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Thread: Showing your handgun to stop an approaching threat

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    Showing your handgun to stop an approaching threat

    Can someone please give clarity to showing your handgun while CC in order to stop an approaching person who you feel may harm you or your family. Is this still Brandishing? or should I wait until I take a few blows from the person or he/she inflicts harm on my family members. Whats the take on this, Please.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site Mike.

    It depends on the threat. Drawing your gun is serious. Different people teach different techniques but the way I learned it is...If I draw it someone's gonna be dead.

    or should I wait until I take a few blows
    You'll get different opinions here but IMO, if the fellow is unarmed your life isn't in immediate danger.
    Way too many people depend on that gun to settle what I consider minor problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post

    Drawing your gun is serious.
    I believe he used the word 'showing' rather than 'drawing' to avoid that type of confusion. Since he's referring to a CC situation, 'showing' could simply be transitioning from CC to OC, and not actually drawing. This could mean pulling a 'virginia tuck' if the shirt if concealing the weapon, or unzipping a jacket and clearly displaying the weapon.

    While in some cases, this could be considered brandishing (if done say, in the direction of a bank teller), but if he had legitimate reason (not just paranoia) that a possible threat was approaching, or contemplating -becoming- a threat, then I don't see any issue with this as long as his hand stays off his weapon. It could easily turn into a situation where the possible threat is completely deterred, just as many of us view OCing as.

    Just my 2 cents...
    ~Jonathan

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonton View Post
    I believe he used the word 'showing' rather than 'drawing' to avoid that type of confusion. Since he's referring to a CC situation, 'showing' could simply be transitioning from CC to OC, and not actually drawing. This could mean pulling a 'virginia tuck' if the shirt if concealing the weapon, or unzipping a jacket and clearly displaying the weapon.

    While in some cases, this could be considered brandishing (if done say, in the direction of a bank teller), but if he had legitimate reason (not just paranoia) that a possible threat was approaching, or contemplating -becoming- a threat, then I don't see any issue with this as long as his hand stays off his weapon. It could easily turn into a situation where the possible threat is completely deterred, just as many of us view OCing as.

    Just my 2 cents...
    ~Jonathan
    Nice answer and from my understanding, you are correct here with this. I would add that one would be wise to call the police to report the incident as soon as they are able just in case the offender makes the call of his own with his story.
    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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    In either case, if you must show or draw your weapon to cause an agressive person to transition to a more passive state, BE THE FIRST ONE TO CALL 911 AND REPORT THE PARTICULARS. Verbalize while you are going through this... such as, "Stop", "get away" so that your voice recorder has a record of this that ends with your call to 911!

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    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-282

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.
    Basically you'd better be damn sure there is objective evidence present to the fact that you are in imminent danger of serious injury and/or death before alluding to the fact that you have a gun and are willing to use it.

    Here is more reading which, while the topic is about carry in parks, a similar situation you are asking about is brought up.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...39-Brandishing

    These following two links are direct jumps to posts made in that thread that are very informative and hopefully helpful to you:

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=1#post1155837

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=1#post1156073
    Last edited by Curtis; 11-26-2010 at 05:14 AM.

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Some states have modified their brandishing laws to allow for display of a weapon to ward off a threat. Maybe this is something that could go to the General Assembly this year?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    If I draw it someone's gonna be dead.
    +1
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonton View Post
    'showing' could simply be transitioning from CC to OC, and not actually drawing.
    If your 'showing' is random to transition from cc to oc, I see no problem. If you are doing it to ward off an oncoming attacker and instill fear, you are brandishing.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    If your 'showing' is random to transition from cc to oc, I see no problem. If you are doing it to ward off an oncoming attacker and instill fear, you are brandishing.
    Not necessarily true.

    18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Not necessarily true.

    18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.
    Yes. In fact, the law may look with favor upon someone who does this one might think. Reason: no shots were fired, no people were injured or worse, and no endangerment to surrounding persons or property. Since INAL, I don't know this to be factual as it is only a guess on my part.

    One might think of it as an extension (not an equation) of open carry in the extreme - the bearing of teeth so to speak. An openly carried sidearm which is seen by someone who is meaning to either steal or do harm we believe will most always turn the perp away. We all know that this is one of the strongest arguments in favor of OC. If one was CC'ing when a threat was deemed to be imminent and then lifted his shirt to expose a sidearm as a warning to the perp to leave him alone, I would imagine he has broken no law by his actions. Operative phrase: his perception of imminent serious bodily harm.

    This is a very good discussion, gentlemen. I hear and see this come up from time to time on this and other sites and with people with whom I have discussions about armed defense. From my perspective, the more I can learn the better off I am going to be.
    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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  12. #12
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Not necessarily true.

