How far away is does a person have to be to be a threat?


I'd like to add fuel to the fire here with a new WHAT-IF:

Say it's dark, vision is limited. A sketchy looking character charges DIRECTLY at you, full throttle, from 30 feet away. You KNOW you are being attacked by some means / with some intention, and you fear for your safety, for your very life. But you don't know if this guy coming at you is young or old, armed or unarmed... you're not even certain yet if he's acting alone. It's a blitz attack, and in another second & a half, he'll be on you.
What are you going to do?

In NC, it's an eminent threat of death or great bodily harm or sexual assault. If either of those apply, go bang. Don't wait too long, the attacker will be upon you in an instant. Each person feels different. What I think is an eminent threat of death, or great bodily harm, someone else, might not see it as a threat at all. that's a decision that each individual must make own his own. I tell my students to rehearse in their mind different situations and be ready to react and never let an attacker get within arms length. If he has a knife, you could have a cut throat.
 

I'd like to add fuel to the fire here with a new WHAT-IF:

Say it's dark, vision is limited. A sketchy looking character charges DIRECTLY at you, full throttle, from 30 feet away. You KNOW you are being attacked by some means / with some intention, and you fear for your safety, for your very life. But you don't know if this guy coming at you is young or old, armed or unarmed... you're not even certain yet if he's acting alone. It's a blitz attack, and in another second & a half, he'll be on you.
What are you going to do?

What ifs are good... A good tactical flashlight is a great addition to any "survival kit". You could see the weapon if he/she has one. Also works to disorient them when the light is in their eyes. It could give you the needed time to get the other tool out (knife or firearm) or at least side step the knockdown, which could be their weapon and a good light, will give you a clearer sight picture.

Kind of hard to say what would or could happen in this case. Blitzkrieg is a very effective way to create confusion and cause hesitation which will work in the attackers favor.
Etymology: German, from Blitz= lightning + Krieg= war...

Chances are if the assailant is charging you, youth is at work here.

Most normal people intent on meeting you or making your acquaintance with peaceful intentions will approach you slowly. Again that’s most not all… So with someone charging at you, going to have to rule it threat and react quickly.
 
In Pennsylvania, the rule in general is that if you can retreat, you must retreat. Again, it's hard to draw real concrete lines on this issue.
At a "Non-Violent Crisis Intervention" training, I was told that at 20 to 30 feet away, an attacker could be on top of you before you could start evading/blocking,etc, depending on your reaction time and the attacker's leg muscles, drug use, psychosis, or all of the above.
 
From personal experience. I would say that you wont be measuring. If you want to survive and or protect . Stupid question.
 
From personal experience. I would say that you wont be measuring. If you want to survive and or protect . Stupid question.

Love it!

As for me it is simple; if I feel my life is at risk, I will defend my self. I don't care if you are 20' away with a rock, or 100 yards away with a rifle. or at my car window with a gun. A threat is a threat.
 
I was talking to a person last night that said that before they would draw and fire a threat woould have to be within 5 feet. I passed on that at 21 feet that it takes little over a second to close the distance etc. Stil this person was dead set on that distance.
Here is what I am wanting to know at what distance do you see a person a threat that would cause you to draw and then to fire?

I just read this initial post again and had a thought...

Measure your distance at any given time to the location of Barack Obama...:sarcastic: I'd call that a threat...:biggrin:
 
Studies say that most self-defense shootings take place within 5-7 feet. So chances are, it's gonna be personal and up close. But if I see a couple of guys with guns running across a street in my direction, it could be 10-15 yards. I do most of my range shooting at about 25 feet, with silhouettes...don't do a lot of target stuff. And I hope that I never have to pull my gun on anyone closer than that.
 
Obviously, thinking things through at the last minute won't work. One must decide way in advance what his options are, if he is willing to shoot another human being, if he (or she) can deal with the legal implications, and what his or her gates to that decision are. By gates, I mean something like nutnfancy's "unlock codes" or the USMC's Cooper Color Code. Tactical training with lots of fore-thinking will make the decision a matter of conditions and actions. For me, in this case, I KNOW I am being attacked and I KNOW I will be killed if I don't act. Fire!
 
I'd like to add fuel to the fire here with a new WHAT-IF:

Say it's dark, vision is limited. A sketchy looking character charges DIRECTLY at you, full throttle, from 30 feet away. You KNOW you are being attacked by some means / with some intention, and you fear for your safety, for your very life. But you don't know if this guy coming at you is young or old, armed or unarmed... you're not even certain yet if he's acting alone. It's a blitz attack, and in another second & a half, he'll be on you.
What are you going to do?

I am going to add a new twist to kevin's post.

A sketchy looking character is walking DIRECTLY towards you. You KNOW that you are going to be:
1. Asked for directions. 2. Pan handled. 3. Mugged. You have your favorite concealed handgun on your person.
What do you do?
 
I am going to add a new twist to kevin's post.

A sketchy looking character is walking DIRECTLY towards you. You KNOW that you are going to be:
1. Asked for directions. 2. Pan handled. 3. Mugged. You have your favorite concealed handgun on your person.
What do you do?

