Guns for Beginners: ALWAYS Call the Police

road_rage_incident_gun-386704

“The motorist said he was stopped at a red light on 1st Ave and S. Lander Street, next to a black Ford Expedition,” komononews.com reports. “When the light turned green, a third car blew through the intersection, cutting off the victim and the Expedition. The victim honked at the third car as it sped away, and continued on. Moments later, the victim told police the driver of the Expedition pulled alongside him and displayed a handgun.” Really? Did the Ford driver really brandish his firearm simply because another vehicle honked at him? And did this happen then? . . .

The victim pulled behind the Expedition and drove through SODO until both vehicles stopped near the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 1st Ave and Holgate Way. At that point, the Expedition driver got out of his vehicle, approached the victim’s car and began shouting at him while displaying the handgun, according to police.

The victim drove away, flagged down an officer and reported the incident.

Here’s the alternative account from the Expedition driver.

Officers later found the Expedition at 18th Avenue South and S. McLellan Street and made contact with the driver, a 35-year-old Burien man, who was accompanied by his wife and child.

The man told officers he was looking for a shooting range to take his son to for his birthday.

The man claimed the victim was driving aggressively, had tried to “ram” his car and was swerving all over the road. He repeatedly told officers he “felt scared for his life,” but did not indicate why he had gotten out of his car and confronted the victim in the parking lot of the doughnut shop, police said.

Let’s assume that Ford Guy is a gainfully employed law-abiding citizen who used his gun legally. He pointed his firearm at someone who put him in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. That he only got out of the SUV because his path was blocked. And that the second time he flashed his gat he was, again, in life-threatening danger. In other words, it was a totally legit defensive gun use (DGU).

If so, Ford Guy’s biggest mistake – one which will cost him time, money, perhaps his job and almost certainly his gun rights  – is that he didn’t call the cops.

In a DGU, it’s entirely possible that the person who put you, your family or other innocent life in mortal peril will call the cops and say you threatened them. It doesn’t matter if he’s got a rap sheet longer than a line of coke at Hollywood party. The police will treat him as the victim and you as the perp. Chances are you will be tracked down and arrested, and that the arresting officers will consider you armed and dangerous. (What could possibly go wrong?)

It is critical that you call 911 immediately after a defensive gun use. ANY defensive gun use. Even if you deter a bad guy simply by lifting your shirt to reveal your firearm, call the cops. For example, tell them “I was the victim of an attempted car jacking at 4th and LeBrea. My life was in danger. I used my firearm to defend my life. I’d like to file a report of this crime against me.”

I know: you’re scared. Emotional. Adrenalin-infused. All you want to do is go home, be safe, and try to process what just happened. It was over so fast. No one got hurt. Maybe I should forget the whole thing ever happened. Who’s gonna know? The bad guy won’t report it. Nope. Man up. Call the cops and tell them you used your gun to defend your or other innocent life.

Yes, calling the cops after a DGU is an enormous hassle. You might have to hang around a cop shop for hours. There will be lots of paperwork. The police may not be sympathetic. They may even be antagonistic (call Saul!). Or completely uninterested in the entire incident. And yes, you run the risk being arrested anyway.

But the downside to not calling the cops is that you could lose everything you hold dear, including your life. Again, you have to drop the dime immediately. The bad guy might call the cops, too. As in all things, the first one to talk to to the 911 operator gets the first mover advantage.

One more thing: don’t delegate this job to anyone else. The police, prosecutors, judge and jury (should it come to that) are far more likely to believe that you were the victim of a crime if you, personally, make the call. They will listen to the tape. So make sure you’re safe (it’s OK to leave a crime scene), take a deep breath, think about what you’re going to say, and do it.

comments

  1. avatar Good Riddance says:

    Worst advice ever.

    Call a lawyer, shut your mouth.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Magic words: I will sign the complaint.

      If you don’t, and the other person calls the police, they become the complainant, and you the suspect.

      Especially in a… questionable one such as the one in the article. If the police have to divine what happened, the benefit of the doubt will go to the complainant. Might as well be you.

