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Thread: a talk with friends

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    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.

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    lordnitrox wrote:
    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.
    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...

    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...


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    Good discussion.

    I agree with openryan that a non-lethal form of defense might be appropriate. However, I'm sure someone could still be charged with assault for using it if it wasn't warranted.

    The fact that the person is attempting to get valuables in a threatening manner might be enough to warrant use of OC spray. However, if a person approaches you while you are obviously open carrying, they either have a screw loose, or are unafraid of your weapon.

    In either case I would - at the minimum- place my hand on my weapon and free any retention devices (such as thumb straps), take a defensive stance, and verbally warn him "Leave me alone, or I will shoot!"

    There. He's been warned. If my verbal description of what will happen doesn't make him turn tail, I will draw and show him exactly what "Leave me alone, or I will shoot" means.

    Of course, this is all hypothetical, and it is hard telling what a person will do when confronted with a real situation.

    I'm a firm believer that mental preparation can't be a bad thing. I think discussing scenarios such as this are an ideal "mental practice session". So keep the scenarios rolling, lordnitrox.

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    Superlite27 wrote:
    Good discussion.

    I agree with openryan that a non-lethal form of defense might be appropriate. However, I'm sure someone could still be charged with assault for using it if it wasn't warranted.

    The fact that the person is attempting to get valuables in a threatening manner might be enough to warrant use of OC spray. However, if a person approaches you while you are obviously open carrying, they either have a screw loose, or are unafraid of your weapon.

    In either case I would - at the minimum- place my hand on my weapon and free any retention devices (such as thumb straps), take a defensive stance, and verbally warn him "Leave me alone, or I will shoot!"

    There. He's been warned. If my verbal description of what will happen doesn't make him turn tail, I will draw and show him exactly what "Leave me alone, or I will shoot" means.

    Of course, this is all hypothetical, and it is hard telling what a person will do when confronted with a real situation.

    I'm a firm believer that mental preparation can't be a bad thing. I think discussing scenarios such as this are an ideal "mental practice session". So keep the scenarios rolling, lordnitrox.
    You could be charged with assault for OC spray, depending on the situation. It again all comes down to your perception of the danger, or what a reasonable person would consider dangerous, and the amount of justifiable force to eliminate the threat.

    The problem I see with pulling a gun, against someone who has only verbally demanded such things, is that while it may be legal, they may turn out to be unarmed, and if their are no witnesses, can look unfavorably upon you after the fact. Secondly, if you pull the gun first, and you level it on them, and verbally tell them stop, or I'll shoot, you better be damn well ready to shoot them, as at this point their are probably not too far away from you, and there isn't any going back. Of course if it got to that point, and they still come at you while holding a gun, they may deserve to be shot depending on their actions.

    If you reasonably believe you have the time, and the distance, and can safely use LTL first, its not a bad option. Also if you are using OC spray, I would recommend one that has UV marker dye.

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    I recommend drawing only when you would be justified in using deadly force (see your local use of force statutes). Pistols, like your weiner, should only be taken out if you are prepared to use them.

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    lordnitrox wrote:
    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?
    I typically carry less than $40 in a cheap (less than $10 and I bought it 15 years ago) money clip in my weakside pocket. My other cash is carried otherwise. The above described scenario is EXACTLY the reason I bought a cheap money clip in the first place:

    In the proposed scenario I would take the money clip out of my weakside pocket, show it to the bad guy and then toss it away from us. With a casual flick of the wrist it easily sails about 10-15 feet. Now, if the BG just wants some quick cash he can go over, pick up the money clip and run away. If he has other more deadly things on his mind he will not go pick it up in which case I can tell a jury that I gave up my money and tried to get away. If he goes and picks it up and turns to come back towards me he will be facing the barrel of my gun because now he has shown that he has intentions beyond a quick robbery.

    If he does go after the money clip and that distraction allows me to get away safely with no use or threat of deadly force, the loss of the cash and money clip were insignificant in the bigger picture.

    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    That's a pretty difficult question. It depends on a lot of variables.

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    lordnitrox wrote:
    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?


    If you are being mugged, or an attempt is being against your person, there is a good chance this individual will find and take your firearm. If such happens then you are really in a bingo situation.

    If possible, I would put moderate distance between me and the attackerand draw my firearm, announcing that I'm armed and for the attacker to back off. Any advance on me after that announcement results in me shooting them until the situation is stopped and controled.

