"Causing" a lethal situation?

"Causing" a lethal situation?

This is a discussion on "Causing" a lethal situation? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've heard people say it's wrong to use lethal force to defend property. I would agree that most property is not worth taking a life ...

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Thread: "Causing" a lethal situation?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    "Causing" a lethal situation?

    I've heard people say it's wrong to use lethal force to defend property. I would agree that most property is not worth taking a life over. But I also feel it is impossible to defend property with lethal force unless the person you are defending it against currently has your property in their position.

    If someone demands your wallet, you can give it to them and end the situation, or say no. Saying no might escalate the situation, possibly to the point of having to defend your life. But then you are no longer defending your property, but your life.

    I'm just kind of confused as to what constitutes defense of property vs. defense of life. If I make it so whoever wants my stuff has to get through me first, I'm still not going to use lethal force until my life is threatened. They have to threaten my life to get to my possessions.

    Are people who say defense of property is wrong saying we should just hand over anything a potentially violent criminal demands? I'm just a little confused.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    I'm not handing over anything unless it is to buy me a little time to draw and diffuse the situation. Castle Doctrine Rocks.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    You bring up some interesting points so before some of the more BG friendly people answer, I'll give mine.

    I am not giving away my wallet, the same as I am not giving away my wedding ring, or watch, or car. If a guy asks me nicely for my wallet I will tell him no. If he escalates it, then he is escalating it. In no state are you required to be a willing participant in a crime. You can resist. The level of resistance will vary by state.

    You are not at fault because you refused to be a victim, but you cannot initiate the use or threat of force, at least in California. If he uses a threat of deadly force to accomplish his crime, then the rules change, and I would never bring up a wallet to the police unless directly asked.

    My response "He had a knife/bat/gun/whatever, I was scared for my life. I am a little shaken up right now, and would like to have an attorney present for any further questioning."

    Now, a short summary of other responses you will get.
    "No property is worth killing somebody over. You should avoid the situation completely or comply to prevent it from escalating."
    I hate this response as those criminal type people typically don't like witnesses, and if you give in, you will appear weak, and therefore the BG could follow up and attack you right there to solidify his feeling of superiority, or he could just take your address off your D.L. and know he has a willing victim at a later date.
    I also hate this response because the people who say it act like me and the BG entered into a mutually agreeable contract. If I give him my wallet, he won't hurt me. 1. It's not mutually agreeable. 2. He's trying to mug me, why should I trust that he will follow up with his end of the bargain.

    "Well, of course you carry a drop wallet, right?"
    This just irritates me. I am not a willing victim, even if it is a $5 wallet. This also leads to the appearance of weakness which can draw an attack.

    "Your situational awareness should prevent a BG from sneaking up on you." or "You should have avoided the neighborhood." or "When you saw him, you should of ducked into a store." or any other type of "It's your fault, and you were dumb to get into the situation" argument.
    I agree you should be aware of your surroundings, but muggers typically don't wear signs around their necks. There are many things you can do to minimize the chance of this occurring to you. Paying attention to what's going on helps a lot.
    If you look like you are alert, you are less likely to be targeted. BG's in jail have said this many times.
    If you can avoid walking alone, that's always a great idea.
    If you can avoid leaving an area after closing time, or late at night, that could help.
    If you can avoid getting gas after hours, that could help.
    If you avoid outside ATM's that could help.

    As a matter of fact, if you never leave your house, install large fences, buy several Dobermans/Pitbulls/Rotty's, hire a security team, and live in a glass bubble, you are statistically very unlikely to get mugged.

    For the rest of us, we'll go on about our normal lives, and if we are called upon to protect our life, our liberty, or our property, we WILL fight back.

