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  1. #1
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    Believe it or not there is a question in this story... lol.And sorry If I am not in the right section (Maybe let me know if another one would be better and I can move it)

    A few weeks back I was walking from where I park my car in Downtown Tacoma (Its a parking lot up the hill from my apartments - happens to be cheap lol). It was late, around 11p.m. and I was walking from my truck down the alley way, to head down the hill, when I noticed a couple guys and a woman standing off to one side in front of me. I noticed they were drinking, and appeared to be homeless. I decided to walk across from them, rather than right by them. As I was approaching one of the guys started yelling and cussing with the woman. I was watching to just make sure everything was okay, but also for my safety as I tried hurrying home. The man noticed me watching and asked what the heck I was looking at and started yelling and cussing at me. I told him I was heading home and thats it. He then started coming toward me and before I knew it both the men and woman were coming at me and the one was still yelling and throwing his hands all around. I stopped and started backing away, and they continued to approach me and the main aggressor threw his beer at me and asked if I needed something to look at. I told him not to come any closer and if he did I would assume he was endangering me and my safety. He was drunk so of course didn't listen and continued yelling, at this point the woman was trying to stop him, but he was not listening... I continued backing away as he followed me (well all three did) about 150 yards, At this point I was on my cell calling the police. I told them not to come any closer, and that I have a gun. I then turned and showed them my strong side and pointed, he of course being drunk said he didn't care and started reaching in his pocket... I told him not to move or I would pull my gun....by then I had reached my truck, got inside and waited for the police. The woman, was able to get the men under control and they took off. In short the police took a report and that was that being they had taken off. My question is, would I have been justified in pulling my weapon in this case? I obviously choose to carry for these instances and for me and my family's safety. On that not, I hope I never have to use my weapon (I am ready, but not wanting if that makes sense) If and when The horrible time comes that I have to pull/Use my weapon I want to be a 1000% sure that I am doing so to protect myself and anyone around me. Now obviously I felt threatened by them, but I was not sure if they were just a few drunks being stupid, or if they had the capability of causing me harm. Mind you, I was ready to pull my weapon the second things got out of hand, or he produced a weapon. I was able to keep a distance from them, without turning my back and safely get out of the situation. What would you have done?

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    youngwboi wrote:
    Believe it or not there is a question in this story... lol.*And sorry If I am not in the right section (Maybe let me know if another one would be better and I can move it)

    A few weeks back I was walking from where I park my car in Downtown Tacoma (Its a parking lot up the hill from my apartments - happens to be cheap lol).* It was late, around 11p.m. and I was walking from my truck down the alley way, to head down the hill, when I noticed a couple guys and a woman standing off to one side in front of me.* I noticed they were drinking, and appeared to be homeless.* I decided to walk across from them, rather than right by them.* As I was approaching one of the guys started yelling and cussing with the woman.** I was watching to just make sure everything was okay, but also for my safety as I tried hurrying home.* The man noticed me watching and asked what the heck I was looking at and started yelling and cussing at me.* I told him I was heading home and thats it.* He then started coming toward me and before I knew it both the men and woman were coming at me and the one was still yelling and throwing his hands all around.* I stopped and started backing away, and they continued to approach me and the main aggressor threw his beer at me and asked if I needed something to look at.* I told him not to come any closer and if he did I would assume he was endangering me and my safety.* He was drunk so of course didn't listen and continued yelling, at this point the woman was trying to stop him, but he was not listening...* I continued backing away as he followed me (well all three did) about 150 yards,* At this point I was on my cell calling the police.* I told them not to come any closer, and that I have a gun.* I then turned and showed them my strong side and pointed, he of course being drunk said he didn't care and started reaching in his pocket...* I told him not to move or I would pull my gun....by then I had reached my truck, got inside and waited for the police.* The woman, was able to get the men under control and they took off.* In short the police took a report and that was that being they had taken off.* My question is, would I have been justified in pulling my weapon in this case?* I obviously choose to carry for these instances and for me and my family's safety.* On that not, I hope I never have to use my weapon (I am ready, but not wanting if that makes sense)* If and when The horrible time comes that I have to pull/Use my weapon I want to be a 1000% sure that I am doing so to protect myself and anyone around me.* Now obviously I felt threatened by them, but I was not sure if they were just a few drunks being stupid, or if they had the capability of causing me harm.* Mind you, I was ready to pull my weapon the second things got out of hand, or he produced a weapon.* I was able to keep a distance from them, without turning my back and safely get out of the situation.* What would you have done?
    The question is twopart.. Moral, and legal.

