Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Reading through many of these threads, I see over and over again posters talking about shooting to protect the store clerk, another 3rd party or personal property. Even though it may be legally justified, are you aware of what it could cost you to defend yourself in the aftermath of a shooting. I know we would not have a 2nd thought about shooting, to protect ourselves or a loved one, that's why we carry. I'm talking about 3rd parties and/or personal property, whichever your state would allow.

Texas is one of the most gun friendly states around and allows the use of deadly force to protect property and 3rd parties in certain situations, more freely than most other states. Texas has a castle doctrine law and no duty to retreat. Texas even has a no civil liability law, if you are justified in shooting. Still, all shootings in Texas are referred to a County Grand Jury, to see if the shooter is to be charged or "no-billed" (means justified shooting, no charges). Costs for legal representation to get you through the grand jury stage will probably run $5,000-$15,000 depending on the shooting circumstances. No matter what state you live in, if you shoot someone you are going to incur substantial legal costs to have counsel, to the point of having it declared a justifiable shooting. I doubt you can get by for any less, wherever you are. I don't know about you, but finding that kind of money laying around, would be real hard for me to come by these days.

Now let's factor in the intangibles, the things we don't think about. We live in a sheepish society and the media is typically not or friend, so there will be repercussions. How are your spouse and kids going to deal with the aftermath? How are you going to deal with the media hanging around your house? How will your spouse feel about, you or them, having to take that second job to pay off the 2nd mortgage, you had to take out to pay the attorney? How are you going to react when your spouse, whose is not real keen on CCW starts with, "We wouldn't be in this mess, if you didn't go around carrying that stupid gun, playing Superman", or "You didn't even know that clerk and now we're going to lose everything". Many marriages break up over less stressful and traumatic circumstances, especially if you don't share the same views about CCW. How are you going to deal with it, when your kid comes home crying because everyone's calling Daddy a killer? What if you have to sell your home and move? How will your spouse and kids feel when they have to leave their school and friends behind? What about your job? How's your boss going to feel when the media keeps showing up at your job wanting to interview you? You may very well become the victim of a "sudden reduction in work" and get laid-off. These are very real possibilities. I have seen some of these things happen in real life, to good people. Joe Horn sold his home and moved after he was cleared. Remember, every bullet has a lawyer and a price tag attached to it and neither is cheap.

So considering everything I've brought up, do you still think you would still react to the "shooting to protect the 3rd party/personal property" scenario by pulling the trigger? Or have I given you something to think about?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,074 Posts
I'm in Tennessee and the laws here are very similar. You bring up some excellent points.

There might be family and/or friends who want to confront you for "closure." As in, they want to question you and have you explain yourself and possibly do so with a very accusatory tone. Who needs that?

There might be an actual lawsuit for wrongful death or whatever. Who needs that?

Most people who have had to shoot someone have talked about nightmares. Who needs that, either?

As far as I'm concerned, my CCW is for self-defense, which of course also applies to those near me. I would only get involved in a 3rd-party situation if it was extremely clear, like someone mowing down kids on a playground or the like.

I would also think long and hard about shooting to protect property. There's a difference between someone running away with my belongings and someone bursting through my front door. Even if the former is technically and legally justified, I would have to ask myself if I'm willing to deal with the aftermath.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
This is the one that hit home for me:

How are you going to react when your spouse, who is not real keen on CCW starts with, "We wouldn't be in this mess, if you didn't go around carrying that stupid gun, playing Superman", or "You didn't even know that clerk and now we're going to lose everything".
But the questions you pose are some of the many questions I've taken the time to ponder. Whatever decision you make must be the right decision for you, because you may end up living with the results of it for the rest of your life.

Good post!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
First, I have a very close personal friend who was involved in a "3rd person" shooting in a Las Vegas restaurant about 5 years ago. A drug-addled man was going to cut the throat of waitress (ex-girlfriend) and he shot the man in the back.

None of what you mentioned above happened to him. My friend spent the rest of the night in jail while the police sorted out the details. The district attorney decided the shooting was justified and decided not to file charges. The media ignored the shooting, noone tried to interview him at home or at work.

I'm sure that those things can and do happen on occasion but it's certainly not every time.

