What if threatened but no weapon visible?

This is a discussion on What if threatened but no weapon visible? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; OK, I was just out and had a "What if..." thought. I was with my wife (an attractive woman of 40) and our niece (who ...

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Thread: What if threatened but no weapon visible?

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    Member Array skvinson's Avatar
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    What if threatened but no weapon visible?

    OK, I was just out and had a "What if..." thought. I was with my wife (an attractive woman of 40) and our niece (who just did a swimsuit shoot). We had to walk a way through a fairly dark and empty parking lot to get from the restaurant to our car. That made me think, what if a couple guys approached us. Maybe they didn't make an overt threat of rape (but would that change things if they did?), but make some veiled threats about 'women like that needing real men.' If there are weapons visible, then there is no question, I'm drawing and firing (if they have a gun or a knife within 21 feet). But, what if they don't have any visible weapons, but are within 21 feet? I wouldn't draw and fire, but do I draw and challenge - tell them to stay back? And then, what if they don't stay back, but keep approaching? I wouldn't want to 'jump the gun', but I wouldn't want to wait until it was too late to draw.

    I'm interested to hear people's thoughts.

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    Member Array mtnfreak's Avatar
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    If you feel the need to draw, then you should feel the need to shoot. If you've drawn and made your intentions clear, but someone still advances in a threatening manner, then there is no question.
    Law without force is impotent.
    Blaise Pascal

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    Play it as you see it, one man against 2 is lower odds to begin with, depending on your size and their size a size disparity may be argued.
    Mark

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

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    I would change directions, even if it means going away from my original destination...ordering the dirtbags to keep back or don't come any closer (something along those lines...).
    If the dirtbags, making the comments, change directions to continue towards me, then they have signaled their intentions to harm me or mine, and now I at least place my hand on my fire arm...
    If that motion is noticed...so be it, perhaps they may quickly realize that I am not a easy 60 year old victim.
    If they continue at that point...I've got a 1 second decision to make...
    If they back off, I immediately call 911 while walking to my car.

    OMO...
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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Totally situational. Knowing and understanding threat assessmet is a key thing here. More than likely in situations like that it is just some dumb punks popping off and seeing if you will "give" them an excuse to escalate.

    The ones that usually concern me are the sly ones who try to approach you in an "innocent" manner. My wife had one of those the other day. An older man who tried approaching her on her way to the car. He "wanted to tell her a joke". By the third time he insisted, she was forceful and loud enough to not only scare him, but was also atracting the attention of some good samaritans in the parking lot and the BG? beat feet real fast. Don't mess with an 9 month pregnant woman in August. They can get vicious.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I'd notice the distance as being far and/or darkly sketchy and would have them wait for me at the restaurant in the lobby and I'd go get the car to bring to them.
    Problem solved.

    As to being antagonized verbally keep walking continue movement either forward to your car or turn on heel and head directly back to the establishment/bright lights/safety.

    If it comes to a point where a man or men assault you or your wife by say laying hands on either or you or he/they block your ability to leave (i.e detain you), then well it's time right then to make a snap decision that you'll have to live with forever.
    But IMHO it's best to live than to die, or suffer ever lasting injuries.

    Be safe.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    The BG doesn't have to be armed to be in fear of your life, but it does help a lot!!! All depemds on the exact words that are spoken as well as the actions they make. I have no problem protecting my wife and kids.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
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    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I'd notice the distance as being far and/or darkly sketchy and would have them wait for me at the restaurant in the lobby and I'd go get the car to bring to them.
    Problem solved.

    As to being antagonized verbally keep walking continue movement either forward to your car or turn on heel and head directly back to the establishment/bright lights/safety.

    If it comes to a point where a man or men assault you or your wife by say laying hands on either or you or he/they block your ability to leave (i.e detain you), then well it's time right then to make a snap decision that you'll have to live with forever.
    But IMHO it's best to live than to die, or suffer ever lasting injuries.

    Be safe.

    - Janq
    +1 and I would get a can of OC. It gives you options you don't have with gun alone. It's a good idea for the women to carry some as well. I hear Fox labs has a good product. http://www.preventsecurity.com/category.asp?sub=88
    CRIME..... LAW DEFINES, POLICE ENFORCE, CITIZENS PREVENT!

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    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    If it comes to a point where a man or men assault you or your wife by say laying hands on either or you or he/they block your ability to leave (i.e detain you), then well it's time right then to make a snap decision that you'll have to live with forever.
    But IMHO it's best to live than to die, or suffer ever lasting injuries.

    Be safe.

    - Janq
    By then its too late....if you feel threatened, change directions (as others have said). If they continue to follow I would (long before they are in contact range) place my hand on my weapon and in a forceful voice ask them "may I help you?". Making damn sure they see I am not a sheep. I just took the initiative away from them BEFORE they were close enough to do any damage.

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skvinson View Post
    OK, I was just out and had a "What if..." thought. I was with my wife (an attractive woman of 40) and our niece (who just did a swimsuit shoot). We had to walk a way through a fairly dark and empty parking lot to get from the restaurant to our car. That made me think, what if a couple guys approached us. Maybe they didn't make an overt threat of rape (but would that change things if they did?), but make some veiled threats about 'women like that needing real men.'
    I would think that just as the BGs introducing a weapon into the situation (i.e., a knife or baseball bat) escalates the threat/danger, so does multiple BGs.

