Why carry a flashlight???

This is a discussion on Why carry a flashlight??? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Maveri9720 Please wait while I grab my flashlight to see if I can pull my weapon, or pull my OC, or grab ...

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Thread: Why carry a flashlight???

  1. #31
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    Please wait while I grab my flashlight to see if I can pull my weapon, or pull my OC, or grab my knife first.
    This is why all of my personal home defense firearms and all of the firearms that I carry on-duty are mounted with some form of Surefire light. Wherever the light is shining the muzzle is pointing. I have been in enough situations on patrol and as a former tactical team member to realize the very comforting benefits of having a firearm and flashlight work in conjunction.
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  3. #32
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Garrity
    This is why all of my personal home defense firearms and all of the firearms that I carry on-duty are mounted with some form of Surefire light. Wherever the light is shining the muzzle is pointing. I have been in enough situations on patrol and as a former tactical team member to realize the very comforting benefits of having a firearm and flashlight work in conjunction.

    Let me ask you this Mark, for your home protection firearms with light mounted, do you really need to see the BG in your house before taking action, if you know everyone who is supposed to be there is already accounted for? Also, for your carry weapons, if you need to ID someone, now you have to pull your weapon and aim it at someone to ID them. Isn't that brandishing if it turns out not to be a lethal encounter? Just seems scary to me to have to pull my gun, just to check out a situation or an individual.

    JimB,

    Like I said before, if I am out and someone comes towards me in a dark situation and I yell at them and they don't respond and continue towards me, then #1, they aren't any one of my friends, #2 they are not any of my family, so that leaves me in the unknown and b/c of that fearing for my life. Again, I am not going to pull my gun and shoot them unless I absolutely feel I have to. That's where a non-lethal device, ie OC spray, comes into play and I use that to distract, while I haul butt. And you are absolutely correct, there is probably only 2-3 seconds to make a choice and execute that choice, which is why I would rather grab a weapon, ie, OC spray, knife, gun, whatever I feel is necessary, then grab a flashlight and hope to blind him, while I make my escape. I believe you will only have time to make one choice as well, until you can put distance/cover between you and the potential BG.

    And correct, I most certainly need to take some training courses. I will have to look into that very soon.

  4. #33
    New Member Array Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    Let me ask you this Mark, for your home protection firearms with light mounted, do you really need to see the BG in your house before taking action, if you know everyone who is supposed to be there is already accounted for?

    The short answer would be ....yes.

  5. #34
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    ... do you really need to see the BG in your house before taking action, if you know everyone who is supposed to be there is already accounted for?
    ... if I am out and someone comes towards me in a dark situation and I yell at them and they don't respond and continue towards me, then #1, they aren't any one of my friends, #2 they are not any of my family ...
    That's a big "if". If one hasn't accounted for everyone, then shooting without identification on assumption can yield bad things. Anyone with teenagers knows they come home and go "bump" at odd times. Anyone with children knows they may not respond so diligently in times of crisis. Better to know.

    Me, I've got it simpler with a known house containing one person (me). Much less complicated, in that regard.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  6. #35
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm
    That's a big "if". If one hasn't accounted for everyone, then shooting without identification on assumption can yield bad things. Anyone with teenagers knows they come home and go "bump" at odd times. Anyone with children knows they may not respond so diligently in times of crisis. Better to know.

    Me, I've got it simpler with a known house containing one person (me). Much less complicated, in that regard.

    Yea, I'm in the same boat, so maybe I have a different perspective on things, as opposed to people with kids.

    Homer, care to elaborate? Here's my take:
    If I put the flashlight on someone in my house, as opposed to laying them out, it gives the BG at least a chance to get a shot off on me before I can react, if he has a firearm and also it gives his partner or partners a fix as to where I am and now I am target practice to them.

    If I just shoot and lay him out, anyone else in the house doesn't know where I am and they just pooped all over themselves. I still have the advantage. It's my house, I know the layout in the dark and I didn't give away my position, unless someone happened to be looking in my direction when I fired and they picked up the muzzle blast. Hopefully, training will still be on my mind and I will be moving from the spot I just shot at to prevent random firings at the position the BG's saw the flash at.

    Just my opinion.

  7. #36
    Ex Member Array Phil Elmore's Avatar
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    Friends and family members have been shot by ignorant pistoleros who thought everyone was "accounted for" and therefore didn't bother to positively verify the target before pulling the trigger.

  8. #37
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    Let me ask you this Mark, for your home protection firearms with light mounted, do you really need to see the BG in your house before taking action, if you know everyone who is supposed to be there is already accounted for? Also, for your carry weapons, if you need to ID someone, now you have to pull your weapon and aim it at someone to ID them. Isn't that brandishing if it turns out not to be a lethal encounter? Just seems scary to me to have to pull my gun, just to check out a situation or an individual.
    The whole weapon-mounted light/violating the "pointing your muzzle at anything you don't intend to shoot" issue has been debated amongst firearms instructors and will continue to be. Most courts will not view it as brandishing if you can articulate your reasoning behind it - based on your experience and training. Simple fact of the matter is that in certain tactical situations some of the rules are inevitably going to get violated. There are certain instance where innocent people are going to get guns pointed at them. Example: You are driving a car that matches the color, make, and model description of a vehicle just used in an armed robbery in a neighboring town, you are going to get pulled over in a felony car stop. And guess what - you are going to have guns pointed directly at you by the poilce, (some with lights mounted on them, and some maybe even full-auto) as you and your passengers are ordered one by one out of the car. So here is one of those situations where perfectly innocent people will have guns pointed at them, and it is not brandishing, and the actions can be explained and articulated in a court if law.

