PDA

View Full Version : Homeowner jailed for firing warning shot (MESQUITE, Texas)


Pages : [1] 2

Danz la Nuit
05-31-2012, 12:38 AM
http://wap.myfoxdfw.com/w/news-local/story/62686023/

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/18661404/homeowner-jailed-for-firing-warning-shot

Solidux
05-31-2012, 12:58 AM
Warning shots are a nono. You can't even shoot a warning shot in the military. However, they... went about the wrong way of explaining things.

It would have been better if he didn't call it a warning shot. Simply missed the guy in his home would have sufficed.

Scratch705
05-31-2012, 1:01 AM
this is why warning shots are never a good idea. if you are going to shoot, aim for the bad guy and don't stop until they stop.

Solidux
05-31-2012, 1:03 AM
this is why warning shots are never a good idea. if you are going to shoot, aim for the bad guy and don't stop until they stop.

*dont stop until they are off your property.

chasing them is a bigger no no. nothing says "youre wrong" more than a suspect with a bullet in their back regardless of what they were doing in your house in california.

FalconLair
05-31-2012, 1:10 AM
i sympathize but, people, P E O P L E, what is it gonna take to get the point across to some, concerning their absolute responsibility when possessing a firearm...obviously this couple was afraid and he felt a need to protect his family and his property but this could have went sideways in a very bad manner for this guy

what if these are just some young 12 or 13 year old kids tooling around at his gate? what if this warning shot richocets and hits someone? what if that warning shot his an underground gas line? Other than saying "late Saturday night" I really don't know what time it was, so my scenario is somewhat hypothetical, but even so, if someone was actually attempting to break through his gate he needs to immediately call 911 and STAY IN THE HOUSE...going outside is only inviting a problem

I get it, adreline is flowing, you're pumped up, but, because of that, you're actually MORE LIKELY to do something instantaneous that may result in a very bad choice...its just not worth it...this seems like a pretty good man, hard worker trying to protect him and his family and now he has done "caught a case" over a bad choice...granted, he probably wont do any jail time, could get some probation and maybe a fine, but he could lose his right to even have a weapon now because of it...I kind of doubt it comes to that, but whatever happens I hope it works out for him, I hate seeing this type of story because its so easily avoidable...I would strongly advise him, once this gets settled to go take a few gun safety training classes and home defense courses...he has to get a complete understanding of what grabbing a firearm can result in

and for petes sake, if you're into firing this "warning shot" crap, buy a da** starter pistol or something :43: actually thats probably not that good of an idea either....JUST DONT DO IT

FalconLair
05-31-2012, 1:12 AM
this is why warning shots are never a good idea. if you are going to shoot, aim for the bad guy and don't stop until they stop.

NO, you dont shoot anyone who is not a threat to your life, especially outside your property, you will be charged and if you kill that person, you will be spending a good deal of time in prison

Window_Seat
05-31-2012, 1:14 AM
Why can't these people be made aware and actually take in into their collective brains that WARNING SHOT=JAIL TIME...

Erik.

Solidux
05-31-2012, 1:24 AM
Captain Hindsight here:

1. Have wife call police while you do your thing <- posterior is covered
2. Get a flashlight to make sure its not some drunk blonde girl(lol I went there) or animals
3. Yell in a thunderous tone in cover "GTFO"
4. If POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AS A BADDY IN YOUR HOME, not porch, not fence, not chillin in your swimming pool. Then you go about the rules of engagement.
5. Shoot when life or property is in danger. Again, a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat.

FalconLair
05-31-2012, 1:24 AM
Why can't these people be made aware and actually take in into their collective brains that WARNING SHOT=JAIL TIME...

Erik.

I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

Scratch705
05-31-2012, 1:29 AM
*dont stop until they are off your property.

chasing them is a bigger no no. nothing says "youre wrong" more than a suspect with a bullet in their back regardless of what they were doing in your house in california.

NO, you dont shoot anyone who is not a threat to your life, especially outside your property, you will be charged and if you kill that person, you will be spending a good deal of time in prison

didn't fully read article so i didn't know the details. my post was more of a general "if baddie is inside home" deal.

FalconLair
05-31-2012, 1:40 AM
didn't fully read article so i didn't know the details. my post was more of a general "if baddie is inside home" deal.

lol, i was hoping that Scratch, you got over 6,000 posts in this forum, it should only makes sense that you understand the responsibility

DJ Skillz
05-31-2012, 2:55 AM
Again, a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat.

Nope, that's an opportunity.

Giggity.

SilverTauron
05-31-2012, 4:42 AM
Part of accepting the benefits of a free society is accpeting the undertanding that other people WILL screw up,sometimes badly.Millions of people get in their cars despite the risk of being potentially killed by the negligence of another driver.That kind of risk acknowledgement is required with the RKBA.

For an example of a nation which has a very low occurance of civl firearm negligence,look at mainland China.

Sir Stunna Lot
05-31-2012, 4:48 AM
unfortunately the "warning shot" falls under the same category as "shoot the bad guy in the arm/leg"

a common misconception of self defense among the general public.

SanPedroShooter
05-31-2012, 5:45 AM
Maybe Texas should legalize warning shots?

I am suprised this happened where it did. You are good on a lot of shootings that would be bad in 49 other states. This happend at night right? Property theft by night is a killin' offense in Texas..... Same with 'criminal mischeif by night' (vandalism).

They get biblical down there.

I would have said I shot and missed...

CSACANNONEER
05-31-2012, 5:54 AM
NO, you dont shoot anyone who is not a threat to your life, especially outside your property, you will be charged and if you kill that person, you will be spending a good deal of time in prison

Spoken like a Ca lawyer who doesn't know that Ca law isn't relative in TX. Texas law isn't the same. It's legal to use deadly force to protect personal property there.

Maybe Texas should legalize warning shots?


Why would anyone want to show their hand before the last card is delt?

Bobby Hated
05-31-2012, 5:58 AM
if you have to take a warning shot i suggest aiming for the family jewels. :thumbsup:

Army
05-31-2012, 7:01 AM
... You can't even shoot a warning shot in the military.
Yes, we can. And do

It would have been better if he didn't call it a warning shot. Simply missed the guy in his home would have sufficed.
There ya go :)

SanPedroShooter
05-31-2012, 7:14 AM
Spoken like a Ca lawyer who doesn't know that Ca law isn't relative in TX. Texas law isn't the same. It's legal to use deadly force to protect personal property there.



Why would anyone want to show their hand before the last card is delt?

I was sort of joking and I tend to agree. On the other hand, if a safely placed warning shot can, and did on this occasion, deter a violent attack, and as in the case in Texas, stop a property theft, then I say good for the shooter.

You do what you think is best. I dont have room for a warning shot. If I pull the trigger, it will because I am fear of my life and I will be shooting to stop the the threat. If I miss and the person runs off, well either way. But every scenario is different, espcially in place like Texas. Their penal code and use of force liabilty doesnt really look like any other states from some of the parts I have read...

You live on a large peice of property, if you could take a shot and prevent a violent criminal from gaining access to your house, would you do it? Or wait untill they are inside and in your face? I am seriously asking, I dont really have a position either way.

There was a case of an older man with an M1 Carbine firing a warning shot recently in California somewhere. As far as I know, he wasnt arrested.

Bhobbs
05-31-2012, 7:17 AM
A warning shot should be the first one to center mass.

Squid
05-31-2012, 7:21 AM
SPOKEN WITH YOUR LAWYER......

or even with a few good old buddies.


YOU NEVER KNOW IF WHAT YOU DID WAS ILLEGAL, and it probably could be illegal.


THERE IS NO RUSH TO TALK TO THE COPS, but they will put on a big song and dance like it is, and use every bit of 3rd grade recess social pressure to make you think you really, really should talk RIGHT NOW.


remember in The Exorcist when the priest knows if he just 'keeps the faith' he will be OK in face of the Devil? SAME THING.


GUESS WHAT? all that cop cares about is putting a "big bust" on his calender.


NO DIFFERENT than a car salesman.


They will both get that "hang dog" expression on their face when they hear "I'll need to check with so and so before we talk any further".

dustoff31
05-31-2012, 10:00 AM
So, he wasn't jailed for firing a warning shot:

Police charged him with discharging his weapon in a metropolitan area.

As I've said many times before, a shooting is either justified or it is not. Period. It is the shooter's responsibility to know the difference.

Actually shooting in self defense, or in TX, in defense of property at night, would be a defense to the above charge, if the subject even came up.

sindominator
05-31-2012, 10:09 AM
What if your warning shot is with a "Blank"?

NorCal Mtn Flyer
05-31-2012, 10:09 AM
A warning shot should be the first one to center mass.

The second warning shot should be to the head! ;)

JackRydden224
05-31-2012, 10:15 AM
Maybe it's time for me to get that surefire weapon light with laser.

I get the feeling that most people will understand that gun + laser pointed at you means GTFO.

ICONIC
05-31-2012, 10:20 AM
Pull the trigger until the gun goes click click click.

Sorry I couldn't resist a Big Lebowski reference.

IVC
05-31-2012, 10:27 AM
On the other hand, if a safely placed warning shot can, and did on this occasion, deter a violent attack, and as in the case in Texas, stop a property theft, then I say good for the shooter.

If there is time/place for a warning shot, the threat is not serious enough for the deadly force. One in fear for one's life eliminates the source of fear.

IVC
05-31-2012, 10:32 AM
...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

This is Brady's rhetorics. Your examples should and do lead to criminal charges and conviction, followed by the firearm ban. You are describing a criminal.

If you are afraid, you can pool together criminals and law abiding responsible gun owners in your reasoning, but cannot create laws that punish the latter on the account of the former. Unfortunately, this is also how CA politicians sell gun control to the CA public.

YubaRiver
05-31-2012, 11:51 AM
Warning shots are common in scaring threatening bears, cats, dogs even people with dogs.

"Shot across the bow" comes from the military.

Weather your culture says they are okay or not doesn't mean a warning shot
is not a useful tool sometimes. Getting some jail time or fine, yet stopping
a serious crime and avoiding killing someone might be worth it.

Glock22Fan
05-31-2012, 11:52 AM
I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

Your argument is the tired old "Blood in the streets" falacy.

It hasn't happened in the 40 states that freely allow CCW, and only Bradyites still assert that it is a danger anywhere. Indeed, statistics show that CCW holders are less likely to discharge their firearms when they should not, than do LEO's.

Going back to the original post: I live on ten acres of unincorporated land, and I own a hunting license. I don't fire warning shots, but I might imagine a coyote stalking my chickens in the near vicinity of the intruder I didn't see lurking in my bushes. :D (note for the humorously challenged - that was a joke).

FalconLair
05-31-2012, 12:23 PM
This is Brady's rhetorics. Your examples should and do lead to criminal charges and conviction, followed by the firearm ban. You are describing a criminal.

If you are afraid, you can pool together criminals and law abiding responsible gun owners in your reasoning, but cannot create laws that punish the latter on the account of the former. Unfortunately, this is also how CA politicians sell gun control to the CA public.

i get it, im very much pro 2A, but the flip of it all has to be concerning...a lot of stupid people out there and once they get a gun in their hands, well, you can't UNFUC* UP a FUC* UP...just wish there was a better way to sort it out...the fact that they are now a "criminal" would be of small consolation to the dead victim

and i do agree with you, the responsible shouldnt get reamed because of the prospects that a few are gonna overstep it...just wish we could figure out a way to do something about the people who have bad wiring

greasemonkey
05-31-2012, 1:07 PM
i get it, im very much pro 2A, but the flip of it all has to be concerning...a lot of stupid people out there and once they get a gun in their hands, well, you can't UNFUC* UP a FUC* UP...just wish there was a better way to sort it out...the fact that they are now a "criminal" would be of small consolation to the dead victim

and i do agree with you, the responsible shouldnt get reamed because of the prospects that a few are gonna overstep it...just wish we could figure out a way to do something about the people who have bad wiring

No you're not, the Second Amendment allows for stupid people to defend themselves with armament. You do not. By the way, who gets to decide what "stupid" is and who should not be allowed to carry in public because they're not smart enough to react properly? You're playing exactly the same word games that our 58 Sheriffs and other elected representatives are playing, except they're doing it in a futile effort to grab power...what's your excuse for toeing their gun-grabbing party line?

Decoligny
05-31-2012, 1:23 PM
Captain Hindsight here:

1. Have wife call police while you do your thing <- posterior is covered
2. Get a flashlight to make sure its not some drunk blonde girl(lol I went there) or animals
3. Yell in a thunderous tone in cover "GTFO"
4. If POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AS A BADDY IN YOUR HOME, not porch, not fence, not chillin in your swimming pool. Then you go about the rules of engagement.
5. Shoot when life or property is in danger. Again, a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat.

Great rules for California.

Texas has its own set of laws that don't match up to California.

In Texas you cannot just shoot a trespasser on your property. You can however, AT NIGHT, shoot anyone on your property who is committing theft or criminal mischief (vandalsim). Under Texas law if someone is breaking into your car on your driveway at 2 a.m., you can point your deer rifle out the window and shoot them d.e.a.d.

It is a totally different world there.

IVC
05-31-2012, 1:59 PM
...the fact that they are now a "criminal" would be of small consolation to the dead victim

To be free people, there can be no prior restraint on fundamental freedoms. The liberties are only limited when one person's fundamental right collides with another person's fundamental right.

Self defense is a fundamental right. Not being afraid is not a fundamental right. There are many people afraid of heights, spiders, shadows, armed people, etc.

What would you say to someone making a statement: "I don't want this black man in my neighborhood because he might rape my daughter. If he does, there is little consolation to her that he was a law abiding citizen up to that point." Whatever you tell him is what I am telling you!

hvengel
05-31-2012, 2:00 PM
I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

Just to be clear there are now at least 5 states that allow ANYONE who can legally own a firearm to carry one concealed WITHOUT a permit and many more that allow open carry without a permit (over half of the states and the vast majority of the western states California being about the only exception among the western states). I live in Nevada and I can put a LOADED gun in my glove box (or on my car seat or on my dash or hanging on my rear view mirror from a lanyard) and legally drive on any public street without needing a permission slip from .gov. A cop pulling me over will not even bat an eye when he sees the gun. He might ask me what kind it is and if I like it but that is about it. It is perfectly legal and ANYONE who is not prohibited from owning a firearm can do it. Amazingly (not) I have yet to see any "blood in the streets" as a result of this. And the states that allow unlicensed concealed carry have not had any issues with this and all have some of the lowest crime rates in the country.

The claim that "a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick.." and turn into a shooting match is pure Brady BS that has no basis in facts and is contrary to all of the existing evidence. Anyone claiming to be "a very strong advocate for 2A rights" who repeats that BS is most likely a Brady shill. Just calling em like I see em.

InGrAM
05-31-2012, 4:38 PM
I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

:facepalm: To all of this ^


You have any statistics, links, proof that more CCW holders = more crime?

SanPedroShooter
05-31-2012, 6:06 PM
If there is time/place for a warning shot, the threat is not serious enough for the deadly force. One in fear for one's life eliminates the source of fear.


I agree, but take a look at post 33. Fear of life is not the only reason you can shoot at someone in Texas. Especially at night.

njineermike
05-31-2012, 6:08 PM
The only warning shot should be center mass when the BG is threatening. The warning is to the rest of them to run before you're done shooting this guy.

CBruce
05-31-2012, 6:13 PM
Texas has its own set of laws that don't match up to California.

In Texas you cannot just shoot a trespasser on your property. You can however, AT NIGHT, shoot anyone on your property who is committing theft or criminal mischief (vandalsim). Under Texas law if someone is breaking into your car on your driveway at 2 a.m., you can point your deer rifle out the window and shoot them d.e.a.d.

That can't be right. If so, I'm very sad for my home state. :(

Kid Stanislaus
05-31-2012, 6:20 PM
if you have to take a warning shot i suggest aiming for the family jewels. :thumbsup:

About three warning shots COM should handle most situations quite well.;)

croc4
05-31-2012, 6:33 PM
A warning shot while may not be the best thing in every situation, it should not be illegal. I have no desire to kill anyone, and if a warning shot would clear up a situation from getting deadly I would tend to lean that way, each situation is a beast all its own, so there is no blanket course of action IMO.

we as a country have gone too far down the anti gun route, even the "pro gun" folks on this site confirm this (and not just in this case), they don't want out right bans, but are ok with "little" restrictions, these "little" restrictions grow.

If no harm is done to innocent people or property there should be no recourse for the government to go after this or any one who does this.

Oh, and to the poster who said if more people carried then there would be blood in the streets, really, millions of people carry knives daily, how many millions of stabbings do we have each day?................., yeah, a little restriction..... what could it hurt.................


Croc4

Solidux
05-31-2012, 6:34 PM
Yes, we can. And do




You better not tell anyone because you just violated the geneva conventions rules of engagement. This is actually an automatic field grade article 15. Warning shots under the current Geneva ROE/OPF are considered negligent because we are not fighting a unified army, but a ragtag group of hooligan rebels that are sometimes classified as civilians.

It might be cool in your unit under hush hush, but you may want to check with your CO/BDE SOP before telling anyone else you shoot warning shots at civilians. You cant even fire a flare at a civilian without going through the proper steps of the ROE. You can ONLY skip steps if clear and present danger from PID is there.

ROE is retarded. In iraq, we werent even allowed to shoot unless we heard "pings" in our armor. Even if we see muzzle flashes and a gun pointed at us. We were told "it could be a funeral or celebration."

626Tony
05-31-2012, 6:36 PM
I dont give warning shots

Josey Wales
05-31-2012, 6:48 PM
i sympathize but, people, P E O P L E, what is it gonna take to get the point across to some, concerning their absolute responsibility when possessing a firearm...obviously this couple was afraid and he felt a need to protect his family and his property but this could have went sideways in a very bad manner for this guy

what if these are just some young 12 or 13 year old kids tooling around at his gate? what if this warning shot richocets and hits someone? what if that warning shot his an underground gas line? Other than saying "late Saturday night" I really don't know what time it was, so my scenario is somewhat hypothetical, but even so, if someone was actually attempting to break through his gate he needs to immediately call 911 and STAY IN THE HOUSE...going outside is only inviting a problem

I get it, adreline is flowing, you're pumped up, but, because of that, you're actually MORE LIKELY to do something instantaneous that may result in a very bad choice...its just not worth it...this seems like a pretty good man, hard worker trying to protect him and his family and now he has done "caught a case" over a bad choice...granted, he probably wont do any jail time, could get some probation and maybe a fine, but he could lose his right to even have a weapon now because of it...I kind of doubt it comes to that, but whatever happens I hope it works out for him, I hate seeing this type of story because its so easily avoidable...I would strongly advise him, once this gets settled to go take a few gun safety training classes and home defense courses...he has to get a complete understanding of what grabbing a firearm can result in

and for petes sake, if you're into firing this "warning shot" crap, buy a da** starter pistol or something :43: actually thats probably not that good of an idea either....JUST DONT DO IT It was on his OWN property. What makes you think he wasn't trained?

NO, you dont shoot anyone who is not a threat to your life, especially outside your property, you will be charged and if you kill that person, you will be spending a good deal of time in prison Again...on his OWN property.

I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

No 'streets' involved...go stir up hysteria somewhere else.

kcbrown
05-31-2012, 7:28 PM
and i do agree with you, the responsible shouldnt get reamed because of the prospects that a few are gonna overstep it...just wish we could figure out a way to do something about the people who have bad wiring

You can't. Welcome to the world of liberty. The freedom to do something goes hand in hand with the freedom to screw it up. You cannot separate them, because the latter is intrinsic to the former.

You just can't do anything about that. And so, knowing that, you shouldn't try, particularly since all proposed "solutions" involve restricting freedom or discouraging its use.


The best you can do is to attempt to ensure that those who do screw up wind up being held responsible for their actions, but you must not, under any circumstances, do so in such a way that discourages the actual exercise of the liberty in question. That means no punitive damages unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the screwup was the result of willful negligence. Negligence aside, whoever screws up has to make things right to the degree he reasonably can and that's it. If that's not good enough for the unfortunate victim of the screwup, then either chalk it up to the price we all have to pay for real liberty or get the government to make up the difference (since we all have to pay for real liberty one way or the other).

IVC
05-31-2012, 9:49 PM
A warning shot while may not be the best thing in every situation, it should not be illegal. I have no desire to kill anyone, and if a warning shot would clear up a situation from getting deadly I would tend to lean that way, each situation is a beast all its own, so there is no blanket course of action IMO.

Two separate issues. First, one doesn't carry a firearm out of desire to kill someone. One carries to be able to protect against a serious threat, the potential death of the assailant being but a side effect. Second, firearms are not used to "clear up" situations, hence brandishing and warning shots are not acceptable.

The fact that many assailants will run away when confronted with a gun is just another very nice and desirable side effect which avoids complex and difficult personal choices. However, by the time a weapon is drawn, there must have already been a complete determination that the deadly force was justified. Anything less is settled through the mechanisms of the organized society such as courts.

we as a country have gone too far down the anti gun route, even the "pro gun" folks on this site confirm this (and not just in this case), they don't want out right bans, but are ok with "little" restrictions, these "little" restrictions grow.

If no harm is done to innocent people or property there should be no recourse for the government to go after this or any one who does this.

Warning shots are not "little restrictions." They are unsafe practices akin to any unsafe behavior at a shooting range. Just because in a particular case everything turns out all right doesn't mean the practice is safe. Try not following safety rules at the range and see how far you can get by telling the range master "no harm done" - you will be asked to leave instead. All of this doesn't come from the antis. This is actually what "common sense" regulation really is. A safety consideration without infringement.

croc4
05-31-2012, 10:08 PM
I disagree, I can see where a situation could be diffused with a warning shot, for example a perp thought you were unarmed and an easy target, he gets a warning shot and re-thinks the situation and retreats, or should you let him get so close and then kill him?

I'm not saying you carry a gun to kill people, but from the comments that's what it sounds like, no warning shot, shoot to kill. Now I have no problem with the "shoot to kill' mindset, what I find ironic is people think 'shoot to warn' is sooo much more evil/wrong.

And we are not talking about a range situation, we as gun owners need to man up and admit that other gun owners are adults and we accept the risk and can recognize the "path of the bullet", hell even if you shoot to kill and miss, then hit someone or something less of an evil than a warning shot?, are you f'ing kidding me?.

Should I not drive on the freeway out of the fear of a drunk driver?, if that were the case no one, even you would not drive. In a free society 'sh$t' happens, some good some bad, if you prevent the bad from happening you should not be penalized, to think otherwise is anti gun and anti freedom

reap what you sow, just be careful what you sow, it may not be palatable..........

Croc4

kcbrown
05-31-2012, 11:52 PM
Tell me: what's the difference between a person taking a warning shot and an animal showing its fangs, aside from the fact that you own every bullet you fire (and the consequences thereof)?

If there are substantial differences, then what action with a firearm is the equivalent of an animal showing its fangs?


Hint: there's a reason evolution has bred into animals the behavior of showing fangs or other unmistakable warning behavior -- it has the effect of increasing the survivability of the animal with that behavior. That's because combat is something to be avoided when possible, because once you're committed to it, you're committed to the end and stand a nonzero chance of being killed because of it. Showing fangs is a means of avoiding combat in the natural world. Explain why, somehow, that principle does not apply to someone with a firearm.

IVC
06-01-2012, 12:24 AM
Explain why, somehow, that principle does not apply to someone with a firearm.

Because we live in an organized society where there are mechanisms for settling scores when the confrontation is escalated up to and including the "showing of the fangs." We don't tolerate threatening behavior since there is no need for it once the societal structure is up, running and operational. Disregard this and you can face RO/TRO/DV.

The closest we get to "showing fangs" is drawing when the deadly force is justifiable and having the attacker reconsider. Showing fangs just to demonstrate how well we brush or how shiny, scary or big they are is a no-go. A warning shot is beyond that - it's the actual use of the fangs.

A warning shot as a method of avoiding confrontation is not acceptable due to the inherent risks associated with any discharge. Again, it IS the same as safety rules at a range - if the range is cold, you could arguably still shoot targets two lanes away since "you can control your placement." Just no range will let you do it and for a good reason.

Doomsday Machine
06-01-2012, 12:27 AM
Tell me: what's the difference between a person taking a warning shot and an animal showing its fangs, aside from the fact that you own every bullet you fire (and the consequences thereof)?

If there are substantial differences, then what action with a firearm is the equivalent of an animal showing its fangs?

Bearing teeth is not, by any means, taking a warning shot.

Brandishing a weapon is the equivalent of an animal bearing fangs, as is making a verbal warning/stating your intentions to an intruder. A dog bearing teeth, a rattlesnake coiling and buzzing, things like that are a real warning. A promise of action (or bluff) if what is perceived as aggressive behavior is not ceased.

A warning shot is simply a misplaced (albeit intentional) act of aggression. It's an attack, it just doesn't quite make the mark.

Safety1st
06-01-2012, 1:04 AM
I live in Nevada and I can put a LOADED gun in my glove box (or on my car seat or on my dash or hanging on my rear view mirror from a lanyard) and legally drive on any public street without needing a permission slip from .gov. A cop pulling me over will not even bat an eye when he sees the gun.


Oh man, that made me lol. Is it a breakaway lanyard? Or how about keychain carry? :D

NSR500
06-01-2012, 1:09 AM
ProTip:

Never fire a warning shot.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 1:23 AM
Because we live in an organized society where there are mechanisms for settling scores when the confrontation is escalated up to and including the "showing of the fangs." We don't tolerate threatening behavior since there is no need for it once the societal structure is up, running and operational. Disregard this and you can face RO/TRO/DV.


No need for it, huh? So the presumption is that it's better for the conflict to actually occur and then the courts to deal with it later than for the confrontation to be avoided as a result of a "showing of fangs" or whatever the equivalent would be?



The closest we get to "showing fangs" is drawing when the deadly force is justifiable and having the attacker reconsider.


Except the fact that you didn't shoot turns that into brandishing, does it not?



Showing fangs just to demonstrate how well we brush or how shiny, scary or big they are is a no-go.


That's not why it's done in nature, and it's not why its equivalent would be done in human society. So that's a strawman.


A warning shot is beyond that - it's the actual use of the fangs.


No, the actual use of fangs is to attack, and that means shooting at the enemy in an attempt to neutralize them.



A warning shot as a method of avoiding confrontation is not acceptable due to the inherent risks associated with any discharge.


There's risk and then there's risk. If you fire your firearm for real, someone is almost certainly going to get hurt badly or killed if your aim is true. If you intentionally fire a warning shot and have any wits about you at all, you'll discharge in such a way that it's least likely to be of danger to someone else.

To live is to risk. The question is whether it's better to accept the slight increase in risk to the general public in order to reduce the confrontations that result in someone being badly injured or killed. I don't buy the presumption that a warning shot is the major risk you imply here, because if that were the case then shots that miss the target would have a high probability of injuring or killing others.



Again, it IS the same as safety rules at a range - if the range is cold, you could arguably still shot targets two lanes away since "you can control your placement." Just no range will let you do it and for a good reason.

It's only the same superficially. The difference is that at the range, you have no good reason to not be following the safety rules, while in the case of a confrontation, you do.



EDIT: I should note for the record that I don't have a strong opinion on the matter of warning shots. If the danger from warning shots is indeed significant, then it is proper to discourage them. The same is true if taking a warning shot has a good chance of putting one in a very bad tactical position. But if neither of those is the case, then I cannot help but regard a warning shot as the equivalent of baring one's teeth, snarling, or any number of other warning actions. I am willing, however, to entertain the notion that a warning shot would actually escalate the situation in that it would cause the other person to believe he's under attack. That is good reason to refrain from it.

Lugiahua
06-01-2012, 1:29 AM
Why can't these people be made aware and actually take in into their collective brains that WARNING SHOT=JAIL TIME...
Erik.

Not everyone who owns a firearm knows the law regarding it.
I bet a huge number of gun-owners in the country actually had no idea about warning shots.

zfields
06-01-2012, 1:42 AM
It wasn't a warning shot, I just missed the bastar* with the first shot!

Sent from my Incredible 2 using Tapatalk 2

IVC
06-01-2012, 3:04 AM
No need for it, huh? So the presumption is that it's better for the conflict to actually occur and then the courts to deal with it later than for the confrontation to be avoided as a result of a "showing of fangs" or whatever the equivalent would be?

Not quite. You draw when the conflict is certain, barring the last second change of heart by the attacker. However, this is so much of a "last second" that even if he does have a change of heart you are already justified in using the deadly force. Drawing to "avoid conflict" is not justified. Drawing to "stop a threat" is justified. Whether you end up pulling the trigger (most people will try to avoid this at all cost) is irrelevant for determination of justification of drawing in the first place.

Except the fact that you didn't shoot turns that into brandishing, does it not?

If you were justified to shoot it's not brandishing whether you decided to shoot or not. That's pretty much by definition.

Again, if you are still trying to avoid conflict and defuse the situation, you are not at the point where the deadly force is justified. Thus, also by definition, a warning shot cannot be justified as it requires you to have assumed that it was the last resort, while by your own admission you are still trying to avoid the final confrontation.

The safety consideration is just a general justification of why discharge is only allowed as the last resort. It's the same argument as why you cannot shoot in your back yard in an urban area even if nobody gets hurt and you keep shooting at your target. The likelihood of getting hurt is irrelevant.

dadoody
06-01-2012, 3:37 AM
Jury will probably let him off.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 4:06 AM
Not quite. You draw when the conflict is certain, barring the last second change of heart by the attacker.


Okay, why do you draw only when the conflict is certain, and not to prevent a conflict? Don't tell me what the law is, justify it.

How is drawing to prevent a conflict any different than an animal baring its teeth to avoid a conflict?

Courts cannot prevent conflicts, only the people actually involved can do that, so you can't justify this by the mere presence of the courts, the police, or anyone else. None of those people are there, and they are not in any position to do anything about it -- only the people who are actually there are in such a position.



However, this is so much of a "last second" that even if he does have a change of heart you are already justified in using the deadly force. Drawing to "avoid conflict" is not justified.


That's the mantra. But why is it not justified? It's not enough to simply "quote scripture" here (which is what repeating what you've learned, without covering the underlying reason, is), because this is the real world, where actions (and lack thereof) have consequences and decisions are made with those consequences in mind.



Drawing to "stop a threat" is justified. Whether you end up pulling the trigger (most people will try to avoid this at all cost) is irrelevant for determination of justification of drawing in the first place.


But preventing the conflict is stopping the threat!



Again, if you are still trying to avoid conflict and defuse the situation, you are not at the point where the deadly force is justified. Thus, also by definition, a warning shot cannot be justified as it requires you to have assumed that it was the last resort, while by your own admission you are still trying to avoid the final confrontation.


