It Starts With a Punch


armyman_83

lowly crusader
I know there a tons of "What if's" but I have one thing that still lurks in my mind.

We all know that there are situations which clearly warrent deadly physical force. Someone breaking into your home, someone trying to carjack you, someone trying to rob you, etc.

What about the simple argument that turns into a punch?

I am assuming that as the law abiding citizen we aren't going to be the ones to start any kind of a physical altercation. But assuming that someone else takes a small matter and turns it into a big one. What kind of force is allowed by law for someone who throws a punch at you?

I live in Alabama and I belive that I would be well within my right to shoot a person who threw a punch at me. Maybe it seems unfair, why not just duke it out? But who is to say that by choosing to defend myself with only my hands won't lead to a worse situation, i.e. the perp obtaining my firearm? Or should you draw and order the person to the ground? (I am a firm believer in pulling your firearm only when you are going to use it.)

Take this example:

Your at dinner with you friends, wife, girlfriend, mistress :)no:) or whom ever. For some reason or another a man verbally insults you, or is extremely rude. You correct him politely, stating you want no trouble and wish to remain in peace. Being in a public place, (in Alabama) you have NO duty to retreat.

The guy won't back down, he is determined to piss you off further, and cause a ruckus. You politely remind him that you are here merely to enjoy your meal. You don't instigate at all, but merely inform the person of your right to be there, maybe you throw in that you have the right to defend yourself should unlawful force be used against you. He doesn't buy your attempt to play the street lawyer and he finally has enough and throws a punch.

Either way, being hit (assuming your not knocked out), or if you dodge. Would you be within your legal right to put two in his chest one in his head? You can't let him just beat you to a pulp, but you don't want to resort to pulling your firearm before things are clearly on your side of the law. In Alabama I believe that one would be in total accordance with the Code of Alabama to defend yourself using deadly physical force. It might not look too great, but I think you would have legal standing. Shooting an unarmed man seems lowly and bully like. But if he is the aggessor then his blood be upon his own head.

There are lots of different options but some things are just unacceptable. Leaving a public place, where you have every legal right to be, because of some low life--unacceptable.

Not every perp is a gun toting, ski mask clad monster in a dark ally in the middle of the night. Knowing when to shoot is part of knowing how to shoot. Thoughts?
 

H

handgonnetoter

Guest
I know there a tons of "What if's" but I have one thing that still lurks in my mind.

We all know that there are situations which clearly warrent deadly physical force. Someone breaking into your home, someone trying to carjack you, someone trying to rob you, etc.

What about the simple argument that turns into a punch?

I am assuming that as the law abiding citizen we aren't going to be the ones to start any kind of a physical altercation. But assuming that someone else takes a small matter and turns it into a big one. What kind of force is allowed by law for someone who throws a punch at you?

I live in Alabama and I belive that I would be well within my right to shoot a person who threw a punch at me. Maybe it seems unfair, why not just duke it out? But who is to say that by choosing to defend myself with only my hands won't lead to a worse situation, i.e. the perp obtaining my firearm? Or should you draw and order the person to the ground? (I am a firm believer in pulling your firearm only when you are going to use it.)

Take this example:

Your at dinner with you friends, wife, girlfriend, mistress :)no:) or whom ever. For some reason or another a man verbally insults you, or is extremely rude. You correct him politely, stating you want no trouble and wish to remain in peace. Being in a public place, (in Alabama) you have NO duty to retreat.

The guy won't back down, he is determined to piss you off further, and cause a ruckus. You politely remind him that you are here merely to enjoy your meal. You don't instigate at all, but merely inform the person of your right to be there, maybe you throw in that you have the right to defend yourself should unlawful force be used against you. He doesn't buy your attempt to play the street lawyer and he finally has enough and throws a punch.

Either way, being hit (assuming your not knocked out), or if you dodge. Would you be within your legal right to put two in his chest one in his head? You can't let him just beat you to a pulp, but you don't want to resort to pulling your firearm before things are clearly on your side of the law. In Alabama I believe that one would be in total accordance with the Code of Alabama to defend yourself using deadly physical force. It might not look too great, but I think you would have legal standing. Shooting an unarmed man seems lowly and bully like. But if he is the aggessor then his blood be upon his own head.

