Stopping the threat, or murder?

This is a discussion on Stopping the threat, or murder? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Throughout the posts in many threads in "scenarios", and in "in the news," Many have talked about the fine line between defense and murder... Bringing ...

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Thread: Stopping the threat, or murder?

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Stopping the threat, or murder?

    Throughout the posts in many threads in "scenarios", and in "in the news," Many have talked about the fine line between defense and murder... Bringing to mind for me this question:
    Where do we stop defending and start murdering?

    To be technically correct, legally correct, and morally correct, we don't shoot with the intent of killing. And, we don't shoot to wound. We shoot to "stop the threat."

    Many LEO's are trained to "zip them up." Shooting almost from the draw straight up the centerline of a perp who happens to be facing them.

    We are trained to "stop the threat" = "stopping movement and gaining control" (someone else offered that explanation of "stopping the threat" in another thread; and IMO, it's pretty accurate).

    We need to be honest here. Stopping the threat will often result in a dead perpetrator. Not always, but often.

    Sometimes (more often than actually firing the weapon according to Kleck) the mere presentation of a weapon will stop a crime, ie. "stop the threat." I'm all for that.

    But, we are also taught that we don't expose our weapon unless we intend to draw. We don't draw unless we are ready to shoot. And, we don't shoot to wound (or to kill) we shoot to "stop the threat."

    Tueller drill (let's not go into that) says that most of the exposure, draw, and fire takes about 1-2 seconds, (enough time for the guy with the knife to cut you in the Tueller drill, but that's not my point, the time interval is) an awful lot happens in those 2 seconds.

    So, the decision to start the action takes place in a nanosecond, during which time you have come to the conclusion that you are willing to go "all the way."

    Going "all the way" occurs over the space of just two seconds (perhaps less).

    It can be interrupted during the sequence, but that's a lot harder than stopping it before it happens.

    And, "in the fray" we don't:

    1. Expose. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    2. Draw. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    3. Start to pull the trigger. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    4. Fire once. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    5. repeat #4 until out of bullets.


    The time interval between each of the above steps or actions, in reality, shrinks. It takes longer to decide to start at step one, than it does to actually do step one. Longer to do step one than to do step two, and so on.

    By the time we are actually firing the weapon, the interval between 4 and 5 is very short, the length of a trigger pull and reset and repeat (as fast as we can do it reasonably on target). The time it takes to STOP doing step 5 is probably longer than the interval between steps 2 and 3, maybe even longer than between 1 and 2.

    I guess what I'm saying is this: If you carry a weapon, or have one in your nightstand, or a long arm propped against the wall in your bedroom (or wherever) with the intent of using that weapon to defend yourself and/or your loved ones; you need to be of the mindset that you are probably going to kill someone if you ever need to actually use them.

    Live with that thought, now. Before you ever need to follow through.

    Realize also... And this is a pretty key thought.... Just like with us (the defenders of selves and loved ones) the decision loop (OODA loop if you insist) can be interrupted in the bad guy.

    It can be done with force, it can be done with cunning, it can be done with misdirection, and it can be done by avoidance in the first place... And, disturbing that decision loop may give you an edge which does not require you to shoot to stop the threat at all... But it's best to do it before the BG starts at step 1... because once he starts, it gets progressively more difficult for him to stop, just as it does with us.

    And then, you have to start your sequence as well... and hope to prevail.
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    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    good points

    the longer a gun is out, the harder it is to put it away.

    once dispalyed either they take to the hills, or make definate motions to that end ( can't open the door fast enough suffices)
    or its going to be needed as its designed to be used.

    discussion has failed if you are at this point;
    so now is not the time to hash it out--now is past the time
    for them to be getting out.
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    sgb
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    The fastest way to stop a threat is to kill it.

    85% of individuals inflicted with a gunshot(s) will survive.

    Most people survive due more to luck than skill.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Stopping the threat, or murder
    Its not murder, it is killing. We shoot to stop the threat. If the threat dies as a result, then they die. I did not murder them. I killed them, defending my life or the lives of my family....Its all about proper mindset....
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    The time interval between each of the above steps or actions, in reality, shrinks. It takes longer to decide to start at step one, than it does to actually do step one. Longer to do step one than to do step two, and so on.
    I have been in the position of drawing against a threat then holding my fire when, at the sight of my weapon, the threat went away. While the actual time involved was mere seconds in my mind it was much longer. It was like things were happening in slow motion. It was like the stories you hear from people who under great stress say that things slow down during a threat.
    I believe that this happens in many people. Is it possible that this reaction is our brains way of speeding up our thinking process when under stress as a way of self protection? I have met others who have experienced the same thing. You actually feel a calming effect while things around you slow down.
    I do not believe that this works in all people as I have seen many who freeze under pressure.

    Michael
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    1. Expose. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    2. Draw. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    3. Start to pull the trigger. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    4. Fire once. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    5. repeat #4 until threat is stopped.
    I think this is more acceptable. If your attacker drops after two bullets and is no longer attacking I'd argue that continuing to pump lead into them could be construed as murder (if they died). In the heat of the moment though, one might not even be able to think about that though.
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

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    My take is this...

    If your justified to take one shot. Your justified for ten.
    If you choose to take ten you may be considered to have been reckless.

