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Can you distinguish between brandishing and self-defense

This is a discussion on Can you distinguish between brandishing and self-defense within the CCW forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I've read many posts regarding "When can I shoot...". Most of the replies are reasonable and attempt to identify when it is appropriate to use ...


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Old June 10th, 2014, 12:56 PM   #1
 
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Can you distinguish between brandishing and self-defense

I've read many posts regarding "When can I shoot...". Most of the replies are reasonable and attempt to identify when it is appropriate to use a weapon in self-defense.

I still wonder about when do you cross the line and distinguish between "Brandishing" and "self-defense"? I have read not to fire warning shots and that guns can thwart off potential criminals. Seems to me there may be times warning shots could be a good idea.

I have also read read where it is allowable to provide equivalent defense to an attacker. But I also read where some draw a gun, present it with the intention of scaring off a criminal.

A couple examples that come to mind:

A potential criminal tells a guy in a convenient store is told to hand over money from a cash register (assume the criminal does not have a weapon). The clerk presents a gun from under the counter. Is that Brandishing or self-defense?

The guy that was sitting in his vehicle and another guy opened the passenger door and climbed into his car. The owner/driver pulled his gun and said "Sure you want to do this?". I don't totally recall but don't think the potential criminal had a weapon.

I think I know what I would do in most situations but never absolutely certain. If two people have guns there is a possibility only 1 may use it. When do you shoot first?

There are many similar situations and I think lots of members would love to hear some suggestions and other situations for comparison. No two situations will ever be exactly the same so it is all just information to consider.




Last edited by wittmeba; June 10th, 2014 at 12:59 PM.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:07 PM   #2
 
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I'm from the school, if your pulling it you best be prepared to pull the trigger. Never count on a bluff.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr40ken View Post
I'm from the school, if your pulling it you best be prepared to pull the trigger. Never count on a bluff.
Same, if I have to pull it, I will fear of bodily harm, or death, and I will use it. I look at it as I am reacting to a threat, I would think brandishing would be proactive, which you displayed your firearm first with out a viable threat. Just my opinion.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:25 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Sr40ken View Post
I'm from the school, if your pulling it you best be prepared to pull the trigger. Never count on a bluff.
+1
Pull it,,,,use it,,,,
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:26 PM   #5
 
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Well said, Tacky.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:29 PM   #6
 
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The legal consequence is going to vary in every state depending on their laws. In general don't pull a gun unless you need to pull the trigger.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:30 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by wittmeba View Post
. . . . . . If two people have guns there is a possibility only 1 may use it. When do you shoot first? . . . .
Absolutely, positively, unequivocally, always, FIRST!

Just funnin' with you wittmeba. I know your comments and desire to generate some discussion are serious but I couldn't resist. Look, I have to go out for a few hours now. But you've begun a good thread, so tomorrow morning I will give my serious comments and thoughts. Meanwhile, I'm sure you'll get lots of serious comments and opinions from many others.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #8
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I don't carry, for reasons best described as redheaded and female. But there have been a few times when I've retrieved my gun from the safe to "check out" a situation at home. And I've always kept the gun hidden while outside the house. With the exception of the "Walmart Walk".

My feelings echo those above. If my gun is in hand, it's ready to be used. I would much rather take aim and watch the assailant run for his life than pull the trigger, but if I do have it out, it will be ready for use.. So, I don't think it's ever ok to "brandish".
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:46 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Sr40ken View Post
I'm from the school, if your pulling it you best be prepared to pull the trigger. Never count on a bluff.
Yup...pretty much if I need it out...I need it, period! In Indiana, we don't necessarily have a 'brandishing' law...but we do have 'threatening' and 'intimidation' laws that have to be considered!

I consider myself to have/carry my weapon for 'self-defense' purposes...meaning, the only time I need it is if my life/well-being and/or a loved one's life/well-being is under imminent threat of serious bodily harm and/or death!

I don't want anyone to know I have it 'cause it's really none of their concern so I carry concealed 99% of the time!

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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:48 PM   #10
 
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Most laws and court decisions are based upon what a "reasonable" person would think or do in a given situation. If a reasonable person could articulate why they were in fear of serious bodily harm or death it should be reasonable to pull OR fire your weapon.

Displaying your weapon to "scare off" a possible assailant or firing warning shots would rarely be a good idea IMO however, no two situations are ever the same so never say never I guess.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amishman44 View Post
Yup...pretty much if I need it out...I need it, period!

In Indiana, we don't necessarily have a 'brandishing' law...but we do have 'threatening' and 'intimidation' laws that have to be considered!

I consider myself to have/carry my weapon for 'self-defense' purposes...meaning, the only time I need it is if my life/well-being and/or a loved one's life/well-being is under imminent threat of serious bodily harm and/or death!

I don't want anyone to know I have it 'cause it's really none of their concern so I carry concealed 99% of the time!
Indiana does have a criminal charge statute called "Pointing A Firearm" it is a felony if the gun is loaded, misdemeanor if not. Of course the charge SHOULD not apply if it was reasonable to point the weapon for protection purposes.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:53 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittmeba View Post

When do you shoot first?
When you feel the threat of bodily harm is present.
BTW, you need to check the laws in your state. Warning shots, in many states, are illegal.

Last edited by Thunderhawk; June 21st, 2014 at 10:10 AM.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 02:58 PM   #13
 
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I was hitch hiking from Camp Lejeune to Baltimore...the driver mislead me into believing he was headed for I-95 then proceeded to another route and was headed for Raleigh, NC. I asked him to let me out so I could get back on track and he refused saying I was going to Raleigh with him. I pulled my pistol out of my AWOL bag and pulled the hammer back and told him to pull over and let me out now. He wanted to argue with me but I convinced him it was in his best interest to let me go. I never attempted to hitch hike again.
You don't always have to shoot someone; sometimes the sight of a gun will make a person reconsider.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrontierTCB View Post
Indiana does have a criminal charge statute called "Pointing A Firearm" it is a felony if the gun is loaded, misdemeanor if not. Of course the charge SHOULD not apply if it was reasonable to point the weapon for protection purposes.
Great point...but only in a 'threatening' or 'intimidation' situation does this law apply. In a 'self-defense situation' the application of the statute is supposed to be mute!
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Old June 10th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #15
 
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Depending on the situation, option C would be to have your hand on it ready to pull, and at the same time yell at the bad guy to back off, that you have a gun and that you will use it. Then your not yet brandishing.

If he keeps coming, brandish away and shoot if you are forced to.

I don't agree with warning shots. Your responsible for where they go.
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