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Thread: 21 feet?

  1. #1
    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Question 21 feet?

    In a social gathering the other day, the topic of self-defense came up. Someone said you needed to be within 21 feet of the attacker in order to legally shoot in self defense. Of course, I should have told him "citation needed", but I didn't.

    His reasoning was, if the attacker was more than 21 feet away than you had "other options". However, we all know under the Self Defense Statute of 2006, there is no duty to retreat.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of this supposed rule? If so, please provide a citation.
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    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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  2. #2
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    Only that I have been taught in multiple SD class that 21' is too close if they have a knife... that 21' is is only a guide line... that MI no longer has the retreat rule... that old farts like my self could not our run an 21 year old attacker and to attempt to do so would be folly... that movement (zig zag) is your best defense... and that they only step out in the open and stand still to defend and survive in the movies...
    Last edited by Sheldon; 03-22-2011 at 12:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Onnie's Avatar
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    I could find no cite on it, im still looking

    the only thing i found was about the 21 foot rule was in how quick someone in side of 21 foot can get to you, this was also in my cpl class but ive never seen any law on it in Michigan or any other state, but again ill continue to look


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tueller_Drill

    The Tueller Drill is a self-defense training exercise to prepare against a short-range knife attack when armed only with a holstered handgun.
    Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m). So he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds. These results were first published as an article in SWAT magazine in 1983 and in a police training video by the same title, "How Close is Too Close?"
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    Ive heard this too, and more recently, "heard" that it was upped to 30 feet, but still have yet to see a cite.

  5. #5
    Regular Member xmanhockey7's Avatar
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    If someone comes at you with a knife from 21 feet you better be a fast draw. Yeah if you set up the drill you know they're gonna be coming at you so you can be mentally ready to draw but not being mentally ready for it and just walking down the street you had better be a very fast draw to react to what is going on and shoot. Not doubting anyone's skills but just how I see it.
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  6. #6
    Regular Member quarter horseman's Avatar
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    I have only heard the same inside 21' is too close. If that would be a law it would be another stupid one!

  7. #7
    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Thereís no law stating that itís illegal to fire in self defense if your target is beyond 21 feet radius. Simply put, it is said that most self defense shootings take within this radius - thatís all.

    The argument is that unless the person you are shooting at is also armed with some kind of high velocity projectile spewing device and is outside that 21 feet radius you are going to have a heck of a time trying to convince a jury of 12 people that you had a reasonable AND honest belief that you or some other third person were facing an IMMINENT threat of severe bodily harm, sexual assault, or death.

    Yes, the prosecutor is going to try and spin your version of the self-defense shooting as if you had other options (given the distance) and chose not to pursue them and instead were just itching to shoot someone.

    If your target for instance is holding an edged weapon or blunt trauma instrument and is outside that 21ft radius and hasnít made a charge or lunge toward you and you fire upon them, then yes you will mostly likely be charged with a crime. A reasonable jury probably wouldnít convict, but that isnít the point. It wouldnít surprise me to find that the prosecutor would try to make an example of you as a gun owner.

    Finally, in my CPL class I was also taught (and it was demonstrated) that the Tueller Drill is 30ft, not 21ft.
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  8. #8
    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    From the guy the "Tueller Drill" is named after:

    http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/T.../How.Close.htm
    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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    Regular Member lil_freak_66's Avatar
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    only thing regarding 21 ft. that ive heard is that most shootings take place within 21 feet.
    not a lawyer, dont take anything i say as legal advice.


  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheQ View Post
    Someone said you needed to be within 21 feet of the attacker in order to legally shoot in self defense.
    Should I get out my tape measure first? Or perhaps a laser rangefinder would be better?

    /discussion

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr_iceman71 View Post
    The argument is that unless the person you are shooting at is also armed with some kind of high velocity projectile spewing device and is outside that 21 feet radius you are going to have a heck of a time trying to convince a jury of 12 people that you had a reasonable AND honest belief that you or some other third person were facing an IMMINENT threat of severe bodily harm, sexual assault, or death.

    Yes, the prosecutor is going to try and spin your version of the self-defense shooting as if you had other options (given the distance) and chose not to pursue them and instead were just itching to shoot someone.
    A prosecute can make whatever claim he wants, but by this very post you are lending credence to such absurd arguments.

    Think about this for a minute. If I am unlikely to be able to draw and fire in time if a knife-wielding assailant is within 21' (some say 30') it is obvious that the time do to that is before he closes to within 21' (if possible).

    So, what, is there supposed to be some magic distance? I fire exactly at 21"? Less, and I get stabbed, more and he wasn't a threat?

    Get f'in real. Putting any cop on the stand would destroy this "argument" faster than an ice cube in a lava flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Should I get out my tape measure first? Or perhaps a laser rangefinder would be better?

    /discussion
    Maybe my Crimson Trace could pull double duty!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmanhockey7 View Post
    If someone comes at you with a knife from 21 feet you better be a fast draw. Yeah if you set up the drill you know they're gonna be coming at you so you can be mentally ready to draw but not being mentally ready for it and just walking down the street you had better be a very fast draw to react to what is going on and shoot. Not doubting anyone's skills but just how I see it.
    and you had better be moving away or you will die.....

