Last resort or first choice?
This is a discussion on Last resort or first choice? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I would agree that the "toolbox" is the best analogy. Personally, after verbal confrontation, I would present OC, and warn him/her not to advance- one ...
April 13th, 2006 11:19 AM
I would agree that the "toolbox" is the best analogy. Personally, after verbal confrontation, I would present OC, and warn him/her not to advance- one step: POOF!, and go from there. In immediate "up close-n-personal" conflict, anything goes.
A knife will never be seen, legally, as less-than-lethal. In fact, if you had the time to choose what you access, and you selected a knife, you could conceivably be charged with "assault with intent to maim", as you had a firearm that most "reasonable persons" would agree would stop hostility more rapidly and decisively(vs the blade which will never leave a survivor looking "presentable" in court). Obviously, this would not apply to being tackled, and you draw your Leek/Clinch Pic/TDI to get them off you and buy space and time.
April 13th, 2006 11:33 AM
But is it really your first option? In your scenarios, you have suspicions and are aware of a developing situation. I submit that you are going through a variety of options as the situation develops, even if only over the span of a few seconds. You may not choose any of them, but you consider them. Can I evade? No. Can I warn them off? No. Are they armed? Yes. Are they closing? Yes....How fast do we analyze our ever-changing environment when we are in yellow? It doesn't take long to work through that decision tree, and with practice becomes an extension of preparedness.
Originally Posted by kenpotex
April 13th, 2006 11:35 AM
I think, as a human, I don't want to ever take a human life. It is innate in most of us (psychopaths excluded).
I also think that when a situation happens we have a split second to call it one way or the other. I think the real question might be how much do you trust your instincts and snap decision making.
Personally I have horrible instincts (the spidey sense) but when confronted with real information/evidence I make good decisions (I can't read a person just by looking at them - if they do something I generally do exactly what I should do in response)
April 13th, 2006 12:38 PM
I think the problem with perceived danger is it is different for everybody. There are many factors such as age, health, sex (M-F) training just to name a few. The standard is "your life or the life of your family members must be at risk" in my opinion the only true way to know that is to let the BG act first yet I also would not want it to go that far. If a 200 pound guy was coming at a 100 pound woman in a dark parking lot she is at risk. If a 200 pound guy was coming at another 200 guy in a dark parking lot there is only a possible risk. If I am a black belt I have a different level of life threatening danger then someone that is not. In the end we have to account for our actions and death is the last action I would want to have to live with if I am not 100% sure it was the right action.
April 13th, 2006 12:47 PM
Originally Posted by Team American
My reply for that line of questioning would be: "Because I thought the other options would be ineffective at stopping the threat and using one of those options might have put me in greater danger of not being able to defend myself." Without hesitation. It's all about using effective force to stop a threat, but that effective force must be the least necessary. Decision making skills are tested here.
Same thing for "Why didn't you retreat? He was only 30 feet away." "I thought that by turning my back on my assailant, I would be exposing my back, thus placing myself in greater danger than if I would have been facing my assailant."
Remember the "force continuum" model used in law enforcement is not a ladder, it is an elevator. You can go up or down as you choose.
You don't get there and say, Hi, I am Officer Freakshow10mm from the Widget Police Department, the reason I am here is I received a call that you put a gun to a woman's head. I am going to ask you to stop that. Punch him because he didn't drop the weapon, then spray him with OC, then draw your sidearm and then shoot him. That is a ladder and is routinely defeated in cases regarding the use of force.
The way the continuum goes for the above is you get on scene, pull your gun and decide to shoot or not. Me, I'd shoot.
Also remember that being a police officer gives you no more or less protection against the use of force than an ordinary citizen. They are held to the same standards of the use of force as we are. They are bound by the same laws as we are. No one is above the law.
07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006
Probably the only home based FFL that doesn't do transfers.
April 13th, 2006 01:10 PM
Even without a first obligation to retreat I am going to attempt to put some distance between myself and any perp type BG.
And if retreat is an option then I sure am going to opt for retreat.
I absolutely will tuck my pride and my ego into my back pocket to avoid being made a guaranteed homicide suspect along with the subsequent mountains of P.I.T.A. legal hassle.
That is not because I am unable to defend myself...or unable to draw or use my firearm efficiently.
I am decently well rehearsed for most likely scenarios.
I really just DO NOT want to deal with the "Certain Aftermath" of any "situation gone deadly" ~ So....I will always be practicing "strategic avoidance" if it's at all possible.
My unwritten policy is that if an individual wants to do me bodily harm...I'll back off & I'll even run but, if he then decides to run after me and catches up to me...or backs me into a corner ~ I'll STOP that threat without any hesitation and by any means possible.
I am ALWAYS going to avoid trouble if avoidance is humanly possible.
If avoidance is impossible then all bets are off and I am kicking into "high gear" until I hear nothing but beautiful silence...and the sound of wailing police sirens far off in the distance.
Hey...I just wrote down my unwritten policy.
April 13th, 2006 01:15 PM
Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
although I would change - you can go up or down as necessary.
April 13th, 2006 02:19 PM
I dont carry spray and my knife is for cutting rope (as said earlier). If approached and unable to retreat (for any reason listed before) and the threat is bodily injury, I have a right to defend myself with my firearm. I am not a martial artist, not a boxer. I don't care how big or small the assailant is, if I perceive that I or my charges are threatened with bodily harm and retreat is unavailable (I agree with QK, I will tuck tail and run, I will not force a confrontation) I will end the threat in the best means available to me, my firearm. Otherwise it might be too late....
