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Old 06-19-2011, 01:15   #1
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Threat of force/Use of Force Appropriate?

I would love your opinion on this Mas.

I was involved in a situation a couple months ago when my buddy was talking trash to a bouncer at a bar (not the greatest bar in town to say the least). He picked a fight with a guy (not the bouncer, but was standing up for the bar). My buddy was incoherently drunk, but i was the DD and did not drink a drop the entire night. Well it turns out this guy had about 8-10 friends outside ready to jump my friend and i. They cornered us (no escape possible). Believe me, i doubted we would not exit the encounter without serious bodily injury by the crowd in front of us. Well a guy came forward, and pushed me against a wall so i just reacted and put him to the ground. This took the fight out of the mob, and we were able to run away, while they threw bottles at us. More than one of them had a knife on their belt (though none of them drew it) I am 6'4" and weigh 260lbs... Would this count towards disparity of force if i had a handgun (which i did not). I feel like if i did have a hand gun, and if i had drawn, no one would have had to get hurt. We could have just gotten away (which was our intention). Because of my size and physical prowess, would i have gone to jail for aggravated assault if i had drawn a weapon on them?

I have read this entire forum, and the question really nagged at me, because honestly i was in fear for my life. I have 0 doubt they would have nearly killed us if not actually killed us. I am a pre-law student so i have an understanding of the law, but very little practical experience. This is in Montana, which has a holistic support of self defense as far as case law goes... This was told to me by a professor at the university. My concern in this is my physical size, and the fact my buddy essentially picked the fight. Would i be the aggressor?

Thanks for reading all of this, and i understand if you do not take this question, as it is quite long.
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:56   #2
Mas Ayoob
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Lots of issues here, bro, and enough complicated branching to probably make it better suited to a thread discussion elsewhere on GlockTalk. Best I can do in the short answer forum of GATE is:

1: Some would suggest that cold cocking your antagonistic drunk buddy would have been the quickest, most all-encompassing solution.

2: Classic example of my friend John Farnam's advice, which reads in part: "Don't go stupid places with stupid people." If this guy is gonna get smashed and start fights in bars full of dangerous people, and you absolutely HAVE to babysit him when he's drinking, best bet is to rent some DVDs and buy some pizza to go with the booze, and do it at home where he won't get you both into (as much) trouble.

3: Size and strength is an element that gives you disparity of force. So is the physical prowess you mentioned, but you didn't go into detail on your hand to hand background or just how decisively you put that first guy horizontal.

4: Force of numbers of course gives the others an element of disparity of force; no matter how big the moose, a large enough wolf pack can take him down.

5: Judge and jury would be looking at whether you attempted to de-escalate or remove your buddy between when he became antagonistic and when the crowd became assaultive. Absence of any attempt by you to quiet him down or get him out of there would make you look like part of the problem, not part of the solution.

6: Drawing a gun might indeed back off a mob. You'll want to be double checking on the legality of carrying in a bar in Montana, though. There's also the possibility that someone in the crowd might have had enough "beer muscles" to jump you for the gun...or pull one of his own.

I hope you've had a long talk with your buddy once he sobered up, and maybe discussed changing the recreational drinking paradigm.

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Old 06-19-2011, 05:27   #3
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I agree about a broader discussion, Mas. I opened a thread in Carry Issues as those of us who carry a firearm need to have this possibility and all the elements well thought through long before any event.


Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

"Comment is free, but facts are sacred." C.P. Scott, 1921
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:37   #4
Mas Ayoob
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Thanks, Russ!
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Old 06-19-2011, 13:40   #5
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I hit the guy before he could swing on me. Connected pretty solidly. I have no formal training in unarmed combat, but if they dug hard enough they could find out i went to a pretty tuff high school, where my coach allowed things ot be settled in the locker room. Once i hit the guy there was a real pause in the crowd. The whole time i was telling my friend to shut the hell up. They surrounded and backed us up into a corner. (The entrance is in a dead end alley of sorts. One way out) Carrying in a bar is not allowed, which is why i was not carrying. This guy is really hit or miss as far as how he acts. We have not been back to that bar, and i am not planning on it after this incident. Thanks for the response, it was informative.
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