    Then call the police to advise a mugger has been shot and give your location.

    Then shut the hell up and don't speak to anybody until you speak with a lawyer.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when you’re serious and when you’re being sarcastic. –Abraham Lincoln

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    A person can be killed or permanently disabled by one punch, it’s well documented. If I were on a jury I would believe the shooter acted properly.

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    Mainsail wrote:
    A person can be killed or permanently disabled by one punch, it’s well documented. If I were on a jury I would believe the shooter acted properly.
    Unfortunately you and me and others like us are not usually on juries. I have been called once to jury duty in 15 years. Most of those I talk to are mainly concerned with how to get *out* of jury duty when they are called.

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    deepdiver wrote:
    lordnitrox wrote:
    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?
    I typically carry less than $40 in a cheap (less than $10 and I bought it 15 years ago) money clip in my weakside pocket. My other cash is carried otherwise. The above described scenario is EXACTLY the reason I bought a cheap money clip in the first place:

    In the proposed scenario I would take the money clip out of my weakside pocket, show it to the bad guy and then toss it away from us. With a casual flick of the wrist it easily sails about 10-15 feet. Now, if the BG just wants some quick cash he can go over, pick up the money clip and run away. If he has other more deadly things on his mind he will not go pick it up in which case I can tell a jury that I gave up my money and tried to get away. If he goes and picks it up and turns to come back towards me he will be facing the barrel of my gun because now he has shown that he has intentions beyond a quick robbery.

    If he does go after the money clip and that distraction allows me to get away safely with no use or threat of deadly force, the loss of the cash and money clip were insignificant in the bigger picture.
    This is exactly the method that Massad Ayoob recomends in his book "In the Gravest Extreme". The book gives some very sound ethical and moral advice on this subject. It also explores the use of a firearm for defence in great detail; before, during, and after an incident. I found my copy on eBay for about $12, well worth the read for anyone depending on a firearm for protection.

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    This why I carry 2 LTL applications along with my gun. Nevada is a stand your ground state, and technically since I'm so small, damn near anyone (even some females) warrent deadly force. I almost Maced a guy 3 months ago because he threatened to kick my ass. luckily the spray can made him think otherwise.

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    Bravo_Sierra wrote:
    This why I carry 2 LTL applications along with my gun. Nevada is a stand your ground state, and technically since I'm so small, damn near anyone (even some females) warrent deadly force. I almost Maced a guy 3 months ago because he threatened to kick my ass. luckily the spray can made him think otherwise.
    It is interesting to hear other people's take on this issue. I don't think most of us always consider how much physical stature plays into this, and I'm not even sure how much it does. It is difficult to determine anecdotally as each of us has experienced the world within the context of our own physical stature and cannot really understand what it is like to be otherwise.

    I'm 6'3", 225lbs, and according to my personal trainer and the body fat calipers, need to lose about 10 lbs to be back at my "fighting weight". So I am not a small guy. But I am also not a huge "that guy would crush my skull with his bare hands" looking guy either. I am sure that to varying extents my size has deterred certain situations. It also invited certain situations when I was younger as peers with "short man syndrome" wanted to start crap with me to prove something.

    And then there is the question of not only what size someone is, but how they carry themselves. How aware do they appear? Some people just look weaker and more vulnerable regardless of size and others who are rather small in stature look tough and wordly. How much does this play into criminal's perception of target? And then I consider that some of the toughest people I know, who have very advanced training and experience in martial arts or special forces, look rather proffesor like (one of them is a retired professor). Also, a lot of bigger guys can't fight worth a darn because they have never had to. I have seen numerous big guys in martial arts over the years who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag when they first walked in.

    How much does all this play into when or if you have to draw your weapon? How much is physical stature and awareness a factor? We know from prisoner interviews that awareness is a deterrent as BGs prefer a surprise attack, but this is not always true. Does someone who is smaller, perceived as a lesser threat more or less likely to be pushed to the point of having to draw? Is the BG going to be less aggressive because he doesn't perceive the person as a threat and therefore more likely to take the money and run? Or is he more likely to be an abusive bully and force the smaller guy into a show down? How about bigger guys? Is the BG more likely to feel empowered by being abusive to a big guy and going on a power trip, or is he more likely to want to end the situation quickly before he makes a false move and ends up in a scuffle with the big guy? Does it make a difference? What do you guys think?

