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Thread: OPEN CARRY and confronted by someone....

  1. #1
    Regular Member NewZealandAmerican's Avatar
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    Has anyone been confronted while open carrying, threatened with fighting by a perp only armed with his bare hands and feet? If so how did you handle it. If not how would you handle it? What do you think would be the best way to handle this situation where the perp isn't armed with any weapons but you're confident he could knock the crap out of you in a fist fight and it looks pretty sure he will follow through on the threat.

    Do you use your fists to block/defend yourself as if you didn't have your gun on you when retreat is not an option? Use any other means of force to defend yourself?

    Or do you pull your gun to get him to stop and or possibly shoot him? I know it is probably not an easy answer as you have to weigh up the situation on the spot. How does the law look at this?
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    The details of 'the law' vary among jurisdictions. Most states' law is derived from English Common law.

    The elements of common law self-defense are four; be innocent of instigation, be in reasonable fear of bodily harm, use sufficient force only to deliver oneself from evil and attempt to withdraw.

    It says nothing about "disparity of force" or "force continuum" or any other of the archly legalistic blather common around here.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Is he merely going to "knock the crap out of me" or am I reasonably in fear of death or great bodily injury?

    Some of us can take a licking and keep on ticking. Others of us have conditions not readily apparent that make us more vulnerable to death or great bodily injury than the "average" person. What's your personal situation?

    In my state (Virginia) I am not obliged to retreat from any place where I have the legal right to be. However, it might be sound tactics to do so in order to avoid an unnecessary confrontation. If retreating, announcing my desire not to engage in a fight, etc. are not sufficient to avoid the situation, then it's back to paragraph #1 above.

    stay safe.

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    Interesting question.

    I Open Carry quite frequently and look quite fit for someone my age, I am over 60.

    Because of a bulging disc in my cervical vertibrea, which was fixed by an operation, I have residual balance problems. I gained my strength back so I can lift things, but I am only able to carry them with difficulty. I can do heavy physical labor (clearing brush, spitting wood, etc) with limitations (my wife hates it when I use a chainsaw) and I definately cannot go up on a ladder. Although I can ride a bicycle and motorcycle, the laws of physics take over once they are moving, so lack of balance is non-problematic.

    Further, I have non-hodgkins lymphoma, which is now stabilized, but the treatments did cause me to experience weakness.

    A CT scan after my last lymphoma treatment showed more age related spine problems alongthe lumbar region. I am ignoring that because I like to work outside and ride my "two-wheelers", so my back always aches.

    So, although I look like a person who could hold my own in a fight, Icould easily be overwhelmed with a simple push.

    Thus, would I be justified in drawing a weapon without as much provocation than would normally beexpected?

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    Maybe my thinking is wrong but anyone that is willing to confront you with the intent of doing any harm at all knowing that you are armed is most likely wantingyour firearm. Wether it be just to prove his/her point or to use that weapon against you.

    I think I would take my chances with the legal system before I did with an idiot and I would draw my weapon at the point that he attacked. Provided that I was able to.



  6. #6
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Well, we have multiple "what if's" here to deal with...

    Is this aggressor attacking me in the open where I have control over the field of fire, like in a parking lot? Or is it in a crowded mall, or on a busy street at night, filled with people?

    Is this aggressor intoxicated?

    Are there other witnesses that will back up my story that my response was in response to a perceived threat that was not instigated?

    Does the perp have a group of friends with him that are egging him on, or joining in with verbal harassment against me?

    Do I have my can of OC spray with me?

    When I am out and about, in a place and time where I need to be worried about this sort of thing, I usually carry a can of OC in my pocket along with my firearm on my hip. I don't ever WANT to have to shoot someone. I don't ever want to have to use a knife to defend myself. I don't ever WANT to shoot someone in the face with pepper spray. But you can damn well be assured that most of the time, I'm prepared for whatever comes my way.

    But I think given the situation you've described, for me (a relatively in-shape, healthy middle-aged man) my FIRST response would be to try and move away from someone like this--RETREAT is ALWAYS a good idea, because opening the distance with an attacker will allow you to regain some of the lost tactical advantage he has created by closing on you. Secondly, most obnoxious bully types ill simply break off an attack if you walk away--bullys and thugs tend to be stupid and lazy, and when they can't understand something, they usually abandon it. Walking calmly away from an attacker is often so far outside their expected response curve that it befuddles them, and they just go looking for someone else to start a fight with...