Bob McDuffee, co-host DogWatch Social Club Podcast
Thoughtful Conversation, Considered Opinion and a Touch of Insanity
"He who goes about unarmed in paradise, had better be sure that is where he is!" James Thurber
April 14th, 2006 01:51 AM
Of course use of Lethal Force is the last resort! As it implies, it is final. It may also be the first response. Like much in Life, it is not as clear cut and sterile in the real world, as compared to the book/fantasy world so many unfortunately live in.
I think that not having, and using as many available tools as possible not only limits a persons chance of self defense, but also survival. As many have already elluded to, there is most assuredly a potential civil/criminal liability by possessing a shoot only approach to defense. Just like with LEO's, an assessment of the situation must be made to weigh the threat, and then the appropriate response to that threat must be made. Not all defense engagements will justify use of Lethal Force.
I carry a bright light, pepper spray, a knife on each side, my primary pistol, and a back up pistol. I carry the light for obvious reasons and too "stun" a BG with light at night, which may afford the time and space I need to get away. I carry the knives for many reasons, and although not trained in the fine art of the blade will have no problem using it if/when a BG prevents me from drawing my primary weapon - cutting an arm that has a hold of me; stabbing the abdomen/torso of a BG that is on top of me or has me in a "bear hug." I carry the pepper spray to let a BG not to get in my face/way, such as a belligerent drunk that thinks his poop (put in cuz there was **** there when originally posted) don't stink, and surely doesn't deserve to die over it. I carry my pistols for reasons I don't think I have to explain.
Self defense is an assessment driven process, and mostly a mental endevour. One cannot only train in the physical aspects. The bottom line about defense is survival. Do what is required to get away and get home, and/or allow another to get away and get home, while at the same time using the minimal amount of resources and the least amount of force. It is not about killing the BG, but about stopping him. The best way to decrease the civil and criminal liability on your part is to do what the LEO's do. What is good for them is good for the law abiding Citizen.
Rangers Lead the Way!
Rules of a Gun Fight #23: "Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation."
April 14th, 2006 10:38 AM
The way you laid this one out, "a situation where we are in danger of suffering from serious injury or death," there really is no "force continuum."
I understand what you were getting at and from the great replies you got, it looks like everyone else did too. But when a situation begins at the point quoted above, your "last resort" becomes your only choice.
Reading through many threads like this one, I've decided to get a "less than lethal option," myself. It has NOTHING to do with what some imaginary over-zealous prosecutor or liberal jury might do after the fact, I just don't want to end a life if I truly don't have to.
Thinking about how our actions may be judged after the fact is a vital part of our responsibility. We can do it in a classroom, in our heads at home, or here, in this Forum. Get it down to where it becomes a part of you.
The last place you'll want to have this sort of internal dialog is on the street, when your worst nightmare has come true.
I'll be getting some OC, probably something from Fox Labs. When I might opt to use that instead of the gun, I don't know. That's not a decision I'll have to make in a split second. That just isn't enough time. When things break that fast, I'll go with what gives me the maximum chance of survival.
I suspect the OC would come into play in a different type of situation in which there is enough warning to allow a non-lethal solution, but not enough time to avoid the confrontation all together. Avoidance would be my first choice, but it will not always be possible.
I will not second-guess myself to death.
Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.
April 14th, 2006 10:49 AM
Good posts everyone!
Good points. Let me see if I can clarify my postition a little...
Originally Posted by Tom357
It's obvious that we have made some sort of evaluation of the events before we chose our course of action or the level of force we're going to use. So yes, in that sense, we've already disregarded our other options (flight, control, etc.). When I said "first option" I meant that circumstances might dictate that we employ deadly-force as our first action that has a physical effect on the subject.
I guess the whole reason I got "hung up" on this topic is that I was recently talking to someone (a CCW'er BTW) who said something to the effect that if he was attacked by someone with a knife or a club he'd try to disarm them rather than immediately shooting them (good luck with that ). As I mentioned before, I've heard this same kind of thing often from people who either train in SD, or carry concealed (or both).
I complete agreement that we have to make sure we don't use excessive force when dealing with a threat. However, I also feel that we have to develop a mindset that will allow us to immediately respond with the maximum amount of force available if such a response is dictated by the situation.
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
April 14th, 2006 12:17 PM
I intend to meet force with like force in any confrontation. Now, for me, any large person, even if unarmed, represents a deadly threat in they have bad intentions. I'm just not big enough to go toe to toe with a 170+ lb. individual (I'm about 140 lb.) and have any real hope of walking away. I might get lucky, but such a person represents a true deadly threat that I can't neutralize unarmed. That's why I carry a .45, and if I believe my life is in danger I won't hesitate to use it. So yes, I think you have the right idea. Once the attacker has clearly indicated that they intend to employ deadly force, even if it's not with a firearm, you should respond with your most effective option (i.e. your CCW).
“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V
April 14th, 2006 01:25 PM
if i can, tac light in the eyes and drop him.
April 15th, 2006 04:09 PM
well all. speaking for myself.. i am disabled to the extent i limp and use a cane for support.i do have a mild form of spina bifida.i am well armed.[read colt commander]even with 2 rotator cuffs blown i can still draw and fire in less than 3 sec.i cant do the duty to retreat thingy.neither can my wiffe. she has a walker and cant shoot either.hopefully michigan will change that duty thingy this week.going up for discussion fer sure.
keep em in the ten ring guys
April 15th, 2006 04:48 PM
Now hear this ....My blade is ONLY carried or will be deployed so as to give me access to my weapon. If some dweeb comes out with a blade I'd be pretty stoopid to pull my blade. No way,never happen. To match him force for force would be dramatic to say the least.
My blade is as my feet,fist ,elbow,or knee is. When using those items,I am offering him the sweet side of me. As soon as I can present my firearm I start gettin' mean. ---------
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