Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?"

Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?"

This is a discussion on Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?" within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Found in another forum and I thought it might interest LEOs here. _________________________________________ Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?" By Chuck Remsberg ...

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    Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?"

    Found in another forum and I thought it might interest LEOs here.
    _________________________________________


    Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?"
    By Chuck Remsberg
    Senior Contributor

    Law enforcement agencies "should build a police culture that accepts, validates and rewards a fighting spirit." Instead too many are creating "additional victims," hesitant officers who shy from using deadly force when it's legal and urgently needed. The result: "Some officers today are more afraid of being sued than being murdered!"

    That sobering message was delivered passionately in Milwaukee earlier this month by one of a rare breed, a tell-it-like-it-is administrator, Chief Jeff Chudwin of Olympia Fields Ill. PD. Chudwin spoke on "Surviving Officer-Involved Shootings and the Aftermath" to kick off an intense tactical operations seminar produced by the Assn. of SWAT Personnel-Wisconsin, hosted by the Milwaukee County SO and attended by nearly 200 SWAT-team operatives.
    A former street cop, former prosecutor, long-time president of the Illinois Tactical Officers Assn. and a PoliceOne contributor, Chudwin across a rapid-fire, provocative two hours presented graphic illustrations of what can only be called the wimping of American policing, and issued a stirring call for change. In some cases on-scene video drove home the impact.


    *A plainclothes officer is being slashed in the face and neck during a ground fight with a knife-wielding suspect. Under life-threatening attack, he hands his gun to another officer because "he's afraid he'll discharge the weapon accidentally" during the struggle. "He gets praised by the media for 'showing restraint,' but what he did makes my skin crawl," Chudwin declares. "Why didn't he shove the muzzle in the suspect's eye and pull the trigger?"


    *Another officer responds to a man-with-a-gun call at a food mart, sees the suspect with a gun in hand but stays in her patrol car. The suspect grabs a citizen whom he forces to the ground at gunpoint. The officer fails to intervene. The suspect murders the captive by shooting him in the head. Still no action by the officer beyond "officially observing." Responding backup finally kills the offender. A disturbing footnote to this event, Chudwin says, "is that some of her peers feel the first officer did nothing wrong."
    *An offender who has murdered his girlfriend is outdoors in a residential neighborhood firing a gun randomly. He's surrounded by SWAT but the officers take no action other than trying to maintain a loose perimeter, even when he points his revolver directly at them. The standoff drags on through many threats to police and public until he eventually is shot when he closes in on an officer and points the gun at him. When Chudwin asks the officers why they didn't fire earlier, they explain: "Our commander told us not to shoot him." "An outrage!" Chudwin declares. "If you're putting an offender at the top of the list for safety, then you have your priorities screwed up. Why are we catering to the person who created the problem?"
    *SWAT officers are offered rapid deployment training by a tactical organization but back away from the concept because they consider it "too dangerous." "We don't run into the muzzle of a machine gun," Chudwin chides, "but we do run into danger every day, and we should be prepared to do it."
    *An active shooter is inside a fast-food restaurant killing people. A SWAT team is ready to make entry or to fire through glass to take him out. A commander en route but 10 miles out orders the officers to stand down until he gets there.... A commanding officer instructs his street personnel, "You can't shoot at anyone until you are shot at first".... A chief states that anyone who can't control an aggressive offender with a knife from 5 to 7 feet away without using deadly force should not be a police officer-all examples of "lunacy," Chudwin says.


    "That kind of thinking can put you in a black hole you can't get out of. This is the culture we have to get away from. There is no obligation for you to be injured, wounded or murdered" rather than shooting to stop a lethal threat.


    Chudwin made clear that he is not advocating the development of rogue officers who pursue vigilante missions on the street. But he does feel that officers and agencies should embrace a greater willingness and readiness to use lawful deadly force in appropriate circumstances.
    "Predators are out there, not afraid of us, willing to attack us," said Chudwin, who has had two friends who were murdered on the job. "But officers often back away from aggressively finishing the fight."
    Part of the problem, he suggested, is unrealistic training that teaches officers to rely on tactics and equipment that in many real-life confrontations don't work. Field experience has well established that pepper spray, for example, "won't work against people who are committed and willing to fight to the death." Yet he showed dramatic video of a determined naked man moving threateningly down a city street with a knife after having cut off his own *****. Responding officers attempted-futilely-to control him with endless verbal commands and bursts of OC. Their solution ultimately was to risk their own safety by dog-piling him.