But the threat of deadly force is a means of avoiding the final confrontation even when it hasn't reached the point where you have decided to shoot.

Want proof? Police use that all the time for precisely that reason.

If police can draw for preventative reasons, why can't the rest of us?



The safety consideration is just a general justification of why discharge is only allowed as the last resort. It's the same argument as why you cannot shoot in your back yard in an urban area even if nobody gets hurt and you keep shooting at your target. The likelihood of getting hurt is irrelevant.

No, the likelihood of getting hurt is relevant. If it were irrelevant, discharge would be prohibited everywhere regardless of whether or not the area is an urban area. It is precisely because the probability of injuring someone is significantly higher in urban areas that general discharge of firearms is prohibited there at all.

high_lander
06-01-2012, 4:35 AM
It IS Mesquite, so I might want to give the homeowner a small break here. Mesquite might be the Fontana of the DFW area. That being said...

The homeowner effed up in two places. Talking to the cops, and then saying he fired warning shot. Rule 1: DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. He should have said "Officer, I am a little shaken up, I would like to give my statement with counsel present." and STFU.

And quite honestly if all they could cite him for was discharging in city limits, it shows how weak their case is. Hopefully he gets a sympathetic judge.

on a side note, bad tactics. He should have gone out the front and cut off their escape. What gets me is, is that most people out here have a gun in the house. why would you risk breaking in? as I stated earlier, it IS Mesquite so they may have been under the influence.

SanPedroShooter
06-01-2012, 4:51 AM
It IS Mesquite, so I might want to give the homeowner a small break here. Mesquite might be the Fontana of the DFW area. That being said...

The homeowner effed up in two places. Talking to the cops, and then saying he fired warning shot. Rule 1: DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. He should have said "Officer, I am a little shaken up, I would like to give my statement with counsel present." and STFU.

And quite honestly if all they could cite him for was discharging in city limits, it shows how weak their case is. Hopefully he gets a sympathetic judge.

on a side note, bad tactics. He should have gone out the front and cut off their escape. What gets me is, is that most people out here have a gun in the house. why would you risk breaking in? as I stated earlier, it IS Mesquite so they may have been under the influence.

That was my feeling on the matter as well.

What would be the charge in California? Attempted murder?

The charge they hit him with has nothing to do with the fact that he shot at someone, just that he shot (inside city limits) in the first place. Think about that for a second.

Also for the poster that lamented that fact that theft of property by night and criminal mischief by night are considered good shoots in Texas, I think your dead wrong. About as dead as someone that tries to break in, or rip off a Texas homeowner in the middle of the night....

'The wages of sin is death...' Thats a good motto to keep in mind if your in Texas.



Another thought I had about military warning shots. I was in the Coast Guard, and every shot we took was a warning shot (that always ended the matter)... At civilians, US civilians (and some Canadians) no less. Of course, they were engaged in some alleged form of high seas law breaking, but I never heard anyone mention the Geneva Convention.

IVC
06-01-2012, 7:44 AM
How is drawing to prevent a conflict any different than an animal baring its teeth to avoid a conflict?

Drawing is the closest we have to baring the fangs, so you can consider the two equivalent. As you point out, the police does the same. However, this is still well short of a "warning shot" which is a discharge.

The justification for requiring an immediate threat before being allowed to draw/point/shoot is the conflict of fundamental rights. Shooting in the general direction of someone is a threat to their life, which is the most fundamental of their rights. The only time your right to self defense overrides their right to life is when they are attacking you. This is something that we agreed upon as a society.

Note that antis' argument is that the attacker's right to life is NEVER overridden by your right to self defense because they assume you ALWAYS have a way of avoiding the conflict, either by running away, or calling the police, etc.

Glock22Fan
06-01-2012, 8:09 AM
Shooting in the general direction of someone is a threat to their life, which is the most fundamental of their rights.


A warning shot is not necessarily fired in the general direction of someone, it may instead be into a nearby earthen berm (but not, of course, into the air). The intent is to demonstrate that you are capable of defending yourself, not to prove that you can shoot within six inches of his body.

Forgetting any law for a moment, my sympathies in this argument are with KCBrown (for a change :D). In the heat of the moment, you aren't necessarily going to get the "draw immediately you are justified in firing and fire immediately you draw" exactly right. Baring the teeth might well be an appropriate response. And there's no finite steps. You can snarl, you can bare your teeth, you can bear your teeth and snarl and draw yourself upright etc. All in response to the threat and its escalation (or not). Personally, I'd do my best to avoid a warning shot, but if I felt it would help save my life whilst perhaps avoiding me having to take life, and it could be done in a safe direction, I would certainly consider it.

Of course, I wouldn't blab it all to the first copper. It would be "I'm sure you realize how upset I am because this person threatened my life. I'll make a statement with my attorney tomorrow."

YubaRiver
06-01-2012, 8:18 AM
"Drawing is the closest we have to baring the fangs, so you can consider the two equivalent. As you point out, the police does the same. However, this is still well short of a "warning shot" which is a discharge.

The justification for requiring an immediate threat before being allowed to draw/point/shoot is the conflict of fundamental rights. Shooting in the general direction of someone is a threat to their life, which is the most fundamental of their rights. The only time your right to self defense overrides their right to life is when they are attacking you. This is something that we agreed upon as a society.

Note that antis' argument is that the attacker's right to life is NEVER overridden by your right to self defense because they assume you ALWAYS have a way of avoiding the conflict, either by running away, or calling the police, etc. "

A warning shot does not have to be in the direction of anyone.

Sound is a non lethal weapon, just ask the Scot Bagpiper.

Firing a weapon is serious business. As a culture we keep vacillating between freedom with it's responsibility of good judgement, and
sets of rules to try and force good behavior from people.

I prefer education and freedom over blanket rules and zero tolerance.

One of the big bragging lines of the NRA is that often the presence of a
firearm prevents crime. A shot fired is one way of demonstrating that
presence.

Speaking of fangs and warning shots.

http://youtu.be/401ATHqOCOg

Grizzly's charged stopped with handgun warning shot.

YubaRiver
06-01-2012, 8:24 AM
And there's no finite steps. You can snarl, you can bare your teeth, you can bear your teeth and snarl and draw yourself upright etc. All in response to the threat and its escalation (or not). Personally, I'd do my best to avoid a warning shot, but if I felt it would help save my life whilst perhaps avoiding me having to take life, and it could be done in a safe direction, I would certainly consider it. "

Many animals take it a step further and nip, or bite without venom. Sort of the
rubber bullet of the animal kingdom.

IVC
06-01-2012, 9:40 AM
A Personally, I'd do my best to avoid a warning shot, but if I felt it would help save my life whilst perhaps avoiding me having to take life, and it could be done in a safe direction, I would certainly consider it.

The problem with this line of thinking is that it implicitly assumes that you are drawing before you are justified in using the deadly force, so that you still have a choice. A more realistic scenario is that the confrontation has already occurred, the attacker is on the move, you have yelled, you have drawn and the attacker instead of stopping and retreating jumps at you. It's too late for a warning shot. If you have time for it, you are not yet in the imminent danger, you are just afraid. This is the standard that we as a society set on armed self defense. I would call it reasonable, well defined and not an infringement.

Do cops fire warning shots? As far as I know the escalation after drawing is shooting at the threat.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 12:36 PM
The problem with this line of thinking is that it implicitly assumes that you are drawing before you are justified in using the deadly force, so that you still have a choice. A more realistic scenario is that the confrontation has already occurred, the attacker is on the move, you have yelled, you have drawn and the attacker instead of stopping and retreating jumps at you. It's too late for a warning shot. If you have time for it, you are not yet in the imminent danger, you are just afraid. This is the standard that we as a society set on armed self defense. I would call it reasonable, well defined and not an infringement.

Do cops fire warning shots? As far as I know the escalation after drawing is shooting at the threat.

Here's the problem: your presumption is that a warning shot is never justified.

The real world rarely allows for such absolute prohibitions on action. Every situation is different. Where merely drawing may be sufficient in some circumstances, others may be such that firing a warning shot is the only way to make it plain that you really are armed and ready to fight if need be. That is the equivalent of baring your teeth.


Suppose, for instance, that someone is trying to break through your door...

"I have a gun and will defend myself if need be!"

"Yeah, sure you do."


What are you going to do in that situation to unquestionably demonstrate your ability to defend yourself if need be, so as to prevent the guy from busting through your door and forcing you to fire on him? Open the door and show the guy your gun?

No, the simplest, most direct solution is a warning shot fired in a safe direction (preferably into something you can afford to lose that will stop the bullet safely).


A warning shot can be the same as baring your teeth, or it can be interpreted as something else. It depends on the context. But clearly, by its very definition, it's intended to be the equivalent of baring your teeth, because it's a warning shot.

nocomply25
06-01-2012, 12:52 PM
wait so in texas if someone is stealing your car at noon you cant shoot him dead? only at night? lol

I am sure the cops put the words "warning shot" into his mouth anyway...

cop:" so you fired a shot?"
guy: "Ya i did"
cop: "but you where not trying to kill the guy right? just scare him? like a warning shot?"
guy: " Ya i was not trying to kill anyone"

Also I think cali criminals are living the life...they have more rights then us. If we changed our laws so that even stupid people can carry then we would not have that problem. Now very stupid criminals are carrying illegally and we are helpless unless at home.

Glock22Fan
06-01-2012, 2:16 PM
The problem with this line of thinking is that it implicitly assumes that you are drawing before you are justified in using the deadly force, so that you still have a choice. A more realistic scenario is that the confrontation has already occurred, the attacker is on the move, you have yelled, you have drawn and the attacker instead of stopping and retreating jumps at you. It's too late for a warning shot. If you have time for it, you are not yet in the imminent danger, you are just afraid. This is the standard that we as a society set on armed self defense. I would call it reasonable, well defined and not an infringement.

Do cops fire warning shots? As far as I know the escalation after drawing is shooting at the threat.

You always have a choice. Even if you are justified in using deadly force, you really, really don't have to use it. Not immediately, not never. Should you choose to risk your life a little longer, that is up to you. It doesn't mean you aren't still quaking with fear.

Suppose you get in a Mexican standoff. You have a gun pointing at him, he (and perhaps his buddies also) has one pointing at you. Should this go on beyond the second where you drew your gun, does this mean that you are no longer in danger and never have been? Of course not.

Cops are in somewhat a different situation. Like it or not, fair or not, you are more precarious than they are. You are far more likely to be prosecuted, both criminally and in civil law, should you shoot.

IVC
06-01-2012, 3:18 PM
You always have a choice. Even if you are justified in using deadly force, you really, really don't have to use it. Not immediately, not never.

Say you are at Virginia Tech, hiding under the table and waiting for the guy to come at you and execute you. You don't have a choice. Armed self defense is reserved for cases like that, particularly in public. You don't get to "play cops" or sort out situations - you only get to defend your life.

At home, the presumption is that you ARE in a situation like that and that you are just waiting for the criminal to come and get you. That's why the deadly force is justified.

Suppose you get in a Mexican standoff. You have a gun pointing at him, he (and perhaps his buddies also) has one pointing at you. Should this go on beyond the second where you drew your gun, does this mean that you are no longer in danger and never have been? Of course not.

This is movie material. If you get into that position you are both bluffing and neither should have a gun. Happened with some NBA players not so long ago. But to play ball, you are in danger and you are justified even if you never pull the trigger. The justification doesn't come from whether you pulled the trigger or not. However, the inverse is true: if you are not allowed to pull the trigger, you are not allowed to draw.

YubaRiver
06-01-2012, 3:22 PM
Being justified isn't always the same as being right.

IVC
06-01-2012, 3:31 PM
Here's the problem: your presumption is that a warning shot is never justified.

It's not my presumption, it's my definition: if it is a warning shot it is not justified. A true warning shot is not an act of self defense, but an act of aggression and intimidation. This we reject in the society. How we got to that point is a different story. It's a mix of safety and socially unacceptable behavior. Similar to throwing feces at people at a ball game. We just decided it was not a good idea, even if it tends to stun the opponent.

As a practical point, if it had a meaningful purpose in the escalation of a confrontation, the police would have rules of engagement where a warning shot is allowed. Instead, they will use a Taser or pepper spray.

IVC
06-01-2012, 3:35 PM
Being justified isn't always the same as being right.

When facing a self defense situation you have to be justified. When typing in a thread you have to be right. Totally agree that they are two different things :).

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 3:38 PM
However, the inverse is true: if you are not allowed to pull the trigger, you are not allowed to draw.

And what, exactly, is the justification for this? At the point where you're "allowed" to pull the trigger, you are out of options and it's time to take someone's life.

Drawing indicates intent to defend if necessary. It is sensible to do so when the situation is such that if you don't, there is a good chance you'll have to take someone's life.

There are also good tactical reasons for drawing before it's strictly necessary. If you hear a noise in your garage, for instance, and need to investigate, it makes all kinds of sense for you to draw your weapon and hold it in a low ready position while investigating just in case you need it. This is because time is of the essence in a situation where you need to defend yourself, and having your weapon already drawn eliminates crucial time that can make the difference between living and dying in the event you do find yourself in that situation.


No, I'm sorry, I don't buy this religious notion that you must draw only when it's time to actually shoot.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 3:43 PM
It's not my presumption, it's my definition: if it is a warning shot it is not justified. A true warning shot is not an act of self defense, but an act of aggression and intimidation.


Says who?

You're making use of the "argument from authority" fallacy, and are avoiding the question.

And in any case, an act of aggression and intimidation can easily prevent the situation from escalating into a deadly one. Not only does that happen in nature all the time, we as a society use it all the time in our dealings with other countries. It's what a "show of force" is for.

No, I'm sorry, you're talking about removing from the table the options that evolution has proven to be effective over billions of years, namely threat displays. Not only is that unjustifiable, it's stupid. Evolution has not been kind to species that don't attempt to warn the enemy off, because most of them are extinct as evidenced by the dearth of such species.



This we reject in the society. How we got to that point is a different story. It's a mix of safety and socially unacceptable behavior. Similar to throwing feces at people at a ball game. We just decided it was not a good idea, even if it tends to stun the opponent.


That's different. A ball game is an artificial situation where the rules are essentially arbitrary. The situation in which one might be better off drawing and/or firing a warning shot is a potentially life-and-death one with real consequences. This isn't stuff you can simply argue away by claiming that society has "decided" it doesn't like it. Going down that road simply forces me to ask why is society justified in making this decision at all?

Let me put it another way: what is the justification for increasing the probability that someone will be badly injured or killed as a result of removing the options under discussion from the table? Removing these options doesn't just increase the chance that the other person may be killed, it increases the chance that you may be killed. That's because combat is very dangerous and unpredictable, and to be avoided when possible. By taking drawing and/or firing a warning shot off the table, you remove options that could cause combat to be avoided. Please tell me how in the name of God that is beneficial to anyone.



As a practical point, if it had a meaningful purpose in the escalation of a confrontation, the police would have rules of engagement where a warning shot is allowed. Instead, they will use a Taser or pepper spray.

And what, exactly, were the rules of engagement prior to the availability of a taser or pepper spray?

tryzubconsulting
06-01-2012, 4:11 PM
I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

I would trust the common man with my life over a "trained" agent of the state.

You're a troll.

IVC
06-01-2012, 4:23 PM
There are also good tactical reasons for drawing before it's strictly necessary. If you hear a noise in your garage, for instance, and need to investigate, it makes all kinds of sense for you to draw your weapon and hold it in a low ready position while investigating just in case you need it.

Don't mix "at home" with "in public." Your garage - good. Strange noises at the grocery store - bad.

No, I'm sorry, I don't buy this religious notion that you must draw only when it's time to actually shoot.

It's not about timing, but about justification. If you are justified to shoot an intruder in your home, you can search your home weapon drawn. If you are not justified to shoot a person in the bushes in a park, you don't get to draw to investigate. The time axis is only relevant to correlate your drawing and your justification for shooting, not to imply that shooting is imminent.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 5:24 PM
Don't mix "at home" with "in public." Your garage - good. Strange noises at the grocery store - bad.


Exactly. And the scenario this thread was initially about was at home.

The reason for not drawing in public is that other people can regard it as a prelude to an attack and may go defensive. Drawing in public is therefore something that needs to be more carefully considered. The balance of considerations is different. However, that does not automatically take drawing in public as a preventative measure off the table. It's going to depend on the situation.

Someone who is in public when there is nobody else in sight is in a much different situation than someone who is in public with lots of people around.

In other words, the entire tactical situation needs to be considered when deciding whether or not to draw. And the same thing is true of a warning shot!


Absolute rules are convenient for those who write them and enforce them. They are somewhere between inconvenient and dangerous for everyone else.




It's not about timing, but about justification. If you are justified to shoot an intruder in your home, you can search your home weapon drawn. If you are not justified to shoot a person in the bushes in a park, you don't get to draw to investigate. The time axis is only relevant to correlate your drawing and your justification for shooting, not to imply that shooting is imminent.

Well, I think it's more concise and accurate to say that drawing is justified when it appears there's a good chance you may have to shoot, most especially if it's even more likely that you'd have to shoot if you do not draw.

I agree, it's about the justification, but the justification for drawing is a superset of the justification for shooting. You shoot when you have no other reasonable option left to you. At the point where you might draw, drawing is an option that has the potential to remove the justification for shooting. That's why it's a warning, a preemptive measure intended to in part avoid the conflict and in part ready oneself for conflict.


A warning shot is a pure, unmistakable warning. At night, someone might not see that you've actually drawn, but they will most certainly hear a warning shot. The downside is the potential risk to innocent bystanders. You own every bullet you fire. If the overall situational risk (independent of the law -- let's keep such artificial, though real, considerations out of this for the moment) of injury or death if you do not fire the warning shot exceeds that risk of firing it, then why in the world wouldn't you fire the warning shot?

IVC
06-01-2012, 7:15 PM
And in any case, an act of aggression and intimidation can easily prevent the situation from escalating into a deadly one. Not only does that happen in nature all the time, we as a society use it all the time in our dealings with other countries. It's what a "show of force" is for.

As in "she's been asking for it, your honor - I had to show her who wears the pants." Self defense is a fundamental human right, intimidation of others is not. If a warning shot is not a part of the self defense, the laws governing it do not represent an infringement. Unlike the animal kingdom, we have self-imposed rules of the society. Banning warning shots is one of them.

croc4
06-01-2012, 7:25 PM
KC, you have articulated it better than I, but we share the same thoughts.

croc4

IVC
06-01-2012, 7:28 PM
In other words, the entire tactical situation needs to be considered when deciding whether or not to draw. And the same thing is true of a warning shot!

Absolute rules are convenient for those who write them and enforce them. They are somewhere between inconvenient and dangerous for everyone else.

We are talking about what the current law prohibits. It could have an exclusion based on your above criteria, but it doesn't. As for "absolute rules," the law has to be clear and explicit if it were to be meaningful. The DA and the totality of the situation is what determines if one is charged. Thus, a "warning shot like" discharge, if considered a miss, will not be a problem if the situation is "right." But, claiming a "warning shot" takes off the table consideration of the rest of the situation, since it demonstrate intent which is explicitly forbiden.

I agree, it's about the justification, but the justification for drawing is a superset of the justification for shooting.

No, it's not. It could be the law of the land, but it's not. Again, the outcomes which include shooting are trivially a superset of the outcomes which include drawing, since latter is required for the former. The justification, not so.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 8:30 PM
We are talking about what the current law prohibits.


No, we're not. What the current law prohibits is well defined. What's the point of talking about that?

What we are talking about is why the law prohibits it.

Laws exist for good reason. Or, rather, they should in any free society. Laws which arbitrarily forbid action for no solid, articulable, and justifiable reason are wrong, for they are the exercise of control for its own sake. That is precisely what tyranny is all about.


Has it occurred to you that the laws we're discussing here may have been written and supported by the very same people that got us the various anti-gun laws, and for the very same "reasons"?




It could have an exclusion based on your above criteria, but it doesn't. As for "absolute rules," the law has to be clear and explicit if it were to be meaningful.


Being explicit and being absolute are two very different things.



The DA and the totality of the situation is what determines if one is charged. Thus, a "warning shot like" discharge, if considered a miss, will not be a problem if the situation is "right." But, claiming a "warning shot" takes off the table consideration of the rest of the situation, since it demonstrate intent which is explicitly forbiden.


No doubt, but that makes the law and its implementation no more justifiable.



No, it's not. It could be the law of the land, but it's not. Again, the outcomes which include shooting are trivially a superset of the outcomes which include drawing, since latter is required for the former. The justification, not so.

As implemented in the law, that's correct.

But as regards reasoning about the real world, that's not so at all.

kcbrown
06-01-2012, 8:34 PM
As in "she's been asking for it, your honor - I had to show her who wears the pants."


That's a specious reply and you know it. The scenario I'm talking about is one that is likely to blow up into one where someone will die or be severely injured if some sort of preemptive action isn't taken.


Self defense is a fundamental human right, intimidation of others is not.


Life itself is also a fundamental human right and, in fact, is the entire purpose of the right of self defense. How in the world can you possibly justify taking off the table options which may preserve it?


If a warning shot is not a part of the self defense, the laws governing it do not represent an infringement. Unlike the animal kingdom, we have self-imposed rules of the society. Banning warning shots is one of them.

In what way is a warning shot whose purpose is to keep a situation from escalating into real violence not "part of self defense"?

bernieb90
06-01-2012, 10:11 PM
What happened to "HEY WHO THE HELL IS OVER THERE GET OUT OF HERE OR I'M CALLING THE COPS!!!". These guys were not actually in his yard, and he did not see the people attempting to enter his yard. He heard unknown noises and dealt with it by discharging his firearm.

Imagine for a second that I get woken up by a knock on the door in the middle of the night. I don't look out to see who it is, but reach for my pistol and cut loose into my bedroom floor with my P229. Sure there is no more knocking on the door, but the cops will definetly come and haul me off for unlawfully discharging a firearm.

Dogs also bark at each other as well, and they growl and show fangs. People can show they are prepared to defend themselves without discharging the weapon. In some cases warning shots may escalate a situation beyond what it was. "Hey he just shot at me now I feel threatened, and justified to use deadly force".

IVC
06-02-2012, 10:29 AM
What we are talking about is why the law prohibits it.

Our main disagreement is that you see a warning shot as a way of preventing a situation from escalating, while I see it as an unacceptable show of force. Say you want to push for allowing a warning shot, or even making it a requirement before engagement. Further, say that we are in a discussion where I am opposing your push. Here are my arguments.


Warning shot is a discharge of a firearm that puts others in danger.
If you are not in fear of your life, you have no right to endanger others.
Firearms shouldn't be used for a "show of force," intimidation or aggression in the society where I live.
Firearms cannot be used to defuse situations, settle arguments or in any other way as a part of the standard operation of the society. Firearms can be only used as a last resort, when the structure of the society has failed and one's survival is in question.
Not allowing a warning shot doesn't affect your ability to protect against a threat and doesn't infringe on your 2A rights.
Legally, allowing a warning shot will generate a loophole for negligent discharge, where anyone can claim it was a warning shot against an unspecified assailant.
Allowing warning shots would lead to normalization of socially unacceptable behavior such as brandishing, shootouts, settling scores with firearms in public, etc.


Now, the last few points need careful clarification to distinguish them from the "blood in the streets" argument of the antis. Antis claim that the presence of a gun will make people insane and cause them to become criminals. My assumption is that people will obey the law, but if the law doesn't prohibit certain behavior, people will exhibit it. This means that the human nature of "showing the fangs" will now manifest itself through brandishing during disputes and firing of warning shots as a way to settle scores. If that behavior becomes legal, there is no reason for the law abiding people not to do it. This is what I object to - guns very dangerous and are thus reserved for self defense, not for the "daily operation of society".

kcbrown
06-02-2012, 3:49 PM
Our main disagreement is that you see a warning shot as a way of preventing a situation from escalating, while I see it as an unacceptable show of force.


Almost.

I see it as potentially being a way of preventing a situation from escalating. Whether or not it actually is depends entirely on the situation. In some situations, it is an unacceptable show of force (indeed, it may be in most situations).

My argument is not that a warning shot is always appropriate, it is that it can be appropriate (in fact, in some situations it may be the only reasonable way to prevent death or grave injury), and therefore it is inappropriate to take it off the table entirely.



Say you want to push for allowing a warning shot, or even making it a requirement before engagement.


I would push for the former, but would never push for the latter. Pushing for the latter is at least as bad as forbidding it entirely.



Further, say that we are in a discussion where I am opposing your push. Here are my arguments.


Warning shot is a discharge of a firearm that puts others in danger.



This is situational. It just depends. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won't.




If you are not in fear of your life, you have no right to endanger others.



That's a nice sentiment, but it is oversimplistic. You may not be in fear of your life right then and there, but you could easily fear that the situation will escalate to the point where you would be in fear for your life if you do not fire a warning shot. It is preferable to avoid the situation where you would be put in a position where you would shoot someone, even if doing so requires increasing the risk to others slightly. The calculus there is that you are trading off the relatively high chance that at least one of the people involved in your situation will be badly injured or killed with the relatively low chance that an innocent bystander will be badly injured or killed. Seen as an aggregate over time, taking the option that results in the latter will decrease the number of people who wind up being badly injured or killed.




Firearms shouldn't be used for a "show of force," intimidation or aggression in the society where I live.



That is an assertion without substantiation, because it presumes that all instances of intimidation, aggression, or shows of force are automatically bad. Quite clearly that is not the case, since one of the primary purposes for such things is to prevent combat. Alternatively, it presumes that firearms are somehow "special" with respect to such expressions, which leaves one asking the question of what, exactly, makes them so special that they should be treated completely differently than any other tool that can be used for such expression.




Firearms cannot be used to defuse situations, settle arguments or in any other way as a part of the standard operation of the society. Firearms can be only used as a last resort, when the structure of the society has failed and one's survival is in question.



Another unsubstantiated assertion. If you are going to use these in an argument, you must justify them.




Not allowing a warning shot doesn't affect your ability to protect against a threat and doesn't infringe on your 2A rights.



I agree, it doesn't affect your ability to protect against a threat, except to the degree that it increases the chance that you will be forced into combat. However, that is not the purpose at all. The purpose is to prevent combat from taking place.




Legally, allowing a warning shot will generate a loophole for negligent discharge, where anyone can claim it was a warning shot against an unspecified assailant.



There is no difference between this and claiming that feared for your life, you took the shot for real, missed, and the assailant ran off. So this is of no real use.




Allowing warning shots would lead to normalization of socially unacceptable behavior such as brandishing, shootouts, settling scores with firearms in public, etc.



Now you're quoting out of the anti-gunners' playbook. Their argument is that allowing carry of firearms will lead to those things. Your argument is that allowing a very limited use of firearms for the purpose of preventing combat would lead to those things. It's the same argument.



Now, the last few points need careful clarification to distinguish them from the "blood in the streets" argument of the antis. Antis claim that the presence of a gun will make people insane and cause them to become criminals.


No. Antis claim that the normalization of the presence of a gun in the hands of the citizenry will cause people to use them when they shouldn't.

That is the essence of your argument above as well, only you're targeting something slightly different (the use of warning shots).

The response to your argument is the same as the response to the antis' argument: those inclined to be law abiding will remain lawful, while those not so inclined will violate the law regardless. And that makes the solution plain: place in law the conditions in which a warning shot is valid (e.g., specify that one must fear that combat is likely if the warning shot is not taken, and that no other reasonable and equally effective means of warning off the attacker are available).



My assumption is that people will obey the law, but if the law doesn't prohibit certain behavior, people will exhibit it.


Your assumption is worse than that. You assume that if the law doesn't prohibit an action, law-abiding people will routinely use that action in harmful ways.

That is just another variation of the "blood in the streets" argument.

Firstly, harm caused by one's actions is something that one is responsible for regardless of whether or not the actions are, themselves, allowed by law.

Secondly, most people do not willingly take actions that they believe will likely result in harm to others. They may take actions that turn out to be likely in that way, but it will be as a result of their lack of knowledge that the actions in question are likely to be harmful. That makes the problem of warning shots one of education.


In any case, any action can be misused. Welcome to the world of freedom. If you give someone freedom, there is a chance they will misuse it. It goes with the territory. If you're going to take an action entirely off the table, there had better be a compelling reason for doing so.

So far, all you've managed to come up with is a set of arguments that look like they were taken right out of the antis' playbook (despite your attempt to distance yourself :D).




This means that the human nature of "showing the fangs" will now manifest itself through brandishing during disputes and firing of warning shots as a way to settle scores. If that behavior becomes legal, there is no reason for the law abiding people not to do it.


Of course there is reason for law abiding people to not do it. Law abiding people don't follow the law merely because it's the law, they do so because it is sensible. But the further afield from sensibility the law moves, the fewer the number of people that will obey it.



This is what I object to - guns very dangerous and are thus reserved for self defense, not for the "daily operation of society".

Guns are very dangerous when misused. They are harmless otherwise (well, harmless except to the bad guy. :D). This is the fundamental flaw in your reasoning. You are ascribing magical powers to firearms, just as the antis do. They are not magical devices, they are just tools. They are dangerous, to be sure, but no more than some other tools we use routinely (like automobiles).

YubaRiver
06-02-2012, 7:06 PM
Listening to the radio, NPR I think, after the Zimmerman shooting, an anti was pointing out how they thought
Florida had dumb laws regarding self defense. They claimed that in Florida you could shoot someone on the street who you feared, and avoid arrest, but get felony charges if you fired a warning shot in the same situation.

Even an anti gets it.

Cylarz
06-02-2012, 8:02 PM
Here's the problem: your presumption is that a warning shot is never justified.

Yours is that it is ever (or always) justified. Why is your assumption OK, but his isn't?


Where merely drawing may be sufficient in some circumstances, others may be such that firing a warning shot is the only way to make it plain that you really are armed and ready to fight if need be.


Personally I don't see the need to "warn" my attacker in the first place. Let my attacker roll the dice and take his chances. Let him gamble that I'm not I'm armed, able to draw in time, or a good enough shot to hit him. As the bullet passes between his eyes, he'll realize he was unfortunately wrong on all three counts.

Why should I risk jail by discharging my weapon in a direction other than the suspect? All that does is risk blowing my foot off, hitting an innocent bystander (ricochet), and scaring the hell out of everyone in a 300 yard radius. I didn't do anything wrong by being armed in my own home (or in a public place), so why should I be the one who has to take a chance I will be prosecuted and convicted of some serious crime?


That is the equivalent of baring your teeth.