    The streets don't belong to the thugs and the low-lifes, and a mugger is an occupation just like any other. Certain aspects of the job can be hazardous to your health. Picking me or many others on this forum as a target, and not recognizing that I will not be a victim soon enough, could be downright dangerous...
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    most jurisdictions have some allowance for defense of property

    IIRC most will allow you to use reasonable force (not deadly) to defend your property - if I punch you in the face in an attempt to take your bicycle - you usually have a right to use similar force to retain it (stop me from taking it)

    the key in most situations is not escalating - usually only LEOs are allowed to escalate or increase the level of force

    as soon as you are in fear for your life, the life of another or fear serious bodily harm - all bets are off - please don't shoot me

    the problems which might be faced are:

    1. convincing the prosecutor,
    a. the police investigators
    2. convincing the Grand Jury
    3. convincing the Petit Jury
    4. convincing the Judge

    IANAL YMMV and you final disposition will vary depending upon jurisdiction involved

    and do not forget that after the Criminal situation is dealt with you may still have to deal with the Civil...

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    Senior Member Array HowardCohodas's Avatar
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    I wonder what the statistics are for hold-ups with a gun. I'm more concerned about being shot than I am about my wallet. But if it is likely I'm going to be shot anyway, then I'm really defending my life.
    Howard
    I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop!!
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    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    You bring up some interesting points so before some of the more BG friendly people answer, I'll give mine.

    I am not giving away my wallet, the same as I am not giving away my wedding ring, or watch, or car. If a guy asks me nicely for my wallet I will tell him no. If he escalates it, then he is escalating it. In no state are you required to be a willing participant in a crime. You can resist. The level of resistance will vary by state.

    You are not at fault because you refused to be a victim, but you cannot initiate the use or threat of force, at least in California. If he uses a threat of deadly force to accomplish his crime, then the rules change, and I would never bring up a wallet to the police unless directly asked.

    My response "He had a knife/bat/gun/whatever, I was scared for my life. I am a little shaken up right now, and would like to have an attorney present for any further questioning."

    Now, a short summary of other responses you will get.

    I hate this response as those criminal type people typically don't like witnesses, and if you give in, you will appear weak, and therefore the BG could follow up and attack you right there to solidify his feeling of superiority, or he could just take your address off your D.L. and know he has a willing victim at a later date.
    I also hate this response because the people who say it act like me and the BG entered into a mutually agreeable contract. If I give him my wallet, he won't hurt me. 1. It's not mutually agreeable. 2. He's trying to mug me, why should I trust that he will follow up with his end of the bargain.


    This just irritates me. I am not a willing victim, even if it is a $5 wallet. This also leads to the appearance of weakness which can draw an attack.


    I agree you should be aware of your surroundings, but muggers typically don't wear signs around their necks. There are many things you can do to minimize the chance of this occurring to you. Paying attention to what's going on helps a lot.
    If you look like you are alert, you are less likely to be targeted. BG's in jail have said this many times.
    If you can avoid walking alone, that's always a great idea.
    If you can avoid leaving an area after closing time, or late at night, that could help.
    If you can avoid getting gas after hours, that could help.
    If you avoid outside ATM's that could help.

    As a matter of fact, if you never leave your house, install large fences, buy several Dobermans/Pitbulls/Rotty's, hire a security team, and live in a glass bubble, you are statistically very unlikely to get mugged.

    For the rest of us, we'll go on about our normal lives, and if we are called upon to protect our life, our liberty, or our property, we WILL fight back.

    The streets don't belong to the thugs and the low-lifes, and a mugger is an occupation just like any other. Certain aspects of the job can be hazardous to your health. Picking me or many others on this forum as a target, and not recognizing that I will not be a victim soon enough, could be downright dangerous...

    Kerbouchard great post, what he said
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Agreed. Great answer. I guess I'm just not so criminally friendly, and if everyone could just avoid crime completely and still live normal lives, this forum wouldn't exist.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words...I bet Cdwolf's response would have been the same(probably not as long winded).

    C9H13NO3...it's time for you to liberate yourself from California...I was liberated Jan 2007 when I got out of the service.

    I just hope it's not too late for you. You have started to use their lingo...The titile of your post says it all.
    "Causing" a lethal situation?
    There are only a few places in the country where people would wonder who was 'causing' a lethal situation in the scenario that you have laid out...
    The BG did...when he chose to violate another human's rights for his gain.

    Or maybe his parents did, or society, or the gov't, or whoever else California wants to blame...but his target dang sure didn't have a say in it.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I'm from Texas. I'm just serving my 5 years here and getting out. And I get to spend half of it in Iraq playing with 50 cals, M4s, and M9s. I can't wait for CA to fall off the map.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  10. #10
    Member Array MichaelJ07's Avatar
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    Great response, Kerbouchard!