There are lots of different options but some things are just unacceptable. Leaving a public place, where you have every legal right to be, because of some low life--unacceptable.

Not every perp is a gun toting, ski mask clad monster in a dark ally in the middle of the night. Knowing when to shoot is part of knowing how to shoot. Thoughts?
Good question. I think there are so many variables in this type of situation, that there is no way to tell.
 

JJFlash

New member
Yeah, this is a tough one. I know of at least 2 people who have been beat to death. So, even tho I'm a big guy, trained in martial arts, who knows how to defend himself, I'm quite reluctant these days to engage in a "wrassle" match with some numbnuts. Only takes one good punch or kick to the head and you're done.

What to do?

Assuming push has come to shove, if I see an opportunity to end it fast with a single strike, I might be tempted. I'm fairly confident that if I can get an optimal punch or kick in, it's over. I might also be tempted to draw my piece. I know some guys think that if the weapon comes out, it gets used. However, I see nothing wrong with pulling your firearm "to the ready". Now, if idiot proceeds to escalate, now's the time...

Lots of variables. I'm 6'2", 290 lbs. That's gonna work against me, I'm sure, even tho I'm older, assuming Mr. Numbnuts is smaller. Matter of fact, we're schooled in martial arts to know that if you jack somebody and they die, or are seriously injured, you're in trouble. Just like using your piece.

Hopefully, there'd be witnesses who'd back your story and all that, but even so, it's a tough call.

I, like you, am not predisposed to tucking tail and leaving. So, in for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. For sure, it's gonna be a legal and financial hassle, unless it's real clearcut. Others will argue that it would be best to swallow your pride and clear out, which is probably the best advice. It'd be hard for me, tho.
 

armyman_83

lowly crusader
Yeah, this is a tough one. I know of at least 2 people who have been beat to death. So, even tho I'm a big guy, trained in martial arts, who knows how to defend himself, I'm quite reluctant these days to engage in a "wrassle" match with some numbnuts. Only takes one good punch or kick to the head and you're done.

What to do?

Assuming push has come to shove, if I see an opportunity to end it fast with a single strike, I might be tempted. I'm fairly confident that if I can get an optimal punch or kick in, it's over. I might also be tempted to draw my piece. I know some guys think that if the weapon comes out, it gets used. However, I see nothing wrong with pulling your firearm "to the ready". Now, if idiot proceeds to escalate, now's the time...

Lots of variables. I'm 6'2", 290 lbs. That's gonna work against me, I'm sure, even tho I'm older, assuming Mr. Numbnuts is smaller. Matter of fact, we're schooled in martial arts to know that if you jack somebody and they die, or are seriously injured, you're in trouble. Just like using your piece.

Hopefully, there'd be witnesses who'd back your story and all that, but even so, it's a tough call.

I, like you, am not predisposed to tucking tail and leaving. So, in for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. For sure, it's gonna be a legal and financial hassle, unless it's real clearcut. Others will argue that it would be best to swallow your pride and clear out, which is probably the best advice. It'd be hard for me, tho.
Yeah I think the natural reaction would be to come to blows physically. I hope I would act in the right manner, but if I do pull out my weapon I am pretty sure its gonna end in a Mozambique drill on the guy. Hopefully.

I think your right that it might be a legal and financial hassle, but honestly I would waive my right to a trail by jury (if it even went to court) and would entrust a judge. I think a judge would have a better understanding of the Law, rather than the DA turning it into a "he shot an unarmed man in a brawl" kind of a situation. The sheep called the jury love tears and hate bullies. Doesn't matter if your right, some juries are just stupid.

I recommend no one turn tail and run, we both agree on that. If its your right to be there--its your right. Screw some pompus thug or some Bad A wanna be.



@ Handgonnetoter--The main idea is--would you should someone who tried to fist fight you. And attacked you first. Most questions on here seem simple--shoot a robber? (of course) Shoot a guy breaking in (yes). Shoot an armed man attacking you (yes).....but shoot an unarmed non drug induced man attacking you after a verbal upset....
 

tcox4freedom

New member
Ok;
The 1st thing that comes to mind (in this particular scenario), is NOT to engage this guy in anyway whatsoever; after the initial confrontation. (Remember, it takes TWO to argue or fight.)

