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View Full Version : Hypothetical: Firearm as Non-Lethal Self-Defense


PsychGuy274
08-08-2010, 10:20 PM
Ok, something I just randomly thought about that I think would be interesting to hear some debate on.

For the purposes of this hypothetical situation let's assume that the entire incident was caught on tape from beginning to end so there's no "he-said-she-said" modifier.

So let's say someone breaks into my house. He is not armed, but once he sees me he starts to threaten to beat me up or something. At this point if he came at me (again, keep in mind, no weapon) in a threatening manner I could just kick in his knee-cap and break his leg. This would be using reasonable force to protect yourself. I'm assuming that police/judges wouldn't take to kindly if you shot a man in this situation.

Now the interesting part - what if you DID shoot him? Let's say that you are one of the best shots with a pistol in the whole United States. When you shoot you always hit a bullseye. You are a bad***. In other words...your Chuck Norris.

So what if when you shot him you aimed for his knee and shot off one round, striking him in the knee to stop the threat? You specifically shot a round at a strategic location on his body to create a painful, yet not life threatening wound.

It seems that in this situation because "guns are evil" and generally have a horrible connotation that if you fired at him you would go to jail, but if you just kicked him and broke his leg it would considered legitimate force.

In my opinion, they are both equal.

What do you think?

Librarian
08-08-2010, 10:46 PM
Hypotheticals can be fun. Here's a counter: suppose, good as you are, the Bad Guy (TM) moves and you miss, failing to stop the threat with that first shot?

Suppose instead the Bad Guy is miraculously struck in the head/heart by a meteorite fragment weighing 230 grains, which just happens to match the .45 ammo you are using?

Sorry. I said hypotheticals can be fun....

Generally speaking, laws are meant to cover the most common occurrences. Defining use of a firearm as 'lethal force' is convenient; death is at least a likely outcome, if not a necessary one.

Given your setup, lethal force is an acceptable response - you have to be in fear for your life or in fear of receiving grave bodily harm to justify that force, and if someone breaks into your house, the law will presume that fear for you.

stitchnicklas
08-08-2010, 11:42 PM
aim a gun at the guy,if he continues towards you and refuse orders to stop.

time to order him a pine box or give him your gun and order yourself a box that says idiot on it.
double tap is best.....

elSquid
08-08-2010, 11:56 PM
Now the interesting part - what if you DID shoot him? Let's say that you are one of the best shots with a pistol in the whole United States. When you shoot you always hit a bullseye. You are a bad***. In other words...your Chuck Norris.

So what if when you shot him you aimed for his knee and shot off one round, striking him in the knee to stop the threat? You specifically shot a round at a strategic location on his body to create a painful, yet not life threatening wound.

What happens if a bullet fragment clips the femoral and he bleeds out before EMS arrives?

-- Michael

ZirconJohn
08-09-2010, 12:08 AM
Librarian's hypothetical is very good...

Here is mine; hypothetically speaking...;

You have an uninvited intruder in your house, intruder threatens you... you fear for your life!

Firing a weapon at kneecap as preventive measure just might get someone KILT...
...maybe the guy getting kilt is YOU...! :eek:

Better to just shoot to kill, and if you miss... maybe you just wound the guy!

Better to ba a live bad shot, than a dead good shot... :shrug:

Two more things...;
1. An intruder charging you with immanent mortality, left to live, can sue you!
2. A dead intruder cannot sue you! :D

Moral of story; 'Stop The Threat:excl:'

Uriah02
08-09-2010, 12:08 AM
I don't think applying lethal force (shooting the perp) would hold up as well in court by shooting in a non-lethal manner. It would be a decent point to prove that you were truly in fear for your life if you could chose to use a lethal weapon for "non-lethal force".

Red Devil
08-09-2010, 2:36 AM
Well...

1. You could leave the gun un-loaded.

Then, if you are faced with a home invasion, you can pull it and shout really loud.

If that doesn't work, you can tell him that you voted for Obama and Pelosi, and that you are so broke now from payin' taxes that you can't even afford ammo.

If he doesn't feel sorry for you and splits whatever he has in his wallet with you, and decided, in stead, to kill you and butcher your family, you can always throw the empty gun at him. (I'm sure that the judge will take that into consideration at your assault trial, if you live)


2. Draw your weapon, and give a loud verbal warning of emanate gunfire.

During the verbal warning you line-up the front sight with the center of mass.

This is followed almost immediately by a controlled pair (Double-tap) into the chest if it is still visible after the warning, ...and not obscured by the perp's rear end as he dives head-first through the nearest exterior door or window.

Then call 911 to report the attempt on your life and that of your family, with or without the need for a meat-wagon.


Both will work...

