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Discussion Starter #1
What do you say prior to drawing and firing? It obviously depends on the situation to some degree, I mean you are not going to say,"back off or I am going to shoot!" if somebody asks you the time, even if they are suspicious. Maybe a scenario would be best for this.
Ok, you are leaving a store (either the mall or market) at night and entering the parking lot when a shady character who was walking down the aisle towards you asks the time. Now, just because he is slightly shady doesn't automatically make him a BG, but hopefully you would be in orange and wary of him. At this point he is probably about 15-20 feet away from you. I would probably either tell him its about x hour or I don't know. At this point if the time was all he was interested in he should continue on his way. If he continues torward you, what do you say?
 

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Well ya sure don't yell "back off or i'll shoot you" cuz in court all a witness will be able to testify to is you said you shoot him and sure enough you did!

something like 'back off! get away from me!" repeatedly so any witness can say "...he told him to get away then i heard a gunshot"
whatever it takes to 'sound' better in court is very important to me.
 

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I disagree completely. If the shoot is justified by the circumstances, warning the perp that you WILL shoot him if he doesn't back off is a good idea IMO.

Problem is, the situation could allow anything from several warnings to none at all. BG closing with a knife or even bare hands may get a warning before drawing, after drawing and last warning just before trigger pull. BG holding up a Stop & Rob w/ a shotgun gets no warning at all, and shot in the back of the head if I can manage it... several times.
 

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I'm not an inviting person- if meeting the eyes hasn't persuaded someone I'm not a good panhandle/whatever candidate, a "Stop right the F*** there......what do you want (said more as a statement than genuinely interrogative)", is about the only other engagement they can expect. Mace and up, from that point, as needed.
 

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I'm with Solo, if you yell, Stop or im going to shoot, a jury could take this as malice aforethoght. This could mean the difference between justified self defense and murder. But every situation is different, sometimes a warning is needed, I dont think any of us really know what we would do when placed in a life or death situation. The only thing I know for sure is afterward your gonna need a good attorney.
 

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I would have looked at my watch and gave him the honest time. This dude is no threat at this point and just probably just late for a drug deal.

Next, if this dude continues to approach, you move to one side and let him pass with most distance between the both of you and at all times keeping one eye on him and one eye on where you are going. If he passes by and goes about his business and he leaves your threat zone or threshold, then all is well.

If he starts to track your move to one side then I would ask "Can I help you?" or "Do you need something?" or "Are you OK?", at this point you need to get some response from this dude to get his intentions, if he reveals them, he may say something like "I am going to kick your A**" or "No, no problem" or "Where are the apples?". This dude may be getting ready to passout or you two are just doing the dreaded aisle dance trying to get out of each others way. Hopefully this dude is still about 10 to 5 feet away. You get your aisle dance done and each of you take a side on the aisle and he goes about his business.

If this dude is still tracking you and gets really close, like 5 to 2 feet then I would say "Do not come any closer to me !!" and even at this close, I am not sure I would say anything. I would start to turn your strong side away and start getting your weak side toward him and start freeing your hands for combat.

By this time, dude should be pretty close. This is where it starts to get interesting. Now, if dude is real close and he starts to reach for you, then I would say "DO NOT TOUCH ME !!" or "BACK OFF!!" very loud, very forceful, hopefully this dude would back off, if not then the fight is on. You need to make your own decisions at this point and how fast you need to escalte the situation.

This is what I would do, and everyone acts different in different situations.

The moral of the story. Don't be quick to draw attention to yourself, this dude only becomes a real threat when he reaches for you or touches you.

You can not be certain how many other dudes this dude is hanging with. Seldom do they travel alone !!

Also, I think it is very import for CC people to have some other defense training other than a gun. Pulling the gun is the absolute, no way out, someone is going to die, last option you want to use. My thought is, if I pull my weapon, there is 50/50 chance someone may die and hopefully it will not be me. Once you pull your gun from the holster, you have brandished your weapon. Now, lawsuits start happening, the longer you keep your weapon holstered the better off you will be in court (this is my own opinoin). Therfore you need to use other defense methods until this dude just will not get off you or continues to be a threat or pulls a knife or worst of all starts to draw a gun. Then I would draw and shoot. Hopefully a store camera caught the action and you will be justified. Keep in mind the camera can work against you, if this dude is 5ft away and you pull your gun, your busted.

One thing that comes to mind when I was in the military is, stay in the middle, keep your mouth shut, and don't let the drill instructor know your name, if any of these things are violated then you're toast for the rest of the time your there. Same thing applies here, stay low and keep your mouth shut (not telling you what to do, just my two cents, with a smile on my face), and draw and shoot when no other option is available (even running, nothing macho about killing someone or yourself getting fataly wounded or killed).

Sorry so long, and hopefully I have not stepped on anyones towes or offended anyone. Thanks
 

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The first thing to remember is that If you let him (BG) within 15-20 ft of you, you are already toast if he decides to attack. Inside that distance, a knife can be used to inflict fatal injuries before you can get your gun out of the holster. A skilled martial artist, boxer or street fighter can also easily kill you with their hands in the same manner. You'll just die with a gun strapped to you.
If you need to back away to maintain a safe amount of distance (25 ft would be a BARE MINIMUM, IMHO) then back up. Put a parked car between you as you tell him to "Back OFF".
Truthfully, (And I mean you NO disrespect in saying this) if you don't already know how to handle such a situation, then you need to book a course with a decent tactical handgun instructor. Stuff like this is a big part of street survival, and any good instructor will cover it.
Surviving a street assault involves a lot of differing skills - being able to shoot well is actually only a small part of it. Small things (like backing up and using a car for cover) don't seem that difficult, and they aren't. However, under the stress of an actual encounter many people "go blank". For that reason, force on force training is a real asset because it serves to really ingrain the use of cover.
I can recommend John Farnam, Louie Awerbach, Randy Cain, David Blinder, Chuck Taylor, Gunsite Ranch, and Clint Smith all without reservation. They are all VERY good. Good luck!
 

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I'm with you Gary. I spent alot of years in the martial arts and studied knife fighting. If a knife fighter is inside of twenty feet and you don't have your gun drawn you're toast. If you have a drawn weapon and he's withing 8 feet the odds are even. On the few occasions I've felt like the situation was dicey I'l change direction, get a car or other obstacle / cover between us and look 'em in the eye. Once they looked at me funny like "what's with him?" They where probably not a threat. Another time they didn't like my reactions as I had seen a setup and they beat feet. If they had not I might or might not have called out a "halt" before presenting a weapon.

Eric
 

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Eric,

I agree w/ the 20 ft thing. (Which is why I personally do not let potential "hostiles" get within 25 ft whenever possible)
One other point that needs to be recognized: Handguns do not magically vaporize attackers (regardless of what you may read in the gun rags). Handgun rounds (regardless of caliber/load) are very poor stoppers. You may well hit a guy with a few rounds COM, but find that he may well still have enough strength & will to close and field dress you with a knife before he "leaks" enough to go down.
At that point, you're either dead or dying - so you have failed in your stated goal of self defense.
Case precident states that you can shoot an attacker with a knife up to 20 ft away. It does NOT say that you have to wait until BG is 20 ft away to put yourself in a defensive position and/or drawn your firearm. Personally, If I retreated behind cover, having ordered a guy to back away from me and he continued to close, it's time to pepper spray. If that fails, or things rapidly escalate, then I believe that by drawing, and maintaining a "low ready" posture (not actually pointing a firearm at BG, unless you are actually justified in shooting), you are on pretty decent legal ground. (You have shown a prudent "escalation of force" to deal with your attacker)
You might spend a night in County and have to deal w/ a brandishing charge. However, if the security video shows you retreating and going for cover, and BG pursuing you, a good attorney will have something to work with.
(I say all of the above with the following disclaimer: I make holsters for a living. I am not an attorney, nor do I feel qualified to act as a defensive firearms trainer. Go to a professional for legal advise prior to carrying a firearm, even if you do have a permit to carry.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Gary Brommeland said:
The first thing to remember is that If you let him (BG) within 15-20 ft of you, you are already toast if he decides to attack. Inside that distance, a knife can be used to inflict fatal injuries before you can get your gun out of the holster. A skilled martial artist, boxer or street fighter can also easily kill you with their hands in the same manner. You'll just die with a gun strapped to you.
If you need to back away to maintain a safe amount of distance (25 ft would be a BARE MINIMUM, IMHO) then back up. Put a parked car between you as you tell him to "Back OFF".
I agree that 15-20 could be it for you. I was thinking that you are in the parking lot walking to your car. Someone is walking on the opposite side of the aisle, in the parking lot, but towards you. Now just because they look shady, does that mean I have to run back inside or move over an aisle. There are a lot of shady looking people that aren't, shady I mean. So, in this situation he asks the time when he comes abreast of you. Ok, I'm condition orange because:

1. He looks shady
2. He is close to me
3. Asking the time might just be a ruse to get closer

If you needed to ask the time of someone you didn't know you are not going to yell at them from 50 feet away, "EXCUSE ME, DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?", you are going to get to a comfortable distance to ask the person. He may just want to know if he has the time to get to the store before it closes.
Anyway, if after he asks and you respond and he doesn't move off what do you say, specifically?

This will be a topic I intend to bring up at the advanced handgun class I am taking in two weeks since I don't remember this being brought up in the others I have attended. What specifically do you say? Stop right there? Don't come any closer? If you take one more ****ing step you stupid whore bag I am going to blow your ****ing balls off? What is the best thing to say in such a situation taking into account adrenaline, aftermath/legal, etc.
 

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I don't think I'd have any set verbal routine - it would be entirely ''play it as I see it''.

Space tho is for sure top of list and any incursion into my relatively safe zone will be met with some form of verbalization - which may not be a challenge at all but possibly a request to stay where they are as I gain distance.

These things are decided IMO on a msec by msec basis - making our analytical sense ''refresh'' rapidly as we make assessments. No one situation is going to stereotypical, which is why I find it hard to generalize.
 

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I figure if the threat is enough to make me draw my weapon, it's enough for me to fire without trying to talk the BG down. I've come to the conclusion that I will draw only once the BG has shown his intent to harm me or others with guns/knives, etc. The exception would be if he is only using fists and has not actually produced a weapon and/or only makes verbal threats. In that case I would either tell him to leave me or the other person alone, call the police with my cell phone, pepper spray him in the face and/or run away, of course, this all depends on the circumstances. The BG could be smashing a persons head into the ground repeatedly, or beating them to death, which would obviously require a different response. But basically, the second the BG shows intent to harm with a weapon, I will draw. If he does not back down, I will fire. If the Tacoma Mall shooting taught me anything, it's that if you're going to draw, you better be willing to fire.
 

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Just an aside, but I'm curious- why the obligation to be "nice", from so many? Yes, in a sense, I do understand, but honestly, if someone/something gives me a "tingle", why would I encourage closing distance with an invitation? We all know you don't carry on conversation 50 feet away, so asking what you can help with is an invitation to approach. As far as we have a "social contract", this interaction is part of it- it is also how predators close with prey.

If I'm wrong, the guy will flip me off, or call me bad names.

If I say, "What can I do for you?", with no stipulation on how close he's to approach, I just invited him to typical conversational distance of +/- 6 FEET. If I'm wrong here, my world is a whole lot smaller...........

No alarm- smile, talk, shake hands.:wave:
Bells- hard look, hard words, deal with it.:ticking:
 

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Rob72 said:
Just an aside, but I'm curious- why the obligation to be "nice", from so many?

Because juries may well decide your guilt or innocence based upon whether they like you as much as on any other factor. If a witness says that you were loud, rude, used obscene language, etc - then some scuzball prosecutor is able to say that you either provoked or escalated the altercation. He/she is then in a position to then do his/her best to put you away for murder. Many prosecutors (imho) are more concerned with clearing cases off of their desk and building their careers than they are in giving some joe sixpack justice.

If, on the other hand, a parade of witness state that you were polite and in no way provoked or escalated the event, then you have a MUCH better chance of going home, rather than to prison.

This is just some the stuff that a GOOD self defense trainer will teach you...:smile:
 

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I know where you are coming from, Gary, and you are right. But. There is a difference between being "civil", and being "nice". I am always civil, not always nice. Having been in both EMS and Corrections, believe me, I know about de-escalation and verbal management. What concerns me is that personal interaction predicates mindset- if you are open and available, you will be just that- open. Most people are not psychopathic- genuinely able to smile and joke while they stick a knife in you. If you are being neighborly, you'll be slower in response, while your brain processes the change from "neighborly" to "assault". One of the two parties involved will be in charge........

I think Betty addressed this in the thread about eye-contact- you don't have to be challenging, just don't be inviting. Dropping the "F-bomb" is hardly uncommon anymore, save in the whitest, wooliest sheeple circles. Used casually, it is an intimator of casually rough behavior; not something generally not expected from Slacks-n-Polo; this can be valuable in causing a reassessment of you as a potential target(this is advocated by more than a few professionals, citizen and LE level trainers). If you try to "Man-Up" and yell, pop a string of curses, etc., yeah, you're asking for trouble- that's not what I'm talking about. Bluffing won't work with a serious BG.

I suppose what I'm asking/saying is: have you considered non-invitational, preemptory, verbal direction, as part of your arsenal? What options do you have besides, "May I help you? What can I do for you?" How do you verbalize, without socially engaging?

Do you hear LEOs/COs use those phrases? In my experience, not often, in the course of business (we're talking about a situation you feel "uneasy" about, not when JimBob next door asks the time), or when they do, how does it differ from your day to day tone and inflection?

Just thoughts; looking for others thoughts.....:wave:
 

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Rob72 said:
I suppose what I'm asking/saying is: have you considered non-invitational, preemptory, verbal direction, as part of your arsenal? What options do you have besides, "May I help you? What can I do for you?" How do you verbalize, without socially engaging?

OK, I see where you are going here. Certainly, a forceful command to "Back Off!!" has its place. I have in fact done this on more than a few occasions (along with "That's close enough!!" "Show me your hands!!" - as it is appropriate). Most folks are startled, look at me like I'm a serial killer and quickly walk off - but I will absolutely not allow the pressure of "social norms" to compel me into making a really stupid mistake that endangers myself and/or my family. A couple of guys have stood there for a second or two, seemingly trying to evaluate the situation and deciding what to do next. (Probable BG's)But, thus far, no shots fired (Thank God!)

I used to be "nicer" when I was younger. Experience has taught me to treat all strangers as possible assailants.

Using your example - if approached and asked the time, my response would be to put an obstacle (like a parked car) between us and forcefully answer the question, while maintaining eye contact.


I am just suggesting that the use of profanity may come back to bite you if you end up with a jury with little old church ladies on it.
 

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Bases on your scenario that you gave, I see no weapon, I only am wary, and I'd have to go along with JIGGZ01....I don't pull my weapon from my holster unless I have already made up my mind I have to kill someone. I would absolutely have to see a knife, a gun, or a ball bat or something to feel there was a threat to my life.
Concerning the shady character asking me the time of day, I look right at him, in the eyes and tell him the time of day, or I tell him I don't have the time of day. I don't get loud, I don't threaten him in any way at all, but look right at him with an air of confidence.
If the distance closes and I don't feel comfy, I'll have to deal with that another way, maybe get ready for something phisical...
The one thing I won't do is pull my weapon unless I'm going to use it. Period. Once I make up my mind someone has to die, the BG is going to have to be very fast at giving up, because I must have already seen a knife or gun...I sometimes doubt if it would even be possible for him to give up that fast, short of falling to the ground imediatley, or screaming please don't shoot...and that would have to be a pretty fast decision on his part once I see a leathal weapon.

I think you have to play these things out by ear if they happen, lots of scenarios...but the one givin in the original post, nobody saw a gun or knife. I'm going by that.
 

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I'm no lawyer, but I don't see how any DA can claim "malice aforethought" when the BG drew his knife on you first. In any case, it's irrelevant to me here in Colorado. Good shoot's a good shoot, thank God.

For others in less blessed states, the last part is certainly true.

BCurry1 said:
I'm with Solo, if you yell, Stop or im going to shoot, a jury could take this as malice aforethoght. /snip/ The only thing I know for sure is afterward your gonna need a good attorney.
 

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Going strictly by your scenario, if I don't trust the situation, then I don't have the time. My answer to "Do you have the time" is "No." Then, I alter course to maintain distance.

I was approached in Barcelona by a kid asking the time and trying to get close enough to pick my pockets. I didn't have time or inclination to spend the rest of the day with the Guardia. Because of the location, I couldn't avoid having him get closer than I would have liked. I ended up having to give him a forceful shove to get clear. Since then, I don't let a stranger get that close with a ruse like that. I just don't have the time or don't have what they need.
 

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Really? So if I'm unarmed I can just walk up to you, and take your gun away (assuming, or course I know you have one somehow) or perhaps punch you out with my fist, search your body for a wallet, find the gun and take it... perhaps shooting you with it... because you won't shoot an unarmed man?

Useful info to somebody I'm sure. Interesting that my being unarmed negates your weapon completely.

Because you carry a gun, there comes a time when even an unarmed assailant is a deadly threat.


Jimster said:
Bases on your scenario that you gave, I see no weapon, I only am wary, and I'd have to go along with JIGGZ01....I don't pull my weapon from my holster unless I have already made up my mind I have to kill someone. I would absolutely have to see a knife, a gun, or a ball bat or something to feel there was a threat to my life.
 
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