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Thread: Would taking action have been justified in this situation?

  1. #1
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    Would taking action have been justified in this situation?

    I recently began pondering an event that happened at my place of work about six months ago.

    I work as a cashier at a grocery store. The store doesn't have any Gun Buster signs, and I have seen one OCer inside, who was only hassled by one manager to clarify whether or not it is legal. There is nothing in our handbook about employees carrying firearms on the premises, so once I get my LCCH, I plan to begin carrying concealed while at work. Now that that has been explained, here is the situation in question.

    I was working at a register when all of a sudden, by the entrance, I saw a newspaper rack go flying. Moments later, I saw my manager (a tiny guy, probably only about 130 lbs) get shoved into one of the claw machines that sits by the exit. This was followed by a bigger guy (maybe 180 lbs, had a definite weight advantage,) who proceeded to begin punching my manager. This continued for about 20 seconds before the manager began to call for help, and for someone to call the police (the sick thing is that by this time, there were maybe a dozen people gathered around just watching, but no one helping.) He continued to call for help, and the fight moved to one of the corners near the exit, where we had a stack of grill starter fluid set up as a display. The guy grabs a bottle of it and starts to try to pour it on the manager. Luckily, by this time, our security person and another person had arrived, and they tackled the guy. As it turns out, the guy was drugged up and trying to shoplift, and when the manager tried to stop him, the guy went berzerk.

    As I implied in the first paragraph, I wasn't armed at the time. But since I plan on beginning to CC at work, my dilemma is this: I see a big guy attacking my manager. I am not aware that our security personnel is present at the time, so as far as I know, no one is going to come to the manager's aid. I then see the attacker start to pour a combustible fluid on my manager. Would drawing a weapon have been justified in this situation?

    Any input would be appreciated.

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    In my opinion, yes it would be completly justifiable(SP), under self defence of self or others. My question is, if you watched this for 20 secounds, why are you complaining about the others who "just stood and watched"? I am just curious as to why you did not aid the man?
    Also placing a hot round down range, with a combustable liquid at target sight..... is'nt really a good idea.
    Last edited by greatsimon; 01-22-2011 at 09:43 AM.

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    Since he was pouring lighter fluid on the guy, I would say that he was preparing to kill him and I believe deadly force would have been justified.
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    ‘‘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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    Thanks for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by greatsimon View Post
    My question is, if you watched this for 20 secounds, why are you complaining about the others who "just stood and watched"? I am just curious as to why you did not aid the man?
    Primarily, diffusion of responsibility. Before this, I didn't know how I would react in a situation like this. Now that I know (that I freeze,) I can review my actions (since inaction is in itself an action) and figure out what I did wrong, so that in the event I am ever placed in a similar situation, I can avoid repeating said mistakes. Also, I'll technically get fired if I help somebody in this situation (which wouldn't really bother me, if I felt I took the right action,) and I'm a small person, so I doubt I would've fared much better than my manager in the brawl that took place.

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    Regular Member usamarshal's Avatar
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    Kill the sob....period. Darwins theory put to work.

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    Justified, yes

    But would you have had a clear shot?
    Groceries stores usually have people all over the place, most of them behind shelves and displays where you can't see them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime View Post
    But would you have had a clear shot?
    Groceries stores usually have people all over the place, most of them behind shelves and displays where you can't see them.
    I have been thinking about this, and I believe I would've been able to get a clear shot. By the time the guy started pouring the lighter fluid, the fight had moved into a corner with a solid wall, and nobody on the other side. All I would've had to do would've been to walk in front of the bystanders, since they were giving the fight a wide berth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naga View Post
    Thanks for the replies.



    Primarily, diffusion of responsibility. Before this, I didn't know how I would react in a situation like this. Now that I know (that I freeze,) I can review my actions (since inaction is in itself an action) and figure out what I did wrong, so that in the event I am ever placed in a similar situation, I can avoid repeating said mistakes. Also, I'll technically get fired if I help somebody in this situation (which wouldn't really bother me, if I felt I took the right action,) and I'm a small person, so I doubt I would've fared much better than my manager in the brawl that took place.
    I would highly advise any person who is going to carry to attend GOOD classes as well as pick up good videos like the one below and practice as much as you can at the range. As for the DVD below it is a must own in my book and it is a great instructional video.

    Magpul Dynamics - Art of the Dynamic Handgun Its 4 dvds and if i remember about 6 hours of drills, it brings to light a lot better techniques to use your firearm. Hands down 5 out of 5.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTr8xvkUWp4


    Reality Check pt1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0J1s...eature=related

    Reality Check pt2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf9_O...eature=related
    Last edited by zack991; 01-22-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Befoe CCing at your work site, you better talk to you manager. Get his approval, first. He will want to get hold of his District Manager to inquire what the policy is of CCing by employees. If you don't get approval, you could be looking at being fired if your CCing is ever revealed.
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    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldp8 View Post
    Since he was pouring lighter fluid on the guy, I would say that he was preparing to kill him and I believe deadly force would have been justified.
    The OP did not say the man was pouring lighter fluid onto the manager, he said that he was "trying" to start pouring lighter fluid onto the manager. There is a difference. It may have been only a threat. If he lived to see trial, it would be his word against the OP's as to his intent. You cannot read minds, can you Naga? An LE might get away by shooting him, but I am not sure that the court would be so easy with Naga, "especially" if he did not have permission to CC at work. Something to consider.

    As someone else has said, my opinion is worth what you paid for it.
    Last edited by CenTex; 01-22-2011 at 06:42 PM.
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

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    IMHO it would have been a justified defense of others without the lighter fluid. A 50 pound weight advantage (coupled with drug use) creates a situation in which physical assault could result in "grave bodily harm and/or death."
    Lower the crime rate by lowering the criminal survival rate!
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    Of course, you would have to be there to really assess the situation but from what I read here I wouldn't pull a firearm out if it was justified or not. I would slam the guy with as much speed as possible using all of my weight and probably destroy him with just that especially if its his knees that take the brunt of the force. If he isn't outright crumpled, he's going to be at a severe disadvantage from that point on and shouldn't be too much of a problem to subdue.

    Like I said though, you gotta be there to really know. I just know that it would take quite a bit of convincing and fear for my own safety or those of my direct family for me to brandish the firearm that I carry and this incident doesn't seem even close to passing my own personal requirements.
    Last edited by MK; 01-26-2011 at 01:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    This would be a matter of fact, not law, and you would stand a good chance of losing in court. Disparity of force is a tough one sometimes. But I think the little guy could make a strong affirmative defense for using deadly force. He still could lose. Your defense would be much, much weaker. If you went to help the guy and it escalated into a situation where the reasonable man would fear for death or grievous bodily harm to himself or another, that's one thing. Standing back and shooting is another. I would say you would be found guilty--assuming you killed him, of at least involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault if you wounded him. Of course, no way of knowing what a jury would decide, but I'd bet against you. Be glad you didn't have to find out.

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