    Obviously, 2 guys just hanging around a parking lot doesn't necessarily constitute a threat, but 2 guys, clear verbal threats, and difficulty/impossibility of retreat to safe location certainly does.

    As always, how do you discern 'mouthing off' from a couple of punks to 'clear' threats? Wish I knew the answer to that. But, spidey sense may be part of the clue. YMMV.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

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    Try to securely leave the area ASAP, flip out the cell phone with your weak hand and call 911 while keeping an eye on the BG's and your right hand ready to draw (not on the gun). You felt threatened enough to call authorities but the level of threat does not rise to the level of fear of death or grave bodily harm. The BG will probably go away (however you should still talk to PD and give descriptions) or worse case scenario, they will attack in which you will have to use your weapon.

    "Along with the right of self defense comes a lifelong comittment to avoidance, de-escalation, and deterrance."
    Author unknow but I like the idea behind it.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    Member Array skvinson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies...

    I knew I would get some helpful suggestions. I also knew in reality, it all comes down to the specific situation. There are so many variables.

    I do have to question one suggestion (which is a very common assertion): 'If there is a need to draw, there is a need to shoot'. I can picture a situation where the BGs are approaching and threatening. I challenge, change directions - they continue to approach. I would draw. At that point, if they stopped, I would obviously not shoot. So, there would have been a need to draw, but not shoot.

    Also, I do have an ASP Defender on my keychain. I didn't mention that for a couple reasons. First, not everyone does, and I wanted a scenario that would apply for those who don't have that option. Also, I'm sometimes a little uneasy with the prospect of using it. The most notable time being when there is a moderate wind. Depending on the direction, I'm worried I could diminish my own ability to continue the fight.

    Once again, thanks for the input.

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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    So far a lot of good advice from folks...

    I would just point out that having a gun should not be your only method of protecting yourself. It seriously limits your options in the vast majority of "questionable" situations.

    Carrying a small canister of OC spray is not just a good idea, but it also shows the courts that you are making every effort to utilize other methods of less than lethal defense in those situations. I too have heard that "Fox" products are some of the best OC sprays out there.

    One of your best weapons is your brain, if you train it properly and utilize it. Asking questions and getting feedback in forums like this one is a good aspect of utilizing your brain. Another aspect is taking the time to study and learn threat assessment and improving your situational awareness skills.

    If you intend to use disparity of force as a justification for using deadly force in self defense you really need to learn as much about the concept as possible. You have to understand the complexities of how it applies to your situation. There is a lot more to having it be a successful excuse for killing someone than just knowing the definition. It really has to apply in the eyes of the reasonable person theory. Just because you are one person against two apparently unarmed scary looking punks mouthing off probably is not going to justify a reasonable person being "In Fear of Their Life." Sure you may be afraid, but most punks are looking to throw a scare into most people. How you handle yourself and how it escalates from there may be a determining factor, but on it's surface, probably not worthy of a deadly force situation.

    Doing things like changing course and direction only to have them follow and continue harassment does change the situation.

    Mustering all the courage you can to turn, and confront them to let them know you will not be intimidated will also go a long way in letting you assess the situation as to how it's going to progress.

    Remember, as long as you can articulate that you were in immediate and othewise unavoidable threat of death or serious bodily harm you should be on fairly solid ground. Of course the three tenants that the law looks at for the reasonable man standard of being in "immediate and otherwsie unavoidable theart of death or serious bodily injury" are Ability, Opportunity and being in Jeopardy.

    Does the threat clearly have the ability and opportunity to kill you and has their deeds, actions or threats convinced you that they intend to seriously injure or kill you (jeopardy)?

    If those three tenants; ability, opportunity, jeopardy are all three present at the same time, then the reasonable man can assume that they are in immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or serious bodily harm and you should be on solid ground in using deadly force to repel the attack.

    As it is... there are a lot of grey areas surrounding those concepts and thus we find ourselves on forums like this, searching for all the answers.

    Good luck in your quest, stay safe, and remember... If you are going to pull your gun, do so in time to save your life.

    You wouldn't be the first good guy who was killed due to indecisiveness and died with their gun still in the holster.

    Bottom line, you are going to have to be responsible for your actions.

    In todays society, that's a hard concept for people to wrap their minds around. So many people today are so used to having someone else to blame for things that go wrong.

    My opinion is that attitude is a result of big government, bleeding hearts and unscrupulous trial attorneys and as far as I'm concerned it has really wrecked society as a whole.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Senior Member Array SOLOLUCKY's Avatar
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    Per part of the state mandated training was a bit of dealing with threats like this. Give commands in a LOUD manner such as "stay away!" "get back" etc. definitely not "i will shoot you!" what this does beyond the obvious command is give would be witnesses something they can honestly attest to. "yes i heard him yell get back several times" "he yelled stay away, thats what i heard" not "he said he was gonna shoot him and then i heard gun shots" the loud commands give witnesses the ability to save yer bacon in the (unfortunate) aftermath.

    All posts that preceeded is good stuff so I won't reiterate it.
    R1

    This is mine. That is yours.

    Lets keep it that way.

  16. #15
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    Some food for thought; If you make the decision to use your weapon, and there are 2 BG's if you stop the first (unlucky one) and the other turns and runs, well now you certainly can not stop him, because he is no longer a threat. Now how do you defend your decision if no weapons on either BG and second (lucky) BG claims neither was a dangerous threat to you or your family. Looks to be a very tricky situation. I like the post with leave your loved ones at the building and bring the car to them. Hind sight is always 20/20


    SleepingZ

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