      1. avatar Good Riddance says:

        Considering how the job of the police and prosecutor is to lock up as many people as possible, it is pure delusion to believe they will side with you and against someone else. They will look for a reason to lock up the both of you, truth be damned.

        Deliberately exposing yourself to be persecuted is the height of folly.

        1. avatar An English Person says:

          GR, I know the glorious USA tops the worlds list of nations with most current incarcerations, however, it is far from the nation with the highest rate per population and the police and judiciary are not solely interested in locking up as many people as possible…

        2. avatar Good Riddance says:

          Translation: police and government malfeasance in other nations excuse police and government malfeasance in the US.

          Don’t think so brah.

        3. avatar Bob says:

          I’m going to have to agree with GR. Not all behave that way, but far, far too many do.

        4. avatar An English Person says:

          My apologies, I should have declared the irony I was carrying; the USA actually has the highest prison population AND {effectively, the Seychelles excluded} highest prisoner per population rate in the world – reference China for comparison.

    2. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      This where all the anti-cop BS can cost you plenty. Here is the biggest countered example to your nonsensical comment — George Zimmerman. The only reason he was acquitted was that he fully cooperated with the police from the getgo. Even though they were called as prosecution witnesses they testified for the defense. By all means call your lawyer but do it right after you call 911.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Yup; he still got railroaded by the prosecutor after the police didn’t arrest him, but his cooperation got him the jury.

      2. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

        I have a card in my wallet right behind my permit. One side has what to do step by step after a DGU. The other side has what exactly to say to the 911 operator. It took one afternoon to research what exactly to do and say. I also have the phone number of a semi-local attorney who specializes in self-defense gun use on the card.

        everyone says it is good to spend time at the range. The card I made took less time than one visit to the range, and IF I ever am unfortunate enough to need that range time, I will be glad I spent the time it took to make the card.

        1. avatar RocketScientist says:

          Out of curiosity, what does your card say on it? Interested to see what steps you settled on and what you decided to say to 911.

        2. avatar notYngwie says:

          Could you please tell us what’s on your card?

    3. avatar JWM says:

      Legal advice from an internet troll? Now that’s the worst advice ever.

      1. avatar Good Riddance says:

        Hear it from a law professor: https://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc

        Naturally a dumb government animal will be gullible enough to trust other government animals. 🙂

        1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

          George Zimmerman is smarter than you and the idiot you cite.

        2. avatar Good Riddance says:

          Is this the same George Zimmerman who keeps getting arrested for domestic abuse? He’s smarter than professors of law now?

        3. avatar Grindstone says:

          Arrested != conviction. I would’ve thought an educated internet lawyer such as yourself would know the difference.

        4. avatar JWM says:

          As opposed to trusting a home grown jihadi? I don’t trust the .gov, brah. But I sure as phuck don’t trust an ignorant weak minded follower of the isis movement.

          Wonder how many insults we can trade before you get deleted again? You being a troll maybe you have some insight.

        5. avatar Good Riddance says:

          Heh @ “foillower of ISIS”. The dumb government animal reacts as expected. Maybe I’m a VC too. 🙂

          @Grindstone Good point, but let’s face it, George Zimmerman hasn’t exactly made stellar life choices.

  2. avatar Gman says:

    300. That’s my prediction for posts on this one. Ready, set, go….

  3. avatar Stateisevil says:

    I don’t know if you should always call, especially if travelling armed in a slave state. Another reason OC is generally preferable. No threatening, no brandishing, just a stop sign on the waist.

    1. avatar WedelJ says:

      I see your point(s), but you may not be allowed to OC in a slave state.

  4. avatar Bob says:

    Massad Ayoub gives a real world example in one of his books of a guy who called second, the perps called first, and he was arrested and charged as the perp. Cost him big bucks to avoid a prison sentence. Would have been completely avoided had he not waited 20 minutes to call.