  15. #15
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    My FAL will do a job on someone from 210 yards. So could a bad guy if he stole it, or had his own. Self defense is a right that is upheld even in NYC, though you might be prosecuted for being armed, you still won't get charged for the act of greasing a bad guy in the act of self defense. Just ask Bernard Goetz. This is why no such law exists, and no such law ever will so long as our republic still exists.

    If a threat exists, you may reasonably escalate it to the next level to neutralize it. If no threat exists, you may not. Any law that went beyond that would probably be easy to get taken down by appealing a conviction all the way to the SCOTUS.
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    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    Oh ... and let us not forget the concealed carry "tactical advantage of surprise" when, after running that 21 feet and attacking his victim, the bad guy is "surprised" to discover his victim had a hidden gun that his victim "tactically" took too long to get out from under concealment.

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    Last edited by Bikenut; 03-22-2011 at 08:25 PM.
    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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    21 feet is the reactionary gap. Someone can cover 21 feet if they attack you before you can draw and shoot. This assumes that you are ready for the person to attack you. That is why Law enforcement are taught handgun retention skills and many have triple retention holsters.
    Last edited by hartless; 03-22-2011 at 08:43 PM.

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    A prosecute can make whatever claim he wants, but by this very post you are lending credence to such absurd arguments.

    Think about this for a minute. If I am unlikely to be able to draw and fire in time if a knife-wielding assailant is within 21' (some say 30') it is obvious that the time do to that is before he closes to within 21' (if possible).

    So, what, is there supposed to be some magic distance? I fire exactly at 21"? Less, and I get stabbed, more and he wasn't a threat?

    Get f'in real. Putting any cop on the stand would destroy this "argument" faster than an ice cube in a lava flow.
    Iím guessing you didnít read the rest of my post because I wrote that only if the person is standing still and hasnít charged or lunged at you and if they are holding a knife or blunt instrument - not actually firing a weapon. A prosecutor would try to charge you. Secondly I wasnít talking about LEOís I was talking about civilians.
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    OH MY GOSH! I & The Mrs. were both laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes at the 121ft rule video! Thanks for the laugh jeremy05

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    No such law, but I believe the 21ft thing comes from variations of the Tueller Drill. The idea is that you can probably be attacked by a person with a non-projectile weapon in less time than you can draw if the attacker begins his attack at a distance of 21ft or less.

    At my CPL class, reaction time vs distance covered by the attacker was demonstrated in a live-fire situation. You have a person (attacker) touch your back while you are facing down range with your gun holstered. As soon as he releases his touch on your back, you go for your gun and fire down range. Meanwhile the attacker is fleeing away from you as fast as possible. As soon as the first shots are fired, the attacker stops and drops. Then measure the distance. It's usually more than you would expect. You can do this the proper way with paint guns or airsoft (and proper safety gear). There are plenty of videos on youtube.

    All the more reason to have a plan to kill everyone you see.

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran Glock9mmOldStyle's Avatar
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    Question Uhmmm ...???

    Quote Originally Posted by kubel View Post
    No such law, but I believe the 21ft thing comes from variations of the Tueller Drill. The idea is that you can probably be attacked by a person with a non-projectile weapon in less time than you can draw if the attacker begins his attack at a distance of 21ft or less.

    At my CPL class, reaction time vs distance covered by the attacker was demonstrated in a live-fire situation. You have a person (attacker) touch your back while you are facing down range with your gun holstered. As soon as he releases his touch on your back, you go for your gun and fire down range. Meanwhile the attacker is fleeing away from you as fast as possible. As soon as the first shots are fired, the attacker stops and drops. Then measure the distance. It's usually more than you would expect. You can do this the proper way with paint guns or airsoft (and proper safety gear). There are plenty of videos on youtube.

    All the more reason to have a plan to kill everyone you see.
    May want to re-phase to: have a plan to defend against everyone you see...just saying, why give the anti's any more crap to throw at the fan?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikenut View Post
    Oh my goodness... did I just stir the pot?
    You're doing better than me. When I saw the thread title, I was trying to figure out whether this was going to be a joke thread about 10 1/2 people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glock9mmOldStyle View Post
    May want to re-phase to: have a plan to defend against everyone you see...just saying, why give the anti's any more crap to throw at the fan?
    I have heard this before, It may be a quote from someone... maybe miltary? Went something like

    Be nice to everyone in the room, but also have a plan to kill them all.


    lol

  24. #24
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    Oh, I dont know how the rest of you guys train, but everytime I withdraw my firearm its with a step to the side. Its good practice. Your chances of survival in a shootout, possibly a knife attack, goes up with a simple step to the side, due to tunnel vision of the attacker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy05 View Post
    Oh, I dont know how the rest of you guys train, but everytime I withdraw my firearm its with a step to the side. Its good practice. Your chances of survival in a shootout, possibly a knife attack, goes up with a simple step to the side, due to tunnel vision of the attacker.
    But, but, but, if I have tunnel vision, I won't see where he went.

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