In The Gravest Extreme (Book)

This is a discussion on In The Gravest Extreme (Book) within the Defensive Books, Video & References forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Recently bought this book cause of the good things folks here have said about it. Was reading along and enjoying the book until I came ...

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Thread: In The Gravest Extreme (Book)

  1. #1
    Member Array PocketRocket's Avatar
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    In The Gravest Extreme (Book)

    Recently bought this book cause of the good things folks here have said about it. Was reading along and enjoying the book until I came to page 20 and read:

    "Suppose you are minding your own business and an assailant walks up to you, grabs you by the throat, and punches you in the face. You can't shoot him yet; he has not offered sufficient show of deadly force."

    He's kiddin right?
    "An armed society is a polite society"

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  3. #2
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    Not sure if he is kidding or not, but if a person grabs me by the throat that is a deadly attack. Depending on how your grabbed it takes very little time to incapacitate a person with a throat hold.

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    Excellent book, even though some of that stuff is considered outdated. I believe what is meant is, if somebody hits you with a cheap shot, no, you can't shoot him. Once the hit and run is over, there is no more threat. But, if the person is trying to beat the crap out of you, by all means shoot. Getting hit in the wrong spot can damage you for the rest of your life. In addition, when somebody is manhandling you that close, they could feel and pull out your gun and shoot you with it. So, you want to draw before giving him the opportunity to do so.

    That is my take on it, although I may need to reread that part to fully remember and understand it.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    I think MilitaryPower has it right. Single unarmed assailant, you would be hard pressed to convince a jury/DA that you faced a lethal threat. The other thing I would add is that, in the book, Ayoob is trying to address as many people as possible; some of his advice will be more useful to people in an area that is less amenable to armed self-defense than others. There may be jurisdictions where you wouldn't be indicted for armed response in that situation, but there are a lot of places where you would be...
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Member Array PocketRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    I think MilitaryPower has it right. Single unarmed assailant, you would be hard pressed to convince a jury/DA that you faced a lethal threat. The other thing I would add is that, in the book, Ayoob is trying to address as many people as possible; some of his advice will be more useful to people in an area that is less amenable to armed self-defense than others. There may be jurisdictions where you wouldn't be indicted for armed response in that situation, but there are a lot of places where you would be...
    How are you to be sure he has no knife or other weapon? You'll find out when your dead I guess. He kinda contradicts himself on pages 15&16 with this:

    "When considering the oft-encountered legal rule that a puch or kick does not warrant armed defense, the practical man will do well to realize that these laws have been formulated by judges and legislators who spend their lives in th security of courtrooms and hearing chambers. It is a rare lawmaker who has ever witnessed or undergone a brutal physical assault. Those Americans who have- and who may live with the prospect every day- realize just how much damage can be done with hands and feet. A seasoned street-fighter, or even an amateur in the grip of a savage, murderous impulse, can puncture your eyeballs, crush your testicles, snap your windpipe, break your spine and cave in your skull in less time it takes for the scream to chocke in your throat."

    That to me would clearly qualify for the often talked about statement you should give to the police after an assault/attack:

    "I was in fear of losing my life or being seriously injured."
    "An armed society is a polite society"

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    In my world, any attack to my head is considered using deadly force. I'll do anything at that point to stay alive.
    Les Baer 45
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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PocketRocket View Post
    How are you to be sure he has no knife or other weapon? You'll find out when your dead I guess. He kinda contradicts himself on pages 15&16 with this [...]
    PR, one of the basic rules of our system, as Ayoob definitely explains in this book, is that lethal force for the armed citizen is only justified against a lethal threat, and the way courts tend to define this is in terms of Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy. If you can convince a potential jury that a given attack met these criteria, then you would presumably get exonerated. If there is no obvious weapon and you are facing a single attacker, that is a serious uphill battle in a lot of jurisdictions.

    While the paragraph on p15--16 might be a good argument for being armed and avoiding Condition White, it is not, in and of itself, a valid legal defense. It may be the beginnings of one---it can help you explain to a jury how and why you perceived a lethal threat that the DA keeps insisting wasn't really there---but don't count on getting out of a criminal murder/manslaughter charge by explaining that you shot the guy who punched you because some street criminals can deliver lethal bare-handed attacks. If you are sitting in a courtroom as a defendant, the DA is not trying to agree with you that there was a definitive lethal threat, and Ayoob is pointing out that the start of the prosecution's argument will be that you shot an unarmed man. It will be up to you and your lawyer to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there really was a lethal threat you had to respond to.

    I don't think it's a contradiction. I think it's an acknowledgment of the fact that in some ways the legal system is stacked against lethal force in self defense.
    Last edited by kazzaerexys; April 27th, 2008 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Typo.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the person as well. A fit adult male shouldn't shoot a little old lady for hitting him with her purse. I'm a small guy, but fit, even so there are a LOT of people who are physically imposing compared to me.

    I personally wouldn't shoot somebody because they hit me (non-life-threatening), but I will shoot somebody to stop or prevent them from hitting me. Again, much of it depends on the attacker.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

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    Member Array JackJ's Avatar
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    Remember, this was written 15 to 20 years ago. Some things have changed. There is still a large amount of information in the book that is relevant.

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    I can't speak for Massad Ayoob, but I do read his writing, and agree with most of it. I may be wrong, but let me see if I can explain it.

    Someone grabbing you by the throat is not usually a "Lethal Threat". Remember that while you have to look at "worst case scenarios" you also cannot act beyond what is known at the time of the threat. For example:

    Lets say a man walks up to you in Podunk, AR and grabs you by the throat. He has made no verbal comments to the effect that place you in "fear of your life" nor has he done anything else in regards to attacking you. By my teaching you have been the victim of a simple assault.