  5. avatar Mk10108 says:

    I roll 30-50k miles a year and can stay the best thing to do is U turn or head another direction. Don’t follow, and if no turn off pull over a wait and make the call.

  6. avatar Bernard says:

    I would like to add that having a dash cam in your car is extremely helpful.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Standard Fare in Russia. Just goes to show you . . . nuthin’. Other than, sometimes reality becomes hearsay and conjecture, and you find yourself fighting for your life and livelihood from someone sworn to protect you.

  7. avatar gsnyder says:

    Better to keep your cool and let the crazy who swerved at you be on their way, increase your distance. Do not engage or seek out the person. If you are threatened and truly your life is in danger, call 911 to get the account on record. Then don’t say too much, be respectful, call attorney.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      This, IMHO, is the best advice.

      I’ve become a so much more calm and patient driver ever since I started carrying daily. Some idiot cutting me off is imply not worth getting into a confrontation, or even giving the perception that I escalated something.

      Groosfaba. Hakuna Matata. Let It Go.

      Whatever it takes. It’s just not worth it. Let the idiot drivers be on their way, especially if you’re carrying.

    2. avatar Brent F. says:

      The best place for a sword is in its scabbard. Not every man who lives, really dies. Not every man who dies, really lives.

  8. avatar gsnyder says:

    Also keep in mind this is progressive Seattle and there are pro-firearm traps set by anti-2A people to make us look bad. Please be smart and cautious!

  9. avatar Icabod says:

    Huh? Honk horn at another driver and the Ford guy brandishes his weapon? Where did it say the Ford guy was blocked in?

    Checking the streets given this is the middle of a single family residential neighborhood. It’s a long way from any of the very few gun ranges in Seattle. They guy is from Burian so the nearest gun ranges are in Federal Way or Bellevue. In no way would he drive anywhere near where this happened.

    How about this: The Ford guy gets offended that someone honked. His manhood is threatened. Brandish gun but the other guy isn’t run off. Starts following and maybe calling 911. Stop, get out, brandish again, drive off. Then, when stopped, comes up with this story.

    1. avatar Franko says:

      My thoughts as well. His story smells like Doo Doo to me.

  10. avatar Tommycat says:

    Two things:

    technically, you’re right about calling the cops. BUT don’t give too much information. You should have called when the driver was being aggressive, and using his car as a weapon. I can hit my phone and say “Call 911” and it’ll dial instantly.

    BUT you should have your attorney on his way immediately after the cop. Speak to the cops through your attorney. Most people don’t know when to SHUT THE HELL UP! when talking to a cop. I know a guy who went to jail for saying too much to a cop.

    Remember the words of Ben Franklin: “It’s the innocent who need attorneys. The guilty can lie for themselves.”

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    Don’t get out of the car. There is almost no circumstance where you are really ‘blocked’ and you can usually avoid those if you’re thinking about it.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      Exactly. Why would you get out of the car unless you are blockaded in? Road rage is such a weird topic for me, I never will understand why people take getting cut off so damn seriously. Keep your gun concealed and don’t do anything stupid.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I’m not getting out of the car. If I don’t get out of the car for coffee, for lunch, for my dry cleaning, for the ATM, or for a prescription pick-up, then I’m sure as hell not getting out to partake in some road rage pissing contest.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Not getting out of the car may not be a viable option.

        The perp might undertake to smash in your window. Or, the perp might follow you to your next stop and attack you as you get out of your car to attend to your errand.

        My recollection of the incident in MD a few years ago, the defender believed he had evaded the attacker. He stopped when he thought he was safely away to inspect possible damage to his car; whereupon the attacker suddenly appeared. He was already out of his car when the attacker was quickly closing on him. In this case, the guy shouted out that he was the POLICE (notwithstanding that his official powers ended 2 states away). To say nothing of brandishing or threatening to shoot, the defender identified himself as a cop and aimed a gun at the attacker; the attacker wasn’t bright enough to stop.

        Every situation has to be dealt with according to the circumstances as they unfold. The question that bothers me is: What options are there – if any – short of drawing at the last possible second and opening fire?

