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Old 08-25-2011, 09:08   #41
Donn57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mparker View Post
You might want to re-think #1 regardless of what that guy told you. I don't have the reference right now but I read somewhere that 80-90% of the time a CCW person draws a gun, it isn't fired and the perp does not escalate the situation.
This is true, although the percentage is probably even higher. I think the percentage is high due to two possible scenarios. The first is the gun is drawn in a situation where deadly force is not necessarily justified and the CCW holder knows it, so doesn't fire. The second is that the CCW holder draws his gun on someone attacking with a deadly weapon and is reluctant to shoot someone, thus giving the attacker the opportunity to disengage which most attackers are wont to do.

Obviously, in the first situation described above, the gun should not have been drawn in the first place, so we can ignore those cases,

In the second situation, the CCW holder is completely justified in drawing and firing immediately. Odds are the attacker is not going to change his mind in the couple of seconds it takes to draw and fire. Only if the intended victim gives him the opportunity to cease hostilities is he likely to do so. In other words, the victim is gambling that the attacker will stop at the sight of the gun. Seems odd that so many people who carry a gun with all odds being against them ever needing it are willing to gamble when those long odds are realized and they are confronted with a deadly force situation.

I find it interesting that apparently some folks are reluctant to shoot someone who is coming at them with a deadly weapon, but once the weapon is dropped, they feel justified in shooting an unarmed attacker.

My point is that, depending on where you live, shooting an armed attacker is much more likely to be deemed a good shoot than shooting an unarmed person. Playing the odds that a jury will understand some vague legal argument that even tho the attacker stopped his attack and dropped his weapon you were justified in shooting him because he walked toward you with no visible weapon just doesn't sound like a game I want to play.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:09   #42
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I believe that it would be reasonable to presume that anyone who continues to advance on you while you're pointing a gun at them intends to disarm you and kill you with it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:11   #43
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Originally Posted by ChuteTheMall View Post
Not sure why I would want to detain a person at gunpoint, it would generally be in my best interests to allow him to flee.
I'm not in the business of bringing in the badguys.
This is an excellent point.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:22   #44
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Originally Posted by badge315 View Post
I believe that it would be reasonable to presume that anyone who continues to advance on you while you're pointing a gun at them intends to disarm you and kill you with it.
You may think such an assumption is reasonable, but you're gambling on the prosecutor's office and a jury agreeing with you. Regardless of circumstances, many people are funny about folks shooting unarmed individuals.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:04   #45
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Originally Posted by GlockinNJ View Post
OK, but the question is - "What would you do then?"
Which is a question with no single answer. I was addressing the issue brought up by some of if one could shoot or not. What you could do instead of shoot covers everything from make a mean face to engage in assorted levels of altercation. Without more information it is impossible to give an accurate response to the question.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:08   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn57 View Post
You may think such an assumption is reasonable, but you're gambling on the prosecutor's office and a jury agreeing with you. Regardless of circumstances, many people are funny about folks shooting unarmed individuals.
This is the crux of it, IMO. In my state (NJ), we have castle doctrine and no duty to retreat in the home (outside is a different story). Here's an excerpt from NJ law:

"...the use of force or deadly force upon or toward an intruder who is unlawfully in a dwelling is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other persons in the dwelling against the use of unlawful force by the intruder on the present occasion."

There's a bunch of caveats, but that's the gist of it. Now, I'm no lawyer, but the law doesn't say the intruder needs to have a weapon per se, just that they present the threat of "unlawful" force. The question then becomes whether unarmed agression is considered by case law precedent to be unlawful force.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:08   #47
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Originally Posted by badge315 View Post
I believe that it would be reasonable to presume that anyone who continues to advance on you while you're pointing a gun at them intends to disarm you and kill you with it.
Doubtful that most others would believe that, which is the essence of "reasonable."
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:10   #48
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Originally Posted by GlockinNJ View Post
This is the crux of it, IMO. In my state (NJ), we have castle doctrine and no duty to retreat in the home (outside is a different story). Here's an excerpt from NJ law:

"...the use of force or deadly force upon or toward an intruder who is unlawfully in a dwelling is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other persons in the dwelling against the use of unlawful force by the intruder on the present occasion."

There's a bunch of caveats, but that's the gist of it. Now, I'm no lawyer, but the law doesn't say the intruder needs to have a weapon per se, just that they present the threat of "unlawful" force. The question then becomes whether unarmed agression is considered by case law precedent to be unlawful force.
That is only part of the question, and misses the part that many leave out when discussing Castle Doctrine and so on. That part is "when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself."
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:13   #49
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Originally Posted by Donn57 View Post
You may think such an assumption is reasonable, but you're gambling on the prosecutor's office and a jury agreeing with you. Regardless of circumstances, many people are funny about folks shooting unarmed individuals.
And yet there is a legal presumption that any uninvited person in your home is there to kill you, whether or not there's any indication that that is actually the case. Any assumption that an unarmed individual aggressively advancing toward an armed person is not intent on violent assault defies logic.

Personally, I'm confident in my ability to articulate why I felt my life was in danger if I ever have to utilize deadly force.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:19   #50
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Originally Posted by mparker View Post
You might want to re-think #1 regardless of what that guy told you. I don't have the reference right now but I read somewhere that 80-90% of the time a CCW person draws a gun, it isn't fired and the perp does not escalate the situation.

.......

If you are in true defense mode there is nothing wrong with drawing. It doesn't mean you have to shoot. You need to separate the drawing from the shooting.

.

