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By Travis Birney

QUESTION: Walking through a park, you see a woman screaming at a man. He tries to walk away but she continues to yell at him. Frustrated at her persistence, he turns, slaps the woman, pushes her to the ground and cocks his fist, ready to strike her again. You have no other information but what you’ve just witnessed. What do the legal experts at U.S. LawShield suggest you do?

  1. Call 911 and describe the location and what is happening.
  2. Draw your legally concealed firearm and approach the man giving orders to get off the woman and stop hitting her.
  3. Run up and push the man off the woman.
  4. Leave the area immediately and tell your spouse the story at dinner that night.
What do you do when, as a gun owner, you encounter a couple physically fighting in a park or other public place? Photo by Sean Utley/US LawShield

ANSWER: The answer is A. While chivalry certainly has its place, it shouldn’t get you convicted of a felony. You are only allowed to use “deadly force” to protect another person if you believe that person is in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury. If the man starts beating the woman with a closed fist, it may qualify. However, a slap and a raised hand probably do not rise to the level of reasonably believing a person in in imminent danger of death.

If you intervene without this reasonable belief, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law. So, what to do? You don’t have the authority to arrest the man, so your best option is to call someone who does. Calling 911 is your most prudent choice.

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  1. Did not see an answer “A”… I responded with answer number one (1) which seems to correspond with your answer “A”. So, I guess I’m alright… Anyway, I learned my lesson about getting involved in domestic problems a long time ago when working as a bouncer… Guy was slapping a woman around, I stepped in knocked him out when he wouldn’t stop, she stabbed me in the back… Fortunately drunk chick, dull knife, my body in a lot better condition, Guardian Angel, luck, all of the above whatever the reason the knife didn’t penetrate deep enough to reach the kidney it was heading for… Lesson learned…

  2. Call 911…be prepared for a long response time…be prepared to step in with increased force should the man start beating on the woman with closed fists, feet or a weapon.

    The police call it a use-of-force continuum for a reason. This is exactly why police have a wide spectrum of response tools available to them…from officer presence, to verbal commands, to open and closed hand techniques, to pepper spray, to baton, Taser…and, finally, lethal force (bear in mind that I did not stack rank pepper spray, baton and Taser – under most Agencies and Departments guidelines those three are considered an equivalent response tool depending on the individual circumstances).

    Be prepared to justify your actions in writing and under oath.

  3. Shoot the man. If the woman objects shoot her too. Put your hood up and walk away calmly.

    • Maybe mumble something in Spanish or “Ebonics” as you walk away… Or, go ahead and rob them and rape the woman BEFORE you shoot her that way you are sure to get no bail release and a notice to appear in court whenever it’s convenient for you…

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