  12. avatar Kevin says:

    This is what we were told in our CHL class.

    1. Call 911. Advice that YOU are the victim of a crime.
    2. Give your location. Have the police (and medical help if needed) come to your location.
    3. Give a description of what you are wearing. Repeat that YOU the victim of a crime.
    4. Hang up. Don’t say ANYTHING else. Anything you say WILL get used against you.
    5. Call your attorney. Explain what happened.
    6. When the police arrive. Don’t say anything your attorney didn’t tell you to say. Provide the attorney’s name and phone #.
    7. If you shot someone, make NO attempt to help them. Not your job and you could make things worse.

    The best thing I did was go ahead and sign up with Texas Law Shield. I have their card with my CHL permit and DL. I don’t want to be the one that goes bankrupt because of attorney fees even if I am innocent.

    What I like about Texas Law Shield is that they will pre-emptively file suit against someone you shot in order to make them and any family know that they will fight for you like a rabid dog.

    1. avatar CJ Minnesota says:

      #7 may vary based on your particular State’s laws.

      Also, I would generally leave the scene if no shots were fired and give an address and telephone # where I can be reached if I need to be contacted about the matter. No point in hanging around where you attacker might be coming back with his own weapon or buddies.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I like TLS, too, and we’ve been program members for years. Their email updates and annual presentations on new laws/cases are a real benefit.

      For anyone considering their program, I would mention, too, that it’s not just for CHLs. They have the same program, at a reduced rate, covering you in your home.
      People may not realize they need legal protection after a home DGU, too. They may rely exclusively on Castle Doctrine or they may think their insurance company will provide them with legal representation.

      These are errors in preparation and people should examine more closely the risks.

  13. avatar MarkPA says:

    If you can get a lawyer on the phone and make the call to the police a conference call, that would be ideal. But, that might be tough. You are in a race to the phone with your attacker as your competitor.

    This story leads to another topic that needs to be discussed here on TTAG; probably separately:

    When should you “draw” or otherwise allude to being armed?

    It seems to me that the laws against brandishing, assault or assault with a deadly weapon are such that there is a pretty narrow space between:
    – no right to use deadly force;
    – right-to-use deadly force.

    In other words, there may be “no such thing as a warning shot”. Anything you say or do will be used against you:

    – saying “stop or I’ll shoot”
    – saying “I have a gun”
    – lifting your shirt
    – pointing at your gun
    – waiving your gun

    any of these can – and probably will – be used against you unless you can PROVE that the other guy represented an actual threat.

    IF – and to the EXTENT – that this proposition might be true then the first sign of your gun ought to be the muzzle-flash. I hasten to add that I do NOT LIKE this implication; it’s a terrible conclusion. It means more people will be killed or injured because:
    – the defender misinterpreted the evidence of threat; or,
    – the attacker would have retreated if the defender could have displayed a show-of-force

    I would be more than delighted to be convinced that this conclusion is NOT well founded. But if it’s the situation we find ourselves in then we need to respond accordingly.

    – What can a defender say or do to straddle the line?
    – – Say “Stop or I will STOP you!”
    – – Wave a “finger pistol”
    – – Wave some object that is NOT a gun but might be perceived to be a gun

    – “pre-draw” without displaying the gun:
    – – grip the gun inside your pocket if pocket-carrying
    – – unobtrusively draw your gun but hold it out-of-sight

    – start a movement to petition legislatures to relax the “brandishing” laws.

    Getting the legislatures to act on our behalf is a long-shot. Nevertheless, I recall the Florida case involving Ms. Alexander. I understand that the FL legislature modified their law to state that if you fire a warning shot in a case where you have a right to use deadly force you can’t be convicted of aggravated assault.