Finally, one can make whatever decisions one wishes. My moral compass will not allow me watch a definitively innocent person because of my own inaction. I won't shoot over property, and I won't intervene in a mutual fist-fight or an obvious gang fight. I'm also going to refrain in a stop-n-rob robbery unless I'm sure someone is going to die. With my personal belief structure however, I know I wouldn't be able to live with myself if my direct inaction lead to the death of an innocent person, regardless of the monetary cost. My wife and I have discussed this and she agrees. Additionally, while I couldn't fault someone for not taking the inherent risk involved in intervening, I would hope that if it were my wife, mother, or loved one in trouble I would hope someone else would intervene.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
If you think it's cheaper to leave your gun at home and die,
when trouble sprouts up before you,
go right ahead.

Did somebody force you to buy a gun, get a carry license, and get further training?

I'm a big fan of not buying somebody else's trouble. I just don't fool myself that Armed robbers' only agenda is just some quick money, and I don't delude myself that I can make myself invisible.

When you are IN the suck, saving your life will cost what it will cost. It may be your assets, it may be your marriage.

Do you want to be alive to second guess your decision, or do you want to prone out and kiss the dirty floor before your brain explodes?

If you really WOULD rather be dead than face the POSSIBLE trouble which may ensue, then DIE. But quit pretending if every imaginable scenario is answered with, "but I might trigger a shootout, I might be WRONG, I might go to prison for a million years, I might get sued, my mommy won't like me!"

The more you indulge defeatism, the more you hesitate, the less likely you are to survive a real situation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I have survived the real situation as an LEO, both on duty and off. Their are no winners in a gunfight, only survivors. My intent has not been to offend or enrage anyone. If I have I am sorry. I only brought these points up so some of the members here who may not have been exposed, to what can happen in the aftermath of a shooting, have an idea of what they might face.

Each one of us, must make or own choices about how we will act in any given situation. I don't believe in looking for trouble or being the hero. I have retired and don't carry a badge anymore. I carry to protect me and mine. My only intent is to get home alive at the end of the day.

I wouldn't let the BG shoot the clerk, but I would wait to the last possible second, when I think things have turned sour, before shooting. No warning, no commands, just action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
Even if the things you outlined are no more than unusual "worst case" scenarios, they're still worth pondering. After all, one of my motivations for becoming a gun owner (and carrier) is because I accept the possibility of ending up in a worst case scenario. I think most people on this board have this as one of their motivators, too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,252 Posts
The more you indulge defeatism, the more you hesitate, the less likely you are to survive a real situation.
I will take exception to this statement.

My wife and I were talking about possible "Shoot/No Shoot" situations when I am off duty. I described one scenario and how I would respond to it. She told me, "That is one of the very few times I have ever heard say you will shoot."

You see, for some of us it's not defeatism, or hesitation. It's about making sure that we are not only 100% correct in our actions, but that it is an absolute last resort.

TX-JB has started a very thought provoking post, for some. For others of us, we have already arrived at our conclusions, and can be content that our choices are the proper ones for us.

It's easy to sit at a keyboard and say what one will do. The proof is in the puddin' as they say. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. The more I see and expirience, the greater my pool of knowledge.

Biker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
I have survived the real situation as an LEO, both on duty and off.
You as a LEO, are held to a different standard when intervening in 3rd party shooting scenarios. The common CCW is not. They are carrying their gun for self defense only. As in ONLY. Yes, there are laws in some states that justify 3rd party shootings but in general the average CCW is not. Since you are a LEO and it is your job to protect the innocent you would be looked at differently in court if said shooting took place. I dont envy you for this one bit.

This is full of excellent points on the way things are as opposed to how they should be. Unfortunately the lawyers have got everyone by the cojones and have made this world into a CYA nation. (lawyers do good stuff too I hear)

With all that goes on these days I sometimes wonder why I conceal carry to begin with. If I ever end up in a shooting my donkey is going to be on the line for a good while. I will have to turn over my gun, maybe spend a while in jail, all because everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

I recognize that all CCWs are not an organized army against evil. I recognize that society's social contract to wrongdoing has been bulldozed by the legal system. I also recognize that if average Joe CCW has to defend his life by using his weapon his life is going change in more ways than just financially. I have noticed in these days of new age legalities that you are better off killing someone than wounding them but we shoot to stop, right?

