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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If it's true that one should meet force with equal force, when might a civilian carrying CCW be justfied to use deadly force against an unarmed adversary? Club-wielding adversary? Knife-wielding adversary? Understand weapons in hand make a difference but are they of equal force?

1. Specifically, when outnumbered and in fear of serious injury from several BG's clearly intending harm but no firearms in sight?

2.If older civilian has concern that to physically resist an unarmed attack with untrained (no weapon) defense will result in his own serious injury because of heart condition or frailty that would not affect a healthier, fitter person?

3. Civilian, with wife alongside, has fear that to allow BG's to physically manhandle him will certainly result in injury (or worse) to wife after he is subdued.

In other words, when do you just grin and bear it and file a report? Once the gun comes in play, it may be used, even if to prevent the BG's taking it. Concerned about legal/civil consequences.

I trust my own judgement to repond appropriately, but want to be well informed in advance. Any suggestions?
 

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In Tennessee, there is no mention of "equal force" where CCW is concerned. There is only mention of "deadly force" and a citizen may use deadly force to repel an attack or threat if they reasonably believe that they (or another) are in immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury. Prior to this requirement being met, no display of a weapon is warranted and, if displayed, may actually give the offending party the right to self defense.

The requirement for Police Officers is more narrowly defined.

Mikey
 

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I agree with what Mikey said I only would advise you to consult the TX statutes (your ID says your from Houston) dealing with the use of force and self defense. Some jurisdictions require civilians to attempt to retreat before using deadly force (subject to some exceptions, that said, I can’t imagine TX in one of those jurisdictions).

The rule generally is "reasonable" force (read: the minimal force necessary). Obviously you cannot shoot somebody b/c he is kicking your ass in a fist fight. You are justified in using deadly force when it reasonably appears necessary to protect yourself from imminent unlawful force subjecting you to the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury (i.e. knife, bat, tire iron etc.).

Self defense if a justification defense and all of those things you mentioned age, size and what not are factors the district attorney will consider when deciding whether to bring charges against you for the incident. Those things are also factors for the jury to consider if you are eventually prosecuted.

Remember also you can’t use deadly force to protect your property only non-deadly force. (i.e. you can’t shoot the guy b/c he is breaking into your car). Your dwelling is a different matter, again check the statutes.

The operative term in CCW is "concealed" the BG should not know you have it until it is necessary for your defense. You can be prosecuted for brandishing or some similar charge.

In many states you generally have to take a class before being issued a CCW, call your instructor from the class and ask him/her to explain the self defense issues again.

One last rambling point, if you are a civilian carrying CCW you should at least have an idea of a gun friendly defense attorney to call if you have to use your pistol. You should also get the atty to explain your rights and responsibilities pertaining to CCW

Remember this advice ain't worth a thing nor is it legal advice... check the code yourself...
Here is chapter 22 of the TX penal code, enjoy

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/petoc.html

Be safe,
~lurker
 

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Whew!

Lurker is correct about differing State laws and the need to check yours carefully. In Tennessee one has no duty to retreat before using force to protect one's self or others, although it would help in your trial if you at least made a token effort. Also in Tennessee, one has no duty to act when witnessing a crime. You can witness a robbery or murder and just go home without any duty to assist or report the crime. I personally couldn't do that but it shows how the local statutes can vary.

Mikey
 

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lurker posted:

"Obviously you cannot shoot somebody b/c he is kicking your ass in a fist fight."

I'm not so sure that this is obvious.

A 14 year old getting an ass-kicking on the school playground is very different from the potential ass-kicking/maiming that can go on in a full blown street fight between adult males. When you were a kid, a fight maybe meant a black eye, bloody nose, and bruised pride. As an adult, the chance of being severely injured is much greater.

Does the law require you to take a beating, and count on the good graces of your attacker to not REALLY hurt you???
 

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Disparity of force is a court accepted defense. In addition to learning you own states laws, read and study Ayoob's In Gravest Extreme. Still, after about 20 years, the best book on lethal threat management. GLV
 

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"Does the law require you to take a beating, and count on the good graces of your attacker to not REALLY hurt you???"

Sometimes it sure appears that way but it depends...

How about we change
"Obviously you cannot shoot somebody b/c he is kicking your ass in a fist fight."
to
Generally, you cannot shoot somebody b/c he is kicking your ass in a fist fight UNLESS you have the reasonable belief that you are going to suffer imminent serious bodily injury or death. :wink:

As GLV pointed out, your actions in the theoretical fist fight depend on ALL the relevant circumstances. The prosecutor will consider your conduct and apply the statute and case law.

Generally speaking, you are justified in using deadly force when it reasonably appears necessary to protect yourself from imminent unlawful force subjecting you to the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury. All of the other circumstances surrounding the incident are factors (i.e words spoken by combatants, relative sizes, who was the initial aggressor etc.) to be weighed in determining what the shooter "reasonably believed" at the time of the attack and whether s/he was justified in that belief. If the shooting was not righteous or in any way questionable the shooter can be can be charged with a crime.

these are just my personal thoughts and observations...

Thanks for the book tip GLV

Have a good day,
~lurker
 

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I'm certainly no authority in this area but here's how it was explained to me. As previously stated use lethal force only if your life is in immediate danger. This means the BG has the INTENT, MEANS, and OPPORTUNITY to kill you. Obviously some of that (intent) can be subjective. In most confortations a principle known as the use of force continueum (spelling?) should be applied. This can be explained as a ladder for meeting or just exceeding an aggressors level of force. As an example, suppose you are approached in a parking lot by a potential threat. Your first level of force might be to issue a verbal challenge. If the threat fails to heed your demand to come no closer you might step behind your car. When he moves toward you your response may be to use a chemical spray. If this fails and he draws a knife you might draw your pistol. If at any point he deescalates the confrontation you also take one step down the force ladder. Of course there's no time for any of this when confronted in a surprise (condition white) attack. It seems complicated but after I put a little of thought into the concept it's actually just common sense. BTW, this is how your lawyer should describe the event and why you shouldn't make statements to the police. Imagine if after this tramatic event your statement of the above situation came out more like "This man approached me. He had a knife. I shot him." Kind of leaves a lot out doesn't it? Maybe he was just about to have a can of beenie weenie!
Lethal force is also more warranted if you're greatly outclassed physically (female against male, elderly against young assailant). This would also apply if you have young children with you that you have to protect and because of them have no option to get away. It all comes down to "what would a reasonable man do?" Unfortunately, there are some unreasonable juries/judges in certain areas. Once again, I'm no expert. Seek professional training!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GLV, lurker and DblTap,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.
The sad part is that I'm well-trained and still have to revisit these issues occasionally to keep myself fresh.

Even though I got the color code lecture first-hand from Jeff Cooper 20 years ago, have read "Gravest Extreme" several times, taken several other defensive pistol courses, took the CCW course and have a permit, etc. --- I still want to think about these possibilities in advance so that I can come up with a clear "Go, no Go" if possible.

Your comments are very helpful. Thanks
 
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