The equivalent of baring your teeth (are we about done with these tired comparisons to wild animals?) is brandishing, not firing. As someone else pointed out, the equivalent of a warning shot is a nip, not a growl or a baring.


Suppose, for instance, that someone is trying to break through your door...

"I have a gun and will defend myself if need be!"

"Yeah, sure you do."


At that point, the attacker should be met with stony silence from my side of the door. Let him think it over for a second - am I bluffing or not? If he goes ahead and kicks down the door, I'm going to pump lead into him until he's dead...and I'll be perfectly justified, even in California. The law here allows me to kill someone who's within my home and posing a threat.


What are you going to do in that situation to unquestionably demonstrate your ability to defend yourself if need be, so as to prevent the guy from busting through your door and forcing you to fire on him? Open the door and show the guy your gun?


See above.


No, the simplest, most direct solution is a warning shot fired in a safe direction (preferably into something you can afford to lose that will stop the bullet safely).


Why in the hell do you care so much about the life of the attacker anyway? As someone else has already explained, you're either justified in shooting, or you aren't. There is no half-way position. If you are...then kill him. If you aren't, leave your gun in its place and let *him* wonder whether or not you're armed and capable.

Cylarz
06-02-2012, 8:05 PM
Warning shot is a discharge of a firearm that puts others in danger.
If you are not in fear of your life, you have no right to endanger others.
Firearms shouldn't be used for a "show of force," intimidation or aggression in the society where I live.
Firearms cannot be used to defuse situations, settle arguments or in any other way as a part of the standard operation of the society. Firearms can be only used as a last resort, when the structure of the society has failed and one's survival is in question.
Not allowing a warning shot doesn't affect your ability to protect against a threat and doesn't infringe on your 2A rights.
Legally, allowing a warning shot will generate a loophole for negligent discharge, where anyone can claim it was a warning shot against an unspecified assailant.
Allowing warning shots would lead to normalization of socially unacceptable behavior such as brandishing, shootouts, settling scores with firearms in public, etc.


This.

This is what matters. These are the salient points. The rest of the discussion is academic.

Cylarz
06-02-2012, 8:36 PM
Almost.

I see it as potentially being a way of preventing a situation from escalating. Whether or not it actually is depends entirely on the situation. In some situations, it is an unacceptable show of force (indeed, it may be in most situations).


Not "almost." He hit the nail on the head, bulls-eye. I'd argue that firing a warning shot (or brandishing) would actually escalate the situation, not settle it down, as you've been attempting to argue.

If the attacker is armed, you can bet on it. That's not "unsubstantiated." That's reality. Sure, you can gamble that he's thinking clearly enough that maybe he doesn't want to 'go there' and escalate the situation to that point, but I'm not willing to gamble that. If you want to roll those dice, be my guest.

It could actually backfire on you. Let's say in his mind, he isn't a mortal threat to you...just pissed off for some reason. Traffic accident, you bumped into him and made him spill his drink, you looked cross-eyed at his girl, whatever. You seem him getting angry and belligerent and think he's about to take a swing at you or pull a knife. So you draw your own gun and fire into the ground. Problem solved, right? He runs away and everyone's happy, right?

Uh, no. Consider a scenario in which he is also a CCW holder. He sees your gun (and/or hears the shot) and concludes that you are the mortal threat. He draws his own weapon, and seeing no reason to "warn" you that he has one...shoots you through the heart.

As he stands over your lifeless body, he explains to the police that he thought you were going to shoot him. And you know what? He'd be right. Remember, you were the one who drew first, waved your gun around, and fired it into the dirt next to your feet. The police would simply agree - yeah you were a threat. He was within his rights to kill you. Even if they arrest him and charge him with something, his lawyer will argue that, and he'll probably ultimately be cleared of any charges. Meanwhile, you're in the morgue, and no court decision can change that.

Even if he doesn't have a gun, he can still stick you with a knife or get his hands around your throat while you're standing there like an idiot, shooting off your handgun. There's also the chance he might wrestle it away from you...and turn it on you. None of that happens, if you simply draw and then shoot to kill.

Alternate scenario: Exact same thing unfolds, except you retreat, ignore him, try to talk him out of it...instead of "baring your fangs." He walks away, everyone leaves alive, nobody even calls the cops.

Or if he doesn't back down and you can't get away...and he actually attacks you, then you blow his brains all over the sidewalk. In THAT case, it was you who fired the first shot that was intended to maim or kill, and as anyone who's been in a gunfight will tell you, the first shot is more important than the best.

For one thing, why do you want to show your hand, instead of playing your cards close to the vest? Why this big point of letting some drugged-out thug know you even have a gun? I don't give two squirts about his life at that point of dire emergency. At that point it's him or me, period.


That's a nice sentiment, but it is oversimplistic. You may not be in fear of your life right then and there, but you could easily fear that the situation will escalate to the point where you would be in fear for your life if you do not fire a warning shot.


No, it's not. The situation has either already gotten to that point or it hasn't. Your assumption is that the bad guy is going to turn and run when he sees or hears your gun. You don't seem to be considering the possibility that drawing or discharging your weapon will simply up the ante.


It is preferable to avoid the situation where you would be put in a position where you would shoot someone, even if doing so requires increasing the risk to others slightly.


You don't say.


The calculus there is that you are trading off the relatively high chance that at least one of the people involved in your situation will be badly injured or killed with the relatively low chance that an innocent bystander will be badly injured or killed.


I'd love to know where you're getting that idea.


Seen as an aggregate over time, taking the option that results in the latter will decrease the number of people who wind up being badly injured or killed.


Right after saying this, you proceed to go after IVC making at least two "unsupported assumptions," but I think you need to consider that you're making more than a few of your own.



That is an assertion without substantiation, because it presumes that all instances of intimidation, aggression, or shows of force are automatically bad.


That's not even close to what he said. He said that it's better not to go shooting your gun off in an attempt to show you're a bad***** armed with a Glock. It's against the law, it's a plain bad idea for reasons I've explained.


Quite clearly that is not the case, since one of the primary purposes for such things is to prevent combat.


We all agree that it's best to prevent combat; where we part company is on the best way of doing that. My suggestion is to retreat, try to talk your way out of it, etc....THEN shoot the bugger in the head if he lunges at you. Firing your gun into the ground? No.


Alternatively, it presumes that firearms are somehow "special" with respect to such expressions, which leaves one asking the question of what, exactly, makes them so special that they should be treated completely differently than any other tool that can be used for such expression.


Are you kidding me with that?

Guns are "special" precisely because of their high potential for terminating human life regardless of who wields one. They're called "the great equalizer" for a good reason. That status alone grants them special consideration over and above a melee weapon or a non-lethal spray.

You really don't understand that?


Another unsubstantiated assertion. If you are going to use these in an argument, you must justify them.


Yeah....right back at you.



I agree, it doesn't affect your ability to protect against a threat, except to the degree that it increases the chance that you will be forced into combat.


@&*^!*@^(# ??!!

If you understand that, then what in the hell are you attempting to argue? That sounds to me like a concession of the point that discharging your weapon makes the situation worse!




There is no difference between this and claiming that feared for your life, you took the shot for real, missed, and the assailant ran off. So this is of no real use.


It makes a world of difference. You don't see the difference in intent? One is shooting to warn, the other is shooting to kill. The law places a great weight on intent, i.e. what was in someone's mind when he acted. That's why we have terms like "justifiable homicide," "involuntary manslaughter," etc, instead of just calling it "murder" every last time one human being kills another. The motive is everything.



Now you're quoting out of the anti-gunners' playbook. Their argument is that allowing carry of firearms will lead to those things. Your argument is that allowing a very limited use of firearms for the purpose of preventing combat would lead to those things. It's the same argument.


Oh, for the love of....

Seriously? Really, KC? You're now reduced to arguing that his assertion that it's a bad idea to fire off your gun as a "warning shot" is the exact same thing as all that blather from the Brady Bunch about how the mere presence of a firearm is going to cause blood flowing in the streets?

Again, the entire point of carrying concealed is to keep the criminals guessing about who is armed.....AND to have the weapon available if it is needed to defend oneself. That is worlds apart from actually firing the gun over someone's head or into the ground.

The two couldn't possibly have less in common.


The response to your argument is the same as the response to the antis' argument: those inclined to be law abiding will remain lawful, while those not so inclined will violate the law regardless. And that makes the solution plain: place in law the conditions in which a warning shot is valid (e.g., specify that one must fear that combat is likely if the warning shot is not taken, and that no other reasonable and equally effective means of warning off the attacker are available).


No, no, no, no....

The antis' argument is that the mere presence of the gun makes someone rash, hotheaded, and violent. Our argument is "No, the gun is there as a safety blanket. Gun owners can be trusted to be responsible." The problem with your arguments is that you don't consider that pulling out your gun or firing it might actually create a problem where one didn't already exist.

When exactly do you think it's OK to draw, anyway? When there's a "mortal threat?" No....when THAT exists, you fire AT the attacker, not to scare him. The fear for one's life is either there or it's not. What part of this eludes you?


Your assumption is worse than that. You assume that if the law doesn't prohibit an action, law-abiding people will routinely use that action in harmful ways.

That is just another variation of the "blood in the streets" argument.


Except that isn't what he's saying. Why do you keep trying to put words in his mouth?


Secondly, most people do not willingly take actions that they believe will likely result in harm to others. They may take actions that turn out to be likely in that way, but it will be as a result of their lack of knowledge that the actions in question are likely to be harmful. That makes the problem of warning shots one of education.


"Education?" You make it sound like we're all in school together...you, me, and the bad guy. We're not. I couldn't care less about educating him. The entire point of drawing and firing is to terminate the threat that we've already determined exists. I see no reason to give him a final warning. He should already know better than to assault or rob me, even if he is on something. If he doesn't, that's not my problem. I'm within my rights to shoot him if he doesn't understand that. That's the essence of "stand your ground."

And I get that A) California doesn't have a "stand your ground" law (it needs one, and I'm not going to let someone hurt me just because our friends under the Capitol Dome haven't passed one)...and B) that we're veering from the topic of a homeowner in Mesquite, TX versus a confrontation in public here in California. Still, a lot of what I've said would apply to both cases. Being threatened on your own property really is a stronger argument NOT to fire a warning shot, actually. It's a stronger argument for shooting to kill if you're going to shoot at all.


In any case, any action can be misused. Welcome to the world of freedom. If you give someone freedom, there is a chance they will misuse it. It goes with the territory. If you're going to take an action entirely off the table, there had better be a compelling reason for doing so.


There IS a compelling reason...and that would be "potential harm to bystanders." This is the reason, as you noted, that we have laws against shooting off guns in urban areas unless we're under attack. In that case, the projectile is going into the attacker's body (and hopefully stopping there), not into the ground where it might ricochet.


So far, all you've managed to come up with is a set of arguments that look like they were taken right out of the antis' playbook (despite your attempt to distance yourself :D).


He's not "distancing himself." He is (or at least I am) explaining why the antis' argument that there will be gunfights in the streets, versus why it's not a good idea to brandish or fire warning shots....couldn't have less to do with one another.

YubaRiver
06-02-2012, 8:42 PM
How about rural situations? Where there is no one within range that could be
injured by a warning shot? You can certainly fire a shot and avoid hitting someone. I just got back from a Cowboy action shoot where hundreds of rounds were going off constantly with people just yards away watching.
little danger someone would get more than splashed by lead.

How about if you do have qualms about killing
someone else, however much legally justified, and believe a warning shot might send them on their way?

I do have concern for others, even if they are committing a crime. Without
endangering my family, I still want the best outcome for all involved. I bet most of us know folks that did crazy things as kids that have since
grown up to be good people. I believe that in some, maybe rare, times
a warning shot may let all involved survive.

I have had a neighbor, high, bust down my door, believing he was at home and thinking his key had malfunctioned. I might have legally been
justified shooting him, but certainly didn't want to. He responded to our hollers, a warning shot would have worked in the same way I believe,
but I would be feeling pretty poorly if I had shot him.

Even a nip is non lethal means of defense.

Shoot a griz during a false charge and you can turn it into a real charge.
Get his attention with a warning shot and you both may live to tell about it.

Cylarz
06-02-2012, 9:23 PM
How about rural situations? Where there is no one within range that could be
injured by a warning shot? You can certainly fire a shot and avoid hitting someone. I just got back from a Cowboy action shoot where hundreds of rounds were going off constantly with people just yards away watching.
little danger someone would get more than splashed by lead.


Considering that a bullet can travel a long, long way, I'm not willing to simply assume that I'm far enough away that the stray round won't hurt someone or damage property. As gun owners, we're responsible for knowing that, which is why it's prudent to shoot into a berm when practicing.

You don't have enough information to make that assumption, especially in a split-second, life-or-death situation.



How about if you do have qualms about killing
someone else, however much legally justified, and believe a warning shot might send them on their way?


I applaud your concern for your fellow man, but if that's how you feel, I'd argue that you have no business carrying in the first place.


I bet most of us know folks that did crazy things as kids that have since
grown up to be good people. I believe that in some, maybe rare, times
a warning shot may let all involved survive.


That's a perfectly valid point of view. I'm just not willing to take the chance that he might draw his own weapon and shoot me in the head after hearing my "warning shot." As I was explaining to KC, you have no business drawing (much less firing) if you're not already committed to the act of killing.


I have had a neighbor, high, bust down my door, believing he was at home and thinking his key had malfunctioned. I might have legally been
justified shooting him, but certainly didn't want to. He responded to our hollers, a warning shot would have worked in the same way I believe,
but I would be feeling pretty poorly if I had shot him.


Cool story, bro...but you just demonstrated that it wasn't necessary to shoot off a warning shot. Your voice got the job done.



Shoot a griz during a false charge and you can turn it into a real charge.
Get his attention with a warning shot and you both may live to tell about it.

If you insist on likening a human-human or animal-animal confrontation to that of a human vs an animal, then I think we have a bit of a problem. For one thing, a grizzly doesn't know what a gun is, what it can do, or what gun laws are. A human being, even some crackhead who wants to rob you or burglarize your home, does (or should) understand those concepts.

If you want to argue that a loud noise will scare off a bear (but a slug ripping into its flesh won't), be my guest. In fact that's probably a valid assumption, especially if your weapon really isn't powerful enough to kill the bear. Wild animals tend to fear loud, sudden noises...but a slug under a certain caliber/muzzle velocity might simply make it mad.

I don't see how that's relevant to the situation under discussion, however. The burglar in Mesquite was not a grizzly, it was a man who knew perfectly well what a gun was. I don't think the homeowner should have been charged with anything, but if I were his lawyer, I'd advise him: "Next time, yell at the suspect instead, to GTFO. Mention the weapon if you like, but you're under no obligation to do so. If he keeps coming, SHOOT HIM. Forget this nonsense about firing into the dirt. You've already seen that even Texas police aren't impressed by your concern for the burglar's life."

If he calls your bluff, you're going to have to shoot him anyway. And you might...for he could very well reason that if you were within your rights to shoot him through the head, you would have already done so.

Besides, burglars already know that the risk of getting shot or wounded by homeowners is simply part of the cost of doing business. If anything, as the good guys, I should think we'd want to reinforce that perception, not undermine it by dithering about whether to shoot them...especially in a situation where the law says it's OK to do so.

kcbrown
06-02-2012, 11:23 PM
Yours is that it is ever (or always) justified. Why is your assumption OK, but his isn't?


I don't assume that it is always justified. I assume it can be justified.

Why is my assumption OK but his isn't? Because my assumption sides with liberty and makes more options available, while his sides against it and removes options.



Personally I don't see the need to "warn" my attacker in the first place. Let my attacker roll the dice and take his chances. Let him gamble that I'm not I'm armed, able to draw in time, or a good enough shot to hit him. As the bullet passes between his eyes, he'll realize he was unfortunately wrong on all three counts.


Your confidence in your own ability to avoid injury or death in combat is impressive, but not necessarily realistic.

Everyone thinks they'll come out ahead in a fight. Funny how that's often not how it works out.



Why should I risk jail by discharging my weapon in a direction other than the suspect?


The point isn't that you should fire a warning shot when it's illegal. The point is that it shouldn't be illegal to begin with. At least, it shouldn't be forbidden utterly in the way it currently is. I have no problem with the law defining the criteria under which a warning shot is justifiable, as long as those criteria are both reasonable and comprehensive.


All that does is risk blowing my foot off, hitting an innocent bystander (ricochet), and scaring the hell out of everyone in a 300 yard radius. I didn't do anything wrong by being armed in my own home (or in a public place), so why should I be the one who has to take a chance I will be prosecuted and convicted of some serious crime?


You shouldn't. It should be your choice. Your choice, not the government's. It's that simple.

That's what liberty is: the freedom to make your own choices and to deal with the consequences of those choices, good or bad.



The equivalent of baring your teeth (are we about done with these tired comparisons to wild animals?) is brandishing, not firing. As someone else pointed out, the equivalent of a warning shot is a nip, not a growl or a baring.


Whatever its equivalent, the point is that there exist analogues in nature that are useful. Species which exhibited those behaviors and were worse off for it would generally not last very long in the evolutionary scheme of things. Nature has a way of removing from existence those species which consistently do life-threatening things.



At that point, the attacker should be met with stony silence from my side of the door. Let him think it over for a second - am I bluffing or not? If he goes ahead and kicks down the door, I'm going to pump lead into him until he's dead...and I'll be perfectly justified, even in California. The law here allows me to kill someone who's within my home and posing a threat.


Yes, it does. That's not the point. The point is that it should be your choice, not the government's. If you want to wait and pump the bad guy full of lead when he enters your house, more power to you. But if you want to warn him off with a warning shot, you should have that option.



Why in the hell do you care so much about the life of the attacker anyway? As someone else has already explained, you're either justified in shooting, or you aren't. There is no half-way position. If you are...then kill him. If you aren't, leave your gun in its place and let *him* wonder whether or not you're armed and capable.

It's not the life of the attacker I'm concerned with, it's my own. Obviously you've not learned anything from the natural world on this. Combat is dangerous to all parties involved. There's no guarantee you're going to come out of it alive even if you do get the first shot off. You can act as gung-ho and macho as you want, but that won't change the fact that combat is fluid, unpredictable, and dangerous. Something that is dangerous and unpredictable all at the same time is something to be avoided if you reasonably can.

But hey, it's your life on the line. If you want to risk it by putting yourself in a combat situation when you had an option to avert it, that's your choice. But don't take that option away from others!!



It's amazing how few people really get this whole "freedom" thing...

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 12:09 AM
Not "almost." He hit the nail on the head, bulls-eye. I'd argue that firing a warning shot (or brandishing) would actually escalate the situation, not settle it down, as you've been attempting to argue.

If the attacker is armed, you can bet on it. That's not "unsubstantiated." That's reality. Sure, you can gamble that he's thinking clearly enough that maybe he doesn't want to 'go there' and escalate the situation to that point, but I'm not willing to gamble that. If you want to roll those dice, be my guest.


I fully agree: firing a warning shot could easily escalate the situation. I'm not arguing that it's always a good idea. I'm not even arguing against the notion that it's rarely a good idea. I am arguing that it's not always a bad idea.

I am only arguing that the option should be on the table. That's all. It should be up to the person who is actually there to decide for himself whether or not it's a good idea and to live with or die from the consequences thereof. That's what freedom and personal responsibility are all about. The risk that we might be injured or killed by the unintentional consequences of someone's actions is also an inherent trait of freedom.



Are you kidding me with that?

Guns are "special" precisely because of their high potential for terminating human life regardless of who wields one. They're called "the great equalizer" for a good reason. That status alone grants them special consideration over and above a melee weapon or a non-lethal spray.


I don't dispute that firearms need to be treated differently in a tactical sense. That is indisputable, because they are powerful ranged weapons. But that alone does not suddenly change the behavior of those who wield them for the worse. And yet, that is precisely what IVC was arguing.



"Education?" You make it sound like we're all in school together...you, me, and the bad guy. We're not. I couldn't care less about educating him.


I'm not talking about educating the bad guys! I'm talking about educating the general firearm-wielding population on what criteria to use to determine whether or not a warning shot is justifiable and sufficiently safe to take (which may include how to take the warning shot). IVC's concern is that if warning shots were legal, we'd suddenly have a bunch of people taking warning shots for no good reason, starting gunfights, etc. "Blood in the streets". If people cannot be trusted with firearms when there are no laws governing their use, what in the world makes you think they can suddenly be trusted with firearms when there are laws governing their use?


You guys are approaching the law from the anti-freedom side of things. You are presuming that people will intentionally engage in harmful behavior if there is not a law against it. You are presuming that people are bad. That is exactly the same thing the antis do! And it's all kinds of wrong.

The fundamental principle of a truly free society is that most people can be trusted to behave decently without a burdensome pile of rules foisted upon them. The fundamental principle of a restrictive society is the opposite. China and other totalitarian societies presume that only those who make the law know what is good for the people, and that the people cannot be trusted to coexist peacefully otherwise. You and IVC are arguing from that very same standpoint: that people cannot be trusted by default.



There IS a compelling reason...and that would be "potential harm to bystanders." This is the reason, as you noted, that we have laws against shooting off guns in urban areas unless we're under attack. In that case, the projectile is going into the attacker's body (and hopefully stopping there), not into the ground where it might ricochet.


But this is the same argument that the anti-gunners use! Their argument is that the potential harm from general carry in public is sufficient to justify forbidding it. But of course, we know that's not true because we have data proving that it's not. How did we get that data? By allowing general carry in public to occur.

Where's the data proving that warning shots, generally, represent a major risk to life and limb of innocent bystanders? I will always concede that to be a possibility (until there is data showing otherwise), but it is not sufficient to merely assert it. It has to be shown through evidence. Without supporting evidence, laws which forbid warning shots are no better than laws forbidding "assault weapons": they are equally unjustified because they both lack supporting evidence as their basis and they both remove options from the law-abiding.

There's a great source of evidence that could be used to decide this question, actually: the rate of innocent bystanders that are injured or killed by stray bullets fired by the police. Clearly the danger from police misses must be at least as large as the danger from warning shots, since warning shots are intentionally taken so as to miss anyone who is around. So: how often do stray bullets fired by the police wind up harming innocent bystanders, as a percentage of the number of such bullets fired? If the rate is substantial, then it's likely that warning shots are unacceptably dangerous. If the rate is low, on the other hand, then it is certain that warning shots are not unacceptably dangerous, unless your definition of "unacceptably dangerous" is unreasonably risk-averse.

IVC
06-03-2012, 9:03 AM
But that alone does not suddenly change the behavior of those who wield them for the worse. And yet, that is precisely what IVC was arguing.

IVC's concern is that if warning shots were legal, we'd suddenly have a bunch of people taking warning shots for no good reason, starting gunfights, etc. "Blood in the streets".

You guys are approaching the law from the anti-freedom side of things. You are presuming that people will intentionally engage in harmful behavior if there is not a law against it. You are presuming that people are bad. That is exactly the same thing the antis do! And it's all kinds of wrong.

You and IVC are arguing from that very same standpoint: that people cannot be trusted by default.

You cannot argue on one hand that the "warning shot should not be banned," while at the same time saying that it represents "engaging in harmful behavior." Which one is it?

If a warning shot were a protected category of behavior, then brandishing would certainly be as well since it's required for the warning shot. If brandishing and warning shots are protected behaviors, then there is no reason for the law abiding citizens not to engage in those behaviors. You cannot have something that is explicitly legal and acceptable, yet claim that the people who do it are somehow "bad" or "engaging in harmful behavior." Which one is it?

Finally, if you codified "less than lethal" standard for use of firearms (brandishing, warning shots, threat engagement), why would you consider it "bad" if someone did it during road rage or other dispute. You just explicitly condoned it.

To have a meaningful discussion we have to understand the difference between freedom and anarchy. Freedom is a highly regulated society where the law represents the boundaries between conflicting rights of different individuals. It doesn't mean that you get to make a judgement call on issues that are affecting other's fundamental rights, then call those who won't let you do it "anti-freedom."

If you are subscribing to the theory that "warning shot shouldn't be banned because it might be useful sometimes," you need to codify it as a legislator would, so we can discuss the merits of your approach.

Agent Orange
06-03-2012, 9:09 AM
Great thread. IVC, it's a real pleasure to read your stuff. This place is lucky to have you as a member.

secret.asian.man
06-03-2012, 9:12 AM
Captain Hindsight here:

1. Have wife call police while you do your thing <- posterior is covered
2. Get a flashlight to make sure its not some drunk blonde girl(lol I went there) or animals
3. Yell in a thunderous tone in cover "GTFO"
4. If POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AS A BADDY IN YOUR HOME, not porch, not fence, not chillin in your swimming pool. Then you go about the rules of engagement.
5. Shoot when life or property is in danger. Again, a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat.


protecting property is also a no-no in california. unless its something like arson to your house but then that can also be seen as protecting the life/ves that is/are inside.

IVC
06-03-2012, 9:15 AM
I have no problem with the law defining the criteria under which a warning shot is justifiable, as long as those criteria are both reasonable and comprehensive.

The law already defines the criteria - never. It's both reasonable and comprehensive. You are either in fear of your life or not. Don't want to shoot at a mortal threat, you don't have to. Take your chances.


You shouldn't. It should be your choice. Your choice, not the government's. It's that simple.

That's what liberty is: the freedom to make your own choices and to deal with the consequences of those choices, good or bad.

Anarchy vs. Freedom. Your choice is only up to the point you don't affect others. Start affecting others and it's your choice against my choice. That's where the laws come to play. I don't want you risking myself or others when you have a perfectly reasonable option of protecting yourself by shooting at the threat. I don't want to pay the price just because you are squeamish at the point when you really don't have any more choice, but are too PC to admit it.

Statistics have nothing to do with it. Even if crime went up in right-to-carry states, it would still be protected under 2A. This is what we talk about when we say "the price of freedom." Declaring any law to be a restriction of freedom is indeed anarchy.

huntercf
06-03-2012, 10:16 AM
Great rules for California.

Texas has its own set of laws that don't match up to California.

In Texas you cannot just shoot a trespasser on your property. You can however, AT NIGHT, shoot anyone on your property who is committing theft or criminal mischief (vandalsim). Under Texas law if someone is breaking into your car on your driveway at 2 a.m., you can point your deer rifle out the window and shoot them d.e.a.d.

It is a totally different world there.

In CA you have to ask them if they would like the keys and if they need gas money.

johnjohn301
06-03-2012, 12:56 PM
+1
Might be a good time to throw this in the conversation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc


SPOKEN WITH YOUR LAWYER......

or even with a few good old buddies.


YOU NEVER KNOW IF WHAT YOU DID WAS ILLEGAL, and it probably could be illegal.


THERE IS NO RUSH TO TALK TO THE COPS, but they will put on a big song and dance like it is, and use every bit of 3rd grade recess social pressure to make you think you really, really should talk RIGHT NOW.


remember in The Exorcist when the priest knows if he just 'keeps the faith' he will be OK in face of the Devil? SAME THING.


GUESS WHAT? all that cop cares about is putting a "big bust" on his calender.


NO DIFFERENT than a car salesman.


They will both get that "hang dog" expression on their face when they hear "I'll need to check with so and so before we talk any further".

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 2:13 PM
You cannot argue on one hand that the "warning shot should not be banned," while at the same time saying that it represents "engaging in harmful behavior." Which one is it?


It represents potentially harmful behavior, because it's possible someone will get injured or killed by it. Done properly and done under the right circumstances, nobody will get injured or killed by a warning shot.

Similarly, driving is also potentially harmful behavior, because if you do it wrong or do it under the wrong circumstances, someone other than you can get injured or killed. And yet, I do not see you arguing here that driving should be banned for that.



If a warning shot were a protected category of behavior, then brandishing would certainly be as well since it's required for the warning shot. If brandishing and warning shots are protected behaviors, then there is no reason for the law abiding citizens not to engage in those behaviors. You cannot have something that is explicitly legal and acceptable, yet claim that the people who do it are somehow "bad" or "engaging in harmful behavior." Which one is it?


I am not arguing that a warning shot is protected behavior (nor am I arguing that it's not -- I am not addressing that possibility at all). I am arguing that the law prohibiting it entirely lacks justification.



Finally, if you codified "less than lethal" standard for use of firearms (brandishing, warning shots, threat engagement), why would you consider it "bad" if someone did it during road rage or other dispute. You just explicitly condoned it.


If the victim of road rage did that, and did it in a safe manner when under the sincere belief that it was necessary to prevent the situation from escalating any further, then I would not consider it "bad".



To have a meaningful discussion we have to understand the difference between freedom and anarchy. Freedom is a highly regulated society where the law represents the boundaries between conflicting rights of different individuals. It doesn't mean that you get to make a judgement call on issues that are affecting other's fundamental rights, then call those who won't let you do it "anti-freedom."


I agree. This is why we need data. It will not do to merely assert that someone's right is being violated by a warning shot, it must be shown.



If you are subscribing to the theory that "warning shot shouldn't be banned because it might be useful sometimes," you need to codify it as a legislator would, so we can discuss the merits of your approach.

I'll give some though of how to codify it in that way so that it can be discussed further.

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 2:25 PM
The law already defines the criteria - never. It's both reasonable and comprehensive. You are either in fear of your life or not. Don't want to shoot at a mortal threat, you don't have to. Take your chances.


Comprehensive, yes. Reasonable? That is precisely what is in dispute. I would agree it's reasonable if data showing its necessity is available.



Anarchy vs. Freedom. Your choice is only up to the point you don't affect others. Start affecting others and it's your choice against my choice. That's where the laws come to play.


Exactly. But it's not enough that the action merely has the potential to affect you, for all actions have that. This is why laws which restrict the actions of others must have supporting evidence. Otherwise, they are arbitrary, and that way lies tyranny.



I don't want you risking myself or others when you have a perfectly reasonable option of protecting yourself by shooting at the threat. I don't want to pay the price just because you are squeamish at the point when you really don't have any more choice, but are too PC to admit it.


Well, like I said, freedom carries with it the price of risk. It's fine for you to say that you don't want me risking you or others when my option is to engage in combat, but similarly it is also fine for me to say that I don't want you risking my life by forcing me into combat as a result of taking options off the table that could prevent it.

So: it's the balance between my life and yours. Which one is at greater risk, yours as a result of me taking the warning shot, or mine as a result of engaging in combat? I would argue that mine is at greater risk. But this is precisely why we need data.


And, actually, it's even worse for your side than that. Why? Because you are asserting that people cannot be trusted to take warning shots safely and cannot be trusted to know when it's not safe and/or appropriate to do so. You are, essentially, arguing that those who would use warning shots properly and take them properly should be prevented from doing so on the chance that they might do so improperly and thus increase the risk to you. And in doing so, you are intentionally taking away from them a potential means of avoiding combat. You are intentionally increasing the risk to them to satisfy your own distrust.