    On the flip side of the coin, I do not know of a single state in our nation where you can shoot an intruder just for being in your house.
    His mere uninvited presence in your home does not make him a deadly threat or constitute a deadly force situation just yet.
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  9. #38
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  10. #39
    Ex Member Array Phil Elmore's Avatar
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    His mere uninvited presence in your home does not make him a deadly threat or constitute a deadly force situation just yet.
    If the state in question has the "castle doctrine" among its laws, it would depend on the wording of that law, I think.

  11. #40
    Member Array Exmasonite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Elmore
    If the state in question has the "castle doctrine" among its laws, it would depend on the wording of that law, I think.
    besides, if it came down to being a problem, it would be my word against a corpse's. they don't argue back... and it's hard for family to put words in there mouths.

  12. #41
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Elmore
    Friends and family members have been shot by ignorant pistoleros who thought everyone was "accounted for" and therefore didn't bother to positively verify the target before pulling the trigger.

    Well, for me, it's pretty easy. I just reach my arm out and if I touch my wife, then everyone is accounted for and time to sling lead.

    Mark,

    In Georgia, we have the castle law and as I understand it, I am well within my rights to use deadly force against someone who has broken into my home. I don't have to wait until I am at gunpoint/knife point nor do I have to retreat first before using said force. Now, there is a decent chance that I may be wrong, but from what I have read and gathered myself, that is my conclusion.

    Also, if you can pull it off in court, then more power to you. I actually like the idea of having a light on my CCW, b/c then I can ID and if it is a threat, then my weapon is already at the ready and on target, no wasted time. But this only will apply if the BG is showing evidence of lethal force. If not, then you are kinda screwed for escalating the force used. If you see the BG isn't showing lethal force, then you would be required to put away the gun, thus losing your light and losing time re-holstering and trying to either run, or pull the appropiate force weapon.

    But, I won't put one on my CCW. I would rather have nothing on it and have it as light and snag-free as possible, along with most concealable.

  13. #42
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Alright, very interesting thread so far. I should say this, though, Maveri9720... No one ever said you can't pull your light and not your gun. The idea of a light is to, at the very least, confirm that the threat is indeed a BG and to also illuminate your target for bullet placement. At the minimum I'd recommend doing a "night shoot" and seeing how it goes.

    I can attest that LEOs are required in my state (AZ) to qualify on a "night shoot" course which is the same as a daylight course only they must have a flashlight. Another thing is that the light is preferrably not mounted to the weapon. While shooting is more accurate with a rail mount light, it is also preferred not to be used to "illuminate" an innocent person or otherwise used as a regular light.

    Personally I do not carry a light on me. I have rather excellent night vision and literally do avoid places that are dark just because I have no reason to be there. (Lucky me. lol) However, I should say that a light is never too far from me and is within very easy access. I keep a light in my car's glovebox, we have one at the station and there is one in my briefcase as well (that one being the strongest). Plus I have a keychain light.

    Reasons for use... Car: Change tire or see if fluids are coming from underneath the car, etc. Work: Power goes out and the generators/battery backups fail (gotta love those government facilities ;O). Briefcase: Very bright, used for miscellaneous uses like power outage at home, etc. Keychain: Used for those other miscellenous uses like locating my briefcase light when the power goes out at home. lol

    Cheers.

  14. #43
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Maveri9720,
    My off-duty carry pistols do not have a light-mounted for the same reasons you cited. All of the ones currently available are just too bulky for concealment, especially IWB carry. Off duty it's a Surefire E2on the weak side. There is absolutely no inconvenience to carrying such a small flashlight, so I'd rather carry it and not need it than need it and not have it. There is quite simply no reason not to carry it.

    Soundwave,
    Yes, AZ and most other departments nationwide do require some form of night-fire qualification, shooting with and without flashlights in the same course. However, there is no discouragement against weapon-mounted lights as you stated though. (At least not on my department or any that I am familiar with). One large department in AZ issues the M3 and all patrol officers carry them mounted to the handgun in Safariland SLS holsters. And I know of another AZ department that has a separate and distinct course of fire/qualification specifically for mounted lights.
    Last edited by Mark Garrity; August 6th, 2006 at 04:50 AM.
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  15. #44
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Garrity
    Soundwave... However, there is no discouragement against weapon-mounted lights as you stated though. (At least not on my department or any that I am familiar with).
    Let me specifically say that I didn't clarify that the department tries to keep our guys from using the rail mounted lights as their primary lights, hence the discouragement. Sorry if it sounded like they prefer only one type of light over the other. We've actually had NDs attributed to guys actually pointing a rail mounted light at some/thing, and/or someone that it's being pointed at shooting back because of it.

    That's what I was trying to get at with that. (And yes, I know the requirements, I know the equipment and I don't think the general population needs to know what specific type of holsters or other equipment LE has, especially mine. No offense.)

    Cheers.

  16. #45
    New Member Array Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maveri9720
    Homer, care to elaborate? Here's my take:
    If I put the flashlight on someone in my house, as opposed to laying them out, it gives the BG at least a chance to get a shot off on me before I can react, if he has a firearm and also it gives his partner or partners a fix as to where I am and now I am target practice to them.
    Just my opinion.

    Certainly,

    The mere presence of someone in your house, even under castle, is not a deadly threat.

    If you do not/ can not identify your target therefore can not identify if he poses a deadly threat, you have no business shooting. For all of this bravado that is being talked about (ie my word against a corpses, Laying them out....) the simple fact is if you shoot someone in the manner you described it is in cold blood.

    If you feel that you must "clear" your own house instead of calling the police and waiting inside a "safe" room with a 12 gauge pointed at the door, carry a light.

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