Thoughts Regarding the Lapse Between Lethal and Non-Lethal Force

Thoughts Regarding the Lapse Between Lethal and Non-Lethal Force

This is a discussion on Thoughts Regarding the Lapse Between Lethal and Non-Lethal Force within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bear with me, this post is pretty long. I was doing some thinking today about my CCW and how there is a blaring large and ...

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Thread: Thoughts Regarding the Lapse Between Lethal and Non-Lethal Force

  1. #1
    Member Array littlejon126's Avatar
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    Post Thoughts Regarding the Lapse Between Lethal and Non-Lethal Force

    Bear with me, this post is pretty long.

    I was doing some thinking today about my CCW and how there is a blaring large and largely unfair gap in how it protects me from a violent situation.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my CCW is only legal to use to protect myself from imminent and grave bodily harm, and must be used in defense of lethal force only - by this, it means that I can't draw my handgun when I'm challenged by someone who is unarmed and not substantially larger than I am due to disparity of size.

    I'm 25 years old, 6'3" and I weigh about 290 lbs. I'm not big in a bad way either; I'm in pretty good shape, built like an offensive lineman. The entire "disparity of size" thing isn't a excuse for me unless I'm being chased down by Arnold Schwarzenegger (back in his bodybuilding days) or Kimbo Slice.

    Let's just say that I'd have a hard time in court justifying my use of my CCW if I was getting the snot kicked out of me by a guy that was average sized, which is about half my weight and 5 inches shorter than I am. This is not to say that this is completely impossible - a very well-motivated adult of any size could potentially threaten my life without the use of a weapon, despite my size advantage.

    Anyone else see the blaring gap here? Most altercations are man on man, 1v1 and without the use of a weapon, and one person usually winds up very seriously hurt, while the other is virtually unharmed.

    Because of this, I've been considering learning a martial art because frankly, I don't want to be lugging around any more gear on my belt than I have to. Hell, I'm already lugging around a Makarov PM IWB, spare mag, wallet, keys, cell phone, Spyderco Tenacious, mini-maglite (twisty-top variety), Swiss army knife, and a partridge in a pear tree. I don't want to add OC-spray or a tazer because I'm already lugging around several pounds of gear as it is, and being 25 years of age, I would feel awkward wearing suspenders.

    Sorry about the rant, just thought I would share my thinking on this, maybe some of you might be in the same boat as me.

  2. #2
    Member Array coriantan's Avatar
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    It's a good question. Personally, I'd get rid of the partridge and get some OC spray. But that's just me. Or you could get rid of the extra mag. I know that a lot of people here really feel the need to have the extra rounds, but what is more likely to be used, the extra rounds or the OC spray?

    Right now all I carry is my loaded 13+1 XD SC 9mm, but I am considering OC spray.

    "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." * "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight."

  3. #3
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    OC spray is only going to get you a running start...then what?
    I'm too old for H2H, at least more than a couple of minutes...if that long.
    Disparity of force is a pretty reasonable explanation for a guy of my age with several 'parts' removed, involved in an altercation. I'm not looking for trouble...I just want to be left alone.

    "Don't pick a fight with an old man, he's too old to fight and he'll just have to kill you."
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  5. #4
    Member Array skot's Avatar
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    If you are interested in it then I say go ahead and take some martial arts classes. If nothing else it's good exercise and builds confidence.

  6. #5
    Member Array Bm7b5's Avatar
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    Take some martial arts classes if that will make you feel safer.
    A traffic ticket is formal recognition of a lapse in situational awareness.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. I like you already. "littlejon" at 6'3" 290 pounds... cute.

    Yes, there is a wide range of not-so-fun encounters that do not meet the justification for deadly force. A careful study of your state's use of force standards and classes will show you what sort of response is lawful.

    Having a high "situational awareness" of what is happening around you will help you see situations sooner and avoid them.

    While carrying a firearm, it is prudent to avoid getting into physical altercations of any kind. Even if things go well for you, the bad guy may call 911 and complain about the man who beat you "brandishing a gun".

    Your feet are an excellent tool. In many less-then-lethal cases you can get away from the attacker by running.

    As above, OC spray is a good, inexpensive tool and is fairly small and light.

    When possibly, I try to respond in this order:
    Fight Back

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    For me, I think that I could make a strong case for self defense with my weapon. While I'm tall, I'm overweight (by a lot). But that alone won't do it. My defense is that I'm handicapped, with severe lumbar arthritis and spinal stenosis, and chronic pain due to those conditions. I can't move quickly, and my defense hand to hand would be limited to basically a punch followed by me getting knocked on my butt and beaten. I'm honestly concerned that I would suffer severe harm, possibly with a worsening of my condition. It wouldn't take that much to put my lumbar muscles into a spasm. So I feel that I would have sufficient cause to draw my weapon. None of this is make believe, I'm honestly concerned for my safety.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    6'3" and 290 lbs, eh? That's Merlin Olsen big.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlejon126 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my CCW is only legal to use to protect myself from imminent and grave bodily harm, and must be used in defense of lethal force only ...
    If you're wondering about the justifiability of your use of force to defend yourself or another, you should speak with a qualified and competent attorney.

    ... - by this, it means that I can't draw my handgun when I'm challenged by someone who is unarmed and not substantially larger than I am due to disparity of size.
    I believe that's not correct. The earlier statement you made is it, basically, though your size/strength/skills are always going to play a part in the determination by others as to whether they agree with the reasonableness of your fear of loss of life and your belief that you were justified in using deadly force at that time.

