Self Defense and non escalation of force

This is a discussion on Self Defense and non escalation of force within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Not sure if this is the proper area to ask this so feel free to move it. I do understand the principles of equal force ...

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Thread: Self Defense and non escalation of force

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Self Defense and non escalation of force

    Not sure if this is the proper area to ask this so feel free to move it.

    I do understand the principles of equal force and non escalation of force when it comes to self defense. I do question how these principles are or should be used in law.

    Have we as individuals and possibly the government as well become to literal in our interpretation of this principle? Wouldn't a non escalation or equal force response mean you have a stalemate where neither side would come out ahead?

    When did the idea that you could meet force with force become so literal? I understand that deadly force should only be used to repel deadly force. The key word is force. Somehow we have bastardized the idea into meaning we have to use equal weapons.

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Idunno... equal force <> equal weapon... bat, knife, nunchucks, pipes, guns = deadly force.

    So, you're right, the key word is force...

    Many threats have been dissuaded by "deterrent force." Usually this means display of a force equal to (mutual destruction) the threat, or greater than the threat (peace through superior firepower).

    We can spend our time more constructively looking for the reasons a respondent threat is justified, instead of looking for the reasons it was escalation.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Not sure if this is the proper area to ask this so feel free to move it.

    I do understand the principles of equal force and non escalation of force when it comes to self defense. I do question how these principles are or should be used in law.

    Have we as individuals and possibly the government as well become to literal in our interpretation of this principle? Wouldn't a non escalation or equal force response mean you have a stalemate where neither side would come out ahead?

    When did the idea that you could meet force with force become so literal? I understand that deadly force should only be used to repel deadly force. The key word is force. Somehow we have bastardized the idea into meaning we have to use equal weapons.

    Michael
    I don't know about all that. In terms of Self-Defense - it basically means don't escalate the situation, if someone cuts you off driving out of road-rage and then floors it away to kick some sand in your face: don't make this situation continue and get worse by now chasing him and cutting him off. When force hits, meet it with the same measure to defend yourself - and, first, disengage when possible: the best defense.

    Why? Because it's DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. Legally, if you want the laws of defense to cover you, you can't be responsible for the attack against you by having committed your own offensive act first. Then you're not an innocent victim who has no choice but to defend, you're a participant in aggression - your choice.
    Last edited by walleye; November 17th, 2011 at 05:47 PM.
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    I don't know about all that. In terms of Self-Defense - it basically means don't escalate the situation, if someone cuts you off driving out of road-rage and then floors it away to kick some sand in your face: don't make this situation continue and get worse by now chasing him and cutting him off. When force hits, meet it with the same measure to defend yourself - and, first, disengage when possible: the best defense.

    Why? Because it's DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. Legally, if you want the laws of defense to cover you, you can't be responsible for the attack against you by having committed your own offensive act first. Then you're not an innocent victim who has no choice but to defend, you're a participant in aggression - your choice.
    Agreed. My basic philosophy is, if someone wants to call me a name or flip me the bird, fine, knock yourself out. I already know they are a tool so why drop to their level and tell them what is so obvious? I will take a metric ton of crap from someone since I know I am armed. But I will always be watching their hands and be ready to respond as required should they escalate the situation to a level that warrants a forceful response from me.
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    New Member Array GoldenEagle's Avatar
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    Folks get kicked in the head repeatedly and die. Does boot = gun. I believe the law would side on the intent not what tool was used. Either way.. the offender or defender.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    I don't know about all that. In terms of Self-Defense - it basically means don't escalate the situation, if someone cuts you off driving out of road-rage and then floors it away to kick some sand in your face: don't make this situation continue and get worse by now chasing him and cutting him off. When force hits, meet it with the same measure to defend yourself - and, first, disengage when possible: the best defense.

    Why? Because it's DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. Legally, if you want the laws of defense to cover you, you can't be responsible for the attack against you by having committed your own offensive act first. Then you're not an innocent victim who has no choice but to defend, you're a participant in aggression - your choice.
    Two different discussions. You reference to not escalating the situation is correct. That covers the time before actual force is used. My point covers the time after that when force becomes necessary and is being used.

