Threatening physical violence (unarmed?)

This is a discussion on Threatening physical violence (unarmed?) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been reading a lot, but I still have one scenario that I need help on (well, for now ). If someone approaches you in ...

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Thread: Threatening physical violence (unarmed?)

  1. #1
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    Threatening physical violence (unarmed?)

    I've been reading a lot, but I still have one scenario that I need help on (well, for now ).

    If someone approaches you in a threatening manner and you cannot see that they are armed, and you have no means of retreat, what are the limits on telling someone you're armed, showing the handgun, etc.?

    Here in Florida, I understand the new "no retreat" castle doctrine, but I also am not sure how far that extends to someone not (apparently) armed. My thoughts are I've seen enough internet and news videos that show people getting seriously harmed, even beaten to near death, that weapon or not I certainly would feel my life is being threatened. Not to mention I've seen encounters were what at first was a fist fight, then turns into the BG pulling out a weapon.

    I'm not a big guy (short and skinny) and have no problem saying I'm no tough guy. I understand "brandishing", but could I say "stop right there, I am armed"? And if they continued to approach, reveal that I wasn't kidding?

    What about if my wife and child were present? I certainly feel that my responsibilities jump exponentially at that point.

    I'm sure there are a million variables here, but let's get some dialog going to help me better understand.

    Thanks for the excellent site and people BTW.

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  3. #2
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    You can't just assume that someone is armed and take appropriate action, you can keep that in mind, be prepared and ready, but not take the action. The prosecutor and jury will see that he has not displayed a weapon and that will be what they take action against you on. Even if he has a weapon and has not displayed it, as far as even your facts show, he is unarmed. If you say that you're armed, that escalates the situation to a deadly force encounter and potentially gives him the right to take action rather than you.

    If it was me and I was by myself and being at a disadvantage of height/weight/etc. I would demand that he stop approaching and that I didn't want to get involved in anything. If I had my mace on me and he kept advancing, I would think that would be a point at which I would threaten its use or actually use it. As far as the gun, I wouldn't pull it just yet.

    There's a difference between getting your butt kicked and being in fear of deadly force. I would think that this would be a good opportunity to look into less-than-lethal weapons for such cases. I would think that with a wife and child with me my response would be the same, but I think I can articulate in court being at a disadvantage and being responsible for the wife and kid as well to draw to stop.

    Cheers.

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    Member Array Al.40cal's Avatar
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    +1 Soundwave

    Say it with me Non Lethal Defense!

    Make it clear that you don't want anything to do with him and if he continues spray mase to the face, if legal a stun gun to the body(groin or underarm). If that doesn't end the confrontation asp or baton to the side of the knee(I myself would smack him across the knee then head). Establish enough distance to get out of there and immediately call the cops.
    It comes a time in your life when you run across someone you should have never @#$$% with. Allow me to introduce myself!

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    As an older person and not in any way physically capable of running away. any threat of physical violence to me is a threat of deadly force. If they do not stop when I ask them to and keep advancing as I try and move away, then I draw and shoot if they don't stop. Disparity of force is on them first.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave
    If you say that you're armed, that escalates the situation to a deadly force encounter and potentially gives him the right to take action rather than you.



    Thanks. I needed a good laugh today.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    symbiont7, you really, really, really need to buy a copy of Florida Firearms Law, Use and Ownership by Jon Gutmacher. This is an impressive book written by a lawyer and updated yearly. It covers every aspect of firearms, knives, self defense you name it. It's in language we all can understand and will answer all your questions. They are usually for sale at gun stores or you can do a quick internet search and buy online.

    Something else I did was to get the name of a good criminal defense lawyer and spend a few minutes explaining your concerns about any questions you have after reading the book. It was an excellent education and much safer (especially legally) than taking the word of a bunch of us unknowns on the internet!
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  8. #7
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    I understand there is a difference in a good butt kicking and true deadly force, but it's the not knowing when it will escalate to deadly force that has me worried.

    I have seen far too many videos of people getting pummeled, bones broke, organ damage, head trauma, etc. yet we have to take it since the BG isn't using deadly force? These days, anyone laying their hands on me is reason for me to fear for my life. (well, except for my wife, but even then I may be in fear depending on if I did everything she told me )

    Oh, and I'm in no way saying I draw and start firing away, just curious about the "warning" part.

    I already have a few books I'm reading, but I'll add that one to my list.

    And yeah, internet law is, well, internet law! Just wanting to get a general feel for things.

  9. #8
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    No matter what you do, you must be able to covince a jury of your peers that you feared for your life and what you did to defend yourself was a reasonable action. Reasonable means how the jury sees it. Not how you see it.

    That depends entirely on where you are at and how the law reads it.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  10. #9
    Member Array TCB in TN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave
    If you say that you're armed, that escalates the situation to a deadly force encounter and potentially gives him the right to take action rather than you.

    There's a difference between getting your butt kicked and being in fear of deadly force.
    What??????

    If someone is the agressor and you take steps to protect yourself you have done just that! To follow your logic any attempt to defend yourself is "escalating" the encounter and you would then be held accountable. I don't buy that.

