Protect Yourself Without Ever Firing a Shot? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Old Junes
05-16-2011, 13:47
I am wondering what the ramifications (legal or otherwise) would be of pulling your gun to diffuse a situation or prevent a crime from happening without ever firing a shot. As a responsible CCW permit holder I am well versed in the instances where deadly force would be justified in my state. That said, if pulling a gun deescalated a situation without the use of deadly force it seems to me that would be greatly preferred. Thoughts?

BigLaw
05-16-2011, 13:54
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to kill somebody with it. If you just yank it out to try and scare somebody out of what they are doing you more than likely will end up in jail. I wouldn't draw unless the situation is bad enough to pull the trigger. Don't worry about somebody commiting a crime, you are not the police, just report it. As for a situation, unless it involves you directly and you have a VERY good reason to believe your life is in danger right then, keep it in the holster.

djpuffnstuff
05-16-2011, 14:07
Thats a tough one. I think I would pull my gun to try and diffuse a situation.

In a situation like that I would be more worried about the present than the future. If pulling a gun out is going to make the bad guy go away I would do that rather than let him keep the ball in his court.


Besides if you pull your gun on someone and they leave your 99% of the time going to be following that situation up with a call to the police so they can try and find the guy.

You think your going to get arrested for pulling a gun? Maybe you will but that's one of those things you just gotta deal with it if it happens. I don't think any cop in his/her right mind would try to arrest you for responsibly defending yourself.

Beware Owner
05-16-2011, 14:10
As far as I know, the only diffusing to be done with a drawn weapon is when the perp hits the ground.

gomerpyle
05-16-2011, 14:11
Well we have brandishing laws, but when it comes down to close friends and family I would do almost anything to make sure they as well as I, am protected. So this can go both ways, and depends greatly on the situation. It comes down to you're not a LEO. Pull the gun when you tend to use it, which means pulling the trigger, in a life or death situation. Not saying 100% of the time when you pull your gun, you shoot, but your mind should already be prepared and ready to pull the trigger. If your only intentions are to "diffuse" the situation with the "sight" of your firearm, call 911 and let them handle it. Otherwise, your gun doesn't need to be unholstered. Thankfully I've never had to use my guns in a self defense situation, but that's how I've always been taught before and after acquiring my CPL.

barstoolguru
05-16-2011, 14:12
Every state has different laws on brandishing a firearm. In some states like Texas it is allowed if it is to defuse or stop a crime. What you need to do is check with your state and see what the rules are

I bought a book that has been very helpful to me on what can and can't be done. the book is self defence laws in all fifty states by mich veto. at the time it was 29.95 with free shipping but well worth the dollar

packsaddle
05-16-2011, 14:31
In some states like Texas it is allowed if it is to defuse or stop a crime.

Depends on the crime.

The threat of deadly force is only permitted when the use of deadly force is permitted.

Patchman
05-16-2011, 14:56
If you believe pulling a gun can defuse that situation, then first consider shouting to the BG that "someone already called 9-1-1. The cops are on the way." At least after that, if the BG continued to be aggressive, you'd have a better argument as to why you pulled your gun.

Deye76
05-16-2011, 18:58
I've seen it twice, a gun pulled, hesitation, and it ended up getting taken away from the owner during the ensuing scuffle. Luckily the owner(s) didn't get shot with his own gun. IMHO, it stays put unless it really needs to be fired. Some are not deterred by the mere sight of one.

kensteele
05-16-2011, 19:02
Check with your state, they should have laws about how to handle this situation. In any event, I believe very few states allow you to "show" your weapon to "diffuse" the situation. That's what OC is for. :supergrin:

NMGlocker
05-16-2011, 19:09
You pull your gun without the justification for using it.
The guy you pull it on isn't intimidated.
Now what are you going to do?

