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Isn't my perceived need to use deadly force different?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by mxb, May 24, 2001.

  1. mxb

    mxb She

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    I have a question...Whenever I think about a situation where I might actually unholster and point a gun at someone..I think about the rule here in VA which says basically you can't use "deadly force" unless your life or the life of your loved ones is in jeopardy.
    If some man is coming after me (obviously coming after me), but he has nothing in his hands, am I justified to produce a weapon (with full intent of firing if he doesn't start retreating fast)? Seems to me a man would be less justified in the same situation because he could perhaps run fast enough, hit hard enough, etc. Please tell me this is not faulty logic...What do you thing the law would say if, heaven forbid, a BG ends up dead and he has no weapon on him??

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    Mommy With A Gun
    G26
    Niner's Club #2161
     
  2. podwich

    podwich

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    I just took an NRA Personal Protection course. We had a county prosecutor come in to teach the legal portion (note I am in MI). He said that lethal force can be used to stop an attack that can reasonably believed to give you fear for your life or serious injury. In other words, if a big guy gets really mad and says he's going to rip your bleeping head off and you really think he's going to, lethal force is allowable (remember shoot to stop-i.e. shoot until no longer a threat). You will want to check with some legal authority in your state. I don't know if laws are similar in VA.
     

  3. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Remember that laws are open to interpretation.

    12 jurors will more likely see it justifiable that a woman shot an unarmed man, than if a man shot an unarmed man.

    My moral position is that it shouldn't matter if you are a man or woman--you both have the right to protect yourself.

    The best thing I try to remember is that I will only use a gun against another person in order to save a life (either my life or someone else's life). Any other use is wrong. The question you will have to ask in the heat of the moment, then, is whether you seriously believe you (or someone you are protecting) are going to be killed. If the answer is yes, then fire away and let the courts straighten it out later. Afterall, if you didn't fire away, you or someone you care about would be dead.

    A gun used against another person for any other reason is not allowed (not in my mind, and not by most laws). Can't use a gun just to settle an arguement, save face, protect property, force someone to do what you want, etc.
     
  4. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    The concept you describe is Disparity of Force and is generally understood in the legal system.

    Generally women (especially small women) have an advantage here since their male attackers are often larger. It applies to situations involving multiple bad guys. It also applies if you know some one to be specially trained

    For example you know the bad guy is trained in martial arts or demonstrates behavior that he is. This presents a bigger threat.

    So you may present your firearm to an "unarmed" assailant(s) if a Disparity of Force situation exists. This assumes you have reasonable fear of immediate (and unavoidable) danger of death or serious bodily injury to the innocent (you didn't provoke the attack). Anything short of that is in the gray zone. Use of verbal commands here really helps distinguish the level of threat if you have time to use them.

    This concept of Disparity of Force applies to the injured or impaired. For example a large man with limited mobility may be able to argue disparity of force with a smaller assailant.

    As already mentioned, this is a judgement call and disparity of force will be judged by others. If you can't demonstrate disparity of force, you will have escalated the use of force. Once again, a great time to use verbal commands to determine intent.

    Finally, make sure you know your state laws. For example, some states require you attempt to retreat. Others, allow you to shoot someone in your home when they are unarmed.


    I should note I am not a laywer and this is not legal advice . . . just an opinion.


    [This message has been edited by aashooter (edited 05-24-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by aashooter (edited 05-24-2001).]
     
  5. Brainglock

    Brainglock

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  6. 3MartiniLunch

    3MartiniLunch Vegan Slayer

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    I suggest getting the Virginia Gun Owner's Guide. It's sold in many gunshops, and the clerk of court in my county (Montgomery) suggested it when I picked up my Concealed Handgun Permit.
    Virginia recognizes no 'duty to retreat'
    Virginia has no lethal force statute...it's all based on case law.
     
  7. mxb

    mxb She

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    aashooter,
    Thanks, I didn't know 'disparity of force' was a named and considered situation. Since my class for CHP, and most things addressing CCW are assuming men will be doing the carry-ing, the issue never came up. I always think of questions after the fact and there are certainly people I could ask, but this forum is so great with so many kind, helpful members...it's faster too.

    Ciao for now.

    ------------------
    Mommy With A Gun
    G26
    Niner's Club #2161
     
  8. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    No problem . . . glad to help.
     
  9. Guest

    aashooter,disp. of force is b.s.I am 6'1'' 210# and can hit relativly hard compared to most people.I did boxing for several years and full contact martial arts.Bruce Lee was very short and light weight but would probably whip my *** in short order.Ed Parker of Kenpo Karate was small too but would drop a professional fighter in a hearbeat.My point being size makes no difference and if you feel like your life is in danger shoot.To be in court for your actions means you have survived the encounter.
     
  10. tom3045

    tom3045

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    Repeat after me, I feared that my life was in danger, I feared that my life was in danger, I feared that my life was in danger. No other statements,until my attorney is present.

