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Discussion Starter #1
So just when do you use deadly force?

Obviously if someone is shooting at you. But can you use it just to avoid one single punch in the face?

Is one punch really going to kill you?

This is a real Police Press release I received today. Unedited:
Police Press Release
On Saturday March 31st at 9:30 p.m., Bullhead City Police were called to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center for an assault victim. The man, 28-year-old Jack Allen Schuyler of Bullhead City, was suffering from a severe head injury and was later airlifted to a Las Vegas, NV hospital.
Further investigation revealed that Schuyler had reportedly stolen money from his sister and her fiancé, 27-year-old Jefferson Ewing Findley Jr. When they went to confront Schuyler about the theft Saturday night in the area of Ramar Road, Findley punched Schuyler one time in the face, causing him to hit his head on the ground and knock him unconscious. They then transported him to the Emergency Room.
Jack Schuyler was pronounced dead Monday morning at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
The case is being still being reviewed by the Mohave County Attorney’s office for possible charges.
I post it only to show that yes, even one punch in the face can result in great bodily harm. Even death. But it also shows the danger of confronting someone, even if that person has stolen from you. I will be surprised if charges are not filled against Findley.
 

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My philosophy is this: I carry concealed every day, but will never so much as draw my weapon unless someone's life is truly in danger. After all, I'm a civilian. My opinion of "truly" is that the perp must be both brandishing and indicating that he will use a weapon such as a gun, knife, chain, bat, or the like. If he is, I will draw, order him to drop his weapon, and shoot immediately if he fails to do so.

What I will never do is draw to intimidate in a fist fight situation, despite the inherent danger.

When in doubt, better to keep your weapon holstered and call 911. Only draw when there's NO doubt, and then do what you have to do to keep the innocent safe...Just my 2 cents.

Cheers,
Mutha Bob
 

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As it was explained in my CCW class (and almost word-for-word verbatim 10+ years prior when I was a CO in Missouri), the use of deadly force is permissible in VERY few circumstances. Mainly, it's applicable in cases of disparity of force (such as one guy versus 3+ hoodlums that have him cornered, a small woman VS a big man, elderly/handicapped person VS young thug(s), etc.), but there's also the obvious cases of imminent threat of deadly force directed against the victim(s), such as the brandishing or use of a deadly weapon (gun, knife, spiked club, sword, nuclear weapon, rabid honey badger, etc.). Also, if an inmate in a Level 5 facility is hopping the fence and making a run for it, you're required to give at least two verbal warnings before cutting loose with the 12-gauge 00 buckshot or .223 Remington FMJ's (depending upon whether you're in the perimeter patrol vehicle or on tower duty), but that's another matter... :)

Given, it's not unheard of by any means for one person to beat another person to death, nor is it impossible for someone to actually kill another person with a single punch, but someone taking a swing at you doesn't NECESSARILY constitute a use or imminent threat of deadly force upon you. I recall reading of more than one case where someone one-punched another and killed them, without the aforementioned head bouncing on the ground kind of impact to compound the blow - just a straight-up solid punch that caused severe enough head/brain injury to result in death. Being able to see the potential for a deadly punch in advance is extremely tricky to prove in court, if not impossible. I mean, if you were looking at a 21-year-old Mike Tyson in his heyday, you knew who he was and what he was capable of, and you're just a frail little dude or a young lady or older person or whatever ... and the dude comes charging your way with his fists drawn back saying, "I'm gonna kill you, fool!" then THAT might fall under the disparity of force clause of most states. (Most ... not all ... because there's still a lot of states with some silly laws.) But if some random average-sized drunk guy stumbles out of an alley and approaches you saying, "I'm gonna kick your arse!" then, at best, you MIGHT be within your rights to pepper-spray or Taser him but NOT simply draw your firearm and blast him.

