Don't you have a basic individual right of self-defense?
Thread: Uncomfortable Question
This question almost seems like its better left unasked.
Many OCer's have come-- literally, within a finger's breadth of being shot to death, with their hands on their head.
We all know we aren't here to fight police, take their jobs or cause harm to anyone outside of our justified actions of defense.
Imagine if you were told by an officer of the law to stop, put your hands on your head and don't make any sudden moves while he e-checked you.
Then pretend that while on approach he started shooting at you from a distance.
Do you go for cover and wail on with the same indignant mantras we've all repeated while being e-checked, hoping he'll stop? Call the police and sit tight? Or do you draw down and return fire, with every intent to end the threat that is being presented?
I think that this question might get misread as inflammatory, but we all know the cards read differently as soon as an officer gets involved, and the laws don't work quite the same, and theres this big, blue wall of silence when some things go wrong.
I know we've probably thought about it, when theres a gun pointed straight at my COM, the cop looks confused and threatened and I know all he has to do is flinch at a loud noise and its all kaputz, nothing I say will calm him, interest him, distract him, or have any authority to order him to stand down, its pretty scary.
I think aside from being stabbed, my life has been threatened more by police than by any criminal or accident. Which makes me wonder..."what would I do if things go awry?"
Last edited by heliopolissolutions; 07-28-2010 at 08:18 PM.
Don't you have a basic individual right of self-defense?
Excuse the crassness, but anybody who wouldn't shoot back at a criminal shooting at you is a moron. I don't care how fancy their outfit is.
Police officers must be justified in using deadly force. As soon as he draws down on you without justification, he has become the aggressor. You are well within your rights to defend yourself against an aggressor. Here's the difficult part, assuming no witnesses. Do you remain at the scene and wait for additional units to arrive, or do you flee directly to a police station and turn yourself in? On paper, remaining at the scene seems the right way to go. But personally, I'm betting you'd be safer retreating to a police station and turning yourself in.
i have been victimized in the past and on one occasion physically assaulted by people who did not like the color of my skin, i was unarmed(not old enough to purchase a firearm and not legal for me to be carrying a knife or any other weapon as i was walking home from school)
i did not like the feeling of uncertainty when i walked home everyday for the rest of my high school career.
i have no intention of being a victim anymore i dont care what your wearing.
ill deal with the little detainments and all that but the moment you try to hurt me youve crossed the line
Pointing a gun at me is reason enough for me to fear for my life, and thus truly reasonable justification for my defense.
A police officer's reason for drawing their firearm while approaching a UOCer might be that they have reasonable fear of their life due to the presence of an unloaded-but-potentially-loaded-firearm at the hip, shoulder or leg of the citizen.
We can talk big about never letting our lives or rights be endangered, but then we let it happen anyway, and the reasons might be valid, but we put ourselves in grave physical danger by open carrying around LEO.
To be fair, I haven't been experiencing many drawn guns in the past few months, and thats partly due to me not OCing as much, and I think also due to our efforts at awareness and the 'memos'.
Noone here is going to shoot an officer who is approaching with a gun drawn, right? They get to do that as our 'public servants', right?
Such is our curse right?
I wish officers and the general public understood that we give up our rights and our expectations to 'safety' by performing lawful activities. Not to make it some high-and-mighty-mantle-we-must-bear thing, but seriously, maybe they get a gun shoved in their face while going for a walk and see if they don't come out of it with a chip on their shoulder.
Like any other self defense shooting, one must weigh the risk to life/limb against the possibility of living the rest of their days in prison. I think most here will agree that it is "better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six." I've said this phrase countless times, but who are we kidding? In most of CA, you probably have a 90% chance of being found guilty, just because of the way the judges/prosecutors/etc stack the deck.
Unlike any other self defense shooting, I'd say chances for conviction in the proposed scenario are far higher. I'd estimate at least 99% of CA juries will convict, just because it was a cop. They get special treatment pretty much all the time, and at all but the highest levels of the justice system.
It's a little sickening to consider this subject thoroughly. The system is broken. Good people are deprived of life and liberty far too frequently.
Defend yourself from a cop, and have a ~99% chance of spending decades in jail. Don't defend yourself... and maybe the cop is a bad shot (studies show they statistically are). Maybe you end up dead, maybe you end up wounded, maybe not. Maybe you live to see the day you get a fat settlement from the city.
When I really weigh the risks and rewards, I think I have to play the odds. I would NOT defend myself. I would grab some cover, show my hands, and hope the cop comes to his senses.
One thing I should mention that I take into account... If I go to jail, my family suffers financially. As morbid as it sounds, I'm worth more to them dead than in jail. Even if the civil suit fails, my life insurance is enough that my wife would never have to work again. So, as much as I dislike the idea of dying any time soon, I can imagine it would be better for everybody I love that I not end up in jail for decades (or the rest of my life).
(On a side note... if don't have life insurance, I recommend you fix that. You don't want your family to rely on a civil suit; make sure they're taken care of no matter what. And even if you don't open carry, it's just a smart thing to buy. (In my mind it's as important as any other safety precaution we take - wear your seat belt, carry a SD weapon, spare tire in the trunk, etc.) PM me if you want a referral to a good insurance guy. Even if you're not in my area.)