    Why waste time and heighten your personal risk "by trying something that cannot work, like pain compliance against a crackhead who can't feel pain?" Chudwin asked. "Why create false expectations of success?" He deplored the tendency, again often reinforced in training, to over-verbalize. "Show me a Supreme Court case or statute that says you must give verbal warning before using deadly force," Chudwin challenged. "There isn't one."


    "It's not necessary to talk to somebody when they're trying to murder you. You can do it, but there's no legal obligation to and tactically it's not desirable. There are some offenders you simply can't negotiate with. Yet officers want to take things to the last instant because they have imprinted in their mind 'I don't want to shoot.'"
    Reacting properly in threat situations depends on having the right mind-set, Chudwin stressed. "When you go out on the street, the first thing you say when you get in your patrol car should not be, 'Oh, God, I might get sued today.' You really have nothing personally to fear from liability when you follow law, policy and procedure. But fear of liability has led to the murders of police officers. "If you're more concerned about getting sued than getting murdered, you can't do the job like it needs to be done. You're a threat to yourself and to others."
    Regarding deadly force, "you have to know what you can do and when you can do it, and be prepared to do it immediately, without hesitation. If you fail any part of this equation, you will fail on the street." The willingness to emphatically stop a life threat needs to be part of your mind-set off duty as well as on, Chudwin reminded. "Only 25 per cent of officers in some areas carry off duty, and then they carry no extra ammunition," he said in disbelief. "Have some firearm on you always. You will be some place someday with your family and some antisocial s.o.b. will come up to you and want to cut your throat and take your children away-and you're not going to let him. Remember, there is no coming back from the dead. If you understand that, you will come home at night. You may be a little battered but you won't be full of holes because you gave some predator verbal commands rather than shoot him."
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    Does anyone else observe what i did in this? An Illinois Police Chief, telling LEO in Wisconsin to "Have some firearm on you always. You will be some place someday with your family and some antisocial s.o.b. will come up to you and want to cut your throat and take your children away-and you're not going to let him. Remember, there is no coming back from the dead. If you understand that, you will come home at night. You may be a little battered but you won't be full of holes because you gave some predator verbal commands rather than shoot him."

    Gee, that is swell. How about all the non-leo in Wisconsin and Illinois? Guess the anti-social SOB gets the win in those encounters.

    I have nothing against his presentation for police to be more prepared and ready to use lethal force, but it is implicit in the last statement his recommendation to always carry a gun is to protect the person and family, not to discharge police duties.

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    The three battles

    I don't want to steal the thread but this is on the same topic.
    I stumbled on this little ditty about the perfect training program for Police officer's. It also applies to concealed carry. LINK

    This is a must read.

    Trainers need to prepare officers to win 3 battles
    --the battle in an officer's own mind
    --the battle on the street, and
    --the legal battle that comes after a lethal-force encounter.
    BATTLE OF THE AFTERMATH

    In any deadly force encounter "you want to stay out of court if you can," said Chudwin, "but a greater imperative is to stay out of the ground, not be killed." Regrettably, he believes, many officers are "more afraid of being sued than of being murdered," and this unacceptable mind-set is something trainers must work to change. Fear of legal consequences, Revling added, "must to be resolved before an officer goes on the street so he doesn't hesitate" when he needs to save his life.

    During his career as both a prosecutor and a police chief, Chudwin said he has not known officers to actually lose anything in court "except peace of mind and tranquility." At a shooting scene, he reassures surviving officers that they "aren't going to lose your house" and can, in fact, cope ably with legal consequences. Keeping them "fully informed" through the process so they "don't feel like just one more piece of meat" is crucial.