    I agree with the your point on not escalating the situation. My problem is when people confuse force and response to it with the weapon used to create that force.
    Example: You attempt to run me down with your vehicle. I stop you with a well placed round from my rifle. While the weapons are different did we both not use deadly force? The force was equal.

    Example: You attack me with your set of ninja approved throwing knives from across the room. I respond with a burst from my newly acquired M-60 machine gun. Equal force again in so far as they both are deadly.

    Should the person being attacked be penalized because he did not remember to bring his ninja throwing knives and instead used the weapon he did bring?

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Two different discussions. You reference to not escalating the situation is correct. That covers the time before actual force is used. My point covers the time after that when force becomes necessary and is being used.

    I agree with the your point on not escalating the situation. My problem is when people confuse force and response to it with the weapon used to create that force.
    Example: You attempt to run me down with your vehicle. I stop you with a well placed round from my rifle. While the weapons are different did we both not use deadly force? The force was equal.

    Example: You attack me with your set of ninja approved throwing knives from across the room. I respond with a burst from my newly acquired M-60 machine gun. Equal force again in so far as they both are deadly.

    Should the person being attacked be penalized because he did not remember to bring his ninja throwing knives and instead used the weapon he did bring?

    Michael
    No.

    Force is not the tool used to inflict the injury. If a guy is attempting to use brass knuckles on me, since I don't carry a set of my own, I will have to be content to pistol whip him. NOT.

    Grave bodily injury, I'll use the pistol, but not in the manner of a hammer. I also carry a SD knife... should I use the knife? Maybe. But I don't think any interpretation of the law requires that I use an equal tool to the attacker's. And the knife constitutes deadly weapon,where the brass knucks don't, anyway.

    While I believe that most self defense scenarios are a variation on the theme of rock, paper, scissors, I have the luxury of the BG showing his hand first... I will always win. In most cases I'm going to opt out of playing the game in the first place... If the option is not granted... I'm not going to try to match the attacker's methodology, or tools, I am in to win, I will display superior firepower and hope for the peace it may afford before anything bad happens.
    Politicians, take note of Colorado 9/10/2013.
    "You are elected to service, not power.
    Your job is to "serve us" not to lord power over us."
    Me, 9/11/13

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Two different discussions. You reference to not escalating the situation is correct. That covers the time before actual force is used. My point covers the time after that when force becomes necessary and is being used.

    I agree with the your point on not escalating the situation. My problem is when people confuse force and response to it with the weapon used to create that force.
    Example: You attempt to run me down with your vehicle. I stop you with a well placed round from my rifle. While the weapons are different did we both not use deadly force? The force was equal.

    Example: You attack me with your set of ninja approved throwing knives from across the room. I respond with a burst from my newly acquired M-60 machine gun. Equal force again in so far as they both are deadly.

    Should the person being attacked be penalized because he did not remember to bring his ninja throwing knives and instead used the weapon he did bring?

    Michael
    If someone is trying to kill you by running a car at you and you have no escape and shoot with your gun: I don't think it would matter to the authorities. It would be Self-Defense. SD Law makes no mention of the means used in the lethal attack or the lethal-means used in the Defense of it. So, legally, what he uses and what you use is moot.

    This can get into problems when it's a physical attack that you, the victim, reasonably believes will kill or seriously injure and you shoot the attacker to avoid it - because if avoided successfully by killing him there is no evidence of such a coming attack that remains but your word that it was so, so if no witnesses saw it that situation can and has been a problem. But that is for those reasons, not because the Law does not allow for different means.

    I think it's standard practice to focus on the attack and any escape available to the SD-claimant in investigating and evaluating SD cases - and not respective means. So, are you mentioning this because of some case or situation that went against the grain?