RustyDaleShackleford
05-16-2011, 21:49
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to kill somebody with it. If you just yank it out to try and scare somebody out of what they are doing you more than likely will end up in jail. I wouldn't draw unless the situation is bad enough to pull the trigger. Don't worry about somebody commiting a crime, you are not the police, just report it. As for a situation, unless it involves you directly and you have a VERY good reason to believe your life is in danger right then, keep it in the holster.
You wouldn't skin it to save somebody else's life? If a BG has a gun pointed at somebody else's head? Or if somebody's on the ground being kicked, stomped, and beaten to a bloody pulp by more BG's than you could stop by yourself?

Or are you saying in those situations that you would actually shoot?

Donn57
05-16-2011, 22:04
Well, legally or not, Gary Kleck estimates that in the vast majority of instances where guns are used for self defense, the gun is not fired, only pointed or referred to.

TBO
05-16-2011, 22:07
http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/If-all-you-had-was-a-hammer.jpg

Dr.Midnight
05-17-2011, 03:32
If it's ever necessary to draw my gun, then it will probably be necessary that I fire it. Drawing that weapon is always the last option for me, and it's something I pray that I never have to do.

Beware Owner
05-17-2011, 07:24
To be fair, when an aggressor sees/feels that the person he/she's harassing/accosting/threatening is going for a gun, there's a VERY good chance that all you'll get to do is pull it because he/she/it will be running like hell. They know that what they're doing is wrong and you have the right to defend yourself. Besides, most people don't have the duty to arrest...

dancingwolf
05-17-2011, 07:46
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to kill somebody with it. If you just yank it out to try and scare somebody out of what they are doing you more than likely will end up in jail. I wouldn't draw unless the situation is bad enough to pull the trigger. Don't worry about somebody commiting a crime, you are not the police, just report it. As for a situation, unless it involves you directly and you have a VERY good reason to believe your life is in danger right then, keep it in the holster.

I couldn't have said it any better.

Crimp
05-17-2011, 08:03
...I don't think any cop in his/her right mind would try to arrest you for responsibly defending yourself.

No? Read this. (http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-16/news/29548742_1_firearms-license-youtube-clips-gun-rights)

dosei
05-17-2011, 08:28
I am wondering what the ramifications (legal or otherwise) would be of pulling your gun to diffuse a situation or prevent a crime from happening without ever firing a shot. As a responsible CCW permit holder I am well versed in the instances where deadly force would be justified in my state. That said, if pulling a gun deescalated a situation without the use of deadly force it seems to me that would be greatly preferred. Thoughts?

Well we have brandishing laws, but when it comes down to close friends and family I would do almost anything to make sure they as well as I, am protected. So this can go both ways, and depends greatly on the situation. It comes down to you're not a LEO. Pull the gun when you tend to use it, which means pulling the trigger, in a life or death situation. Not saying 100% of the time when you pull your gun, you shoot, but your mind should already be prepared and ready to pull the trigger. If your only intentions are to "diffuse" the situation with the "sight" of your firearm, call 911 and let them handle it. Otherwise, your gun doesn't need to be unholstered. Thankfully I've never had to use my guns in a self defense situation, but that's how I've always been taught before and after acquiring my CPL.

Every state has different laws on brandishing a firearm. In some states like Texas it is allowed if it is to defuse or stop a crime. What you need to do is check with your state and see what the rules are

I bought a book that has been very helpful to me on what can and can't be done. the book is self defence laws in all fifty states by mich veto. at the time it was 29.95 with free shipping but well worth the dollar

Depends on the crime.

The threat of deadly force is only permitted when the use of deadly force is permitted.

As a general rule, if a situation does not justify the use of deadly force then you would be in the wrong to "threaten to use deadly force" (which is what your are doing when you draw the gun...whether you say anything or not...the threat is implied by you simply presenting the weapon).

So, in a nutshell:
If the situation justifies the use of deadly force, you are safe to draw.
If the situation does not justify the use of deadly force, you may not be safe to draw.

If you've got no intention of shooting, you've got no business drawing. That does not mean that if you draw you must shoot, just that if you draw you darn well better be "ready, willing, & able" to shoot.

PEC-Memphis
05-17-2011, 08:37
As a general rule, if a situation does not justify the use of deadly force then you would be in the wrong to "threaten to use deadly force" (which is what your are doing when you draw the gun...whether you say anything or not...the threat is implied by you simply presenting the weapon).