    The need for legal counsel to guide an officer through the aftermath of a critical incident cannot be emphasized enough. Soltys recommended that officers have an attorney who "specializes in representing officers involved in shootings" lined up before they get involved in one. "He should be on speed dial on your cell phone and he should be one of the first calls you make" after a lethal encounter. "Searching for this kind of legal specialist after the fact can be extremely difficult and can leave an officer very vulnerable."

    An officer should be cautious about what he says at the scene, Soltys advised. "It's common to seek peer approval, to ask your buddies if you did the right thing. You may say emotional things that could come back to haunt you later." Best to say little and get off the scene as quickly as possible, preferably to a medical facility to check for injuries and monitor vital signs that will likely be abnormally high due to the stress of the incident.

    Certainly, Soltys stressed, do not talk to the media, which is capable of "unbelievable distortion" and can make a justified shooting "look like something completely different."

    Soltys points out that some department shooting investigation policies mandate that officers give a statement within a specified time period after the incident and do not allow the involved officer(s) adequate time to settle down and clearly articulate the facts and circumstances. Use of proper vocabulary is important and is another reason why involved officers should seek legal guidance before giving their statement.

    If pressed to provide an official statement sooner than you're comfortable, Soltys said, "the first sentence out of your mouth should be that you are giving this statement under duress and against your will and that you have not yet had a chance to consult with counsel." To help remind its personnel of proper procedures that may otherwise be overlooked or compromised under stress, his agency issues plasticized wallet cards advising step by step how to maneuver the post-shooting protocol.

    Officers need to understand that "even if they did everything right, a jury is not always going to agree with them," said panelist Laura Scarry, a cop-turned-attorney in Chicago who specializes in representing officers.

    She cited a harrowing recent case in which officers were sued after shooting an EDP who charged at them with a fireman's axe raised over his head. Even the plaintiff's expert witness agreed the shooting was justified, Scarry said. Yet the jury found the police liable for $425,000 in damages.

    Although the officers were not personally assessed, the injustice of this "justice" was hard to take psychologically. "Once you put a case in the hands of a jury, you never know what you're going to get," Scarry declared. "I'm still trying to get to the point where I have a great amount of faith in the jury system."

    Massad Ayoob, the noted firearms trainer and author who chaired the ILEETA panel, suggested that in hopes of positively impacting the legal aftermath of force incidents in the future, trainers should share what they learn at LE conferences with their local prosecutors and judges. Offer to make presentations on FSRC's research findings and concepts like the Tueller Drill (the basis for the legendary 21-foot rule in defense against edged-weapon attacks) to further "their continuing legal education," he proposed.
    --are officers more afraid of being sued than they are of being murdered?
    --are trainers realistically bringing the street to the range…or trying unrealistically to impose the range on the street?
    --is training getting "too militaristic and muzzle-heavy"?
    --how much risk of financial ruin do officers really face in court?
    BATTLE OF THE MIND
    What this battle hinges on, Revling explained, is a trainer's ability to overcome an officer's "initial resistance to destroying the species"--in other words, getting the trainee psychologically willing to shoot another human being--so he or she can deliver deadly force when it's demanded.

    The officer who needs to display so-called warrior traits in order to survive "all of a sudden is a civil servant who is more concerned about what he's not supposed to do than he is with protecting himself."

    If, as a trainer, you produce merely "social workers with a firearm" who don't accept that using deadly force may be a critical part of their job, "you've got a problem,"
    "We need fighters we can train to act like social workers" when that skill-set is needed but who understand the distinction between "talking at the right time and fighting at the right time."

    The brutal truth is that "there are violent offenders whose actions must be stopped, by shooting if necessary, or they will continue to do evil deeds to innocent people who will suffer and die," Chudwin said.

    Besides cultivating the commitment to use proper force decisively, Messina believes trainers need to instill a mind-set that makes an officer "always more afraid of losing [a deadly force encounter] than he is of dying," so he'll keep fighting until he wins.