    You have to make the call on wether it would be justified morally.

    Legally, OTOH, I don't think you could justify it.

    Carrying a gun doesn't mean you don't get your ass kicked. Deadly force is a last resort.

    One could articulate that he was intoxicated and not readily aware of the consequences of his actions, making him more dangerous. You were outnumbered, and if you were subdued your firearm could be used against you. But I don't think those circumstances would justify a deadly response. If, for example, he stuck his hand in his pocket and started running towards you full steam, then yes, I'd say it's justified.

    Technically, I think you violated the law by doing what you did, using your firearm to intimidate. Morally, I think you did fine, you retreated when you needed to, even though you didn't have to, using the least amount of 'force' possible. Avoiding a conflict is a lot better than getting into one and coming out on top, IMO.
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    It's a hard call, man. If he'd pulled a gun out of his pocket, would you have been able to unholster and take him out before he shot you? I think you kept your cool. I would have probably drawn on the guy. You've got drunks threatening you for no reason whatsoever... punks like this are exactly why I carry.

    Carrying a gun doesn't mean you don't get your ass kicked.
    You're damn right it does. Anyone comes at me in a hostile manner, threatening me with violence, I'll draw on them. You can kill a man with your fists, it happens all the time. A couple of punches in the wrong place, hit your head on the concrete going down, you're dead - and if I'm being threatened, what's to say the punk won't get off a couple of punches, knock me down and take my gun?

    I don't start fights. I don't talk back to strangers on the street. If anyone starts with me, my response is, "Look, I don't want any trouble. I'll just be on my way." If that isn't good enough and someone still wants to come at me, or tries to chase me, he should expect to find the dot from my crimson trace on his chest. Anything other than an immediate stop and retreat on his part will be met with lethal force.

    Justified? You're damn right it's justified, and it's doubtful any of us would go to jail. I don't know about the rest of you but I don't have a criminal record. Worst thing I've ever done in my life is drive too fast on a public road. These punks that go around threatening others and "kicking your ass for looking at me", I can all but guarantee they have a thick record already. The cops are going to show up, see one dead punk with a criminal record, one upstanding citizen with no record, and go, "Yep, it's clear what happened here."


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    tricityguy wrote:
    Carrying a gun doesn't mean you don't get your ass kicked.
    You're damn right it does. Anyone comes at me in a hostile manner, threatening me with violence, I'll draw on them. You can kill a man with your fists, it happens all the time. A couple of punches in the wrong place, hit your head on the concrete going down, you're dead - and if I'm being threatened, what's to say the punk won't get off a couple of punches, knock me down and take my gun?
    I agree. There's no way to tell if you're just going to get an ass-kicking or if you're about to be killed.

    Especially with two or three adversaries, I would definitely feel that my life was in danger.

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    youngwboi wrote:
    ...
    What would you have done?
    I think you handled it well. By calling the police as you retreated, you showed a desire to avoid confrontation as well as an attempt to remove yourself from a potentially violent situation. If a person approaches you in a manner that a "reasonable person" would find threatening, they are committing assault. The fact he was intoxicated, in a group, threw something at you, and had his hand in his pocket all contribute to the threat. If it is reasonable to fear for your life (which that situation definitely was, as you were on the phone to the police while saying "back away, don't want problems" while the person advanced) then you have the right to respond with proportional force.

    Getting your ass kicked leads to death and can be a felony (aggravated assault with a deadly weapon). Moreover, it can lead to unconsciousness, which leads to your gun being taken.

    Again, I think you did well, and I'm glad you're okay.
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    Tawnos wrote:
    youngwboi wrote:
    ...
    What would you have done?
    I think you handled it well. By calling the police as you retreated, you showed a desire to avoid confrontation as well as an attempt to remove yourself from a potentially violent situation. If a person approaches you in a manner that a "reasonable person" would find threatening, they are committing assault. The fact he was intoxicated, in a group, threw something at you, and had his hand in his pocket all contribute to the threat. If it is reasonable to fear for your life (which that situation definitely was, as you were on the phone to the police while saying "back away, don't want problems" while the person advanced) then you have the right to respond with proportional force.

    Getting your ass kicked leads to death and can be a felony (aggravated assault with a deadly weapon). Moreover, it can lead to unconsciousness, which leads to your gun being taken.

    Again, I think you did well, and I'm glad you're okay.

    I agree. I think in this you felt as if he did not have a gun on him, if you thought he had a gun a am sure you would have fired your weapon, if he had a knife and beingat a good distance away you , you would have had time to fire you gun. So I think you did well in this case.