Wow...that was...kinda dark.
But you're being honest, and that really impresses me.
Most people wouldn't really think outside the possibility that they would leap into action, quick draw and end the threat.
In all likelyhood, you will have the officer in court testifying against you since he/she wears Kevlar. Do you think he/she will tell the jury that you were acting in self defense?
The more we sweat in times of peace, the less we bleed in times of war.
In this scenario, even if my chances of losing in court were 99%, I'd rather be alive and have a perpetrator dead and have 99% chance of going to prison than to have a 50% chance of being alive with a 30% chance of going to prison. I've never known a police officer to stop firing once he started. I've never known a police officer to admit that he wrongly fired his weapon. I have known police officers to lie about things. I like my odds better to attempt to stop the aggressor.
This is a serious question.
I had this happen to me a few encounters.
The main encounter the officer in un marked car without identifying himself had his finger on the trigger and pointing his glock at my head, (9 millimeter seems plenty big when you looking down the barrel). It was a very scary split second, my fight or flight was on the verge of going either way, I was going to jump in the bushes next to me or duck and fire or both. This is something I think about daily how close things came. And why I am not dropping and continue to try to file a law suit against this department. To make matters worse I was arrested and detained and harrassed for trying to file a complaint.
Of course this was in Washington were they can not legally stop/detain you for carrying. You guys in Cal. got it tough.
Your opinion is right-on! Your analogies work perfectly. I would like to iterate that if you are situationally aware, and you take a hands-in-the-air approach, you will probably live to collect the settlement money. Reach for the gun and LEO will attempt to make you a bullet-stopper!
Yeah that happened to me to, I was 17 and just went to the store to buy cigaretts, (Legal back then) on the way home, an unmarked car pulled infront of me and a guy jumped out with a 357 pistol pointed right at me,
he said put your hands on the car, so I did and then he said was looking for some one, never said he was a cop.
Later he wanted to know what I was doing and where did I live. So I told him. he pat me down then.
I guess he was some kind of a LEO ? FBI ? I don't know.
He let me go then.
I think there are very few LEO's who are oathkeepers, and because most become political in their thinking
they Inforce laws agains't peoples rights all the time, not really knowing the oath they took was to "We the people"
and to uphold our Constitutional rights, and not to a Political Ideology. ( Political Correctness) for political asperations.
I think if a LEO pulls a gun at an E-check, he should not be carrying a gun himself, the job stress might be to much for him. Yes if you survive it, a lawsuit is in order.
Given the situation if one pulls his gun on you, you do have a right to defend yourself, prison or not !
This is a socialist state we live in here, and can't expect a jury to think about a persons right to self-defence in a
confertation with a LEO, in california.
If a LEO pulls and starts shooting your only choice is to shoot back in defence.
If you look at the totallity of the circumstances with a couple of weeks hindsight the cop will have all the probable cause and justification needed for a clean shoot.
If standing there with your hands up and getting shot at doesn't kill you then getting the hell out of Dodge comes to mind. Shooting back at an LEO even in self defense must be your absolutely last and only option. Regardless of whether or not you're justified, in reality, it won't end well. Sad to say, but in reality, much more good will come from dying an honorable, law abiding (albeit untimely) death than shooting back and living. Besides living in prison isn't living.
Something similar recently happened in Las Vegas. Listen to Dave Champion's recent radio archives regarding the tragic and preventable death of West Point graduate Erik Scott. Episodes dated 7-13, 7-16, 7-23, and 7-28.
The only times I was ever actually shot at were in a war zone and I sure as Hell shot back - after finding whatever cover I could.
I would sincerely hope that no LEO starts shooting at me, but I suspect (we don't know until it happens) that I would seek cover and return fire if I could. That's what I was trained to do.
Hopefully I would survive.
No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: The officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey
• • • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Faciémus!• • •
Maybe I'm just not understanding.
On the other hand, good can come from being wrongly killed. Am I advocating dying a martyr? Absolutely not. I'm just stating a reality that may be somewhat hard to accept.
Would I defend my life if being wrongly and violently attacked by a law enforcement officer? I don't know. I would like to think so, but many factors would come into my decision making. Things like are we isolated without the possibility of witnesses, or are there cameras rolling all around. Is the attacker wearing a uniform or plain clothes? What is the distance between us? Is there an escape route, or am I cornered? And as already mentioned by someone else citizens with badges generally wear bullet proof vests anyway so shooting back may not stop the attack anyway.
I was shot at once. I was hunting on posted land without permission. The owner saw me and shot in my direction, I assume to chase me off. So, I put two in his radiator and took out both front tires before I left. I did hope he had a nice walk home.
A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.
Would my chances of being convicted and sent to prison for murder be more than if I was defending myself against a thug? Most likely, but I still have a will to survive, and a right to protect myself from anyone trying to take that from me.
Give more weight to my first sentence in my first post (#19). It was the "If...then" statement. In reality, this all just a mental exercise. Just listen to Champion's archives on Erik Scott to see what I mean.
ETA: And I didn't say to just stand there and take it...I'm pretty sure I said to survive and evade...I suggested "getting the hell out of Dodge" as being the best option.
Last edited by coolusername2007; 07-31-2010 at 08:37 PM.