    18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.
    I knew that. but from the OP when he said "stop an approaching person who you feel may harm you or your family" it did not show "justifiable self-defense" to ME. But grape brings up a good point.. it is all clear as mud. Another good reason to always have a voice recorder on you and RUNNING whenever you carry. To pick up every action, exchange of words, timeline, etc. It is ONLY in your favor.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    I am also a little confused with the posters question. Are they asking if they pull the gun out? Or merely "lift the shirt to show the goods"? Lifting your shirt to show a weapon is technically not illegal. I've seen that warrant get denied several times, just recently actually. However, handling the weapon to induce fear would be brandishing. The law allows you to do so for self defense means. Like others mentioned, make sure you truly are in fear of death or serious injury. In most cases of brandishing, the person who you pulled the gun out on would have to go before the magistrate to request the warrant.

    I am not a huge fan of the theory that "if you pull your gun, you must shoot someone". I have pulled my gun out on many people that were threats. Sometimes the threat of a weapon will make someone quickly comply and no longer be a threat. Also, if you have to pull and shoot your gun, it means you are already behind the curve. There are times when you must pull and shoot, but I think stating that if you pull your gun you will shoot is not practical self defense.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I knew that. but from the OP when he said "stop an approaching person who you feel may harm you or your family" it did not show "justifiable self-defense" to ME. But grape brings up a good point.. it is all clear as mud. Another good reason to always have a voice recorder on you and RUNNING whenever you carry. To pick up every action, exchange of words, timeline, etc. It is ONLY in your favor.
    Obviously "may harm you" could apply to anyone, anywhere. The perception of threat of bodily harm is very much a singular, personal event. This even gets into what a "reasonable person" would perceive in a similar situation.

    I think that the OP intended to describe a situation wherein the threat was perceived as being real and immediate though no capacity to show ability was defined. There are many facets to this and like Ed said there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Want to know what "brandishing" is yunder Virginia law? Look here http://www.virginia1774.org/Page5.html and the next page (wade through some of the cases till you get to the difference between "fear" and "apprehension", plus http://google.vipnet.org/search?Quer...gle%2Fscv.xslt (Court of Appeals cases involving brandishing) plus http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf (the Va Supreme Court case on brandishing .

    As most of us have figured out, the Code of Virginia is merely the starting place for determining what the law she is. The definitive answer is found in the interpretation of the courts. And if there is more than one case, then case law is the next decision that the court issues based on your appeal of the lower court(s) not accepting your version of the aggregate view up until your case.

    So, does anybody care to offer their interpretation in one declarative statement with no dependant or independant clauses without using punctuation as much to denote places to stop for breath as to divide ordinate and subordinate concepts?

    stay safe.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Want to know what "brandishing" is yunder Virginia law? Look here http://www.virginia1774.org/Page5.html and the next page (wade through some of the cases till you get to the difference between "fear" and "apprehension", plus http://google.vipnet.org/search?Quer...gle%2Fscv.xslt (Court of Appeals cases involving brandishing) plus http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf (the Va Supreme Court case on brandishing .

    As most of us have figured out, the Code of Virginia is merely the starting place for determining what the law she is. The definitive answer is found in the interpretation of the courts. And if there is more than one case, then case law is the next decision that the court issues based on your appeal of the lower court(s) not accepting your version of the aggregate view up until your case.

    So, does anybody care to offer their interpretation in one declarative statement with no dependant or independant clauses without using punctuation as much to denote places to stop for breath as to divide ordinate and subordinate concepts?

    stay safe.
    Brandishing is making a mistake in someone else's opinion in a display of your personally carried gun.

    You'd be best to guess right, cause there ain't no free do-over.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    I am not a huge fan of the theory that "if you pull your gun, you must shoot someone". I have pulled my gun out on many people that were threats. Sometimes the threat of a weapon will make someone quickly comply and no longer be a threat. Also, if you have to pull and shoot your gun, it means you are already behind the curve. There are times when you must pull and shoot, but I think stating that if you pull your gun you will shoot is not practical self defense.
    There are four types of people you do not want to try to intimidate.

    Just think of the 4 D's... Drunks, Druggies, Deranged and Dumb. All four will try to move on your gun if it's out. If your afraid, you might want to think of a change of professions.

    When you have your gun out you're at a disadvantage. Your options are whittled down if a justifiable shoot isn't there.

    You only have your weak hand to whup his backsides and your exposed gun is easier to turn against you. Most Modern Cops don't have enough sense to carry their pepper on their weak side. Using your radio or cell phone ties up your weak hand even if you could get help in time.

    That's why there are so many police shootings. They use their gun instead of a little old fashioned force or common sense.