    Duh, fear of one's live or someone elses, is the reason to use deadly force in self defence, I am begining to wonder about me,some times I am not sure where my head is...................Tom

    [This message has been edited by tom3045 (edited 05-26-2001).]
     
  11. Redondo

    Redondo CLM

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    Ditto, Ithaca. I can't believe I agreed with you about something. And on the women's site to boot! [​IMG] SideArmor I promise I won't make this a habit here.
     
  12. mxb

    mxb She

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    tom3045
    I hear what you're saying and I'm committing it to muscle memory.

    bottleneck
    I didn't read aashooter's post as meaning size was everything (oops..didn't mean to put it quite that way) we all know it ain't. I took the post as confirmation that my PERCEPTION would be considered in the (dreadful and drastic) case of dead BG.



    ------------------
    Mommy With A Gun
    G26
    Niner's Club #2161
     
  13. ferretray

    ferretray

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    Bottlneck, it is the perceived disparity of force that is at issue. One does not always have the luxury of knowing an assailants pedigree. The courts usually recognize what a reasonable person would percieve. Also, watch your language. Semper Fi, Ray Rinehart
     
  14. Oracle In Training

    Oracle In Training

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    As I was told by a DA (not assistant DA, the big guy [​IMG]) for a large metropolitan area. A citizen is justifibly allowed to defend themselves using what they have available to them, including a gun. Defend your life first if you think it is in jeapordy, then worry about the legalities. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
     
  15. Brainglock

    Brainglock

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    True that Tom thats what I would say. Bottleneck is right size does not matter women know the art form and can bring down the bigget men.

    defend your life don't let them take it.

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    Dodge this.........
     
  16. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Can't imagine why you wouldn't agree with me.

    With regard to a deadly force question, seems there is often a divide where some gunslingers think it is ok to defend their property and other gunslingers think it is only ok to defend lives.

    If you are defending lives, then you will probably be ok with the law and with yourself.

    If you are only defending property, then there is a sticky wicket.
     
  17. Guest

    mxb, aashooter, bottleneck,

    Disparity of force is not B.S. It is a long recognized part of legal statute and law enforcement use of force policies and training.

    As a former homicide detective and law enforcement trainer in use of force, I can tell you that aashooter is right on the money. A detective, district attorney and jury take disparity of force INTO CONSIDERATION. Note the emphasis! It's not a "shoot someone free" card that you can play, but one factor in the equation.

    As a 6'3'', 285 lb. ex-collegiate wrestler and defensive tactics instructor, I am going to have to be faced by King Kong on crystal meth in order to justify shooting an unarmed man. A small framed woman, on the other hand, can reasonably expect to have a lot more latitude in an attack by an unarmed man.

    tom3045 is right on the attorney angle. Even as a detective, I told friends who carried to get the name of an attorney and keep the attorneys card in their wallet. If involved in a shooting, tell the police " I thought he was going to kill me' and nothing else. Tell them your friend the attorney told you never to talk to the police, if you "were forced to shoot someone" ( and that is how I would phrase it every time ), until he was present to assist you. Emphasize that YOU really want to talk to them, but can't until your friend the attorney arrives.

    Nowadays, if you are forced to shoot someone, it's not IF you will be arrested/sued, it's WHEN you are arrested/sued. Anyone who carries a pistol and has not already talked to an attorney and done some "what if" legal planning, is making a big mistake.

    Carrying a handgun is a big responsibility. Just as you owe it to yourself and others to prepare for a shooting by practice and mental conditioning, you owe it to yourself and your family to prepare for the legal aftermath by asking questions and having a plan in place.

    mxb, I salute you for asking those questions and making a plan. It's too bad others don't.

    I am not an attorney and I am not saying this is legal advice. This is just my opinion from my experience and training.
     
  18. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Interesting. Don't think I've ever seen this advice on GT before. Specifically the part of having a lawyer's card with you and a plan to call that lawyer in the event of a forced shooting, and a plan to tell the police that you'd like to talk to them but your lawyer insists you consult him first.

    Most people have made plans up until the point when the last shot is fired. Then what?
     
  19. Brainglock

    Brainglock

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    So your telling me that at 3:00am in the morning I have to check to see if he has a weapon so I don't have some Det. think that I didn't fear for my life. I'm not bashing the police my father is a U.S. Marshall but if a burglar confronts a cop and does not obey or tries to fight with the cop will he fight it out if he is bigger.

    ------------------
    Dodge this.........

    [This message has been edited by Brainglock (edited 05-27-2001).]
     
  20. Patricia

    Patricia Wild at heart CLM Millennium Member

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    Perhaps logically gender shouldn't come into consideration when considering whether an individual was justified in using lethal force. However, as a woman, I can tell you that I would be more threatended by a male larger than me then another male would be. If I ever had to get a lawyer, you can be sure he would play that up. Women are more frequently targeted as victims than men. That is a fact.