May 14th, 2008 12:04 PM
Disability or Chronic Pain
In any given scenario how would a person with a disability or chronic pain prepare or defend themselves in court (if it goes that far). Since we just had a thread on chronic pain Iíve realized that Iím not the only one in this situation. Iím wondering if others have the same apprehensions and concerns as I do.
A person with a disability/chronic pain is going to be much less prepared that we want to be. I canít speak for everyone but exercise for me is sporadic at best. Due to the pain and recovery period I donít get much exercise at all. Iíve wanted to attend some training, but donít want to spend money on a class and then have to drop out. The same goes for force on force training. One lesson and I may be out of commission for a long time even if the instructor is gentle with me.
Iíve followed several threads bring up concerns about using a ďmore deadlyĒ caliber or cartridge for defense. Someone who may have done more than deemed necessary to stop the attack. I despise what our legal system has grown into and fear that I could very well be that person depending on how the evidence was presented.
In that same vein if I ever have to defend my family or myself itís not going to be something easily defended in court. If I decide that there is an active threat that requires me to intervene, I need to act fast and do as much damage as I can in as little time as possible. Not because Iím tough or mean, actually just the opposite. Iím weak, lack training, physical ability, endurance and most likely will not get a second chance.
Running away may not be an option for us because of our condition. Many times Iíll find myself with a client or friend that uses a wheelchair. Running away with a couple of scared grand kids may prove a little difficult as well. Here again, I can not speak for everyone but in a defensive situation I will most likely be able to act on adrenalin for a period of time, but once I stop the pain and disability will overtake me. I may not really be able to run away or fend off another attack so I have to make sure my attacker stays down.
In this kind of scenario I will most likely come out looking pretty bad. It will appear that I have been aggressive and excessive, maybe even downright mean and vengeful. Although that is not the truth it will look that way to a bystander. Iíve had it happen before when dealing with combative clients. All a bystander sees is that Iím beating up a disabled person. They do not see that Iím using approved techniques, they do not see that I am going out of my way not to hurt the person. Because I come out on top and eventually safely restrain the individual, all a bystander will see is that I have beaten them into submission.
Is there a way to get disability/chronic pain entered into evidence? I know I can bring x-rays and medical history, but itís been my experience that people who do not deal with disability/chronic pain do not understand it much at all. Depending on who evaluates the evidence they may not think there is a valid disparity of force.
So far situational awareness has served me well. Although I canít train like I want to physically I read a lot and am aware of many methods I think I could do at least once. Iíd like some input on how others in similar situations prepare.
May 14th, 2008 12:46 PM
I've hesitated attending the weekend training classes because of health and physical issues. I got lucky and learned about a weekly drop-in class on tactical shooting that a retired police firearm instructor runs at a local range. Its $10 for 2 hours and he picks up the targets and range fees. We usually shoot around 200 rounds per class. Run through various drills with enough variety that you are kept on your toes. I've been to 3 of these classes over the past 6 weeks and have noticed significant improvement. Some of the others at the class are pretty good. Class size averages around 6-8 people. We pair off in lanes and rotate drills back and forth. I try to hit the range once a week and practice some of the drills. Best bang for the buck around.He also does individual classes for $25 hour.
I'll be able to attend the group classes weekly for several years and become a much better shooter and tactician over the long haul.
You might ask around the local gun shops and clubs for some recommendations for either a group class or individual instruction.
HELGA: Where are you going?
HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...
May 14th, 2008 12:50 PM
Fortunately, only you have to be aware of your disability. I'm a pump-dependant diabetic. So solly, bad guy, snatching at the pump on my belt, thinking its a cool new cell phone could be a fatal mistake. I don't have to provide "informed consent."
Edit to add: prepare/train as best you're able, but you are under no obligation to risk permanent injury or disability to have a "fair fight." Google Greg Perry. He's an impressive man. Multiple class Gunsite grad, working on (I believe) his second class with Gabe Suarez (AK class). He has 3 fingers, and 1 leg. He'll fight it out, but he recognizes limitations. I've had the pleasure of visiting with him, and it has been a genuine pleasure!
Here's a start: Greg Perry: Archives
Greg Perry (author) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
May 14th, 2008 12:58 PM
Yes its admissible as a disparity of force issue. If you have a documented medical history you are pretty much set. As to folks ( a jury ) not understanding it all it takes is one fella of 40 or more who has done any amount of hard manual labor seated . He will be a real effective advocate for you ( in regards to that issue ) in deliberations . The issue of how they feel about disabled folks or folks with chronic pain can even be used in voir dire ( the questioning for jury selection ) if i am not mistaken . I know we have several attnys on board so maby one of them will chime in to help clear up the issue as my take is as somewhat a layman who has some experience with the courts.
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
May 14th, 2008 03:49 PM
One of the reasons that I carry is that I am disabled - 24+ years as a diabetic, eyesight not the best, below-the-knee amputation of left leg, pretty useless right foot... exercise is not as easy or as effective as it was back when I was a young warrior.