Statistics have nothing to do with it. Even if crime went up in right-to-carry states, it would still be protected under 2A.


That's not the same thing and you know it. The 2A protects the ability of the people to take action. It is precisely in that same spirit that I am arguing here, and it is precisely in the opposite spirit that you are arguing. You are attempting to prevent action on the mere chance that someone will be injured or killed, without any evidence supporting the necessity of your position.

My position is on the side of freedom. Yours is not. While I understand why you argue as you do, it is no different than antis arguing that guns in the hands of the citizenry will increase the risk to us all, with one crucial difference: they are arguing against something that has explicit Constitutional protection (even if it has not yet been explicitly recognized by the Supreme Court), while you are arguing against something that may not (that is an interesting question in its own right, actually).



This is what we talk about when we say "the price of freedom."


No, the price of freedom is both risk and eternal vigilance. Eternal vigilance is required to ensure that freedom is never unnecessarily restricted. Risk is an inherent trait of freedom. The price of freedom is not the unsubstantiated loss of freedom!


Declaring any law to be a restriction of freedom is indeed anarchy.

Most laws are restrictions on freedom, and it is for that very reason that they must be justified. Without the necessity of such justification, what you have is tyranny, not freedom, for it means that restrictions on freedom can be enacted on a whim. Why in the world would you argue in favor of that?

IVC
06-03-2012, 4:53 PM
It's fine for you to say that you don't want me risking you or others when my option is to engage in combat, but similarly it is also fine for me to say that I don't want you risking my life by forcing me into combat as a result of taking options off the table that could prevent it.

This is the main fallacy. There is nothing that is taken off the table for you, the option was never there to begin with, at least not in a modern, functional, organized society.

I am not forcing you into any combat - the attacker is. If you are assuming that you still have an option to negotiate and defuse the situation, you have not yet reached the point where you are justified in using a firearm in ANY capacity (brandishing, discharging). The society rejects the use of firearm for handling confrontations. Remember, you are only allowed to use a firearm in self defense when in direct fear for you life. This is the stage after all diplomacy has failed.

I'll repeat that a warning shot is an act of aggression and intimidation and not of a self defense. Self defense is the LAST resort. You can also see this as the modern society forcing you to use all available acceptable tools at your disposal to avoid personal physical confrontation (as opposed to settling scores in the court of law), by forcing you to draw and shoot only when absolutely necessary. It will keep you honest as no sane person want's to shoot and kill someone else, so the best guarantee that you were indeed in fear of your life before you use the firearm is to make sure you cannot use it for the "negotiation" phase.

Again, try to create a set of rules or guidelines for your "acceptable use of a warning shot."

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 5:06 PM
Exactly. If you feel the need to "warning" shoot, then you probably should be "real" shooting. Cut out the middle man. Warning shots are NEVER a good idea (case in point). Anyone who feels differently should probably reconsider using firearms for a defensive purpose; don't endanger myself or my family because you feel the need to display your "alpha-ness" to your would be attacker. We aren't chimps. If you absolutely NEED to shoot, shoot your assailant, or nothing at all. Simply presenting your arm should be all the "warning shot" required to prove that this person had malicious enough intentions to necessitate forcible action.

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 5:23 PM
This is the main fallacy. There is nothing that is taken off the table for you, the option was never there to begin with, at least not in a modern, functional, organized society.


Of course it was taken off the table. Your assertion to the contrary is quaint but false.

If the option was there without the law being in place, and the option is no longer there after the law is put in place, then the option was taken off the table by the law.


As for the "modern, functional, organized society" assertion, that is easily dispensed with by the fact that discharge of a firearm (except for self defense, hunting, or at a public or private range) is not universally prohibited throughout the United States. Your assertion here amounts to an accusation that not all states, cities, and counties of the United States qualify as part of a "modern, functional, organized society".



I am not forcing you into any combat - the attacker is.


That's like saying that the law doesn't ever force you into a suboptimal combat position by restricting your magazine size. Of course it does.

In the scenario where a warning shot is the only way for me to prevent combat from taking place, taking the warning shot option off the table is forcing me into combat.



If you are assuming that you still have an option to negotiate and defuse the situation, you have not yet reached the point where you are justified in using a firearm in ANY capacity (brandishing, discharging). The society rejects the use of firearm for handling confrontations. Remember, you are only allowed to use a firearm in self defense when in direct fear for you life. This is the stage after all diplomacy has failed.


Look, it won't do for you to continue to use circular logic. You are defending the law by using the law to defend it!

Either the law stands on its own merits or it doesn't. Don't give me this BS about "society this" and "society that", "you are allowed", etc. The law defines what is and is not allowed (so you cannot use any "you are allowed" argument to justify the law) and must exist for a specific, articulable, and well-supported reason. Either supply and defend that reason, or concede the argument.



I'll repeat that a warning shot is an act of aggression and intimidation and not of a self defense.


Simply defining it as such does not actually make it such. You'll have to do better than this.



Self defense is the LAST resort. You can also see this as the modern society forcing you to use all available acceptable tools at your disposal to avoid personal physical confrontation (as opposed to settling scores in the court of law), by forcing you to draw and shoot only when absolutely necessary. It will keep you honest as no sane person want's to shoot and kill someone else, so the best guarantee that you were indeed in fear of your life before you use the firearm is to make sure you cannot use it for the "negotiation" phase.


I have no problem with the law saying that the only situation in which a warning shot is justifiable is when one reasonably believes that there are no other negotiation options on the table and that if one doesn't take the warning shot, one will be forced to engage the threat in combat.

bwiese
06-03-2012, 5:27 PM
If there's sufficient danger to fire a warning shot there's sufficient grounds to shoot the individual.

If that threshold has not been crossed, the warning shot will likely be considered illegally fired.

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 5:31 PM
Warning shots are NEVER a good idea

I'm willing to entertain this idea. Please supply proof.

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 5:35 PM
If there's sufficient danger to fire a warning shot there's sufficient grounds to shoot the individual.


That is not in dispute.

The problem is that by shooting the individual, you are engaging in combat, and combat is a highly dangerous and unpredictable activity. By engaging in combat, you put yourself in grave danger. That is the lesson of nature, and is why most species attempt to warn away their opponent.

If it can be shown that a warning shot would never be effective in avoiding combat in that situation, then please show it, and I'll happily back the law forbidding it. But not until then.



If that threshold has not been crossed, the warning shot will likely be considered illegally fired.

It is the validity of the law itself that I question.

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 6:22 PM
I'm willing to entertain this idea. Please supply proof.

The simple fact that EVERYONE who does this gets arrested for it should be proof enough. If that isn't, then this should be:

If there's sufficient danger to fire a warning shot there's sufficient grounds to shoot the individual.

If that threshold has not been crossed, the warning shot will likely be considered illegally fired.

Simply put, if the NEED is not there, the action should never be taken. If you have the NEED to warning shot, then you even more so have the NEED to engage the assailant to guarantee a diffusal of the situation. Simply presenting your arm should be more than enough to show your intent to defend yourself, and unquestionably negate the necessity for a warning shot. Arguing semmantics does not change the facts, sorry. There is no situation in an urban environment that a warning shot is the safer/est solution to all involved (including standers-by and other indirects). You may not hit the assailant (thereby keeping him safe), which then caused him to disengage (thereby keeping you safe); but what about the potential person innocently walking down the street by happenstance, or the gawker (which there always are some, regardless of how potentially dangerous the situation is, you just can't prevent stupid) that you just happen to hit accidentally? At least if you justifiably shoot the assailant, he actually "deserved it". It really is a matter of "lesser evils".

That is not in dispute.

The problem is that by shooting the individual, you are engaging in combat, and combat is a highly dangerous and unpredictable activity. By engaging in combat, you put yourself in grave danger. That is the lesson of nature, and is why most species attempt to warn away their opponent.

If it can be shown that a warning shot would never be effective in avoiding combat in that situation, then please show it, and I'll happily back the law forbidding it. But not until then.




It is the validity of the law itself that I question.

You already proved the point, it is already dangerous and unpredictable; so why make it even more dangerous and unpredictable (especially for those not directly involved) by firing a random shot in a random direction? It isn't that it wouldn't be effective in preventing combat in a situation, it is that it wouldn't be effective in helping to aleviate danger in an urban situation; which is the entire point of being armed in the first place. You carry in the hopes that you never have to use it. Once again, arguing semmantics to prove your point neither changes the facts, nor actually proves you right. It is simply a stall tactic to avoid concession.

croc4
06-03-2012, 6:30 PM
well, here is the issue, at least for me.

fictional situation

Someone was coming at you with a knife, lets say 30ft away, you draw your weapon, Shooting him at this distance could be seen as you assassinating him, cue the lawyers and prepare to loose a good chunk of the life savings, so what do you do?, let him get closer say 7yds and then fire?, what if you miss?, in this (fictional situation) the stress could easily be over whelming and you could be dead.

Then lets say option two, you fire a warning shot when the attacker is at 30ft, he stops, or even pauses, giving you more time to retreat, or he even breaks off the attack. both he and you are still alive.

is a warning shot always a good idea?, of course not, but having the option is a good thing. Options are always good, taking away options forces things to unfold in ways that could ruin you for ever

Croc4

croc4
06-03-2012, 6:37 PM
The other thing that I find odd here, If I shoot at the perp and miss that is ok, but firing a warning shot somehow posses a huge risk to the general public.

a "warning shot" is not some random shot at a random direction or elevation, a responsible gun owner would shoot in a direction that would one, warn the perp and two, not cause harm to innocent bystanders. if this could not be done then a warning shot is not an option.

If you are of the mindset that a warning shot is something that cannot be done in a safe direction/manner then you belong on a bradey forum , not here

Croc4

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 6:51 PM
The simple fact that EVERYONE who does this gets arrested for it should be proof enough. If that isn't, then this should be:


You're engaging in the same circular logic that IVC is. You cannot use the law to justify the existence of the law!!



Simply put, if the NEED is not there, the action should never be taken.


Clearly.


If you have the NEED to warning shot, then you even more so have the NEED to engage the assailant to guarantee a diffusal of the situation.


Now we're finally getting to the meat of the issue.

Can you show the above to be true? Engaging the assailant is potentially more dangerous than firing a warning shot, because engaging the assailant will cause the assailant to do whatever he can to preserve his own life, including taking yours. You were already in fear of your own life, so you believed the assailant would take such action, but attacking guarantees he will, while a warning shot has the potential of scaring him off. See my example of the person attempting to bust through your door a number of messages back.



Simply presenting your arm should be more than enough to show your intent to defend yourself, and unquestionably negate the necessity for a warning shot. Arguing semmantics does not change the facts, sorry.


You presume that presenting your arm in such a way that it can be seen is even possible. I fully agree, a warning shot is not in the same league as presenting your arm, issuing a verbal warning, or some other action that does not pose any threat at all to innocents. It is most certainly something that must not be taken unless there are no other better options on the table (which can easily mean that the other better options have already been tried and have failed).

But that does not mean that situations can never arise where there are no better options!



There is no situation in an urban environment that a warning shot is the safer/est solution to all involved (including standers-by and other indirects). You may not hit the assailant (thereby keeping him safe), which then caused him to disengage (thereby keeping you safe); but what about the potential person innocently walking down the street by happenstance, or the gawker (which there always are some, regardless of how potentially dangerous the situation is, you just can't prevent stupid) that you just happen to hit accidentally? At least if you justifiably shoot the assailant, he actually "deserved it". It really is a matter of "lesser evils".


Has it occurred to you that by firing on the assailant, and thereby causing him to fire back (something he may have done anyway -- you believe your life is in imminent danger, after all), the totality of the circumstances may result in that placing the public in greater danger than if you simply fired a warning shot?



You already proved the point, it is already dangerous and unpredictable; so why make it even more dangerous and unpredictable (especially for those not directly involved) by firing a random shot in a random direction?


Will you guys stop assuming that the person firing the warning shot is incompetent or uncaring about the danger to the public?!?



It isn't that it wouldn't be effective in preventing combat in a situation, it is that it wouldn't be effective in helping to aleviate danger in an urban situation;


Well, that depends entirely on the situation, doesn't it?

If you acknowledge that it has the potential of preventing combat, then you now have to show that taking a warning shot must always place society as a whole in greater danger than would simply engaging in combat, no matter how the shot is taken and no matter what the situation is.

Can you really show that? If you can, then I will concede the argument. But I wish you luck with that. Like I said, the injury/death rate from stray bullets fired by the police may provide evidence that can shed light on this question. I know of no other data that does.



which is the entire point of being armed in the first place. You carry in the hopes that you never have to use it.


Of course. That was never in dispute.



Once again, arguing semmantics to prove your point neither changes the facts, nor actually proves you right. It is simply a stall tactic to avoid concession.

I'm not arguing semantics here. I'm not arguing definitions. I'm arguing situational tactics, measures of danger, and other things that are highly relevant to the issue.

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 6:55 PM
protecting property is also a no-no in california. unless its something like arson to your house but then that can also be seen as protecting the life/ves that is/are inside.

Actually, California does have a form of "castle doctrine" on the books stating that you CAN protect property (it is pretty much written in "black & white"), it is just not enforced. It's pretty much going to take one of those fancy, expensive lawsuits in the (hopefully) near future to make that happen.

well, here is the issue, at least for me.

fictional situation

Someone was coming at you with a knife, lets say 30ft away, you draw your weapon, Shooting him at this distance could be seen as you assassinating him, cue the lawyers and prepare to loose a good chunk of the life savings, so what do you do?, let him get closer say 7yds and then fire?, what if you miss?, in this (fictional situation) the stress could easily be over whelming and you could be dead.

Then lets say option two, you fire a warning shot when the attacker is at 30ft, he stops, or even pauses, giving you more time to retreat, or he even breaks off the attack. both he and you are still alive.

is a warning shot always a good idea?, of course not, but having the option is a good thing. Options are always good, taking away options forces things to unfold in ways that could ruin you for ever

Croc4

If he is advancing at you, then he has intentions to harm you with said knife, especially if he continues to after you have presented your firearm and shouted verbal, coherent warnings to ceace and decist. Shooting justified. If he is not advancing at you, and just presenting said knife and waiving it around, he is not a direct threat to your safety, shooting not justified.

The other thing that I find odd here, If I shoot at the perp and miss that is ok, but firing a warning shot somehow posses a huge risk to the general public.

a "warning shot" is not some random shot at a random direction or elevation, a responsible gun owner would shoot in a direction that would one, warn the perp and two, not cause harm to innocent bystanders. if this could not be done then a warning shot is not an option.

If you are of the mindset that a warning shot is something that cannot be done in a safe direction/manner then you belong on a bradey forum , not here

Croc4

Because randomly shooting is being blatantly wreckless and knowingly endangering the public, missing is unintentional because human beings aren't perfect. The difference is knowingly and willfully.

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 7:02 PM
Because randomly shooting is being blatantly wreckless and knowingly endangering the public, missing is unintentional because human beings aren't perfect. The difference is knowingly and willfully.

Yes, randomly shooting is clearly being blatantly reckless and knowingly endangering the public, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about a warning shot being taken by someone who is intentionally attempting to avoid endangering the public in doing so and has carefully (as much as possible given the circumstances) considered both whether to take the warning shot and how to take it.

In other words, you're attempt to erect a strawman.

croc4
06-03-2012, 7:09 PM
oni.dori didn't I just post that a warning shot is NOT a random thing?, so why respond with "Because randomly shooting is being blatantly..."

IMO a warning shot "could" buy you more time or stop the attack completely. Just because the law says otherwise that does not make it right or defensible.

After all Ar's and Ak's without BB or with > 10rd mags is against the law right?... are you going to argue they are good laws?

Look, you guys are arguing that a warning shot is NEVER warranted, to me that is very narrow minded. Each situation is different, and if a warning shot stops an attack and prevents a death how is that a bad thing?

And again for the record a warning shot is a calculated shot in a safe direction, it is NOT a random shot into an arbitrary direction!!!!!!

It seems the difference between a pro gun and anti gun person is not the facts, just what THEIR opinion is, it seems


Croc4

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 7:32 PM
You're engaging in the same circular logic that IVC is. You cannot use the law to justify the existence of the law!!

I'm not, I am using the concequences of law to justify it. Regardless of opinion, it exists, and it is not changing. Once again, semmantics change nothing. The fact that it is unecessarily and willingly endangers those not involved, and is inherently uncontrolled in its application, justify its existence. The reward, which does not exceed the reward of directly engaging the assailant, does not outweigh the risks. Clear and simple.


Clearly.

Then why do you insist on continuing to argue?




Now we're finally getting to the meat of the issue.

Can you show the above to be true? Engaging the assailant is potentially more dangerous than firing a warning shot, because engaging the assailant will cause the assailant to do whatever he can to preserve his own life, including taking yours. You were already in fear of your own life, so you believed the assailant would take such action, but attacking guarantees he will, while a warning shot has the potential of scaring him off. See my example of the person attempting to bust through your door a number of messages back.

Who's engaging in circular logic now? The is the same kind of arguments the anti's use to justify restricting our rights. Can you show it not to be true? Why only place the burden of proof on your the ones disagreeing with you? Debates are a 2-way street my friend. If the need is already there, then you are going no-holds-barred in the first place. It simply comes down to a matter of skill and luck. You want better chances, improve your skills. To justify your safety at the risk of others (who also happen to be innocent in the situation) is selfish and cowardly. You are already are involved in the situation, and your safety as already been uncontrollably compromised, why compromise the safety of those who's safety need not be? You may be a good shot, but you cannot guarantee what is in front of your bullet's path, or where it will actually fly. To engage in such an act is wreckless and irrisponsible. That is what justifies its existence. At least if you are shooting at a target, said target acts as a sort of "backstop" to help limit your projectile's progress, and you should only be engaging said target at distances your are confident enough that you could hit it. Misses cannot be completely eliminated, but at least you were being responsible in your actions.


You presume that presenting your arm in such a way that it can be seen is even possible. I fully agree, a warning shot is not in the same league as presenting your arm, issuing a verbal warning, or some other action that does not pose any threat at all to innocents. It is most certainly something that must not be taken unless there are no other better options on the table.

In a situation so close that presenting your arms is not visible nor practical, then there would be no doubt that firing an aggressive should would not be justified. It is already past the point of "no return". In that situation, a warning shot would neither be practical, nor likely possible. Now you are just twisting hypothetics to justify continuation of argument.

But that does not mean that situations can never arise where there are no better options!

In an URBAN setting, there ARE no situations where that would be a better option.


Has it occurred to you that by firing on the assailant, and thereby causing him to fire back (something he may have done anyway -- you believe your life is in imminent danger, after all), the totality of the circumstances may result in that placing the public in greater danger than if you simply fired a warning shot?

And firing a warnig shot could do exactly the same. It could easily be interpreted by your assailant as you attempting to hit him, and you missed. Your point is moot. In any hypothetical situation, it is a catch-22. You best, and only, reasonable option is to choose the one that has the highest chance of minimizing overall risk. Warning shots in urban environments never do that.


Will you guys stop assuming that the person firing the warning shot is incompetent or uncaring about the danger to the public?!?

To engage in that action is incompetent and uncaring about being a danger to the public, so there is no assumption.


Well, that depends entirely on the situation, doesn't it?

If you acknowledge that it has the potential of preventing combat, then you now have to show that taking a warning shot must always place society as a whole in greater danger than would simply engaging in combat, no matter how the shot is taken and no matter what the situation is.

Can you really show that? If you can, then I will concede the argument. But I wish you luck with that. Like I said, the injury/death rate from stray bullets fired by the police may provide evidence that can shed light on this question. I know of no other data that does.

Semmantics. You would never really be able to prove the opposite way indefinitely either.


Of course. That was never in dispute.

It wasn't intended to be disputed, it was intended to prove a point.


I'm not arguing semantics here. I'm not arguing definitions. I'm arguing situational tactics, measures of danger, and other things that are highly relevant to the issue.

Yes you are, that is all you have used to argue. All you have done is argue the semmantics of the meanings of words and actions. There is no hypothesis you have presented that couldn't have been swung in the opposite direction just as easily. Nothing you have put forth on your side of the argument is definitive, nor does it really have any actual fact or instance to back it up. However, there is plenty to back up the opposite. To simply argue whether or not you believe the law should exist will never change the fact that it does exist, and that you must adhere to it or risk its concequences.

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 7:34 PM
Yes, randomly shooting is clearly being blatantly reckless and knowingly endangering the public, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about a warning shot being taken by someone who is intentionally attempting to avoid endangering the public in doing so and has carefully (as much as possible given the circumstances) considered both whether to take the warning shot and how to take it.

In other words, you're attempt to erect a strawman.

oni.dori didn't I just post that a warning shot is NOT a random thing?, so why respond with "Because randomly shooting is being blatantly..."

IMO a warning shot "could" buy you more time or stop the attack completely. Just because the law says otherwise that does not make it right or defensible.

After all Ar's and Ak's without BB or with > 10rd mags is against the law right?... are you going to argue they are good laws?

Look, you guys are arguing that a warning shot is NEVER warranted, to me that is very narrow minded. Each situation is different, and if a warning shot stops an attack and prevents a death how is that a bad thing?

And again for the record a warning shot is a calculated shot in a safe direction, it is NOT a random shot into an arbitrary direction!!!!!!

It seems the difference between a pro gun and anti gun person is not the facts, just what THEIR opinion is, it seems


Croc4

Warning shots are ALWAYS random, regardless of where you INTENIONALLY point it. As I stated before, you cannot control what is in the path of your projectile, where it actually flies, how far it actually goes, or what it ricochets off of, and where it heads from there. Those are all VARIABLES, which make it inherently, and uncontrollably RANDOM.

sandman21
06-03-2012, 7:52 PM
Actually, California does have a form of "castle doctrine" on the books stating that you CAN protect property (it is pretty much written in "black & white"), it is just not enforced. It's pretty much going to take one of those fancy, expensive lawsuits in the (hopefully) near future to make that happen.

Nope you can not. The CASC reads PC 197 in light of the common law. I doubt we will ever see this change.

This section also should be read in the light of the common law, and at common law in general deadly force could not be used solely for the protection of property. (See Model Penal Code, supra, § 3.06, com. 8; Perkins on Criminal Law, supra, p. 1026, fn. 6; 13 Stan.L.Rev. 566, 575-576.) "`The preservation of human life and limb from grievous harm is of more importance to society than the protection of property.'" (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4905950755229562562&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr)

Solidux
06-03-2012, 8:54 PM
protecting property is also a no-no in california. unless its something like arson to your house but then that can also be seen as protecting the life/ves that is/are inside.

So when a guy is in your house stealing stuff and has no intention to hurt you. You stand there and be like "awww shucks."

kcbrown
06-03-2012, 9:18 PM
I'm not, I am using the concequences of law to justify it.


When the consequences you use (as you do here) are the prevention of that which is proscribed by law, that's exactly the same thing. The logic is circular and tautological.

Circular logic is not a valid basis for the law.



Regardless of opinion, it exists, and it is not changing.


That is clear, and is not something I'm arguing. I'm arguing that it should not exist, at least not in its current form.



Once again, semmantics change nothing. The fact that it is unecessarily


In what way does it present an unnecessary danger any more than shooting at the bad guy would?



and willingly endangers those not involved, and is inherently uncontrolled in its application, justify its existence.


If a warning shot is inherently uncontrolled in its application, then so too is a shot fired for real. Since both are intended to stop the conflict, both are taken in a controlled fashion at something which is believed to act as a "backstop", and both present some danger to the public, what is the difference?



The reward, which does not exceed the reward of directly engaging the assailant, does not outweigh the risks. Clear and simple.


No, it's not clear. By engaging the assailant, you force his hand. If he has a firearm, he will shoot back if he is able to. He may move such that innocent bystanders wind up in the line of fire (either in front of him or behind him) that you may unwittingly hit if you are firing at him (your reaction time is not necessarily so fast that you can guarantee that you will stop firing before it's too late if you're tracking him as a moving target). The possibilities are varied and numerous.



Then why do you insist on continuing to argue?


Because what's not clear is that taking a warning shot is always inferior to directly engaging the assailant!



Who's engaging in circular logic now? The is the same kind of arguments the anti's use to justify restricting our rights. Can you show it not to be true? Why only place the burden of proof on your the ones disagreeing with you?


Because they insist on restricting freedom. I do not. The burden of proof always rests on those who wish to take away the freedom of others.



Debates are a 2-way street my friend. If the need is already there, then you are going no-holds-barred in the first place. It simply comes down to a matter of skill and luck. You want better chances, improve your skills. To justify your safety at the risk of others (who also happen to be innocent in the situation) is selfish and cowardly.


That's all well and good when it's only your skin on the line, but it's not. In combat, we do our best to minimize the danger to innocents, but it cannot be eliminated. Regardless, we're talking about people whom we've entrusted to carry a deadly weapon. Why are you presuming that they will abuse that trust when it comes to taking a warning shot but not abuse that trust when engaged in combat? Keep in mind: under the circumstances we're discussing, the person in question already has the legal option of shooting at the bad guy. The only question remaining is whether or not firing a warning shot will put the public at greater risk than would engaging the bad guy.


At least if you are shooting at a target, said target acts as a sort of "backstop" to help limit your projectile's progress, and you should only be engaging said target at distances your are confident enough that you could hit it. Misses cannot be completely eliminated, but at least you were being responsible in your actions.


That's true as far as it goes, but it does not eliminate the danger to the public from such combat.

If you can reasonably guarantee that the target is going to act as a "backstop", then how is that any different from ensuring that whatever you're shooting at when firing a warning shot will also act as a "backstop" in exactly the same way? Why are you presuming competence in one situation but not the other?


In a situation so close that presenting your arms is not visible nor practical, then there would be no doubt that firing an aggressive should would not be justified.


See the "guy is about to bust through your door" example I gave much earlier.



It is already past the point of "no return". In that situation, a warning shot would neither be practical, nor likely possible. Now you are just twisting hypothetics to justify continuation of argument.


Maybe. Maybe not. But here's the thing: I'm not the one arguing against freedom of action. You are. So it is on you to justify that the action must be restricted by law, that there is no other reasonable approach to the problem.



In an URBAN setting, there ARE no situations where that would be a better option.


Is that so? Prove it. And tell me why an urban setting is any different than any other setting with the sole exception of population density, which only serves to change the probabilities (and not to eliminate the possibilities).



And firing a warnig shot could do exactly the same. It could easily be interpreted by your assailant as you attempting to hit him, and you missed.


That is entirely possible. And that's why whether or not it's the best option available depends entirely on the situation. You could be right -- there may be no situation in which firing a warning shot is a superior solution to simply shooting at the bad guy. There may be few enough such situations that, on balance, forbidding warning shots yields a safer outcome on average. But that is something that must be shown for a law which forbids a warning shot to be justifiable.



Your point is moot. In any hypothetical situation, it is a catch-22. You best, and only, reasonable option is to choose the one that has the highest chance of minimizing overall risk. Warning shots in urban environments never do that.


And like I said, I'm willing to entertain that possibility. But it must be shown first.




To engage in that action is incompetent and uncaring about being a danger to the public, so there is no assumption.


And you say this is true no matter the situation, no matter the surroundings, and no matter the capabilities of the person in question, right?



Semmantics. You would never really be able to prove the opposite way indefinitely either.


I don't have to prove the opposite way. You have to prove the opposite can never be true. That's because you're trying to take an action off the table. It is you, not I, who is attempting to justify a restriction on freedom. That puts the necessity of justification squarely on you.



It wasn't intended to be disputed, it was intended to prove a point.


It's not clear to me what point you intended to prove with that. I would hope to never have to use my firearm even to fire a warning shot (were such a thing allowed).



Yes you are, that is all you have used to argue. All you have done is argue the semmantics of the meanings of words and actions.


Really? Where have I contested the definition of something? Where have I contested the meaning?

Maybe I have somewhere, but I've probably written far too much on this already, such that I'd have to go back and look! :D



There is no hypothesis you have presented that couldn't have been swung in the opposite direction just as easily. Nothing you have put forth on your side of the argument is definitive, nor does it really have any actual fact or instance to back it up.


Yes, but that's not my responsibility, it's yours, because you are the one arguing for a restriction on freedom.



However, there is plenty to back up the opposite.


Oh, good. Where is it, then? Where's the evidence backing your assertions?



To simply argue whether or not you believe the law should exist will never change the fact that it does exist, and that you must adhere to it or risk its concequences.

Of course, and I'm not arguing at all that one should disobey the law! If that is your interpretation, then I didn't make myself clear enough.

croc4
06-03-2012, 9:25 PM
??, "Warning shots are ALWAYS random, regardless of where you INTENIONALLY point it."

and that equates to a gun pointed in a dangerous direction?

your wrong, a warning shot is not random, it is in direct response to a perceived potential encounter. Your logic is really of kilter, A miss is ok, but a warning shot is not? so how is either less lethal to the public?, should we make a law that says if you shoot you MUST!! hit the perp, otherwise you are endangering the public


Croc4

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 10:55 PM
When the consequences you use (as you do here) are the prevention of that which is proscribed by law, that's exactly the same thing. The logic is circular and tautological.

Circular logic is not a valid basis for the law.

Seeing how it unecissarily endangeres the public, that is justification enough for me to support the law.


That is clear, and is not something I'm arguing. I'm arguing that it should not exist, at least not in its current form.

Why not? You have yet to prove there is a situation that it is safer than engaging your adversary. Doing that is the only way it would be guaranteed to end quickly (either you or your assailang). You are operating your logic based on the selfish assumption that your safety and rights outweigh those of the rest of the world. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so that is all you consider.


In what way does it present an unnecessary danger any more than shooting at the bad guy would?

I really don't know how many times/ways I can explain it for you to comprehend it. Firing at your assailant will provide you with a clear, definite, and precise target. You will (subconciously or conciously) take greater care and precision in hitting your target. Whenever something is clear and precise, people are more likely to achieve it. However, when you take an arbitrary shot in an arbitrary direction, it will inherently be much more random than an aimed and intentional shot when taken by 99.99999999999999999999 ad-infinum% of people. I'm sorry. You can't realistically or responsibly argue that; and don't try that "I'm not the average person" bull either. You could never prove that, so it is moot; and even if you were, the vast majority of people aren't (so once again, moot).

If a warning shot is inherently uncontrolled in its application, then so too is a shot fired for real. Since both are intended to stop the conflict, both are taken in a controlled fashion at something which is believed to act as a "backstop", and both present some danger to the public, what is the difference?