    These things don't happen at 25 yards or even 25 feet. just a couple of yards. If you leave the gun holstered until you've decided lethal force is justified, you just shoot. There's no time lag to allow adrenalinto kick the shakes in and you have already decided which way the fight is going.

    There's also no chance of a BS brandishing charge. Just a nice clean justifiable shoot.
    Last edited by peter nap; 11-26-2010 at 07:04 PM.

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    Here's my take on it: If you are actually engaged in a situation in which the defense of self/others would be appropriate, it's also appropriate to take more effective action than just showing the gun. I think that the exception identified above relates solely to the situation in which one has a good faith belief, based on objective fact, that he or another innocent third party is faced with the threat of an immediate (or "imminent") serious bodily injury (justifying the use of deadly force); and then realizes that he's mistaken, and then puts the gun away. His defense is sound, though he didn't find it necessary to actually shoot anyone. I tell folks in my seminar that you're allowed to change your mind - having decided that it's necessary to kill another human being, one might reasonably decide that it isn't necessary after all, and put the gun away.

    I also tell folks that unless and until they've actually got a good reason to shoot another person dead'rn a doornail, they should not make any reference to the firearm at all; don't show it, don't touch it, and don't even think about it. It's for emergencies, only. Never, ever, try to use the presence of a gun to attempt to persuade anyone to back off. If you need to make them back off, because you have reason to think they're going to seriously hurt you, get the gun out and shoot 'em. Otherwise, you back off; ask them pretty please to leave you alone. I want you to be able to testify that you begged them most courteously to back off, and that they insisted in their threatening behavior which you quite reasonably took as a threat of an immediate serious bodily injury.

    Don't rely on that self-defense exception to the brandishing statute unless you're in court on a charge of brandishing because you decided you didn't need to kill the bastard after having reasonably decided that you were going to have to do so.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Here's my take on it: If you are actually engaged in a situation in which the defense of self/others would be appropriate, it's also appropriate to take more effective action than just showing the gun. I think that the exception identified above relates solely to the situation in which one has a good faith belief, based on objective fact, that he or another innocent third party is faced with the threat of an immediate (or "imminent") serious bodily injury (justifying the use of deadly force); and then realizes that he's mistaken, and then puts the gun away. His defense is sound, though he didn't find it necessary to actually shoot anyone. I tell folks in my seminar that you're allowed to change your mind - having decided that it's necessary to kill another human being, one might reasonably decide that it isn't necessary after all, and put the gun away.

    I also tell folks that unless and until they've actually got a good reason to shoot another person dead'rn a doornail, they should not make any reference to the firearm at all; don't show it, don't touch it, and don't even think about it. It's for emergencies, only. Never, ever, try to use the presence of a gun to attempt to persuade anyone to back off. If you need to make them back off, because you have reason to think they're going to seriously hurt you, get the gun out and shoot 'em. Otherwise, you back off; ask them pretty please to leave you alone. I want you to be able to testify that you begged them most courteously to back off, and that they insisted in their threatening behavior which you quite reasonably took as a threat of an immediate serious bodily injury.

    Don't rely on that self-defense exception to the brandishing statute unless you're in court on a charge of brandishing because you decided you didn't need to kill the bastard after having reasonably decided that you were going to have to do so.
    I concur
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    There are four types of people you do not want to try to intimidate.

    Just think of the 4 D's... Drunks, Druggies, Deranged and Dumb. All four will try to move on your gun if it's out. If your afraid, you might want to think of a change of professions.

    When you have your gun out you're at a disadvantage. Your options are whittled down if a justifiable shoot isn't there.

    You only have your weak hand to whup his backsides and your exposed gun is easier to turn against you. Most Modern Cops don't have enough sense to carry their pepper on their weak side. Using your radio or cell phone ties up your weak hand even if you could get help in time.

    That's why there are so many police shootings. They use their gun instead of a little old fashioned force or common sense.

    These things don't happen at 25 yards or even 25 feet. just a couple of yards. If you leave the gun holstered until you've decided lethal force is justified, you just shoot. There's no time lag to allow adrenalinto kick the shakes in and you have already decided which way the fight is going.

    There's also no chance of a BS brandishing charge. Just a nice clean justifiable shoot.
    Sources please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    There are four types of people you do not want to try to intimidate.

    Just think of the 4 D's... Drunks, Druggies, Deranged and Dumb. All four will try to move on your gun if it's out. If your afraid, you might want to think of a change of professions.

    When you have your gun out you're at a disadvantage. Your options are whittled down if a justifiable shoot isn't there.

    You only have your weak hand to whup his backsides and your exposed gun is easier to turn against you. Most Modern Cops don't have enough sense to carry their pepper on their weak side. Using your radio or cell phone ties up your weak hand even if you could get help in time.

