It wasn't a criticism. I was making the point that sometimes having a gun and be willing to use it is enough as was in your case. You could have being justified in shooting but you did the right thing a verbal warning and the sight of the gun was enough. The original post said that when you drew your gun negations were over. In a way you where still negation you just raised the anti and that was enough.
Having to pull your sidearm is very likely to intimidate your assailant and cause him to take off running without you having to fire a shot, and that is fine. But the OP is correct. To carry a firearm with the mindset and deliberate intention of NOT having to use it but rather to [hope] cause your attacker to shiver in his shoes and turn to butter borders on absurdity. If you are not mentally prepared to use it, then the answer is quite simple... don't carry it.
Regardless of what we may hear from armchair quarterbacks and pseudo heroes, unless someone has been in a similar situation, you will never really know how you're going to react when faced with an extreme encounter until it happens. Training, conditioning, and mental preparedness are your best friends to get you to the point of being ready to go the full distance should the need arise. But carrying a gun strictly and solely for the hope of intimidating an attacker is lunacy.
In Missouri brandishing is defined as any display of a firearm in a provocative or threatening manner. So all someone has to do is answer yes to the question "Did you feel threatened?" and you may be found guilty of brandishing. In my opinion, and this is my opinion, not legal advice. I am NOT advising anyone to do anything. But in my opinion, my gun does not come out of its holster unless I intend to use it. Now, if as a result of drawing the gun, the bad guy bales, I'm obviously not going to shoot them in the back. I'm just saying I don't draw the gun until I feel the situation has reached the point where I need to use it. If that gun comes out, I want it to be clear to any idiot, that I had no other choice.
For example, I'm in a parking lot and some guy gets hot saying I took his parking space. This happened recently. He approaches me in an openly treating manner saying he's going to beat the crap out of me. I retreated. I got back in my car and left the area. He didn't pursue, he just stood and yelled insults at me. I didn't care. Sacrificing a little bit of my pride, isn't worth getting in a situation where I have to explain why I shot someone. Now, had he pursued me, or cornered me where I had no retreat option, the rules change. By the way, I'm not a pushover. I played ice hockey for years, and have the broken teeth and scars to show for it. But now I'm a 58 year old guy with arthritis and bad knees. Standing toe to toe with a young, healthy, 250 lb guy is NOT an option. But even if it was even up, standing up to the guy when you are armed can cause problems. What if you begin to lose the fight? Can you use your gun then? You've already demonstrated a willingness to engage in violent activity. The courts have demonstrated time and again that an armed individual is held to a higher standard of restraint and behavior than an unarmed one. You KNOW the situation can escalate to the point where life may be lost. The other guy doesn't.
And PLEASE do not construe this as criticism of anyone else's opinion, or actions in a given situation. Every situation is different. Every person is different. And no one can truly say what they would or wouldn't have done in a given situation until they've been through it. It's up to each person, as responsible individuals, to do what you think is best. You have to go with your gut and do what feels right to YOU.
Last edited by Blade; 02-26-2012 at 10:30 AM.
I don't go to gunshops as much as I used to, but I can't count the number of times I've heard a customer (or gunshop employee) mouth off about something totally wrong or ridiculous.
At one point, a long time ago, I would have cared.
Now? Not so much.
Some mindsets regard weapons presentation as a challenge. Most times when men are killed by armed women their last words were "You ain't gonna shoot me!" just before they jumped in.
Well said Blade. I'm like you and I've swallowed my pride quite a few times. Situations like a parking spot isn't worth a confrontation especially that we are armed. We are bigger men than them. My life's still at peace and that's the way I like it.
In other words, the situation is fluid and may change from when you decided that this is the point at which gun clears leather. Happened in my situation too. The situation was escalating, so I escalated my response. I wasn't negotiating with him, I was preparing to put a bullet between his eyes. I couldn't have deployed my gun if I'd waited until the "shooty" decision was made. He'd have been right on top of me and my brains would have probably been leaking from my ear.
Once the gun was out, I hadn't decided to shoot, I was preparing to shoot because you can't shoot someone from your holster.
You don't ever draw a weapon with the hope that you will scare an assailant. If you draw, it had by God better be YOU who is scared.
Fake gun. Good Lord.