Please, don't kid yourself. Warning shots are pretty much never taken in a controlled fashion. If they were, then they might as well be taking ACTUAL shots. Why waste your effort? A properly placed warning shot(s) (highly unlikely) MIGHT stop the conflict. A properly placed intentional shot(s) WILL end the conflict. If you aren't confident enough in your skills that you can't take a real shot and end it before they can escalate it, you should seriously reconsider posessing guns, letting alone using them in self defense. Lastly, the biggest difference is that your assailant is a soft target, nearly eliminating the possibility of a ricochet; while any thing you would shoot at as a "warning shot" has a GREATLY increased chance of a ricochet, because all of it would be a hard target (shooting at random people would negate your reasoning for shooting a warning shot in the first place).


No, it's not clear. By engaging the assailant, you force his hand. If he has a firearm, he will shoot back if he is able to. He may move such that innocent bystanders wind up in the line of fire (either in front of him or behind him) that you may unwittingly hit if you are firing at him (your reaction time is not necessarily so fast that you can guarantee that you will stop firing before it's too late if you're tracking him as a moving target). The possibilities are varied and numerous.

No, he has forced HIS OWN hand by way if HIS OWN decisions and actions to initiate the conflict in the first place. More and more you are using anti-logic to validate your point, and it doesn't fly. He can't shoot back if you put your shots in the right place. If you are so confident that you can put your shots in the right place with a "warning shot" that they would in no way run any more risk to bystanders, then you should have no problem putting them in a place that it ends the situation before he has a chance to retaliate. If not, you need to do one of two things, get more training/range time, or not use a firearm in self defense. Period. Either way, your point is moot.


Because what's not clear is that taking a warning shot is always inferior to directly engaging the assailant![/QUOTES]

Only to lunatics that have no consideration to the safety of the innocent public.


[QUOTE=kcbrown;8695259]Because they insist on restricting freedom. I do not. The burden of proof always rests on those who wish to take away the freedom of others.

Regulating "warning shots" is NOT restricting freedom. You should voluntarily do so yourself in the first place if you have any consideration for others and their safety. Make EVERY shot count, or DON'T SHOOT.


That's all well and good when it's only your skin on the line, but it's not. In combat, we do our best to minimize the danger to innocents, but it cannot be eliminated. Regardless, we're talking about people whom we've entrusted to carry a deadly weapon. Why are you presuming that they will abuse that trust when it comes to taking a warning shot but not abuse that trust when engaged in combat? Keep in mind: under the circumstances we're discussing, the person in question already has the legal option of shooting at the bad guy. The only question remaining is whether or not firing a warning shot will put the public at greater risk than would engaging the bad guy.

Have you even been in combat, or are you just making assumptions?


That's true as far as it goes, but it does not eliminate the danger to the public from such combat.

It may not eliminate it (nothing will), but it will certainly MINIMIZE it, which is the entire point. Warning shots won't, at least not nearly as well as intentional shots will.

If you can reasonably guarantee that the target is going to act as a "backstop", then how is that any different from ensuring that whatever you're shooting at when firing a warning shot will also act as a "backstop" in exactly the same way? Why are you presuming competence in one situation but not the other?

Please refer to my previous statement on backstop make up. That answers your question right there. Warning shots are pretty much always wreckless by their nature, usually a panic-enduced knee-jerk reaction to stressful stimuli. If you are clear headed enough to take a responsible warning shot, you are clear headed enough to take a responible "actual" shot that will end the conflict before it escelates, negating the need for a warning shot in the first place. Moot point.


See the "guy is about to bust through your door" example I gave much earlier.

You wouldn't even have legal grounds to shoot in the first place unil they breached the door, unless they were shooting at you already through it (which would nullify your entire escelation argument from the get-out); and even so, verbal warnings (which include "I have a gun!") would legally suffice.


Maybe. Maybe not. But here's the thing: I'm not the one arguing against freedom of action. You are. So it is on you to justify that the action must be restricted by law, that there is no other reasonable approach to the problem.

I'm not arguing against freedom of action, I am advocating responsible citizenry with consideration to other's safety. You are simply advocating wanton wreecklessness and selfishness.


Is that so? Prove it. And tell me why an urban setting is any different than any other setting with the sole exception of population density, which only serves to change the probabilities (and not to eliminate the possibilities).

The concentration of metal, concrete, and asphalt for one thing. However, population density alone should be reason enough if you are any kind of a resonable human being.


That is entirely possible.

Seeing how that is the major basis to your argument, then it pretty much falls flat on it's face then, huh?

And that's why whether or not it's the best option available depends entirely on the situation. You could be right -- there may be no situation in which firing a warning shot is a superior solution to simply shooting at the bad guy. There may be few enough such situations that, on balance, forbidding warning shots yields a safer outcome on average. But that is something that must be shown for a law which forbids a warning shot to be justifiable.

There is no situation where it is a superior choice. This whole time, you have put the burden of proof on me, yet I have seen you come up with no evidence or situation that actually bolsters your side of the argument. Yet I have clearly defined why my side of the argument carries weight.

And like I said, I'm willing to entertain that possibility. But it must be shown first.

What a completely rediculous premise. I have to prove my side, but you don't. Oh ya, that's the way to show me... Past instances should be proof enough. If you choose not to accept that, then you can continue living in your fantasy world.



And you say this is true no matter the situation, no matter the surroundings, and no matter the capabilities of the person in question, right?

Yes. It does nothing to outweigh the risk/reward ratio of an intentionally placed shot(s) on your assailant. They are guaranteed to end the conflict if done properly, warning shots (even IF done perfectly) do not. Once again, another large premise of your argument falls on its face.


I don't have to prove the opposite way. You have to prove the opposite can never be true. That's because you're trying to take an action off the table. It is you, not I, who is attempting to justify a restriction on freedom. That puts the necessity of justification squarely on you.

So your own rules don't apply to you? Typical anti logic. More and more you sound like the exact people you are supposed to be fighting by demanding the "right" to "warning shots". Why don't you prove it is so necessary that it should be considered a "freedom"? What does it do any better that a properly place shot wouldn't more effectively? What is the risk/reward ratio compared to that of a properly placed shot? Why don't YOU quantifly YOUR OWN assertations?


It's not clear to me what point you intended to prove with that. I would hope to never have to use my firearm even to fire a warning shot (were such a thing allowed).

It'sn not worth trying to re-explain if you didn't get it the first time.

oni.dori
06-03-2012, 10:55 PM
Really? Where have I contested the definition of something? Where have I contested the meaning?

Maybe I have somewhere, but I've probably written far too much on this already, such that I'd have to go back and look! :D

Look up the definition of semmantics, then re-read your retorts. It will become self explanitory then. You argue the unlikely abstracts of actions, I explain realistic probabilities based upon actual instances (no, I will not look up an list EVERY time it has happened, that right there is a semmantic argument; if it is so important, look it up yourself).


Yes, but that's not my responsibility, it's yours, because you are the one arguing for a restriction on freedom.

Disguising lack of supporting evidence as "rallying for freedom"? Laughable. I have no more responsibility to prove my case to you, than you do to me. You are the one rallying to change the law, why don't you bring forth proof to support it? Any rational person understands why a rational law like this exists, and wouldn't dispute it. You, on the other hand, do, and bring forth no proof to show why your side is valid. Instead, you rant on like a selfish child about only being concerned for your direct safety. Your safety has ALREADY BEEN COMPRIMISED by the situation, there is nothing you can do to change that (short of a guaranteed end, AKA well placed stopping shots), so why not have consideration for the people who have no part in that situation? That is what a truly brave, honorable, and responsible "free" man would do. True Freedom is being able to consider the Freedom and wellbeing of others AS WELL AS your own.


Oh, good. Where is it, then? Where's the evidence backing your assertions?

Google is your friend.


Of course, and I'm not arguing at all that one should disobey the law! If that is your interpretation, then I didn't make myself clear enough.

Then, once again, why are you even arguing in the first place? This will be twice you have willingly chosen to ignore that question. It's funny how you choose to only respond to the parts of my posts you THINK you have a chance of arguing against.

??, "Warning shots are ALWAYS random, regardless of where you INTENIONALLY point it."

and that equates to a gun pointed in a dangerous direction?

your wrong, a warning shot is not random, it is in direct response to a perceived potential encounter. Your logic is really of kilter, A miss is ok, but a warning shot is not? so how is either less lethal to the public?, should we make a law that says if you shoot you MUST!! hit the perp, otherwise you are endangering the public


[B]Croc4

I never said a miss is "ok". I am saying that a willfully and knowingly performing a unecessarily dangerous action is not acceptable. There is nothing you could gain out of a warning shot that couldn't be more effectively gained out of a justified stop shot. You too are simply arguing semmantics with no validity or substance to your position. There is nothing you have said that I haven't already addressed in responding to kcbrown about. If you choose that your perceived safety, rights, and well being is more important than that of anyone else, then you are no different than the problem you claim to be against. Get over your self centeredness, and consider other people's well being as well. If you aren't confident in your abilities as a marksman, then get more range time or don't carry. End of debate.

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 2:02 AM
You are operating your logic based on the selfish assumption that your safety and rights outweigh those of the rest of the world. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so that is all you consider.


No, I am going on the assumption that my safety is no less important than that of the general public. However, I do agree that because I would be the one taking the action, it is probably best for me to put the safety of the public above my own. So: fair point.



I really don't know how many times/ways I can explain it for you to comprehend it. Firing at your assailant will provide you with a clear, definite, and precise target.


This depends on the situation. Has it occurred to you that whatever you'd use as the target for a warning shot may be considerably easier to hit than the assailant? For one thing, the assailant is almost certainly moving whilst that which you'd use as a warning shot target almost certainly is not. That alone makes the warning shot easier to achieve, all else being equal.



You will (subconciously or conciously) take greater care and precision in hitting your target. Whenever something is clear and precise, people are more likely to achieve it.


All else being equal, that's true. However, it ignores the effects of pressure. If you're firing on the assailant, you are under greater pressure to get it right because you're initiating combat. I dunno. I could see it going either way.



However, when you take an arbitrary shot in an arbitrary direction, it will inherently be much more random than an aimed and intentional shot when taken by 99.99999999999999999999 ad-infinum% of people.


You seem to be assuming (again) that the very same person who is going to take that carefully aimed and considered shot against the assailant will wildly fire in a random direction when taking a warning shot. I don't understand this presumption at all. What am I missing here?

In any case, presuming for the moment that warning shots were allowed, are you going to argue that the above is true even if the person has been trained to take a warning shot in the same considered fashion as they would take the shot at the assailant?

I've not found anything that supports the notion that 99+% of people who take warning shots do so in a random, unconsidered direction. In fact, I can hardly find anything about that subject at all. What's your source for your assertion here?



Please, don't kid yourself. Warning shots are pretty much never taken in a controlled fashion. If they were, then they might as well be taking ACTUAL shots. Why waste your effort? A properly placed warning shot(s) (highly unlikely) MIGHT stop the conflict. A properly placed intentional shot(s) WILL end the conflict.


You are ascribing greater power to the quintessential self defense weapon than it actually has. Yes, if you properly place your shot it will end the conflict, but doing so is much harder than you allude to here. There are scant few places on the body where a single hit will immobilize the person right then and there, and those places are small. And those small areas are probably moving.

But a target for a warning shot can easily be much larger. I do agree that ricochet is a major consideration, and is the reason I expect that many (if not most) situations would not allow for a safe warning shot to be fired, in which case the warning shot should not be taken. But again, that is situation-dependent.



If you aren't confident enough in your skills that you can't take a real shot and end it before they can escalate it, you should seriously reconsider posessing guns, letting alone using them in self defense.


Few people possess the skill necessary to take a shot under high stress at the small, moving, "one shot incapacitation" areas and actually get consistent hits on those areas. Why do you think so many self defense and police shootings involve more than a single shot?



Lastly, the biggest difference is that your assailant is a soft target, nearly eliminating the possibility of a ricochet; while any thing you would shoot at as a "warning shot" has a GREATLY increased chance of a ricochet, because all of it would be a hard target (shooting at random people would negate your reasoning for shooting a warning shot in the first place).


Yes, I fully agree with this, which is why target selection would be very important for any warning shot that one might consider taking.



No, he has forced HIS OWN hand by way if HIS OWN decisions and actions to initiate the conflict in the first place.


Yes, I agree with this. What I mean is that shooting at the bad guy takes the chance that he'll shoot you from a high probability (enough that you fear for your life) to a near certainty. It increases the odds. My statement was not any attempt to assign blame, only to describe part of the cause-and-effect chain.



If you are so confident that you can put your shots in the right place with a "warning shot" that they would in no way run any more risk to bystanders, then you should have no problem putting them in a place that it ends the situation before he has a chance to retaliate.


I can hit an unmoving target more easily than I can hit a moving target. That's true of most people from what I've seen.

You realize, of course, that what you're saying here is that many who are on the police forces of the country should not be carrying guns, right? :D



If not, you need to do one of two things, get more training/range time, or not use a firearm in self defense. Period. Either way, your point is moot.


I hope you're right. I hope that if the time comes, I can place my shots where I need to place them. I hope that sufficient training will be enough to overcome the fear that you are required to be experiencing in order to make the shot legally and morally justifiable at all.



Regulating "warning shots" is NOT restricting freedom.


This isn't a "regulation", this is an outright prohibition!! Calling it a "regulation" is like calling the prohibition on carry in Illinois a "regulation".



You should voluntarily do so yourself in the first place if you have any consideration for others and their safety.


ABSOLUTELY. This is precisely what I am arguing in favor of! People should be regulating themselves. They should be making the decisions that affect their lives and should be making them in such a way as to minimize their negative effects on others.



Have you even been in combat, or are you just making assumptions?


I have never been in combat, and hope to never be in combat. I get what I'm saying from people who have been in combat, most especially the person I've trained under. They are the ones saying that combat is highly unpredictable and that no matter how well you may be trained, it's a huge roll of the dice as to whether or not you prevail, and that as a result combat is to be avoided if at all reasonably possible.

It is from that axiom that I derive the conclusion that warning shots should not be taken off the table entirely, if they can ever be an effective means of avoiding combat, unless they are too consistently dangerous to the general public to be left on the table. And I simply have not seen data suggesting that. I did some looking, and found one case where someone was killed by a ricochet from a warning shot that was intentionally taking in his direction and into the ground (probably at a relatively shallow angle). I've found others where nobody was hurt. There just doesn't seem to be much data on this.



It may not eliminate it (nothing will), but it will certainly MINIMIZE it, which is the entire point. Warning shots won't, at least not nearly as well as intentional shots will.


I will most certainly agree that in any situation, you should be taking whichever action is going to minimize the danger to the public. If both you and the bad guy get into a gunfight, does that represent less danger to the public than does a warning shot that ends the conflict right then and there? Maybe it does.

All I can say is that you have an awful lot of confidence in your own ability to always hit the target with a one-stop shot when under a large amount of stress, something that even trained policemen seem to often have trouble with (the New York police have a target hit rate of 28.3 percent in 2006 and 17.4 percent in 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/weekinreview/09baker.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all)). Have you ever been in combat? You exhibit an awful lot of faith in your abilities if you have, seeing how you seem to think that anyone with enough training can get nearly a 100% hit rate under the same kind of stress and almost always get a one-stop hit as well.




You wouldn't even have legal grounds to shoot in the first place unil they breached the door, unless they were shooting at you already through it (which would nullify your entire escelation argument from the get-out); and even so, verbal warnings (which include "I have a gun!") would legally suffice.


Yes, they would legally suffice, but being legal isn't the question here. The question is which action(s) in the given circumstances minimize the risk.



I'm not arguing against freedom of action, I am advocating responsible citizenry with consideration to other's safety.


If you were advocating that then you'd be advocating for people to be trained to never take warning shots! Instead, you're advocating for a law that forbids it. I was always under the impression that responsible citizenry had to come from one's own decisions independent of what the law says, rather than being something that is dictated by the law. But maybe I'm misguided.



You are simply advocating wanton wreecklessness and selfishness.


Most certainly not. If a warning shot is not the safest overall action to take then it must not be taken. My argument is only that it is something that should be up to the individual who is actually there, as opposed to being dictated by law.



The concentration of metal, concrete, and asphalt for one thing. However, population density alone should be reason enough if you are any kind of a resonable human being.


Except that your argument is that a warning shot can never, under any circumstances, be justified. If that is so, then why do the prohibitions against it exist primarily in urban areas, instead of being universal throughout the U.S.? Why does whether one is in an urban area matter in the slightest?




Seeing how that is the major basis to your argument, then it pretty much falls flat on it's face then, huh?


No, because being possible is not the same thing as being certain.

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 2:04 AM
This whole time, you have put the burden of proof on me, yet I have seen you come up with no evidence or situation that actually bolsters your side of the argument. Yet I have clearly defined why my side of the argument carries weight.


Fair enough. I've been arguing from principle thus far, but I see that principle is not enough to make for a convincing argument here.



Yes. It does nothing to outweigh the risk/reward ratio of an intentionally placed shot(s) on your assailant. They are guaranteed to end the conflict if done properly, warning shots (even IF done perfectly) do not.


That's true if you manage to get the one-stop-shot. It's much less clear to me if you don't.



So your own rules don't apply to you? Typical anti logic.


Anti logic says that one must prove that a law is not justifiable. My logic says that one must prove that a law is justifiable. How in the world you can conflate the two is quite beyond me.


Why don't you prove it is so necessary that it should be considered a "freedom"?


Wow. So you're on board with the whole idea of government restricting whatever it pleases unless we prove that the restrictions are invalid??



What does it do any better that a properly place shot wouldn't more effectively? What is the risk/reward ratio compared to that of a properly placed shot? Why don't YOU quantifly YOUR OWN assertations?


It does nothing better than a properly placed shot. I fully agree with you on that. What I don't agree with you on is the ease with which one can get a properly placed shot. From what I've been taught and from what I've read, it's exceedingly difficult to get that kind of shot, most especially when one is under the kind of fear that the law demands you be under before you can legally take the shot at all.

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 7:04 AM
Examples of warning shots. From NRA armed citizen. Googled in a couple of minutes. Listed all that popped up first. Summary, often a warning shot
worked, sometimes the defender had to shoot the perp afterwards. No one
hurt by warning shots, one person, shooting into the ground in his
neighbors yard was charged but later charges dropped.

"After a series of burglaries were reported in the area, a resident returned home from walking his dog to find his door unlocked. He smelled cigarette smoke and his dog immediately began to bark. An intruder in the house fled when the resident pulled out the handgun he carried and fired two warning shots into the ground. Police were called, and through a detailed description, were able to catch the 52-year-old suspect within 15 minutes. (WJACTV, Altoona, PA, 1/05/12)"

"A woman and her husband pleaded with a man to quit attempting to break into their home. As the woman dialed 9-1-1, the suspect banged on the front door and shattered the surrounding glass. The husband shouted that he was armed with a rifle—he even fired two warning shots in an attempt to halt the break-in—but the suspect forced the door open anyway. As he entered the home, the husband fired a single shot from his .22-cal. rifle. The suspect was shot once in the chest and killed. (The World, Coos Bay, OR, 04/08/11)"

"April 19, 2012
Noozhawk, Santa Barbara, Calif. 04/12/12

Shortly after 4 a.m., a Santa Barbara, Calif. homeowner heard a knock on his front door and a man outside it mumbling about money. The homeowner ordered the person to leave. Undeterred, the trespasser moved to another part of the home and attempted to break in through a set of glass doors. After retrieving an M-1 carbine, the homeowner fired a warning shot. When the criminal persisted, the homeowner fired again, striking the intruder in the leg. An investigation revealed that the would-be home invader had attempted to break into another nearby house before he met resistance from the resident."

"February 24, 2012
The Union Leader, Manchester, N.H. 02/22/12, 02/23/12

61-year-old Dennis Fleming was at his home in Farmington, N.H. when he noticed that some of his drawers and belongings had been rifled through. After retrieving a .38-caliber handgun, Fleming went to investigate and spotted a suspicious man with a backpack walking up the street. A short time later, Fleming heard a loud noise coming from his neighbor’s home and saw the same suspicious man crawling out of his neighbor’s window. Fleming confronted the criminal and fired a warning shot into the ground to get him to halt. The tactic worked and Fleming was able to detain the burglar until police could arrive. The criminal has since been charged with burglary and possession of Vicodin and has admitted to burglarizing several other homes in town. Unfortunately, instead of being hailed as a hero, the Strafford County Attorney’s Office recommended that Fleming be charged with felony reckless conduct for the warning shot, carrying a possible sentence of 3 ½ to 7 years. In the days following the incident Fleming received nationwide support and after further review of the case the County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges, with County Attorney Tom Velardi noting that “a charge under these circumstances would be unjust.”"

"February 17, 2012
NBC, 02/15/12

Rick Melartin was at home in Bellaire, Texas when he heard a neighbor scream for help as she was being robbed at gunpoint. Melartin called 911, retrieved a .50-caliber handgun and rushed to the scene. Upon spotting Melartin, the criminal fled into the yard of another of Melartin’s neighbors, a 89-year-old woman. Fearing for the safety of his elderly neighbor, Melartin followed the criminal and ordered him to stop. It was only when Melartin fired a warning shot into the ground that the robber complied."

IVC
06-04-2012, 7:48 AM
Look, it won't do for you to continue to use circular logic. You are defending the law by using the law to defend it!

I gave you my personal reasons in post #84, but you called it "assertion without substantiation," so you are not happy to hear why I personally would ban the warning shots. Then when I point out that the society agrees with me and not with you, thus we have the law, you call it a circular logic.

I have given you the reasons, which are the cause. I mentioned the laws, which is the effect. You don't like the reasons - good. Finding logical flaws where they don't exist just because you disagree - bad.

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 8:25 AM
"Warning shots saved many lives"

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1309&dat=19811218&id=bedLAAAAIBAJ&sjid=140DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4231,4234330

----

Police Dept manual,

www.cincinnati-oh.gov/police/downloads/police_pdf6322.pdf

"Warning Shots: Officers should only use warning shots if convinced a warning shot will possibly save a life or alleviate the need of taking a life. As with any shot an officer fires, the officer must know it will not endanger innocent bystanders. Supervisors should report and investigate warning shots as outlined in Section A."

---
"Elderly NE Homeowner Fires a Warning Shot at Home Invader Who Is Then Captured By Police"

"An elderly homeowner in Nebraska fired a shot at a man who had just kicked in his door. This bought enough time for police, who arrived moments later, to arrest the intruder without incident. Police say the intruder was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It appears the homeowner was randomly targeted."

http://gunssavelives.net/self-defense/elderly-ne-homeowner-fires-a-warning-shot-at-home-invader-who-is-then-captured-by-police/

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 8:32 AM
http://www.shotspotter.com/

Firing a warning shot can bring the police sooner to the scene if they use
Shotspotter.

FalconLair
06-04-2012, 8:53 AM
So when a guy is in your house stealing stuff and has no intention to hurt you. You stand there and be like "awww shucks."
basically yeah, but the law says you cannot use "deadly force", doesn't say anything about other types of force...it would be up to you how important your stuff is versus what you choose to do about it, short of deadly force...if you wanna jump in there and do some Steven Seagal moves on the guy, that would be your decision lol

well, here is the issue, at least for me.

fictional situation

Then lets say option two, you fire a warning shot when the attacker is at 30ft, he stops, or even pauses, giving you more time to retreat, or he even breaks off the attack. both he and you are still alive.

is a warning shot always a good idea?, of course not, but having the option is a good thing. Options are always good, taking away options forces things to unfold in ways that could ruin you for ever

Croc4

lets add this into your hypothetical...you fire a warning shot when the attacker is at 30 ft, he stops, or even pauses etc etc...both you and he are still alive BUT...2 blocks away an elderly lady in her home is struck by a stray bullet and killed...now what do you think of that "warning shot"?

IVC
06-04-2012, 9:14 AM
Fair enough. I've been arguing from principle thus far, but I see that principle is not enough to make for a convincing argument here.

The only principle you are arguing is that you should be allowed to make a judgment call about someone else's safety because it's "your freedom." We covered it many times that your freedom stops when it affects others' freedom.

If you fire a warning shot you are firing at a piece of dirt (even if you fire in the air), which includes you identifying and acquiring your target before pulling the trigger, then discharging the firearm at the piece of dirt. The piece of dirt you are shooting at represents no immediate threat to you. It represents no threat at all, for that matter. You have just violated my rights to be free from aggression, intimidation and threats from a random person with poor conflict avoidance skills, while at the same time you have put my life at risk in order to shoot at a target that is absolutely no threat to you. Also, you have risked my health since I don't wear my ear protection daily, while at the same time forcing me to go into the lockdown mode, corral my kids, look for cover, assess the situation, etc. To me, you are the villain.

If you still insist that it's a matter of your freedom, you have to address why you believe my freedom doesn't count and where you see the boundary between your and my freedom.

IVC
06-04-2012, 9:35 AM
To add to the post above, just because a warning shot might sometimes be convenient for you, it doesn't allow you to affect/restrict my freedom. Otherwise you could restrict any freedom of any other group by claiming that it is "sometimes convenient for you." In that respect, whether you can or cannot occasionally justify a warning shot to you and your particular situation is irrelevant for the discussion - you still have to convince me why I should sacrifice my freedom for your benefit.

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 9:45 AM
To add to the post above, just because a warning shot shot at an aggressor might sometimes be convenient for you, it doesn't allow you to affect/restrict my freedom. Otherwise you could restrict any freedom of any other group by claiming that it is "sometimes convenient for you." In that respect, whether you can or cannot occasionally justify a warning shot shot at an aggressor to you and your particular situation is irrelevant for the discussion - you still have to convince me why I should sacrifice my freedom for your benefit.

I don't see the difference in your freedoms if it is a warning shot or a shot at
the aggressor. Sounds exactly like the arguments used by gun control folks.

IVC
06-04-2012, 10:00 AM
I don't see the difference in your freedoms if it is a warning shot or a shot at
the aggressor. Sounds exactly like the arguments used by gun control folks.

A warning shot is a shot at an inanimate object that is no threat to anyone, thus the discharge does not represent a self defense. The only justified firearm discharge is in self defense, due to the inherent dangers associated with the high velocity projectiles. On the other hand, if you defended yourself with a knife, you are free to start stabbing at the ground or trees to make a point.

Gun control folks might appear to be similar, but there is the Constitution that prevents them from imposing a law that would forbid your armed self defense. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees one's right to shoot at non-threatening objects at will.

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 10:07 AM
"A US military spokesman says the soldiers motioned the vehicle to stop but their signals were ignored. However, according to the Washington Post, Captain Ronny Johnson, who was in charge of the checkpoint, blamed his own troops for ignoring orders to fire a warning shot.

"You just ------- killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!", he reportedly yelled at them.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/apr/01/iraqbriefing.iraq

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 10:09 AM
Gun control folks might appear to be similar, but there is the Constitution that prevents them from imposing a law that would forbid your armed self defense. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees one's right to shoot at non-threatening objects at will.

Oops, no target practice for us! The deer will be happy to know about this
too.

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 10:13 AM
Warning shots. Sometimes a good idea. One of the reasons the 2nd amendment upholds our right to own weapons.

US military example

"It's a common occurrence in Iraq: A car speeds toward an American checkpoint or foot patrol. They fire warning shots; the car keeps coming. Soldiers then shoot at the car. Sometimes the on-comer is a foiled suicide attacker (see story), but other times, it's an unarmed family.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0307/p01s04-woiq.html

IVC
06-04-2012, 10:24 AM
Oops, no target practice for us! The deer will be happy to know about this
too.

Now you are pushing it. I've never heard of target practice or hunting being described as "firing warning shots at a target," or "firing warning shots at game." That'll show them targets :).

IVC
06-04-2012, 10:28 AM
Warning shots. Sometimes a good idea. One of the reasons the 2nd amendment upholds our right to own weapons.

US military example
...


Military engagement is quite different than normal, peaceful, organized society. Many rules and regulations are quite different in war.

In any case, whether it's sometimes a good idea or not is irrelevant for the discussion. My freedom to be free of warning gun shots is what you have to address to make your point, not that it's convenient for you. Many a thing is convenient for me, just cannot do it since it affects someone else.

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 12:30 PM
Gun control folks might appear to be similar, but there is the Constitution that prevents them from imposing a law that would forbid your armed self defense. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees one's right to shoot at non-threatening objects at will.

There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees a whole host of things.

Are you seriously going to argue that anything that isn't nailed down by the Constitution is legitimately up for grabs when it comes to the government banning it? Must I remind you of the 9th amendment?


In any case, having thought things through a bit more as a result of this discussion, I'm coming around to your way of thinking on this as regards the usefulness of warning shots. It does represent a potential risk to innocent people, and they do have the right to life and, most importantly, we don't have the right to put them in unnecessary danger.

That means the only time a warning shot is possibly valid is when there is no other choice (that is, when it is necessary), but as has been said, under those circumstances it's almost always at least as easy/effective/possible to take the shot at the attacker. It also occurs to me that to properly take the warning shot, one may have to divert attention from the attacker and that is a very bad tactical move.


The one remaining question I have for the moment is this: why isn't it sufficient to arrest and convict people for actually bringing injury, as opposed to taking an action that merely may bring injury? Taking a warning shot may be stupid, and it may put people at risk, but there are many things that we can do that qualify that are not expressly forbidden in law. Why is this any different? After all, the police are allowed to use warning shots when they deem necessary. Why is the judgment of the law-abiding gun wielder trusted any less?

Solidux
06-04-2012, 1:21 PM
if you wanna jump in there and do some Steven Seagal moves on the guy, that would be your decision lol






That is more deadly than deadly force. Doing some steven seagal is cruel and inhuman. Instant felony. No FUD.

scarville
06-04-2012, 1:21 PM
Oops, no target practice for us! The deer will be happy to know about this
too.
Shh! Don't want the jerks in Chicago who are trying to outlaw target ranges to discover such a unique legal theory. :TFH:

IVC
06-04-2012, 3:46 PM
The one remaining question I have for the moment is this: why isn't it sufficient to arrest and convict people for actually bringing injury, as opposed to taking an action that merely may bring injury?

This is where the intent comes to play. If you miss and there is no harm done, you will not get charged or convicted precisely because (1) no harm was done; and, (2) there was no intent to put others at risk (even if you did it with a less than well placed shot).

For the most part, as long as you are trying your best to respect others and you are not hurting anyone you are not in trouble. Firing a warning shot on purpose is a disregard for others even if nothing bad happened.

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 3:53 PM
This is where the intent comes to play. If you miss and there is no harm done, you will not get charged or convicted precisely because (1) no harm was done; and, (2) there was no intent to put others at risk (even if you did it with a less than well placed shot).