    I talked to a cop today and she said if you really feel like your life is in danger then you can fire your gun, and different people feel their life is in danger at different levels. You did good to keep your cool and not being trigger happy.


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    You did good, nobody got hurt. Good call calling the police. You will be replaying this in your head for weeks on end. I trust most on this forum will give you good advice.
    Always give a drunk person a wide berth, and remember the 21 foot rule. Perhaps carry some pepper spray for next time.

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    No real help with the scenario. It really boils down to how threatened you felt. It sounds like your head's screwed on right - you're looking to avoid a shooting if at all possible. If you're involved in a defensive lethal force use and you run up against the wrong prosecutor, having that right mind will help your attorney.

    A couple of suggestions.Defensive Handgun is a great course at Firearms Academy of Seattle. Some classroom that addresses these issues and some great fun. If you haven't already, read something likeIn the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection by Massad Ayoob. This book is older and there may be others with more current information, but this will get the thinking end of carrying going.


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    Thats a tough one I probaly wouldent draw but would keep my hand ready while walking away to call the police, never turn your back though if you think there is a threat i did that once and took a wooden chair to the head.

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    I wonder if a red laser dot on his chest would have made a difference in his reactions or her fight to keep him from being aggressive... although even this means that YOU have now escalated it from a shouting match to a gunfight whether he's armed or not

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    Elements of the stituation have to inform your assessment. Ethical escalation of force takes into account disparities such as: Size, number of assailants, if they are armed (a dog may be considered a weapon)

    You have the right to take into account factors that indicate intent: Threats, gestures, posture, movements such as flanking attempts, the apparent emotions or the fact that they are intoxicated, the attempt to follow you.

    Personally, I think you did alright. Obviously I wasn't there, but the result was acceptable: nobody got hurt, especially the innocent party. You took evasive action by retreating carefully with your face toward him, which indicates your peaceful intent and reluctance to use violence, but you kept respect and had a goal- your vehicle, so that's good- blindly running down a dark alley to a blank wall would have been stupid. It's important to note that turning andrunning away can trigger predatory instincts even in supposedly civilized people. In history, most battles that turned into serious slaughter did so after one side was defeated and started to run away- it dehumanizes the other person into prey. Read Dave Grossman's book "On Killing" for some good information.

    You also used non-violent and non-lethal means to stop the threat: your cell phone.

    I might have verbalized my intent to defend myself differently. I would be concerned about announcing to the world that I am armed, as it might be taken by a witness as a threat (which it is, indeed, albeit a limited and circumscribed threat ala "leave me alone or I will have no choice but to hurt you.") I would probably use some verbiage to the effect that I would "defend myself". That is fairly neutral from a legal point of view (IANAL). These are good reasons to game out scenarios in one's head before confronted with real life problems, and this is one reason why I frequent this forum despite the often worthless thread drift and gratuitous insults.

    I think that all other things equal, if I had announced that I was armed and the perp still advanced and made threatening noises and motions, I might have shot him. His self confidence in that scenario would be irrational unless he had a weapon of his own. Now, the fact that he was obviously drinking contributes to the impression that he was indeed irrational, but you have to make the call in the moment and armchair QBs can't do that for you. I wouldn't pull my weapon without intent to shoot, and I wouldn't have intent to shoot unless I felt I was in danger of my life or serious harm. But at the same time, I don't feel there is any requirement to have the advantage in harming you by pulling his weapon first, shooting first, etc. The Marquis of Queensbury rules don't apply to life and death situations. If he takes actions or uses words to the effect that make you believe he has a gun and intent to harm you, or that he is going to use a gun, don't wait for him to produce it and fire it at you. You might not have a second chance.

    Speaking of serious harm- you absolutely do not have to take an ass-whipping. The line between physical force and deadly force is not one that is easily discerned from a vague description, but again, as the escalation proceeds, physical force becomes deadly force withg no bright-line transition. In this case, it would be hard to argue that 3 against one (even if one was a woman) does not equate to a deadly threat.

    The absolute KEY is to be able to articulate the circumstances and pattern of escalation for a neutral 3rd party's understanding.

    An almost absolute requirement to be able to do this is to think about, study, and internalize both the patterns of escalation common to violent, predatory criminals- (there are many sources of information on this on the web and in books), and to decide in advance where one's personal limit of risk lies, so that in the exigent circumstance, one reacts as one has trained, in accordance with one's carefully thought out and morally/ethically/legally justified principles, rather than over-reacting our of fear and adrenaline.

    Again: I Am Not A Lawyer.