    The original premise of the thread that "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" while providing a convenient visual for a threat, is probably not viable as a real world as a threat assessment, although it would probably play well to a jury as self-defense justification. We had a similar discussion in my concealed carry class regarding use of lethal force. It was hammered on that physical size is not a reliable indicator of threat and if you rely on that criteria you may end up dead.

    As I said in an earlier post, my first line of defense is to get the BG away from me and leave the situation (I wasn't always that way and am probably lucky to still be alive). Before I need defense, I hope that situational awareness precludes it's necessity. But I still come back to the story of a guy in an advanced handgun class as to how a firearm prevents crime:

    He was at a large urban mall with is wife. They are both in their early 60s. As they were getting into the the car, he noticed a young man walking in the parking lot turn and start to "trot" towards his wife who was getting into the car with her purse in her hand. When he broke into a run, the guy shouted "Hey" at him, as he pulled up his jacket exposing his pistol and put his hand on it in a draw position. The guy immediately turned and ran off the other way. They went to find mall security and call the cops. Turned out that the guy was part of a gang of 4 guys who had been running around malls assaulting older women and stealing their purses. They would run up, punch the woman several times in a surprise attack and run off with their purse. The police were able to find all 4 of them still in the area and arrested them.

    In that case he never needed to draw his weapon, but he was prepared to do so. He saw it as an escalation of force issue. He exposed his weapon and intent to use it first as a deterrent from an apparent, but not absolutely certain attempted crime. If the BG hadn't stopped he would have draw it and used it as necessary. When asked what was the most striking part of the event to him, he said it was how fast it all happened. The whole thing took a few seconds. There was no time to shout threats like "stop or I'll shoot" or do anything but prepare to draw, and if he hadn't stopped, to draw and shoot. I think for most of us that is more real world than a stand off situation where we have time for a drawn out analysis of to draw or not to draw.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    that has a lot of truth to it...in almost every area. Just because a guy is big, does not say he is good at fighting. Some smaller guys can kick some ass, so the "big guy" is really not a good judge of when to draw. However I think most people judge on size then anything, and we did not really think of that when going back and forth. Yet, in the case we had a LTL would be better. since I am on the subject, what is the law with a "defense spray"? I was told a few years back that there was not any laws on the books, and have an idea for a "homemade" mix that uses a medical grade solvent in it, that way the skin will absorb the OC at a very fast rate.

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    I have no intention of getting into a boxing match with a robber. No matter what his size. The demand for money and valuables gets the gun drawn and a warning to back off or I will shoot. An advance after that gets a projectile launched, maybe several. If the robber becomes aggressive before this can be completed then he gets shot sooner. I may have to go to court and answer for defending myself but the other guy will be making his pleain person to hisgod.

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    irfner wrote:
    I have no intention of getting into a boxing match with a robber. No matter what his size. The demand for money and valuables gets the gun drawn and a warning to back off or I will shoot. An advance after that gets a projectile launched, maybe several. If the robber becomes aggressive before this can be completed then he gets shot sooner. I may have to go to court and answer for defending myself but the other guy will be making his pleain person to hisgod.
    +1000

    Sometimes its only takes a hand on the grip to change someones thought process really quickly. I wouldn't hesitate to draw down on someone badgering me into forking over cash or valuables. I doubt the LEOs in VA would charge me with brandishing for doing so.

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    irfner wrote:
    I have no intention of getting into a boxing match with a robber. No matter what his size. The demand for money and valuables gets the gun drawn and a warning to back off or I will shoot. An advance after that gets a projectile launched, maybe several. If the robber becomes aggressive before this can be completed then he gets shot sooner. I may have to go to court and answer for defending myself but the other guy will be making his pleain person to hisgod.
    You see. Somewhere along the lines, it has all been skewed. We have come to the point in our history and our lives where we are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the criminal instead of the victim. Does that tell you something's very wrong??

    Personally, I'm on your side. BR's will do what they do and after the fact, claim they didn't really mean any harm. But as far as I see it, when it goes down, that is the deciding factor. I have no problem with someone wasting a BG. After all, the human race is not about to go extinct any time soon.

    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.

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    If someone is demanding my wallet and they are 4ft tall and weigh 100 pounds with no visable weapon, they get nothing but watched carefully while I attempt to put distance between them and me. If they are demanding my wallet and are of a physical stature to physically take it, that puts me in sufficent physical harm to draw and aim my weapon. If they take any additional steps toward me they will be shot. I will not reduce my own personal freedom by carrying a dummy wallet or money clip, if the criminal gets 1$ off me it is more than they deserve. If I draw on you and you continue toward me, obviously you are intending to do me harm, you will not get ANY of my property.

