How close can suspicious guy(s) get to you at night before drawing your gun?

How close can suspicious guy(s) get to you at night before drawing your gun?

This is a discussion on How close can suspicious guy(s) get to you at night before drawing your gun? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For poll, assume you are not martial arts expert, but rather a 65 year old, overweight joe, and you have no less than lethal weapons ...

View Poll Results: How close can suspicious guy get to you at night before you eventually escalate force

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  • At 10ft I'd be warning, absent compliance, draw weapon

    40 58.82%
  • At 6ft I'd warn, and transition to brandishing at 4 ft.

    6 8.82%
  • I would not warn, but brandish at 4ft, shoot at 2ft

    1 1.47%
  • No warning, but quickly draw at 2ft, shoot on contact

    1 1.47%
  • Warn at 4ft, draw as he about touched me.

    3 4.41%
  • no warning, no draw until he touched me in threatening way or worse.

    17 25.00%
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Thread: How close can suspicious guy(s) get to you at night before drawing your gun?

  1. #1
    Member Array erichard's Avatar
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    How close can suspicious guy(s) get to you at night before drawing your gun?



    For poll, assume you are not martial arts expert, but rather a 65 year old, overweight joe, and you have no less than lethal weapons on you (like pepper spray or stun gun, etc.). Also assume that if you are brandishing at any point, you are currently warning verbally as well. When it says no warning, it means no advanced warning before drawing (but was too long to include that description in the poll.) Assume the guy is too old to think of outrunning the attacker.


    Criticism of the guy in the video was that he wasn't situationally aware, which is true, but having gone through a long thread the other day, it seems nearly everyone has no limit on how close you'll allow someone to get to you, at night, vs. a suspicious/hostile character (in hoody here). So really what difference would it have made had he seen the guy, except to be in the hand to knife fight slightly earlier. In the other one, we assumed an older victim vs a 23 yo attacker.

    Assume for sake of argument, the victim saw him coming, was armed with IWB glock, was 65 years old, had no formal martial arts training, and the young guy coming at him says virtually nothing and transitions to stabbing the victim as soon as the victim is within stabbing distance, keeping the knife hidden until that point.

    I got some "blah, blah, blah" response to the Tueller drill argument and disparity of force, saying it's difficult to establish, and you'd be locked up for murder, but here's the Tueller drill in action right before our eyes. How close are you going to let this hooded character approach you, at night, on the street, with no words spoken between you (not announcing a robbery or attack)?

    I'm posting this to give a bit more reality to a similar scenario, and because Bad Bob says he prefers actual videos to analyze. I fully appreciate that as the victim, you not only want to survive, but stay out of jail and not go bankrupt with lawyer fees. It's no doubt a big concern. I'm also including a poll, so that the silent readers can chime in with their vote. Maybe others would intervene, but just didn't speak up. I also realize there's no specific legal limit to how close someone can get to you before you defend your personal space, your safety zone.

    Side issue for the scenario might also be, if you plan on going to a pub, do you forsake your right to carry a lethal weapon, rendering you defenseless as you leave the pub (assuming you plan to be under the legal blood limit of .08 used for driving the whole night.)

    Also, I realize people are going to say that their choice isn't included, but the poll is very limited in how much you can write, etc., so just bear with the choices, and pick the best one. The real question is how early can you move to deadly force by brandishing your gun and keeping someone at a safe distance from you, and/or is this simply not legally possible or morally justifiable in your mind until the attack is under way. Only weapon on you is a gun.

  2. #2
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    I for one do not waddle around totally absorbed in my phone; there are more interesting things going on around me instead.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."
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  3. #3
    Member Array erichard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    I for one do not waddle around totally absorbed in my phone; there are more interesting things going on around me instead.

    So you don't have your phone out, you see this suspicious guy making a beeline for you, at night. You sense he intends to harm you or rob you, but you have no hard evidence of this until the knife comes out and in to you. Do you intervene verbally and possibly by drawing before that happens. You are an average elderly guy, no match for the twenty year old in hand to hand.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by erichard View Post
    So you don't have your phone out, you see this suspicious guy making a beeline for you, at night. You sense he intends to harm you or rob you, but you have no hard evidence of this until the knife comes out and in to you. Do you intervene verbally and possibly by drawing before that happens. You are an average elderly guy, no match for the twenty year old in hand to hand.
    While I am elderly if some fool appears to be a threat I will issue a verbal warning and if that fails the next response will be a warning shot to COM. I did not get to my age by being foolish.
    Havok, wmhawth, Spark456 and 13 others like this.
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  6. #5
    Member Array erichard's Avatar
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    I can appreciate that sentiment. Seems to me, you can't afford for this hoodlum to get too close. The guy in the video is extremely lucky to have survived that encounter.