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    First of all I think you handled much better than most would and I would classify it as exceptional. You showed restraint and got out of there with no injuries to anyone. This is the goal.

    Second you didn't say how close they were to you so pulling your gun would have some bearing on that. You notified them that you just wanted to go home and that for your safety you were armed. When you did that the fellow made a threatening move in your mind. That is the key, you were being threatened in your opinion therefore legal. You had called the cops and were at your truck. You had done everything a reasonable person could do. So all of this goes back to how close they were to you. If they were close enough to immediately attach (the 21' rule) then yes you could/should have pulled you gun. If 50 yards then mabe just get in and go.

    All together a good job on your part and one that others should take note of.

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    This situation is why I likeFox Mean Green. I originally bought it for bike riding right after someone else on this site got bit by a dog. I bought enough of them that I carry one, have one in the truck, wife has one, one on the bike...etc.Obviously, one has to be alert and interpretthethreat situation correctly but I wouldn't have had any qualms about squirting the guy depending on the distance between us.











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    I think you would have been justified to draw at the point that the attacker saw your weapon, said he did not care, and reached into his pocket. A few people have mentioned the "21 foot" rule, which applies to contact weapons, but a gun or other non-contact weapon is effective over a greater distance, meaning you have to be ready when they are farther than 21 feet away. Had the attacker drawn a gun, you would have been at a disadvantage.

    That said, you are alive and no one--you or them--was harmed. This means you either handled it well or were very lucky, and I would lean toward you handling it well.

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    I might clarify a point I made above:

    Saying "I have a gun" could not only be damaging to a defense, but may well sound like a bluff to the attacker. It's an easy lie to think up.

    But "I will defend myself (perhaps adding "with deadly force") if necessary" doesn't sound like something someone would make up on the spur of the moment out of fear and bluff.

    You may well come up with something better.
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    Wow this is a tough one. I am glad it turned out ok for you. The problem I see is if you had had to shoot one of them the other two would have sworn they were just minding their own business. You would have been made out the aggressor and might have been hard pressed to prove you weren't.

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    irfner wrote:
    Wow this is a tough one. I am glad it turned out ok for you. The problem I see is if you had had to shoot one of them the other two would have sworn they were just minding their own business. You would have been made out the aggressor and might have been hard pressed to prove you weren't.
    That is always a problem when there is more than one against you and you are alone. Score one more point for the OP handling it well. Even if he had just pulled his gun the others would have then said he was the agressor and pulled a gun to threaten them, so unless there is no other option don't pull your gun. Even in a dark alley with no one around mysterious witnesses all of a sudden appear who saw the whole thing and too many times they aren't on your side.

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    The problem I see is if you had had to shoot one of them the other two would have sworn they were just minding their own business.
    Maybe... More likely they would have contradicted their own stories several times to police. Most people, especially low life punk criminal types who randomly threaten strangers for "looking at me", are terrible liars. Multiples of them have almost no chance of keeping their stories straight. Couple that with their almost certain existing criminal records and I think it would be fairly clear cut. People who go around starting trouble like this just for the fun of it have usually been in and out of jail several times. This is all assuming you aren't up against a gun hating prosecutor and a police force who hates the idea of citizen firearm ownership. In that case, all bets are off.

    Although, even if you are charged, who is the jury likely to believe? An upstanding citizen or career punks with the arrest records to prove it?

    Edit: I agree the OP handled it well. Always better to walk away if you can; none of us want to be trigger happy. I think this situation ended very well for everyone involved, all things considered. You still have to live with yourself for taking another life even if you are in the right and you aren't charged; it's something you would second guess for the rest of your life. The tenseness and second guessing the OP may be experiencing now will subside; taking a life probably would not.

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    "The tenseness and second guessing the OP may be experiencing now will subside; taking a life probably would not."

    Don't buy into the propoaganda that killing someone will necessarily scar you for life. If it is justified, and in accordance with solid personal principle, you will be ok. Again, I recommend reading up on the effects of combat. Dave Grossman's books are a must-read.

    Taking a life is not something to do lightly, but ******** stereotypes about PTSD abound, the idea that you will "never be the same" in some dysfunctional, eff'd up way is one of them. Additionally, the best means of preventing PTSD is to avoid feeling helpless.

    I know plenty of people who have shot at and killed other human beings, and they manage to lead normal lives. Most of them you wouldn't even know they had, in a casual interaction.It's all in the context.
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    The most important question you have to ask yourself is, "Would the prosecuting attorney or district attorney in this jurisdiction be reasonable enough to consider my actions self-defense, or is the prosecution extremely 'liberal' in this area and likely to charge me with Murder in the Second Degree?"

