Handgun Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received an email from Ruger that got me thinking about the appropriate use of force. It was an ad for their pepper spray product (Ruger Branded Pepper Spray Products).

It's foolish to carry a firearm without having thought out in advance just exactly under what scenarios you are prepared to use it. It's a personal choice that is likely to be different for each individual. I've often considered being in a situation where I was armed, but not committed to using deadly force. I've decided that I will not use a firearm for a deterrent. If it comes out, I'm almost certainly pulling the trigger.

What do you do in the situation where you are being hassled (say by a small group of young punks) that might want to rob or perhaps even threaten you physically, but don't appear to be life-threatening? I don't think my sidearm would be any benefit to me at that point, as I'm not shooting a punk for the $50 in my wallet, and I certainly don't want the chance of losing my carry weapon to a group of kids. I'm thinking that this might be an appropriate situation for a pepper spray product.

Anyone have any constructive criticism or additional thoughts on the utility of carrying them as an option?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
when i lived in philly, a small group of teens killed a teacher in the subway for his ipod. i am sure he didnt think it was serious until he died. i will most certainly shoot a punk over my wallet with $50 in it, ITS MY WALLET AND MY MONEY. i assume that they will kill me to take it, i will not hesitate to protect myself.

the use of pepper spray as a deterrent prior to drawing your pistol makes the assumption that you are able to get ALL of your assailants, that all are affected by it, and that you are not a victim of your own spray. then you assume that an escalation of the situation will give you time to react by pulling yet another

seems like a waste of valuable time.... i hope you survive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
This can be a very difficult question to answer and it also depends on the laws in your state. Typically, you are not allowed to use lethal force against non lethal threats and simple assault. In this regard, non lethal options, such as pepper spray have their place in the force continuum. Massad Ayoob, spells it out really well in his classes and in his book, In the Gravest Extreme. Quoting from memory, which may not be exact lethal force is justified when:
Confronted with an otherwise unavoidable situation where the assailant has the Ability, and Opportunity to kill, cause grave bodily injury, or perform sexual assault, and you are in present Jeopardy from a present and immediate threat
There is also the concept of disparity of force, which is a seriously gray area. Disparity of force can include things like size, physical condition, numbers, and gender.

Take for instance ability. Do they have a weapon, say a knife and are they close enough to be lethal with it (within 21' is standard)? Opportunity? Are you behind a physical obstacle like a fence or a car? Each situation must be considered very carefully.

Personally, I think if I were confronted by a couple of muggers demanding my wallet and I didn't see a weapon, mine would be clearing leather. Not necessarily pointed at them yet, but less than a second of reaction time away from it, while moving away. If they had a weapon, well, this can get really tricky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,070 Posts
If you carry pepper spray, but don't use it before presenting your pistol and firing it, the court will ask: "Since you had non-lethal means upon your person, why didn't you use it first?"
And the jury will think: "He's a killer, just looking for a reason to shoot someone."

The best strategy is to have only a lethal weapon, and then to do everything within your power to avoid any situation in which you would have to use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I only carry my pistol and ,as you said, if it comes out I will use it immediately. If I don't the perp has an opportunity to call the sheriff and claim you are threatening him, which you are. I've had two problems in the last few months neither of which led to the use of deadly force. One was a punk kid playing with a grey haired, white mustached old man (me). I finally told him that if he was of the mind to actually ever lay a hand on me that at my age I would shoot him because I would consider it self defense. He got very quiet and left. The last event was yesterday at the gas station. I was pumping gas and an old Lincoln pulled up with a large young man with a wild tribal hairdo and $3000.00 worth of gold around his neck and stuck in his face. His woman was of the same ilk and immediately got out of the car and asked me for money. I had seen them pull up and had nearly cleared my vest and stuck my thumb in my belt to get ready to draw my pistol. I told them which church to go to for food and a gas voucher. I wasn't giving anyone money to buy crack. They saw my eyes and eventually noticed my hand postion and attitude and bailed in a hurry. I didn't have to hurt anyone because they knew for certain that I would.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this, but I believe I've heard that when LEO's are in a situation where non-lethal means of subduing a person are appropriate they will only do so if they are being backed up by another LEO who has lethal force ready. Makes sense. Unless I have a buddy with me that has their gun ready for when the pepper spray thing goes sideways, I will only rely on my lethal force option. Just my opinion.
 

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Appreciate the thoughts guys (and the Vegans thing is terrific!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
I carry pepper spray for left hand use and hand guns for right hand use.

Pepper spray is much more effective than a gun against a dog. Something to consider if you walk you dog in public places where strange dogs happen to travel unleashed.

Pepper spray can bridge that gap when you feel you are overpowered but cannot justify the use of a gun.

There was a case on Long Island about 30 years ago where a off duty volunteer fire fighter was attacked by a gang of youths. He pulled his licensed weapon an fired at them while he was knocked to the ground and being stomped. There were 5 gang members all around 15 years old. They were wearing sneakers.

The prosecutor said that he was justified shooting the first three, but two 15 year olds wearing sneakers did not represent a deadly physical threat and he had to stop shooting once the first three were out of commission.

I don't know the final outcome from this, but the fact remains that he got charged for shooting and had to hire a lawyer at the very least.

It is that gray area that pepper spray is useful for.

You can always put it in your car before the cops arrive and say it was not available when you were confronted.

I always carry pepper spray.

Would you shoot a 12 year old with a knife? Can you take it from him without getting hurt? Can you out run him? Pepper spray would be my weapon of choice against a child or a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I only carry my Glock and have always thought that if I draw it I would use it. However, it would depend on the situation if I would draw it or not. I would never draw it just as a deterant. One of the rules of carrying is if you draw and point, be ready to destroy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
I carry pepper spray for left hand use and hand guns for right hand use.