Long story short, even though you should never hesitate to draw and fire your weapon WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, your firearm should be ALWAYS your LAST option and ONLY be used when you have exhausted ALL other options or when NO other option can reasonably protect you (or another) from severe bodily harm or death. If someone pulls a gun or knife on you in a parking lot, you probably won't have time to go through the whole Use of Force Continuum and try each and every one out before resorting to your firearm; however, you shouldn't just assume that just because you're either already in a fistfight or are being threatened with one that your first move should be to either brandish or fire your CCW to defend yourself.

Only time I can see otherwise is if you are absolutely getting the dog-snot beat out of you to a point where you legitimately feel that your attacker(s) potentially could and apparently intend to literally beat you to death, THEN you might be justified in using your firearm against an "unarmed" individual. However, this is usually pretty tough to prove and, at best, can result in long, expensive trials (possibly criminal and almost certainly civil) and becoming the subject of local and possibly national media attention, most likely of the negative sort.
 

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absolutely if someone is attacking, they can kill you and are to be stopped. You do not KNOW if the person has a gun, knife, or black-belt or whatever else. You do not KNOW the person will stop hitting you once you are down. You have to err on the side of caution, which means if they insist on attacking you, you shoot, and you do it before they get to you if possible or as soon as you can if not. It is not hard to kill with bare hands, by intent or accident. They are as dangerous a weapon as a knife or baseball bat when wielded by an irrational thug.
 

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Going with jonnin here. A reasonable man would not agree to be beaten into helplessness or insensibility, and hope the perp stops. Putting yourself at the mercy of a violent attacker's restraint is a pretty big gamble. Ask the Giants fan at the Dodgers game how that can work out.
 

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Is one punch really going to kill you?
Yes, depending on who “you“ are.
A blow to the head could be more deadly to some for several reasons.

Here’s one

There is about an 8- to 12-fold increase in the frequency
of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage
among patients taking warfarin. Patients using warfarin
are thought to have a similarly increased risk of
intracranial hemorrhage as a result of blunt injury to
the head.
 

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This is a real Police Press release I received today. Unedited:
Police Press Release
On Saturday March 31st at 9:30 p.m., Bullhead City Police were called to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center for an assault victim. The man, 28-year-old Jack Allen Schuyler of Bullhead City, was suffering from a severe head injury and was later airlifted to a Las Vegas, NV hospital.
Further investigation revealed that Schuyler had reportedly stolen money from his sister and her fiancé, 27-year-old Jefferson Ewing Findley Jr. When they went to confront Schuyler about the theft Saturday night in the area of Ramar Road, Findley punched Schuyler one time in the face, causing him to hit his head on the ground and knock him unconscious. They then transported him to the Emergency Room.
Jack Schuyler was pronounced dead Monday morning at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
The case is being still being reviewed by the Mohave County Attorney’s office for possible charges.
This happens with enough regularity that I seldom fail to mention it to the guys that I teach. Last night I was teaching a Bartitsu set which was heaving on tripping and throwing. I mentioned the potential for sever head injury and death due to falling at least 6 times and even then I'm not sure that I didn't under-state the possibility.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Also, if a person has a heart condition, or is otherwise physically limited in some way, one hit may be all it takes to kill that person. Someone who has had open heart surgery recently shouldn't even attempt to fend off a person in a one-on-one fight. This is just one example of course, and there are many others. I think each person has to evaluate the situation they are in and make the best judgement possible based on that.
 

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As it was explained in my CCW class (and almost word-for-word verbatim 10+ years prior when I was a CO in Missouri), the use of deadly force is permissible in VERY few circumstances. Mainly, it's applicable in cases of disparity of force (such as one guy versus 3+ hoodlums that have him cornered, a small woman VS a big man, elderly/handicapped person VS young thug(s), etc.), but there's also the obvious cases of imminent threat of deadly force directed against the victim(s), such as the brandishing or use of a deadly weapon (gun, knife, spiked club, sword, nuclear weapon, rabid honey badger, etc.). Also, if an inmate in a Level 5 facility is hopping the fence and making a run for it, you're required to give at least two verbal warnings before cutting loose with the 12-gauge 00 buckshot or .223 Remington FMJ's (depending upon whether you're in the perimeter patrol vehicle or on tower duty), but that's another matter... :)

