Former Victims and Self Defense

Former Victims and Self Defense

This is a discussion on Former Victims and Self Defense within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My question is pretty straightforward. Do you believe former victims are better apt to defend themselves, knowing the life and challenges of victimization, or do ...

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Thread: Former Victims and Self Defense

  1. #1
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    Former Victims and Self Defense

    My question is pretty straightforward. Do you believe former victims are better apt to defend themselves, knowing the life and challenges of victimization, or do they present a more emotional instability that makes them more likely to overreact to a threat in fear of being victimized again?

    Now, the reason I ask…

    I read some very good advice not long ago which stated, “if you are willing to defend yourself with a weapon, be prepared to defend, in a court of law, every decision that you have made all the way from the type of ammo you use to the type of gun and the reason you carry a weapon to begin with.”

    I’ve always been very interested in cases where individuals who have used deadly force to preserve their own, or another’s life and ended up prosecuted because of it.

    Should a former victim, let’s say a rape, robbery, abuse, (insert your own victimization here) who carries a weapon to thwart against having to repeat the circumstances they lived through, have a defense for such a reason? Will that paint them as a frantic, panicked and emotional liability or a responsible individual who determined never again to be taken advantage of?

    Are they more prepared, having experienced victimization?

    Thoughts?


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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    My question is pretty straightforward. Do you believe former victims are better apt to defend themselves, knowing the life and challenges of victimization, or do they present a more emotional instability that makes them more likely to overreact to a threat in fear of being victimized again?

    Now, the reason I ask…

    I read some very good advice not long ago which stated, “if you are willing to defend yourself with a weapon, be prepared to defend, in a court of law, every decision that you have made all the way from the type of ammo you use to the type of gun and the reason you carry a weapon to begin with.”

    I’ve always been very interested in cases where individuals who have used deadly force to preserve their own, or another’s life and ended up prosecuted because of it.

    Should a former victim, let’s say a rape, robbery, abuse, (insert your own victimization here) who carries a weapon to thwart against having to repeat the circumstances they lived through, have a defense for such a reason? Will that paint them as a frantic, panicked and emotional liability or a responsible individual who determined never again to be taken advantage of?

    Are they more prepared, having experienced victimization?

    Thoughts?
    OH BOY can this thread go in different directions with psycho babble involved. If you are talking strictly about being in court after the fact and what the prosecutor would do/say; I would say #@*& YES they will go after the shooter. They will try to use any and all ‘facts’ and bend them against the real victim any way they can. That’s their job, to make you look like the BG, out for revenge, etc. ‘How dare anyone protect himself or herself and shoot someone else, that’s the LEOs job. You were playing God. Etc. etc.’

    If you are asking are victims better prepared ‘the second time around’ or are they more unstable, that totally depends upon the person. This is a per case basis question and hard to paint with a broad brush. If a person could not handle the responsibility to carry a gun before becoming a victim, they have a long way to go to get to that point afterwards. But they MAY get there a bit faster. Does that make them unstable, more frantic, whatever? That will completely depend upon the person, how did they take the first attack, how bad was it, how did they recover, how did it change them etc. Will it make them quicker to pull the trigger? Maybe, just maybe. This is where the psycho babble really comes in to play. I’m not pulling a Tom Cruise here, psychology is a hard one to carve in stone but that is what people want, hard answers, always the same. Guess I have rambled on long enough and beat around the bush without actually answering your question.
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    Too many variables to give a yes/no answer. Life in general conditions responses in people, as well as specific events. whether a former victim or anyone else is prosecuted depends on alot of circumstances.
    I was once involved in an assault to myself, but don't think this affects my judgement, other than understanding proper mindset and awareness.
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    a responsible individual who determined never again to be taken advantage of?

    Are they more prepared, having experienced victimization?
    Jurisdictions may well alter the events after a defensive shooting but these points are IMO very valid.

    Someone who has been a victim has every predictable right to wish to ensure it does NOT happen again and this could IMO be of help in a court of law - as long as there was no perceived flavor of vigilantiism - something perhaps that certain prosecutors might throw in.

    Those who decide to take responsibility for this by arming themselves do not I feel prejudice themselves - probably the opposite.

    If they learn enough and train enough then I do believe yes they will be more prepared, and capable enough. They would however have to also increase their awareness abilities and also their mindset would have to be what is needed to carry.
    Chris - P95
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    You might want to check out this thread:
    http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ghlight=victim
    It's a really long running one here, and titled "Have you ever Been a victim". All sorts of people's stories there, and opinions on matters like this (its a long read though, 15 pages right now.)

    These type of questions really can't be covered by a broad generalization. Any sort of violent act is extremely fluid and dynamic, and no matter how much one wants, can't be re-created exactly. You learn things from every one you are involved in, and hopefully those lessons make you better prepared for the next. If getting a permit to carry and weapon is one of those lessons and part of the knowledge gained from that, I don't see how it could be held against somebody.