  7. #6
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    I voted for the first choice, because that is the closest to what I would do, but I have some thoughts to add.
    • SD requires Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy. Your scenario establishes the first two, but not the third. "Suspicious" is not jeopardy. Until he does something actually threatening, the guy could just be an aggressive panhandler. You walk the streets of DC and you will get guys coming at you, as in the scenario, and they will not back off because you give them verbal warnings. But even if you had a "unicorn" CC permit in DC, you could not shoot them or brandish on them. You would go to prison if you did. What you do is ignore them and just keep moving. Also, the guy may be just in a hurry and distracted. He may be listening to loud music on earphones hidden from you by the hoodie. He may be mentally challenged, but not dangerous. So the context of the situation is everything. In the video, yeah, I think you have Jeopardy, but in the way you worded your scenario, possibly not.
    • Not having LTL options is an easily correctable mistake in my mind. I am an overweight 64 year old guy with health conditions, so pretty close to your scenario. But I feel it is both dangerous and irresponsible to carry a deadly weapon and not have some LTL options. IMHO, H2H skills are just as important as having a gun. Even with great SA, a fight can start before you get your gun out. You may need need close-quarter options just to get to your gun. There is all kinds of training available out there appropriate to every age and health situation that can give you life-saving options. Also, if you can carry a gun, you can buy a little can of pepper spray and put it in your pocket. SD is all about having options and that gives you another option for negligible cost.
    • All your choices seem to assume that we are going to stand there on the "X" as the guy approaches. Maneuver is an important tactic. I don't mean trying to outrun the guy, which you mentioned was not an option. But even before 10 feet, I'm going to be changing angle and distance, and trying to get something between me and the guy. In addition to being a good tactic, it helps establish "Jeopardy" mentioned above.
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    Senior Member Array Spark456's Avatar
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    I really can't see me in that kind of scenario drunk walling home? But I think 10 feet more then enough. I think I would try to change direction just to see what he was going to do but after that its on.

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    The video is actually a distraction from the questions in your poll, since the victim had absolutely no awareness of the impending attack until it was underway. The victim had no opportunity to warn, draw, brandish or otherwise react. Additionally, the options you offered as responses are without possibility in reality. You will scarcely get the "P" on "STOP" for an attacking assailant ten feet away, let alone draw and fire from anything less than a hand-on-gun draw.
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  10. #9
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    I would have just turned and, taking careful aim when he was still at least 15 yards or so behind me, shot him in the face until he hit the ground, and then, caved in his face by stomping in with the heel of my shoe until he was unrecognizable.

    I would have then gone thru his wallet, and saw where he lived, so I could wipe out any existing matter from the same gene pool.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
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  11. #10
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    First, I'd have turned to address the attacker before he reached me [ before he got into my inner circle ].
    Second, he'd have seen my hand up, "stop" if he tried to enter the inner circle.
    Third, anything but immediately backing up means it's game on. The intent is clear at that point, it's not an innocent mistake he ran up on you. He's got to get inside the upraised arm/hand at that point.
    Fourth, if he's decided it's game on, he's got more problems than he realizes. I may die, but not before he's made cold forever.
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  12. #11
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    I would suggest watching more of these ASP videos since you seem to have so many scenarios in mind. Second get some training on how to handle everyday contacts. I know there is at least one class out there(maybe Craig Douglas?) . Bottom line any encounter you post here will most likely not be play by play of what you have asked here. Learn from someone who knows rather than rely on typed responses that may or may not be solid.
    Finally while asking here may get you some ideas, physically practicing , with verbal judo and watching for physical clues what the subject is possibly doing is much better training.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Something tells me this was a vindictive attack, with the sole purpose of killing him.
    The victim should have probably expected this, and simply failed all around.