    My real wallet may not have much money in it but it has several items with my address on it as well as my social security card and my insurance card that has info about my car on it. That presents a great deal of FUTURE possible violations of my life and my family and indentity theft, and I will not allow that.

    Should I need to carry OC spray, a large knife, a spare dummy wallet, stun gun, taser, etc to be safe? No.

    If a criminal dies trying to rob me they have just succumed to an occupational hazzard of being a criminal.

    Just my 2c, YMMV.


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    Montanya wrote:
    If someone is demanding my wallet and they are 4ft tall and weigh 100 pounds with no visable weapon, they get nothing but watched carefully while I attempt to put distance between them and me.Â*Â* If they are demanding my wallet and are of a physical stature to physically take it, that puts me in sufficent physical harm to draw and aim my weapon.Â* If they take any additional steps toward me they will be shot.Â* I will not reduce my own personal freedom by carrying a dummy wallet or money clip, if the criminal gets 1$ off me it is more than they deserve.Â* If I draw on you and you continue toward me, obviously you are intending to do me harm, you will not get ANY of my property.

    My real wallet may not have much money in it but it has several items with my address on it as well as my social security card and my insurance card that has info about my car on it.Â* That presents a great deal of FUTURE possible violations of my life and my family and indentity theft, Â*and I will not allow that.

    Should I need to carry OC spray, a large knife, a spare dummy wallet, stun gun, taser, etc to be safe? No.

    If a criminal dies trying to rob me they have just succumed to an occupational hazzard of being a criminal.Â*Â*

    Just my 2c, YMMV.

    But... but....he was only trying to rob you, you didn't have to shoot him, you could've pushed him away and then ran...

    If an officer can justify shooting a guy delivering his couch, then surely I can justify shooting a guy who's threatening me with physical harm and is attempting to rob me... right... RIGHT???!?!
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    Montanya wrote:
    If someone is demanding my wallet and they are 4ft tall and weigh 100 pounds with no visable weapon, they get nothing but watched carefully while I attempt to put distance between them and me. If they are demanding my wallet and are of a physical stature to physically take it, that puts me in sufficent physical harm to draw and aim my weapon. If they take any additional steps toward me they will be shot. I will not reduce my own personal freedom by carrying a dummy wallet or money clip, if the criminal gets 1$ off me it is more than they deserve. If I draw on you and you continue toward me, obviously you are intending to do me harm, you will not get ANY of my property.

    My real wallet may not have much money in it but it has several items with my address on it as well as my social security card and my insurance card that has info about my car on it. That presents a great deal of FUTURE possible violations of my life and my family and indentity theft, and I will not allow that.

    Should I need to carry OC spray, a large knife, a spare dummy wallet, stun gun, taser, etc to be safe? No.

    If a criminal dies trying to rob me they have just succumed to an occupational hazzard of being a criminal.

    Just my 2c, YMMV.

    But... but....he was only trying to rob you, you didn't have to shoot him, you could've pushed him away and then ran...

    If an officer can justify shooting a guy delivering his couch, then surely I can justify shooting a guy who's threatening me with physical harm and is attempting to rob me... right... RIGHT???!?!
    You made the choice to threaten me. Should I run and then while my back is turned running away you draw your weapon and shoot me while my back is turned? If I draw my weapon, release safety and ready to fire, (as I am drawing I am certainly making an attempt to move back at the same time to put distance between us) if you proceed toward me at that point you have made your choice, just as if you stepped in front of a moving bus, you knew the danger and possibility of death before you robbed someone, then you saw the hood ornament of the bus and chose to run toward instead of away. You got the outcome that YOU have chosen.

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    Regular Member Samantha86's Avatar
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    If you feel you or your friends/family are in immediate danger, I would draw it and have it ready to fire just in case someone tried anything. Do not point at anyone, because they can come back at you and you could get in trouble.
    ~Samantha~

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    Even simply drawing could be considered brandishing, even if you keep it low-ready.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    If your firearm is out of it's holster in public (non-firearm related venue of course) you better be in fear of imminent danger and if you are in fear of imminent danger, the firearm should be pointed in the direction of the imminent threat even if at low ready with your booger hook off the bang switch, IMO of course.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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