I would report him to management if I were in a resturaunt or store. If in a bar, I ask the barmaid to find security. If on the street, I find a store or place of business and move inside. (Witnesses can be your friend and a deterant)

I've actually had something similar happen to me on several occassions. Once, while working as head of security in a redneck/biker bar, I had a woman come up to the owners table where I was setting and ask me to dance.

After the dance, her sig-other came up and started some crap. I remained seated and apologized and told him I didn't realized she was there with anyone (true) and offered to get a pitcher for the table. This didn't work; and he attempted to get closer and in my face. But, my head bouncer and the owners son realized what was happening and before this guy knew what hit him he was out the door.

I found out later that his girl had come over to me just to piss off this guy because they had been in an argument.

The point is:
I did not "run"!
I just did NOT allow myself to be sucked in; and a BAD situation was averted. (I had a rep for putting billy badasses, who started trouble in the hospital.)

Another time I was dancing with "MY" girlfriend; when another guy comes at my back with a switchblade. But, the same friend and bouncer tackled him just as he reached the dance floor. (But, I digress.)
 

GRiddle

New member
Unfortunately in the world we live in, we have to be aware of these sort of things.

However - I'll be damned if going to jail is going to stop me from protecting myself against deadly fists of someone bigger than me. I'd much rather be alive and try to defend myself in court than dead on the street.

The problem with taking the punches and not drawing your weapon - the minute your weapon is revealed, what is stopping the attacker from grabbing it and putting a few in you?
 

-06

New member
A good friend has two different black belts. We were sparring and I asked him if he had ever had to engage anyone. He said that a bit of swallowing of pride or simply walking away had kept him from ever having to. It made me start thinking why I was taking Kung Fu. I was actually just waiting for an excuse to hurt some idiot and that is not the way a Christian is supposed to think. That realization changed my thinking drastically. I have carried most of my life(65 now) and have never fired at anyone as a civilian. As for shooting someone who only had his fists you might be in great legal trouble unless he had registered training. In NC, the CC classes say that you can only use deadly force if your life is in danger. I certainly do not intend on being assaulted by some idiot wanting to show off or needing his testosterone level soothed but my last intention would be to kill him. Death is permanent and if you can I would certainly avoid ending some jerks life over something that could be settled differently. I would not hesitate to fire if life or limb was in danger but again, it is a last option.
 

Edsworld

New member
bodily harm! Nobody has the right to harm you! Weapon or no weapon! Never let them hit you! That one punch could kill you. Size of agressor does not matter. When all is said and done you walked away alive.
 

mpohio

New member
Most people don't get "punched" or harrased, unless they have participated in the altercation. As stated above, it takes two to tango. As a CCP holder, you have a higher degree of responsibility than the average joe to avoid these situations if possible.

I understand you only have but a few seconds to make a decision, but you have think of the consequences. If you shoot an unarmed man, you had better make sure you did everything you could to avoid it. If he survives or has friends with him, you know damn well the story will be greatly different than yours. I image you will be in a heap of trouble unless you handle it correctlly. Even then, you will still probably be sued, detained or even arrested.

I thought about this before for awhile before I posted this.

If it was some A-hole who was hell bent on hurting me or had already puncked me, I would try to take these steps and use deadly force as a last resort.
1.) put as much space as possible between the two of you as the situation will allow.(back up a few steps, put a table in between you...)
2.) put my hand on my Firearm and announce as loud as I can. I carry a gun and I will use it to defend myself, I don't want trouble.(making sure as many people hear you as possible.
3.) Yell, "someone call 911 now"
4.) If the aggressor persists or comes at you, draw your weapon without pointint at him(unless he is charging) and this time yell, I will defend myself if you come any closer. Repeat: Someone call 911.
5.) Shoot or holster my weapon. (just try not to kill anybody else behind him)

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot someone to protect myself, but I have to remember that I had better have some creditible witnesses. If you just draw your gun and shoot someone that punches you, I can't see it turning out too well.

.
 