    If the prosecution is going to file charges against you, the next most important question to ask yourself is, "Would an average jury from this location acquit me?"

    Answering these questions is nearly impossible in the heat of the moment. With that in mind, I wouldn't draw my firearm unless I was positive that my life was in iminent danger and ending the life of the person threatening my own was the only option.

    These are my own personal views on self-defense in this state:

    1. I won't draw my firearm unless my life is being directly threatened. (I'm a pretty big guy, so the bad guy has to have a deadly weapon if I want to have a chance in hell of claiming self-defense.)
    2. If I do draw my firearm, I will be shooting the person threatening my life. (I'm not a law enforcement officer. It's not my duty to stop crimes in progress or make lawful arrests. I'll leave that to the professionals.)
    3. If I do shoot my firearm, I will be shooting to kill. (Again, I'm not a law enforcement officer. It's not my responsibility to make an arrest. Dead bad guys can't testify in court nor can they bring civil charges against me.)

    If I were you in the alley, I would have never mentioned that I had a firearm or shown the three suspicious folksmy strong side. I would have told them I didn't want any trouble, I was on my way out, and I hadn't seen anything. I would have phoned the police and told them that I was confronted by three people in an alley, had a beer can thrown atme,and that the threesuspicious people were currently following me and were attempting to intimidate me.I would be very clear to the police that I was frightened and felt threatened. I would not have informed the police that I was carrying a firearm either. If, sometime after that, one of the suspicious people had produced a weapon and was in range to use it (knife/bat/brass knuckles) or one of them had produced a firearm, I would have screamed into the phone that they had a weapon, then dropped the phone, drawn my firearm and shot to kill. Once I was 100% sure that my life was no longer in danger I would pick up the phone and inform dispatch that I had just been forced to defend my life and request that dispatch also sends medical support along with the law enforcement officers.

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    I think the OP did well given the scenario. I would personally consider three street-types who are belligerent and following me to be hostile. Not necessarily a deadly threat at that, point, however. Street people are known to carry weapons (usually knives or shanks, not guns as frequently), and three on one isbad odds. With three of them, if they came within 30 or so feet and were closing the distance quickly I might draw.

    One thing to consider is when you "back away" you are putting yourself at risk of stumbling. Moving sideways or back at an angle is tactically a better action.

    Since the OP was OC, and had pointed to his weapon, I think the next step is to grasp the pistol and release any retention device. Any street person knows this posture, and it is consistent with what a law enforcement officer would do if he/she perceived a threatening or potentially dangerous situation. Given that the OP felt threatened, had stated so to the aggressor, and was in the process of calling the police, it would be a stretch to call this brandishing (but, IANAL). I an others who I associate with have taken this action, and hostiles back off quickly. It reduces your draw and shoot time to a half second or less.

    I agree with other posters about pepper spray. I would also think about a tactical light at this point, as it will both disorient and partially blind the aggressor. If they come at you, the light may disorient them enough for you to step to one side.

    Shad0wfax, I have always been taught to say that if necessary I will shoot to stop the threat. I will not shoot to kill, but to stop the person whom I perceive to be a threat to my life, and I will continue to shoot until the threat ceases. Defensive pistol courses teach two shots to COM because that has a high probability to stop an attack.

    Just my .02

    Charles


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    Charles Paul Lincoln wrote:
    I would also think about a tactical light at this point, as it will both disorient and partially blind the aggressor.* If they come at you, the light may disorient them enough for you to step to one side.
    Newer LED flashlights have a fast strobe mode... Which will disorient the #%(& out of a completely sober person, I'd imagine it'd be that much more effective on a drunk person...
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    OP,

    What do you think would have happend if you had walked by and just ignored them, didn't engage and kept walking?










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    Well, They Didn't give me much choice... I didn't make it even close to being across or past them before they started approaching....

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    Ah...OK...the reason I ask is most of the time I ignore the vagrants downtown. They may say something but they are usually just a minor nuisance and I ignore them. I told one particularly annoying bum who was asking for change to "back off, I'm workin' this corner!". We both laughed and he left.I've run intothem doing drugs right out in the open sitting in a patch ofivy but otherthanasking me for change ( yeah, while they are shooting up) they didn't move. Your situation is obviously different and I'm picturing a small alleyway or something with a couple ofaggressivedrunks late at night. We can all play ACQ but without seeing the exact setup I'm thinking if it is me and they comingwithin 15 feet they are getting the Fox spray unless they are coming at me with some type of weapon.



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