    Out in the open, I've got no problem using "less than lethal" tools like OC spray or a stun gun. The problem with OC however, is that it's dicey to use indoors--it tends to fog up the whole room, and you might end up with a few dozen innocent bystanders coughing and wheezing out in the parking lot, and a stack of potential "assault" charges filed against you. I've seen first-hand what happens when someone discharges an entire 110gram canister during a barfight into the faces of three big, drunk fighters--an ENTIRE bar full of about 150 people ended up out in the parking lot, crying and coughing...

    This is the sort of thing we need to think about all the time. When we decide to carry--firearms, knives, OC, stun guns, WHATEVER--we need to constantly be running through scenarios so that we have a set of pre-planned responses to various attacks in various locations.

    The reason that cops and soldiers do drills are so they can develop a mental file of "scenario-assessment-response-resolution" reactions from which they can draw when the SHTF. Having to reason through a particular situation that you've NEVER thought about is a VERY dangerous thing in a life-or-death situation...

    Whenever I'm out with my family or friends, I'll play through scenarios in my head when we go somewhere. I look at the exits. I establish plans of egress. I look for effective positions of cover. I determine effective and SAFE lines of fire. I look for safe backstops (brick or stone walls). I keep an eye out for people who are loud, rude, or otherwise obnoxious. And I ALWAYS make sure that someone else in the party has ready access to their cell phone.

    Run through the scenarios--that's the only way to answer the question that the OP posed. Every situation is different. Can you retreat? Is the perp REALLY trying to do serious harm to you, and possibly get your firearm, or is he just a drunken a$$hat looking for a weekend brawl? Is he part of a group that might join in? Do you have other options, like OC or a Taser? Can you alert staff (if you are in a restaurant or bar) and get THEM to take care of this putz before things escalate to the point of requiring you to draw?

    Think these things through BEFORE you are backed into a corner. Make it a game that you play in your head ALL THE TIME. That way you'll be less likely to be caught completely off guard, and you'll have a stockpile of plans to draw from quickly.

    From a psychological and cognitive analysis point of view, it's MUCH easier to "remember" a response than to "create" one...

    Good Luck is 90% preparation...

    tat2ed_guy brings up a good point. Anyone willing to start something with an obviously armed person is either completely insane (and therefore VERY dangerous) or intent on stealing your firearm (and therefore VERY dangerous). Of course, this person may not be aware you are armed, and may just be an a$$hat looking for a Saturday night brawl...

    Master Doug also brings up a VERY important issue. "Duty to Retreat" laws can vary widely from state-to-state. In NC, we don't have a duty to retreat on our own property, bu tout in public, it gets a little "gray" as to whether or not you must try and retreat.

    VA has no DTR at all.

    In Maryland, the MSP and AG have the official position that, regardless of the law, you as a citizen have the duty to passively accept any beating, robbery, rape, or murder doled out upon you by criminals and thugs, without exerting ANY sort of defensive action. If you DO attempt to defend yourself with deadly force in MD--EVEN in your own home--you WILL be arrested, you WILL have your firearm confiscated, and you WILL end up being further raped and robbed by the Courts...

    Gotta love that "states rights" thing... Ain't America Great?
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Dreamer, I agree with everything you said 100%.

    I do NOT want to ever have to draw my weapon, much less pull the trigger. Therefore, I avoid areas that are not particularly "safe", I always look around when I leave a store so as to seek out potential trouble, and I carry the biggest gun that is comfortable, hopefully to scare someone away with no shots being fired. It is a S&W 686.But then, if someone is hassling you even when you have a gun, then that person is NOT playing with a full deck, for whatever reason (drugs, alcohol, mental instability, etc.).

    Last weekend, while collecting money for the Knights of Columbus KOVAR campaign at Safeway, I was OP'ing. No one cared or stared, except for one creepy looking guy who kept leering at me, paying particular attention to my sidearm; he was disheveled and looked intoxicated. HE was the one who I kept a careful eye on, walking away from the door when I saw him leaving the check-out counter. I didn't want to have to confront him, even in conversation.

    Keep in mind though, I CANNOT run, much less walk fast. The residual neuological effects from my neck problems preclude my legs making those motions anymore; and if I fall, I can't just jump back up, like I used to. So retreating rapidly is not an option for me;I would if I could, eventhough I have no legal obligation to do so. All this figures into my mental calculations when I carry.