So, in a nutshell:
If the situation justifies the use of deadly force, you are safe to draw.
If the situation does not justify the use of deadly force, you may not be safe to draw.

If you've got no intention of shooting, you've got no business drawing. That does not mean that if you draw you must shoot, just that if you draw you darn well better be "ready, willing, & able" to shoot.

Bingo. (for most states)

.....just that if you draw you darn well better be "ready, willing, able & legal" to shoot.

IndyGunFreak
05-17-2011, 08:45
No? Read this. (http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-16/news/29548742_1_firearms-license-youtube-clips-gun-rights)

Where in that article was he defending himself? Without getting into all the emotion of Open Carry... where exactly was that clown arrested for defending himself? He was arrested for open carrying (whether it was a proper arrest or not, is for the court to decide).

There's other examples(and frankly, far better ones) of people being arrested after a self defense incident, that would have been better to point out.

David Armstrong
05-17-2011, 09:32
As mentioned, if deadly force is legally appropriate you are probably OK. If you are just drawing to try to scare someone maybe you should put on an ugly mask and yell "BOO!" real loud instead.

Cream Soda Kid
05-17-2011, 10:17
http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/If-all-you-had-was-a-hammer.jpg
This is great! You always make me laugh, and think.

Cream Soda Kid
05-17-2011, 10:19
You pull your gun without the justification for using it.
The guy you pull it on isn't intimidated.
Now what are you going to do?
I agree, it has now escalated.

Jayock
05-17-2011, 10:24
The second half of the posts above mirror my thoughts, training and IMO good common sense.

Only pull your gun if you are in a situation that warrants the use of it. Otherwise you could be in some big trouble (Menacing, Brandishing, Etc).

During any such encounter, you should be constantly evaluating the situation. You do not want to train yourself that a trigger pull is automatic after drawing.

Say someone turns and runs, or backs off with their hand up as they see you un-holster. Shooting them in the back, or after surrender in front of witnesses lands you in a world trouble in the form of homicide, or manslaughter.

Of course you must always be willing and able to pull the trigger if necessary, for the above mentioned reasons.

dosei
05-17-2011, 10:34
I am wondering what the ramifications (legal or otherwise) would be of pulling your gun to diffuse a situation or prevent a crime from happening

Ramifications for brandishing a deadly weapon without legal justification to use deadly force...here are a couple that come to mind:

Arrested for brandishing, fined, incarcerated, weapon confiscated, permit revoked.

Killed in self-defence (i.e., the other person will have legal justification to use deadly force to protect themselves...because unless they are actively committing a felony, you just gave them the "high ground". You will have illegally threatened a person with deadly force, giving them the right of self-defence...you will have turned yourself into the BG).

Denied
05-17-2011, 11:16
Drawing a weapon OTHER than when deadly force is justified is like the forward pass, three thing can happen and two are bad;
1. The subject turns and walks away, that the good.
2. The subject takes exception to you pulling a gun and the situation escalates leaving you in the wrong, that's bad.
3. The subject walks but calls the law and files charges against you, that also bad.
Not to mention that you have given away your greatest advantage, that of surprise.

In Ohio the charge would likely be;

2903.21 Aggravated menacing.

(A) No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person’s unborn, or a member of the other person’s immediate family.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of aggravated menacing. Except as otherwise provided in this division, aggravated menacing is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, aggravated menacing is a felony of the fifth degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.

Effective Date: 04-10-2001

diablo_svr
05-17-2011, 13:01
I wouldn't do it.

Brandishing carries 5 yrs here in FL and people do get arrested and go to jail for it. I know of someone that got 5 yrs last year for doing it.

I always carry less-lethal and if there was a situation I felt I absolutely had to intervene, I would consider it.

