When is a shot in the back justifiable?

This is a discussion on When is a shot in the back justifiable? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You walk in just as someone is finishing doing something gruesome to your son/daughter/spouse and he turns to walk out....

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Thread: When is a shot in the back justifiable?

  1. #16
    Member Array Hkchris's Avatar
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    You walk in just as someone is finishing doing something gruesome to your son/daughter/spouse and he turns to walk out.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    When is a shot in the back justifiable?

    I've always had the idea a shot in the back is NEVER justified and for good reason ...
    Here in Oregon, there isn't any criminality imposed on shooting an attacker "in the back." There's the normal statutory prohibition against harming "fleeing felons," of course, but beyond that it's the responsibility of a "reasonable man" to make the judgment as to when or where.

    I'm comfortable with this simple standard: if it is unlikely in the extreme that the violent felon in my face is going to cease being violent in the immediate future, then I believe I am fully justified in continuing to attempt the immediate stopping of the felon, irrespective of what direction the entry or exit wounds take. Can't exactly justify harm as punishment, as we're not judge, jury and executioner. That's a quick way to get nailed legally with charges. But, the reality is, live bipeds move this way and that, and it can be darned difficult to ensure contact at the exact aim point that's been planned when the violent person has a will of his own. No amount of faked sanctimoniousness on the part of prosecutors will change that. In the end, I'm not the one who has created the violent situation; if I'm able, however, I will be the one to end it, even if the SOB ends up with a few holes in the back, side or wherever.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkchris View Post
    You walk in just as someone is finishing doing something gruesome to your son/daughter/spouse and he turns to walk out.
    I would question the honesty of any answer but two. I'll give you one of them, "No comment".
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  5. #19
    Member Array MoResident's Avatar
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    If the perp has a gun pointed on my wife or kids, the jury will just have decide because my mind is already made up.
    "Proud To Have Been Banned by Huff PO"

  6. #20
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    I think you need to ask this a little differently. Are you in a situation in which the use of lethal force is justified? If yes, then the location of the hit shouldn't matter. if no, then you shouldn't be shooting. Example, in Texas the law is specific in allowing you to use deadly force to stop a felon fleeing from custody or escaping after commiting a crime on your property after dark. Other states have different laws. Find out what they are in the area you are in and follow them. If you do then even an anti DA will be without justification in trying to railroad you. The circumstance will dictate whether you can use deadly force, not which way the BG is facing.

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Force Science did some research a while back and showed that you could intend to fire at the front of someone and by the time you fired they could have turned so you hit them in the back.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  8. #22
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    When is a shot in the back justifiable?
    Seldom if ever for a civilian. Trained military or LEO marksman could be called upon to take a shot under certain circumstances such as hostage situations.
    Those few situations that I could think of it being justified would actually put my justification at risk with a pass through or over-penetration. I won't get in too deep with my thoughts on when or where, but let's just say it's risky at best. If defense isn't CQB, then it's face to face. If you know without a doubt that shooting someone in the back will save thousands of lives in the future, then you weigh the odds for yourself and be willing to sacrifice yourself for the many. A shot in the back is best left to the soldier at war who knows an enemy put down may save the platoon tomorrow. Most civilians will never be put in that spot, nor should they think of personal defense as a team effort, even though a criminal off the street is better for all of us in the long run.
    Back in the days of the old west, shooting someone in the back got you one of two things even if it was from a 'wanted dead or alive' poster. A bad name, or your very own 'wanted' poster amongst his friends. Any family man back in that day that shot a most wanted criminal in the back for whatever reason would never hope to make a good name for himself after the fact. Same holds true to this day. We're not living in the old west these days, but I can see a lot of similarities. Shop-keepers seldom had guns....now we find shop-keepers like to post 'no-gun' signs. It's the risk they feel and that risk still exists because of the days of the old west when the general store in town didn't want any problems. Gunslingers. Back in the days of the old west the gunslinger was obvious. Modern day version of the gunslinger is far removed from those times just like public hangings and the like. You no longer save the town from adversity, but you save yourself.
    IMO....shooting someone in the back shouldn't even be thought about as a possibility with personal defense. Just my opinion. Things will never come out right or in your favor.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    There can be just as many situations where a BG would be shot in the back and it was justified as not.
    Maybe a good rule of thumb is.... In a situation, if you have enough time to think whether shooting someone in any way is justifiable or not.... then it is most likely not justified.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  10. #24
    Member Array Timezoneguy's Avatar
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    Seems simple enough to me... I fire my weapon to save a life. If it's not your life you better have a vaild justification. My kid/wife being kidnapped ect. If I could stop him I would. Emminent danger of life, seems like all the explanation required. Citizens arrest?? If this guy is intent in doing you/others deadly harm claiming citizens arrest may slow him down only because he is laughing so hard.
    In a gun fight, you can not miss fast enough, to catch up.