In low light condition.
Keep a hand on it. Ready to draw it and keep it close, with left hand holding a flashlight turn it on and light the character up. I know of no law that states you can't illuminate a stranger approaching you. It will indicate to them that you are aware of their presence. It will also serve to create blindness and may panic them. If they intend you harm they will be on edge and possibly nervous already. It will allow you to better ID them. Shooting a pan-handler or a lost pedestrian will get you in trouble. Need not say more...

In daylight condition.
Keep eyes focused on them and keep hand on the grip of your weapon. Keep them at a distance if possible do not back into a wall or other tight space. If possible move out of their path. If they redirect and attempt to cross paths or remain focused on you then I would have to say it's more than directions or loose pocket change they may be after. Move away with a purpose and keep checking their location. If they pursue its game on start dialing 911 now. If possible get to a place where other people are. Witnesses. If you are alone and no others are around and you are still being pursued, time to make a stand and let them know you are not the easy mark. Dial 911 quickly and report it if they flee. Dial 911 and report it if you have to shoot..

Just my opinion... with some input from LEO friends.
Good "What if?"...
 
I don't know the use of deadly force laws in every state, but i don't want to end up in court proving why i had to shoot an unarmed person. 6shooterCarry your LEO friends gave you some good advice, text shooting scenarios are fun and simple which makes great discussions, BUT COURT... they will turn you into Lee Harvey Oswald.

No one talks about the court end of shootings except those of us with experiences with LE shootings... whether you were the shooter, at the scene, or associated with the shooting.

If a person has a knife/bat at 20 ft verbally threatening you (in Public)... and you pull your weapon, and that person continues being aggressive, he's a kook, because he's now has a stick/knife at a gun fight.

But for the sake of argument, if you have no means of escape in this condition, i would start to move (not back stepping) while i'm covering him talking him down (keeping as much distance as i can) (not becoming a still target).

MY LAST OPTION... SHOOT, because i was in fear of my life, those are the words you live by in court, and you'll have to prove it too.

lawyers ask things like, could you have retreated to your car and lock the door and call 911, could you retreated to a public business for help, could you... did you... try to runaway to a safe place, could you have out-run your aggressor, could you have put something in-between you and him, a door, a fence, a wall, or climbed something to escape... did you have ANY alternatives other than shooting this man and killing him.

Yes... court is full of fun stuff.
 
Here's where I think having a "warrior" mentality comes into play. A person who is serious about personal self-defense, IMHO, should be doing more than just strapping on a firearm. Think martial arts training of some sort. I am older now but have quite a few years of such training under my belt, so personally, if someone is coming on me fast and I can't tell if they're armed or not, I'd probably a) run or b) trust my motor skills to provide some sort of defense (palm strike to the face, e.g.) which would give me additional precious seconds to make a further determination of the threat.

Just me, but I think all CCW holders ought to have such training, in addition to tactical/defensive handgun training. In the scenarios, described above, I believe that the "average" CCW holder could be in a world of hurt. I could be, also, but I've maximized my chances of staying alive as best I can.

My .02 cents.

The true warrior trains for battle and prays for peace.
 
I was talking to a person last night that said that before they would draw and fire a threat woould have to be within 5 feet. I passed on that at 21 feet that it takes little over a second to close the distance etc. Stil this person was dead set on that distance.
Here is what I am wanting to know at what distance do you see a person a threat that would cause you to draw and then to fire?


Twenty one foot rule is a gap estimated by LE/open carry confrontation against a target armed with a knife, think again if your weapon is conceal, its winter, and you're wearing a coat/gloves.

As you go about your day carrying or not, run scenarios in your head during your activities and assess your reactions.
 
lawyers ask things like, could you have retreated to your car and lock the door and call 911, could you retreated to a public business for help, could you... did you... try to runaway to a safe place, could you have out-run your aggressor, could you have put something in-between you and him, a door, a fence, a wall, or climbed something to escape... did you have ANY alternatives other than shooting this man and killing him.

Yes... court is full of fun stuff.

Good advice, but this is where having a good attorney would pay off:

I couldn't speculate about if I could have done this, or if I could have done that, because its speculation. Sitting nervously in a courtroom while being grilled by some prosecutor is still less stressful than being charged by some junkie with a knife.

my answer to the above questions would be "NO" if there were a way to escape the attack, I would have. I was trained to use my firearm as a last resort, and that's what this was, my last resort before being killed.


PS: Stand your ground laws are good and well on the books, BUT the prosecution in criminal/civil is still looking to paint you as a vigilante.
 
Hey Y'all: Seems like the 21 ft rule seems to have the most support. Leaving that aside, in SC the real key is "presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm". "Presumption" and "reasonable" have very different meanings probably to all of us and therein lies the problem if you are CC. Tough calls all the way around and a great deal of responsibilty being assumed by all of us who are CC. I have started practicing point shooting and even hip shooting which could give me a slight edge in response. Bringing a firearm to full extension and sighting it leaves a lot of time expended and also puts you in a vulnerable position with your firearm out in front of you. In addition, my little pocket gun has almost non-existent sights as do many of the little mousies out there. As a suggestion, learn more about point shooting with your CCW--it probably makes more sense than being able to target shoot accurately at 20-100 ft or more.
 