But if you fire a warning shot, isn't your intent the same: to not put others at risk? The difference isn't as clear to me as it appears to be to you. In both cases, the intent is to avoid harm of the public. In both cases, the chance of harm actually coming to the public is not zero (note that in the event that you're shooting at the bad guy, you are risking the public safety because there's no guarantee your shot won't pass right through him).



For the most part, as long as you are trying your best to respect others and you are not hurting anyone you are not in trouble. Firing a warning shot on purpose is a disregard for others even if nothing bad happened.

I dunno. I suppose it could be interpreted that way. And I fully agree that in many, if not most, situations, it would be such a disregard. But always? I'm not sure about that.

In any case, there are many actions that show disregard for the public safety which are not explicitly forbidden by law. Why is this one so special that it should be? Why is it not sufficient to enforce personal responsibility for the actual outcome?

YubaRiver
06-04-2012, 4:16 PM
So a bit of summary here.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the military.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the police.

Firing a warning shot by a citizen is not ever to be done and should result
in legal punishment.

IVC
06-04-2012, 4:29 PM
In any case, there are many actions that show disregard for the public safety which are not explicitly forbidden by law. Why is this one so special that it should be? Why is it not sufficient to enforce personal responsibility for the actual outcome?

From the top of my head, I cannot think of an action that would be an intentional disregard for the public safety, yet wouldn't be regulated. Even the restrictions on 1A are mostly safety related in spite of the "sticks and stones..."

The discharge of a firearm is indeed very special since firearms are very dangerous when not used properly. Consider that we have four standard safety rules. Not one, not two, but four. For an ND, at least two have to be broken (loaded + trigger). For an injury from an ND three have to be broken (loaded + muzzle + trigger)... The fact that we all use such a comprehensive and layered approach to safety and security when operating a firearm is a testament to how serious a firearm can be when not used properly. That's why we have self-imposed rules that prevent as much as possible any human error. No different than flying a plane, BTW.

IVC
06-04-2012, 4:32 PM
Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the military.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the police.

Firing a warning shot by a citizen is not ever to be done and should result
in legal punishment.

A citizen can only fire in case of self-defense. Military and police have different mandates and different roles in the society. This is one of the examples for the saying "carrying a gun is not the same as playing cops."

Scuba Steve33
06-04-2012, 4:57 PM
So a bit of summary here.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the military.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the police.

Firing a warning shot by a citizen is not ever to be done and should result
in legal punishment.

Umm no. Warning shots are never done in the military. Not sure with police but I'm sure it's the same story.

Cylarz
06-04-2012, 5:25 PM
http://www.shotspotter.com/

Firing a warning shot can bring the police sooner to the scene if they use
Shotspotter.

It's great that you've been able to dredge up a few examples where nobody was hurt after the firing of warning shots. I notice that in several of them, the attacker engaged the "good guy" anyway and was killed. So that warning shot really didn't accomplish much, did it?

Meanwhile, we never found out what happened to those projectiles that were fired randomly in those happy-ending stories. Quoting a few anecdotes also doesn't prove that firing your weapon in that manner is always going to have a happy ending.

I'm also not sure I understand why KC is still going around and around about this. If he feels that passionately that it's wrong to have a law against randomly discharging your weapon in an urban area, this isn't the place to make that known. He needs to be talking to the lawmakers down at the State Capitol, not us. I'm wondering if he would favor a law actually requiring warning shots...or would that too be an "infringement on freedom?"

I'm still siding with Oni and IVC - it's dangerous and reckless behavior and there's a law against it for a few good reason. I do not at all subscribe to the parallel between that and with laws that disarm people entirely or make it more difficult for them to carry. We're talking here about carry vs actually shooting. It's a world of difference. To compare our argument to that of the antis is completely asinine.

I'm a big proponent of CCW laws that keep criminals guessing about who is armed until it is too late. You have to try and remember that the situations we're talking about are a bit like a game of poker. You don't show your hand in a game of poker until your opponent has already made his bets. You keep him guessing until the very last second about what you're capable of doing, much less what you're willing to do.

As I said before, I don't see any reason to warn someone that I am armed and willing. He should already have thought of that possibility before he attacked me.

I don't even think it's a good idea to yell, "I have a gun!" at an intruder, through a closed door or window. If he's armed, he might simply draw and fire into your house upon hearing that. Why not keep him guessing? If he breaks in, you're justified in shooting him whether he has a gun or not.

What a ridiculous conversation this has become - or more precisely, how ridiculous these posters have become who think it's OK to go firing off your gun to scare away an attacker. What part of "If the situation is that dire, you're already justified in shooting to kill" do they not get?

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 5:26 PM
From the top of my head, I cannot think of an action that would be an intentional disregard for the public safety, yet wouldn't be regulated.


No, I'm not talking about an action that would be an intentional disregard for safety, for that obviously implies intent to risk if not intent to harm.

I'm talking about actions like:


Driving the speed limit in conditions when everyone else is going considerably faster (yeah, everyone else is technically breaking the law, but who is putting the driving public at risk in that situation?),
Smoking in public and tossing the burning cigarette away (a burning cigarette is a potential ignition source),
Playing with a lighter in a public place,
Throwing an object from a balcony (there do seem to be some places where this is sometimes interpreted as aggravated assault, however)


There are almost certainly quite a number of others.



The discharge of a firearm is indeed very special since firearms are very dangerous when not used properly. Consider that we have four standard safety rules. Not one, not two, but four. For an ND, at least two have to be broken (loaded + trigger). For an injury from an ND three have to be broken (loaded + muzzle + trigger)... The fact that we all use such a comprehensive and layered approach to safety and security when operating a firearm is a testament to how serious a firearm can be when not used properly. That's why we have self-imposed rules that prevent as much as possible any human error. No different than flying a plane, BTW.

That's a very good and valid point.

Cylarz
06-04-2012, 5:36 PM
So a bit of summary here.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the military.

Firing a warning shot is sometimes used by the police.

Firing a warning shot by a citizen is not ever to be done and should result
in legal punishment.

It WILL result in "legal punishment" and that's what matters. I'm not interested in this academic discussion about whether or not the law should be there. A CCW holder WILL be arrested and charged with a laundry list of criminal allegations if he takes your advice in a situation.

Lastly, you and KC and the Croc fellow haven't considered something else: What about a possibly third party, also a CCW holder, who hears the gunshot? He looks and sees two guys in a combative stance, one of whom has just fired a shot into the air. Your weapon, having fired, is now aimed at the attacker. The other person is unarmed, near as he can tell.

The third party might mistake you for the bad guy, and shoot you while you're standing there trying to ward off your attacker. He might not care that you didn't shoot at anyone in particular; all he knows is that someone just fired off a gun.

If however, you've shot the bad guy and he's lying on the ground with your weapon still pointed at him, maybe that third party might be more inclined to think "Oh wait..,maybe the situation is already over with..."

Just speculation I admit, but nobody else on the thread seems to have considered this.

sandman21
06-04-2012, 5:48 PM
I don't even think it's a good idea to yell, "I have a gun!" at an intruder, through a closed door or window. If he's armed, he might simply draw and fire into your house upon hearing that. Why not keep him guessing? If he breaks in, you're justified in shooting him whether he has a gun or not.

Simply breaking into a house is not justification to shoot a person. You have to be in fear for your life or great bodily harm. Funny warning shot bad: shooting anyone who enters your house ok. :rolleyes:

Scuba Steve33
06-04-2012, 5:52 PM
A gun is designed to do one thing... KILL. How do people think it's okay to discharge a weapon in any manner besides trying to end someone's life? Guns are not meant to warn or scare people. We don't use warning shots in the military because if we are firing it is because all other measures have been exhausted and we shoot to kill, not to disarm, warn, or wound.

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 5:57 PM
I'm still siding with Oni and IVC - it's dangerous and reckless behavior and there's a law against it for a few good reason. I do not at all subscribe to the parallel between that and with laws that disarm people entirely or make it more difficult for them to carry. We're talking here about carry vs actually shooting. It's a world of difference. To compare our argument to that of the antis is completely asinine.


The more we talk about this, the more I'm coming around to your side of it. While I'm not at the point of supporting a law against it, I'm darned close.

Actually, I'm inclined to say that I am in favor of a law against it, if the penalty for violating the law the first time, when nobody got hurt by the warning shot, is a stiff fine and mandatory training that is intended to drive home the very things you've been talking about here. Repeat violators, however, should get no mercy. And if someone did get killed by the warning shot, then they get an involuntary manslaughter charge, and they'd get whatever charge they'd get if they injured someone else through reckless driving (I forget what the charge is for that) in the event someone was injured.



I don't even think it's a good idea to yell, "I have a gun!" at an intruder, through a closed door or window. If he's armed, he might simply draw and fire into your house upon hearing that. Why not keep him guessing? If he breaks in, you're justified in shooting him whether he has a gun or not.


Yep. Good point.

croc4
06-04-2012, 5:58 PM
I don't think anyone is saying that people should fire a warning shot, the argument is about "should" it be legal.

And while your third party scenario is interesting, even if a shot was not fired could a third party figure out who the players are?, even the cops have failed in this area, even when told the good guy is holding the bad guy at gun point, there was a recent case (2yrs?) in arizona where the cops shot the homeowner even after being told.

As I have said before, is it always a good idea?, of course not, could it help?, maybe.
But should it be clearly illegal, I'm not so sure it should. But if it was legal and if you did take one and cause damage to person or property then yes you should take the punishment.


my fundamental issue with this argument is that a warning shot posses a high risk to the public while a shot at the perp does not seem to be seen in that same light. shooting at the perp puts the barrel of the weapon on a semi level elevation with the ground, that bullet will without a doubt travel much further, hitting granny down the block as one posted claimed about a warning shot would.

Unless you place 100% of all your shots into the perp you are taking the same risk as a potential warning shot, taking someones freedom away.

And to the comment about range time, no amount of range time can prepare you for a deadly encounter, to think otherwise is just fooling yourself

Croc4

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 6:08 PM
A citizen can only fire in case of self-defense. Military and police have different mandates and different roles in the society. This is one of the examples for the saying "carrying a gun is not the same as playing cops."

That doesn't matter. The risk to the public is the same. If you are going to use risk to the public as your sole justification for taking the option off the table, you must take it off the table for everyone.

IVC
06-04-2012, 8:23 PM
my fundamental issue with this argument is that a warning shot posses a high risk to the public while a shot at the perp does not seem to be seen in that same light.

The risk to the public is comparable. That's not an issue. Shooting at an immediate threat is a self defense where the public accepts that a small risk is warranted since the person shooting is in an immediate and credible danger. A warning shot is, not to nit pick about location, a comparable risk where the shooter is putting the public in danger for a reason that is not considered credible by the society.

IVC
06-04-2012, 8:29 PM
That doesn't matter. The risk to the public is the same.

Police have a duty to protect the public, as opposed to protecting the individuals, and as opposed to the individuals having a right to self defense. The risk calculation by the police is thus fundamentally different. If the police were limited only to the self defense, then you would be absolutely correct.

Note that I am not suggesting they should or shouldn't be able to fire a warning shot, just that our discussion doesn't apply.

croc4
06-04-2012, 8:58 PM
I think we are talking about two sightly different things, a warning shot in a non lethal encounter should not be considered IMO, I think we agree on that

But in a encounter that could turn deadly in the next few seconds or one that has already started moving in that direction, I still can see a warning shot as a possible option (again providing it could be done safely and if legal.) Despite all the macho internet talk (general tone), taking another life is not a light or easy thing to consider.

And I believe that a warning shot can be taken safely, it seems other think to the contrary , I've been shooting a good deal many years in various locals, and I have a pretty good idea of what is and what is not safe to shoot at regarding bullet stops, etc.
So I don't accept that it cannot be done safely, although given the amount of stress, you can make miss-calls, but that is true no matter what you are shooting at in this situation.

Whether or not society agrees is also an entirely different issue, I'm sure if the number of self defense shootings increased you would most likely see an increase in collateral damage (it would have too, no one is really ever truly prepared for such encounters), if that were to happen in Cali, then I'm sure society would not accept this risk and impose even tighter restrictions on what society deems ok, so I'm not going to accept societies barometer.

I think we are going to end with we agree to disagree, will I change my mind at some point?, maybe, but I don't think that is going to happen today.

Croc4

kcbrown
06-04-2012, 10:06 PM
Police have a duty to protect the public, as opposed to protecting the individuals, and as opposed to the individuals having a right to self defense. The risk calculation by the police is thus fundamentally different. If the police were limited only to the self defense, then you would be absolutely correct.


Self defense is irrelevant here. What matters is the justification for using a firearm at all, and whether the elements of justification are the same. And they are. Self defense is invoked when your life is in immediate and grave danger, or when the life of someone else is similarly in danger. The power of the police to use their firearms is similarly restricted, if I'm not mistaken, to situations where they believe the person they are dealing with is a mortal danger to the public or to the officers involved.

If the police are capable of safely firing a warning shot and hitting their selected warning shot target, they are at least as capable of firing at the perp and hitting him instead. The police do not have any more justification to fire wildly at random than anyone else, and the risk to the public is the same.

Furthermore, the police do not have the authority to use their firearms except when the person they are using it against represents a mortal danger either to the officers involved or to the public (or both), and must be stopped. And that means, just like with self defense, if the officer has the justification to fire a warning shot, he has equal justification to fire at the perp.

You state that warning shots put the public at sufficient risk that they should be outlawed for the public. Well, warning shots from the police put the public at the same risk. If that risk is so great that warning shots should be utterly forbidden from the general public, why should the police somehow get a pass?

Is it because, perhaps, the risk to the public is not as high as you claim?

Or is it because the police are somehow "special" such that the risk to the public from their warning shots is somehow less than the risk to the public from a warning shot fired by a normal civilian?

Or is it that the police will often encounter situations where a warning shot is less risky to the public than is a shot directed at the perp? If it's this, then where's the evidence?

Or is it something else, and if so, then what?



Note that I am not suggesting they should or shouldn't be able to fire a warning shot, just that our discussion doesn't apply.

I think the same logic that we used in our discussion can easily apply, with some substitution.

YubaRiver
06-05-2012, 7:29 AM
Some assertions have been made, but no links have been presented to back
them up.

IE

Warning shots are dangerous to the public ( real life examples?)

Society has decided warning shots are bad (is this only in CA and Florida?
Examples of anyone been prosecuted for warning shots? Aside from the
topic starter example and the extreme example in Florida, a quick google and
I found several instances of warning shots not resulting in legal action and
only one that was later dismissed.)

Military doesn't use them (several examples of where they do have been
posted).

Scuba Steve33
06-05-2012, 8:45 AM
Military doesn't use them (several examples of where they do have been
posted).

That may have been a long time ago. The Army today definitely does not use them and I'm pretty sure the other branches don't either.

IVC
06-05-2012, 8:48 AM
Or is it because the police are somehow "special" such that the risk to the public from their warning shots is somehow less than the risk to the public from a warning shot fired by a normal civilian?

Nothing special about police ability, not less risk. The only difference is the risk tradeoff calculation under a different mandate (protect public vs. protect self).

Here is a link from a quick search that talks about it:
http://www.laaw.com/sig_warnshot.htm
You'll notice that police warning shots are discussed in the context of situations where an individual would NOT be justified in discharging at all. You'll also notice that a warning shot is for the most part forbidden.

IVC
06-05-2012, 8:54 AM
Warning shots are dangerous to the public ( real life examples?)

Society has decided warning shots are bad...

Danger is only a part of that, the other being that it's intimidation, threatening behavior and misuse of the deadly force. You cannot threaten people even verbally, let alone directly.

INDABZ
06-05-2012, 9:05 AM
That may have been a long time ago. The Army today definitely does not use them and I'm pretty sure the other branches don't either.

Warning shots are still used today......

They still practice them....probably varies between branches of service.

FalconLair
06-05-2012, 9:06 AM
I don't think anyone is saying that people should fire a warning shot, the argument is about "should" it be legal.

NOPE, 1000x's, the trajectory of a bullet is without prejudice...it would be grossly irresponsible to fire a bullet without knowledge of where that projectile will eventually come to rest

INDABZ
06-05-2012, 9:22 AM
NOPE, 1000x's, the trajectory of a bullet is without prejudice...it would be grossly irresponsible to fire a bullet without knowledge of where that projectile will eventually come to rest

You could argue that point for any fired weapon......;)

FalconLair
06-05-2012, 10:19 AM
You could argue that point for any fired weapon......;)

there is no argument from me, i agree 100%, which makes it even more convincing that firing a weapon, at any time, presents a clear and immediate danger, so why add to those odds by firing a shot that is unnecessary?

Scuba Steve33
06-05-2012, 11:27 AM
Warning shots are still used today......

They still practice them....probably varies between branches of service.

As I said, NOT in the Army. I'm not sure about other branches but I'm pretty sure they don't. Maybe someone with recent or current experience in others can verify.

INDABZ
06-05-2012, 11:30 AM
As I said, NOT in the Army. I'm not sure about other branches but I'm pretty sure they don't. Maybe someone with recent or current experience in others can verify.

Well I jus retired a few...few years ago...

The Navy and the coasties....do it....

Doubt it's changed but it's possible...;)

Scuba Steve33
06-05-2012, 11:57 AM
Well I jus retired a few...few years ago...

The Navy and the coasties....do it....

Doubt it's changed but it's possible...;)

Haha fair enough. I'm guessing you guys use warning shots on the water against boats correct? I was talking more along the lines of guys on the ground. I guess I'd be referring just to just soldiers and marines then.

oni.dori
06-05-2012, 12:27 PM
A gun is designed to do one thing... KILL. How do people think it's okay to discharge a weapon in any manner besides trying to end someone's life? Guns are not meant to warn or scare people. We don't use warning shots in the military because if we are firing it is because all other measures have been exhausted and we shoot to kill, not to disarm, warn, or wound.

I find it hard to believe a real Ranger would say something this narrow minded/sighted. Guns can be used as a warning (which is why you present your firearm before discharging in self defense, typically). There are plenty of times in combat that wounding or scaring is appropriate. To say otherwise is ignorant and asinine. Military combat situations and environments (in the abstract sense of the word, not the literal), are VERY different than aggressive interactions between civilians.

oni.dori
06-05-2012, 12:31 PM
Haha fair enough. I'm guessing you guys use warning shots on the water against boats correct? I was talking more along the lines of guys on the ground. I guess I'd be referring just to just soldiers and marines then.
Yes they are still used by the Army, mainly by mounted units & emplacements on a potentially civilian contact. This I know for sure.

Scuba Steve33
06-05-2012, 12:35 PM
I find it hard to believe a real Ranger would say something this narrow minded/sighted. Guns can be used as a warning (which is why you present your firearm before discharging in self defense, typically). There are plenty of times in combat that wounding or scaring is appropriate. To say otherwise is ignorant and asinine. Military combat situations and environments (in the abstract sense of the word, not the literal), are VERY different than aggressive interactions between civilians.

There is NEVER an appropriate time IN combat to simply wound or scare. I don't want to step on any toes but judging by that comment it's clear to me you've never been in combat. Not even when going after HVTs is it more appropriate to wound than kill if you are being shot at. Look at UBL. Most wanted man in the world and he was put down. I didn't say the second you touch a weapon you should kill. I said if you are firing your weapon it should be to kill, not scare or wound because if a situation has escalated to the point of you discharging your weapon it should be aimed at the bad guy.

I recognize over there and back home is two totally different scenarios. You have an escalation of force for a reason. Just because you pick up a gun doesn't mean you immediately fire/kill.

Yes they are still used by the Army, mainly by mounted units & emplacements on a potentially civilian contact. This I know for sure.

Not anymore. They used to be but the Army changed it. EOF steps changed and there are no longer any warning shots.

Cylarz
06-06-2012, 9:36 AM
Why does it matter what the police and military policies are on warning shots, as far as this discussion goes?

We're talking about armed civilians who are defending their lives, families, and property. That's the only responsibility they really have.

The police (from your local sheriff's dept up to the various federal LE agencies) are charged with protecting society; the military, with defending our nation and its interests. Both of those groups are trained government employees, whose job is to literally go looking for a fight. Both are charged with seeking out and arresting (or killing) dangerous armed people of one category or another. (Yes, many CCW holders are ex-LEO or military, but their responsibilities changed when they ceased using the job title.)

Civilians? No. We're supposed to be doing the exact opposite - doing everything within our power to avoid dangerous, violent people. Common sense and prudence dictates that we stay away from situations where such people might be found, if we can.

We attempt to withdraw from potentially dangerous situations when they do arise (before they escalate to the need for deadly force), we try and talk our way out of it, whatever. Anything else is preferable to drawing a weapon and killing someone. It's done only as an extreme, last resort. The same applies to the defense of our homes. That's why the law is written as it is.

The police and the military have much, much greater latitude to voluntarily seek out and engage such threats. That's their job, why we pay them. We aren't being paid to do that.

Those are pertinent facts and they have a great deal of bearing on whether or not warning shots may be permissible for them, but not for us.

Cylarz
06-06-2012, 9:39 AM
The more we talk about this, the more I'm coming around to your side of it. While I'm not at the point of supporting a law against it, I'm darned close.

I actually appreciate you saying that. I really do. It means a lot.




Yep. Good point.

Thanks.

YubaRiver
06-06-2012, 9:49 AM
So it has only been stopped for a short while in the military?

---

"Warning Shot Fired
Posted Jan 24, 2012 by vlogger

Smash 1 fires a warning shot to with mobile gun system m240 to stop movement along a suspected insurgent route. Male was detained and was positive for recent touching of explosives. Credit goes to http://www.youtube.com/user/tankcommander33
http://www.military.com/video/operations-and-strategy/iraqi-war/warning-shot-fired/1411891886001/

---
The Pros & Cons of Warning Shots and Signal Shots

http://www.laaw.com/sig_warnshot.htm

YubaRiver
06-06-2012, 9:56 AM
Why does it matter what the police and military policies are on warning shots, as far as this discussion goes?



Good question, but it was brought up as a reason for not allowing
warning shots in other instances, but was least until very recently used by
the military and is still used by some police.

Scuba Steve33
06-06-2012, 10:38 AM
Why does it matter what the police and military policies are on warning shots, as far as this discussion goes?

We're talking about armed civilians who are defending their lives, families, and property. That's the only responsibility they really have.

The police (from your local sheriff's dept up to the various federal LE agencies) are charged with protecting society; the military, with defending our nation and its interests. Both of those groups are trained government employees, whose job is to literally go looking for a fight. Both are charged with seeking out and arresting (or killing) dangerous armed people of one category or another. (Yes, many CCW holders are ex-LEO or military, but their responsibilities changed when they ceased using the job title.)

Civilians? No. We're supposed to be doing the exact opposite - doing everything within our power to avoid dangerous, violent people. Common sense and prudence dictates that we stay away from situations where such people might be found, if we can.

We attempt to withdraw from potentially dangerous situations when they do arise (before they escalate to the need for deadly force), we try and talk our way out of it, whatever. Anything else is preferable to drawing a weapon and killing someone. It's done only as an extreme, last resort. The same applies to the defense of our homes. That's why the law is written as it is.

The police and the military have much, much greater latitude to voluntarily seek out and engage such threats. That's their job, why we pay them. We aren't being paid to do that.

Those are pertinent facts and they have a great deal of bearing on whether or not warning shots may be permissible for them, but not for us.

The original post was about a homeowner and civilian, correct but other posts were made about warning shots in different aspects (LE/military) and so it transferred to those topics as well. I agree (and said) the two are very different given the jobs of each person.

So it has only been stopped for a short while in the military?

---

"Warning Shot Fired
Posted Jan 24, 2012 by vlogger

Smash 1 fires a warning shot to with mobile gun system m240 to stop movement along a suspected insurgent route. Male was detained and was positive for recent touching of explosives. Credit goes to http://www.youtube.com/user/tankcommander33
http://www.military.com/video/operations-and-strategy/iraqi-war/warning-shot-fired/1411891886001/

---
The Pros & Cons of Warning Shots and Signal Shots

http://www.laaw.com/sig_warnshot.htm

Just because that was posted this year doesn't mean it's from this year, especially when that happened in Iraq. The Army USED to employ warning shots in their EOF. They DO NOT now and haven't for a good amount. The SOP/EOF rules considering warning shots doesn't really matter besides for training. When you're over there it's a totally different ball game.

IVC
06-06-2012, 10:57 AM
We attempt to withdraw from potentially dangerous situations when they do arise (before they escalate to the need for deadly force), we try and talk our way out of it, whatever. Anything else is preferable to drawing a weapon and killing someone. It's done only as an extreme, last resort. The same applies to the defense of our homes. That's why the law is written as it is.

This is a good one paragraph summary of the whole thread.

kcbrown
06-06-2012, 11:20 AM
Why does it matter what the police and military policies are on warning shots, as far as this discussion goes?


Because the entire justification for taking warning shots off the table entirely for armed civilians is the risk to the population of taking those warning shots to begin with (nevermind that doing so properly is likely to be a bad tactical move since it probably requires diverting attention from the bad guy).

This raises the question of what benefit to the public, at least, warning shots taken by LE have which do not exist when armed civilians take them under similar circumstances (but see below -- this presupposes that warning shots by LE can be taken only under circumstances where LE has justification to shoot the perp).



We're talking about armed civilians who are defending their lives, families, and property. That's the only responsibility they really have.

The police (from your local sheriff's dept up to the various federal LE agencies) are charged with protecting society; the military, with defending our nation and its interests. Both of those groups are trained government employees, whose job is to literally go looking for a fight. Both are charged with seeking out and arresting (or killing) dangerous armed people of one category or another. (Yes, many CCW holders are ex-LEO or military, but their responsibilities changed when they ceased using the job title.)


The relevant question here is the justification for the use of a warning shot and, more importantly, the justification for the use of a firearm at all. I'll intentionally limit my discussion to LE, because the military's explicit purpose is to wage war and do whatever it takes to win. LE operates under rule of law just like armed civilians do.



Civilians? No. We're supposed to be doing the exact opposite - doing everything within our power to avoid dangerous, violent people. Common sense and prudence dictates that we stay away from situations where such people might be found, if we can.


Yep. However, the point at which a warning shot could even conceivably be useful is the one where situation avoidance has proved impossible. As you say, at that point, you have justification to shoot.

The question is: under what circumstances does LE have the justification to fire a warning shot but not the justification to shoot? If all situations in which they have justification to fire a warning shot are situations in which they also have the justification to shoot, then the very same logic which applies to armed civilians applies to LE as regards the greater risk to the public of firing a warning shot than firing at the perp.


In essence, unless there exist circumstances in which LE has justification to fire a warning shot but not justification to shoot, and those circumstances do not equally apply to armed civilians (which is entirely possible, though I'd like to see the specific reasons for that), the question of warning shots as allowed to LE acts as a check on the logic of removing that option from armed civilians.

YubaRiver
07-16-2012, 12:13 PM
That may have been a long time ago. The Army today definitely does not use them and I'm pretty sure the other branches don't either.

Current example

"The crew aboard the Navy ship sent out repeated warnings, including radio calls, flashing lights, lasers and ultimately warning shots from a 50-caliber machine gun."

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/16/12769508-us-vessel-fires-on-boat-in-gulf-killing-one-and-injuring-three?lite&google_editors_picks=true

Wiz-of-Awd
07-16-2012, 12:39 PM
I am a very strong advocate for 2A rights and people should be able to arm and protect themselves, but it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if all people, even if law abiding citizens, possess the mentality that comes with the responsibilty...I think NO and that is the real problem...sometimes I wonder what would happen on our streets if more people had the right to carry...would simple arguments or minor incidents turn into deadly shootings? Would it make more people prone to resorting to using the firearm in a situation where it wouldnt be necessary? "Dammit lady, watch your shopping cart, it nicked my car"..."BAMMM" "oh she feared for her life" my god, whatever!!

It is a scary thought, I would hate to think a disagreement with someone on the street could turn ugly real quick...iono, a part of me even believes that there are probably many law abiding citizens who would not be capable of the responsibility and how do you control that...just saying

...and perhaps this is the same thinking that our legislators have when creating new bills.

Just something [for us all] to think about.

A.W.D.

Scuba Steve33
07-16-2012, 1:00 PM
Current example

"The crew aboard the Navy ship sent out repeated warnings, including radio calls, flashing lights, lasers and ultimately warning shots from a 50-caliber machine gun."

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/16/12769508-us-vessel-fires-on-boat-in-gulf-killing-one-and-injuring-three?lite&google_editors_picks=true

Good point. I wasn't sure of other branches and figured the Navy used them against other vessels but as I said my original post was about firing at individuals on the ground. A lot easier to simply fire a few bursts near another boat in large bodies of water versus someone on a street or something.

kcbrown
09-02-2012, 12:02 PM
So, warning shots are never the right answer, eh?

http://www.virtualjeepclub.com/showthread.php?73273-Always-Be-Armed&p=784231#post784231


Even the police in that situation seemed to say that the warning shots were the right answer.


Discuss. :D


(Note that I do agree that they probably aren't justified in the majority of situations, but to outlaw them entirely when, it seems, there do exist circumstances in which they are the superior choice, is foolish and dangerous. It may make sense to outlaw them in urban environments while keeping them legal in rural environments. The point here is that such a law, like any law which restricts freedom, should be based on provable necessity)

EM2
09-02-2012, 8:50 PM
So, warning shots are never the right answer, eh?

http://www.virtualjeepclub.com/showthread.php?73273-Always-Be-Armed&p=784231#post784231


Even the police in that situation seemed to say that the warning shots were the right answer.


Discuss. :D


(Note that I do agree that they probably aren't justified in the majority of situations, but to outlaw them entirely when, it seems, there do exist circumstances in which they are the superior choice, is foolish and dangerous. It may make sense to outlaw them in urban environments while keeping them legal in rural environments. The point here is that such a law, like any law which restricts freedom, should be based on provable necessity)


With this I agree.

We should always have the freedom to choose our course of action without threat of imprisonment due to a "one size fits all" law.

swamp2
09-03-2012, 12:44 AM
Very good discussion. Glad to see the absence of silly ad hominem and keeping the debate very cordial. I'm personally leaning in the direction that warning shots should not be specifically disallowed by law.

A couple of points are worth noting/adding:

1. The original story ended in someone being arrested for discharge in city limits (metro area, whatever), not specifically for taking a "warning shot". There are obvious safety reasons for not allowing discharges in urban areas and I certainly agree with that as a perfectly acceptable law. Urban back yard target practice is impractical and dangerous for so many in so many different ways...

