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Thanks to cell phone cameras, YouTube is lousy with teenage fighting videos. (Some would call it the rise of “thug life” but I couldn’t possibly comment.) Whether or not YouTube exposure is fueling the phenomena is an interesting question. Equally interesting: when is it OK to bring a firearm to bear to stop the a fight? Some of these fights are brutal. Some are fatal. Police are taught to adhere to the use of force continuum against aggressors. The general rule of thumb: you can use one level of force above the level you’re facing. If someone slaps you, you can’t shoot them. When it comes to guns . . .

citizens intervening in other people’s battles must ultimately adhere to their state’s lethal force statutes.

In almost every case, bringing a gun to bear on someone requires an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to innocent life. Innocent life. Hmmm. Who would that be in the violent fight above? Both combatants? Backing-up a bit, was grievous bodily harm in the offing here? Not so much. Then again, one punch can end a human life.

So when should someone trying to stop a fight bring a gun into play? Whatever you want to say about risking gun rights, the firearm above was effective. The fight stopped.

At the end of the proverbial day, the legality of any defensive gun use comes down to the “reasonable person standard.” After the authorities become involved, the police, District Attorney, prosecutor, judge and (perhaps) jury have to make that call.

This reasonable person says that a gun was not needed in the scrap above – at least not at the onset, when verbal commands and physical force didn’t have a chance to work. You tell me: Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day or concerned citizen protecting innocent life? Or both?

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  1. Seemed overeager. That was a hair-pulling face-slapping chick fight, was it not?

    • It was a clear-cut case of assault and battery at the very least. Had it gone any further, it could have easily descended into attempted murder with the kicking and smashing of heads (as kinds are wont to do these days) of the downed opponent. Girl/girl or not.

      He didn’t point it at anyone, and in the slo-mo, it’s plain as day that he took great care not to. Take into account that the interloper probably knew at least one of the participants, and rightly feared for her (or their) well being, I don’t see that he did anything wrong.

      • He also appeared to have good trigger finger discipline. But…
        he pulled a gun to break up a fight that he could have stopped by pulling them apart and asserting himself. I have no idea on the legality, but it definitely showed poor judgement.

      • Your clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed, that dumb s.o.b pointed that gun at my baby’s head and he could have stumbled and killed her that dumb ass is at least 2 1/2 times their size he didn’t need that gun and if he has a license to carry it it needs to be yanked and I want to know why the cops didn’t contact me and put some effort into investigating this idiot and press charges for flerishing to hell with anybody that thinks different time to lawyer up

  2. Looks like a cat-fight between just two young teens. Much too soon to draw a gun. Much better to call upon a second person and pull them apart. Not enough disparity of force.

    • But if we shoot them now, we won’t have to waste tax money jailing them in the future.

      • If he shoots, he’ll need a good lawyer.

        Making lawyers wealthy is something I hope to avoid.

        Unless I pull a really dumb-ass stunt.

  3. I’ll go the IGOTD route over two chicks pulling each others hair, but at least he had good trigger discipline!

  4. “If someone slaps you, you can’t shoot them…”

    Would that be wrong?

  5. I’m sorry but this moron has no business carrying a gun. If one of the girls had a knife or bat or something, I could see the reasoning for stepping in and drawing a gun to stop the fight, but two chicks hair pulling and slapping? Dude should not have the right to CC. IMO.

  6. ooooooooooooo! You said ‘thug’! You’re a racist!
    — I totally missed the point of the article, didn’t I?

  7. The general rule of thumb: you can use one level of force above the level you’re facing.

    Minor correction: as a rule of thumb, a defender can use one level of force above the level he’s facing.

    • From the context, I think RF was talking about police rules on use of force, but using the second person.

  8. Where are the absolutists? What part of “keep and bare” and “shall not be infringed” aren’t people understanding? He’s just being a sheepdog, he’s fine.

    • Huh?

      The right to keep and bear arms does not include the right to threaten people with them unjustly, any more than the right to practice one’s choice of religion includes the right to sacrifice human babies to Cthulhu.

  9. Yeah, he got the job done, but I don’t think he assessed the situation before going in, which you’ve got plenty of time to do when you’re not involved. Anyone who carries should recognize the gun as your trump card. Start with the least harmful/lethal route and work your way up.

  10. At the end of the video the reporter stated that one of the girls received a black eye because of the man that broke up the fight. I guess when girls fight you don’t get black eyes?

  11. Armchair QB says no reason to pull gun.

    However, I can think of a scenario where pulling the gun was actually prudent.

    For instance, if the gun owner knew one of them and suspected there might be a knife or worse come out, then, no, the citizen was not overly aggressive.

    Armchairing is easy, but, we don’t have all the information.

    The easiest thing would have been to walk the other way. Instead, the citizen may very well have prevented someone from getting their face bashed into the concrete.

    As the daughter of a friend of mine once told me: “Girls fighting are the worst, because they do not stop.” Her point being that girls will keep going, even if someone with authority shows up.

  12. One level of force above what one is facing, eh?

    What if one is facing a gun?

      • Still running a howitzer old man? What is this? 1918? Like Kosta says, It is all about the Reaper UAV with .40mm caliber babykill capacity clipazines. Anything less just isn’t enough stopping power for me okay?

  13. As far as I can tell from the limited information in that video, I believe he should not have drawn. That said, I did not see him point it at anyone nor did he threaten to use it on anyone. In fact I don’t even see him meeting the definition of brandishing.

    Was it ill-advised? In my opinion, yes. Did he break any laws? In my opinion, no.

  14. Very hard to tell, from the video, if his actions were justified or not. But, it does appear that he broke up a fight and prevented further injuries to either party. We don’t know all the facts by just watching the short video. Would I have done the same? Doubt it but maybe if I knew what the guy with the gun knew. Better than ending up with one or both of the girls having their heads smashed into concrete. possible brain damage, etc.. Kudos to him for having the ball$ to do what he did.

    • I’m sorry but if you watch the video again that”man”didn’t brake up the lil girly fight the kid standing there did

  15. If it’s a fight, then it’s physical assault, then the line between “just a fight” and “deadly threat” is very blurred.
    I can’t believe we’re really arguing this. If someone started attacking you, would you pull your gun? If not, why even bother carrying? Seriously, some of these arguments are the same used by anti’s when attacking concealed carry (or just gun ownership in general). I’ve had anti-gunners specifically ask me if I thought it was ok to shoot someone who was attacking me with “just their fists”. What would your answer be? Of course you would defend yourself with a firearm!

    No, the debate here should be about third-party intervention, which as we can see in the other TTAG article, can have serious consequences.

    • Maybe you should rethink about carrying a maybe I’m old school but you can heal from an ass woop’n but bullets are playing for keeps besides he wasn’t the one being attact

  16. I live in Farmington and this is the first I have heard of this. The police station is literally 50 feet from this skate park.

  17. If I was to take a guess, that guy acted like a cop. My bet is that it WAS a cop and the “investigation” will go nowhere.

    • I think your right he’s either friends with the cops or he is a cop I herd that his name might Chris

  18. I always carry pepper spray just for this reason. Hose everyone down, call the parents. If tears streaming, eye burning, nose running, throat choking does not break it up then you might have to elevate to your carry piece.

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