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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me be clear that I am not at all endorsing this idea. I am very skeptical about it. But I had never heard it before and I wondered if anyone else had. I know some people here will rail against it, but since I am not endorsing it, it is no skin off my nose.

I have been shooting handguns for 50 years. I used to compete in the Navy, qual'ed expert and I have been a pretty good shot most of my life. But I have definitely gotten rusty. I have been taking private shooting lessons from an old guy at my local range. He is a really good instructor and he has definitely improved my shooting in a short time. I would say my groups are a third the size they were and I have only a third of the "fliers" I was having. So for training, the guy knows his stuff.

But twice has talked about a self-defense legal concept (not a principal or statute) that prosecutors take a dim view of self-defense claims on shots on attackers at over 21 feet. That a shot at say, 30 feet, might be seen as the bad guy was not that much of a threat. I am used to instructors who are good at teaching shooting but spout legal advice that is complete BS. I do think that if you are engaging someone at 50 yards, a question might be raised, but if there is a good reason for it, it would be quickly put to rest. I think the instructor's idea is preposterous, but I like to keep an open mind.

What I am curious about is not whether he is right or wrong, per se, but has anyone every heard of this and does anyone know if it has any validity or not?
 

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Never heard of such a thing...and let that prosecutor stand 21 feet from a man with a loaded revolver, and again at 30 feet...and then tell us about threat. Any prosecutor who takes that view, hasn't thought about it enough. Now let's consider 200 yards...is a man with a revolver a threat at 200 yards?


Now let's try a 12 ga shotgun...at 21 feet...and at 30 feet...such a theory of standards just doesn't make any sense.
 

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AFAIK, the law does not point to any specific distance but more to a concept.
If you are able to retreat, escape or take cover, then maybe you do not have justification to shoot.
The same would be true if the threat is moving away from you, thereby becoming less of a threat.
However, if the threat is closing the distance or otherwise pursuing you, then you would have justification to shoot...
regardless of the distance. JMO
 

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Then there's the "no duty to retreat" laws that say when you have the right to be somewhere, you cannot be faulted for not retreating...more and more states are passing them. Escape is another form of retreat...different from avoiding, when possible, an unneccessary confrontation.. There are also laws in some states where it is specifically justifiable to shoot in some cases when the threat is moving away from you.
It really pays to know the laws where you live...very well.
 

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...But twice has talked about a self-defense legal concept (not a principal or statute) that prosecutors take a dim view of self-defense claims on shots on attackers at over 21 feet. ...
My opinion based on recent events is that today's prosecutors in general take a dim view of any use of a gun based on the color of your skin and your privilege. Use a gun, expect to spend at least one night in jail.
 

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Sorry for where you live...in Texas no such"general" expectation exists...if you use the gun properly. Wasn't that way where I lived 20 years before that and policed, either. The sky isn't really falling. When the laws clearly define justified useage of a gun, few prosecutors would ignore them, regardless of their personal beliefs, especially in jurisdictions where the people so carefully protected their rights by legislation.
 

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AFAIK, the law does not point to any specific distance but more to a concept.
If you are able to retreat, escape or take cover, then maybe you do not have justification to shoot.
The same would be true if the threat is moving away from you, thereby becoming less of a threat.
However, if the threat is closing the distance or otherwise pursuing you, then you would have justification to shoot...
regardless of the distance. JMO
It depends.
 
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Taking nothing away from your instructor, I never heard that one before. The Tueller Drill specifically addresses the threat from a contact weapon if the bearer is 21 feet or closer and you are armed with a holstered sidearm. But regardless of the distance from the threat, the Ability-Opportunity-Jeopardy foundations for the use of deadly physical force still apply. If the guy coming at me with a handgun is Rob Leatham, even if he's 50 yards away he's still a lethal threat to me.
 

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I've heard the same thing spouted at shooting schools. I've personally been corrected for shooting an aggressor who was "more than 21 feet away. You would be charged with murder for that if it was a real situation" (the aggressor had just knifed a third party and turned to face toward me, complete with assaultive indicators). Instructors, like everyone else, have opinions, which, like everyone else, I'm free to consider and then disregard. The lethal threat to me or a third party is just as real at fifty yards as it is at two feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've heard the same thing spouted at shooting schools. I've personally been corrected for shooting an aggressor who was "more than 21 feet away. You would be charged with murder for that if it was a real situation" (the aggressor had just knifed a third party and turned to face toward me, complete with assaultive indicators). Instructors, like everyone else, have opinions, which, like everyone else, I'm free to consider and then disregard. The lethal threat to me or a third party is just as real at fifty yards as it is at two feet.
At least someone else has heard of this! I wonder what the origin of it is?
 

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I don’t have any idea where it may have originated from, but as a rule of thumb these days, I take a lot of the things people who supposedly know stuff with a grain of salt.
 

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Trust but verify...a lot of the worst, most erroneous info is repeated as fact by well-meaning folks who don't have a bad agenda...they just don't check stuff for facts. I may smile and say Uh-huh...but where it has to do with my butt and jail...you can be sure I'm going to do my research on what the law actually says...moreso now that you can get it while drinking coffee at home. Some of the most cockeyed stuff I've ever heard was from old LEOS who had 15-30 years on the street...and meant to help.
 

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Look no further than Binger to see why you shouldn’t care what prosecutors think. There is no law that says use of deadly force can only be justified if the attacker is within a certain distance of you. I’m sure most, if not all of us live in states where the use of deadly force is justified in defense of others as well. A person may or may not be a threat to you or others if they are greater than 21 feet from you. It’s situation dependent.
 

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It is another internet myth. I am glad I learned to shoot years before the internet. If someone shoots at me from 500 yards away, I want to shoot back.
 

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A while back there was a store armed robbery here. It was posted and discussed at the time. The store owner pursued the perps outside and shot and killed one of them fleeing in an auto. Great hoopla on whether the store owner was right/wrong in shooting an armed thief who was fleeing.

Long story short, the local sheriff stated that evening the armed suspect presented a viable threat to the public before, during, and immediately after the robbery, and there would be no charges against the store owner.

So it depends on a lot of things--laws, situations, attitudes of the local LE, etc.
 

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A while back there was a store armed robbery here. It was posted and discussed at the time. The store owner pursued the perps outside and shot and killed one of them fleeing in an auto. Great hoopla on whether the store owner was right/wrong in shooting an armed thief who was fleeing.

Long story short, the local sheriff stated that evening the armed suspect presented a viable threat to the public before, during, and immediately after the robbery, and there would be no charges against the store owner.

So it depends on a lot of things--laws, situations, attitudes of the local LE, etc.
Until they throw the gun down and their hands up, violent felons are most likely an immediate deadly threat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Until they throw the gun down and their hands up, violent felons are most likely an immediate deadly threat.
Everyone has to determine that for themselves. If a violent felon is clearly trying to escape the scene, I would not feel I could still claim he is "an imminent threat of grave bodily harm" to me. Sure, it is easy to construct "what if" possibilities, but I will follow the law. Neither being tried by twelve or carried by six is acceptable to me. Neither is a lawsuit.
 
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