I think this makes me a bit more situationally aware than most folks, since the option to run and fight another day is no longer viable. And while I try to blend in, it's pretty obvious, by my limp, that I'm handicapped. When BG's are out and about sizing up potential victims, I probably rank just below gray-haired little old ladies with a walker...
So I carry, in order to even-up the odds a bit in my favor. A pistol is a great equalizer.
"Bad spellers of the world - untie!"
DAV Life member, NRA Life member
Springfield XD 9mm Sub-Compact
Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro 9mm
May 14th, 2008 04:05 PM
I walk with a cane for short distances,my balance is sketchy at best,I cannot run or flee from an attack,I could be seriously hurt or killed just by being struck in the head with a closed fist as my C-7 T-1 vertebrate are fused with several plates and rods,If somebody feels they need to physically attack somebody in my condition I feel they are willing to seriously injure or kill me and I will use any force necessary to stop the attack
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
May 14th, 2008 04:15 PM
In court, having a disability makes a HUGE difference, but that is assuming still that correct force was used, i.e. that necessary to repel your attacker as you defend yourself or others.
So, if you are disabled and you used the force necessary to repel an attacker and that was the force necessary FOR YOU TO USE, then you would be all set.
Surrounded and outnumbered, Marine Col Lewis Puller: "Good! We finally got 'em where we want 'em!" (Korea, 1950)
Right is Wrong and Wrong is Right.
Socrates : "Knowledge is knowing that we know nothing".
May 14th, 2008 05:31 PM
I would not fore go participating in training just because you feel you are not physically fit enough to do it. Call the training entity or the instructor prior to enrolling to explain your situation and see how they can accommodate you for the training. They may even offer programs that are specifically limited to disabled participants.
While there may be certain aspects you may physically be unable to do, you'd be surprised at how much they will be able to work with you. Anything you learn in such a class will be worth the money
At any rate, I doubt you will be wasting your money. They are there to teach folks how to defend themselves with a firearm. Who better is in need of proper and appropriate training if not the disabled person?
If you read my signature line, you'll see that a firearm is uniquely suited to those who are weak or infirmed in order to place them on a level playing field with the predators. So by all means, seek out all the training you can financially afford and participate in. It may save your life or keep you out of prison!
While I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, my understanding of disparity of force is as follows.
As far as the disparity of force issue goes. As long as you feel you are in Immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or crippling injury you are justified in using lethal force to defend yourself.
The components which define being in "Immediate, and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or crippling injury" are that the aggressor possesses (A) the Ability to inflict death or crippling injury upon you; (B) has the Opportunity to kill or cripple you; and (C) places you in Jeopardy by deeds, actions, behavior or threats to kill or do serious harm.
If all three of those components are present simultaneously, then by definition, you are in immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or crippling injury and are justified in using lethal force.
Disparity of force issues are mitigating factors which comes into play that allows some degrees of latitude, so to speak when utilizing lethal force where an otherwise healthy able bodied individual may not be clearly authorized in using lethal force in a certain situation.
For example, "force of numbers" where a group or mob of otherwise unarmed people pose a lethal threat to someone, you may be able to explain why you shot three unarmed people citing "force of numbers" in the situation. Another example may be where someone who is physically unable due to disability or impairment to be able to attempt to run away or escape a situation may be able to cite a "disparity of force" in that case as well.
Whether "disparity of force" comes into play or not, you still have to be in fear of immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or serious crippling injury in order for you to justifiably use lethal force to repel the attack.
Disparity of force is merely a mitigating factor which allows a reasonable person in the same circumstances believe a lethal threat was present at the time of the incident and that there were mitigating circumstances which left you no other option where an otherwise healthy person may not have felt the same lethal threat.
What other bystanders or witnesses who are not under the same physical constraints as you are and do not share the same physical disability as you do at the time really doesn't matter.
I don't know why you feel you will automatically have a hard time explaining it in court. If you get a decent attorney and actively participate in your defense by assisting your attorney prepare the case, you should be fine.
In other words, if you can articulate an obvious "disparity of force" existed for you by your attacker, you are justified in using lethal force to defend yourself.
Bottom line... it is incumbent on you to understand the laws, the rules of lethal force and how disparity of force may pertain to your situation and circumstances before employing deadly force in a situation.
I hope this makes sense and doesn't add any confusion.
"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."
May 15th, 2008 08:34 AM
I appreciate all the replies and advice. I do feel a little better now knowing there have been some before me with the same issues. I guess what makes me apprehensive is the fact that I have good days and bad days, in my heart of hearts there is a different response for each.
I'll follow up on the private or specialized training. Looking at the difference between group and private lessons seemed cost prohibitive, I never considered there would be anything that would be designed for people like me.
In my situation, most days you'd never notice that I have a problem. Other days it's easily recognized that something is not right. I do my best not to appear as prey but sometimes it can't be helped. On those days I find myself acutely aware of my surroundings. I'm fortunate in the fact that I work at home primarily with a severely disabled client. On a really bad day I can just stay home. This took some planning but has really paid off for me.
Although I don't know Greg Perry, I've known a few like him. Knowing your limitations isn't' just for people with disabilities.
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