Don’t Draw On A Person Unless You Think They’re Trying to Kill You: Guns for Beginners

In the story above, a motorcyclist drew his weapon when a road rage [intentionally] bumped his Gold Wing trike, and then approached him aggressively. The only time you can use or threaten to use deadly force: when someone poses an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Someone walking towards you, swearing, does not in and of itself constitute a deadly threat. “You’d end up killing all sorts of people if that were the case,” TTAG’s Jon Wayne Taylor points out. If, however, the man is screaming “I’m going to kill you” and has the means to do that (fists count), well, that’s a different story. But not this one.

comments

  1. avatar Tim says:

    A vehicle is a deadly weapon.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Exactly. (Beat me to it.)

      Someone who “only” bumps you with a deadly weapon in an open display of anger/aggression is certainly not looking to sit down for tea and cookies.

      In my mind bumping someone with your car in an open display of anger/aggression is akin to brandishing if not worse. I have no idea what laws if any would apply in this case.

      1. avatar RealityCheck says:

        Somebody “bumps” into a motorcycle with their vehicle? That right there is assault with a deadly weapon! As a biker, you can damn well bet your ass that if that douchebag got out of his car and came towards me, I’d at the very least have my hand on the gun ready to draw and fire, and I’d probably already have it drawn. Clearly, if someone assaults you with a deadly weapon, there’s not much that’s going to come from a nice little sit-down chat afterwards.

        1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

          Agreed. When riding a motorcycle or a trike you’re much more vulnerable than if you’re in a car.

        2. avatar Defens says:

          Any poser riding around on a trike of any sort (unless they are paraplegic or otherwise disabled) probably SHOULD be bumped around. Those atrocities are an insult to real motorcycles.

  2. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

    Wrong. Mr. Taylor needs to watch the video again. Texas talks it while Florida walks it.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Never saw the video in the first place.

      1. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

        My apologies. The story appears written as though you drew a conclusion specifically on this incident. I guess I’m asking the wrong person. More man crush stuff, I guess.

    2. avatar Doug says:

      God bless Texas!

  3. avatar BDub says:

    I’m calling bullshit. If the driver of the car/truck has already bumped the motorcycle off the road, his intentions and regard for your well-being have been established. That kind of behavior gets people killed. The driver walking towards you in an aggressive manner afterwards, well that’s just reckless disregard for his own life, as well.

    Also that news line stinks of Anti-gun bias. The gun wasn’t “drawn in road rage”, it was drawn in response to road rage.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      The gun wasn’t “drawn in road rage”, it was drawn in response to road rage.

      Absolutely agree with this.

  4. avatar CLarson says:

    The driver who struck and ran the motorcyclist off the road was the one charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The motorcyclist who used his drawn pistol to deter the approaching, angry driver was not charged with anything. Is TTAG of the opinion the police got it wrong in this case?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      The threat must be imminent (in the act of occurring) and credible. I can see it both ways. But wouldn’t have drawn until I was sure he trying to kill me at that point.

      1. avatar John S says:

        So, why is it you do not evaluate the situation as ‘assault with a deadly weapon’, car to motorcycle, as charged, and then ‘continuing assault’?

      2. avatar tfunk says:

        So if you think he’s only gonna beat the shit out of you don’t draw?

        1. Lethal force is authorized to “…prevent grievous bodily harm”. Someone trying to kill you is not the only reason to use a gun in defense. TTAG is lacking a bit of truth here.

      3. avatar JasonM says:

        So if being run off the road by a truck doesn’t qualify as sure that somebody wants to cause you great bodily harm, what does it take? If he draws a gun on you, he might only want to scare you a bit, after all. The only way you can be absolutely positive, is to wait to get killed.
        It sounds like that rider did the right thing in drawing when he did. And it sounds like the local law agrees.

      4. avatar Dev says:

        The threat is imminent. He tried to kill the man by hitting his bike with his car and when that failed he advanced on him. This was a good DGU and no one was shot.

      5. avatar Doug says:

        OK. Process tweek: 1.Yell “Stay back!” 2. If he keeps coming, pull. 3.If you must, stop the agressor’s assault. This could all happen pretty fast, obviously.
        The Florida cops got it right. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (the car). Presumably a felony. Would like to know if the perp has a history. Anyone see anything on that?