    Motivating officers to win is superior to training them just to survive, some panelists emphasized. "There's a difference between surviving and prevailing," pointed out Chuck Soltys, a federal agent and firearms/tactical survival trainer based in Chicago. Officers need to come out of life-threatening clashes not just alive but sufficiently intact physically, emotionally and legally "that after the event they have a quality of life worth surviving for."
    BATTLE OF THE STREET


    For greater officer safety and public safety alike, today's training for the street needs to be more realistic, incorporate more of the breakthrough findings of the Force Science Research Center (FSRC), and place more emphasis on good decision-making.

    In Chudwin's words, "We have to start bringing the street to the range and stop trying to bring the range to the street." Too many agencies, in his opinion, still "put holes in paper and say an officer is qualified. Qualified to do what? Put holes in the next piece of paper he encounters!"

    "We need to create and train in the same adverse environments that officers face on duty," said Revling, whose college is a strategic partner of FSRC. Messina concurred. "If we see a lot of vehicles in tapes where cops are killed, why not a vehicle in the training area?" Messina asked. "If it's raining, why not rain? If cops are dying in living rooms, build a fake living room. That's part of my job as a trainer."

    Revling added: "Once we know how to kick, why continue kicking blue bags? Start kicking people [protected by Redman gear, for example]. Once we've shot paper targets to the point of proficiency, why not shoot people [with marking cartridges]?"

    He stressed the importance of "validating what we do as trainers. Is it having a measurable effect on the street? We should have no interest in doing anything that does not work, no interest in just creating tools for the toolbox. We should strive for 100 per cent accountability."

    Quoting Ken Murray, an advocate of realistic training, a member of FSRC's Technical Advisory Board and author of the relevant book "Training at the Speed of Life," Aveni charged that law enforcement spends "so much time teaching people how to shoot and so little time teaching them how to think." In fact, Aveni declared, "I'm not convinced we're training officers to make any better decisions today than we did 20 to 30 years ago."

    Before Tennessee v. Garner, for example, the ACLU claimed that roughly 1 in 4 of the people shot by police were "not armed and not assaultive when shot." Aveni's current research, he says, shows that this percentage of "mistake-of-fact shootings" remains about the same today.

    "Unless there is more emphasis by trainers on how to make valid decisions under stress, we are going to find more and more cops accused of questionable shootings," Aveni predicted.

    He expressed some personal concern that training is overemphasizing "extreme equipment and tactics," becoming "a little too aggressive," "muzzle-heavy" and "militaristic" in the process. He cited "SWAT tactics being pressed down on street officers." (A member of the audience from Arizona reported that in his area there is pressure to teach SWAT techniques even to Explorer Scouts.)

    Soltys took issue with Aveni on this point. He said he considers it "a positive that SWAT tactics are trickling down to the street level" and believes the process "needs to be ratcheted up, based on the demonstrated skill level of individual officers." He pointed out that departments are gravitating to advanced equipment like the patrol rifle "because of what they are seeing on the street. The officers I encounter are capable of carrying this weapon and to make the right decisions about using it."

    Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato, underscored the importance of enhancing decision-making training and expressed the hope that the Center's on-going research will continue to reveal valuable new insights about human performance under stress that will help strengthen and focus law enforcement instruction.

    Lewinski mentioned several studies currently in progress or soon to begin under Center auspices that promise to have potentially profound training implications, including:

    --a 2-year "hit probability" study, relating to shooting accuracy under various conditions; what works, what doesn't and how to improve performance.

    --an EEG study in London that will identify brain processes involved in tunnel vision and tunnel hearing.

    --a study of perception and memory that will also incorporate brain data collected via EEG readings.

    --a study aimed at evaluating and improving strategies for conducting cognitive interview of officers after lethal-force encounters.

    --continuing studies on psycholinguistics, specifically the command styles officers use in high-stress situations, their impact and how to make them more effective.

