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  1. #1
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    the defense of strangers

    I started a similar thread in another handgun forum and the results were both interesting and contentious.

    A member of that forum mentioned in a thread that he would certainly feel free to use his handgun in defense of his wife or daughter. The implication that I drew from that is that everyone else was on their own.

    Situation (revised from my original posting):


    A man grabs a woman's arm at the elbow. She shrugs off his grip. He pulls a knife and says, "I'm going to kill you, bitch."



    Question:

    You don't know either the man or the woman. You are legally armed with a concealed weapon. Do you come to the defense of the woman?

    Does your position change if the victim is a child? Or if it is a grown man?

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  3. #2
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    As soon as you see the knife, all bets with him are off..................my weapon comes out, it's up to him what happens next.

  4. #3
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    of course i would "use" my weapon to help a stranger. it is one of the reasons that i decided to carry, it was a conscious decision, one that took me down the same thought path that you bring up here. the bad guy threatening to kill and then making an overt action, either with a weapon or other physical contact makes it an assault at the very least. to use your own weapon doesnt mean that you MUST pull the trigger even if you are ready and willing.

    some things to think about, are there laws protecting good samaritans in the state your are in at the time of the incident? most ccw permits allow"for the defense of yourself and others" but are you in a "stand your ground" state, if so would walking into a situation like this violate the law....

    just things i would ponder as i was preparing to start some bad guys very bad day....

  5. #4
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    A threat to kill and the appearance of the knife would energize a response from me.......JJ

  6. #5
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with you guys. At the other forum I was in the minority (with a few others) on that point. There were a lot of "if it is not kin, I'm not in" and a lot of quoting of Ayoob on how much trouble you can get in when you draw your weapon. For me, the only question is, "Is this the right thing to do?" If it is the right thing to do for your wife, daughter, mother, brother or father, then it is the right thing to do for an innocent stranger.

    There was a lot of fear going on in the other forum. I appreciate fear. It is a useful emotion. It warns me of danger. But fear is only information for me to use in making decisions, it does not make decisions for me.

    I would have thought that the overwhelming response would be to come to the aid of the stranger. I think there is an unwritten law that the strong are obligated to protect the weak. With great strength comes great responsibilities. And carrying a gun gives us great strength and great obligations.

    At any rate that is my operating thinking on this subject.

  7. #6
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    papahawk is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with Berreta on this one

  8. #7
    Haas is offline Member
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    I'm not sure, to be honest. I was taught to do the same thing you would do if you didn't have a gun on you. That is, call 911 as immediately as you can. I bought a gun for personal protection, not to save the world.
    People miss, all the time. If you drew your gun in that scenario, and had to use it, what if you hit a bystander, or the victim instead of the knife wielding guy?
    Too many things could go wrong.

  9. #8
    lamrith is offline Junior Member
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    I am with the majority (@ the time of this posting) and I would take action. It is the way I was raised, as mentioned the strong protect the weak. If I were to step back call 911 and watch someone get killed, stabbed or kidnapped and did nothing I would regret it for life. I would be so ashamed I would not be able to live with myself or look family or friends in the eye.

  10. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Having seen the knife and heard the threat, I believe that my very first response would be verbal, letting him know that there is a witness to his actions.
    At the same time, I would unobtrusively grasp my pistol in a firing grip, in preparation for presentation, and I would probably "blade" my body to cover that action.

    If he deŽscalates and puts the knife away, I would contact a police agency while maintaining observation.

    If he threatens me, or starts to harm her, he would start having his bad day.

  11. #10
    lamrith is offline Junior Member
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    One critical part in my decision making that I forgot to mention would be that I saw the initial contact and exchange between the parties involved. Or at least was aware of my surroundings enough to know that the woman was not the initiator of the confrontation. Women are not the defenseles creatures many tend to assume they are. Many of the recent home invasoins here in WA are perpetrated with Women either invoved directly, or running interference/recon on targets.

    If you were to walk up in the middle of this confrontation without seeing the start of it, you have no way to know if the woman tried to rob the man and he pulled out his knife in self defense. Maybe he was trying to detain her until authorities arrived? His choice of phrase makes him sound the agressor, but you never know. (jacked up during a confrontation, so people say the damndest things)

    This is supported by a recent shooting in spokane where the perp was on the ground after being shot screaming to the world that the shooter (A CCW holder) was trying to kill him. Meanwhile a 3rd party ccw holder (that would be you or me) responds to the shooting to find one guy on the ground screaming with another pointing a gun at him. Turned out the perp (who got shot) was trying to sell the guy back his stolen goods and jack him for more $. Perp made a move and the shooter holder thought he was reaching for a gun and beat the perp to the draw.

    The OP lays this out pretty clearly to be the man is the agressor and that you see the whole encounter, but food for thought to not rush to conclusions in these sorts of situations if you do not see it from the start...

  12. #11
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    The way you stated the "situation", it wouldn't matter whether the woman was trying to jack him up, sell him back stolen goods, whatever....all you said was, "Man grabs woman at the elbow, she shrugs off his grip. He pulls a knife and says " I'm going to kill you bitch"....It wouldn't really matter what the situation was, or if you were there to see the whole thing or not....any of the above would not be sufficient reason for him to kill her, hence, I would have the exact same reaction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    I started a similar thread in another handgun forum and the results were both interesting and contentious.