    That's why there are so many police shootings. They use their gun instead of a little old fashioned force or common sense.

    These things don't happen at 25 yards or even 25 feet. just a couple of yards. If you leave the gun holstered until you've decided lethal force is justified, you just shoot. There's no time lag to allow adrenalinto kick the shakes in and you have already decided which way the fight is going.

    There's also no chance of a BS brandishing charge. Just a nice clean justifiable shoot.

    I think I know who to pull my gun out on and who not to, but thanks for the internet police advice. I think that being routinely in violent confrontations/situations has given my opinions more edge on the topic.

    Don't pull your gun out on the four D's? Where did you ever hear such b.s. or did you make that up? Drunks, druggies, deranged, and dumb people are even more likely to kill you. They can be armed and/or violent. Ever try to fight a large man on PCP with nothing to lose? You may have to shoot him. Afraid? Who said anything about being afraid? I think I know when to use my gun, spray, hands, taser, etc. given the situation. I do it almost every shift.

    Most modern cops don't have enough common sense to carry pepper spray on the weak hand side? FYI, every department I have come into contact with make it a requirement that their officers carry their pepper spray on the weak side. Also, we have two buttons located on our radio and microphone that if pushed alerts every unit/dispatcher that an officer is in trouble and needs priority backup. The buttons can easily be hit even if you are holding objects.

    Pulling your gun out doesn't mean you are afraid, just practical in certain circumstances. I can quickly holster my gun if needed. It's not an "intimidation" method like you state, it's being ready for self defense. I am pro citizens carrying guns and using them in situations that need be. It's difficult to correlate LEO weapon usage and citizens because LEOs are expected to be on the "offense and defense" while at times the law only allows citizens to be on the "defense" (best way I could put it). I merely was stating that you could pull your gun and have someone comply without having to use it.

    Remember.... REACTIONS ARE ALWAYS SLOWER THAN ACTIONS.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 11-27-2010 at 01:54 AM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    I think I know who to pull my gun out on and who not to, but thanks for the internet police advice. I think that being routinely in violent confrontations/situations has given my opinions more edge on the topic.

    Don't pull your gun out on the four D's? Where did you ever hear such b.s. or did you make that up? Drunks, druggies, deranged, and dumb people are even more likely to kill you. They can be armed and/or violent. Ever try to fight a large man on PCP with nothing to lose? You may have to shoot him. Afraid? Who said anything about being afraid? I think I know when to use my gun, spray, hands, taser, etc. given the situation. I do it almost every shift.

    Most modern cops don't have enough common sense to carry pepper spray on the weak hand side? FYI, every department I have come into contact with make it a requirement that their officers carry their pepper spray on the weak side. Also, we have two buttons located on our radio and microphone that if pushed alerts every unit/dispatcher that an officer is in trouble and needs priority backup. The buttons can easily be hit even if you are holding objects.

    Pulling your gun out doesn't mean you are afraid, just practical in certain circumstances. I can quickly holster my gun if needed. It's not an "intimidation" method like you state, it's being ready for self defense. I am pro citizens carrying guns and using them in situations that need be. It's difficult to correlate LEO weapon usage and citizens because LEOs are expected to be on the "offense and defense" while at times the law only allows citizens to be on the "defense" (best way I could put it). I merely was stating that you could pull your gun and have someone comply without having to use it.

    Remember.... REACTIONS ARE ALWAYS SLOWER THAN ACTIONS.
    Edited

    Novacop...whenever you start your "I know best because I write speeding tickets" speech, I think of a joke that fits you.
    If you can't run with the big dogs, show em your badge.
    Last edited by peter nap; 11-27-2010 at 03:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    I merely was stating that you could pull your gun and have someone comply without having to use it (and then have someone like myself, a cop in case you forgot or I didn't mention it 800 times already, charge you with brandishing for it).
    Right?
    Last edited by Curtis; 11-27-2010 at 04:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Edited

    Novacop...whenever you start your "I know best because I write speeding tickets" speech, I think of a joke that fits you.
    If you can't run with the big dogs, show em your badge.
    Peter,
    Shooting safely from behind the red line at a paper target does not make you a qualified person to talk about lethal self defense.

    You act like an internet know it all, which diminishes your credibility. "Four B's"..hahahaha, still makes me laugh... I thought that might have just been your opening act and I stopped by to see if your show included anymore police/self defense tactics? You should sell tickets for this comedy.


    ..........---Moderator Reminder---
    While you may disagree strongly with another poster based upon their opinion, we will NOT tolerate any personal attacks
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/misc.php?do=showrules
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 11-27-2010 at 04:59 AM.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Northern Piedmont of Virginia
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    "I'll thank you, sir, to keep a civil tongue in your head."
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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