        1. avatar Doug says:

          4. be the first to call 911. “I have been a victim of a crime.”

      6. avatar gs650g says:

        I don’t think you ride because if you did and someone follows you close for a while and then bumps you that’s assault with intent to cause bodily harm.
        The riders intentions were not offensive but defensive in this case and the difference between the vehicles is akin to a large man vs a small man

      7. avatar JSW says:

        Someone in a car/truck purposely driving into you/a motorcyclist IS trying to kill you and has shown that intent with no uncertainty of purpose.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I thought, at first, that the trike rider was the one charged. I concluded that the reporting must be weak, because that outcome didn’t seem to square with what they reported, so something must be missing.

      After reading your post, I watched the video again and paid very close attention to the names of who was charged and who was riding. You’re right. The rider with the gun was not charged, the driver of the car was charged.

      Sounds like a good call. When the driver blamed sandals for his foot slipping, hitting the gas and hitting the trike, that reeked of a lie. I doubt he was really trying to run him off the road. Probably was just trying to scare him and he misjudged the distance. Oh well, now he’s charged. It’s all fun and games until someone draws a felony.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    I agree with Robert and Taylor’s opinion. That said… I bet that guys attitude changed really quick when the gun got drawn out. Right? Right? Whose with me??

    But yea… Pull your gun when it is not a valid DGU (credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm) – you’ll be in trouble.

  6. avatar 40&2000 says:

    If you purposefully bump a motorcycle with your car you have just tried to kill them.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      DING! Right you are, sir. And that counts even if they did it out of ignorance of the potential consequences of such an act. Your car is not an extension of your emotions, people.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree with this. Furthermore, if you get out of your vehicle and aggressively approach the driver of the motorcycle, he will then understand that you purposely hit him with your car, and may thereby establish a reasonable conclusion that you intend to harm him.

      1. avatar RealityCheck says:

        THIS! Exactly this.

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        Definitely. People who cause collisions without malice don’t approach aggressively. They approach apologetically, asking if the other person is okay, while pulling out insurance cards and registration forms.

  7. avatar tfunk says:

    The, uhh…tricyclist?…did nothing wrong here as far as I can tell.

  8. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    What if they’re only trying to kill you a little?

    1. avatar RatInDaHat says:

      Then you can only pull a little gun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqCPNM1I-ao

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Or maybe you can put your hand on it over your shirt – but not actually pull it, while keeping it concealed. So the aggressor knows you are armed, but you aren’t technically brandishing? Right? Right? Whose with me?

        We can call that “pulling it a little bit”

        1. avatar the wiz says:

          yeah, um, no. putting your hand on your weapon over your shirt is gonna get you a menacing charge in florida.That said, if he just lifted his shirt to show his weapon, he could always claim the wind blew his shirt up. Which, in Florida, incidental showing of a weapon is legal Pulling it under the threat of “grievous bodily harm” is justified. I would imagine running a biker off the road fits the definition. I’m fully backing the biker on this. The guy doing the bumping is an ass and is lucky getting charged is all he got.

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          yeah, um, no. putting your hand on your weapon over your shirt is gonna get you a menacing charge in florida.

          I would really like to know what the statute says in regard to touching your shirt over your ccw.

      2. avatar FedUp says:

        He had a P938, which is small enough for me.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I don’t whether Florida has a statute covering mildslaughter, but it’s worth looking into.

    3. avatar Bob315 says:

      Then you only pull the trigger a little. With a good trigger job, no problem.

  9. avatar Paul W says:

    I’ve ridden motorcycles in 41 of 48 contiguous states. When a vehicle weighing 4 to 10 times my vehicle hits me intentionally, it is life threatening and could very well be when unintentional bump. If that vehicle operator is railing and advancing, I am going to draw. I’m 70-plus, handicapped and physically unable to fend off an assault. My well being supersedes your well being when you are attempting to degrade my well being. Scream “Stay Back! I am calling the police.” and DRAW if one step more is taken.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      When do you shoot him?

      1. avatar RealityCheck says:

        You’d be justified in shooting the bastard the second he rammed into you with his vehicle.

        But in this situation, you tell him to stay the hell away, and if he continues to threaten you to the point where “imminent bodily harm is imminent” then you shoot.