Surprised no one has cried "Brandishing" yet.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:26   #51
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If I had no way to retreat, and the attacker was close enough to be an immediate threat, I would fire.
There is still a weapon present, you just happen to be the custodian of it. If the attacker is so close that his next action could give him access to it, and he has made his intent clear, why allow that?
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:55   #52
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Originally Posted by SpringerTGO View Post
If I had no way to retreat, and the attacker was close enough to be an immediate threat, I would fire.
There is still a weapon present, you just happen to be the custodian of it. If the attacker is so close that his next action could give him access to it, and he has made his intent clear, why allow that?
Because you don't get to base reasonableness on what what could happen. It seems as if many in this thread have forgotten the basic elements of use of deadly force or never learned them. It appears that in the OP we have only one, and at best two, of the four elements.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:57   #53
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Well my take on this is if the perp was lucky enough to drop his weapon as I was pulling/drawing down on him with out me shooting him. That would be a maricle . But then stupid enough to keep coming at me I'd say he be getting shot anyway. He's already shown intent by having a weapon in the first place. Especially if the distance is under 20 ft. I have a second or two before he's on me! I have no idea if he has another knife hidden or a gun.

As for the mob- I keep dropping them as long as they are standing- they have one option run away or get shot! Cause anyone that doesn't run is a threat! There's always a leader/main agressor in a mob -he gets it first.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:59   #54
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Originally Posted by David Armstrong View Post
Doubtful that most others would believe that, which is the essence of "reasonable."
The definition of 'reasonable' changes all the time, even from one jury to another. If the prosecutor simply argues the fact that "badge315 shot an unarmed man", my actions might indeed appear unreasonable. If my attorney counters with the additional facts that "badge315 was threatened by Mr. BG with a knife and he drew his handgun to defend himself. Mr. BG then dropped his knife, but continued to advance menacingly at badge315", my actions might not appear so unreasonable after all. But like you already said, there is no single "what should I do?" answer to such a situation.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:13   #55
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Originally Posted by David Armstrong View Post
Pretty simple, IMO. If you drew, intending to shoot based on the fact that the person was threatening you with a knife and he drops the knife, then you no longer have the justification to shoot based on that set of facts. They are no longer in existence. If he now advances on you barehanded can you explain to a jury of your peers why it was reasonable to assume that deadly force was the appropriate response to a threat of attack by an unarmed man. Personally I think you have a rather tough road ahead if you do.
Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:19   #56
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Originally Posted by badge315 View Post
The definition of 'reasonable' changes all the time, even from one jury to another.
Not really. The definition remains the same. As the situation changes different juries look at different elements of an event to decide if the actions were reasonable or not.
Quote:
If the prosecutor simply argues the fact that "badge315 shot an unarmed man", my actions might indeed appear unreasonable. If my attorney counters with the additional facts that "badge315 was threatened by Mr. BG with a knife and he drew his handgun to defend himself. Mr. BG then dropped his knife, but continued to advance menacingly at badge315", my actions might not appear so unreasonable after all.
Depends on what those actions were. I'd still contend that, barring some unusual circumstances, shooting an unarmed man will not be considered reasonable by most jurors.
Quote:
But like you already said, there is no single "what should I do?" answer to such a situation.
Right. There is no single response, so you better be able to explain why you did not respond at a lower level of force rather than selecting the highest level.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:29   #57
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Originally Posted by Cream Soda Kid View Post
Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
You offer a good point. Yes, there is a great disparity of force available due to your poor health. So it might be reasonable for you to use a higher level of force than someone else. That is what "reasonable" is all about...if someone else was you, what would they have done? Now, is lethal force justified? Again, can you explain to the court (or more likely have your lawyer explain) why you felt that level of force was the only viable option? If so you are probably gong to be OK. You used some key phrases: "If he were to get his hands on me" -and- "the possibility of death." How likely was it he would have been able to get his hands on you if you didn't shoot? How much possibility of death was there if you did not shoot? That is the hurdle you have to get over. That hurdle is at different heights for all of us.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:52   #58
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If he's within 121 feet he's still a threat.

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Old 08-25-2011, 12:03   #59
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Originally Posted by Cream Soda Kid View Post
Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
Quote:
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You offer a good point. Yes, there is a great disparity of force available due to your poor health. So it might be reasonable for you to use a higher level of force than someone else. That is what "reasonable" is all about...if someone else was you, what would they have done? Now, is lethal force justified? Again, can you explain to the court (or more likely have your lawyer explain) why you felt that level of force was the only viable option? If so you are probably gong to be OK. You used some key phrases: "If he were to get his hands on me" -and- "the possibility of death." How likely was it he would have been able to get his hands on you if you didn't shoot? How much possibility of death was there if you did not shoot? That is the hurdle you have to get over. That hurdle is at different heights for all of us.
Both good posts. Lets say Cream Soda Kid(partially disabled and unable to fend off an attack physically) and BailRecoveryAgent(young, able, strong, capable of fending off a physical attack) are both walking down different dark alleys in different locations. CSK and BRA are both approached by knife wielding attackers. CSK and BRA both pull their legally concealed weapons and order both KWA's to stop. Both KWA drop the knives but advance toward both CSK and BRA. CSK and BRA both fire their weapons into the attackers, both are DRT.

Both scenarios play out the exactly the same, but they will likely play out much different if/when brought to a court of law. BRA may be able to prove he couldn't reholster, fend off the attack before the attacker reached him and tried to take his weapon, but he'll have a harder time proving justification of deadly force than CSK.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:05   #60
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If he's within 121 feet he's still a threat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_6bmrqIsP8
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