Legion7actual

New member
Not Just Guns

Instead of a "lurking question" look at it as an opportunity...to try out alternate approaches. I carry a Kimber .45 just about everywhere I go, but I ALSO have pepper spray, a 1 million volt ZapLight from Cabelas and a knife for everyday utilities. Give yourself more options than just a firearm. Nothing would be funnier than some jerk getting froggy, touching me, and getting sprayed and junk-punched for his trouble. If that doesn't stop an assault I don't know what will, and I would be a veritable "god" among my friends. The zaplight is sweet, the cops here use 50K volts, this is 1 MILLION, and it is a great little rechargeable flashlight as well. I picked one up, and 7 of my friends now have them too. A couple are cops. The cops don't pull people over and either let them go, write a ticket or shoot them, they have multiple levels to escalate to. It would look WAY better in a court if it went to shooting that you tried other means first. I don't know about you, but pepper spray to the face and a shot to the junk would stop me from thinking about further actions! The mere sight of that Zaplight firing off would also be enough to stop any sane person as well.

Stay safe, keep your options open, and...

MOLON LABE
 

Austin

New member
Unless you could articulate extremely well that your life was in danger I wouldnt shoot. I think that most people carry something in addition to a firearm. I know that i carry a very small can of inferno pepper spray from Cold Steel as well as a firearm.

I wouldnt want to be sitting in the hot seat in a courthouse answering why i "murdered an unarmed man."

Thats just my opinion
 

kelcarry

New member
Someone punches you in an altercation that you did not start and want no part of and you pull out your CC firearm and shoot him you are going to prison if I am on a jury--period/end of story, unless you can convince me that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily injury--sorry--in my book a punch does not measure up.If the punching continues--may be another story but very iffy circumstances. Sure as heck would not wait until I am barely conscious to defend myself---where that point is--that is the problem, but it is not, IMO. on the first punch. Let me say, however, that I wish you could and I wish I could, but being CC has its burdens as well as its advantages and this is one of the burdens.
 

Islander

New member
Someone punches you in an altercation that you did not start and want no part of and you pull out your CC firearm and shoot him you are going to prison if I am on a jury--period/end of story, unless you can convince me that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily injury--sorry--in my book a punch does not measure up.If the punching continues--may be another story but very iffy circumstances. Sure as heck would not wait until I am barely conscious to defend myself---where that point is--that is the problem, but it is not, IMO. on the first punch. Let me say, however, that I wish you could and I wish I could, but being CC has its burdens as well as its advantages and this is one of the burdens.
I guess we need to define whether this is a simple "hit and wait' or an attack. Somebody attacks anyone who is minding their business and they shoot the attacker is going free if I'm on the jurry. Since we need unanimous verdict to convict, hopefully you and I will be on the same jury.

It is not up to someone who is being attacked to know whether or not the attacker is going to continue until they are dead. STOP THE THREAT. Probably in SC, with our VERY strong Castle Doctrine, you would have a hard time convicting, depending of course on the circumstance.
 

kerb

pinche gringo
Unless I can draw and shoot before the other guy can get close enough to touch me, my weapon is staying holstered for my own safety.

Definitely staying holstered if he is close enough to throw a punch.

If I can get enough distance between us so that this is not the case, then it could probably be argued that the person is not a lethal threat unless he is armed.
 

armyman_83

lowly crusader
Someone punches you in an altercation that you did not start and want no part of and you pull out your CC firearm and shoot him you are going to prison if I am on a jury--period/end of story, unless you can convince me that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily injury--sorry--in my book a punch does not measure up.If the punching continues--may be another story but very iffy circumstances. Sure as heck would not wait until I am barely conscious to defend myself---where that point is--that is the problem, but it is not, IMO. on the first punch. Let me say, however, that I wish you could and I wish I could, but being CC has its burdens as well as its advantages and this is one of the burdens.
Interesting. You would convict a man if he happen to react fast enough after the first punch is thrown at him?

But in the same breath you admit you wouldn't let someone beat you to within an inch of life.....:wacko:

Luckily in Alabama assult is considered a viable reason to defend yourself with deadly physcial force. After any punch is thrown at me, I will react accordingly. Who is to say that he would stop after just the first punch?

And I will choose a judge rather than a jury--someone who knows the law.

