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When is it time to use DF on an unarmed attacker?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by arjunki, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. arjunki

    arjunki Beaverton Active Member

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    The thread "Have you ever had to pull your gun?" inspired me to start this thread. I have to admit that after carrying for close to 22 yrs. now that the thought of one particular situation bothers me (Okay, it down right scares me!) more than any other. Thank god it hasn't actually happened to me but it is the thought of a person or persons that are "NOT" armed violating my personal space with the intent to do bodily harm while I am carrying. The question is:
    When is it within your right to use deadly force against an unarmed attacker? I mean, at some point one must make this decision or possibly get his/her own gun used against themselves. What are your views? I am planning on asking my buddy that is a retired deputy sheriff but I'd like to hear what you all think?
    :thankyou:
     
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    The best thing you can do is sit down with an attorney versed in use of force issues, and go over scenarios, laws etc.

    The best money you will ever spend.
     
  3. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    One of the legal considerations you should be aware of with unarmed attackers is the concept of "disparity of force".
     
  4. krawl

    krawl Oregon Member

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    Well what's the law say:
    161.205 Use of physical force generally. The use of physical force upon another person that would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:

    (1) A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person may use reasonable physical force upon such minor or incompetent person when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of the minor or incompetent person. A teacher may use reasonable physical force upon a student when and to the extent the teacher reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order in the school or classroom or at a school activity or event, whether or not it is held on school property.

    (2) An authorized official of a jail, prison or correctional facility may use physical force when and to the extent that the official reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order and discipline or as is authorized by law.

    (3) A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a common carrier of passengers, or a person acting under the direction of the person, may use physical force when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to maintain order, but the person may use deadly physical force only when the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent death or serious physical injury.


    More here on force/deadly force:
    http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/161.html
     
  5. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    This is the important part here, if you are a skinny 140lbs dude and some big 200lb biker dude heads for you with clear intent to give you a delicious knuckle sandwich and turn your face inside out then maybe it's time to one-up him with a firearm.
     
  6. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    I am not sure how to answer this,

    If i have a gun, and i am a 200 lb 6' male, but if a 18 year old 150 lb male wants to fight, yes i can fend him off physically, but lots of things happen in fights, cops are shot with their own gun all the time. That is something they risk having to go hands on with someone. myself as a citizen don't have to go hands on. This might be one of the rare times where drawing and firing a warning shot might be the best coarse of action. I would still consult law enforcement, and a lawyer. Either way it is going to be bad times.
     
  7. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Statutes are a very small part of the story.
     
  8. arjunki

    arjunki Beaverton Active Member

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    I had a situation that bothered me recently. I was walking solo to meet up with my family a few miles away and was disrespected in another language (Ethiopian or ???) by 5 or 6 young teenagers. I did nothing to initialize this. I generally just pass people with a glance and maybe a smile. They were just being punks! I just ignored them and continued on my way but I couldn't help but think of the scenarios that could unfold in such a situation gone bad with several attackers against one guy with a gun? It was twilight to boot and my eyes aren't quite as sharp as they once were either. I will do my best to avoid that area while alone from now on . Especially at night.
     
  9. johnharris11

    johnharris11 Central Point Member

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    I always carry OC with me for such an occasion. That way I have an alternative to using deadly force if DF isn't justified. If the BG doesn't have a weapon, just his bare hands, it would be hard for me to justify using DF. I would just spray him/her with the OC and get the heck out of dodge. That would be easier than trying to explain to a jury why I shot the BG. I have been to classes at OFA and they talk about this. OFA does a great job of explaining AOJ, which is Ability, opportunity, jeopardy, and the force continuum. This has been an eye opener for me.
    Just my .02
     
  10. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Washington law allows the use of lethal force when there is a PERCEIVED threat that is direct, immediate, and plausible... in other words, even a 150 lb skinny guy can, in his manner and bearing, present a PERCEIVED and believable threat that is here, right in front of you; plausible-- that is, he CAN, or is perceived to be able to, inflict serious bodily harm to you or another in your presence, having the means at hand to do so (fists can certainly inflict serious bodily harm), and is directed, or perceived to be directed, at you.

    It is my understanding that court precedent tends to uphold the right to self defense, and/or defense of others with someone in an attack, either actually begun or perceived to be about to begin. Of course, some big dude flipping a nasty hand sign from across the street is NOT immediate or serious. If he picked up a brick or rock on his way across the street whilst mouthing profanities and threats, things change..... rapidly and seriously. Witneses always help..... but the necessary elements of the use of lethal force are a direct and immediate threat (real or perceived) that plausibly could inflict serious bodily harm. Maybe he only picked up that brick to scare you, and really didn't intend to hit you with it.... but, his manner, bearing, words, rapid motion toward you, presence of the brick, all gave you the clear impression he intended to do so..... you are justified in the use of lethal force. Don't want to get shot? Don't act in a manner that provokes it.
    "disparity of force" is an interesting concept, and important. Right now I appear to be normal, strong, healthy.. but am recovering from shoulder surgery and have almost no strength in my right arm. I'd be dead meat in any physical conflict, even with a 13 year old kid. That would constitute a disparity of force, even if the kid was average (I know one 13 year old stands 6'1" and 220 lbs.... significantly heavier than I am). Being out outnumbered also is a disparity of force, as would be having nearly anything to throw or strike with when the mark does not. Then, the clown with his finger in the jacket pocket playing concealed handgun presents a plausible threat of lethal force.... and justifies the use of it against him, despite it only being a finger...... sort of like the toy gun (orange muzzle plug removed) in the bank teller's face. SHE is not expected to be an arms expert and discern it is only a squirtgun. It is her PERCEPTION that carries the situation.
     
  11. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    Here's the bottom line. If faced with multiple attackers armed or unarmed you are in grave danger. I would draw at the bare minimum and shoot if necessary. Survive first and worry about the technicalities of a legal situation later. If your dead because you didn't defend yourself you've really lost. Jails better then dead in my book. It's extremely unlikely you'll spend much time in prison for clearly defending yourself even if they claim you used excessive force. Don't execute the attackers or shoot them in the back though obviously, because that will definitely not be good for you.
     
  12. arjunki

    arjunki Beaverton Active Member

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    ---------------
    I may have to get some OC and start carrying it for just this. I don't like the idea much of somthing else to carry but it sounds like a good alternative. Do any of you know of a good small brand? BTW thanks guys!
     
  13. johnharris11

    johnharris11 Central Point Member

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    Fox is a good brand, that is what I carry. Here is the link to their website. http://foxlabs.com/
     
  14. arjunki

    arjunki Beaverton Active Member

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    -------------------
    Thanks John!