        Of course, you know this already.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          “You’d be justified in shooting the bastard the second he rammed into you with his vehicle.”
          A cop once bumped me while I was sitting at a stop light while I was on my motorcycle. He then got out of his car and put his hand on his gun as he walked toward me. I should have shot him?

        2. avatar Wood says:

          @jwt you’d be entitled to make him blush for sure. That wasn’t an accident, it was negligence.

        3. avatar Anonymous says:

          You’d be justified in shooting the bastard the second he rammed into you with his vehicle.”
          A cop once bumped me while I was sitting at a stop light while I was on my motorcycle. He then got out of his car and put his hand on his gun as he walked toward me. I should have shot him?

          Yeah but that’s a cop. They’re special. They get legislative carve outs, immunity, paid vacations when they kill someone, and in general, a different set of rules for them than for the mere plebeians.

  10. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    In RI people brake check A holes that drive too close all the time, seemed like that was on my driving test as a kid…lol.
    Based on the details in the story, sounds good to me.
    I can’t stand when you cant even see the cars headlight in your rear view….way too close.
    I say this was absolutely the right thing to do.
    Got to consider that the rager is armed as well.
    Everyone went home and a shit head learned a lesson.
    There you go.

  11. avatar MLee says:

    I call bullshit on someone approaching in an aggressive manor after an incident. All I have to ask is what would a cop do? If the guy in the tri-wheel thing was a cop and the guy approached him, what would a cop do?
    My view is that whatever a cop would do, any person has a right to do. A cops safety is no more important that any other persons.
    Now I’ll watch the video.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      My view is that whatever a cop would do, any person has a right to do. A cops safety is no more important that any other persons.

      I like this idea – but it’s not reality.

    2. avatar gs650g says:

      Tasers at a minimum with no discussion. If a cop was bumped like that they would assume vehicular assault. Of course sandal boy wouldn’t have the sack to bump a cop.

  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Hmm. This might be one of those incidents that isn’t as clear cut as we would hope.

    Let’s see:
    Joyrider on motorcycle.
    Hothead tailgating motorcycle.
    Joyreader tells hothead to stop tailgating.
    Hothead bumps joyrider.
    Both pull over.
    Hothead moves angrily toward joyrider.

    I think the optimum response here is for joyrider to move backward away from hothead and tell hothead to back off … all while joyrider draws his handgun so that it is clearly visible in hand but keeping it pointed at the ground. At that point joyrider has backed away to increase distance and make it obvious to hothead that joyrider does not want a confrontation … and has also made it obvious to hothead that escalating at that point will likely involve gun play.

    1. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

      Only the players know for sure but cops made the call on this one.
      It is what it is.
      I do agree low ready sounds prudent but then again…i wasnt there.

  13. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    As a resident in a near bye county to where this happened. And one who uses his trike to commute to work.
    I agree about 98% of what that rider did.
    I too have had a similar situation with trucks down here. Some pickup drivers are for whatever reason very aggressive folks. I had the right of way a right turn arrow and some jerk in a pickem up truck decides he wants to make a U-turn.
    Im heading south making a right having the arrow to do so.
    As Im slowing down but not stopping. A guy going east bound decides to make a U-turn and it does say in his lane Yield to Oncoming traffic. This guy pays no attention and turns. Misses me by about 6 inches. I didn’t give him the finger I just waved my index finger at him. As in you just did a NoNo.
    Hes in front of me and at the next light decides to exit his truck and comes back walking towards me yelling at me all sorts of crap. All I did was reach inside my jacket inner pocket and put my hand on the grip of my 357 mag. I said to him do yourself a favor and get the hell back into your truck………Thankfully I think he got the message and he turned around.
    I was fully prepared to put one right between his eyes if I had to.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Someone walking towards you, swearing, does not in and of itself constitute a deadly threat. “You’d end up killing all sorts of people if that were the case,” TTAG’s Jon Wayne Taylor points out.

    Maybe we could just wing them a little.

    Just kidding.

    Anyway, JWT’s premise is skaky. This wasn’t merely a case of some guy walking up on another yelling and swearing. If it was, many of us would have shot our high school football coach. This was a situation where the defender had already been attacked.