BPStymiest
05-17-2011, 17:48
A couple years back someone attempted to break into my grandparents house while my grandmother was home alone. I arrived at the sametime as the police. They did not find anyone lurking around the outside of the house so they left. I looked out the window because we were expecting my brother and noticed the tailights on one of the cars were lit up. I went outside to find someone in the car. He may have been there the whole time. I called 911 and wait for them to dispatch the officers back out. The BG saw me and got out. Started to climb the fence to come into the yard. I drew and did not have to fire. When the officers arrived they knew from the 911 call that was being played over the radio that I was armed and had the BG at gunpoint because he attempted to come over the fence. The officer arrived and I put my gun on the ground and stepped back. The officers did not draw on me. The BG was arrested for attempted breaking and entering and trespassing. Once they had him in custody and finished the report, they gave me my EDC back. I asked them what ramifications I would be facing and they said none. I think it really.depends on the responding officers and how you conduct yourself. I would do it again if I had to but hope it never comes to it again. I did not get charged with anything or made to feel by the LEO that I had done anything wrong. It definitely changes your view and thought process when you have to draw. I would have shot him had he come into the fenced area.

FYI....this was in a major metropolitan area in NC.

bustedknee
05-17-2011, 19:46
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to kill somebody with it. If you just yank it out to try and scare somebody out of what they are doing you more than likely will end up in jail. I wouldn't draw unless the situation is bad enough to pull the trigger. Don't worry about somebody commiting a crime, you are not the police, just report it. As for a situation, unless it involves you directly and you have a VERY good reason to believe your life is in danger right then, keep it in the holster.

This is a thread that needed only one reply post and this was it.

It appears some people could use a bit more training, a bit more maturity, or a bit more intelligence.

Denied
05-18-2011, 09:46
http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-news-delray-gilbert-gun-arrest,0,5443308.story

barstoolguru
05-18-2011, 11:11
Depends on the crime.

The threat of deadly force is only permitted when the use of deadly force is permitted.

this is what texas says.........
9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person
is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.31;
(2) if a reasonable person in the actor's situation
would not have retreated; and
(3) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect himself against the other's use or
attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual
assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
(b) The requirement imposed by Subsection (a)(2) does not
apply to an actor who uses force against a person who is at the time
of the use of force committing an offense of unlawful entry in the
habitation of the actor.
notice it does not give a degree of the crime, but the crime itself

how a lawyer looks at it

The Burden of Proof for Self-Defense

In any criminal case, the prosecution's main goal is to show that a crime was committed. In this instance, the prosecution must simply show that a weapon was brandished, which qualifies as assault. Whenever a defendant chooses to argue self-defense in a case, the burden of proof falls on the defendant, not the prosecution.

This means that the defendant must prove that the need for self-defense justified the commission of assault. If the defendant cannot successfully argue that self-defense was necessary, s/he may be found guilty of assault or aggravated assault.

Because self-defense can be a difficult argument to make in an assault case, it is important to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal attorney can gather all evidence relevant to your case to help you construct a strong defense to your assault charge.

Captains1911
05-18-2011, 11:36
I think people overthink this subject, and I'm sure dangerous situations are very often diffused by the simple act of brandishing. BG is being bad, CCW holder pulls gun, BG sh&ts his pants and runs away, end of story.

NMGlocker
05-18-2011, 17:47
I think people overthink this subject, and I'm sure dangerous situations are very often diffused by the simple act of brandishing. BG is being bad, CCW holder pulls gun, BG sh&ts his pants and runs away, end of story.
And if the bad guy doesn't run away?
Whatcha gonna do now Willis?

Jayock
05-18-2011, 18:08
how a lawyer looks at it

The Burden of Proof for Self-Defense

In any criminal case, the prosecution's main goal is to show that a crime was committed. In this instance, the prosecution must simply show that a weapon was brandished, which qualifies as assault. Whenever a defendant chooses to argue self-defense in a case, the burden of proof falls on the defendant, not the prosecution.

This means that the defendant must prove that the need for self-defense justified the commission of assault. If the defendant cannot successfully argue that self-defense was necessary, s/he may be found guilty of assault or aggravated assault.

Because self-defense can be a difficult argument to make in an assault case, it is important to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal attorney can gather all evidence relevant to your case to help you construct a strong defense to your assault charge.