2. A warning shot with a firearm pointed either largely in a horizontal direction or loosely in the direction of a potential perpetrator is entirely different than a warning shot with the firearm pointed directly at the ground. Yes I know all about ricochets, spalling, etc. Why are they different? One word, risk. The risk of injury to a 3rd party (or even to the "bad guy") from a shot to the earth or a shot to a floor (in a dwelling) is absolutely minute. I would say so minute that it just can't be construed to be negligent behavior. Unacceptable risk to 3rd parties was one reasonably strong point made prior in this debate against warning shots. The homeowner from the original post shot directly at the ground. I would almost call this a simple case of audible reinforcement to a verbal announcement of possession of a firearm, as the perpetrator absolutely could not see that the homeowner was armed (they were separated by a non transparent fence). Regardless of your stance on tactics (wanting or not wanting to let a perpetrator know if you are armed), an "announcement" appears to be the intent of the homeowner. Of course all this being said I'm still in agreement with laws against weapon discharge in city limits. I also don't think it would make sense to attempt to quantify risk from a warning shot to judge its legality. However, there is obviously is an exception to such city discharge laws in the case of a justified defensive shooting. If there wasn't, no one could legally defend themselves with a firearm which we know is not the case.

3. Most on the side against warning shots seem to feel that there is absolute clarity as to when the use of a firearm is legal (and or perhaps morally justified). They appear to being saying everything is black or white and there is nothing in between. I certainly don't see things that way. Violent encounters often happen and escalate very rapidly. A threat of injury (not sufficient here in CA) can turn into deadly threat in a split second. A verbal confrontation can go quickly to physical. Was I at a threat of injury, a threat of serious injury or was my life in jeopardy? A weapon can be brandished by a perpetrator in an instant. How much effort (again here in CA) is a "reasonable" effort to get away from a situation (to diffuse rather than escalate)? As previously argued by kcbrown, I strongly agree that although it may place you at a higher risk, in some situations drawing or even an extremely conservative (directly at the ground) warning shot could very well help insure no loss of life, the perpetrator nor the individual on the defensive side. If one wants to make a clear point they are armed and serious about their own defense, while also not exposing anyone to any significant risk, a warning shot should not be something specifically disallowed by law. Of course some significant level of threat to person or property should be a "prerequisite" for the allowance of any such warning shot. Please don't tell me that because I, or others, may have a different philosophy than you that I "shouldn't" or "can't" own or properly use a firearm for defense or some other BS like "you need more training". When it comes to the potential taking of life I don't believe in absolutes such as "never" use a warning shot. Personally I am fully prepared to end another's life if mine is imminently threatened.

4. If this exact situation played out in a rural area I doubt there would have been an arrest as I'd almost bet there is in fact no law specifically against this type of warning shot as both brandishing and use of firearms are typically allowed given some level of threat. It's certainly unfortunate that there is such a wide variation State to State as to what is a sufficient threat.

5. I strongly suspect the individual in the OP will not have charges brought by the DA. Arrests, even if resulting in jail time, are not the same as convictions. It was night, there was trespassing, there was a threat to property and heck most of all it's Texas!

6. The case just above from the Jeep Forum shows that warning shots are likley in fact not illegal everywhere. That is of course assuming that the LEOs involved were not ignorant of existing laws or simply chose not to enforce them. It also shows that some LEOs agree that in certain cases warning shots may be an acceptable course of action.

1JimMarch
09-03-2012, 3:41 AM
At some point the research of Lt. Col. David Grossman is going to be cited in a case like this, esp. his core findings published in "On Killing".

The short form is this: shortly after WW2 the US military did a study on the effectiveness of individual soldiers. What they found was that the vast majority (on ALL sides!) of troops armed with rifles were unable to point one at an enemy and deliberately pull the trigger. Suppressive fire, sure. "General direction of", yes, most of 'em anyhow. But sight on center of mass? At MOST 15% of US troops could do that, and there were indications the numbers were lower.

This psychological block wasn't there for artillery/mortars/etc, and mostly not there for air crew. They were shooting at machines, not people.

The people unable to shoot weren't cowards. They often dropped into support roles, hauling ammo, building up fortifications, tending to wounded...while the natural born killers did most of the killing.

The US began indoctrination efforts to "solve" this problem starting with the Korean war, and ramped it up further in Vietnam. These programs continue to this day - and are possibly a factor in the extremely high suicide rates we're seeing.

What Lt. Col. Grossman also found is that instead of killing, we ARE wired to "bluff". Pre-firearm militaries often went for flash, style, loud noises and various forms of bluffing. The ultimate expression is probably the native New Zealand "Haka" war-dance:

3BoNmpvkavo

While this may be an extreme example, there are countless variants from cultures all over the world. Spears clashed on shields, "saber rattling", brass bands, marching in perfect formation to show discipline and professionalism, the "demonstration katas" of various martial arts, the boxer doing rapid-fire air punches in the ring before the bell starts, it's all the same thing: beat the other guy psychologically.

Just like pumping a round or two into a lawn.

The existence of this basic trend tied straight to what we are as a species must eventually be recognized by the courts. It's a good thing! We want problems solved with bluffing where practical and where safe - beats actual bullet holes in people's hides.

Lt. Col Grossman's work (including re-publishing what the US military found around 1946-48) should be the starting point for this re-think of US legal principles.

SanPedroShooter
09-03-2012, 4:35 AM
The fact that this occured in Texas should be taken into account when disscusing the law/courts response.

I alsways figured this guy would get off, or just get a little fine or something. The people of Texas take the right to defend life and property all way to its logical conclusions, they dont seem to work in half measures.

In a case where someone is acting in clear defense, they dont get punished for it, its that simple.

avneet
09-03-2012, 12:23 PM
At some point the research of Lt. Col. David Grossman is going to be cited in a case like this, esp. his core findings published in "On Killing".

The short form is this: shortly after WW2 the US military did a study on the effectiveness of individual soldiers. What they found was that the vast majority (on ALL sides!) of troops armed with rifles were unable to point one at an enemy and deliberately pull the trigger. Suppressive fire, sure. "General direction of", yes, most of 'em anyhow. But sight on center of mass? At MOST 15% of US troops could do that, and there were indications the numbers were lower.

This psychological block wasn't there for artillery/mortars/etc, and mostly not there for air crew. They were shooting at machines, not people.

The people unable to shoot weren't cowards. They often dropped into support roles, hauling ammo, building up fortifications, tending to wounded...while the natural born killers did most of the killing.

The US began indoctrination efforts to "solve" this problem starting with the Korean war, and ramped it up further in Vietnam. These programs continue to this day - and are possibly a factor in the extremely high suicide rates we're seeing.

What Lt. Col. Grossman also found is that instead of killing, we ARE wired to "bluff". Pre-firearm militaries often went for flash, style, loud noises and various forms of bluffing. The ultimate expression is probably the native New Zealand "Haka" war-dance:

3BoNmpvkavo

While this may be an extreme example, there are countless variants from cultures all over the world. Spears clashed on shields, "saber rattling", brass bands, marching in perfect formation to show discipline and professionalism, the "demonstration katas" of various martial arts, the boxer doing rapid-fire air punches in the ring before the bell starts, it's all the same thing: beat the other guy psychologically.

Just like pumping a round or two into a lawn.

The existence of this basic trend tied straight to what we are as a species must eventually be recognized by the courts. It's a good thing! We want problems solved with bluffing where practical and where safe - beats actual bullet holes in people's hides.

Lt. Col Grossman's work (including re-publishing what the US military found around 1946-48) should be the starting point for this re-think of US legal principles.

Nice write up. Learned some new things I didn't know before :D

swamp2
09-03-2012, 1:08 PM
At some point the research of Lt. Col. David Grossman is going to be cited in a case like this, esp. his core findings published in "On Killing".

Wow great post, very informative. This definitely gets back to one of the points discussed heavily earlier in this thread about warnings and the showings of fangs.

I often think of the percentage you mention when it seems the vast majority of firearms owner are always talking tough with comments like many here in this thread such as:

-A good warning shot is CM
-Don't draw unless you are ready to end a life
-Shoot first ask questions later
Etc.

dieselpower
09-03-2012, 5:13 PM
this is why warning shots are never a good idea. if you are going to shoot, aim for the bad guy and don't stop until they stop.

1979ish, I wasabout 15, my sisters boyfriend was 17. He was pissed that my sister just dumped him for another guy. We had been drinking some beers. As we were walking through a parking lot for an apartment complex (and being very loud) he grabbed and ripped a car's antenna off. Minutes afterward a guy jumped out at us, grabbing John and telling him he was holding him for police...well John had the appearance of a goofy geek with thick rimmed glasses, but he was a very tough kid...he punched the guy several times struggling to get away from him... the guy was a big guy too. The next thing I saw were flashes and a ringing in my ears. The guy had kicked off 2 to 3 shots from a .45 straight up. John stopped struggling and punching, seconds later LEO were on top of us...cars from both directions. All three of us where arrested.

I was released to my mom, John was arrested for vandalism and I have no idea what happened to the guy with the .45. I hope nothing since he might have acted stupid, I can see his side of it now that I am older.

1JimMarch
09-03-2012, 6:19 PM
I often think of the percentage you mention when it seems the vast majority of firearms owner are always talking tough with comments like many here in this thread such as...

Yeah. One of the things I get from Grossman's work is that we're not just wired to *deliver* bluffs, we're wired to recieve them as well.

Therefore, anything you can do to increase the threat appearance lowers the risk that you'll actually have to fire - after all, if the classic "mugger with a knife" drops it and runs before you even finish clearing leather, shooting really isn't going to be necessary (or desirable).

Factors that contribute to a "chase off" scenario:

* YOUR CONFIDENCE AS SHOWN IN YOUR FACE - absolute number one. Bolstered by your confidence in your gun.

* Size of gun.

* Clean draw.

* Clean draw from a well-worn but practical holster :).

Etcetera.

Weird thing: this also ties into the open-carry ban in Texas, Florida and the like. In Arizona I open-carry sometimes but even when packing concealed, I can (practically) carry a bigger gun than I could in Texas because if it flashes a little bit in AZ there's no legal consequences and most people won't notice anyhow. So in AZ, I can increase my odds of triggering a chase-off by carrying something closer to portable artillery :).

I'm not saying the difference in the percentage of chase-offs is going to be very high! Chase-offs already happen 90% or more of the time when a gun is pulled defensively. We're talking about increasing the odds another 1% to 5% I suspect, not much...but hell, I'll take it, you know?

Scuba Steve33
09-03-2012, 7:33 PM
On Killing is a good book but it's hard to relate when the author has never taken a life. A big difference in military engagements in WW2 and today are different due to the way training has changed to an extent but a large role also plays in the media. You did not have movies or video games back then. Any action movie today has a ton of people being killed like it's no big deal. We have been conditioned to it and that alone is a huge difference from now and then (WW2 era).

model63
09-03-2012, 8:56 PM
Even the police in that situation seemed to say that the warning shots were the right answer.



We had a situation like this about a year and a half ago in Vallejo and all the exact details escape me....but I believe it was a trespassing that looked to be an interrupted burglary in progress with possible lookouts caught off guard by the neighbor/homeowner being home... meanwhile the trespassers left through a side door... anyway the lookouts got a little too close for comfort physically and the resident fired birdshot/buckshot into the air to finally disburse the folks coming towards him. It was said to be a 'warning shot' at least by the paper.

Long story short, the cops were called and showed up and no public discharge of a firearm charges were filed...instead the paper quoted law enforcement as saying something to effect that the city (at the time as in bankruptcy) is low on resources and that the person was in the right to shoot to ward off those folks even though they weren't on his property given the potential for a worse situation to occur.

With some crimes I've seen as of late being flash mob type rushes it would seem that the std of shoot only to kill or don't shoot at all may not be 'good' law anymore. If the presence of a firearm visually isn't enough of a deterrence, I would sure think a warning shot would be. I understand what the law is and each situation may be interpreted differently, but having seen one person throw a punch, knocked down the other and then seeing 6-7 seemingly unaffiliated people pounce on the downed person like an injured animal going through their pockets (or going in for stomps like I originally thought) a warning shot would have been really effective in preventing that than me or someone else trying to get involved to 'break it up'.

No one wants to be this guy circa 2:10-2:20...
/ldYNQNStcOI?t=2m10s

swamp2
09-03-2012, 11:19 PM
On Killing is a good book but it's hard to relate when the author has never taken a life.

I get hopelessly tired of the argument that the only valid type of knowledge is personal experience. There is plenty to be said for other forms of knowledge, experience and authority. There is certainly something to be said for quality academic (or similar) research and devoting intense study to a topic. I have not read the work myself but I'm certainly positive the author does not go into great detail about what it is personally like to take a life. That's not the bloody topic of the work anyway!

This argument of yours is akin to one that I see often on automobile enthusiast forums where a pissing contest takes the turn to "well have you ever driven car x, y or z" and then "you can't talk intelligently or reliably about it if you haven't". Which of course is utter garbage. One can understand similar vehicles, the type of engine, type of transmission, drive layout, understand in detail the reported specifications from testing by journalists and even the spread in such values. Perhaps with either enough experience with similar cars or maybe even bolstered by a solid background in testing or automotive engineering one can be plenty qualified to speak about the raw performance of the vehicle, perhaps even about some subtleties of it feel. The feel of the leather or smell of the car, maybe not, but that is never the discussion in the first place.

Goosebrown
09-04-2012, 7:42 AM
"Again, a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat. "

Brother, she may not be a shootable threat, but there is no greater threat known to man than that.

Wherryj
09-04-2012, 9:31 AM
Warning shots are a nono. You can't even shoot a warning shot in the military. However, they... went about the wrong way of explaining things.

It would have been better if he didn't call it a warning shot. Simply missed the guy in his home would have sufficed.

Yes, but even military members that are TRYING to hit their target end up firing at least 9 warning shots out of ten fired. He definitely should have called it a missed shot.

IVC
09-04-2012, 10:03 AM
With some crimes I've seen as of late being flash mob type rushes it would seem that the std of shoot only to kill or don't shoot at all may not be 'good' law anymore. If the presence of a firearm visually isn't enough of a deterrence, I would sure think a warning shot would be.

This would get us closer to being vigilantes. The real question is "what does the gun community believe the proper role for the firearms in an organized and functioning society is?"

Personally, I stick to the concept that guns have absolutely no role as long as the society is functioning (not counting sporting uses). That means that even though both brandishing and warning shots are effective deterrents, they are not allowed since they demonstrate that the situation was not as dire as to warrant the use of a firearm. Only when threat is imminent and there is no other option can one use a firearm, but at that time it's already just about stopping a deadly threat.

This position is also much easier to argue with the antis. It merges their belief of "organized society doesn't need guns" with the concept of "responsibility for the personal safety when everything else fails." This needs to be our starting point in justifying carrying in general.

SanPedroShooter
09-04-2012, 11:09 AM
Naval services fire warning shots all the time.

You know 'shot across the bow' 'heave to and prepare to be boarded' etc...

If a shot fired safely into the dirt de-escalates a possible deadly force encounter, I am all for it.

That assumes I am in a state that 'gets' self defense. It also assumes that firing in the first place is acceptable. Thats the tricker question. If you can shoot in the dirt, shouldnt you theoretically be able to just shoot center mass? Can you do one so you dont have to do the other? I think so. Would you rather shoot safely early, or shoot deadly too late? I think the DA will agree as well, and if not him, a Texas jury...

YubaRiver
09-04-2012, 12:07 PM
This would get us closer to being vigilantes. The real question is "what does the gun community believe the proper role for the firearms in an organized and functioning society is?"

Personally, I stick to the concept that guns have absolutely no role as long as the society is functioning (not counting sporting uses). That means that even though both brandishing and warning shots are effective deterrents, they are not allowed since they demonstrate that the situation was not as dire as to warrant the use of a firearm. Only when threat is imminent and there is no other option can one use a firearm, but at that time it's already just about stopping a deadly threat.

This position is also much easier to argue with the antis. It merges their belief of "organized society doesn't need guns" with the concept of "responsibility for the personal safety when everything else fails." This needs to be our starting point in justifying carrying in general.

So you would tie yours and others hands just to please antis?

IVC
09-04-2012, 12:27 PM
So you would tie yours and others hands just to please antis?

The question remains "what is an acceptable use of firearms in today's society?" The question is NOT "what is the most effective way to use firearms."

Just because something is effective doesn't make it justified. For example, it would be very effective to do a door-to-door raid in a ghetto, round up all the gang bangers, send them to Guantanamo, beat them into disclosing their contacts and operations, then repeat the process until cities are clean. Nazis did a variation on that approach and it was extremely effective. However, it violated just about all the civil and human rights.

hvengel
09-04-2012, 12:41 PM
At some point the research of Lt. Col. David Grossman is going to be cited in a case like this, esp. his core findings published in "On Killing".

The short form is this: shortly after WW2 the US military did a study on the effectiveness of individual soldiers. What they found was that the vast majority (on ALL sides!) of troops armed with rifles were unable to point one at an enemy and deliberately pull the trigger. Suppressive fire, sure. "General direction of", yes, most of 'em anyhow. But sight on center of mass? At MOST 15% of US troops could do that, and there were indications the numbers were lower....

Part of this is probably related to the fact that many of these troops were urbanites with no hunting experience. During the Civil War northern troops were found to be very wanting with regards to marksmanship (IE. they had lots of misses in actual combat) but southern troops were able to consistently deliver accurate fire. At the time the thinking was that this was related to the fact that a typical southern solderer had grown up hunting and shooting but most northern troops were urbanites with no hunting or shooting background. At the time this was thought to be a difference in marksmanship because of the extra experience of southern troop with guns but I think this was actually more related to many of the southerners being hunters who had killed game where as most of the northerners did not have this hunting/killing experience.

Some concrete examples. Sargent York, WWI, who had been a life long hunter was a one man killing machine in combat in spite of the fact that he was a conscientious objector. Audy Murphy was also a life long hunter and also a one man killing machine on the battle field. Although I don't think he had any religious objections to what he was doing.

In any case the lack of marksmanship on the part of northern troops was the original reason for the existence of the NRA which was formed shortly after the Civil War. So Grossman was not the first to notice this.

Extra411
09-04-2012, 12:54 PM
IVC:
In this entire thread it seems your position is that intimidation is never a justifiable form of response to threat.

I disagree strongly. Intimidation is one of the oldest forms of natural defense mechanisms known to animals.
Whether the law defines it as socially justifiable or not is irrelevant. People already do it subconsciously; they can't fight this instinct any more than they can fight off the instinct for self-preservation.

Look at the many harmless animals in nature that mimic the far more dangerous ones. That is pure unadulterated intimidation right there.

kcbrown
09-04-2012, 12:55 PM
This would get us closer to being vigilantes. The real question is "what does the gun community believe the proper role for the firearms in an organized and functioning society is?"

Personally, I stick to the concept that guns have absolutely no role as long as the society is functioning (not counting sporting uses). That means that even though both brandishing and warning shots are effective deterrents, they are not allowed since they demonstrate that the situation was not as dire as to warrant the use of a firearm. Only when threat is imminent and there is no other option can one use a firearm, but at that time it's already just about stopping a deadly threat.


It is about stopping a deadly threat. But a warning shot is an attempt to stop a deadly threat without inflicting life-threatening injury.

Does firing such a shot compromise one's tactical position? Quite possibly. But that depends entirely on the situation, and really should be a decision made by the person who is actually there. If they wish to compromise their own tactical position, who are we to say they can't?


The only reason for prohibiting warning shots at all is the danger to the public that such shots pose. But that danger also depends entirely on the situation. It's entirely possible that in some situations, the statistical risk to the public is greater from a center of mass shot than a warning shot fired into the ground simply as a result of the (nonzero) chance that the bullet will pass right through the target. I don't think that's going to be the case very often, but I'm quite certain that you can't say that it will never be the case.

So much of this is simply dependent upon the situation. Quite clearly, the risk to the public of a warning shot taken in a high density urban area is significantly higher than that of one taken in the wilderness. And just as we don't want one-size-fits-all laws governing the firearms we can carry (or the method of carry, or any of that), I think it's similarly objectionable to insist upon a one-size-fits-all law governing warning shots.

Liberty is just better, even if it's a little more dangerous, as long as personal responsibility (whether imposed or voluntarily taken) comes with it.

bwiese
09-04-2012, 1:58 PM
If there's sufficient reason to fire shot(s) at an assailant, etc. that's good enough.

There is no real gradation allowing warning shots: if the conditions are sufficient for shooting, they are sufficient for shooting the perp. If the conditions are NOT sufficient for shooting the perp, then the conditions aren't generally sufficient for any fire.

IVC
09-04-2012, 2:43 PM
IVC:
In this entire thread it seems your position is that intimidation is never a justifiable form of response to threat.

I disagree strongly. Intimidation is one of the oldest forms of natural defense mechanisms known to animals.

Two different concepts. By all means intimidation could be both justifiable and highly effective as you point out, as well as being "built into" many living organisms.

What we are addressing is "intimidation in an organized society." Is it a legal/permissible/moral/safe conduct to use intimidation when we have police/courts/legal system to resolve *all* conflicts.

The proper self defense is when the organized society has failed and there is no more possibility to address the problem through police/courts/legal system, but instead one has to defend his own life. The point of transition between "organized" and "organized, but currently failed" is where the use of deadly force becomes justifiable.

OleCuss
09-04-2012, 2:46 PM
In the sense in which most of us use the term "warning shot" I just can't think of a way in which I think it would be a good idea.

But as a warning or alert to others that they need to be on the alert and defend themselves there could (under very unusual circumstances) be good justification for firing a warning shot rather than firing for effect. But this is effectively under a different definition of "warning shot".

I'm just kind of curious. Can any of us think of a situation where military ground forces or well-trained LEOs fired a "warning shot" against an armed force with good effect? The Navy shoots across the bow, but I'm talking ground forces.

Personally, I can't think of any time in my military training or in my time in Afghanistan where warning shots were used in a confrontation with an armed combatant. Maybe it happened, but I sort of doubt it.

With unarmed noncombatants? Yeah, there were some warning shots. . . But if you have an unarmed noncombatant coming at you in California - you can't legally shoot them or fire warning shots in their vicinity.

IVC
09-04-2012, 2:46 PM
The only reason for prohibiting warning shots at all is the danger to the public that such shots pose.

That, and difficulty in codifying acceptable display of deadly force in non-deadly situations. For example, just because someone might not like the way I look would not be sufficient reason for them to intimidate me by brandishing or firing a warning shot, even if we are in a remote area with no bystanders.

1JimMarch
09-04-2012, 3:31 PM
I'm just kind of curious. Can any of us think of a situation where military ground forces or well-trained LEOs fired a "warning shot" against an armed force with good effect? The Navy shoots across the bow, but I'm talking ground forces.


YES! At automobile checkpoints when a car looks like it MIGHT try and ram through the barrier, the "shot across the bow" thing is sometimes used.

But look...if Lt. Col. Grossman's research (based on old US military official records mind you!) can be believed, the real core issue is that even when somebody is really about to kill us, some of us are going to be reluctant to shoot the threat. Period, end of discussion. It's based on our core biology as social animals.

Then the next question is, do we still have a right to defend ourselves by blowing a hole in the nearest lawn!?!?

I would argue "hell yes" - both legally and morally.

OleCuss
09-04-2012, 3:41 PM
YES! At automobile checkpoints when a car looks like it MIGHT try and ram through the barrier, the "shot across the bow" thing is sometimes used.

I may not have used the proper language for an attorney, but I think you'll find that the assumption was that the individuals in the vehicle might, in fact, be unarmed non-combatants in the cases where warning shots were fired. I'd also note that in some cases it didn't work - soldiers pretty traumatized when they discovered that the warning shots did not deter and that the dead occupants were unarmed non-combatants who were apparently just oblivious. And no, I don't blame the soldiers for doing their duty and I don't blame the oblivious civilians - bad stuff happens in war.
.
.
.
Then the next question is, do we still have a right to defend ourselves by blowing a hole in the nearest lawn!?!?

I would argue "hell yes" - both legally and morally.

I'd agree with you morally.

I won't argue with you on the legalities - but I'm betting that if I fired a warning shot into my neighbors' lawn because an assailant was approaching that I'd end up arrested and with some pretty hefty legal bills even if I were eventually acquitted. What's more, I'm betting the assailant (if they stopped on my warning shot) would be out there to assault others. Please correct me if I'm wrong?!!

swamp2
09-04-2012, 4:20 PM
Just to preface. You've made excellent contributions and debate here on this topic. However, I have some comments/questions.

The real question is "what does the gun community believe the proper role for the firearms in an organized and functioning society is?"

Personally, I stick to the concept that guns have absolutely no role as long as the society is functioning (not counting sporting uses). That means that even though both brandishing and warning shots are effective deterrents, they are not allowed since they demonstrate that the situation was not as dire as to warrant the use of a firearm.

There can be widely varying degrees of what a "functioning" society is. Many folks in Spain, New Zeaand or Denmark would be of the strong opinion that due to the amount of violence and firearms related violence that we in America are not really a "functioning" society in that specific regard. I can see your point in the case of a society that has little to no criminal violence, unfortunately that just does not apply to the US.

I'd also request you read (re-read) my comments about how rapidly a situation can escalate (post 186 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=9254606&postcount=186), item #3). Clearly many fatal incidents begin as far less than that but escalate, perhaps slowly and methodically but probably more often rapidly and unpredictably. There just is not a reliable way to judge every situation immediately and accurately as to the question of is lethal force for protection of life required. As such the warning shot or brandishing can be an effective means to diffuse the situation. Agreed, it might in some cases cause escalation but I think (mostly speculation) that such techniques are more likely than not to diffuse and deter rather than allowing things to progress to a possible grey area which using your "rules" would then result in loss of life.

Extra411
09-04-2012, 4:52 PM
Is it a legal/permissible/moral/safe conduct to use intimidation when we have police/courts/legal system to resolve *all* conflicts.

The ironic thing is, intimidation is commonly used even in organized structures, such as courts/political diplomacy. Does anyone *not* think North Korea proclaiming to have nuclear weapons is an act of intimidation? It can even be argued that the deployment of nuclear bombs in Japan was in fact, a form of intimidation, in order to prevent potentially greater casualties on both sides if a full-scale invasion of Japan took place (akin to shooting someone in the leg rather than in the face). Even on the local level, how often do police/prosecutors intimidate an alleged criminal without legal justification to do so?

And before you denote a distinction between international and intra-national systems of resolution - personally I do not see a difference at all. The intrinsic human behavior is the same.

Fact of the matter is, intimidation is an extremely effective method of getting results without resorting to a final (in the literal sense) conflict.

The proper self defense is when the organized society has failed and there is no more possibility to address the problem through police/courts/legal system, but instead one has to defend his own life.

"Organized society" only functions when agents of the society are present to regulate/enforce this organizational structure. Obviously if a policeman is right next to you when someone is threatening your life, there's little reason for you to resort to personal intimidation. But when there's just you and a group of lawless intruders, the "society" is absent by definition at that moment. Yes, your actions may have repercussions LATER, but at that moment, you're on your own. And regardless of whether something is "socially acceptable", I believe people will behave instinctively, and for some, that might be firing warning shots.

Lastly, it is my belief that "warning shots" are definitely an act of survival instinct. "Survival" is both a physical and mental state. For some people, the act of killing another human being would cause massive trauma to their psyche, and part of the survival of their being is the avoidance of such an injury. But even in a physical sense, a "warning shot" can potentially be a detergent to a deadlier conflict (for both the assailant AND you), as you are still declaring an option to the involved parties for a less violent resolution.

swamp2
09-04-2012, 6:26 PM
Lastly, it is my belief that "warning shots" are definitely an act of survival instinct. "Survival" is both a physical and mental state. For some people, the act of killing another human being would cause massive trauma to their psyche, and part of the survival of their being is the avoidance of such an injury. But even in a physical sense, a "warning shot" can potentially be a detergent to a deadlier conflict (for both the assailant AND you), as you are still declaring an option to the involved parties for a less violent resolution.

Great point and I fully agree. I've been trying to make this point in prior posts but never got quite to this exact sentiment.

Unfortunately for many of the "shoot first, ask questions later" or "a good warning shot is CM" crowd, they won't admit this very well could apply to them.

kcbrown
09-04-2012, 7:10 PM
If there's sufficient reason to fire shot(s) at an assailant, etc. that's good enough.

There is no real gradation allowing warning shots: if the conditions are sufficient for shooting, they are sufficient for shooting the perp. If the conditions are NOT sufficient for shooting the perp, then the conditions aren't generally sufficient for any fire.

Correct.

However, that you can legally and morally shoot the perp doesn't automatically imply that it's the best overall option. And that is the real point here.

A warning shot is just another option on the table that might eliminate the need to kill someone, even though at that point said killing is already justified.


The bottom line is this: are you in favor of freedom with responsibility or not? If you favor freedom then you must favor the risk that comes with it. You do not get to pick and choose.

kcbrown
09-04-2012, 7:12 PM
Two different concepts. By all means intimidation could be both justifiable and highly effective as you point out, as well as being "built into" many living organisms.

What we are addressing is "intimidation in an organized society." Is it a legal/permissible/moral/safe conduct to use intimidation when we have police/courts/legal system to resolve *all* conflicts.


No, this is most emphatically not the case. If it were the case, then we would have no need to carry firearms at all!

The situations we're talking about are those that go beyond what the systems in society are able to deal with at the time. One does not generally fire a warning shot, issue a verbal warning, or any other such thing in situations where the police or the courts are actually available. One does so when they are not available.



The proper self defense is when the organized society has failed and there is no more possibility to address the problem through police/courts/legal system, but instead one has to defend his own life. The point of transition between "organized" and "organized, but currently failed" is where the use of deadly force becomes justifiable.

Correct. However, just because deadly force is justifiable doesn't automatically make it the best option.

kcbrown
09-04-2012, 7:13 PM
That, and difficulty in codifying acceptable display of deadly force in non-deadly situations. For example, just because someone might not like the way I look would not be sufficient reason for them to intimidate me by brandishing or firing a warning shot, even if we are in a remote area with no bystanders.

Of course, but that is (or can be) covered by other laws against brandishing and unjustified threatening displays.

Basically, you're arguing here for complete removal of warning shots as a defensive tool. Tell me, what is the difference between that and imposing a "duty to retreat" law?


Just because you're justified in shooting the perp doesn't mean it's the best option. In a self defense situation, you want as many options available to you as possible. Those options include retreat, verbal warnings, warning shots, and probably other things as well. Not only is it inadvisable to require the use of one or more of those things (e.g., retreat), it is also inadvisable to prohibit one ore more of those things.

IVC
09-04-2012, 8:02 PM
Basically, you're arguing here for complete removal of warning shots as a defensive tool. Tell me, what is the difference between that and imposing a "duty to retreat" law?