    Moreover, nobody was shot or killed in this incident. And as we never fail to note over and over and over again, in thousands of incidents every year where a gun is used in self defense, nobody is shot, much less killed.

    The fact that the defender was not charged and the car driver was charged speaks for itself.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I didn’t see the video, and I didn’t know the man got hit intentionally.
      My basic point remains…you can only draw a weapon if you are justified in shooting someone. You aren’t justified in shooting someone because they walked toward you and yelled at you, unless they threated you.

      1. avatar RealityCheck says:

        But you ARE justified in shooting them if they’ve already tried to kill you and, to the best of your knowledge, are further attempting to harm you.

        Look, it’s like this — let’s say you’ve been mugged, stabbed, mutilated, and left for dead, but for some reason you stubbornly didn’t die. Yet. And the mugger leaves, but then the mugger comes back. Why? We don’t know why – maybe he’s going to check your other pockets for a wallet, or maybe he’s coming back to finish the job. You don’t know — all you know is that he’s coming back aggressively.

        Do you have to wait for him to make yet another attempt to kill you? Or are you justified in defending yourself against this known aggressive threat?

        I think we all know the answer to that one. Assault with a deadly weapon, followed up by aggressively angrily approaching again, warrants extreme caution and probably, in any reasonable person’s mind, warrants brandishing. Which is as the cop determined, by not charging the defender and instead charging the assaulter.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          “But you ARE justified in shooting them if they’ve already tried to kill you and, to the best of your knowledge, are further attempting to harm you.” – Absolutely. Note that I hadn’t seen the video and didn’t know he was struck on purpose.
          Given that, just because you get in a wreck and someone walks toward you yelling, not threatening you but just yelling, you don’t get to kill that person.

        2. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

          Why don’t you just watch the dam video?

        3. avatar BillC says:

          jw, you’re killing me.

        4. avatar Junkanoo Jones says:

          I don’t get his exalted status around here.

      2. Why do you keep commenting? You obviously read the comments to see your name mentioned but you aren’t even following the story. TTAG is about to jump the shark with this bullshit post.

    2. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      Its one of those you had to be in my present shoes situations.
      Im 62 handicapped and no way to escape, not that Id be required to.
      This guy was in his 20s and who knows what frame of mind. Besides angry and aggressive.
      I never exposed my gun.
      I always carry concealed and am always prepared for a road rage incident. They are more prevalent in this area then in any other place Ive ever lived or traveled in.
      Some days I wonder what a driver has to do to get a ticket in this country??

  15. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Robert loggia is gonna pull a gun on that guy one day and tell him to get a driving manual.

    Seriously though intentional or not physical contact is something that gets sorted later. No matter intent this guy could have easily killed someone.

  16. avatar RealityCheck says:

    Sorry Farago and Taylor, you got this one entirely wrong. This should be categorized as Defensive Gun Use of the Day. This is most definitely not an example of “what not to do”, this is an example of exactly what you should do. Be armed, show restraint, and this is yet again another example of a properly-deployed defensive firearm being used to defuse a situation without a shot having been fired.

    Watch the clip, listen to the report – the guy with the gun was not charged, the douchebag who rammed him off the road was charged. The cops heard both people’s report, and determined that the brandishing was obviously appropriate given the situation. The defensive gun use kept an already-terrifying situation from getting a whole lot worse. And the defender prevented it from getting worse while not having to fire a single shot.

    Please reclassify this as a DGU.

    1. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

      Exactly and well observed!

    2. avatar BillC says:

      Robert got this one so very wrong. It’s funny watching him dig his heels in harder in the comments.

  17. avatar Watts' Twat says:

    “Bumping a trike or motorcycle” with a full-sized four-wheeled vehicle is “Assault By Auto” and could be construed as “Attempted Murder” BOTH are violent crimes that can and do lead to death thus this “rider” was “in the right” and this incident MUST be categorized as a “DGU” (Defensive Gun Use).

    Those of us who travel the nation on 2, 3, 4, and 16 wheels, remember this:

    Donald J. Trump is the ONLY Presidential candidate that has promised to sign National Concealed Carry into law once it hits his desk. Call and pressure your elected representatives to introduce and pass that bill.

