Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

How Many Shots is to much when using your gun in self defence?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by glockguy, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    60
    Something I have always wondered was if your in a situation where you end up having to use your gun, do you empty your entire clip into the guy or just shoot to resolve the situation? Iv been told that if you empty the entire clip and say you feared for your life then it would hold in court, but if you only shot the bad guy a few times (and still killed him) and said you feared for your life that it would be looked at differently... Don't get me wrong I'm not gonna worry about conserving my bullets if was in a situation, im just curious...
     
  2. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,367
    Likes Received:
    77
    I think one bullet more than needed to stop the aggressors actions could be construed as "too many" by the court and jury you'd probably be facing.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,911
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    how many rounds you fire is entirely situationally dependent. there are self-defense situations where the entire magazine was dumped, AND a reload, and there have been self-defense situations where only one shot was fired- the amount of rounds fired, by itself, doesn't mean a single thing.

    are you facing multiple targets? is your assailant shooting at you? is he advancing on you? is he under the influence of intoxicants? how accurate is your fire? how is your grip/stance? were you taken by surprise? did the situation digress slowly, giving you some forsight? etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc... just off the top of my head. all of these things will make a difference in how many rounds you chose to fire.

    but one thing is certain- "one shot stops" are unicorns. NEVER fire just one round. there isn't a serious trainer in this beloved country of ours that would ever advocate "shooting one round and assessing." these situations fly off the handle and happen way too fast for thinking- you need to get rounds off as fast as you can, and you should always train for a MSR- minimum standard response- of between 3-5 rounds.
     
  4. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    20
    How many members here have read Massad Ayoob's book "In The Gravest Extreme"? If you have not, I suggest that you find a copy and read it. He also writes a monthly column in Combat Handguns titled "Self Defense & The Law".
    Ayoob is considered one of the foremost experts in self defense using lethal force. He is called upon many times each year to testify for the defense when lethal force has been used both by civilians and cops! Reading his books or column just might help keep you out of jail!:thumbup:
     
  5. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,911
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    i despise legal considerations regarding self-defense shooting. none of that matters when you're standing at the wrong end of a jacker with a professed intent to kill. either the shoot is good or it isn't- either you should, or you shouldn't pull the trigger. period.

    to emphasize my top post- if it's a good shoot, it's not going to matter if you pop off 1 or 10 rounds. it's not going to matter if you pop off 10 or 30 rounds, if that's what was necessary to preserve your life? do you pump rounds into someone lying on the ground bleeding? sure- if he's still pointing a gun at you. do you pump rounds into someone with their hands in the air, surrendering? no.

    because in the end, it's about survival. it's not even about winning- just living to see another day. if that means you take a few non-mortal hits to the torso, and completely MISS the badguy, but he runs off because you fired back- you've achieved success. you survived. his intent was to kill you, but you overcame, and lived. very unlikely scenario- if you cant hit him, he'll probably keep killing you before fleeing- but added for emphasis.

    most people have very unrealistic expectations of what it will be like... firstly, its very unlikely that you will have a "choice." most of these situations are about as end-game as you can get. it comes down to speed and hits- getting the gun out as mother bubbleguming fast as you can, and getting accurate fire out as much and as fast as you can. there's no time to think- and even if there was, you'll be incapable of "thought." your sympathetic nervous system will blast through the top of your skull- your adrenal glands will literally dump everything they have, your vision will narrow to no wider than the width of the perp, your extremous blood vessels will immediately constrict, limiting all bodily resources to nothing other than the most basic functions necessary for combat or flight. there is no think- there is only do, or die.

    so forget all the legal crap. chose the most efficient killing device you can get your hands on, within the laws available to you. train to be as deadly with that device as you possibly can. and when/if the time comes to use it and your skill, you'll use it to the best of your ability, and hope to survive.
     
    Grunwald and (deleted member) like this.
  6. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    753

    Very good book,i have purchased 3 of them as they seem to disappear.
     
  7. sprice37

    sprice37 Albany Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    34
    When you have to dip into the ammo can that is too much.
     
  8. biggie24420

    biggie24420 Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    637
    Well I would double tap if I had to use my firearm.... I hope I never have to use deadly force. But bottom like bkb0000 said..... it just depends. I know if I was close enough, I would go for the head like the SAS:cool:.
     
  9. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    669
    Too many shots is never enough.

    If you truly fear that your life is in imminent danger, you should keep shooting until you no longer have to worry.

    If my life was really on the line, I just couldnt care less about possible future litigation.
     
  10. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    121
    I would use as many rounds as needed until there was no more threat.
     
  11. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,035
    Likes Received:
    1,725
    You shoot to stop the threat...period. If they are still doing whatever action it was that they were doing to warrant deadly force then you haven't shot them enough.

    Nobody here can tell you a number...even reloading and shooting more is fine- as long as there is still a threat that warrants deadly force.

    What does that mean? That means if a chick with a knife comes running at you and you shoot her 15 times before she hits the ground you are fine. On the same coin if she falls the ground in the first shot, but you are still emptying your magazine into her- I can say that that is probably too much.

    Too much force, however, is always in the eye of the jury. Some may think you were justified because you were in genuine fear of your life, add stress and endorphines pumping through you and you get a total amount of bullets that just happen to be in the magazine at the time. Am I going to sit here and say that 15 rounds is too much? Of course not...there are many factors that have to be put into consideration. Have you ever been in a violent encounter before? Did the attacker surprise you? Ect, ect...the lawyers (mainly the head DAs) decide these matters and decide to persue charges based upon the facts (and if they want to make a name for themself by making an example out of you).

