you didn't use it)
Most people will tell you do not draw unless you are ready to fire, and never put anything in front of the barrell that you are not willing to shoot.
In most cases it comes down to your preception of the threat, and then you act accordingly to the laws of the state you are in. To be prudent, you would always want to read the laws regarding the use of force in the state you reside/carry in.
I hope I didn't stray too far from the question here...