  18. I have drawn my gun twice in road rage incidents where I was the victim of insane drivers. One time I was driving and the other time I was the passenger and my wife was driving. I did not point the gun at the other party nor did I display it. I just wanted to be ready in case the psycho came after me.
    The first time, I was behind a guy and the traffic was so thick that it was hardly moving. I was close to him but at 15 mph, close is not that uncommon in “bumper to bumper” traffic. I was in an exit only lane and as soon as I pulled in behind the ass clown, he brake checked me. Just a reminder, we were all creeping along in morning rush hour traffic. I was like, WTF? I tried to move over one more lane but there was no gap. Then the motherfucker stopped right in the middle of the interstate for no reason. People were passing us on both sides and honking as they went by. Dickhead sped up then slammed the brakes again. At this point, it was clear that this was a purposeful move. Imagine the feeling when you saw the second plane hit the WTC. There we are, motionless on I-285 as people try to avoid us on both sides. If this jack wagon got out of his vehicle and approached me with anything in his hand to be used as a tool to break into my vehicle, I had my gun in hand willing to pop one between his eyes. Don’t play that shit with me. I’m to old to be stupid and get my ass whipped or killed over a stupid traffic altercation. He drove off so I didn’t have to fulfill Darwin’s design.

    The other time I pulled my gun in the car was when my wife was following a vehicle that was going 35 mph in a 45 mph zone. When a passing lane was available, my wife attempted to pass but the son of a bitch sped up to prevent our safe lane change. My wife gunned it approaching 60 mph but dumb ass accelerated again. We had to fall back in order to avoid a head on collision with oncoming traffic on the two lane road. As soon as we got behind the ass hole, he slowed down again. We had no other chance to pass and when we came to a stop light, I noticed a passenger in that vehicle moving around and reaching for something. I drew my pistol and even crack my door open. Again, I did not point the gun or let it be seen. But when people act irrational, you have to expect the worst. Guns for beginners, why carry a gun if you are not prepared to use it?

  19. avatar Russ says:

    I generally advocate restraint myself but this is crazy. Ramming a motorcycle (I don’t buy the clutch excuse) is a life threatening act and afterward unless he apologizes profusely it should be pretty clear what the score is.

  20. avatar Kevin says:

    The information I gleaned from the news report suggests to me that he acted appropriately by drawing on a hostile & possibly unstable person. If you don’t want to die of a gunshot wound, try not to appear threatening after tailgating and hitting someone with your car.

  21. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    “Someone walking towards you, swearing, does not in and of itself constitute a deadly threat. “You’d end up killing all sorts of people if that were the case,” ”

    Funny, other than my time in basic training, any time someone walked towards me swearing, it was a prelude to an altercation.

    Walk towards a cop while swearing and see how quickly he empties his entire loadout in your general direction.

  22. avatar Wilson says:

    His foot slipped on the clutch?

    As someone who only drives manual transmissions I call shenanigans.

    First, I doubt that crappy Ford car has a clutch. It’s not old enough for a clutch to have been standard equipment. Heck, outside sports cars a manual transmission from a company like Jeep has been a special order or quite rare on the lot since 1990. (When I bought a Wrangler in 2012 I had to go with a red one with a color matched top because it was the only 2-door manual Rubicon in the entire state of NM. The closest other was a 4-door and it was over 100 miles away and they had ONE of them.)

    Second, why does he have his foot on the clutch in the first place? For a downshift to slow down? Well guess what buddy, if your foot slipped like that the RPM would jump up and the car would slow down as the engine started to break the car UNLESS you’re pressing on the gas while shifting, which you shouldn’t be doing because you’re going to effectively floor the engine when you press in the clutch and take all the work away from the motor while giving the engine gas.

    Third, I’ve driven a manual that had a really stiff racing clutch while wearing flipflops, the problem this guy describes has never happened to me.

    The only way this is possible is if that idiot has absolutely no idea how to drive manual and is destroying the car with his crappy driving. Looking at the car, that wouldn’t be a huge loss.

  23. avatar adverse4 says:

    When in doubt, and the threat is not pulling a firearm, you can try to avoid physical confrontation. If talking (not yelling) does not work, embrace and use the knife. You do carry a knife don’t you? (a legal knife of course). Still, a lot of paper work. Strangely enough, it can be more illegal to defend yourself with a knife than a firearm.

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