Pepper spray is much more effective than a gun against a dog. Something to consider if you walk you dog in public places where strange dogs happen to travel unleashed.

Pepper spray can bridge that gap when you feel you are overpowered but cannot justify the use of a gun.

There was a case on Long Island about 30 years ago where a off duty volunteer fire fighter was attacked by a gang of youths. He pulled his licensed weapon an fired at them while he was knocked to the ground and being stomped. There were 5 gang members all around 15 years old. They were wearing sneakers.

The prosecutor said that he was justified shooting the first three, but two 15 year olds wearing sneakers did not represent a deadly physical threat and he had to stop shooting once the first three were out of commission.

I don't know the final outcome from this, but the fact remains that he got charged for shooting and had to hire a lawyer at the very least.

It is that gray area that pepper spray is useful for.

You can always put it in your car before the cops arrive and say it was not available when you were confronted.

I always carry pepper spray.

Would you shoot a 12 year old with a knife? Can you take it from him without getting hurt? Can you out run him? Pepper spray would be my weapon of choice against a child or a dog.
child with a knife? attacking dog??? hell yes they are a threat to your life, read the papers , every week there is another dog attack and another killer kid.

this line of thinking really does amaze me.... you think pepper spray is effective on a dog, imagine a 9mm's effect. and i am sure i will get grief for this but a 12y/o with a knife IS prepared to kill you, if not, why the knife? save yourself, leave the pepper spray at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
child with a knife? attacking dog??? hell yes they are a threat to your life, read the papers , every week there is another dog attack and another killer kid.

this line of thinking really does amaze me.... you think pepper spray is effective on a dog, imagine a 9mm's effect. and i am sure i will get grief for this but a 12y/o with a knife IS prepared to kill you, if not, why the knife? save yourself, leave the pepper spray at home.
To stop a dog with a bullet you need to get a shot at the vital zond (very small) on a moving animal. Not easy.

On the otherhand, the spray only needs to be near the face of a dog to stop them as they have very sensitive membranes. Indeed the sprays intended for animals are much weaker than those intended for humans.

You can shoot a 12 year old kid. I won't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
To stop a dog with a bullet you need to get a shot at the vital zond (very small) on a moving animal. Not easy.

On the otherhand, the spray only needs to be near the face of a dog to stop them as they have very sensitive membranes. Indeed the sprays intended for animals are much weaker than those intended for humans.

You can shoot a 12 year old kid. I won't.
looks like yet another thing we disagree on....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,245 Posts
It's a personal choice that is likely to be different for each individual.
Well, if you are outside your home, at least in my jurisdiction, you better be in fear of your life, or in fear of grave bodily harm to your person if you choose to initiate deadly force. I believe that's common with most CCW laws. You may not have a duty to retreat, but, if I can walk away from a confrontation without the first two elements involved i would do so. I just don't think spraying people with pepper spray is the answer while carrying a concealed weapon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,070 Posts
OK, exactly how many young boys wearing sneakers constitute a deadly force and put one in fear of one's life?
At exactly what distance from your spleen does a 12-year-old with a knife stop being a child and, instead, becomes a fear-for-your-life deadly force?

I really would appreciate definite answers.
No mere speculation, please.

(Am I laying the sarcasm on too thickly here?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
OK, exactly how many young boys wearing sneakers constitute a deadly force and put one in fear of one's life?
At exactly what distance from your spleen does a 12-year-old with a knife stop being a child and, instead, becomes a fear-for-your-life deadly force?

I really would appreciate definite answers.
No mere speculation, please.

(Am I laying the sarcasm on too thickly here?)
According to the prosecutor, three 15 year-olds wearing sneakers is deadly physical force; two of the same drops below that threshold.

What if one was wearing boots? What if it were a different prosecutor? What if the guy was not an active fire fighter, but a 66 year old retiree? Who knows.

As for shooting a 12 year-old. If he were threatening a third party I would find it in me to protect that party by using a gun. If he were threatening me, I'd take my chances (still pretty good) that I could disarm him without use of a gun.

But which is more troubling? Getting killed in a fight, or living with the fact that you killed a child?

Years ago I pulled a young woman and her child from a burning car. Everyone nearby (and there were plenty of them) kept yelling at me, "Keep back--it's going to blow!"

After I got them out, but before the fire trucks arrives, the car burst into full conflagration. So what if I waited and they both died? How would I feel now knowing that in fact I did have enough time to get them out and I let them roast? So I took a chance to avoid that guilt. It worked out OK for everyone.

For a 12 year old with a knife, I'd take a chance too.

So I'm not telling anyone not to shoot children. Go ahead and shoot all the children you want. I'm only saying that I won't (with the possible exception as listed above--which pepper spray might resolve in any event.)
 

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
971 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In reference to Steve's comment; I don't think there is a hard and fast line, either for the legal question or for the personal one. I do think however, there are some threats I might want to deter rather than stop (lethally).

I don't see it as productive in hashing out the multitudes of scenarios everyone can dream up, or what exactly constitutes them, but what your response would be to an aggression that is not life threatening? One that you can not address with a gun (assuming brandishing is not an option).

Take your chances and hope you don't lose the firearm? Hope for a practical means of retreat? Or perhaps justify all threats as potentially life threatening, despite the remote possibility.

Seems to me that a spray might come in handy for that grey area. At the very least, I may have occasion to use it in my chili... :smt033
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
if you have already decided in your mind a list of situations or conditions that you will never use your weapon, might as well just leave it at home. ones willingness to use our firearms for self protection IS the deterent, not the gun..... the mindset that says :

"YES I WILL!" is what will keep you safe .....

"well i might, but only if...." has never stopped anyone
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top