    Isn't Maryland great!? I grew up there but settled in Virginia as I retired from the USMC out of Quantico. I still like to go up there; it is beautiful and my brothers still live there. But to live there? NO WAY! I'll stay here in VA as a "good-ole-boy".

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    This is exactly why I carry a Taser and very nasty OC Spray. There are times (In my opinion) where lethal force isn't the immediate answer, but no force may result in a serious whoopin'. I'm not going to stand around and fight and grapple with someone while I'm armed. It's too big a chance that my weapon could drop, or they could grab a hold of it.



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    It never ceases to amaze me that grown men will still engage in the juvenile game of "I'm gonna whup yer butt and prove that mine is bigger than yours!" by getting into a punch up.....

    That said..

    Please check the law(s) in your individual State governing the use of lethal force.

    Then check your own common sense.

    I'm an old fart with bad knees so I can't run....... a bad heart with a pacemaker so I couldn't withstand a punch to the chest... and the law in Michigan says I don't have to retreat... and I carry a gun that could be taken away to be used against me or others later... so.. if I can't retreat (I'll try very hard to), and I can't talk my way out (I'll try very hard to), and I am faced with the choice of allowing myself to be some physically grown up but mentally juvenile dork use me for a punching bag and end up in the hospital/grave or defend myself....

    Again... go to the "common sense" file and download the contents.
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

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    Many many people have been killed or suffered brain damage from 1 punch!

    I will not stand & exchange blows, I have boxed enough to know after one decent hit, you are to mentally fuzzed up to do something like draw & fire accurately

    As far as I am concerned a fist IS a deadly weapon.

    tat2ued_guy also makes good points.

    Bottom line, if you can't walk away, clear leather!

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    Some handguns, like my SA .45 LC revolver, make nasty head knockers and face breakers.

    I'm getting to old to duke it out with some idiot that thinks he wants a piece of me. My Can-o-Whuppa$$ has probably all dried up by now. I'm not so sure it was all that potent to start with anyway.

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    ^ LOL

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    I'm too old to be engaging in fisticuffs. If the idiot persists after a warning. Like don't mess with me I'll put you in the ground or words to that affect. I'm gonna draw and one more warning, and take my chances with the Jury. I'd much rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Just me sayin' it and I'll parbly catch as much S*#t for it as I did BANG drop the knife. But dangit, I just don't need, want nor desire any crap from any a$$holes.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    NewZealandAmerican wrote:
    Has anyone been confronted while open carrying, threatened with fighting by a perp only armed with his bare hands and feet? If so how did you handle it. If not how would you handle it? What do you think would be the best way to handle this situation where the perp isn't armed with any weapons but you're confident he could knock the crap out of you in a fist fight and it looks pretty sure he will follow through on the threat.

    Do you use your fists to block/defend yourself as if you didn't have your gun on you when retreat is not an option? Use any other means of force to defend yourself?

    Or do you pull your gun to get him to stop and or possibly shoot him? I know it is probably not an easy answer as you have to weigh up the situation on the spot. How does the law look at this?
    Basicly, this is my response...

    IF I AM OC'ING and some TWERP starts to get physical with me I will presume said twerp is making a concerted effort to aquire my firearm by force and as such I WILL RESPOND WITH FORCE--- Deadly force if need be for I have no idea what his plans are but I don't plan to be his next best target with MY FIREARM! I may just pull my weapon and kindly suggest that he go on to greener pastures--- Yep, those are the specific words that I would use!



    As for your last part, UTAH law (SOON TOTAKE EFFECT)now allows one to display, pull, ect a firearm to WARN without have to risk the ag asault charge you could have gotten IF IT WAS NOT JUSTIFIED TO USE DEADLY FORCE in the specific situation you were in!


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    Yes, I was attacked once in spite of a very visible shotgun pointed right at him.

    Here is the whole story: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/08/09/22/editor.htm

    Since then I've learned many things, thank goodness, and now I OC my handgun at all times. I had one encounter in the last two years where the sight of my gun most likely caused a BG to break off and go away.

    Training, practice, and constant awareness are all vital.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    I had "drawn & pointed" at an unarmed crystal meth zombie, he wanted "suicide by me", long story , it is archived here from about last year.

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    I'm Old And May Not Fight You. I'll shoot instead and allow disparity of force rule in my peers judgement.