    Every crime has two elements that must be satisfied to be properly charged. The proper act. In this case shooting someone. And the proper accompanying mental state. In this case it would be intent. If you shoot someone in self defense you intend to shoot them... Thats murder. Except that you can modify your intent. If you can satisfy a grand jury that your intent was based on self preservation, or preserving the life of another, that intent may be accepted as justifiable. The fact that you shot someone remains. Sometimes the intent is very very obviously in self defense.

    I am not a lawyer. I was for many years a policeman who investigated all manner of crime including shootings. Above is the formula I used when presenting evidence to the district attorney.
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    I have been in the position of drawing against a threat then holding my fire when, at the sight of my weapon, the threat went away. While the actual time involved was mere seconds in my mind it was much longer. It was like things were happening in slow motion. It was like the stories you hear from people who under great stress say that things slow down during a threat.
    I believe that this happens in many people. Is it possible that this reaction is our brains way of speeding up our thinking process when under stress as a way of self protection? I have met others who have experienced the same thing. You actually feel a calming effect while things around you slow down.
    I do not believe that this works in all people as I have seen many who freeze under pressure.

    Michael
    I'm in your camp on that one. The time I was hit in combat and as I was falling backward everything suddenly went to slow motion. When I landed on my back I could hear garbled yelling and talking as if it were a record on very slow play. Everything around me was taking place in slow motion. I could hear the pop-pop-pop of gunfire but it seemed far away. Weird, very weird to say the least. I hope I never experience that again and that's all I'm gonna say about that.
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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnI View Post
    I think this is more acceptable. If your attacker drops after two bullets and is no longer attacking I'd argue that continuing to pump lead into them could be construed as murder (if they died). In the heat of the moment though, one might not even be able to think about that though.
    Just because the aggressor "drops" and appears to be "no longer attacking" does not necessarily negate him as a continued threat, as long as he's conscious and armed he's still a viable threat. YMMV
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    Member Array jon_volk's Avatar
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    1.Expose. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    2.Draw. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    3.Start to pull the trigger. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    4.Fire 3-4 rounds. Wait to see if threat is stopped
    5.repeat #4 until out of bullets.
    Fixed it for ya.

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnI View Post
    I think this is more acceptable. If your attacker drops after two bullets and is no longer attacking I'd argue that continuing to pump lead into them could be construed as murder (if they died). In the heat of the moment though, one might not even be able to think about that though.
    It's not "more acceptable," it is what I posted... Step 4 (which is repeated in step 5 says): "Fire once. Wait to see if threat is stopped." The intervals between 4 and 5 and 4 and 5 is miniscule... but it's there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    My take is this...

    If your justified to take one shot. Your justified for ten.
    If you choose to take ten you may be considered to have been reckless.

    Every crime has two elements that must be satisfied to be properly charged. The proper act. In this case shooting someone. And the proper accompanying mental state. In this case it would be intent. If you shoot someone in self defense you intend to shoot them... Thats murder. Except that you can modify your intent. If you can satisfy a grand jury that your intent was based on self preservation, or preserving the life of another, that intent may be accepted as justifiable. The fact that you shot someone remains. Sometimes the intent is very very obviously in self defense.

    I am not a lawyer. I was for many years a policeman who investigated all manner of crime including shootings. Above is the formula I used when presenting evidence to the district attorney.
    It's not MURDER, it's homicide. The "justifiability" determines whether murder or not. Intent doesn't seem to be the crux in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_volk View Post
    Fixed it for ya.
    Steps 4 and 5 in the original do effectively the same thing... Do you consciously think to yourself "I will fire 3-4 rounds?" What if it's 5, did you just commit murder? You will lose count in a real situation, I guarantee it.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    It's not "more acceptable," it is what I posted... Step 4 (which is repeated in step 5 says): "Fire once. Wait to see if threat is stopped." The intervals between 4 and 5 and 4 and 5 is miniscule... but it's there.
    Understood and agreed.
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    Member Array jon_volk's Avatar
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    To me, once that first round leaves the barrel its deadly force no matter how you look at it. 5 shots in a row seems like it would be easier to justify than putting 2 rounds, waiting to see if the person is still a threat then putting 3 more in them. That could be construed as revenge. Id rather be SURE the threat is stopped than show any sort of hesitation.

    EDIT: to answer your question no, I doubt I will be counting rounds, but when practicing SD type drills 3 is the minimum that I typically fire.

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon_volk View Post
    To me, once that first round leaves the barrel its deadly force no matter how you look at it. 5 shots in a row seems like it would be easier to justify than putting 2 rounds, waiting to see if the person is still a threat then putting 3 more in them. That could be construed as revenge. Id rather be SURE the threat is stopped than show any sort of hesitation.
    I'm not disagreeing... I'm just saying that's what happens anyway.... you won't keep count, at least not consciously. It is quite possible to keep pulling the trigger until you hear a click... LONG (comparatively) after you have DECIDED to stop shooting.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    I have also thought of what happens between #4 and #4 again if needed and have pretty much come to the conclusion that the "if needed" part is a matter of opinion and I just hope that if I'm put there, I have a jury that is of the same opinion. Some are going to judge the situation by the millisecond and others will judge justification by the overall situation and reasonable time that defensive measures were stopped by the victim and when the victim figured that the threat was stopped. And with all that goes through one's mind through something like that, the time that it will take to assess the situation will vary widely.
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