Beelzy
08-09-2010, 7:36 AM
Mozambique Drill.................Hypothetically.

ricknadine1111
08-09-2010, 7:40 AM
NOT CALLED DOUBLE TAP ITS CALLED A CONTROLLED PAIR THEN ONE TO THE HEAD.
You don't want to be sued do you?

stitchnicklas
08-09-2010, 1:23 PM
I don't think applying lethal force (shooting the perp) would hold up as well in court by shooting in a non-lethal manner. It would be a decent point to prove that you were truly in fear for your life if you could chose to use a lethal weapon for "non-lethal force".

lethal force is allowed to protect against physical harm also,you are not required to ask the perp if he is armed and match his aggression.you bought a gun for a reason....

garrett916
08-09-2010, 1:28 PM
if a guy breaks in your house and beats the **** out of you and you dont shoot him i hope you shoot yourself because we already have to many stupid people in society.

Exile Machine
08-09-2010, 1:31 PM
Shoot to stop. If the situation warrants the presentation of a firearm, the first noise heard after the scrape of steel clearing leather is a BANG, immediately followed by another. The situation that warrants presentation of a firearm is a life threatening situation. Bad guy in my house qualifies.

I wouldn't attempt to kick his knee, I don't know if he's armed or has a co-conspirator lurking nearby, or if he's a judo expert or hopped up on PCP or what, and I don't need to worry about that. He's in my place, I fear for my life, that's a good shoot. Shoot to stop.

-Mark

El Gato
08-09-2010, 1:31 PM
Ok, something I just randomly thought about that I think would be interesting to hear some debate on.

For the purposes of this hypothetical situation let's assume that the entire incident was caught on tape from beginning to end so there's no "he-said-she-said" modifier.

So let's say someone breaks into my house. He is not armed, but once he sees me he starts to threaten to beat me up or something. At this point if he came at me (again, keep in mind, no weapon) in a threatening manner I could just kick in his knee-cap and break his leg. This would be using reasonable force to protect yourself. I'm assuming that police/judges wouldn't take to kindly if you shot a man in this situation.

Now the interesting part - what if you DID shoot him? Let's say that you are one of the best shots with a pistol in the whole United States. When you shoot you always hit a bullseye. You are a bad***. In other words...your Chuck Norris.

So what if when you shot him you aimed for his knee and shot off one round, striking him in the knee to stop the threat? You specifically shot a round at a strategic location on his body to create a painful, yet not life threatening wound.

It seems that in this situation because "guns are evil" and generally have a horrible connotation that if you fired at him you would go to jail, but if you just kicked him and broke his leg it would considered legitimate force.

In my opinion, they are both equal.

What do you think?

So...you are in fact committing Mayhem...
and if the round broke his kneecap and maybe punctured and artery and he bled to death...
remember the hollywood bank robber ninja who was shot in the ankle and died
but beyond that....
legally...and IANAL.... shooting them to wound them on purpose...would be like mayhem and you would be facing like 10-20 yrs in prison...but if you shot him/her/it in the center of the body cause you didn't have any other choices...that would be like self defense...not mayhem...

we never suggest wounding someone on purpose...there lies monsters...

longarmshortlegs
08-09-2010, 1:45 PM
I think that the end-all would be that regardless of where you placed your shot, the fact is that you used a firearm which is "deadly" even if death did not occur, or was not intended. You used the tool as it was intended to be used.

A better question would be: "What if I pistol-whipped the intruder into submission?"
You used a firearm in a manner that it was not meant to be used. Hmm...

rugershooter
08-09-2010, 2:37 PM
Ok, something I just randomly thought about that I think would be interesting to hear some debate on.

For the purposes of this hypothetical situation let's assume that the entire incident was caught on tape from beginning to end so there's no "he-said-she-said" modifier.

So let's say someone breaks into my house. He is not armed, but once he sees me he starts to threaten to beat me up or something. At this point if he came at me (again, keep in mind, no weapon) in a threatening manner I could just kick in his knee-cap and break his leg. This would be using reasonable force to protect yourself. I'm assuming that police/judges wouldn't take to kindly if you shot a man in this situation.

Now the interesting part - what if you DID shoot him? Let's say that you are one of the best shots with a pistol in the whole United States. When you shoot you always hit a bullseye. You are a bad***. In other words...your Chuck Norris.

So what if when you shot him you aimed for his knee and shot off one round, striking him in the knee to stop the threat? You specifically shot a round at a strategic location on his body to create a painful, yet not life threatening wound.

It seems that in this situation because "guns are evil" and generally have a horrible connotation that if you fired at him you would go to jail, but if you just kicked him and broke his leg it would considered legitimate force.

In my opinion, they are both equal.

What do you think?

Firearms are always considered deadly weapons, regardless of whether or not you intended to only wound or whether or not you actually did wound the person. For example, PC 245 makes assault with a deadly weapon illegal. Firearms are included in the definition of an assault with a deadly weapon. So if the use of lethal force -remember, a firearm is alwats a deadly weapon- isn't justified, I'd say you'd be prosecuted. If it was justified, I wouldn't think anything would happen.

stormy_clothing
08-09-2010, 3:00 PM
Now what happens if I draw a happy face on his chest with 9mm at point blank range ?

If you can injure someone that's best, it's a horrible thing to have to kill someone unless you have to then it's still bad. It doesnt matter what kind of bs people say you will always know whether it was warranted or not and have to live with yourself.