    Your best bet is to train, train and train. Be alert and constantly observant. Possible threats shouldn't be a surprise to you because you should be constantly scanning for threats- especially when you have a gun on your hip. Nevertheless, there may come a time when you are attacked when you are least prepared (i.e. sleeping in your house). Who am I to say how threatened you were by the subject in your house?

    Anyhoot, I think you get the point...your best bet is just to simply know your own limitations and try to always get better and try to be more prepared for violent encounters. Carrying a gun comes great responsibility...you have basically stated that "I refuse to be a victim!" So your best bet is not to become one or victimize someone else with your firearm.

    Stay safe and good luck...
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  12. mattg521

    mattg521 portland.,or Member

    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    17
    You guys are making this way too complicated.
    Try this:
    Bad guy still moving other than running away / writhing in agony on ground = not enough rounds.
    Bad guy not moving (aka dead) or moving away at best possible speed / on knees begging for life = enough rounds.:thumbup:
     
  13. Bhowe

    Bhowe Seattle Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    2
    Until there is no longer a threat against your life.
     
  14. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    6
    If the situation is truly self defense, pull the trigger until you are no longer in fear for your life. At the point you have the time and wherewithal to ask yourself if you have shot too many bullets, you are probably out of mortal danger and should stop. Basically you pull the trigger when the chance of going to prison seems like an acceptable risk (or, more likely, is not even a consideration) because the only other alternative is death.

    As for making a brief statement of self defense (very general and non-specific) before invoking your right to an attorney, I think this is the right way to go. That statement sets the tone for the criminal investigation. Lots of cops have made that same statement and understand at some level what you are saying. Do you really think there is another defense that you are going to be able to use at trial? I doubt it. Better to get the investigation looking at that angle, especially if there are witnesses who may or may not be friendly to you. They may talk right away and tell a story that is far different from you perceived to have happened.
     
  15. crxracer98328

    crxracer98328 tacoma, wa New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Id say go over Geneva rules to be safe. Engage the enemy until they are unable to fight. Meaning if you hit them once and they dont seem to be a threat, you should stop. If they keep coming fire until there is no longer making an attempt to hurt you.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Also remember we are responsible for every bullet that leaves our gun's barrel. If one of your rounds misses your attacker and injures an innocent person then it is you who may have to answer for it. How much more for the 5th through 13th rounds you may have kept shooting?

    The law allows us to use enough force that is reasonable and necessary to overcome the threat.

    I have no problem with Ayoob's speech. Police will take an attitude with you if you refuse to say anything, and saying what Ayoob recommands is not incriminating and satisfies the legal requirement for a self-defense action.

    Beyond that though if you want to exercise your Miranda rights then do so. Be polite and professional with the police and it'll go a long way to keep you out of handcuffs.

    YMMV.
     
  17. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Yes, I can't stand that little jerk of a professor. :laugh:

    Show me somebody who was convicted for saying he thought his life was in danger and so defended himself.

    I do know the value of having a defendant hang himself. So can't sleep, huh? :)
     
  18. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Likes Received:
    25
    Shoot until he falls over. However many rounds it takes. Shooting him when he's on the ground is one bullet too many.
     
  19. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    6
    I watched portions of the videos. They are long and I have a busy life. I'll try to sit through the rest over the next while, but he has not said anything that i have not heard before.

    I would tend to agree with the lawyer if things occurred in a vacuum. But they don't. I, too, have spoken with many lawyers (judges, prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys) and many police officers and I have a different opinion.

    The advice given by the professor is somewhat predicated on the belief that you will have diarrhea of the mouth and, once you make your brief statement, you will not shut up. If that is the case, say nothing. Remember that this guy was a defense attorney and used to dealing with stupid people all the time. His advice is for the least common denominator.

    Also understand that if you say nothing at all you can expect to be arrested at the scene. There will be plenty of probable cause (dead body, gun, etc.) to make an arrest. You will likely do a few days in jail before you can make a statement in the presence of an attorney. If you shot someone in self defense (and your attorney and you believe that it meets the legal requirements of a self-defense justification), you will be making a statement at some point. In absence of any evidence to the contrary (ie. your statement that it was self defense), the police will proceed with a homicide/murder investigation. The fact that you asserted self defense initially will weigh on the investigators' analysis of other evidence. They are trained to and will look for evidence to either prove or disprove the assertion. If there is enough evidence initially to give credence to your claim, you stand a good chance of coming back in a few days with counsel, having never been arrested, to give your statement.

    The advice Ayoob gives (I disagree with Ayoob on a lot of things, but not this) is sound if no crime was committed and if you account for the fact that the cops are all people, not robots. If you make an initial assertion of self defense and are polite but firm in your assertion of your 5th Amendment rights, you humanize yourself. If you look and act like an upstanding citizen who was forced to take a life, your story, when you tell it, will pass the smell test.

    Remember that the police are there to find out what happened, not to find someone to pin it on. Now if, for whatever reason, you hate or don't trust the police, you may not agree with my opinion. I believe the police are there to do the right thing and that 90% of the time making a statement right off the bat would probably not hurt you. However, I also understand that right after an incident is not the best time for you to make a statement because you are not thinking clearly and may not understand all of the subtleties of the law surrounding self-defense cases. I am also basing my opinion on the assumption that the shoot was legal and justified.
     
  20. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,773
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    If (God forbid) I'm ever in a self defense situation with a human, I will shoot until I believe the threat to my life (or another's life) has ended. If someone was on the ground but still pointing a firearm at me, I would shoot.

    I stated human, because we all have to assume that's what the OP was asking. I've damn near had to use my gun in self defense against animals and we all know in a situation like that we would shoot until the threat to ourselves was over. Why would a human attack be any different.

    I, too, subscribe to "Rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6".