    Also, even if they do manage to get your property (even a wallet,) they seem to want to shoot you anyway.
    In a crisis situation, you will not rise to the occasion but default to your level of training.

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    ALL HAIL Kerbouchard!...HAIL

    The OP has some valid points, no matter where you live. It is all up to the deciding authority as to how it will be viewed and handled. It is also up to you if you are indeed causing a lethal encounter, letting it turn into one, or merely standing up for you and yours.

    Witnesses can be both a asset, and a hindrance. What you say to 911 and the LEO on scene can exonerate you or condemn you with one word in the wrong place on an incorrect adverb.

    There is absolutely no way to correctly prepare for every encounter, be it getting mugged, carjacked, or having your car/home broken into, too many variables. The only key factor is keeping your head screwed on. Nobody here (at least I hope so) wants to get involved in a situation where they are in need to use their weapon.
    Sticks

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    I've heard people say it's wrong to use lethal force to defend property. I would agree that most property is not worth taking a life over. But I also feel it is impossible to defend property with lethal force unless the person you are defending it against currently has your property in their position.
    I've made the comment you are referring to, but I may not have been clear about when it applies.

    Let's sat it's 0200, and you look out your window and see some miscreant stealing your hubcaps. No person is under threat in this scenario, and if you go out to confront him, then you are the one initiating the confrontation.

    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    If someone demands your wallet, you can give it to them and end the situation, or say no. Saying no might escalate the situation, possibly to the point of having to defend your life. But then you are no longer defending your property, but your life.
    This, of course, is a completely different situation altogether. It's not a crime against property, it's a crime against the person. You are certainly within your rights to resist - up to and including the use of deadly force.

    In fact, with the recent reports of robbers shooting / stabbing people after they have completely complied, I'd suggest you'd be quite smart to resist.

    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    I'm just kind of confused as to what constitutes defense of property vs. defense of life. If I make it so whoever wants my stuff has to get through me first, I'm still not going to use lethal force until my life is threatened. They have to threaten my life to get to my possessions.

    Are people who say defense of property is wrong saying we should just hand over anything a potentially violent criminal demands? I'm just a little confused.
    Again, at least from my point of view, two completely different things.

    The question, to me (and probably to the prosecutor and / or jury depending on where one lives) will be who brought the people into contact? If the felon approached the "victim" and force is used to repel the criminal actor, then self-defense is clear, IMHO.

    OTOH, if the criminal is engaged in stealing property with no contact with a person, and the owner of that property goes out and initiates the contact (leaving a area where they were safe), then the issue of self-defense is not as clear. In some jurisdictions (ahem, MD) where I have lived, the second scenario is almost guaranteed to land the property owner in jail.

    Matt
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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    I've made the comment you are referring to, but I may not have been clear about when it applies.

    Let's sat it's 0200, and you look out your window and see some miscreant stealing your hubcaps. No person is under threat in this scenario, and if you go out to confront him, then you are the one initiating the confrontation.
    Is asking the individual what they are doing, asking the individual if they need any help, or telling the individual to get the away from my vehicle considered instigation? Ok, maybe option 3 is.


    The question, to me (and probably to the prosecutor and / or jury depending on where one lives) will be who brought the people into contact? If the felon approached the "victim" and force is used to repel the criminal actor, then self-defense is clear, IMHO.

    OTOH, if the criminal is engaged in stealing property with no contact with a person, and the owner of that property goes out and initiates the contact (leaving a area where they were safe), then the issue of self-defense is not as clear. In some jurisdictions (ahem, MD) where I have lived, the second scenario is almost guaranteed to land the property owner in jail.

