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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heres the situation.
You are carrying concealed.
You are in a confrontation.
It is escalating into a fist fight.
You are unsuccessfully trying to de-escalate but are given no relief.
You are not in a situation to retreat.
IT IS NOT LIFE THREATANING.
What do you do?
You cant flash yer gun
You cant retreat
Do you really want to be in a fist fight while carrying?
Legal and tactical solutions please...

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Tough situation.
If it's in a public place, I would either have to defend myself, or ask for help. If it was not in a public place, a pistol whipping comes to mind. Of course, the main thing is, to try to avoid a confrontation such as that, given our current enviroment.
There are of course, several non-lethal alternatives available to us. Mace, stun-guns, etc.

Steve
 

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OC spray and then get the hell out of Dodge. No staying around to kick the guy a few times just to make you feel better after he is down


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Do not ever use your weapon as an "intimidation" tool. If you flash it, you may as well unholster it, and be prepared to use it.

As the situation escalates, so should your use of defensive force. If it is not a clear and immediate DEADLY threat to yourself or immediate people nearby, no weapon should be shown, drawn or otherwise.

Don't misunderstand me - a fist fight CAN be deadly. If you are seriously getting an ass-whoopin', this can be considered disparity of force, and you MAY be legally justified in using deadly force. I would expect that you would need a black eye or a broken rib or two, before you could convince the jury that you were in fear for your life, and had to use your weapon accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Shane (The Good Captian Kirk) That is exactly my concern. Now that you have been forced into the fray, not only do you have to worry about getting wooped but loosing yer gun in the foray. It would seem that being armed would almost put you at a disadvantage as you cant fight freely, you need to guard your weapon that no one knows you have. Flash it to prevent the fight and you have the swat team descending upon you. Would it be legal in most cases to advise your advisary that you are armed and do not wish to engage in a fight? Ahhh but then again I can already hear the next line... OH YEAH LET ME SEE IT THEN and boom back to square one.

Thanks for input.
Shane (The Bad Captain Kirk)


[This message has been edited by shane45 (edited 09-14-2001).]
 

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Ahhh, I do understand the predicament you are in, my evil twin - but this comes with the territory when you carry concealed.

This is another reason why a good holster is necessary - so YOU can be the one doing the ass-whoopin', instead of worrying if your gun is ready to make an unscheduled appearance, and go bouncin' across the floor.

If your adversary sees your gun, and makes a deliberate move to grab it, you now have a reason to escalate the situation. I would hope there are witnesses present to corroborate your assertion that "he went for my gun" when you go to trial.

Unfortunately, there are always gray areas, and everything is not black and white. If it were cut and dry, we really wouldn't need lawyers now, would we?
This is one of those gray areas.

If you honestly feel you are doing the right thing at the time, then draw your weapon. If you have witnesses to back you up, even better. It's been said before, but I'll say it again - "better to be judged by 12, then carried by 6." Do what you must to stay safe, when all other options (retreat/de-escalation) are exhausted.

How's that for a non-commital answer?
 

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Maybe I'm a little too committal, but if somebody is beating on me with intent to injure (I'm assuming an unknown that you don't know if he's capable of significant harm bare-handed or not...i.e. it isn't one of those family type "couple of punches and they'll feel better" altercations), then I'll switch to a head guard position with the off hand, and the gun comes up to retention. The trigger is getting pressed when the next punch lands, or the hand comes in for the gun.

Officer, the subject on the ground over there was aggressively assaulting me with his fists. I was in fear for my life, and I'd like to speak to my attorney.

[This message has been edited by gm45 (edited 09-14-2001).]
 

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This is all rather gray area-ish depending on the specifics of the circumstance and your local laws.

Here in Texas, there is one very significant case that matches most of your criteria.
Here is a nice description of all the events: http://ptb.org/txchl/defense/022196.html

I don't fist fight. On the first punch to my face, I would have no problem with drawing and firing my gun and feel I would be justified in doing so, citing the Gordon Hale case here in Texas. I would be arrested, but figure I would eventually come out victorious.

