This is a discussion on Mutual Combat? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was in trouble when I was 19 for a fight. Done, over with and forgotten now, but a statement that the police officer made ...
August 12th, 2007 09:39 AM
I was in trouble when I was 19 for a fight. Done, over with and forgotten now, but a statement that the police officer made stands out still. He called the situation "MUTUAL COMBAT" and gave my parents and I a false sense that everything would be fine by stating......."as long as it was mutual combat everything should be ok, hand to hand, knife to knife, gun to gun." He said that if somone is using their hands then you can not pull a knife, and if somone is using a knife you can not pull a gun.
The hand to hand makes sense but beyond that what was this guy talking about? Since I have started carrying that always runs through my head and I would love a definite answer so I never hesitate in a volitile situation.
August 12th, 2007 11:56 AM
Mutual Combat is specifically prohibited by law in Arkansas.
Meaning that you can not do it and get it away with it, if the Police intervene.
It just means the both parties have agreed to mix it up. If the law gets there, both parties will be arrested and then their lawyers can sort it out.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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August 12th, 2007 12:22 PM
Ok that makes more sense. I was at a residence that he came to and we "met in the street" is how the officer wrote it. Even though he insited the phone threats we mutually met. I understand now and had I waited to talk to a lawyer before giving a statement things would have been different.
THank you.. It has been 8 years on my mind and I just took it as face value. Can't wait to tell my parents how things could have been different.
August 12th, 2007 02:29 PM
lopadrino, . . . I certainly don't know about NY law, but here in Ohio, you can only use lethal force to defend your life or the life of another in your close proximity, . . . or to prevent serious bodily harm.
In other words, . . . yes, you can pull the gun and shoot the assailant who is after you with a knife or ball bat: if you seriously fear he will kill or seriously harm you.
You most likely would be covered (in my case) as a senior citizen, bad ticker, bum knee, unable to do the hand to hand stuff any more; especially if there exists a great disparity of force between you and the assailant (him having the advantage).
The key to it all is simple, . . . there must be a seriously harmful threat (if not a deadly threat) and you must believe your life, limb, or health in grave danger at the time. You shoot only to eliminate the threat!
Anyway, . . . that is what I got from my CCW course a few years back.
May God bless,
If you can breathe, . . . thank God.
If you can read, . . . than a teacher.
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a veteran.
August 12th, 2007 08:24 PM
Dude, "mutual combat" sounds a lot like "duelling" to me, and "duelling" is a matter about which the authorities tend to take a very dim view, indeed.
"Attempted Murder", I think....
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
August 12th, 2007 08:47 PM
That's a funny way to put it. I think I see what the officer was trying to say, but it sure isn't obvious. I think he was saying that if you and the other guy met up in an agreed-upon fight (ex. "meet me at the flagpole"), you could not up the ante by pulling a knife. He seems to say that a fist-fight, or a knife-fight, or presumably a traditional sword/pistol duel would be legal, but I can't see that being true.
Originally Posted by lopadrino79
As far as applying his advice to a self-defense situation, I say pretend like you never heard it, and follow the law as written. I know of no self-defense laws (check your state) that require you to fight off an attacker with a weapon comparable to his own (ie. you can only pull your gun if he has one too). The only requirement is that you be in reasonable fear for your life. If this is met, use anything you can with no hesitation, including your gun, even if your attacker is "only" carrying a tire iron.
August 14th, 2007 01:19 AM
H2H, deadly weapon for deadly weapon just because you one upped them doesn't make you wrong.
August 14th, 2007 04:57 PM
Thank you all for the replys. I now see the difference and what he was getting at. I also see why he had me use the words "we met in the street when he approached me" in my statement. It basically took self defense for me right out of the picture even though he was much larger because we "agreed."
I see that mutual combat means "agreed upon" fight. Unlike if I was robbed or threatened with deadly force, this would not be "mutual" and I would be with in my rights to defend and shoot to stop the threat. Thanks again no more worried of hesitation!
August 14th, 2007 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by lopadrino79
A good working definition of self defense is found here: http://www.lectlaw.com/def/d030.htm
It reads (in part) SELF-DEFENSE - A defense to certain criminal charges involving force (e.g. murder).
Use of force is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary for the defense of oneself or another against the immediate use of unlawful force.