    Next you are partially right, there is a difference between getting your but kicked and being in fear for you life, but how are you supposed to know the intentions of of the person kicking your butt until it's over? Are they going to stop stomping your guts out or are they going to keep on till you are nothing but a greasy spot? You cannot know the intent of your attacker, and as such you have to act accordingly. Any physical attack has to be treated as a real threat! This entire idea of responding with the appropriate amount of force is great on paper, or in the movies, but I for one have no intention of betting my life, or that of my family on it. When someone shows their intent to hurt me or mine, my response will be swift and they will have a very small window to stand down, retreat, or otherwise show they have no more ill intentions. Their failing to do so will result in my taking whatever steps I can to assure the safety of me and mine.
    There are only 2 people I trust in this world and you ain't one of'em!

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    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    Let me give a real scenario.

    A rough looking fellow starts to approach me in a dead end hallway. He pretends to panhandle as he gets closer so to make me think he's just a pushy panhandler. At the last second he draws a weapon. I'm dead.

    Yes, this happened around here a few years ago pretty close to as described.

    I'm beginning to think that when I do start carrying, I should also carry pepper spray (mace, whatever) to use first in this type of situation.

    What about placing your hand on your weapon without showing it and not announcing it? I'm sure that could be considered showing force anyway, but it seems like a little more covert way of saying back off.

  12. #11
    Member Array Dumetre's Avatar
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    Shoot him in the leg, run away and call the cops?

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Ride4TheBrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symbiont7
    Let me give a real scenario.

    A rough looking fellow starts to approach me in a dead end hallway.
    Stay out of dead-end hallways.

    Seriously. Maintain condition yellow, take a command assesment of your surroundings at all times, and don't be afraid to verbally challenge early in such happenings. It helps to establish intent of the prospective perp. Who cares if you come off looking like an ass if it truly is a non threatening situation?

    Your safety is worth that much, isn't it?
    "We must remember that one man is much
    the same as another, and that he is best
    who is trained in the severest school."
    ~Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

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    Member Array FireBreather01's Avatar
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    I know I'm probably alone on this one but I'm not one that generally advocates using pepper spray or mace. Those are fine for LEO when they're trying to subdue a BG and they have a partner or more to back them up. Pepper spray can affect you and those near you - now you're worrying about your kids that just got some in their eyes, your eyes are tearing up, it may enrage your attacker, etc. If you're that fearful of a menacing BG then there is nothing wrong with shouting "STOP, I'm afraid you're going to kill me, I'm armed - if you come any closer I will defend myself!" or something like that.

    He advances, you draw, he closes - you shoot until the threat is ended. Also, by drawing on a perceived threat you can make the case that once drawn, by virtue of his threatening advances the BG was going for your gun. That's not an excuse to draw every time you're just nervous, but if you find yourself in a threatening situation and clearly warned someone and they've ignored your warnings and advanced, it's pretty clear evidence that they're not approaching you to invite you to a picnic!

    You will need to articulate to the investigating officer these things (although I would wait for my attorney to be present before I make any statement other than "I was in fear of my life, I'm quite upset, I'll give you a statement as soon as I call my attorney"): AOJ - Ability - the BG had the means to severely hurt or kill you, this can be by means of his weapon or by disparity of force (size, numbers, weapon,etc). Opportunity - the BG was close enough to inflict harm. Jeopardy - the BG intended (by his threats and/or actions) to kill or severely hurt you. You must be able to prove all of these things to a jury as well.

    I, for one, spent two years recovering from the criminal act of another, I will do everything in my power to prevent that from ever happening again!

    Take a class in armed self-defense, read some books, and gain the confidence you'll need to evaluate and respond to these situations accordingly.
    You do your thing, I'll do mine...

    NRA Lifer, RSO, Instructor

  15. #14
    Member Array FireBreather01's Avatar
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    Shoot him in the leg, run away and call the cops?
    Most emphatically - NO!!!

    You shoot until the threat has ended and you shoot where you're supposed to - center mass, unless a pelvic or head shot is preferable/necessary. And never, never, never run away - ever! Call out loudly for someone to call the police, stay where you are and wait for LE to show up. Flight = guilt, and you'll likely never talk your way out of that, even if you just ran around the corner and come back. You stand your ground.

    You take control of the situation, you direct someone to call 911/LE, and you ask bystanders if they're okay and weren't also harmed in the melee. You also holster your gun and wait for LE with your arms up when they approach.
    You do your thing, I'll do mine...

    NRA Lifer, RSO, Instructor

  16. #15
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCB in TN
    What??????

    If someone is the agressor and you take steps to protect yourself you have done just that! To follow your logic any attempt to defend yourself is "escalating" the encounter and you would then be held accountable. I don't buy that.
    OK, what I was trying to get across was that your actions are not going to be judged by a jury of 12 people who are more-than-likely against guns to begin with. At that exact point you have the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by symbiont7
    If someone approaches you in a threatening manner and you cannot see that they are armed, and you have no means of retreat, what are the limits on telling someone you're armed, showing the handgun, etc.?
    At that point in time the jury is going to see that they are not armed, have made no direct threats of bodily harm or that they implied they had a weapon. If you say you're armed or show your gun, the guy runs away and calls the cops, you will be found with a gun on you (corraborating his story) and you will tell them your version of what happened. If indeed the guy has no weapons on him, you could find yourself in trouble because you introduced the only weapon into the equation.

    If you tell them at that point to stop and not to advance, and they do, that's a different matter entirely. Their advancement shows their intention to at least bodily harm. If you are older, weaker or otherwise, that's another articulatable fact you can present if the SHTF. But just saying you are armed could get you in trouble if the guy is an AH.

    Cheers.

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