In some jurisdictions self-defense is an affirmative assertive defense. When it is an assertive defense, the burden of proof is still on the prosecutor.

Of course IANAL, so I can't tell anyone whether or not that applies to them.

Jayock
05-18-2011, 18:13
And if the bad guy doesn't run away?
Whatcha gonna do now Willis?

I think we have people arguing over things that they might actually agree on.

You must be willing, able and justified to use the deadly force before drawing the gun. But people arguing of the "run away" scenario are trying to point out that just because you had to pull, you may not always have to shoot, or be legal if you shoot. The run away scenario is a prime example.

I've read that for an average carrier, it takes between 1 and 1.5 seconds to draw from concealment and put a shot on target. Well trained and practiced may be a bit faster. Alot can change in 1 second, and the shooting may no longer be justified.

Of course if the attack continues, you must have the absolute resolve to end the encounter with the force you have presented by drawing the weapon.

David Armstrong
05-18-2011, 23:02
I think people overthink this subject, and I'm sure dangerous situations are very often diffused by the simple act of brandishing. BG is being bad, CCW holder pulls gun, BG sh&ts his pants and runs away, end of story.
Brandishing is not a simple act, it is an act that carries quite a bit of baggage with it. You don't brandish. You bring your gun into play if and only if deadly force is appropriate. You don't have to use that deadly force, but it darned sure better be there when you you start threatening someone with a gun.

happyguy
05-19-2011, 08:38
I'm not going to be the guy who draws his gun and waves it around.

I might draw it quietly and keep it hidden if it looks like I might need it momentarily, but as a general rule I'm not going to draw it unless I intend to use it, though circumstances can change quickly and it might become unnecessary to shoot.

Regards,
Happyguy :)

PEC-Memphis
05-19-2011, 09:36
You bring your gun into play if and only if deadly force is appropriate. You don't have to use that deadly force, but it darned sure better be there when you you start threatening someone with a gun.

Unless, perhaps, you happen to be a PPD officer?

TBO
05-19-2011, 11:17
This is great! You always make me laugh, and think.
Thank you for the compliment Sir.
It is always my hope that I can add to a discussion/topic, and help to promote thinking/approaching the topic from multiple angels.

Sometimes a photo/picture can help convey a thought in a way that text may not.

All the best

TBO

Captains1911
05-19-2011, 12:34
And if the bad guy doesn't run away?
Whatcha gonna do now Willis?

If the bad guy continues the life threatening act, then he goes down, you don't pull it if you aren't prepared to use it. But if the act of drawing it causes him to stop whatever threatening behavior he was exhibiting, then great.

Captains1911
05-19-2011, 12:35
I'm not going to be the guy who draws his gun and waves it around.

I might draw it quietly and keep it hidden if it looks like I might need it momentarily, but as a general rule I'm not going to draw it unless I intend to use it, though circumstances can change quickly and it might become unnecessary to shoot.

Regards,
Happyguy :)

My point exactly

NecoDude
05-19-2011, 13:10
In my CCW class we were instructed that IF we decide to draw and cover, we loudly tell the BG to cease his behavior that caused you to draw (think "Demolition Man"). That way if you do put them down, witnesses can attest that you drew as last resort and gave them opportunity to withdraw. So in this scenario if you draw and de-escalate, there wouldn't be any charges filed against you. That's how it was explained to me, hope I never have to prove the theory.

NMGlocker
05-19-2011, 15:56
You draw with the intent and justification to stop an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm.
Period.

FireForged
05-21-2011, 14:44
It is not my intention to ever pull a gun for the purpose of showing it (waving it around) or pointing it (for effect). If I pull a firearm it will be for the purpose of firing it. If while I am in the "process" of drawing it and firing, the badguy desides to stop what they doing- I will gladly rehoslter.