    The proposition we are looking at is not precisely the same as the Alexander incident or the legislative remedy. Here, we are talking about a case where a defender asserts SOME basis to perceive a threat and has – indisputably – brandished or threatened deadly force but refrained from firing a shot. In such a situation, what does the legislature want? It’s the legislature’s “shot to call” so-to-speak. They can put us carriers in the position of giving no warning before we shoot-to-stop; or, they can cut us some slack and save some lives in cases that can’t be proven to have been actual deadly threats.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Well-documented statistics show that the vast majority of defensive gun uses are made without firing a shot. This appears to go counter to the notion that you should draw only if you absolutely will shoot.

      The answer of course is that you draw only when all of the elements required for deadly force are present: ability, opportunity, and you are in jeopardy. If the assailant chooses to haul ass at the point, the gun has served its purpose. But waving “air guns” around or pointing at the bulge in your pants (no, not that one. The other one…) is not a good strategy. You time could be better spent leaving or deescalating. If it’s truly time to draw your firearm, then don’t waste time doing so. Keep in mind the wise words of Tuco: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        I get that. Now, what is the practical advice?

        If someone is running at you then – of course – you go through your evaluation in a fraction of a second, draw and shoot.

        I doubt that most cases – along the lines under discussion – involve making a split-second decision. Most are more-so “interview” like.

        One example is that you are approaching your car in a dark parking lot. A strange guy is loitering near your car and sizing you up; moving toward you, ignoring your shouts to stay back.

        Another is a road-rage incident where the guy is driving or walking along-side you and yelling. You may not be at liberty to drive-away (boxed-in or at a red-light).

        In such situations, the defender can perceive 5 – 15 seconds of time to do something:
        – run
        – talk / gesture
        – brandish
        – stand silent

        Running is often not a viable option. Talking or gesturing is a viable option – but to what effect? Brandishing is an option but with serious repercussions.

        What would be good tactics in these situations? I.e., where brandishing seems to be a less-than-lethal response that might wave-off the attack.

        It doesn’t help to assume-away this possibility; i.e., to assume that ALL attacks will necessarily require an instant decision to shoot.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Those are important aspectsto consider. Laws vary, sometimes dramatically, by state. In Texas, the legal threshold to threaten deadly force (verbally, aiming, lifting up a shirt tail, etc.) is identical to the legal threshold to use deadly force.

      So if you aren’t on solid legal footing to shoot, then neither are you even to threaten. I always figured that kind of dual threshold was intended to keep people from tip toeing up to the line intending merely to threaten, only to end up escalating the encounter to the point of now having to shoot. Just set the same standard for both, and it makes sure people don’t tread recklessly.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        I see your line of reasoning; and, it’s rational. Even so, it’s a dangerous game.

        Remember, the first prerequisite – before Ability + Opportunity + Jeopardy – is INNOCENCE. You can’t spill beer on somebody, then claim his mother wares army boots, then impugn her virtue and thereafter complain you were just defending yourself when he tried to kill you.

        Every step you make inching up to that metaphorical “line” will be used against you.

        I don’t propose to suggest I’ve got the obvious answer to the problem here. Even so, it seems to me that one could make an argument that a defender might have Ability + Opportunity but not quite enough objective evidence for Jeopardy. What does the legislature want the person to do?

        Wait until the defender is convinced of Jeopardy then shoot the perceived attacker? What if the defender if found to have made a mistake in judgement? In a jurisdiction – such as you described for TX – to have no escalation-step between SHOOT vs. shouting STOP is taking an unnecessary risk to public safety.

        We may not have much wisdom from centuries of history to work from here. Bear in mind that the escalation step of shouting “Stop or I’ll SHOOT” or brandishing didn’t much come up in the era of OC as the respectable standard vs. CC as the despicable violation. An assailant could very well see that a defender was armed and the defender didn’t have to point-out the hazard of persisting with threatening behavior.

        Now, in the wake of the Shall-Issue evolution, CCers need something to replace the de-escallationg effect of OC.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “When should you “draw” or otherwise allude to being armed?”

      As far as I’m concerned, the second my vehicle window is smashed or breaks, I consider my life is in immediate peril and I will stop the threat.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Yes, I agree with you that an assailant smashing a window is a violent threat and justifies firing; therefore, it would justify brandishing and aiming.

