So Breda found this stupid ring that gives an attacker a wiff of pepper spray. It looks like a generally bad device, and what’s said there is all that needs to be said about this POS. Sebastian also talked about it, and also agrees the ring is worthless. That’s not what I’m talking about, I take issue in this:
I still think it’s a good idea to carry OC. There’s a whole lot of force between harsh language and hot lead that pepper spray helps fill. One can imagine situations where someone is in desperate need of being in pain, but gunfire would not be legally justified. For instance, someone stealing the radio in your car: if you shoot him, you’re going to jail.
Sorry Seb, can’t agree. First let’s just get the value of less-lethal devices out of the way be going back to my old post here. The effective stopping power of Tasers and Chemical spays is effectivly zero. Even if they work they’ll only give you a few seconds to remedy the situation before the attacker can continue the attack. For non-lethal situations, you’re now the bad guy. Somebody stealing the radio out of your car, as Sebastian suggested. Maybe you’ll stop the theft, maybe you’ll piss off somebody who was only interested in your radio, and convince him your blood might be a worthwhile endeavor.
As I have said there, here, and everywhere. You should be walking away or drawing your gun. If you can walk away you should, if you’re not in a position to walk away, then you can justify lethal force. Sebastian responds.
Basically, if you say stop, and he keeps escalating, you’re free to go immediately to spray. If you go immediately to gunfire, you better hope he has a weapon so you can make a plausible story for your $400 dollar an hour defense attorney to tell to police. Basically, if he’s escalating, you have to wait until he’s a deadly threat before you can resort to deadly force. Why should that be your only option? Sure, you can try to walk away, or run, but what if he pursues or wants to fight you?
You can’t shoot someone who wants to engage in a fist fight, and not expect to shell out six figures for a lawyer to defend you in court. Especially where we live. If you can end the fight with spray, it’s a preferable option, and less dangerous than a fist fight.
I didn’t respond on his comments mostly because the topic had gone in another direction and is quite long, and I don’t feel like having him chase my rebuttals all across a 20+ comment post. He’ll see my trackback, and if he wants to defend his statement here, that would be awesome.
First up there’s a false dichotomy. Yes, shooting an unarmed attacker is a messy legal issue (of course it can be very much less messy if it is multiple unarmed attacker, or there is an age or size difference, or if it happens that said aggressor is a well known thug ect ect) but Sebastian seems to suggest that dosing an aggressive person with pepper somehow won’t result in a messy legal battle.
Your pepper could piss off an otherwise posturing thug and suddenly having him charging you looking for blood. Now you have to choose how to defend yourself, do you attempt to use fists, or maybe a pocket knife, or do you go for the gun? You’re also going to now have to worry about maintaining control of your gun in case its discovered and your attacker attempts to grab it.
Also even if the person runs away, I would strongly recommend you call 911, as using pepper spray or a Taser is still assault. Will the police like your story or will you be charged? If you don’t call will your attacker attempt to call the police on you?
Its a mess either way, or potentially not a mess at all. (Say if you end up shooting a 300 Prison yard Monster who was released last week from the pen on a 5 year sentence for raping livestock to death, and the coroner found meth, coke, ibogaine, rogaine, midol, and jolt cola in his system…or the less hyperbolic gang of 5 drunk hoodlums looking to bother an innocent person)
Its my advice that you don’t clutter your belt, or your mind (If you are concerned about your safety you should not be weighing the situation on what you should reach for. Much simpler to reach, or not reach) with excessive tools for various situations. Instead I recommend:
#1. Carry a gun. If you can’t or won’t, carry a defensive knife like the ka-Bar TDI
#2. Avoid confrontation. If you see somebody acting aggressive, or otherwise irrational STAY AWAY from them. If you see somebody stealing property and you’d rather not escalate it to a deadly force scenario, LEAVE THEM BE and call the Police. (I’ll let others decide what where and when property is worth lethal force)
#3. If you are directly confronted by somebody de-escalate. Walk away, inform your accosted that you are walking away and have no desire to have a confrontation. If this somehow compromises your masculinity or self-esteem you shouldn’t be carrying weapons, and likely shouldn’t be considered an adult. I have a gun on me, and I’d rather not shoot anybody…if this makes a drunk asshole think I’m a “pussy” or a “wimp”, why the hell do I care? A night when nobody gets hurt is a good night. My feelings don’t count. Spraying or tasing somebody has just as much a chance of escalating the situation as it does to stop it. Also use of less lethal force is use of force, so you are now the assailant. This can be legally justified, but it can also be legally challenged.
#4. If you are unable to walk away (being forced to run can be a very tricky situation, and you do NOT want to be in a sprinting contest with somebody of unknown ability who is considered a threat), you ARE in a deadly force scenario. You CAN be beaten to death. You CAN have your gun taken from you, you do not know what weapons your assailant has or can acquire. (A loose piece of concrete while you are rolling on the ground can end your life just as easily as a .44 in his waistband), if you still have the advantage of distance from your assailant draw your weapon and request to be left alone. If they advance on a loaded weapon drawn by somebody who has already attempted to avoid confrontation, SHOOT THEM. Let the law sort things out, rather than you trying to figure out how to get a street fighter off your back while retaining control of your gun without him killing you.
There is already so much that has gone wrong before you even drew your gun that you will likely have a good case. Of course your case is going to be worse if you didn’t follow all those steps. If you confront the drunk asshole who hasn’t noticed you, you’re now in a bit of trouble if you end up shooting him. If you decide to talk tough in hopes that the person yelling obscenities at you will back down and cave to your alpha-dog swagger…well you’re going to have a tough case if this escalates to you shooting him. If you don’t attempt to escape when an avenue is available to you, and/or give verbal commands and/or warnings, and simply draw and fire when accosted, you’re in trouble.
The above steps are means to allow your attacker to escalate force to a point where they leave you little option but to fear for your life. If you take great steps to avoid deadly confrontations, when one DOES happen to you, you’ll be on good legal grounds.
And again, DO NOT CARRY PEPPER SPRAY OR TASERS!