Disparity of Force - When Does It Swing?

This is a discussion on Disparity of Force - When Does It Swing? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So a question for all of you self-defense veterans. I just started to carry July 14 and am very happy with my decision. As of ...

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Thread: Disparity of Force - When Does It Swing?

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    Member Array ampinf's Avatar
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    Disparity of Force - When Does It Swing?

    So a question for all of you self-defense veterans.

    I just started to carry July 14 and am very happy with my decision.

    As of now I work in security, as a bouncer, working on moving towards LE or similar work.

    Anyway back to the question:
    In which of the following situations would disparity of force be against me, as in which cases am I clearly disadvantaged?

    Hold these facts in your head, while I have been bouncing for years, I am a certified security guard so a little required "training" precedes me.
    More so I am 6'5" 340 lbs on a good day.

    Say a guy my size was beating on a small woman, disparity of force would be in her favor therefore making her justified in the use of deadly physical force. (dff)

    However if a small woman wants to beat on me I just have to stick it out.

    However if said woman (or to avoid stigma) a small man (which most tend to be) wants to fight me with a weapon at which point is the disparity of force in my favor?

    Do I still have to try to act only defensively if he/she picks up a "stick" intending to use blunt force, or a knife?

    I don't know if I phrased my question so it could be understood so any clarification needed please feel free to ask.

    I appreciate the advice in advance.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Disparity of force can sometimes be fickle, but with thought it can be dealt with.

    In the case of the smaller woman trying to beat on you. Do not strike her, do not grab her, merely block her attempts to strike, scratch you. In that case you actions are strictly defensive with no offensive connotations and if done correctly will be sufficiently unpleasant that it is likely that she will either stop her actions or escalate to where you may take more positive actions.

    The use of a stick or knife by them give you considerably more latitude in defensive/offensive actions as the threat becomes more of a lethal threat.
    Bark'n and WHEC724 like this.
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    When a small woman tries beating on a man YOUR size, you've probably done something that deserves her pounding you.
    That said, there are some 'small' crazy people who would take you on...witnesses would help, but when the police show up, you've got some splainin' to do.
    If the said 'little lady' is armed somehow, then you would be forced to properly defend yourself.OMO
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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Internet lawyers are not your best source of information on something like this.
    tubadude, Secret Spuk and Hopyard like this.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I didn't see anyone claiming to be a lawyer, only offering opinions. Until someone can predict the decisions of a juries there are few absolute answers on many questions.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    For you this is a blessing and a curse. To be big and strong is a blessing, nobody is going to look at you and see an easy victim. The curse is that somebody pretty much needs to have a potentially lethal weapon in their hand for you to justify the use of lethal force yourself.

    The key question here is what constitutes a lethal weapon in the hands of a smaller person? The answer is that there is no answer. You will be subject to the opinions of the arresting officer and of the DA. In many cases it will depend on the political leanings or personal feelings of the DA. Remember the law isn't what the law says it is. The law is what a DA can succesfully argue in court.

    The better you are able to articulate your fear for your life, the better things will go for you. Was it a stick (not very scary) or was it an ax handle (ouch!)?
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    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    I believe disparity of force issues should be considered, and for the most part, resolved in your own mind PRIOR to having to make the determination as to whether you are legal in using your weapon to defend yourself. By thinking through scenarios where you would or wouldn't be justified using deadly force, you are conditioning your "mindset" in the event you should ever need to use deadly force. Granted, there is no way to ever consider all scenarios, but by thinking things out ahead of time, you are potentially giving yourself an extra smidgen of time before making a decision to deploy deadly force. As others have said, I'm not sure disparity of force is, or can ever be, a cut and dried situation. In most situations, you as a "victim" would be unable to provide the same amount of force as your "attacker", due to physical capability (i.e. size, disability, outnumbered, etc) thereby constituting the necessity of using your weapon in defense of your life. Because it is such a gray area, judgement is the key and even then you may "judge" wrong. Here is a link to an interesting article...Perhaps it will help you... Judicious Use Of Deadly Force
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I would say if a small child or small woman is attacking me, then I'm going to just defend myself as best possible and if it doesn't stop, may begin to respond with force as necessary to deter them further.