    Several panelists expressed appreciation for the Center's efforts at "debunking myths" and providing "science that is going to help us" and reminded trainers that the challenge they face is not only to be aware of FSRC's findings but to consciously integrate them into their training programs.
    "Guns aren’t toys! They’re for protecting your family, hunting dangerous or delicious animals and keeping the King of England out of your face!"
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    Very interesting... I'm still trying to wrap my head around and absorb the entire article.
    My initial thoughts are that this is a direct result of our lawyer happy sue first ask questions later culture.
    Police admin are afraid to allow their officers to do their jobs, and the officers are being trained to be soft and gentle when the crime and criminal are getting more and more harsh. Public perception is also that police are supposed to be soft and cuddly, caused mostly by T.V. shows and biased news stories. It’s all part of the "dumbing down".
    Some of the threads I have seen on this board are evidence of this.
    In particular the PM SWAT thread.
    Last edited by SIXTO; February 11th, 2007 at 09:55 PM.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Ex Member Array one eyed fatman's Avatar
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    This is America. Everybody is being trained to keep from being sued. Protecting one another comes after you get sued. What a dismal bunch of crap lawyers and our gov have created.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sojourner View Post

    Gee, that is swell. How about all the non-leo in Wisconsin and Illinois? Guess the anti-social SOB gets the win in those encounters.
    Actually, it is just Wis and Cook Co IL and a few cities in IL, because in IL one can carry unloaded in a belly bag with the loaded mag next to the gun. Gunssavelife.com is source and states it takes 6 seconds to lock and load, with practice of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nn View Post
    Actually, it is just Wis and Cook Co IL and a few cities in IL, because in IL one can carry unloaded in a belly bag with the loaded mag next to the gun. Gunssavelife.com is source and states it takes 6 seconds to lock and load, with practice of course.

    That's five more seconds that I could be using to respond to threat......thanks, but No thanks.......I'll stay where I can carry LOADED!
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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    I agree, we have created more victims by thinking this way. Cops don't want to be sued, because they don't want to go through that pain and misery it will bring. They might lose all their savings, their family will suffer from that. If they are dead, then they do not have to endure that suffering.

    Of course the flip side to that is the family now has to deal with their death and would gladly give up everything in return for their loved one's life back. But with this country being so sue happy, when lawsuits aren't justified.. it's on a person's mind. They absolutely do not want to have their family suffer, so they think of their family being without money, losing their house, etc.. as one of the most horrible things. In a sense they become selfish too, thinking that they do not want to be sued.. they don't want to suffer through that. It ends up costing their life.

    Everyone thinks that cops are suppose to be so nice to you. yeah, you SHOULD be nice to me.. as long as I'm being nice and respectful to you. But if I'm an ass, I expect your attitude to change toward me. If I become a deadly threat, I expect you to counter my actions with deadly force.

    Just the other day in Omaha a guy broke into houses, assaulting people with frying pans, ended up getting naked, then at the last house got a knife from the kitchen and lunged at the homeowner with it. by the time he had gotten to this house, police had just arrived on scene. When he lunged at the homeowner, one of the cops shot the guy. Turns out he was high on PCP, and was just arrested trying to break into homes a few weeks earlier high on PCP.

    Well you can imagine what's being said now. Department policies should have protected him. His mom says he was a nice young man, did not mean to harm anyone.. had a good heart. The police should have subdued him, not shot him. His friends say that god will get his justice on the officer who is off duty pending the investigation that always follows... says that officer doesn't need a job. He didn't need to shoot him.

    Lets face it, most hardened criminals live in a ghetto type part of cities generally. I see no lack of hate for police, and thinking that police should never shoot someone. Even if deadly force is immediately needed, they will always say that the cops were abusive and shouldn't have shot. This stuff goes on daily in this country, so it is very easy to see how LEO and citizens alike are fearful of civil lawsuits.

    It's time to get our state legislators to ensure our protections from civil lawsuits when we are cleared of all wrong doing. If you are going to give me the right to use deadly force, to counter deadly force, rape, kidnapping, and severe bodily harm.. then you damn well better give me the protection from a civil lawsuit when I am cleared of all charges, or it is determined no charges will be sought.

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    One local LEA stated a while back they were trying to make a friendlier, more gentle officer. On a positive note, however, this only lasted one year, two classes, before they backed up to the old way. This was done with approval from the public, the senior officers, and even most of the officers that went through the "improved Training".
    A few points were kept and added to the old school training, and that is alright I guess. It is ok to be gentle, it is ok to be nice, but it is not ok to teach a cadet it is ok to stand by, just as long as they are smiling. Sometimes this is what I think is happening.