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Many years ago one of my neighbors where I work was shot and killed in his place of business as he was closing on Christmas Eve during a hold up.....as the BG's fled my other neighbors in a gas station next door opened fire on them as they fled in a car as they saw what happened and they were armed. LEO's responded and one of the detectives after questioning my neighbors who fired at the car said.....'In the case of an armed person / BG fleeing a murder scene, it's open season as long as your firearm is legal".
    Makes me think........if you witnessed a hold up with someone shot would it be justified to open fire on a fleeing BG, even from behind............?

    Hmmmmmmmm......?

  12. #26
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    If there's an immediate threat. Isn't that the criteria anyway? If there isn't, the shoot isn't justified.

  13. #27
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    I've always felt justified is justified; front, side, back, head, whatever. I don't see myself changing my mind for a life or death decision based on what a jury "might" think. The main issue is are you otherwise justified. My kids bedrooms are straight down the hall from my master bedroom. In the event someone makes it that far, they'll get no warning from me. Not headed towards my kids.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Someone stealing stuff in Texas......
    Texas Statutes - Section 9.42: DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY
    A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

    (3) he reasonably believes that:

    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
    I am not saying I would do it, but if you have some young kid making off with a bag full of gold coins from the home of a guy with a heart condition........ How fast can he run? 1100 feet per second? He had better hope so!
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  15. #29
    Member Array Sample's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend anyone shooting someone in the back and plus if you are citizen and not LEO they will eat you up in court. Due to the simple fact they will say that this person was not longer a threat to you because he/she had their back turns towards you. But if you could justify it then you might be good to go but it might be hard and you will have to hire a lawyer which could cost you big money....Just my two cents!
    Last edited by Sample; December 25th, 2010 at 10:54 PM. Reason: ldsjlsdlsfdal
    I trained everyday and will be ready for the day that I have to defend myself or my family!

  16. #30
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    In Utah...

    You MAY use deadly force:
    1. If you reasonably believe the force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to yourself or a third person.
    2. To prevent the commission of a forcible felony

    You MAY NOT use deadly force:
    1. To effect an arrest. (LEOs may) Even if the person has committed a forcible felony.
    2. To protect property.
    3. Unlawful entry into your home, unless entry is made in a violent or tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth and you reasonably believe that the entry is being made or attempted for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person therein and you reasonably believe that deadly force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; OR you reasonably believe that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the commission of that felony...whew!

    So, if someone is IN THE PROCESS of committing a forcible felony (rape, kidnapping, etc.), shoot them wherever you want. Someone is trying to steal your car and someone is in it, shoot them in the back if that is the angle you have.

    Someone is killing someone with a bat, shoot them.

    If someone has committed any crime and is running away, you cannot shoot them.

    Of course, you'd better make sure that what you think is happening is what is really happening. A jogger in central park came upon a man and a woman struggling. The woman was screaming "rape". The jogger pulled his legally carried weapon, shot and killed the man. Turns out it was a cop making an arrest of a prostitute and she was not being raped at all. Bad deal...true story.
    We're all in favor of reducing violent crime. It's just that pro-gunners have a method that is proven effective. Anti-gunners don't.
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    John Moses Browning day is January 24th, 2011

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