    A member of that forum mentioned in a thread that he would certainly feel free to use his handgun in defense of his wife or daughter. The implication that I drew from that is that everyone else was on their own.

    Situation (revised from my original posting):


    A man grabs a woman's arm at the elbow. She shrugs off his grip. He pulls a knife and says, "I'm going to kill you, bitch."



    Question:

    You don't know either the man or the woman. You are legally armed with a concealed weapon. Do you come to the defense of the woman?

    Does your position change if the victim is a child? Or if it is a grown man?

  13. #12
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    That scenario is a forceable felony,which in many places is a reason you can use your weapon to defend yourself or others.If a situation happens that I would have to use force or a weapon to save someone from harm,I would feel obliged to do so.

  14. #13
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    I think that one of the worst possible scenarios would be, if you were not there from the beginning, and they both had knives......................

  15. #14
    wjh2657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    I agree with you guys. At the other forum I was in the minority (with a few others) on that point. There were a lot of "if it is not kin, I'm not in" and a lot of quoting of Ayoob on how much trouble you can get in when you draw your weapon. For me, the only question is, "Is this the right thing to do?" If it is the right thing to do for your wife, daughter, mother, brother or father, then it is the right thing to do for an innocent stranger.

    There was a lot of fear going on in the other forum. I appreciate fear. It is a useful emotion. It warns me of danger. But fear is only information for me to use in making decisions, it does not make decisions for me.

    I would have thought that the overwhelming response would be to come to the aid of the stranger. I think there is an unwritten law that the strong are obligated to protect the weak. With great strength comes great responsibilities. And carrying a gun gives us great strength and great obligations.

    At any rate that is my operating thinking on this subject.
    If by unwritten law you mean a moral obligation, all such obligations are trumped in court by man-made laws. It has been decided in numerous Supreme Court decisions, going back into the 1930s, that nobody not even LEOs, have an obligation to protect an Individual. I would feel morally obligated to defend another, but I am also well aware that the legal system is not going to back me up. If by stranger, you mean somebody who is willing to testify in court that they felt threatened and would have been willing to take the same action that you did if they could, then fine. If they testify however that they did not believe their life was truly in danger or that for some religious or moral reason they would not have used deadly force to protect themselves, you are in deep peril of lawsuits and serious jail time. You just went from Superhero "Defender of the Weak" to Scumbag "Mad Dog Killer" in one statement. The test in all courts of the justification for deadly force to protect a stranger is whether the stranger would have done the same to defend themselves (case law). No, I am not going to quote precedences, I am not an attorney attorney at trial, GOOGLE case law and see for yourselves. If the "victim" says nothing it will normally be assumed that they would have done the prudent thing and defended themselves. Problem is, they are a stranger and you don't know what they would think or do. In the case of the child or elderly person I would feel morally obligated to act, but otherwise I would have to call it on a case-by-case basis (i.e. victim screaming "He's trying to kill me" definitely calls for 5 COM).

  16. #15
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    My crystal ball is broke, but under the circumstances outlined in the OP, I'd act. Indiana has a pretty decent view on the subject....

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

    SECTION 1. IC 35-41-3-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2006]:
    Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person:
    (1) is justified in using deadly force; and
    (2) does not have a duty to retreat;
    if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.

  17. #16
    Haas is offline Member
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    Man, I gotta say, I understand the "want" to act so you possibly save an innocent life, but it's pretty scary how quickly some are willing to pull out a gun in public where innocent bystanders may be, and start shooting at a perpetrator. No matter how well a state may treat a situation like this, I think WJH2657 spelled it out pretty well, that you could pretty well screw up the rest of your life, and your freedom.
    Look at George Zimmerman down in FLA. He wasn't even protecting another, he was protecting himself, in a state that actually has a "stand your ground" law. He claims he was getting his head smashed against the sidewalk, and even has the wounds to prove it, yet he still is on trial, and just might get locked up. And even if he doesn't, he pissed off a large portion of the black community, and will forever have to watch his back for someone taking revenge. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

  18. #17
    usmcj's Avatar
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    In Indiana, the "castle doctrine" does NOT authorize, or condone pursuit.

  19. #18
    Dragonheart is offline Junior Member
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    My gut response is, "Oh yeah, I would be in his face", but with old age sometime comes wisdom and there are just too many unknowns to give a definite answer. Would I stand by and watch someone brutally murdered that I believed to be an innocent party when I had a chance to stop it, I think not.

  20. #19
    Haas is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    My gut response is, "Oh yeah, I would be in his face", but with old age sometime comes wisdom and there are just too many unknowns to give a definite answer. Would I stand by and watch someone brutally murdered that I believed to be an innocent party when I had a chance to stop it, I think not.
    Exactly. If this guy were to start slicing and dicing, I'd put a bullet in him, but until then, it's up the police to decide if shots should be fired.

  21. #20
    Pando is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry but when someone puts a knife to you and its a dude vs a female its going to lead to rape. Which is worse than murder in 99% of the cases. So instead of having her go through all that why not just have fun and remove that guy. And get a date at the same time!

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