I was talking to a person last night that said that before they would draw and fire a threat woould have to be within 5 feet. I passed on that at 21 feet that it takes little over a second to close the distance etc. Stil this person was dead set on that distance.
Here is what I am wanting to know at what distance do you see a person a threat that would cause you to draw and then to fire?

I train with tactics against... passive threat, and defined threat. location/time is a variable, but for the sake of discussion, a person approaching from 100-200 feet is a threat, passive, but a threat, because you have know way of knowing intent. A defined threat is a person approaching at 100-200 feet with weapon/aggression/verbal/intent to do harm.

A passive threat at 200 feet, you eye-ball, observe, if at anytime/distance your target becomes life threatening... according to your state's guide lines you draw. You can't draw on a person, or to the ready position because someone is approaching you, i would think most states require some reason to believe fear of life, or imminent danger of harm, depending on your state laws.

In short... at the time/distance you feel danger or fear of life, you draw/fire. Its hard to draw a line in the sand what that distance is.
 
Hewy gunsite: I apologize if my comments are not correctly directed to your reply but when you talk 100 ft or 200 ft you are talking about distances that firstly can be mitigated by moving, running, hiding etc and not by standing there with drawn gun and deciding whether it is "passive" or "real". You are then going to decide whether the threat is, indeed, life threatening?--at that distance? Something just sounds wrong here--I cannot see your firearm out of your holster ready to be fired. You'd better hope that a jury would see this differently. Sorry if I am misinterpreting but I've got a problem with over 100 ft and thinking I am in that kind of danger when I can be yelling, moving, running, hiding, etc etc. I can appreciate having your "awareness button" on but that is about it.
 
Hewy gunsite: I apologize if my comments are not correctly directed to your reply but when you talk 100 ft or 200 ft you are talking about distances that firstly can be mitigated by moving, running, hiding etc and not by standing there with drawn gun and deciding whether it is "passive" or "real". You are then going to decide whether the threat is, indeed, life threatening?--at that distance? Something just sounds wrong here--I cannot see your firearm out of your holster ready to be fired. You'd better hope that a jury would see this differently. Sorry if I am misinterpreting but I've got a problem with over 100 ft and thinking I am in that kind of danger when I can be yelling, moving, running, hiding, etc etc. I can appreciate having your "awareness button" on but that is about it.

I'm not saying to take a shot 100-200 feet... but be aware, assess, and eyeball not in a paranoid or panic mode, but simply awareness mode. Many times over the years and still today when i'm in a restaurant, shopping, Malls, or anywhere in public with or without family, I"M ALWAYS ASSESSING, I assess in a low key uneventful way, its in my blood, its who i am, its what i've been, its like a 6th sense. I watch people (close/far), their moves, body language, hands, I watch their watching, and so on.

Example...

Always play defense... i can't name every scenario possible, but take the concept and incorporated to other situation. If i'm at the mall and walking/approaching my car, i'm eyeballing all the way, if i was standing out side my car hanging out waiting for my wife and a target starts walking towards me and i'm now in his path. At 150 feet from me i may have doubt, so i would i would move out of his pathway (passively), at some point if his intentions are no good, he'll have to commit his aggression to my altered position, and at this point i make my next move. My direction would commit him where i'm now his target.

The key to my statement is DOUBT, everyone has their own perception of a potential threat that are not defined, and there're many variables that would determined that. I would suggest if at all possible, DO NOT SHOOT ANYONE... stay out of court... do not put yourself in a position where you'll need a lawyer... If you give me a choice to shoot or run-away (escape)... i'd runaway every-time. (call 911)

If you go to court, even if your right/justified, you can be wrong, if your round misses or penetrates someone, or ricochets and hits someone, YOU OWN IT, YOUR LIBEL.

At some point you have to realize you can't be ready each and every-time, everyday, every minute of the day, and always be right. You try to maximize your protection and minimize your dangers and that's how should walk through life.

Let me end by saying, if your in fear of your life and left no choice... YOU SHOOT, and worry about everything else later.

The more training you get, the more you learn, the more you know, the more your able to learn.

I know sometimes thoughts and ideas are difficult to put on paper, so if you/anyone needs to ask/clear something up in regards to my post... feel free.


Good Luck
 
Hey gunsite: Absolutely agree with your last reply. I am 68 and NEVER have had anything happen that remotely resembles a need for a CCW. I lived in NYC and NJ, not exactly peace and love monasteries, but as an engineer I always felt that my brains and thought process were such that I was always looking ahead to all kinds of "what ifs" and it is that mental process and awareness that served me well. I do the same in my car--always looking in the rear mirror, the side mirror, trying to stay between traffic pockets, looking at front wheels as I pass for possible turning movements etc etc. Be safe gunsite and look forward to exchanging replies on this forum.
 

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