    I think the bigger lesson here is if you piss people off, you better have your head on a swivel.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
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  14. #13
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    The primary lesson to take away from this is something I used to constantly drill into my daughters: Always be aware of your surroundings. I know they got tired of hearing this when they were teenagers, but it is one of life's most important universal truths. The victim in the video failed to heed this simple lesson and nearly paid for his ignorance with his life. And when we throw in the fact that so many people have been sensitized into believing that profiling is morally and legally wrong, all we are doing is creating more victims for the predators.

    When I see people heading to their cars in shopping center parking lots oblivious to what's taking place around them, their noses buried in their "smart" (stupid) phones, I just cannot help but think that there goes a victim just ripe for the taking. Add to this that the majority of those types are probably not armed and you just have more fodder for prowling horde.

    God gave us eyes and ears and a magnificent brain. Not using these in our normal everyday affairs is really sad. The victim in attack in the video was over in less than ten seconds. Ten seconds he could have gone from an unharmed man to a bloodied corpse. So please do use those eyes and those ears, and that golden gift of a brain to profile in the extreme that you might arrive home safely every time you venture out.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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  15. #14
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    I was taking my evening walk like I do every night, and this old guy starts yelling at me to stay away and reaches under his shirt like he had a gun. I mean, really? I'm on a public street and this old guy acts like it's his personal property and no one else is allowed on it? Who is he to tell me where i can walk and cannot walk. I have my rights too, ya know? So I say the heck with him and keep walking.Next thing I know the old codger has his gun in my face and screaming orders at me.

    Yes, officer, I do want to press aggravated assault charges. If he's that afraid he should stay at the old folks home where he belongs.



    Just for thought for those who feel they own some kind of space in public...
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  16. #15
    Member Array erichard's Avatar
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    All true. Of course Jeopardy is going to be a big question mark, especially if it got to the point that you have killed the guy before he got to you, Big Problem. On the other hand, get stabbed 11 times and you will more than likely die that night. Guy was lucky, but paid a huge price.

    I should have included backing up, moving, because that's surely the plan here. And it does help very much in establishing his intention to intersect with you, moving you closer to establishing jeopardy. In that case, he is not merely walking towards his car right behind you. This was the case in the previous scenario the other day, backing up. But moving left or right backing up is better.

    Less than lethal is very good to have. No question, but many don't have it. Having the benefit of hindsight here, less than lethal might not have deterred this guy, who seems extremely determined to harm this guy. In retrospect, lethal force would have been preferable, albeit not ideal legally. I suppose if you found a knife in his hand it might help your case, but you wouldn't have known this ahead of time.

    The question of being lawful in D.C. is a very good question to ask, and makes you wonder if you would feel mentally forced to choose one of the latter poll options, to your own mortal peril in this case. Good question, what would you choose in D.C., or any truly ungunfriendly region where the prosecutor loves to roast CC's.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    I voted for the first choice, because that is the closest to what I would do, but I have some thoughts to add.
    • SD requires Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy. Your scenario establishes the first two, but not the third. "Suspicious" is not jeopardy. Until he does something actually threatening, the guy could just be an aggressive panhandler. You walk the streets of DC and you will get guys coming at you, as in the scenario, and they will not back off because you give them verbal warnings. But even if you had a "unicorn" CC permit in DC, you could not shoot them or brandish on them. You would go to prison if you did. What you do is ignore them and just keep moving. Also, the guy may be just in a hurry and distracted. He may be listening to loud music on earphones hidden from you by the hoodie. He may be mentally challenged, but not dangerous. So the context of the situation is everything. In the video, yeah, I think you have Jeopardy, but in the way you worded your scenario, possibly not.
    • Not having LTL options is an easily correctable mistake in my mind. I am an overweight 64 year old guy with health conditions, so pretty close to your scenario. But I feel it is both dangerous and irresponsible to carry a deadly weapon and not have some LTL options. IMHO, H2H skills are just as important as having a gun. Even with great SA, a fight can start before you get your gun out. You may need need close-quarter options just to get to your gun. There is all kinds of training available out there appropriate to every age and health situation that can give you life-saving options. Also, if you can carry a gun, you can buy a little can of pepper spray and put it in your pocket. SD is all about having options and that gives you another option for negligible cost.
    • All your choices seem to assume that we are going to stand there on the "X" as the guy approaches. Maneuver is an important tactic. I don't mean trying to outrun the guy, which you mentioned was not an option. But even before 10 feet, I'm going to be changing angle and distance, and trying to get something between me and the guy. In addition to being a good tactic, it helps establish "Jeopardy" mentioned above.

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