This is a great comparison, but requires a bit longer explanation.

"Duty to retreat" law tries to codify avoidance of conflict, but instead it just reverts "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until proven innocent" by switching the burden of proof to the shooter (must justify as the only option), instead of the DA (must show a wrongdoing).

"No warning shot" law actually works for the shooter. In case there is a miss, the burden of proof is on the DA that it was unjustified or that it was intended as a warning shot, not on the shooter to justify why it was safe or a good option. If the warning shot was allowed, the burden of proof would be on the shooter that it was the only option, exactly the way he would have to defend against a "duty to retreat" charge.

It looks contradictory that these two laws actually do exactly the opposite from what they are supposed to: the duty to retreat makes one a presumed criminal, while the no warning shot makes one presumed innocent.

IVC
09-04-2012, 8:20 PM
Lastly, it is my belief that "warning shots" are definitely an act of survival instinct. "Survival" is both a physical and mental state. For some people, the act of killing another human being would cause massive trauma to their psyche, and part of the survival of their being is the avoidance of such an injury. But even in a physical sense, a "warning shot" can potentially be a detergent to a deadlier conflict (for both the assailant AND you), as you are still declaring an option to the involved parties for a less violent resolution.

Knowing that you cannot use a firearm as a pacifier (pull it out, swing it around, fire a round) is by far the best way to keep people honest in whether they can or cannot retreat. No trained or sane person in a self defense situation will chose confrontation if escape is possible. This is not about the ego - it's about one's life. Even the fiercest predators in the nature react this way.

Making "warning shot illegal" is what forces people to explore all other options for avoiding confrontation before reaching for the firearm. In that sense, this law achieves what "duty to retreat" is trying to - force people to disengage if at all possible, but without shifting the burden of proof to the victim (see above post). The law doesn't penalize you if you miss or if you hit the threat in the leg - those are legitimate outcomes. The law penalizes you if you use the deadly force prematurely.

IVC
09-04-2012, 8:52 PM
Just an interesting article that fits perfectly into the discussion:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/04/13661434-dynasty-young-gay-teen-expelled-for-firing-stun-gun-at-school-sues-indianapolis-district?lite

It involves all the hot topics: gay teen, minority, bullying, school grounds, gun free zone, stun gun, self defense, warning shot. It's a very left-leaning source, so comments are very interesting since they are pitting their core beliefs against each other.

Scuba Steve33
09-04-2012, 9:10 PM
I get hopelessly tired of the argument that the only valid type of knowledge is personal experience. There is plenty to be said for other forms of knowledge, experience and authority. There is certainly something to be said for quality academic (or similar) research and devoting intense study to a topic. I have not read the work myself but I'm certainly positive the author does not go into great detail about what it is personally like to take a life. That's not the bloody topic of the work anyway!

This argument of yours is akin to one that I see often on automobile enthusiast forums where a pissing contest takes the turn to "well have you ever driven car x, y or z" and then "you can't talk intelligently or reliably about it if you haven't". Which of course is utter garbage. One can understand similar vehicles, the type of engine, type of transmission, drive layout, understand in detail the reported specifications from testing by journalists and even the spread in such values. Perhaps with either enough experience with similar cars or maybe even bolstered by a solid background in testing or automotive engineering one can be plenty qualified to speak about the raw performance of the vehicle, perhaps even about some subtleties of it feel. The feel of the leather or smell of the car, maybe not, but that is never the discussion in the first place.

You took my statement too literal. I never said his work wasn't valid and it was a great book. I disagree with the fact that you hold experience so lightly, for any situation though. For certain things you may not need to have the experience to be able to understand or preach about it but unless one goes to the extent that Grossman did, experience is key. I can make some mean scrambled eggs but I'm not going to tell a world class chef how to prepare a five star meal simply because I've eaten many of them.

I'm just kind of curious. Can any of us think of a situation where military ground forces or well-trained LEOs fired a "warning shot" against an armed force with good effect? The Navy shoots across the bow, but I'm talking ground forces.

Personally, I can't think of any time in my military training or in my time in Afghanistan where warning shots were used in a confrontation with an armed combatant. Maybe it happened, but I sort of doubt it.

With unarmed noncombatants? Yeah, there were some warning shots. . . But if you have an unarmed noncombatant coming at you in California - you can't legally shoot them or fire warning shots in their vicinity.

We used warning shots all the time in Afghanistan against ground forces. Double taps to the dome warning their fellow fighters they would be next. ;)

OleCuss
09-05-2012, 3:26 AM
.
.
.
We used warning shots all the time in Afghanistan against ground forces. Double taps to the dome warning their fellow fighters they would be next. ;)

Sounds to me like you did it precisely right!

haole_50
09-05-2012, 8:02 AM
"a drunk blond girl with a cellphone in her hands is not a threat."

I beg to differ, she could be calling the cops and telling them you just "RAPED" her and kicked her out of the house!

The magic word is DRUNK (& stupid).

swamp2
09-05-2012, 11:29 AM
You took my statement too literal. I never said his work wasn't valid and it was a great book. I disagree with the fact that you hold experience so lightly, for any situation though.

I never said anything about experience never being needed. Experience is needed to speak about the experiential aspects of something. It is not needed to speak about other aspects such as the statistics, mindset, laws, morality, etc.

kotetu
09-05-2012, 10:13 PM
Texas law seems very clear, use of deadly force to protect persons and property is justified. In the case of Terry Nye, he could have legally shot the intruder(s) dead; instead he used less force than he was justified in using. Prohibiting the use of less than deadly force is not only foolish, it is utterly irrational.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm

SUBCHAPTER C. PROTECTION OF PERSONS Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used: (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery; (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used. (b) The use of force against another is not justified: (1) in response to verbal provocation alone; (2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c); (3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other; (4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless: (A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and (B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or (5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was: (A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02; or (B) possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05. (c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified: (1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary. (d) The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32, 9.33, and 9.34. (e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section. (f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another: (1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or (B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. (b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used: (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or (C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B); (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used. (c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section. (d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

SUBCHAPTER D. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property. (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and: (1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or (2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and (3) he reasonably believes that: (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

IVC
09-06-2012, 7:18 AM
Texas law seems very clear, use of deadly force to protect persons and property is justified. In the case of Terry Nye, he could have legally shot the intruder(s) dead; instead he used less force than he was justified in using. Prohibiting the use of less than deadly force is not only foolish, it is utterly irrational.

Less than deadly force is not prohibited. If he said "I missed," there wouldn't have been a problem. To make a miss illegal regardless of outcome would be "foolish and utterly irrational."

The law simply states that if one is at the escalation point where less than deadly force is justified, it's too early to use a firearm in any capacity. Once the firearm phase is reached, both a hit and a miss are acceptable.

kcbrown
09-06-2012, 10:03 AM
Less than deadly force is not prohibited. If he said "I missed," there wouldn't have been a problem. To make a miss illegal regardless of outcome would be "foolish and utterly irrational."

The law simply states that if one is at the escalation point where less than deadly force is justified, it's too early to use a firearm in any capacity. Once the firearm phase is reached, both a hit and a miss are acceptable.

A warning shot is a deliberate miss.

How is a warning shot not acceptable in a situation where use of a firearm is justified, but an actual miss is?

OleCuss
09-06-2012, 10:29 AM
.
.
.
How is a warning shot not acceptable in a situation where use of a firearm is justified, but an actual miss is?

I hate to be the one to break the news to you. . . But you live in Kalifornia.

Here in Kalifornia, rationality is avoided in the drafting, enactment, and enforcement of the law.

YubaRiver
09-06-2012, 10:43 AM
Nazis did a variation on that approach and it was extremely effective. However, it violated just about all the civil and human rights.

Godwin's law strikes. Losing the argument eh?

bwiese
09-06-2012, 10:48 AM
A warning shot is a deliberate miss.

How is a warning shot not acceptable in a situation where use of a firearm is justified, but an actual miss is?

Because that's the way it will pan out in court.

If situation wasn't serious enough to shoot the guy, it wasn't serious enough to fire a gun. Go directly to jail.

IVC
09-06-2012, 10:54 AM
Godwin's law strikes. Losing the argument eh?

This made me chuckle - guilty as charged :).

kcbrown
09-06-2012, 7:11 PM
Because that's the way it will pan out in court.

If situation wasn't serious enough to shoot the guy, it wasn't serious enough to fire a gun. Go directly to jail.

The situation being serious enough to shoot the guy doesn't automatically imply that the situation demanded that you shoot the guy, only that the situation was such that shooting him was at that point a real option.


What you're saying here is that in the mind of the court, justification to use deadly force is the same as a requirement to use deadly force.

So, basically, once the situation escalates to the point where deadly force is justified, one has no choice but to shoot the guy?


That's like saying that if you're justified in terminating the employment of someone, you're compelled to terminate said someone even if you'd rather not.


I agree with you that the above is how it'll go down in California. But that's only because the courts are looking for any and all excuses to put someone who dares defend himself with even the threat of deadly force in jail. So they'll try to arrange things to maximize the probability that you'll be slapped with a murder charge, because after all, shooting the guy maximizes the risk of that.


This is good to know. Note to everyone here: if a stranger enters your house, you must shoot him, since the law presupposes justification at that point!

Bobby Ricigliano
09-06-2012, 7:22 PM
Sooooo, has this case been adjudicated yet?

hnoppenberger
09-06-2012, 7:30 PM
let this be a lesson, firing warning shots are dangerous, know your background before you fire, and firing into the badguy is a safe background.

swamp2
09-06-2012, 9:46 PM
The laws on firearms and on self defense are very different in TX and CA. I have seen a significant lack of clarity on this point throughout this thread. When making statements such as it is illegal for X or it is not illegal for Y one should qualify within CA or in TX. Recall the OP is about TX and that is in the thread title. Obviously, most of us here are equally or more interested in the situation in CA.


Brandishing is illegal in CA except in any case of self defense. This is PC 417. You can look it up here (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html) if interested.

Just like in Mesquite TX, I suspect that here in CA discharging a firearm within most city limits is illegal. It is here in San Diego, however, there is again an exception for self defense. This is a Municipal Code not a State Law.

I am not aware of any specific CA laws making warning shots illegal. If someone can cite any relevant PC section I would like to see it.

It seems to me that an argument in CA that would infer that a warning shot is illegal would have to argue that such an action is not an act of self defense.

OleCuss
09-07-2012, 4:22 AM
It's really not a PC issue.

The problem is that if you go before the court here in California they are going to say that since you figured you had time to fire a warning shot, you obviously did not feel like you faced an immediate deadly danger. Since you did not face a deadly danger which was immediate, it was not a self-defense situation.

Since it was not a self-defense situation, you obviously engaged in egregious brandishing and negligent discharge. It is also clear that this was a terroristic threat. They may manage to tack some other charges on as well.

Depending on the jury or judge you just might get off (after you've spent many thousands of dollars defending yourself, lost your job, lost your vehicles, deprived your kid of their parent for months, accumulated an arrest record, etc.). But unless you have an amazingly enlightened LEO at the scene and DA in the county - you are going to go to jail for a while.

This is not really theoretical stuff. This week I talked with someone who fired a warning shot and ended up with two felonies and a misdemeanor - and is a prohibited person who was physically assaulted within the last two weeks and is still under threat.

Please note that I'm not arguing the way things should be. I'm arguing the way things are.

Here in California warning shots are almost invariably a bad idea for you. If you have to stop a deadly threat, take your shot and if you inadvertently miss and they stop - thank the Good Lord and go on. But don't give a warning shot.

kotetu
09-07-2012, 9:56 AM
Less than deadly force is not prohibited. If he said "I missed," there wouldn't have been a problem. To make a miss illegal regardless of outcome would be "foolish and utterly irrational."

The law simply states that if one is at the escalation point where less than deadly force is justified, it's too early to use a firearm in any capacity. Once the firearm phase is reached, both a hit and a miss are acceptable.

Nye didn't fire a warning shot when some strangers were on the street, approaching his porch. They were at the gate, attempting entry in the dead of night.


From 9.31:
The use of force is presumed to be reasonable if the person against whom the force was used was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied home.

From 9.32:
A person is justified in using deadly force against another if using force is justified per 9.31 and when the person reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. The belief that the deadly force was immediately necessary is presumed to be reasonable if the person against whom the deadly force was used was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied home.

From 9.41:
A person is justified in using force against another when the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on his property.

From 9.42:
A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or property if force is justified under 9.41 and when he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime.


In Nye's case, the use force and deadly force were all clearly justified under the law. In your reply to me, you assert that once deadly force is justified both a hit and a miss are acceptable. Would you agree that an intentional miss is also acceptable? To me, regardless of any law, it would be justified to discharge a firearm with intent to frighten off intruders when they have entered or are attempting to enter your property.

kotetu
09-07-2012, 10:12 AM
The laws on firearms and on self defense are very different in TX and CA. I have seen a significant lack of clarity on this point throughout this thread. When making statements such as it is illegal for X or it is not illegal for Y one should qualify within CA or in TX. Recall the OP is about TX and that is in the thread title. Obviously, most of us here are equally or more interested in the situation in CA.


Brandishing is illegal in CA except in any case of self defense. This is PC 417. You can look it up here (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html) if interested.

Just like in Mesquite TX, I suspect that here in CA discharging a firearm within most city limits is illegal. It is here in San Diego, however, there is again an exception for self defense. This is a Municipal Code not a State Law.

I am not aware of any specific CA laws making warning shots illegal. If someone can cite any relevant PC section I would like to see it.

It seems to me that an argument in CA that would infer that a warning shot is illegal would have to argue that such an action is not an act of self defense.

California's castle laws:

California Penal Code Section 197 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/197.html)

Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

California Penal Code Section 198 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/198.html)

A bare fear of the commission of any of the offenses mentioned in subdivisions 2 and 3 of Section 197, to prevent which homicide may be lawfully committed, is not sufficient to justify it. But the circumstances must be sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable person, and the party killing must have acted under the influence of such fears alone.

California Penal Code Section 198.5 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/198.5.html)

Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred. As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.

Negligent discharge of firearm:

California Penal Code Section 246.3 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/246.3.html)

(a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
(b) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a BB device in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.
(c) As used in this section, "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action.


In California's case, it seems to also be quite cut and dry - if you're justified in firing at someone, you are justified in firing period.

OleCuss
09-07-2012, 10:14 AM
.
.
.
. . .you assert that once deadly force is justified both a hit and a miss are acceptable. Would you agree that an intentional miss is also acceptable? To me, regardless of any law, it would be justified to discharge a firearm with intent to frighten off intruders when they have entered or are attempting to enter your property.

I know you didn't address the question to me, but let me at least address a part?

Go back and read what you put in your post. Do you see how the word "immediately" keeps cropping up?

Unfortunately, immediately turns out to mean different things to different persons/entities. It turns out that the courts seem to adopt the meaning which is most injurious to the law-abiding defendant/plaintiff.

So in this context, "immediately" will be interpreted by the court as being so pressing as a matter of time that any time delay in exerting deadly force would result in major injury or death to yourself.

In a recent case (was it Jackson v San Francisco or something like that?) "immediate" appears to have meant that you still have time to fiddle with a lock and hope you didn't lose the key or forget the combination - and that you can get out a flashlight and glasses so that you can see what you are doing to extricate your firearm from its locked enclosure in the middle of the night.

Net effect is that "immediate" in this context will mess you over in a major way - even if it shouldn't.


But I will not argue with you on whether firing a warning shot might be sometimes be the right thing to do. I think most of the time it may not be, but odd things happen and I'd not rule out the possibility that at times a warning shot might be the best possible course of action.

Edit: I should also point out that it is not clear to me that a warning shot is "deadly force". It seems more likely that you would be prosecuted for something like brandishing, negligent discharge, and terroristic threats rather than the improper use of "deadly force". And since you did not use "deadly force", the self-defense authorization to use "deadly force" does not apply to the use of a warning shot.

bobomb
09-07-2012, 10:45 AM
lesson learned

remember the mantra

"i was in fear of my life" and make no further comment without a lawer present

kotetu
09-07-2012, 10:54 AM
I know you didn't address the question to me, but let me at least address a part?

Go back and read what you put in your post. Do you see how the word "immediately" keeps cropping up?

Unfortunately, immediately turns out to mean different things to different persons/entities. It turns out that the courts seem to adopt the meaning which is most injurious to the law-abiding defendant/plaintiff.

So in this context, "immediately" will be interpreted by the court as being so pressing as a matter of time that any time delay in exerting deadly force would result in major injury or death to yourself.

In a recent case (was it Jackson v San Francisco or something like that?) "immediate" appears to have meant that you still have time to fiddle with a lock and hope you didn't lose the key or forget the combination - and that you can get out a flashlight and glasses so that you can see what you are doing to extricate your firearm from its locked enclosure in the middle of the night.

Net effect is that "immediate" in this context will mess you over in a major way - even if it shouldn't.


But I will not argue with you on whether firing a warning shot might be sometimes be the right thing to do. I think most of the time it may not be, but odd things happen and I'd not rule out the possibility that at times a warning shot might be the best possible course of action.

Edit: I should also point out that it is not clear to me that a warning shot is "deadly force". It seems more likely that you would be prosecuted for something like brandishing, negligent discharge, and terroristic threats rather than the improper use of "deadly force". And since you did not use "deadly force", the self-defense authorization to use "deadly force" does not apply to the use of a warning shot.Both Texas law (op's topic) and California law provide that force and deadly force are permissible when a person is attempting to enter your home unlawfully. Texas law does not appear to have an exception to the discharge of a firearm in a metropolitan area, essentially creating a conflicting legal situation, in which it is legal to fire at an intruder but not legal to fire at the ground in front of the same intruder.

IVC
09-07-2012, 10:57 AM
In Nye's case, the use force and deadly force were all clearly justified under the law. In your reply to me, you assert that once deadly force is justified both a hit and a miss are acceptable. Would you agree that an intentional miss is also acceptable?

We are getting into a delicate word game here, so let me try to be accurate. An "intentional miss" with *admitted intent* is not acceptable. An "intentional miss" with *DA, plase prove your assertion it was an intentional miss* is acceptable, provided no harm was done.

Even though this might seem superficial, unnecessary and morally wrong, it's no different than justifying a decision to shoot. If you say that you weren't really affraid for you life, the shooting was not justified even if the objective circumstances say it was. By admitting intent to miss you are saying that you weren't affraid for you life and in that respect it's no different than saying it explicitly: "I didn't feel I was in an immediate danger, but I disharged my firearm anyway." Would you say something like that?

To me, regardless of any law, it would be justified to discharge a firearm with intent to frighten off intruders when they have entered or are attempting to enter your property.

This is only one particular case and, actually, you could do that as long as you didn't declare it as such.

Here is the crux of the problem: try to define an objective criterion for when (1) shooting at an attacker is NOT justified, while (2) firing a warning shot IS justified. Since shooting at an attacker is never justified unless in fear of one's life, you will have to come up with the definition of discharging a firearm in populated area when NOT in fear for your life.

POLICESTATE
09-07-2012, 11:16 AM
let this be a lesson, firing warning shots are dangerous, know your background before you fire, and firing into the badguy is a safe background.

Yeah I would fire to hit to help ensure the bullet doesn't go through too many walls. I know a .45 can go through a few. But you figure by the time it exits a BG it's not going to damage whatever is behind it too badly.

Though I do remember seeing how a .380 had managed to punch a decent hole into dry wall (though not through the other side) after it had gone through someone's head. Skulls are pretty tough though.

I think warning shots are dangerous, even if they were legally allowed, you just never know how a bullet may ricochet of something. Also aiming to miss so you can just call it a miss (when you're really trying to do a warning shot) is going to be worse because you're going to shoot near the perp and who knows where that bullet might end up?

kcbrown
09-07-2012, 12:16 PM
I know you didn't address the question to me, but let me at least address a part?

Go back and read what you put in your post. Do you see how the word "immediately" keeps cropping up?

Unfortunately, immediately turns out to mean different things to different persons/entities. It turns out that the courts seem to adopt the meaning which is most injurious to the law-abiding defendant/plaintiff.

So in this context, "immediately" will be interpreted by the court as being so pressing as a matter of time that any time delay in exerting deadly force would result in major injury or death to yourself.

In a recent case (was it Jackson v San Francisco or something like that?) "immediate" appears to have meant that you still have time to fiddle with a lock and hope you didn't lose the key or forget the combination - and that you can get out a flashlight and glasses so that you can see what you are doing to extricate your firearm from its locked enclosure in the middle of the night.

Net effect is that "immediate" in this context will mess you over in a major way - even if it shouldn't.


Precisely.

And all this has some rather nasty and serious implications.

One of them is that if a stranger enters your house, you must shoot them, because to do anything else (issue a verbal warning, etc.) will have the effect of removing the presumption in the law that you feared for your life.

Similarly, if you find yourself in any sort of life-threatening situation, you must shoot, because to do anything else is to prove that you weren't in a life-threatening situation.


This really is a piece of crap state we live in. The entire government apparatus is intent on maximizing the number of dangerous criminals on the street, maximizing the number of obedient sheep who will be willing fodder for those same criminals, and minimizing the number of people who have the spine to stand up for themselves. This place is turning into the U.K., which has the same approach to things (harshly punish those who dare defend themselves and slap the wrists of those who are intent on doing harm to others).

A society which, on the whole, demands that you submit to violations of every right you have, even your right to life, is one that will self-destruct, since such a society values those who would harm others more than those who would defend themselves and others from said harm (and, therefore, those who would bring harm to others will eventually become the majority in the population).



Edit: I should also point out that it is not clear to me that a warning shot is "deadly force". It seems more likely that you would be prosecuted for something like brandishing, negligent discharge, and terroristic threats rather than the improper use of "deadly force". And since you did not use "deadly force", the self-defense authorization to use "deadly force" does not apply to the use of a warning shot.

"Deadly force" is, merely, force which has the potential to kill. A warning shot certainly qualifies because it can kill if it goes wrong. Intentionally shooting someone in the foot is the use of deadly force even though you quite clearly didn't intend to kill the target, simply because said force is quite capable of doing so.

swamp2
09-07-2012, 12:20 PM
This seems to be the basic penal code that could make warning shots illegal,

(a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

Thanks kotetu for posting.

It would certainly be up the court but this law has multiple exceptions. The first key one is obviously "except as otherwise authorized". And the use of a firearm is absolutely authorized in certain situations. Secondly, it would be difficult to genuinely argue that a warning shot directly to the ground is "grossly negligent".

I can certainly appreciate the sentiment offered by bwiese and OleCuss that the way something will pan out in court is perhaps NOT consistent with the actual laws. How unbelievably terrible is that... Shouldn't we blame our defense lawyers and juries for that as much as overzealous DAs?

I see plenty of ways that the laws here in CA would permit warning shots or that one could very strongly argue they are not in some particular cases illegal.

Of course I appreciate the sentiment about the legal hassles involved. However, you can be nearly 100% guaranteed that the legal hassles of a justified homicide, including civil action, will be much more painful than a negligent discharge. ANY POSSIBLE way to avoid that seems like a prudent thing to do.

Without examination of many relevant cases I certainly would not be confident in saying one would always be screwed by the court. Could that be pessimism or is it based on knowledge of actual cases. Again that question goes to bwiese and OleCuss.

You can clearly get between a rock and a hard place on this issue. That seems to be my shortest and most accurate summary.

POLICESTATE
09-07-2012, 12:33 PM
yeah basically if you are shooting to defend yourself then you are shooting to defend yourself. If you are firing a warning shot you are not shooting to defend yourself, thus unlawful discharge.


This seems to be the basic penal code that could make warning shots illegal,



Thanks kotetu for posting.

It would certainly be up the court but this law has multiple exceptions. The first key one is obviously "except as otherwise authorized". And the use of a firearm is absolutely authorized in certain situations. Secondly, it would be difficult to genuinely argue that a warning shot directly to the ground is "grossly negligent".

I can certainly appreciate the sentiment offered by bwiese and OleCuss that the way something will pan out in court is perhaps NOT consistent with the actual laws. How unbelievably terrible is that... Shouldn't we blame our defense lawyers and juries for that as much as overzealous DAs?

I see plenty of ways that the laws here in CA would permit warning shots or that one could very strongly argue they are not in some particular cases illegal.

Of course I appreciate the sentiment about the legal hassles involved. However, you can be nearly 100% guaranteed that the legal hassles of a justified homicide, including civil action, will be much more painful than a negligent discharge. ANY POSSIBLE way to avoid that seems like a prudent thing to do.

Without examination of many relevant cases I certainly would not be confident in saying one would always be screwed by the court. Could that be pessimism or is it based on knowledge of actual cases. Again that question goes to bwiese and OleCuss.

You can clearly get between a rock and a hard place on this issue. That seems to be my shortest and most accurate summary.

IVC
09-07-2012, 1:24 PM
Without examination of many relevant cases I certainly would not be confident in saying one would always be screwed by the court. Could that be pessimism or is it based on knowledge of actual cases.

This is a more general principle than just what you see here - never intentionally handicap yourself in life.

Court is not about "sorting things out," but about determining whether you are guilty or not. If you are in court, the DA already doesn't believe you. Anything you do to help him, whether with good intentions or not, makes his position stronger. If you really want to support his position, you can always plead guilty.

swamp2
09-07-2012, 2:55 PM
This is a more general principle than just what you see here - never intentionally handicap yourself in life.

Court is not about "sorting things out," but about determining whether you are guilty or not. If you are in court, the DA already doesn't believe you. Anything you do to help him, whether with good intentions or not, makes his position stronger. If you really want to support his position, you can always plead guilty.

"Sorting out" sounds like a purely syntax issue. I agree the court would be finding innocence or guilt.

I think it comes back to what I and others have already said. Would you rather be in court for unlawful discharge or attempted murder or even homicide? Just because someone believes they are/were justified to use lethal force with a firearm, there is absolutely no guarantees that the police, DA nor jury will agree with them. Those against warning shots but for aggressive defense with firearms seem to have an implicit belief that quorum on their side would be a given. However, adopting the standard (and often justified) pessimism of firearm owners about the way the aforementioned groups think about these issues would lead you to conclude the opposite. Most of them in fact WILL NOT agree with you, perhaps even despite strong circumstances on your side.

Sure, I'd rather have a court battle than be dead, but at the same time I would also rather have a potential misdemeanor rather than a felony criminal battle and civil battle.

Again it is a very good discussion and debate.

swamp2
09-07-2012, 2:58 PM
If you are firing a warning shot you are not shooting to defend yourself, thus unlawful discharge.

That's simply your opinion. I've provided the laws and link between the laws, along with noting their many exceptions which provide a plausible path permitting defensive warning shots.

kotetu
09-07-2012, 11:11 PM
We are getting into a delicate word game here, so let me try to be accurate. An "intentional miss" with *admitted intent* is not acceptable. An "intentional miss" with *DA, please prove your assertion it was an intentional miss* is acceptable, provided no harm was done.

Even though this might seem superficial, unnecessary and morally wrong, it's no different than justifying a decision to shoot. If you say that you weren't really afraid for you life, the shooting was not justified even if the objective circumstances say it was. By admitting intent to miss you are saying that you weren't afraid for you life and in that respect it's no different than saying it explicitly: "I didn't feel I was in an immediate danger, but I discharged my firearm anyway." Would you say something like that?

This is only one particular case and, actually, you could do that as long as you didn't declare it as such.

Here is the crux of the problem: try to define an objective criterion for when (1) shooting at an attacker is NOT justified, while (2) firing a warning shot IS justified. Since shooting at an attacker is never justified unless in fear of one's life, you will have to come up with the definition of discharging a firearm in populated area when NOT in fear for your life.
This is just plain wrong. In both Texas law and California law, deadly force is justified to prevent unlawful trespass, burglary, theft, violence, etc. There is absolutely zero requirement in either case that you be in fear of your life, although that is another justification for use of deadly force. It's just not required in all cases.

Also note that I am saying that I believe shooting to miss should be perfectly valid when you are justified in shooting to kill - not when there is no threat. My earlier example was if you see some suspicious looking men across the street you can't fire a warning shot across their bows. :D However, if they cross the street and start pounding on your gate, trying to bust it in, they've qualified in both sets of laws for use of deadly force, and you should be justified in firing a warning shot, as you area already justified in firing a killing shot.

This seems to be the basic penal code that could make warning shots illegal,



Thanks kotetu for posting.

It would certainly be up the court but this law has multiple exceptions. The first key one is obviously "except as otherwise authorized". And the use of a firearm is absolutely authorized in certain situations. Secondly, it would be difficult to genuinely argue that a warning shot directly to the ground is "grossly negligent".

I can certainly appreciate the sentiment offered by bwiese and OleCuss that the way something will pan out in court is perhaps NOT consistent with the actual laws. How unbelievably terrible is that... Shouldn't we blame our defense lawyers and juries for that as much as overzealous DAs?

I see plenty of ways that the laws here in CA would permit warning shots or that one could very strongly argue they are not in some particular cases illegal.

Of course I appreciate the sentiment about the legal hassles involved. However, you can be nearly 100% guaranteed that the legal hassles of a justified homicide, including civil action, will be much more painful than a negligent discharge. ANY POSSIBLE way to avoid that seems like a prudent thing to do.

Without examination of many relevant cases I certainly would not be confident in saying one would always be screwed by the court. Could that be pessimism or is it based on knowledge of actual cases. Again that question goes to bwiese and OleCuss.

You can clearly get between a rock and a hard place on this issue. That seems to be my shortest and most accurate summary.Yep, the exceptions include all of the justified homicide parts I also quoted.

sandman21
09-07-2012, 11:30 PM
This is just plain wrong. In both Texas law and California law, deadly force is justified to prevent unlawful trespass, burglary, theft, violence, etc. There is absolutely zero requirement in either case that you be in fear of your life, although that is another justification for use of deadly force. It's just not required in all cases.

Nope

Where the character and manner of the burglary do not reasonably create a fear of great bodily harm, there is no cause for exaction of human life (State v. McIntyre, 106 Ariz. 439 [477 P.2d 529, 534-535]; cf. People v. Jones, supra, 191 Cal. App.2d 478, 482), or for the use of deadly force (see generally 13 Stan.L.Rev. 566, 577). The character and manner of the burglary could not reasonably create such a fear unless the burglary threatened, or was reasonably believed to threaten, death or serious bodily harm. ...

...This section also should be read in the light of the common law, and at common law in general deadly force could not be used solely for the protection of property. ....

...."`The preservation of human life and limb from grievous harm is of more importance to society than the protection of property.'"....

......Thus defendant was not warranted under Civil Code section 50 in using deadly force to protect his personal property. .... (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4905950755229562562&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr)