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disparity of force

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by powder86, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. powder86

    powder86 SHOOT SAFE!

    I'm 6', 220. But I have several friends who are 5'9", 185, or smaller than me in general, who are stronger, wrestled in college, trained in MMA or are very talented in unarmed combat. They literally could beat me to death if they needed to. I'm a joe average whose hand to hand combat consists of being beat up by older brothers. I'm not in superb shape, and have no real reason to believe that if I were to face someone skilled in unarmed combat, that I could really stand a chance. I'm not looking for trouble, but if I were to be confronted by an individual who is close to my size, or even smaller, who I know to be stronger and talented in unarmed combat, to the point that I could literally fear severe bodily harm, or my life to be in danger, can I successfully claim disparity of force, and thus justify drawing my weapon?
    Please understand, I am not looking for an excuse to draw my weapon, or to avoid unarmed training, but just because I'm 6' and 220 does not mean that I couldn't be severely injured or beaten to death in a brawl with someone unarmed and smaller than me.

    Can disparity of force successfully apply in a case where, though I'm of decent size, and my oponent is smaller, he's not weaker in any real sense? :dunno:
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Disparity of force issues can be a complicated mix, and have to be taken case by case. To claim that a smaller, lighter person had a disparity of force advantage over you in a violent encounter, you'd have to show that you had reason to believe he had extremely high skill in unarmed combat: i.e., you knew he was an advanced martial artist, or you'd just seen him sidekick two bouncers bigger than you through a plate glass window.

    It would also be possible that one element of disparity of force might outweigh another. For instance, the smaller man you describe has you down and is stomping you. The physical disadvantage of your situation now makes it much more likely that you'll be killed or crippled if his actions continue.

    You didn't mention if you have any physical disability, but that might also cancel out your advantage in size and weight.

    Bottom line: a man your size will have an uphill fight to convince judge and jury that he needed a gun to stop the smaller man's unarmed assault, absent some element of disparity of force favoring that smaller man.


  3. powder86

    powder86 SHOOT SAFE!

    Thank you sir. No disability, unless out of shape counts. :)