Hale was the first CHL person to use lethal force and he did so after a slight traffic situation where his vehicle and another apparently touched mirrors in traffic. The other driver chased Hale. Hale tried to evade. Eventually, Hale was trapped in traffic and the other driver got out, came to Hale's window which was open, and proceeded to start punching him. Hale fired one shot, killing the other man. It went to trial and Hale was shown to be justified in his actions. Hale's injuries were not life threatening, but his face was seriously damaged and he lost partial vision out of his eye. So, he was in a situation where he could not retreat and was attacked by another using fists. Beatings directed to the face can be shown in the Hale case (for case law documentation)and through other medical records to be able to cause serious bodily injury. The face contains several small bones that can be broken. Presto, potential for significant bodily harm.

Do note that Hale suffered considerably in terms of the arrest, media focus, financial problems, and injuries. Many of the financial costs were offset by donations, but he truly wished things had never gotten to the point where he had to use his gun.

If you are in a confrontation, not of your creation, are cornered such that you can't retreat ("can't" meaning you are physically limited, not situationally or ego limited) and are threatened with violence, I would have no concern or second thought about drawing my gun. Illegal? Maybe. Can I justify being in fear of my life or serious bodily injury? If cornered, the answer is YES.

Remember, your laws may differ from what is here in Texas and if you don't suffer signicant bodily injury, it might be hard to substantiate your claim. For me, I plan on doing what I need to do to protect myself and my life.
 

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I always carry a Spyderco Delica on each side, mainly for gun retention, but a quick cut to an arm will probably buy you some time to get away.

I realize that a knife is a deadly weapon, and using it is deadly force, but most likely, if you cut the guy in a non-vital spot, he's going to flee, you're going to flee, and that's the end of it.

As mentioned, where you are at and who's around plays a big part on what you can/should do.

An ASP baton is an excellent weapon in these circumstances, but is illegal to carry just about everywhere, as the law considers it to be an "offensive weapon, club, or bludgeon".

Very realistic scenario, as most fights aren't life threatening, but can become so very quickly, and retaining your weapon is vital.
 

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This is the most likey situation, and should be thought about a great length, as things can get out of hand in a hurry.. Mace, ASP.Baton, (i carry both) and any other non-lethal weapon is useful here.. If it comes to physical contact you want to end it ASAP.. So your ability to fight and retain your weapon are as important as your ability to draw and hit what you shoot at.. -Gilmore

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Originally posted by shane45:
Heres the situation.
You are carrying concealed.
You are in a confrontation.
It is escalating into a fist fight.
You are unsuccessfully trying to de-escalate but are given no relief.
You are not in a situation to retreat.
IT IS NOT LIFE THREATANING.
What do you do?

If all you carry is a hammer, pretty soon all problems start to look like nails.
You carry a gun to save your life.
Not to be the biggest cock of the walk.
Carry non-lethal forms of self defense.
Pepper Spray or if legal, a stun device.
A good solid metal flashlight.
Now, if a person truly wants to be able to defend themselves, then get some martial arts training. A little can go a long way.
You dont have to be Bruce Lee to defend yourself. Aikido is just about perfect for hand to hand self defense and you will have a lot of fun learning it.
Always keep in mind the reasonable man theory. If you feel that you could convince 12 other people they would have reacted exactly as you did under the same circumstances then go ahead and act.
Otherwise, be sure you know how to defend yourself with your dukes.

Take some formal handgun training and if at all possible, get a course from Massad Ayoob in using Lethal Force. If you graduate from LFI, and are ever involved in a lethal confrontation, IIRC, he is available as a witness on your behalf.
If you've ever seen a street fight, they usually dont just erupt out of nowhere. There is usually some posturing and intimidation strutting. Just like roosters.
If you are trained, staying calm, setting yourself into a tactical ready stance you wont appear as a easy target. Get trained.
Learn some non-lethal forms of self-defense and stay out of court.
 

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Oh yeah, and make sure you call the police as soon as possible after the event. If you are the first person to contact the police about the attack upon you and that you want to report and file a complaint it goes a long way as showing that YOU are the victim. Even if you win the fight. You were attacked, and had to defend yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the many replies. Some interesting viewpoints, ones that I didnt think of. As usual, an excellent rescource of knowledgablen poeple.