CoyoteDrifter
05-24-2011, 21:08
Sometimes you don't need to draw to diffuse a situation. One time I was in a convience store with my wife. She went over to use the ATM in the store. While she was standing there a scumbag came in, circled around an isle and started walking toward her. I knew by the way he was walking (fast) and looking around that he wasn't shopping. I stepped in between them, placed my hand on my gun (IWB holster) under my shirt and looked him straight in the eye. By the look on his face he immediately knew what it meant. He abruptly turned around, scoffed something off a shelf, and zipped out the door. This wasn't a life threatening situation so I wasn't justified in pulling the gun, but I effectively changed the outcome without "brandishing".

steveksux
05-25-2011, 01:11
You pull your gun without the justification for using it.
The guy you pull it on isn't intimidated.
Now what are you going to do?Give the other guy legal justification for using deadly force against you.

Randy

David Armstrong
05-25-2011, 09:14
Unless, perhaps, you happen to be a PPD officer?
Do you really want to go down that road again??

PEC-Memphis
05-25-2011, 10:17
Do you really want to go down that road again??

Na, the pavement has been beaten off of this road so much that it would take all of Barry's infrastructure stimulus money to even make it walkable.

uhlawpup
05-25-2011, 10:26
1. Beware of "as a general rule" statements.
2. Beware of summaries of the law. Look at the law itself.
3. Beware of shackling yourself to a scenario based on what you think would happen.
4. Overthinking a situation can be as dangerous as underpreparation.
5. Increase your skill and personal awareness, and act in each situation according to its individual facts, and the rules.

SCmasterblaster
05-25-2011, 10:53
I do not anticipate EVER bringing out my G17 and NOT shooting. The lethal threat to me will be displayed, and I shall draw and shoot the displayer immediately and repeatedly until he goes down hard.

Ruble Noon
05-25-2011, 11:04
Check with your state, they should have laws about how to handle this situation. In any event, I believe very few states allow you to "show" your weapon to "diffuse" the situation. That's what OC is for. :supergrin:

Kansas allows you to brandish your weapon to diffuse a situation if you feel that your life or anothers is under threat of death or bodily injury.

Old Junes
05-25-2011, 12:24
Sometimes you don't need to draw to diffuse a situation. One time I was in a convience store with my wife. She went over to use the ATM in the store. While she was standing there a scumbag came in, circled around an isle and started walking toward her. I knew by the way he was walking (fast) and looking around that he wasn't shopping. I stepped in between them, placed my hand on my gun (IWB holster) under my shirt and looked him straight in the eye. By the look on his face he immediately knew what it meant. He abruptly turned around, scoffed something off a shelf, and zipped out the door. This wasn't a life threatening situation so I wasn't justified in pulling the gun, but I effectively changed the outcome without "brandishing".

This is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about when I asked the question in my original post.

At the end of the day, having a CCW does not make you a cowboy and prudence is king. I get all of that. Thank you all for your thoughts. I am enjoying the discussion... feel free to keep it going!

talon
05-25-2011, 12:37
Or.... the "scumbag" was an undercover LEO who needed to use the ATM and when he saw you "go for your gun" ducked behind cover and opened fire at you. Store video clearly shows you grabbing your gun under your shirt.


Sometimes you don't need to draw to diffuse a situation. One time I was in a convience store with my wife. She went over to use the ATM in the store. While she was standing there a scumbag came in, circled around an isle and started walking toward her. I knew by the way he was walking (fast) and looking around that he wasn't shopping. I stepped in between them, placed my hand on my gun (IWB holster) under my shirt and looked him straight in the eye. By the look on his face he immediately knew what it meant. He abruptly turned around, scoffed something off a shelf, and zipped out the door. This wasn't a life threatening situation so I wasn't justified in pulling the gun, but I effectively changed the outcome without "brandishing".

CoyoteDrifter
05-25-2011, 20:43
This is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about when I asked the question in my original post.

At the end of the day, having a CCW does not make you a cowboy and prudence is king. I get all of that. Thank you all for your thoughts. I am enjoying the discussion... feel free to keep it going!

Good discussion. Glad to join in. One other point that I didn't make quite clear is that the potential problem was avoided because I was aware of what was going on in time to give it a couple of seconds of thought, make a judgement, and react. That awareness helped give me time to send him the "message" before the situation got way too close for comfort. Your gun is a relatively a small part of what keeps you safe.