the scenario that troubles me

the scenario that troubles me

This is a discussion on the scenario that troubles me within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am new at this so thank you for your patience. There is a scenario that has been on my mind lately as I wait ...

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Thread: the scenario that troubles me

  1. #1
    New Member Array theamen777's Avatar
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    the scenario that troubles me

    I am new at this so thank you for your patience. There is a scenario that has been on my mind lately as I wait for my concealed carry license. I've taken the time to read many posts that relate to this but would still benefit from any further comments on the subject. I feel like I understand that when things are imminently grave, I can justifiably unholster my gun ( like if the assailant has a weapon, if I'm outnumbered, or if the assailant is significantly bigger than me )

    The situation that I'm concerned about that I am unsure if the law is really on my side or not is this:

    I'm 5'10" and weigh 160 lbs and am slim though not scrawny. If I may, a man who is bigger than me but not significantly ( like maybe outweighs me by 20 or 30lbs ) looks strong, and is angry and is coming at me to do me physical harm. He hasn't verbally stated he wants to kill me or even that he is about to pound my head in but nonetheless you know he appears to desire to do you harm physically. To be accurate, let's assume that I have not provoked this man ( maybe I was unaware I cut him off in traffic and at a gas station I'm at he jumps out of his car and comes at me yelling general curses at me). Will the law,as you understand it, allow me to unholster my pistol and warn him that if he doesn't stop, I will stop him (shoot). OR, does the law paraphrase that I better learn some hand to hand combat skills until I'm within an inch of my life or I better hope my pepper spray stops this man? I truly appreciate the input.


  2. #2
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    The only time you are justified to draw your weapon is if you are in fear of your life, or severe bodily harm. You must be able to articulate your fear to the police/DA and very possibly a jury. Remember you weapon is the last option you want to use.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In Texas if you are in fear of serious injury or death and have not provoked or escalated the attack,It comes down to the perceived threat,if somebody is standing 20 feet away with no weapon and says I'm gonna beat you up you would find yourself in a precarious position if you shoot him,same person with a knife or gun and moves towards you you have the right to stop the threat,if you have time verbally commanding STOP STAY WHERE YOU ARE etc.One more thing you have to take into account if the individual grabs you and starts beating you he may get control of your weapon,The individuals demeanor is he drunk angry enraged and in that regards put you in fear for your life.there are some definite legally justified shooting scenarios but then there are some gray areas and nobody can tell you yes you can shoot or no you can't it comes down to how you perceive the threat
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  4. #4
    New Member Array theamen777's Avatar
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    I am still not there yet in my understanding of severe bodily harm. I am introspective enough to know that this is a personal interpretation but just to state a fact I don't know how far this man will be willing to harm me until it is possibly too late. For example, if I am fighting for my life once he starts hitting me, I have a pistol that he may use against me at that point. Personally, I would not want it to get that far,but it seems to me unless mistaken that the law for me to unholster is not that giving.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    I'd call your CCW instructors or local PD to get detailed clarification if you feel like you're not 100% clear on the minute details. Either that or find an attorney who specializes in defending private citizens when they are involved in gunfire incidents, and see what he/she says. It can't hurt to ask. You paid for the class, might as well get your money's worth. Not only that, but they should know that they may need to give more details on what, exactly, under TX law, constitutes "severe bodily harm" with their next class to make sure everyone understands completely.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theamen777 View Post
    I am new at this so thank you for your patience. There is a scenario that has been on my mind lately as I wait for my concealed carry license. I've taken the time to read many posts that relate to this but would still benefit from any further comments on the subject. I feel like I understand that when things are imminently grave, I can justifiably unholster my gun ( like if the assailant has a weapon, if I'm outnumbered, or if the assailant is significantly bigger than me )

    The situation that I'm concerned about that I am unsure if the law is really on my side or not is this:

    I'm 5'10" and weigh 160 lbs and am slim though not scrawny. If I may, a man who is bigger than me but not significantly ( like maybe outweighs me by 20 or 30lbs ) looks strong, and is angry and is coming at me to do me physical harm. He hasn't verbally stated he wants to kill me or even that he is about to pound my head in but nonetheless you know he appears to desire to do you harm physically. To be accurate, let's assume that I have not provoked this man ( maybe I was unaware I cut him off in traffic and at a gas station I'm at he jumps out of his car and comes at me yelling general curses at me). Will the law,as you understand it, allow me to unholster my pistol and warn him that if he doesn't stop, I will stop him (shoot). OR, does the law paraphrase that I better learn some hand to hand combat skills until I'm within an inch of my life or I better hope my pepper spray stops this man? I truly appreciate the input.
    I would say you have a duty to flee.