    If multiple people are involved, I'll draw.

    If the person is significantly larger or muscular than me, I'll draw.

    If the person has any kind of weapon, I'll draw.

    Anything else is gray area and I'd have to decide at that moment in time what the best action would be. It would just depend on how threatened I feel.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I didn't see anyone claiming to be a lawyer, only offering opinions. Until someone can predict the decisions of a juries there are few absolute answers on many questions.
    Wasn't directed at you.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I didn't think so, but I thought I would throw that in.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I knew a lot of them!
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Honestly, your are trying to combine two related but different things. First is disparity of force, which would include size difference, number of opponents, and physical capabilities etc.

    Second is level of force such as physical presence, gentle hands, hard hands, chemical sprays, impact weapons like batons, sticks, etc and then deadly force such as knives, guns, harpoons, and tactical nuclear devices.

    When the weapon becomes generally accepted as deadly like knifes and guns then no matter the size or age of the wielder you are pretty safe in responding with like force. A thirteen year old with a insane clown posse tee shirt and a desert eagle 50 is just as deadly as a grown up with the same gun.

    As a general rule of thumb and most states follow this in some form or fashion, as a non LEO you can meet an attacking force with like force to defend yourself. They throw fists, you retaliate in kind. They draw a gun, you can respond in kind. You can not escalate the level beyond what is threatened and maintain justifiable self defense. This means they call you an old goat your response should not be to shoot them. While sometimes the desired response, not a good choice for legal purposes.

    Most states justify the use of force to the level necessary to stop the threat but not in excess of that needed.

    Like I said, MOST states follow some form of this but you are responsible for finding the exact wording on your states laws governing the use of deadly force.

    When you have mixes of both disparity of force and levels of force you have to be constantly adjusting your responses to the attack. Having a heard of 3 or 4 98 year old hell raisers threatening with crocheted lap quilts is one thing but if one pulls out a blunderbuss from their basket on their hover round you need to address that more aggressively.

    This all leaves out the other fun things like "duty to retreat", Castle Doctrine", and instigator laws that very from state to state so the above is really a simplified version.

    Hope this doesn't muddy the waters too much.

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    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    You probably all know this but here I go.

    I look at it like this, My gun is my last resort, not that I believe it should be, but thats how it is legally. There are excepetions to every rule you have to know the laws in your state, and think about instances that could arise and how you could and would attempt to rectify them.

    I think security guards have a lot of personal liability for the pay they recieve. Best Wishes

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    Like Guantes said in his first post "Disparity of force can sometimes be fickle".

    My thoughts on when you have the right to go to lethel force: When you can in your own mind justify the use to others. LE, DA and a jury of 12, because you will most likely be required to do so.

    Knowing what situations would constitute threat of life before anything ever happens would help in making the decision in the time of need. I think this is part of getting your Mindset right, have triggers set, if they happen you automatically go into action.

    I also think doing FOF would help. FOF is the closest you can come to the real thing without running the risk of getting killed.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes

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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    I can only answer for me, so here goes.

    I am 6' 230 Lbs, so like you said most guys are at least a little bit smaller than me. If a woman or small man is pounding on me I'll probably take a few shots while I tell them to stop attacking me, then they get a foot to the groin or simply tossed. Then I'll repeat that they need to stop attacking me. If they choose to come back I'll deal with them and what happens afterwards.

    If a guy my size comes at me I'll do mu best to stop the attack in a non lethal way. If someone comes at me with any kind of weapon I consider that life threatening and I'll deal with it swiftly and violently, period.

    As I have been taught, most people aren't going to attack me unless they are already bigger than me or there are more than 1 or they are armed or any combination.

    Disparity of force, for me, is as soon as I think the fight is not even and I have a chance of getting hurt badly or worse.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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