As a CC holder, we have the rights of every other American. The right to not turn tail and run after some bully encounter. Never let your rights be denied because of wrong doers.
 

fudo

New member
You should remember that if you act rashly, you may find yourself locked in a cage with a guy named Tyrone that thinks you're cute.
If you shoot, make sure you had no reasonable alternative. There is very little common sense in the system these days.:angry:
 
What about the simple argument that turns into a punch?
This begs the question: What were you arguing about in the first place? No "simple" argument goes to blows. If it does, it is considered mutual combat. There is no legal definition for one combatant being disadvataged by size or Karate, invoking the "gun" option. Any introduction of fatal firearms discharge by only one armed combatant will find that gun owner guilty of murder by a judge, jury, the court of public opinion or any rational person who "knows the law."

No grey area there at all.
 

Austin

New member
Shoot an unarmed person and you are going to a PMITA prison. Period.

If we are carrying with a concealed license we are not Law Enforcement, we dont have a "duty" to do anything but try to get us and our family the heck outta there and give the authorities a good description. Therefor anything we do we are liable for.

There will never be a day that: he was bigger than me, i was scared, he could kill me, he started it. Is going to be a legit reason to murder someone that is unarmed.

Solution: Either carry other options (pepper spray), or learn other options (self defense techniques). Get off the couch and get into the gym. Dont tell me you dont have time, you are sitting here right now wasting it.
 

armyman_83

lowly crusader
This begs the question: What were you arguing about in the first place? No "simple" argument goes to blows. If it does, it is considered mutual combat. There is no legal definition for one combatant being disadvataged by size or Karate, invoking the "gun" option. Any introduction of fatal firearms discharge by only one armed combatant will find that gun owner guilty of murder by a judge, jury, the court of public opinion or any rational person who "knows the law."

No grey area there at all.
I am not saying that you are started any argument. I said that if you are, more or less, approached or hasseled by someone. I didn't say if you picked a fight would you finish it with a double tap, of course that is both morally wrong, and unlawful.


Actually I am sure that according to Alabama State Law I can shoot an unarmed man if they are attacking me. From the Code of Alabama:
Section 13A-6-20
Assault in the first degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if:

(1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes serious physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

(2) With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person; or


Section 13A-6-21
Assault in the second degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if the person does any of the following:

(1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he or she causes serious physical injury to any person.

(2) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he or she causes physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

Section 13A-3-23
Use of force in defense of a person.
(a) A person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person pursuant to subdivision (4), if the person reasonably believes that another person is:

(1) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.

(2) Using or about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling while committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling.

(3) Committing or about to commit a kidnapping in any degree, assault in the first or second degree, burglary in any degree, robbery in any degree, forcible rape, or forcible sodomy.

(4) In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his or her will from any dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using the deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring.


The law in Alabama allows one to defend himself, and others. It states nowhere that a bad guy must be armed. An unlawful attack--is just that---an unlawful attack.


@ Austin: As an American Citizen and as a Citizen of Alabama I have no "Duty" to retreat from anywhere I am able to legally be. To retreat in the face of unlawful and unabatted rage and hostile actions is nothing less than cowardice. Granted, perhaps there is a time to withdraw, if you know that the situation would be hopeless. (i.e. ten gang bangers vs. me and wify/girlfriend/mistress/kiddies/group of kittens/etc.) But in public, where one has a right to legally be, retreat should rarely be an option. Unlawful acts should be met with lawful force.
 

kelcarry

New member
Hey armyman: As you can see from the replies, there are other forum members who are not "wacko". Certainly would be appreciated if you did not degrade yourself by having to resort to such terms. You have taken my words and instead of appreciating their tone, you have made them sound like all I am doing is counting "punches". If you consider one punch an imminent threat to your life or great bodily injury, have at it--kill the aggressor. If in the course of this "one punch" it appears evident that this aggressor has a lot more in mind and I truly feel a "presumption that my life is threatened", I will act accordingly. You mention that in Alabama assault is cause. Do you have the definition of assault? My understanding of assault, albeit "simple assault", is when you place your hands on someone. Following thru--if I poke you in the chest or just push you, you will kill me and Alabama will back you up. I think, based on other replies that fall on your side and my side that there is a gray area and it is up to you to FULLY appreciate when you TRULY feel threatened--this is a responsibility you have when you are CC and to "knee jerk" with an answer that says you will kill at the drop of a dime is, IMO, not responsible.
 

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