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Shooting in the back?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by onceblind, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. onceblind

    onceblind nwOR New Member

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    When I took my CCL class a few months ago I forgot to ask this question, so I thought I'd post it here. In the event of a gunman firing into a large crowd, like what happened in Arizona or say randomly at a shopping mall, is it legally ok to shoot that person in the back, if that's how you're positioned? If he were at that moment shooting, I would say he should be taken out however possible, but what if he were at the moment not shooting, like scanning the area or moving to a new position (but had already fired on people). Would it be justifiable to shoot him in the back in that situation? Thanks
     
  2. glock.40

    glock.40 Orygun Active Member

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    This example of use of lethal force is quite different than one of self-defense. It would be a poor decision to shoot an intruder running away from you. However, this case, it seems you have a moral duty to stop the man from harming innocent people that cannot defend themselves against someone like that.

    I can't find my printed sheet of ORS that defines acceptable use of force, but I think (in your specific example) it would be justified.
     
  3. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    the ORS does not spell out any specific tactics required, and it certainly doesn't require you run around to the front to take a shot at somebody actively shooting "innocent" people. the ORS simply states that you can use lethal force to defend someone from serious injury or death.

    and i tell you what- if i'm ever taking a shot at an "active shooter," i'm gonna be trying my hardest to shoot him in the back, and probably many, many times.
     
  4. wm36

    wm36 Hillsboro, OR New Member

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    At the OFA Basic Handgun Safety class I took, they taught you are justified in using lethal force if: a bad guy has the Ability (yep, he has a gun) and Opportunity (yep, he's right there in the crowd) to cause harm, and a reasonable person would agree that you or someone else is in Jeopardy (seems like a no brainer). Great class BTW.

    This also is one of my nightmare scenarios: what if there are several CHL carriers and all of a sudden there are multiple people with guns drawn? If you've only heard shots but not seen them fired, how do you know who is the bad guy? How does someone else know you're not the bad guy? I won't start carrying until I can resolve this scenario for myself.
     
  5. onceblind

    onceblind nwOR New Member

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    I would much rather approach the gunman from the back also, and I figure that would basically be considered ok. Just wondering if it turned out he was out of ammo or something, would that change anything legally, but I guess there would be no way of knowing if he were so that shouldn't be very relevant.

    Wow, I hadn't thought of the multiple "good guy" scenario but that would definitely be tricky. I had wondered how in that scenario responding leo's would know that I am not the bad guy--that could turn out very bad also. Maybe that's why they make those conceal carry badges! I would still carry even with the issue unresolved, though. Chances are if you need to use your weapon it won't be in that scenario, and you could leave it holstered until you knew for sure if that ever played out.
     
  6. miletwo

    miletwo Gresham, Oregon Member

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    SEE: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/161.html
    --------------------------------------------------------
    161.209 Use of physical force in defense of a person. Except as provided in ORS 161.215 and 161.219, a person is justified in using physical force upon another person for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. [1971 c.743 §22]

    161.210 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

    161.215 Limitations on use of physical force in defense of a person. Notwithstanding ORS 161.209, a person is not justified in using physical force upon another person if:
    (1) With intent to cause physical injury or death to another person, the person provokes the use of unlawful physical force by that person; or
    (2) The person is the initial aggressor, except that the use of physical force upon another person under such circumstances is justifiable if the person withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person the intent to do so, but the latter nevertheless continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful physical force; or
    (3) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law. [1971 c.743 §24]

    161.219 Limitations on use of deadly physical force in defense of a person. Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.209, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is:
    (1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
    (2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or
    (3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person. [1971 c.743 §23]
     
  7. brianjronk

    brianjronk Marysville, WA Active Member

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    Never been in the scenario, but from the stories I've heard about active shooters, they are calm and collected, methodically shooting people execution-style. That would be the person I go for.

    If there are 5 other CHL carriers, I'm hoping/assuming they'll be terrified and shooting from behind cover. If someone starts actively shooting, I'm not going to stand right where I'm at and get my good shooting stance set up. I'll be diving behind cover, THEN drawing, THEN shooting back.

    Like I said, I've never been and never want to be in that scenario, but I personally think it will be pretty apparent who the BG is.
     
  8. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    the only thing you're going to need to establish to be cleared is that you REASONABLY believed your or others' lives were in danger. it doesn't matter if he's out of ammo, it doesn't matter if he's shooting blanks, it really doesn't even matter if he's got a blaze orange plastic squirt gun- if you can articulate a reasonable belief of real and immediate danger, you're justified.

    there's no tricks, there's no catch-alls... every shooting in this state is analyzed case-by-case by a grand jury of your peers. they're regular people, with regular brains and regular fears and regular desire for self-preservation. if your shoot was reasonable, they'll agree.
     
  9. ecurbCO

    ecurbCO northwest WA New Member

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    I hope like **** two+ concealed carriers never shoot each other by mistake in an incident like that--it would make the Brady Campaign right about something, for a start!
    People on this forum probably care less about legal liability than the risk of shooting someone who is risking their life trying to help others. So, how can one train to avoid reflexively pointing your gun at someone else with a raised gun in such a situation?

    Most of the murderers I've seen video of appear to hold their weapons "first person shooter" style--out in front, pointing at whatever they're looking at. They're not violating rule 2, because there's nothing they're not willing to shoot.
    Most appear to act calm and collected because they're not facing return fire. I expect one that did would not act as methodically as--say--the columbine shooters.

    Would it be worth doing blue-gun reaction training with a friend? Take turns opening your eyes, and decide instantly whether their gun is a) lowered, b) pointed at a threat, c) pointed at victims?
    It's worth keeping in mind that nothing like this has happened before, but with something like 10% of eligible Washington residents owning CPLs, we might not want to leave it to chance. After all, we're responsible for the consequences of our actions when we carry, as at all other times. I'd put at least as much thought into this as avoiding pileups on the freeway.
     
  10. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    i think the.... i'll call it Green on Green.... situation is probably extremely improbable... but i also think that two guys well trained enough to be responding to and engaging an active-shooter (most CCW guys would likely NOT engage, favoring taking a guarded retreat) are likely also well enough trained to recognize the body language and behavior of another Green- wide eyes/scared expression, mouth open, keeping low, weapon pointed in a safe direction when not on target (as the above poster mentions), etc.

    if not... well, there's 8 billion people on this planet, and crazy unfortunate bad-timing-bad-luck situations are bound to happen from time to time. just have the best situational awareness you can.
     
  11. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The only time you draw your weapon and shoot is to stop a deadly threat. You don't shoot someone in the back that is running away. The threat has ended. If they are still shooting at another person, then yes, you can shoot them in the back to stop the threat.
     
  12. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    negative. if you deem the situation is such that they're moving away to gain tactical advantage over you, you're still actively engaged in a gunfight, and by NOT shooting you're simply missing a key opportunity to end the fight.

    running away from you, probably TOWARD others, with a gun in his hand, does NOT indicate the end of a threat- simply that the dynamic had changed. you need to assess the situation on it's own merits- will you DIE because you failed to seize an opportunity, or is the enemy truly in retreat? you have no way of knowing- but you absolutely cannot wait until he's aiming at you to decide. even if you get a shot off first, even if it lands DCOM- he can still empty his magazine into you before he expires.

    here's a drill we often run at PNW-

    YouTube - ‪August 1 CRPC - Head 2 Head - Alex y Evil Ben again‬‏

    you can have the fastest draw on earth, but you're still gonna receiving incoming lead, on an even playing field.