However, a person must use no more force than appears reasonably necessary in the circumstances.
Force likely to cause death or great bodily harm is justified in self-defense only if a person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.
(You will notice the parts in bold. We will deal with that later...)
Mutual combat is defined quite well here: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com...lfdefense.html
and reads in part:
Abusing the self-defense plea
Begin by accepting the fact: Police tend to arrest the winner of a fight.
The reason this is so is because in about 95 percent of the cases, the winner was the "aggressor." If he was not the instigator of the fight, then he is almost always the one who went the farthest out of line and to the most extreme. And that, by legal definition, made him the aggressor -- even if he did not start it.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to realize is that when it comes to the self-defense plea, that pool has been seriously pissed in. And it has been polluted for a long, long time. Even if the guy really did just walk up and, without any provocation or forewarning, knock you off the bar stool, when the cops show up there is at least a 75 percent chance of his claiming it was "self-defense." If there was a confrontation where words were exchanged prior to blows, the odds go up to about 97 percent.
How's that going to make your claim it was "self-defense" sound?
The reality of the situation doesn't matter, that is what he is going to tell the cops. He's going to lie to try to avoid going to jail. This is about as unpredictable as the sunrise. In otherwords, it will happen. Recognize that the police have just shown up on the scene. They have no idea who is telling the truth. But what they do know is that both parties are telling them the same thing -- except who was to blame. On that one they are accusing each other.
Most officers tend to assume (and often rightly so) that both parties are guilty. Depending how severe the altercation is, they will act accordingly and arrest you both. If you are in a smaller jurisdiction, arrest is almost guaranteed if it went physical. In larger metropolitan areas or on busy nights, you *might* get away without being arrested -- if you blatantly lost the fight or can present a calm and reasonable justification for your actions. But I wouldn't rely on that.
In a nutshell, the police have seen 999 times where both parties were guilty of stupid, obnoxious and illegal behavior (which is the difference between fighting and self-defense), so don't be surprised if they don't look at you as that one exception in a thousand. And this is especially true if you weren't the exception...
Fighting is a participatory event. As defined in a legal context, it is "mutually agreed upon combat."
That means you are actively engaged in the conflict. *and* your are half the reason that it escalated.
Random House Unabridged gives us these about "fight":
1) a battle or combat 2) any contest or struggle 3) an angry argument or disagreement...7) to engage in single combat; attempt to defend oneself against or to defeat subdue or destroy an adversary....12) to maintain (a cause, quarrel, etc.) by fighting or contending...
Do you notice a recurring thread there? Namely, joint participation in the creation of the problem. A less obvious thread is that both are contending for the same thing. Not to sound too much like a parent, but it does indeed, "take two to fight."
Do you see the difference between self defense and fighting/mutual combat?
As to the bold parts where reasonability was focused on,
see here: http://pages.prodigy.net/fhattys/page10.html which reads in part:
Reasonable Belief, ...consists of two-parts: a subjective and objective belief.
Subjective Belief - this addresses whether the person defending himself/herself honestly believed that an attack was imminent.
- The subjective test is most difficult to disprove, as since determining what the defender was thinking at the time of the attack is next to impossible.
Objective Belief - this addresses whether an
ordinary and reasonable person in the defender's shoes would believe that an
attack was imminent.
- The objective test is easier and more flexible, because it is based on a hypothetical "ordinary and reasonable person", which is open to a great deal of interpretation.
Another issue to be addressed for you is that of proportionate response - hand to hand, knife to knife, gun to gun...
As Justice Holmes stated in Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335, 343, 41 S.Ct. 501, 502, 65 L.Ed. 961, 963 (1921), "[d]etached reflection [p. 1122] cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."
You are not required to run a computer program in your head to determine the exact level of force to use and not to exceed.
Your decisions have to be made in good faith based on the information available to you at the time.
If someone is choking the life out of you and you draw, place the gun in contact with the guy and pull the trigger, you used lethal force against lethal force...regardless of the weapons involved (or lack thereof).
Either the officer was giving you a simplified version of the law which you misinterpreted or he didn't know the law as well as he believed.
If you want legal advice, go to someone who gives legal advice.
Find a self defense & the law class at a local range or go buy your lawyer a nice dinner and pick his brain on the subject.
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