Flashlight and Firearm: Blinding and Shooting

Flashlight and Firearm: Blinding and Shooting

This is a discussion on Flashlight and Firearm: Blinding and Shooting within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I haven't quite completely hashed out following scenario and while I know there are a LOT of variables that make any kind of "decision" go ...

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Thread: Flashlight and Firearm: Blinding and Shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Moderator
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    Question Flashlight and Firearm: Blinding and Shooting

    I haven't quite completely hashed out following scenario and while I know there are a LOT of variables that make any kind of "decision" go right out the window in the time of need but I thought it would be interesting to at least get some opinions and read a little discussion about how you think it should ideally play out.

    Alright.. here it goes.

    You are walking to your car in a dark parking lot and using your flashlight to guide the way. You notice a suspicious character in your path and hit him with all your tactical lumens.

    He makes a threatening gesture or says something that alerts you enough to draw your firearm but because of the blinding effect of your light he has not seen the gesture. In his mind you are still just a defenseless victim.

    While I do not advocate drawing a firearm as a means to deter a crime and I do STRONGLY believe that one should only draw a firearm if they are intent on using it in defense of their life, I am also aware that firearms DO have a deterrent effect.

    Showing the firearm could theoretically keep you from having to use said firearm.

    So... do you make a point of showing you mean business or leave him (and the gun) "in the dark."

    Should you both survive the encounter could there be legal ramifications of blinding someone with a light and not allowing them to see you are armed before using your firearm?

    "Sir, I was just walking to my car and the crazy blinds me and then just starts shooting me?"


    What say the DC masses?


  2. #2
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    Defense from deadly force is just that IMO. If they are intent on injuring you , then you have the right to defend. If you cannot escape, evade or otherwise stop the attack , then shooting to stop the threat is justified.
    Sure a visible or verbal warning may be given, but is it legally necessary?
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    I give no warning. If I feel I have to pull my gun, I use it without giving up the "element of surprise". IANAL, but I think that IF you have to defend your life, then you should use any advantage you can get. That includes a bright light to the eyes.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    If he is armed (Knife or Gun) flashing a surefire in his eyes and evasive maneuvering will foul his target acquisition. By the time he has his eyesight back you may have time to gain the upper hand (Evasion, Cover or Concealment) with weapon drawn. Is he still a threat or is he now the target, it is his move at this point. If he tries to do you bodily harm while blinded he is in deep dookie. If he ceases his attack, you can call the police and allow them to take over.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    You are walking to your car in a dark parking lot and using your flashlight to guide the way. You notice a suspicious character in your path and hit him with all your tactical lumens.

    He makes a threatening gesture or says something that alerts you enough to draw your firearm but because of the blinding effect of your light he has not seen the gesture. In his mind you are still just a defenseless victim.

    I made no threatening gestures untill you blinded me with that damn light! I though I was being mugged. Hell yes I said something, wouldn't you? I only wanted to get to my car and go home. Then some fool comes out of nowhere and blinds me.
    Why did you attack me?

    Michael

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    You are walking to your car in a dark parking lot and using your flashlight to guide the way. You notice a suspicious character in your path and hit him with all your tactical lumens.

    He makes a threatening gesture or says something that alerts you enough to draw your firearm but because of the blinding effect of your light he has not seen the gesture. In his mind you are still just a defenseless victim.
    The element of surprise. Priceless. Most of the time victims play the weak side of a confrontation at best. I say follow through. The rules of warfare dictate we do just that. No reservations........without remorse. If we don't, we're still on the side of the coin facing downward.

  7. #7
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    Someone approaching in a threatening manner would/should get a verbal warning...if the threatening approach continues, then the light and the drawn weapon could/should be used with full force...there could/should only be one story if the threat was successfully eliminated.

    If the approaching threat of which you speak is still able to present his side to police, hopefully the disparity of force and the weapon you saw him brandish will be a challenge for him to discuss. (No visible weapon? Then male on female attack still poses disparity of force.)

    Stay armed...now you're defending two...stay safe!
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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    I agree with the verbal warning to stop or stay back. If they don't, they are fair game.
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    Here is your problem as I see it.
    The use of deadly force is a very limited thing.
    Even the threat of that force will get you
    jail time.
    I will show no one my gun to chase them off
    If they are a deadly threat, they get shot, they will never see
    it coming if I have my way.
    Everything up to that point is fair game
    I say use the flashlight for determining the threat
    once you are sure of it, give no warning and no
    quarter.REMEMBER, YOU ARE DEALING WITH EVIL.
    Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?

    Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

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  11. #11
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    If I blind him with my light and he stops then he doesn't get shot.

    If after I light him up he still is acting in such a way that puts me in fear of my life or limb then I fire.

    I don't see a problem in your scenario, if deadly force is needed to stop the threat then it shouldn't matter if you used a light first to try to stop the threat
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    Unless he shows a weapon, I would use the flashlight and then try to retreat to my car. Muggers are usually not looking for a fight. Once he sees the flashlight, he should know that you are not going to give in easily. A couple stern words may help as well to get the message across. Stay in control of the escalation if at all possible.
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    I’ve actually heard of a guy using a flashlight to defuse a tense situation (not a definite threat) and would consider using this tactic myself if the situation was right. Shining a bright light in someone’s eyes could ruin their night vision and put them at a disadvantage.

    I think a flashlight can be another great tool to have in your bag of tricks. It’s hard to attack what you can’t see. But, if you illuminate an actual threat, it’s time to light him up with something stronger.

  14. #14
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    As a personal choice my weapon only comes out to stop a deadly threat, never to warn or intimidate. I would however, grip my holstered weapon and quarter my strong side away from the potential threat at the same time aquiring a stable shooting stance.

    With the subject temporarily blinded, light still in his face, I would use a loud commanding voice and say something like "stop right there!" or "don't come any closer!" or even "go away!".

    In my state it takes two witnesses to substantiate a brandishing but even still, that charge alone could cause you to loose your permit.

    That's just me.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    A side note here. If the flashlight is not enough and you draw your weapon to diffuse the situation; be sure and call the police and let them know why.
    Do not just drive away. That individual or someone else may call them if you don't. Stay proactive.
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

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