        Still doesn’t get at the issue that is troubling me – and should trouble anyone. Suppose the guy has not yet smashed your window. Suppose he is standing outside the car door shouting obscenities and making threatening statements. Perhaps he has a rock or a tire-iron in hand.

        Now, you have a few seconds to decide whether the circumstances rise to the level where you have a right to use lethal force. You might have that right under these circumstances but not have the evidence to be confident that you will convince a jury. What do you do?

        Wait a little longer to see if the circumstances evolve in such a way that you are more confident that you will have the evidence you will need to prove self-defense? Wait until the guy smashes your window (broken window evidence) then shoot the guy. Great; now we have a death of a scum-bag. We don’t really know for sure whether he would have carried-on to inflict grave bodily injury or death. But, we have stopped him and, incidentally, occasioned his death.

        Arguably, brandishing a gun or even aiming it would have interrupted the attacker’s rage long enough for him to break-off the attack. Or, if the rage continued it would have convinced the defender that the attacker clearly crossed the threshold of creating a right of self-defense.

        Yet the law, as I understand it, puts the defender in jeopardy of defending himself against a serious charge of brandishing or assault-with-a-deadly-weapon should he attempt to defuse the developing situation with a measure less-than-lethal.

        I would hope for someone to explain to me how to avoid this dilemma. Some magic phrase to utter; some gesture to make. A lawful response likely to clarify the intention of the attacker or persuade him to cease and desist.

        In the absence of any such hoped-for solution; don’t we need to have a discussion leading to an appeal to our legislatures for revisions to our laws against brandishing and assault?

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Mark,

          Regarding your question

          Suppose the guy has not yet smashed your window. Suppose he is standing outside the car door shouting obscenities and making threatening statements. Perhaps he has a rock or a tire-iron in hand.

          Now, you have a few seconds to decide whether the circumstances rise to the level where you have a right to use lethal force. You might have that right under these circumstances but not have the evidence to be confident that you will convince a jury. What do you do?

          I would argue that an angry person who actively approached you, is shouting threats at you, and has a bludgeon in hand meets the standard for use of deadly force. Would a reasonable person in that situation be reasonably in fear for their life? I believe so. And I believe a jury would also believe the same.

          To improve your situation from a tactical standpoint, you can discretely draw your firearm and have it in hand in your car and generally out of view. No one can claim brandishing. Your handgun is simply more readily available. If the aggressive person suddenly rushes you, you can immediately bring your handgun to bear.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          Thank you, uncommon_sense; you are getting to the heart of the issue.

          I agree with your suggestion about preparing your gun; what I think of as a “pre-draw”. In a car this is a really viable solution because the enveloping car provides concealment. I’ve also thought that pocket carry has this advantage. I can get a grip on my gun and start pulling it out of its holster without making a decisive gesture such as pulling my shirt up or exposing the grip of my gun.

          Any additional ideas along these lines would be interesting and applicable to this train-of-inquiry.

          There are lots of signs that one can reasonably construe to imply a threat. The more such signs one can observe – and then later recall – the better supported one’s conclusion to draw will be.

          It occurs to me that there are 2 distinct cases: some beef is developing (e.g., road-rage); vs. a predator preparing an attack.

          If some beef is developing you at least have good reason to support your conclusion that the person is threatening you. He thinks you cut-him off or bumped into him or whatever. You just don’t know how far he is willing to take the matter. Perhaps he is approaching you merely to give you a piece of his mind. Just because he is big and angry doesn’t constitute proof that he intends to attack you. The presence of a per-se weapon such as a tire-iron is helpful; but its absence doesn’t constitute any assurance that he won’t pummel you.

          In such a scenario you would like to be able to warn him that his display of a threat will be met with overwhelming force; a gun.