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I think it's standard practice to focus on the attack and any escape available to the SD-claimant in investigating and evaluating SD cases - and not respective means. So, are you mentioning this because of some case or situation that went against the grain?
    Actually the thread about the use of a baseball bat reminded me of something I read many years ago.
    After Oklahoma passed concealed carry there was an article in the States largest paper where an instructor was pointing out a scenario involving a baseball bat. He made a big point about how you could not use a firearm to stop an person only armed with a ball bat.
    Many people including some LEO still hold this view. They seem to confuse escalating a situation that might lead to the use of force with an escalation of the response after the fight has begun.

    The idea that when attacked by hands and fist you can only respond with hands and fist is an equal weapons argument, not equal force one.

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    The concept I look at is DISPARITY of force.

    For example, is the person using a weapon that is capable of lethal force? Let us not examine degrees of lethality. BG pulls a knife, I am not going to go looking for another knife, I am going to adequately stop the threat.

    Old man rather frail about to get beat down by a muscle bound young guy might indicate need for a level playing field.

    Four on one certainly needs a leveler.

    Now if you pull a weapon on someone for calling you names, you got some explaining to do. Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me, granted, my 40 cal will get you to stop trying to hit me with that friggin club.

    That is my take on the OP.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Actually the thread about the use of a baseball bat reminded me of something I read many years ago.
    After Oklahoma passed concealed carry there was an article in the States largest paper where an instructor was pointing out a scenario involving a baseball bat. He made a big point about how you could not use a firearm to stop an person only armed with a ball bat.
    Many people including some LEO still hold this view. They seem to confuse escalating a situation that might lead to the use of force with an escalation of the response after the fight has begun.

    The idea that when attacked by hands and fist you can only respond with hands and fist is an equal weapons argument, not equal force one.

    Michael
    Yes, exactly. I think if some shady prosecutor tried this kind of stuff and won the case it would be overturned on Appeal. There's no law that would back him up about equal weapons and the one there is clearly is moot on any weapons period.

    Course meanwhile you're sitting in jail and have lost years of life and all your money from Day One.

    Using a gun really must be the last house on the street when you think about reprecussions. ANYTHING can happen even if you save your life. Only if there's no way out should we use a gun, for very practical and very serious reasons.

    But if you have to, you have to.....

    Both are true.

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    Member Array brumskee's Avatar
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    Cornered cat;
    My sweet kitty will run away no matter what comes her way untill you back her into a corner, where she will then rip you apart.

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    Speaking of Cornered Cat...

    Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy (AOJ)

    I believe this link goes along with your discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    No.

    Force is not the tool used to inflict the injury. If a guy is attempting to use brass knuckles on me, since I don't carry a set of my own, I will have to be content to pistol whip him. NOT.

    Grave bodily injury, I'll use the pistol, but not in the manner of a hammer. I also carry a SD knife... should I use the knife? Maybe. But I don't think any interpretation of the law requires that I use an equal tool to the attacker's. And the knife constitutes deadly weapon,where the brass knucks don't, anyway.

    While I believe that most self defense scenarios are a variation on the theme of rock, paper, scissors, I have the luxury of the BG showing his hand first... I will always win. In most cases I'm going to opt out of playing the game in the first place... If the option is not granted... I'm not going to try to match the attacker's methodology, or tools, I am in to win, I will display superior firepower and hope for the peace it may afford before anything bad happens.
    Oakchas, well spoken! I don't beleive any jury would presume that while defending yourself from a BG that you are limited to famliar weapons or class of weapons used by the BG to defend yourself and family. It would be the BG's misfortune to under estimate the Potiental victim(s) defensive capabilties.

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    The wording in the law in SC, at least to me, is very clear---"what a reasonable person would presume as imminent danger to life or personal health". I have summarized the actual words but when you begin to apply all the what if scenarios, an ability to avoid the confrontation in the first place and an ability to to use any and all methods to eliminate a potential confrontation are the basic ways that you can negate the imminent danger if you are a reasonable and responsible person who is CC. If you cannot negate the imminent danger, then you are in imminent danger and use of your firearm is legal under the law. Words can't harm you, you can drive away, you can walk away, you can yell and scream (for witnesses) that you do not want to confront, you can use SA to its ultimate and stay away from potential problems even before they happen etal--all can minimize the possibility of putting yourself in imminent danger and should be priority one.

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