It would make sense to me that not defending that store clerks life for him just because it could save you 5000 dollars and that clerk ends up getting killed because of your inaction, it could be related to killing someone for 5000 dollars. Whats worse, defending others or being a contract killer. (yes I understand, very extreme)

It is the times that our laws of society and our own moral code bring out the best in some, the worst in others, and the media telling lies about it all the next day.

The OP has a valid point. It rings more true today than it ever has. There is nothing to be gained by helping others anymore. Good intentions are the foundation of your next defense in court because you are getting sued by Joe Somebody because you helped him change his tire and a lug nut wasnt tight enough and the wheel fell off the car and Joe Somebody bruised his noggin.

Liabilities are another good general point. Liability is the foundation of the tort law system. It is the reason you should not ask your neighbors to help roof your house and it is the reason you should just let yourself be killed instead of killing that knife wielding tough coming your way. It is the reason you really shoud not even have children since everyone else can raise your kids for you and if you dont do it this way, then it is the wrong way and your going to lose your kids.

There are scarcely ever any great stories written about the brave men who have died for the hope that one day good will overcome evil. The fear of death has beat us all into submission over doing what is actually right. The legal system has supported us in this role more than ever and government policies have changed to reflect this as well. Any story written about a person who, instead of submitting decided to actually fight back. Ill tell you what. I do know of a story where brave people were killed because they fought back.

It worked for Flight 93. I wonder if it could have worked for 11, 77, and 175 as well.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
50,597 Posts
Excellent points to ponder, and having to make a decision to defend yourself is something that may require a 2 second thought process...am I going to be judged by 12 or carried by six?
For the very points you bring up, many here advise being a 'good witness', and those who think being a good witness is the same as being a 'weenie'...well, please reread post #1.:22a::ziplip:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
To the OP, Then the title should read,, "The Cost of A Third Person Shooting" Not the Cost of Self Defense.. Self Defense your person, Your wife, Your Family, To the third person shooting, Be a good witness, If you really don't think someone will die, But if they do can you live with yourself? Knowing you could have sent them home to their family alive and well? With your training and your weapon, You hear alot about sheepdogs,, I am here to protect, my self, my family, won't shoot over property, But if someone would certinly die,, I would have to shoot. just my .02 cents thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,255 Posts
Where do you get your figures from, that is the $5,000 to $15,000 for taking it to the Grand Jury?

I see a lot of figures floating around on the forums, and some of those state that pulling the trigger will cost you between $50,000 and $100,000. Ok fine if any of these are correct then there should be some information out there as to what folks who actually pulled the trigger in a self defense or a 3rd party defensive shooting actually cost.

I know there will be some posts about what the hourly rate for an attorney is, or what some attorney will charge just to take on the case. Well unless that attorney is from small town East Texas, I don't care what their rates are cause they won't get the call if I ever have to defend myself.

The couple attorneys that I have talked to that live in my town basically said, don't worry about it cause around here if your involved in a self defense shooting ain't nothing much going to happen anyway. Heck they will probably call you in a couple of days to come pick your gun back up.

I am still looking for factual numbers not hypothetical figures. And no it won't matter if I, or someone else is about to die what the price will be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,708 Posts
Good thread. All posters have made good points. Our legal system is a good one. However, in any system there are aberrations and distortions. I think a person should be cautious with intervention lest we become victims of those that are not 'official' criminals.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
265 Posts
I wouldn't let the BG shoot the clerk, but I would wait to the last possible second, when I think things have turned sour, before shooting. No warning, no commands, just action.
Exactly. I guess i didn't make that thought process clear in my "other" post.

I think your OP is very realistic that everyone needs to ponder prior to ever "clearing leather".
Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,326 Posts
Several of these points are clearly discussed in M. Ayoob's excellent book, In The Gravest Extreme. Many people grossly underestimate the total costs of carrying a firearm, yes. I am in no way suggesting one shouldn't carry, but one should absolutely appreciate the totality of what that could mean and then take appropriate steps to mitigate the very real threats that go beyond a given criminal action against us.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
116 Posts
Most of the self-defense shootings I've seen in the news lately end two days later with the DA saying he won't press charges.