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    This is why I often carry pepper spray and a taser. You can't just shoot someone because they threaten to hurt (or kill) you or use non-deadly force against you. If someone walked up and punched me in the face I would use either the can or the taser against them. Now, if instead the person made a grab for my gun and physically tried to remove it from the holster, I would pull it out and shoot them enough times until I could be sure they would no longer be a threat. As far as I'm concerned and I believe the law is concerned if a person threatens to hurt or kill you and then tries to get your gun away from you that is no longer just physical force but an attempt at deadly force on you. In any case, they are attempting theft of a firearm which is a felony.



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    MamaLiberty wrote:
    Yes, I was attacked once in spite of a very visible shotgun pointed right at him.

    Here is the whole story: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/08/09/22/editor.htm

    Since then I've learned many things, thank goodness, and now I OC my handgun at all times. I had one encounter in the last two years where the sight of my gun most likely caused a BG to break off and go away.

    Training, practice, and constant awareness are all vital.
    Wow!!

    I just spent half an hour reading her story and several others on TPOL. Scared or not Mama Liberty is a real gutsy gal in my book. If that had of been me I think I would have invested in a good quality 12G pump and a 5R stock sock (like I have on my pump) within a week or less.

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    NewZealandAmerican wrote:
    Do you use your fists to block/defend yourself as if you didn't have your gun on you when retreat is not an option? Use any other means of force to defend yourself?
    Yes, block any punches you can, reach for your Pepper Spray, or your knive if he is choking you out, or he is grabbing your gun and is trying to unholster your gun.

    Gun Fu, depends what State you are in is not a good first line of defense. Get trained in hand to hand fighting, at least enough to get to your gun or retain your gun.
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    While the court looks at the four components of the decision mentioned above, the issue you really are raising is with regard to how will the court/jury determine whether you were in reasonable fear for life if fists begin to fly and you determine you cannot disengage. The measurement will be largely determinedby the concept of disparity of force as concerns the judgment of a "reasonable man".

    Re: Disparity of Force (Which is used to measure the reasonablity of how much you would fear for your life in a physical encounter.)

    Here's an excerpt from one of M. Ayoob's columns on "Use of Deadly Force" (citation follows):

    Disparity of force is the situation that authorizes the law-abiding citizen to shoot what appears to be an unarmed man. In this concept, the law recognizes that the power of the attacker to kill or cripple with "body weapons," fists or feet, may be so great vis-a-vis the defender's stature and ability that this disparity of physical force becomes the aggressor's deadly weapon.

    If the attacker is a black belt or a professional fighter and known to your customer as such at the time, he possesses disparity of force. So does an unarmed male violently attacking an unarmed female. So does a gang, and as few as two unarmed assailants can give grounds for justifiable homicide if they attack ferociously enough. However, once all but one have been turned back or neutralized, the sole survivor is no longer a member of a gang and may no longer be shot -- at least, not for that reason.

    A sound and healthy person viciously attacking a cripple, or a strong young man attacking a weak old person, also create disparity of force.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_12462185/

    The entire series is a good read and addresses your question with more thought and detail albeit in a general situation which may vary due to individual states' laws with regard to retreat, protection of property, etc.

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    ecocks wrote:
    ........ or a strong young man attacking a weak old person, also create disparity of force.
    This is something that young punks should consider when they try to assault those in their 60's and early 70's.

    They should also consider that a disproportionally high number of these old farts have military experience, courtesy of Vietnam, and a corresponding attitude towards the sanctitiy of a young thug's life.

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    I am 32 Years old, 6 foot 5 inches and about 220lbs. I am a good sized boy. I look fit and strong. BUT, I had the disk between L4 and L5 remove itself to a new home in my spinal nerves. I had emergency operation around the first of the year. If a person hit me on kicked me in the back or even tackled me I could have even worse damage than I have now. I could even be paralysed... I would give 1 warning then draw.





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    I would be more concerned about what happens if I get the snot beat out of me and the guy takes my gun while I'm bleeding on the sidewalk... now my gun is in the hands of a violent attacker.

    For that reason alone I think I would "display" lethal force and hope the threat was enough to deter him... otherwise the damage that could be done with my weapon after the fact would be the biggest factor in how I handled the situation.

    I can't think of many sane reasons why an unarmed attacker would ignore the business end of a .45



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