    I stayed out of the PM SWAT thread because the article was sadly onesided, with a limited view (as much of the media is these days), which it seems some did not grasp or do not care. But I see how it relates to this completely unrealistic persona that the public want LEO to conform to at all times, regardless of the situation!

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    I can honestly say that this is one of the best threads I've seen on here. Subscribed. Thanks for getting this rolling, Miggy.
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    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

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    I have been reading some material recently on policing in Europe. They are even farther down this road than we are. Apparently police in France have to travel in pairs and basically aren't allowed to make arrests or shoot BGs even when assaulted. Somewhat the same in England, and Germany. And recently Germany, France and Italy refused to allow their peacekeeping troops in Afganistan to fight the Taliban.

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    The result: "Some officers today are more afraid of being sued than being murdered!"
    Damn right, though I wouldn't limit it to simply "police." It's a national shame. No cojones. A misguided sense of right and honor. Willingness to coddle criminals and a PC-minded left, to be perceived as accommodating everyone's claims as legitimate. Frankly, there are some things claimed that should never see the "light" of a court. Not all claims are equal and worthy. Reality: we have no judges in this country. Rather, we have pawns in capes quaking in their boots by a legal system run amok.

    Fix that, and much will be fixed. Empowerment or disembowelment. Pick one. Can't have both.

    IMO, the only victims are those attacked. And that should never include criminals that have seen the tables turned on them. All laws should be clear on this point, shield the victims from further attack, and disallow claims of "attack" by a criminal in such cases. The reality is: the criminal caused the situation and resulting actions against him, by his own desire to contribute so highly to society. Case dismissed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Damn right, though I wouldn't limit it to simply "police." It's a national shame. No cojones. A misguided sense of right and honor. Willingness to coddle criminals and a PC-minded left, to be perceived as accommodating everyone's claims as legitimate. Frankly, there are some things claimed that should never see the "light" of a court. Not all claims are equal and worthy. Reality: we have no judges in this country. Rather, we have pawns in capes quaking in their boots by a legal system run amok.

    Fix that, and much will be fixed. Empowerment or disembowelment. Pick one. Can't have both.

    IMO, the only victims are those attacked. And that should never include criminals that have seen the tables turned on them. All laws should be clear on this point, shield the victims from further attack, and disallow claims of "attack" by a criminal in such cases. The reality is: the criminal caused the situation and resulting actions against him, by his own desire to contribute so highly to society. Case dismissed.
    I couldn't agree with you more. I find it funny that in Nebraska, the lethal force laws clearly state that you cannot claim self defense if you were the person tho started the incident.

    If that's true, then how can someone who got attacked.. be charged with assault, or have civil suits filed against them? The way I see it is SO WHAT! So what if I smacked the hell out of that guy with the broom stick I had as he ran off. I had to do everything within my power to deter him from turning around and trying to hurt me again. I smacked the crap out of him until I could determine that he was truly leaving, and the only way I could tell that was once I finally got him off my property. So what if he got hurt! He tried to stab me, shoot me, assault me, whatever!

    It will be a good day when all states in this country have laws protecting the assaulted from having civil suits filed against them. Once you are found not guilty of assault, or it is determined no charges will be filed because you acted in self defense.. NOBODY should be able to sue you. Not the attacker, not their family, and you certainly should NOT be fired from a job for defending your life, either while at work, or away from work. Some people would fire you for shooting a person in self defense because they now look at you like a gun nut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    That's five more seconds that I could be using to respond to threat......thanks, but No thanks.......I'll stay where I can carry LOADED!
    +100

    I'll refrain from commenting more on this thread because it would detract from the main issue of this thread.

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    i went through training scenario's in iraq and the whole point of one of the biggest one's we did was "when to" and "when not to". 82% died in the scenario for fear of breaking the geneva convention which was always scared into us since day one. admittedly, i died as well. there are too many assessments to go through according to law that is just enough time for someone who doesn't care and has one rule. to kill you.
    What's this button do?

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