On a side note
Ive been in a couple of scrapes and have found that retreating its self can become a catalyst for escalation as it is interpreted as weekness and provoces attack. Fine line to determine wich way it will probably go.

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Shane, correct me if I'm wrong. This one is easy. Shut up, back away and as soon as it is safe turn and run to your car or however your escape plan dictates. If someone follows you on this route and starts beating on you, you clearly, with large retreating movements, tried to deescalate and then if you can no longer escape a beating and you are in fear for your life, shoot'em. The retreat is the key.

When it is all over, you want to be able to say and have witnesses say he backed up a long ways, or better yet turned and ran. Then after your best escape attempt, you were overcome. The assailant pursued, struck first and finally you drew and fired in defense of your life.

I think most men have a hard time retreating or turning and running when warranted. The good thing about carrying a gun is that if caught, you will be able to defend yourself. I think we want to hurt our case by proving ourself, holding ground or protecting freedom. These things are best accomplished by showing up the next evening. Making a stand kills your defense and running your mouth aggravates or escalates the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think, Nathan, what has given me the most trouble with this scenario is that I never really considered a fist fight "Life Threatening" That is what made it hard to figure out the best solution. I think Shane K. covered most of my problem and Nathan, as you pointed out retreat retreat retreat. To further explain my retreat concern, I have had a couple of confrontations where I was sure that if I retreated, it would immediatly instigate a persuit and escalated confrontation. Instead I had chose to stand my ground, stiff arm the confronter and his group of friends with a wolf pack mentality as they tried to get in my face, and make it clear I would fight it out when pressed. They retreated, I retreated. If I had automatically retreated, they would have attacked. Of this Im sure. Before someone brings up the disparity of force reasoning, some of the aggressors didnt look over 18, although some clearly were. Gang of punk ass kids breaking personal property as I rounded the corner and caught them. Threat level assesment - Not life threatening even if I had it out with all of em at the same time. Would I have got a bloody nose or bruised. Yeah probably. Killed, naa. Half would have ran. Only one was my size. THey did pick up sticks though but thet were just plain puny. The one my size swung at me wildly, so wildly that I didnt need to block or swing back or even move. He stopped as he realised his display didnt affect me or cause me to retreat. He backed away and his cronies backed away. Then I backed away. This conflict came to mind as a good example of the kind of fight I see as non life threataning and maybe the rare case of retreat is bad. Nathan, I did like your point about once you retreat you still have the ability to do the deed if persued. Shane 45 - 1911 and DNS make the clear point that this is not a clear area. Guess its always hard to pre define a grey area huh heheh. Thanks all!

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George Orwell: "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
 

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I don't agree that if you carry a hammer, pretty soon your problems will look like nails. That is some bizarre reasoning and it might work for small children or for adults with little maturity, but I don't see it playing out too often in reality. Otherwise, anti-gun predictions of modern city streets reverting back to the wild west shootout days would have come true where people are allowed to carry guns.

This reasoning reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer buys a gun and uses it for all manners of problem including opening beers, getting a stuck basketball down, etc.

I carry a gun and have yet to use it to solve any problems. I have carried a knife and never used it on a social problem. I drive a car everyday and never used it as a weapon.
 

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One thing is for sure, I would never turn my back on a threat.

There are a lot of people, even instructors that believe fights can be walked away from, and that just isn't so, at least in my experience. Once someone has decided to attack and humiliate you, their mind is made up and can only be changed by force--what kind of force is up to you, but don't think you can throw the guy a $20 bill and make it better. If the guy wants your money, he will take it-all of it. Don't waste time thinking about running or deescalating the situation, think about winning.

Don't be walking around on the streets thinking that problems can be solved without messing up your hair. Fights are very quick and physically demanding affairs, and have to be dealt with as such. If the threat has decided to get physical, then there it is-deal with it. Part of fighting is being on the ground. Guns don't change the fact.

Show no weakness, and once a fight is on, don't give an inch. Dominate the threat.
 

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Dane Burns recently made an interesting and astute point that bears repeating, in light of the latest turn in this conversation.

I quote...

"No gun empowers me or arms me.

I am the weapon. Be afraid of me."

End quote.

I completely and 100% agree with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
DAMN THATS GOOD!!!

Leave it to Dane!

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George Orwell: "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
 
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