Given, it's not unheard of by any means for one person to beat another person to death, nor is it impossible for someone to actually kill another person with a single punch, but someone taking a swing at you doesn't NECESSARILY constitute a use or imminent threat of deadly force upon you. I recall reading of more than one case where someone one-punched another and killed them, without the aforementioned head bouncing on the ground kind of impact to compound the blow - just a straight-up solid punch that caused severe enough head/brain injury to result in death. Being able to see the potential for a deadly punch in advance is extremely tricky to prove in court, if not impossible. I mean, if you were looking at a 21-year-old Mike Tyson in his heyday, you knew who he was and what he was capable of, and you're just a frail little dude or a young lady or older person or whatever ... and the dude comes charging your way with his fists drawn back saying, "I'm gonna kill you, fool!" then THAT might fall under the disparity of force clause of most states. (Most ... not all ... because there's still a lot of states with some silly laws.) But if some random average-sized drunk guy stumbles out of an alley and approaches you saying, "I'm gonna kick your arse!" then, at best, you MIGHT be within your rights to pepper-spray or Taser him but NOT simply draw your firearm and blast him.

Long story short, even though you should never hesitate to draw and fire your weapon WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, your firearm should be ALWAYS your LAST option and ONLY be used when you have exhausted ALL other options or when NO other option can reasonably protect you (or another) from severe bodily harm or death. If someone pulls a gun or knife on you in a parking lot, you probably won't have time to go through the whole Use of Force Continuum and try each and every one out before resorting to your firearm; however, you shouldn't just assume that just because you're either already in a fistfight or are being threatened with one that your first move should be to either brandish or fire your CCW to defend yourself.

Only time I can see otherwise is if you are absolutely getting the dog-snot beat out of you to a point where you legitimately feel that your attacker(s) potentially could and apparently intend to literally beat you to death, THEN you might be justified in using your firearm against an "unarmed" individual. However, this is usually pretty tough to prove and, at best, can result in long, expensive trials (possibly criminal and almost certainly civil) and becoming the subject of local and possibly national media attention, most likely of the negative sort.

Excellent! Well said, and that about covers it in my opinion.
 

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You will have to trust your instinct...
Better yet, know the laws of your state. There is a huge difference between the various criteria for justifiable deadly force from state to state. Know the law, and be able to articulate why you used deadly force in such a way that your reasoning is in agreement with the law.
 

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I knew Jack for 15 years. He was at my house 3 hours before his brother in law hit him in the face and killed him. Its so horrible to have happened that way. You wouldn't believe what I felt when he hugged me goodbye. I even told my boyfriend that I felt like I'd never see him again. A week before that he posted to my facebook that he knew it wouldn't be long. None of us ever thought he'd go out like that. Craziest part is that he had school grants and loans up to $10,000 he had in his account and they accused him of stealing a pre-paid credit card for like $200.00!!! Fo F'ing horrible!!!! I will always miss Jack :(
 

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I forgot to mention that he was unarmed at the time all he had on him was a plastic bag with the newest stephen king book in it. He was all excited to show me his new book because we both like Stephen king a lot. To have been hit so hard that you die with one hit ...well that takes a lot of force..maybe not. Its said that he fell back and hit his head on rocks. We are in the desert and exactly where it happened there arent really a lot of rocks. Over by Ramar Road in Bullhead city Arizona its actually pretty smooth...I guess it depends on which street he was on...anyways, I carry my little Walther p.22 for myself and I believe in invoking every right in which i have under the constitution especially #2 ;)
 

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Jack had no medical problems but was an addict and he was trying to get through it. This is a person who was a functioning opiate user who was a college English tutor that had his own office at our local community college. He was a good guy just had a lot of demons. I loved him very much . We met in jr high in 7th grade and were tight buddies. Him, I and a couple of others. I agree with the guy above who said that your gun should be your LAST RESORT AFTER YOU HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL OTHER OPTIONS. Amen to that Brother!! To the Admin...Sorry for triple posting...this post just brought up a lot of memories about my friend. I was random searching his name...it just passed the one year mark of his death and I wasmissing him and then I saw this post.
 

