Establishing Intent?

This is a discussion on Establishing Intent? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Another thread got me thinking about this. Figured I'd run it by all of you in hopes of getting your opinions. I've taken combat jujitsu ...

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Thread: Establishing Intent?

  1. #1
    Member Array V10's Avatar
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    Establishing Intent?

    Another thread got me thinking about this. Figured I'd run it by all of you in hopes of getting your opinions.

    I've taken combat jujitsu (real life application, no point fighting or competition) for a number of years. One of the things I was always taught, which I've recently begun to question, is the idea of establishing intent (for legal reasons).

    The scenario goes like this:

    You're approached by one, no more than two, unarmed assailants. Before using potentially deadly force, with your hands or a firearm, you first either back down or attempt to redirect the attack with a non-potentially-deadly defense (arm bar, simple take down). You then take a couple steps back. If said assailant comes back for more, he has established his intent, thereby warranting your use of potentially deadly force if needed.

    Basically, it's suppose to be a sure formula for establishing a strong case for self defense.

    I've adapted this theory for situations in the past ... say when there's an out of control drunk that poses some-what of a threat but obviously isn't thinking clearly, so I'm not going to cause him any more harm than his hang over will (less for legality and more for establishing among friends the fact that i'm not a jerk, he actually deserved it).. but luckily have never had to apply it to a serious situation.

    What do you think? In a serious situation, would you bother with this, or would you rather act now... make your case later?
    Sorry 'bout that... He's trained to attack shopping carts for some reason.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    I figure that he has shown his intent by ignoring your aggressive body language (crosses cultural barriers), your obvious and vocal distress at his closing (crosses language barriers), and by advancing on you despite your gate going up (ignoring a universal symbol for "Don't come any closer, dang it!").

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I use verbal judo yelling,stay back,I don't know you,I'm scared of your intentions,don't come any closer etc. Anybody that continues to approach has shown intent
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    I would prefer to NOT be at arms length..

    I would prefer to not be within arms length of an aggressor. I have no martial arts training so I figure if I can reach him for an arm bar, he can do the same or worse to me. To close by my standards.

    Think about this, the OP stated he is trained in martial arts so he sees no problem getting into a hand to hand with the aggressor, taking him done, then RELEASING him to see if stops advancing.

    What happens if the aggressor is a more skilled martial arts person. He could easily reverse the OP's move, taken him down and "kill him with his little finger".

    We all know that distance is our friend, I think that applies here. By all means if you have to use hands on force do so but I would prefer gaining distance yelling for him to stop and once he proved his entent by advancing then I would consider drawing with enough distance (hopefully + 20 feet) to allow me to access the situation with gun at the ready. If he continues to advance then he has deminstrated that he intends to harm me no matter what the cost.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by V10 View Post
    Another thread got me thinking about this. Figured I'd run it by all of you in hopes of getting your opinions.

    I've taken combat jujitsu (real life application, no point fighting or competition) for a number of years. One of the things I was always taught, which I've recently begun to question, is the idea of establishing intent (for legal reasons).

    The scenario goes like this:

    You're approached by one, no more than two, unarmed assailants. Before using potentially deadly force, with your hands or a firearm, you first either back down or attempt to redirect the attack with a non-potentially-deadly defense (arm bar, simple take down). You then take a couple steps back. If said assailant comes back for more, he has established his intent, thereby warranting your use of potentially deadly force if needed.

    Basically, it's suppose to be a sure formula for establishing a strong case for self defense.

    I've adapted this theory for situations in the past ... say when there's an out of control drunk that poses some-what of a threat but obviously isn't thinking clearly, so I'm not going to cause him any more harm than his hang over will (less for legality and more for establishing among friends the fact that i'm not a jerk, he actually deserved it).. but luckily have never had to apply it to a serious situation.

    What do you think? In a serious situation, would you bother with this, or would you rather act now... make your case later?
    You aren't going to establish intent for a later claim of self defense...

    You are going to get yourself killed.

    Intent is established through a number of things, like verbalization, movement, tactics, body posturing, coordination between assailents...not "I'll do non-lethal stuff to him, let him get back up to establish he really means to hurt me as I stick around to see the results, then I'll do round #2 if I need to..."

    If it's go time, it's go time.

    You need to order "The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery " and "The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry", then read them cover to cover ASAP.

    Like TODAY.

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    Member Array diverdown247's Avatar
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    V10, read your State law thoroughly and understand it (you likely already do). I'll hit on a few things that come up a lot in Missouri on this type of scenario.

    First, in self-defense you (the defensive shooter) should NEVER be required to establish "intent", that's reserved for LEO's during their investigation. Your primary responsibility is to understand what you are legally entitled to do in repsponse to a threat so you can train yourself to react properly. Training is absolutely vital.

    Do you have a duty to retreat in your State?
    Do you have to clearly identify that a threat exists or can the threat be perceived or imminent in your State?
    Are you required to attempt to disengage from a potential or actual conflict or threat prior to defensive options in your State? (this actually exists in some States and it's not the same as duty to retreat)
    Do you fully understand how to articulate to an investigator that your life or the life of another was in danger? (practice this)
    Do you have a pro-2A lawyer on speed-dial? (if not you need to!)

    Hope this helps a bit as the information may apply to someone on the board.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diverdown247 View Post
    Do you have a pro-2A lawyer on speed-dial? (if not you need to!)
    Some of the absolute best lawyers, those you want on your speed dial...are not gun people.

    You are talking about a criminal situation...not a "gun law" situation.

    In criminal court, unless you are charged with a violation of a state assault weapon ban, having a lawyer intimately familiar with the second amendment and associated constitutional matters isn't even a 3rd level consideration.

    You need a criminal defense lawyer.

    A good one.

    If he is a gun guy, bonus, but if I shot someone I know about 10 guys I'd like to hire, and none of them are gun people, like guns or even own them.

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    If you can't understand, "Get the heck (something like that) back, NOW!", and you contintue to approach, you've established a threat to me.
    I'm a peaceable old man, I won't do physical battle, not anymore...just leave me alone and I'll go on my way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post

    If it's go time, it's go time.
    + 1. Nuff said.
    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.

  11. #10
    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    I also learned a lot about defense theory in jujitsu but as far as the legalities in crime go I would stick with my local laws. I am a noobie, bought my first gun last month and I take my CCW on Monday. I read threw a short list of confusing Missouri gun law and so far have been unable to find current Missouri self defense law.

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