          In the predator situation there is an absence of a basis for the perceived predator to approach you. What are his intentions? Is it merely to strike-up a conversation? Ask for a match or directions? Presumably, you have told him to stop or stay-back, don’t get any closer. Yet, he continues. It’s just as much his sidewalk to walk on as it is your’s. Can you shoot him just because he disobeys your command to stay away? Where is the ability in the absence of the display of a per-se weapon?

          A line of reasoning is that if the apparent attacker is displaying such belligerence then you have the pretext to go all-out-Rambo on him. He should pay the price for his bad behavior with a trip to the hospital or the morgue. However, I reject this reasoning because I recognize the possibility of misperceiving the situation. Moreover, it is possible to dissuade him from his bad behavior by a show-of-force. Yet, the laws seem to put the defender in jeopardy of facing a brandishing or assault charge if the police/DA/judge/jury remain unconvinced that the evidence you are able to present is convincing that you were really under a reasonably-perceived threat of life or limb.

          Is there something akin to warning of the ability to use lethal force (yelling “Stop or I’ll shoot”) or brandishing that manifests the hazard of the attacker proceeding but less vulnerable to a counter-attack by the attacker who accuses you of the crime of warning him?

          The only thing I see is the practice of OC; if you see my full-size gun in a holster and are still proceeding then I reasonably conclude that you are attacking in spite of the obvious jeopardy. If this is the “only thing” then it’s an argument for OC.

          If there are no other viable options for warning-off an apparent impending attack then we need to think about approaching our legislatures for fine-tuning the laws on brandishing or threatening lethal force.

          Or, perhaps I’m exaggerating the legal jeopardy we are under. Perhaps the cops/DA/judges/jury can be counted on to accept our testimony alone as prima facia justification for threatening lethal force.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          MarkPA,

          “Or, perhaps I’m exaggerating the legal jeopardy we are under.”

          Yes and no. No matter how clear cut and righteous a situation is to you, a District Attorney could still press charges and a jury could still convict. The only bright side to that outcome: you are still alive and will hopefully survive your prison sentence and be able to resume your life upon release. In practice we don’t seem to hear about too many cases like that.

          And another factor could help a great deal: if you have no previous criminal record and your attacker does, that will often sway a jury to believe you and acquit — or at least force the Prosecutor to pursue a lesser charge like manslaughter and also sway the judge to impose a lighter sentence.

          I think the best thing you could do to protect yourself is to wear a body camera and have recorded video of an encounter. If the video shows an aggressive person approaching you, then continue to advance after you tell them to “back off!”, and a finally continuing to advance after you warn them that you will use any force necessary to defend yourself, you would be as rock-solid as you could be. Whatever happens after that is on the aggressive person who continued to approach you.

          Important note: stand-your-ground laws absolve you of any responsibility to yield to the aggressive person. However, tactical considerations REQUIRE that you keep as much distance as possible between yourself and a person that you perceive as a threat. Not only does distance give you time to react to a sudden rush from the aggressive person, it also gives you more time to warn them. Most importantly, it shows a jury that you did everything reasonably possible to avoid using force. In fact it does more than that. It shows that you bent over backwards to avoid using force where the law did not require it. If all of that is on video, only a handful of extremely obstinate gun-grabber prosecutors would pursue charges … and an even smaller number of juries would convict.

          Final note: many predators and aggressive people are “punks”. They seek out weak people to exploit or push around. A confident posture, walk, tone of voice, and words will dissuade many punks before they act out.

  14. avatar JasonM says:

    I had a bicyclist scream that he was going to “f-in’ kill” me, pound on my car window, and lift his bike to (I think) break my window, before I could get my gun out and pointed in his direction. He backed off at that. But he told the people behind me that I threatened him with a gun, and they called 911 and followed me.

    I got to spend half an hour in cuffs sitting on the front of a cop car while they searched for the bicyclist, based on a second hand complaint, because I was the “aggressor”, not the victim. Not calling 911 didn’t affect the evidence, which was clearly on my side, but it did bias the responding cops against me, rather than for me. I did fill out a criminal complaint against the unknown bicyclist.