    But then, that's little different than any other situation. Everything will be examined to that degree, in a criminal attack and defense.

    Missouri law, correct?

    Missouri Revised Statutes MRS 563.031 Use Of Force stipulates, basically, that you are legally able to use deadly force upon another:

    • if you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to protect yourself against death or crippling injury; or
    • if such force is used against a intruder in your home or vehicle that you're occupying (aka, "Castle" law).

    That's similar to most every state, by the way.

    Massad Ayoob summarizes this in his support of the criteria of A.O.J. (Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy). While this never replaces a state's statutes on the matter, it's a good approximation of a "higher standard" to which many subscribe should be the criteria we require be met before using lethal force on another person.

    MRS 563.031 Use of force in defense of persons.


    1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person, unless:

    (1) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case his or her use of force is nevertheless justifiable provided:

    (a) He or she has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force; or

    (b) He or she is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor pursuant to section 563.046; or

    (c) The aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law;

    (2) Under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the person whom he or she seeks to protect would not be justified in using such protective force;

    (3) The actor was attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony.

    2. A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself or herself or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony; or

    (2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person.

    3. A person does not have a duty to retreat from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining.

    4. The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

    5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.

    (L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 2007 S.B. 62 & 41)

    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: Why the Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    And the Missouri definition of "Forcible felony" is found at RSMO 563.011 (1) (3) , any felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual, including but not limited to murder, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, assault, and any forcible sexual offense.

  11. #10
    Member Array theotherlis's Avatar
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    First - if you would feel more comfortable learning some form of martial art, do it. I think it's a great idea, and I suggest to everybody that they learn at least basic martial art skills. You can't plan exactly how an attack is going to go down, you may need your fists before you can get to your gun.

    Second - I think your size is important, but in the reverse manner. Your size may very well be a deterrent for a bad guy (especially a bad guy without a weapon), especially if you appear to be "built like a lineman", as you said. I certainly wouldn't want to pick a fight with you - you weigh more than twice as much as I do and are at least a head taller.

    And nobody wants to get into a fight they think they won't win... so it seems reasonable to me to assume that if a person DID try to fight with you, they would be under the impression they would win. In which case, I'd be pretty scared and consider use of a gun reasonable.

    Definitely the sort of thing to consult an attorney about for good measure... but if you think about it based on size alone, the average BG would be more likely to want to fight me (average, smallish person) rather than you (large, muscular person).

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    "I'm 25 years old, 6'3" and I weigh about 290 lbs. I'm not big in a bad way either; I'm in pretty good shape, built like an offensive lineman."

    And you're worried about being whupped by one person?

    Well , If I were you I would move OUT of the "Land of the Giants"

    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

    know your rights!

    "If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
    {Bernhard Goetz}

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Im not as big as you, however I have thought of the same situation...Instead of martial arts which is fine motor skills, you go thru some gross motors skill training, such as the hand flick, chin roll, and so forth..These skills will not require you to think, they will require you to act if necessary. I have praticed these skills and being 6 foot and about 190 pounds, I would feel comfortable in taking someone of your size on, I can only imagine what you could do with the proper training.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    And Shepards we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, So that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command,
    And we shall flow a river forth to Thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be,

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Bigpoppa48's Avatar
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    littlejon126, Thanks for starting this thread. I've had my CHP for about 6 months and have quite a few assets in my name for which I can be sued for if I use deadly force and some how the DA turns it around and acts as if I had a way out of the situation without the use of deadly force. I am somewhat like you, I am 6'5" 280lbs. I have often thought about being hesitant when threatned can possibly cost you your life. I know that possibly for me to be justifiable it will have to be a disparity of force i.e. attacked by 2 or more persons or confronted by a person with a weapon. Thanks again for starting the thread.

  15. #14
    Member Array CBXMan's Avatar
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    While size can be very helpful, all you have to do is check out how good some of those 5'8" 150lb cage fighters are. They can take on a 6'5" 300 pounder and kick all his teeth out before he can blink. In the past you didn't have to worry about running into one of these guys very often, but cage fighting has grown very fast in popularity and there are a lot more bad asses running around now than there used to be.

    Remember, it's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

  16. #15
    Member Array littlejon126's Avatar
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    Right on guys, great replies. The "Littlejon" moniker is from high school, where I had to play "Little John" in short skit from Robin Hood, the name's stuck with me ever since. It's kind of embarrassing but hey, I figured I'd share why I got such a "cute" name, haha.

    Despite my size, my point is that every time you engage in a fist fight, there's a slim chance that you could be seriously maimed, either directly (ol' boy might have a crazy left hook) or indirectly (hitting your head on the ground when you go down). Sure, I'm big, and that tends to stack the odds in my favor, it doesn't necessarily prove that I'm any less vulnerable than anyone else in terms of a blow to the face.

    Another reason I'm considering Okinawan Karate is because I'm currently a Criminal Justice/Criminology major at UMSL and intend to become a St. Louis County LEO once the bills start coming in from school. I figure that my likeliness of having to fight will increase considerably as a cop, but I guess it'd probably change the rules a little bit and I'd have a bit more leeway in that role.

    Anyways, thanks for the great feedback guys!

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