    Matt
    I'd say it is still all how the BG is approached, and what is said to the authorities. If you tell the LEOs that you went out to stop the BG, you may still be in the clear, depending on what you say next. Having the lawyer telling the LEO that you forgot your (insert item here) in your car and the BG was in progress when you went out to get it...
    Sticks

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    I don't see how not is remotely the same as causing a lethal situation. (although. Some Kalifornistan jurors and prosecuters might disagree). Odds are if he's asking for the wallet, he's already produced a weapon. Lethal situation already in progress. Compliance is also not even close to a guarantee that he'll let you live anyway. I choose to fight for my life rather than leave it to chance or the whim of a armed criminal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    [In a robbery...] Saying no might escalate the situation ...
    Refusing to be robbed is NOT an escalation and doesn't cause anything. Crime, by definition, is caused by the criminal. I believe those that perpetuate the myth of victims causing anything disbelieve that innocents have a right to self-defense. Only barbaric societies do that (ie, Illinois, NYC, some places in California, &c). Refusing to be robbed is NOT an escalation, anymore than a rock at the seashore "attacks" water that's attacking it.

    My right to defend against being wronged doesn't change with whim, like that. Neither does yours.

    I'm just kind of confused as to what constitutes defense of property vs. defense of life.
    Every state whose statutes I've seen legally distinguishes between Property crimes and Person crimes. Basically, if the harm is against a person directly, then it's a Person crime. Generally speaking, that's where the short-term threat to life exists. Loss of property may sting, even cause bankruptcy and a real mess, but it's not generally life threatening.

    Texas is a bit different, taking it one big step further, allowing the use of lethal force to defend property. This harks back to the days when having your horse stolen on the prairie could result in your death 3 days later from lack of water. Suitably, that crime had a death penalty tagged to it. But those situations are rare, today.

    Are people who say defense of property is wrong saying we should just hand over anything a potentially violent criminal demands? I'm just a little confused.
    Here's my take on things.

    I don't believe that guarding property is worth a life, generally speaking. Depends on the property and the risks to people, but I'd say that's true (for me) in 90% of the cases ... ie, with a car, boat, garage items, stuff from the back porch, or even burglary of the house contents when I'm not home.

    I also strongly believe in my right to ask (demand) what the heck is going on, no matter what synapses end up frying inside the peanut brain of the criminal in response to my questions.

    In all cases, if there is direct threat against innocents, then I will NOT allow a criminal to complete his tasks, screw whatever his initial intended goal was. If he threatens me or mine, I'm going to disallow that, no matter the cost to the BG, even at the cost of his life. That's the blood oath I took when taking up responsibility for my own defense, some years ago.

    ... should just hand over anything a potentially violent criminal demands?
    Are you willing to accept the verbal assurances of someone who has already threatened to take everything you've got (including your life), in the belief that he'll be satisfied and simply leave? Then, by all means consider that an option and do so, if it works for you. But, if you're wrong, consider that the step you just took might be the last thing you ever do. Worth it? Only you can tell.

    Are you actually going to take his word that he'll not harm you beyond already having threatened to take everything you have (your life)? Not I. Not ever. But that's just me.

    Now, that doesn't mean that drawing and firing is the only possible response. Subterfuge can play its part, as can silence, visual blocking of your hands and drawing your gun, running away, physical/H2H fighting, or other tactics depending on the situation.

    C9H13NO3:

    You're in California. I lived there and carried for 10yrs. Dealt with the conflicting laws, myself. Didn't like it a bit, given the risks.

    According to the California Penal Code:
    PC 195. Homicide is excusable in the following cases:
    1. When committed by accident and misfortune, or in doing any
    other lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution,
    and without any unlawful intent.
    2. When committed by accident and misfortune, in the heat of
    passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden
    combat, when no undue advantage is taken, nor any dangerous weapon
    used, and when the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
    Essentially, the "basic law" upholds the ideal that you're lawfully able to defend yourself if threatened, if simply going about your business and having no intent to harm anyone or not initiating crime yourself.

    However, and this is a biggie, California's fraught with as many potholes in the penal code as the streets of San Francisco. Review PC 187-199, for further info on the specific statutes. Case law also comes into play, and that can color things. If you have not already done so, acquire the most-recent copy of
    How To Own A Gun And Stay Out Of Jail (California Edition), by John Machtinger. It'll help clarify some of the sticky points. As well, it would behoove you to speak with a qualified attorney that's got serious experience in California criminal law, specifically in the area of defending the justified use of lethal force by innocents.
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