    The only real way I could see it turning against the victim is if they started carrying for vengeance or vigilante type reaons, but they are then outside the law.

    Every law abiding citizen has a right to defend themselves, and to own firearms for that defense, their past shouldn't be held against them in a legal sense if the shoot was justified.

    The most common reasons for a justified shooter being prosecuted are a DA or prosecutor trying to make a name for themselves. Or a situation where there aren't any witnesses, so you only get the shooter's side of the story because the BG is deceased.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Do you believe former victims are better apt to defend themselves, knowing the life and challenges of victimization, or do they present a more emotional instability that makes them more likely to overreact to a threat in fear of being victimized again?
    Depends on the person, every time.

    On average? How would anyone know. Can't imagine there has been any type of study on the subject. Leastwise, not that I have ever heard of. There are people that have tried to get some solid answers. Massad Ayoob is one, whose interesting job duties during his early career morphed into, among other things, including serious interviews of survivors of deadly force incidents.

    If you speak with enough folks engaged in the business of training others in self-defense, you hear "war stories" about all types of folks. People that (in the opinion of the trainers) should not be allowed out at night; folks that should be nowhere near deadly weapons; to those so fearful that they'll likely freeze and simply be providing a lethal weapon to the attackers.

    Will "priors" paint someone as a panicked, emotionally-stricken, knee-jerk type of person who shouldn't be able to defend him/herself with a weapon? Very likely, but it comes down to whether that person can articulate the reality, the rationale, the thinking process gone through that justifies the preparations and response(s) in question.

    There is only so much a person can do, once he/she has been through fire. The only thing that makes sense to me is: to be better prepared. Nicely, if the person believes it's not yet time to check out, it's about the only rational thing to do, as well. Being prepared and having rational cause to do so isn't a crime. It's wise and responsible and, if the person has a level head and good attorney, it should be seen that way in the event that person must respond with deadly force if attacked.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye07 View Post
    You might want to check out this thread:
    http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ghlight=victim
    It's a really long running one here, and titled "Have you ever Been a victim". All sorts of people's stories there, and opinions on matters like this (its a long read though, 15 pages right now.)
    Thanks for the link. I'm already through three pages.. perhaps I'll add my own story.

    And thanks to the rest of you who have replied!

    I do agree that the question is more of a case by case issue. I do see how some might be so severely traumatized that carrying a gun would be more of a panic response than a responsible choice to defend one's self.

    From a legal angle it could go either way.. prosecutors could try to paint the shooter as an angry, vengeful loose-cannon with a chip on his shoulder, or defense could argue that their past traumas helped them better prepare and recognize danger.

    Either way, whether one has experienced victimization or not, I feel training and preparation are the key to success in concealed carry.

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    I was robbed and hog tied at gun point during my college years at the place I worked. Not a pleasant experience, and I was truly afraid for my life, as the BGs doing the robbery were people I went to high school with. Fortunately they did not recognize me.

    Would I be able to pull the trigger to defend myself. NO DOUBT. I NEVER want to be placed at another's whim and mercy EVER again. It heightened my awareness to everything around me and that has helped me avoid a few situations. I don't go about in the world defenseless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    ... prosecutors could try to paint the shooter as an angry, vengeful loose-cannon with a chip on his shoulder ...
    The thing is, someone's dead. Someone's got to "pay" for it, even if that person is innocent. It's the way these things go. Overzealous prosecution can easily miss the simple truth. Happens far too frequently to be mere chance. IMO, it's because someone has to pay, else people are not satisfied. Our carnivorous heritage at work.

    Either way you slice it: be justified in your actions; be prepared to defend those actions at all times; be prepared for a full frontal assault on your rationale, by being as well-trained and -prepared as possible. It's why I document gunsmithing services as to the purpose of the changes (ie, trigger/action job for improved reliability and safety), and range sessions with a specific safety goal in mind. Not foolproof, but hopefully sufficient if things go sideways and require my completely undivided attention.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; February 18th, 2007 at 11:11 PM. Reason: clarification
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Senior Member Array Rotorflyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Should a former victim, let’s say a rape, robbery, abuse, (insert your own victimization here) who carries a weapon to thwart against having to repeat the circumstances they lived through, have a defense for such a reason? Will that paint them as a frantic, panicked and emotional liability or a responsible individual who determined never again to be taken advantage of?
    Thoughts?
    Short answer: Depends on if the defense lawyer is better then the prosector

    Long answer: To many variables to be able to answer this question
    (Ok, not really a long answer)

    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Are they more prepared, having experienced victimization?
    Thoughts?
    Some are, some aren't, This would really depend on the indivdual and how the initial incident effected them. Again there really are to many variables to answer the question

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