Heck, that 78 year old here in NC who chased down and murdered an unarmed boy won't face charges, because a jury here won't convict after what those boys had done to him and his wife.

You don't have to hire a lawyer if you are facing a grand jury. If you have the money, you may be afraid not to spend it though once you are in the hot-seat.

I have the money, and I choose every day not to spend $15,000-$50,000 which I could easily afford to save a number of lives somewhere in the world. I can't solve world hunger, and I can't stop violent crime in the world.

I think all these scenarios are useful thought exercises but they don't ultimately tell me what I'll do in that situation. I am not going to pretend to be a mind-reader and know when a stop-n-rob is likely to be murder. The odds are, that it wouldn't be. Most aren't. When you have insufficient specific, pertinent information I think you need to go with the odds.

Odds are I have the best chance of surviving a stickup if I hand over the wallet. Odds are clerk and I have best chance of surviving stop and rob if I play sheep.

So why carry at all Travis? Because sometimes its just obvious that there is a mad dog on the loose and he needs to be put down. How will that be obvious? I don't have enough experience to say other than I will trust that I will sometimes know it when I see it. Sometimes I'll be wrong. Spin the wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
You see, I don't pretend to be a mind reader at all. The scenario we've been discussing has the principles justifying deadly response. Ability, Opportunity, Manifest intent, and Preclusion.

The very fact that a robber has a gun, aims a gun, fondles a lump in his POCKET while making a demand and threat is enough to send him to hell in every jurisdiction in the US. (Whether a DA decides he can make hay out of it is another matter, granted)

Odds? I am not familiar with the odds on store robbery. I really wonder whether the odds are still what we have been assuming. I see reports weekly of people who fully comply and get killed, or shot anyway. Granted that street muggings are different, but as I recall, research has indicated that people who resist with a firearm have a better chance of escaping injury than people who cooperate.

But the laws on self defense do not require us to depend on "odds", they require us to depend on observable facts in determining if we face imminent threat. Even if the "facts" are subject to interpretation like constricted eyes, rapid blinking, an "affected" demeanor.

Preclusion is the factor which many posters have been disregarding in their discussions. Many posters figure that while they were at virtually point blank distance for shooting the BG, they are not precluded from backing up, slinking away.

I think the proximity in the particular scenario is the biggest clue suggesting preclusion. The way I read it, I might have less than 2 seconds before the clerk unfreezes, shows evidence of compliance, and the BG turns to see that nobody behind him is acting up, or trying to escape the scene. Then again, the clerk may get brain-lock and get shot. After ONE person gets shot, I REALLY hate the odds, now! I suggest that my odds of not getting shot, or successfully shooting down the BG are both much worse AFTER he shoots.

Not much time for analysis, and action. We are hardwired for fight or flight. Maybe your cycle to reverse retreat to attack is fast. I suggest that however fast it is, it may be long enough to get you wounded or killed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Florida Rules

The rules are simple

  1. You are in a place where you have a legal right to be.
  2. You are meeting force with equal force, and the force you are meeting is deadly force.
  3. You are stopping an immediate forcible felony -
    • treason
    • murder
    • manslaughter
    • sexual battery
    • carjacking
    • home-invasion robbery
    • robbery
    • burglary
    • arson
    • kidnapping
    • aggravated assault
    • aggravated battery
    • aggravated stalking
    • aircraft piracy
    • unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb
    • any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
No requirement to retreat, no limit on who is being defended. Can not take your gun until a determination is made that the above do not apply.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
116 Posts
I base the odds on the police reports documented in my metropolitan area, for each you can see types of crime and filter by area and time slice on their website. There are MANY, MANY more robberies than there are murders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
Things must be really different in Texas. When I was an LEO in NM, the person in question didn't even attend Grand Jury proceedings. He hadn't even been accused of a crime, the purpose of the Grand Jury was to indict if they believed there was sufficient evidence to indicate a crime had taken place. In the majority of cases an arrest hadn't even been made, an incident report had been submitted to the DA who in turn requested the Grand Jury to review it, and take whatever action they deemed appropriate. There certainly was no point in anyone hiring an attorney at this point.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top