    You don't know it but this nefarious critter has a 7" Bowie Knife in his waistband. You pull your gun and proceed to ventilate said critter with three rounds from your trusted firearm. In the course of the investigation the knife is discovered, and the fact that it was an unknown element to you. Trust me, this sort of stuff happens all the time.

    Because the knife was unknown to you and you were only the victim of a "simple assault" you are not justified in stopping your attacker with Deadly Force. Attempts to flee, disengage from your attacker and verbalization of the ability to use Deadly Force all work in your favor. Who but someone attempting to use Deadly Force would continue an attack against a person that has the ability to use Deadly Force?

    Laws vary by communities and "In The Gravest Extreme" was written to try and encompass all the various locales in our great land. Truth be told I don't think one will go wrong if they follow the teachings in Massad Ayoob's writings and may prevent untold future hardship.

    Firearms are considered a tool of "last resort" and attempts to use other tools work in your favor, usually, before resorting to Deadly Force if at all possible.

    Biker

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    Member Array PocketRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    I can't speak for Massad Ayoob, but I do read his writing, and agree with most of it. I may be wrong, but let me see if I can explain it.

    Someone grabbing you by the throat is not usually a "Lethal Threat". Remember that while you have to look at "worst case scenarios" you also cannot act beyond what is known at the time of the threat. For example:

    Lets say a man walks up to you in Podunk, AR and grabs you by the throat. He has made no verbal comments to the effect that place you in "fear of your life" nor has he done anything else in regards to attacking you. By my teaching you have been the victim of a simple assault.

    You don't know it but this nefarious critter has a 7" Bowie Knife in his waistband. You pull your gun and proceed to ventilate said critter with three rounds from your trusted firearm. In the course of the investigation the knife is discovered, and the fact that it was an unknown element to you. Trust me, this sort of stuff happens all the time.

    Because the knife was unknown to you and you were only the victim of a "simple assault" you are not justified in stopping your attacker with Deadly Force. Attempts to flee, disengage from your attacker and verbalization of the ability to use Deadly Force all work in your favor. Who but someone attempting to use Deadly Force would continue an attack against a person that has the ability to use Deadly Force?

    Laws vary by communities and "In The Gravest Extreme" was written to try and encompass all the various locales in our great land. Truth be told I don't think one will go wrong if they follow the teachings in Massad Ayoob's writings and may prevent untold future hardship.

    Firearms are considered a tool of "last resort" and attempts to use other tools work in your favor, usually, before resorting to Deadly Force if at all possible.

    Biker

    My original post mentioned being punched in the face as well as being grabbed by the throat. The punch felt like and had the effect of Mike Tyson in the ring. Your on the ground now kinda woozy unable to run and he's coming back for more. Do you call "Time-out" or fill him with lead? I think I know what I'd do.
    "An armed society is a polite society"

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PocketRocket View Post
    My original post mentioned being punched in the face as well as being grabbed by the throat. The punch felt like and had the effect of Mike Tyson in the ring. Your on the ground now kinda woozy unable to run and he's coming back for more. Do you call "Time-out" or fill him with lead? I think I know what I'd do.
    There's a lot more to this issue than a single thread here can address. Ayoob gets to a lot of it in that book. A single unarmed opponent may represent a lethal threat based on a disparity of force. One of the typical examples of such a disparity is an able attacker against a disabled victim. If a normal fistfight (no defensible lethal threat) results in you ending up down on the ground, disoriented and unable to defend yourself, and the attacker presses on, then that could well be a lethal force situation based on the disparity of force. More than one court has decided that the "shod foot" against a defenseless victim is, indeed, a lethal weapon.

    PR, there are some simple (or, at least, straightforward) situations where just about any sane person can look at what happened and say, yep, that was a danger to life and limb. There are a whole lot more situations that are much greyer, where you could end up facing charges and the final result, whether or not you get convicted, may depend upon your ability to clearly articulate how you decided, in a split second, that you were in fear for your life and needed to react accordingly. What Ayoob's book does (pretty well, in my opinion) is address a lot of the little details that can help you make that decision and explain it to a potential jury.

    Remember, the legal standard for self defense is not that you felt in fear of your life; it's that a hypothetical reasonable man, embodied by twelve jurors, would have felt in fear of his life in that same situation knowing what you knew at that time.

    So, getting grabbed and punched may pose a lethal threat, but you may spend a lot of time and money having a lawyer try to explain that against a DA who keeps pointing out to the jury how you gunned down an unarmed man in cold blood.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    Member Array riverkeeper's Avatar
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    If some guy
    1. grabs you by the throat sufficiently to at least immobilize you.
    2. smashs you in the face
    3.AND does not immediately disengage.

    He has demonstrated
    Abilitiy -- to continue to hurt you to an unknown extent
    Intent -- to hurt you to an unknown extent
    Opportunity -- well he has you by the throat with no sign of disengaging.

    You have a reason IMHO to expect additional and probably severe bodily harm (ever been really grabbed by the throat?).

    Depending on disparity issues ....
    It is open season on this @#$%^
    Old testament....Shooting to Live 1942
    http://www.gutterfighting.org/files/...ng_to_live.pdf
    Newer testament... Kill or Get Killed 1976/1987
    http://www.gutterfighting.org/files/...Get_Killed.pdf

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    In The Gravest Extreme.
    I bought the book early on.
    It (for sure) was worth way more than the modest $$$ that I paid for the book.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I too have read the book and it does have a lot of good information in it. Although it is a little outdated as Massad Ayoob at that time recommended several good .380 pistols for self defense firearms, he now recommends pistols in 9mm or above for a good defensive caliber.

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