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If the back of someone's head, the motor control unit of the brain, bounces off the ground it doesn't take much pressue to cause a considerable amount of pain, incapacitation, paralysis or even death.

I have a lot of prior experience in martial arts that use a lot of throwing techniques, and have had a lot of training on 'safe' falling techniques. One learns very quickly to tuck ones chin on a fall, especially a fall to the rear, as even a mild bounce of the back of one's head onto a padded wrestling mat is a rather unpleasant and memorable experience.

On the subject of disparity of force, I believe a female is assumed to have a disparity of force when confronted by a male.

The idea that you are going to be able to draw a concealed firearm *after* a violent opponent physically engages you in in unarmed assault, much less gains the upper hand is poor thinking. Even with significant prior, admittedly rusty martial arts training, I have little interest in engaging in unarmed combat. Once it goes hands on, all bets are off and you have no frame of reference on where your opponent is coming from. The are some very hard, skilled, strong, experienced, crazy and flat out evil people out there - that may not look like much at first glance - that have zero regard for your physical well being.
 

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In Ky, very loose gun laws, per our local Sherrif, our CCW instructors, and the State Police training videos,......."I thought I was gonna die"




Jim
 

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zombie-chick: My condolences on the loss of Jack. Even though it was a year ago, I'm sure it is still difficult.

Physical confrontations are always difficult to figure out before hand. Rational, calm people don't go hitting each other; therefore if you're being attacked, the person isn't rational and calm at which you don't know how far that person will go. You can't go pulling out your firearm every time someone gets into an agitated circumstance or shouts, but a threat of physical altercation escalates the situation. The decision to draw when the other person has no visible weapon is difficult and very individual. The expectation may not feel even fair (if you are young, male, and above approximately 5'4", you are expected to be able to take a bit of a beating before others would feel that you have a reasonable belief that your life is in danger.) The previous discussions on medical conditions and other such matters shows that it is often very unclear. For Jack, it would have been very difficult for him if he were carrying for two reasons, 1) he would likely have been prohibited from carrying due to opiate use and therefore would have been prosecuted for illegal firearms possession or 2) if he had a legal firearm and used it in self defense, he would have been in a losing battle as his addiction would have made it almost impossible to defend in front of a jury.

By having a CC firearm, you are therefore both legally and morally obligated to back away, apologize (even if you are in the right), stay away from some locations, and do everything within your power to de-escalate any confrontational situation. However, there appear to be thousands (or maybe much more) of unreported incidents on a routine basis, where the firearm is just shown, and the attacker regains reason and composure while retreating.

Even though the teaching is to never draw the firearm unless you truly believe you are at risk of imminent death at the hands of another, there are times when the exposure of the firearm is sufficient. This decision has to be made on a case by case basis after having had sufficient preparation (thinking all the reasonably possible scenarios through along with training).
 

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That's why I love this forum-- a difficult topic that will always be driven by the specific facts of the case and all the comments are sane and mature.
 

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Traditionally in America, especially in rural America, guns were drawn, pointed and sometimes even fired into the air or into the ground to halt many forms of "outrageous" conduct. It means, "Your conduct is so far over the line that you had better consider whether or not you are prepared to give up your life if you continue to behave as you are now behaving."

Any conduct which another person considers threatening or simply grossly unacceptable can get you or me shot and killed.

John Bernard Books (The Shootist):
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."
 

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I'm too crippled to run and too old to fight! I don't look for trouble but if it rears it's ugly head I have no qualms about pulling a weapon and shooting until I her click or the other person is on the ground! I will issue one warning after I pull my weapon.
 
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