    Also, having a gun drawn, when getting out of a car, around 1st and Lander isn’t a bad idea. 😉

  15. avatar MrB-inTX. says:

    Creative writing doesn’t make any situation more or less of the need to Call 911 immediately.
    First one to the pot gets the freshest coffee!
    Regardless of circumstance–if you show it/draw it/use it… Call that 911 number. Report it first!!
    R.F. — you can’t emphasize this enough. Good report.

  16. avatar Bryan says:

    People should really watch the YouTube video that the still pic at the top is taken from and then read the comments. I made the case that the car/gun guy fuck ed up big time. A few morons thought he was justified.

    I look for and post the link if someone doesn’t before me….

  17. avatar pod says:

    http://folioweekly.com/Hot-Bullets-Cold-Truth,5556

    RF or any other TTAG admins – this should be required reading. It’s a Florida article and YMMV but there’s advice applicable to all of us in there.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    In any case like the one above, the first 911 call is often the only 911 call, and the only 911 caller will have the immediate high ground.

    If there are two competing 911 calls, then nobody can claim the immediate high ground.

    Since you cannot know whether or not the other party is one the phone, logic insists that you call 911.

    The content of the call is subject to discussion, but whether or not to make the call is not subject to any discussion whatsoever. Make the call, or pay dearly for not making the call.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Ralph gets this one right! Additionally, why display the fact you are armed? The reason I carry concealed instead of OC is so that if I need to put my gun in action, the bad guy is less likely to have anticipated my ballistic response.

      This behavior of waving a gun around begs for a blue light response and the implicit threat is damned stupid to make. To misquote Yoda: Do or Do not, never threaten!

  19. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    “And yes, you run the risk being arrested anyway.”

    That’s a pretty damn big risk if you ask me. My advice is that if someone is driving erratically then leave your gat in it’s holster and call the cops. Don’t pull your gun unless you’re doing so to prevent the commission of a felony. Then call 911 and tell the them a man pulled a gun and pointed it at the clerk so you shot him and there’s no need for the ambulance to hurry.

  20. avatar Mad Max says:

    Question: What would the Police response be if the person(s) you shot were terrorists and that was obvious upon the arrival of the Police (i.e.-you shot the guy that attacked the Marine recruiters while he was in the progress of shooting)?

    1. avatar RickA says:

      It damn well better be obvious to the police that you are a good guy, or your ass is likely to get shot too. When you’re done shooting terrorists, or the police show up (whichever comes first) better re-holster and have your hands in plain view…..

      1. avatar Good Riddance says:

        Hahahahaha. That’s good. Don’t you know officer safety fanaticism makes everyone who is not them a threat?

        Most likely outcome, you’ll be shot and the cop gets a medal.

        1. avatar RickA says:

          And hence the warning to re-holster. During active shooter response, no need to bash the police responders . At least now-a-days they’re being trained and instructed to arrive the kill zone before all the victims are shot, or the shooters’ ammo is spent. Put yourself in their shoes upon arrival to the scene of mass carnage and someone is stupid enough to be waving a gun around….

  21. avatar Don from CT says:

    A cop friend of mine once told me that the first guy to dial 911 is the victim.

    Call, give the who, when, where, say you feared for your life, then shut up and call your lawyer.
    An empathetic cop is following SOP when it comes to I&I (Interview and Interrogation) The basics of which are:

    1) build rapport
    2) be empathetic
    3) minimize any crime to get the person to casually admit to it. “I can’t blame you for doing it, I’d have done it too”

    Don

  22. avatar Herr Bunny says:

    Speaking as a retired Police Officer I can confidently say that whoever calls the Police first is believed first and its up to the 2nd person to disprove the 1st persons statements, right, wrong or indifferent, REGARDLESS of the nature of the call.

    Bottom line: ANYTIME you display, point or use a firearm cover YOUR ass and call the Police.

  23. avatar SpecialK says:

    My one and only DGU was against what was either a very large stray dog or an aggressive coyote. I did not fire during the encounter. I still called animal control and got it on record that I had drawn my gun because my life was in danger.

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