  7. #7
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    Walk away, plead your 'apology', run...if you have no escape and you fear for your life..."Remove the threat!"
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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    You don't have to take a beating, if that's what you are asking. Even one punch can kill you. A body-punch can rupture your spleen, break ribs that can puncture a lung,liver,kidney damage, internal bleeding. A punch to the head can kill you easily. Doesn't matter if the guy is bigger or smaller, within reason, no one is going to believe you if you shoot Mini-Me and say you were in fear for your life...lol . If you can walk, run, or drive away,do so.
    Don't start a fight then pull a gun because you are losing or lost the fight, that's wrong,legally and morally.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    I don't think you are neccessarily going to get a straight yes or no answer.

    Each situation is different, compounded even more so by the persons involved.

    A person threatening you may result in a justifiable homicide while that same person threatening me may not.

    It is so depedant on the moment, how you react, how the assailant reacts, your health condition, etc.
    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.

  10. #10
    Member Array big gary's Avatar
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    i don't think you should be pulling out a firearm unless you have to shoot someone to survive. i kinda sounds like you want to know if you can use it to scare off a non-lethal attack. a lawyer may be your best consultant.

  11. #11
    New Member Array theamen777's Avatar
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    Thank you for your responses. I think I will talk further with my instructor and possibly someone with good understanding of this area of the law. Even though things happen quickly and every situation is different,I'm trying to get settled in my my mind at what point the law is most likely on my side if I decide to draw my pistol. Unfortunately, even if justified in one's actions, a prosecutor or jury of one's peers could still send you to prison. I know people don't want to have to kill someone but I also think people talk so much about running away and spraying pepper spray and everything else they can think of before pulling their gun is because you might go bankrupt trying to defend yourself in a court of law and still go to prison anyway if they don't see it in your favor. I'm not trying to be pessimistic but that's reality in my eyes. Thanks again.

  12. #12
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    This is my take on a draw/shoot scenario.

    The only time I will draw/shoot is when I would rather go to jail that suffer what is coming my way. This is, of course, after I have tried to de-escalate the encounter in whatever way is appropiate or time allows.

    If you have time/inclination to worry about it, do not draw.

    There may be a few blood-thirsty CCer's out there that would say I'm wrong, but that is MY litmus test for any situation. Find what works for you.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    This is my take on a draw/shoot scenario.

    The only time I will draw/shoot is when I would rather go to jail that suffer what is coming my way. This is, of course, after I have tried to de-escalate the encounter in whatever way is appropiate or time allows.

    If you have time/inclination to worry about it, do not draw.

    There may be a few blood-thirsty CCer's out there that would say I'm wrong, but that is MY litmus test for any situation. Find what works for you.
    I agree Drawing you weapon is a "Problem Switcher" Not a "Problem Solver".

    Severe bodily harm Means a trip to the Hospital.

    If you pull your gun, You are now escalating to situation. If he backs down good for you. If he doesn't Bad for you..

    Here is a quote from the Author who wrote the Books that are considered The Handgun Bible here in Florida.
    FLORIDA FIREARMS Law, Use & Ownership by Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq
    Quote "When can you use Deadly Force? Hummmm, tough question. The answer? Well truthfully -- whenever your not prosecuted for it" Unquote.

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    Member Array JohnHenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Walk away, plead your 'apology', run...if you have no escape and you fear for your life..."Remove the threat!"
    +1 This pretty much sums it up. You do NOT want to go through the court system, arrest, etc. from shooting someone, but you want to die even less, so avoid both if at all possible, and pick the lesser of two evils if confronted with only two choices. Best to avoid the conflict first. And by all means, if you do avoid a conflict, consider calling the police anyway to report it. "He who calls first, usually wins"
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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theamen777 View Post
    I am still not there yet in my understanding of severe bodily harm.
    Don't feel alone in this regard. The courts haven't figured it out, either, and they have to decide if you go to prison or not.

    The two most important steps, IMHO, are:
    1) That you are the first to call it in. You want the police to be looking at the situation from the perspective of you defending yourself from serious injury or death. They can look at each tidbit of evidence, body language from you, etc in the light of "I just blew someone away for (insert random typical motive here)" or "I shot to stop an imminent threat of great bodily harm or death". Your call helps them decide which path to take. Carry a cellular phone from a non-ghetto company at all times when you carry.
    And 2) make certain that you can clearly and succinctly describe in layman's terms why you, a reasonable person, thought you were under threat of imminent great bodily harm or death. Don't be under the influence of alcohol (not even a couple of beers). Don't be smoking dope. Don't be under the influence of drugs with tags like "Don't operate heavy machinery or drive" (I'm dealing with a kidney infection and have had back spasms taken care of with muscle relaxers. Yes, it sucks to not carry, but I'm not risking my life, the lives of those around me, and my family's future by carrying under the influence). Try to get away if you can. Try to talk them down if you have a chance. Do not start the incident by being a blowhard even if you're in the right.

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