When is it legal to brandish a firearm?


Ziggy

New member
"No matter what the BG does, you're going to shoot? You're not going to wait to see if the threatening behavior ceases?"

How long do you wait? If you have time to wait, you have time to escape. If you had time to wait, it must have not been that 'imminent' a threat?

I just don't like the idea of pointing a gun at someone, or holding them at gunpoint, you see... I'm not a cop, I have no responsibility to talk them down or prolong my foray into harms-way. They either are an imminent lethal threat, or they are not.

Actually, no, if I have time to wait, I DO NOT have time to escape. As I have mentioned before, I carry for work. My work involves hiking in the oilpatch in the middle of nowhere, miles from my truck.
I like the idea of pointing a gun at someone, having them change their mind instead of getting shot, and having to explain myself to the police instead of having killed someone. I have EVERY responsibility to do whatever I can to avoid shooting someone.
I feel very sorry for the BG's who will encounter someone who will shoot them dead even if they turn and run, because they *were* an imminent threat.
 

molonlabetn

New member
One, open carry is highly inappropriate in many situations.
Two, deciding to not shoot unless the BG doesn't back down is not relying on a deterrence factor. Once again, no one has suggested drawing a gun without the intent to shoot if necessary.
Three, you're addressing only one of thousands of possible scenarios.
Four, well, yes, perhaps you have missed the multiple posts where it was said that no one is drawing without the intent to shoot. Are YOU one of those who will shoot, even if the BG turns around and runs when you draw? The fact is, "brandishing" a gun IS a deterrent.

*Who ever said anything about pulling a gun out without being in immenent danger, without the intent to fire? It's getting silly that this point keeps being brought up as a bad idea, when no one has suggested doing it.

One, which scenarios?

Two, in real life stuff happens fast, a BG is not going to hail you from a distance giving you time to wait until the last possible moment. It IS the last possible moment from the beginning IF it really is an "imminent threat" justifying a draw.

Three, yes, I'm addressing the scenario in which one draws their gun on an imminent threat.

Four, no I would never shoot or threaten to shoot anyone who was not an imminent threat. Would you? Are you really expecting to draw your gun far enough in advance of imminent peril that they will change their mind? I promise, if there is time to deter them, I will give them plenty of reasons to do so other than threatening their life first.
 

Ziggy

New member
One, which scenarios?

Two, in real life stuff happens fast, a BG is not going to hail you from a distance giving you time to wait until the last possible moment. It IS the last possible moment from the beginning IF it really is an "imminent threat" justifying a draw.

Three, yes, I'm addressing the scenario in which one draws their gun on an imminent threat.

Four, no I would never shoot or threaten to shoot anyone who was not an imminent threat. Would you? Are you really expecting to draw your gun far enough in advance of imminent peril that they will change their mind? I promise, if there is time to deter them, I will give them plenty of reasons to do so other than threatening their life first.

One, my scenario. I spend much of my time on private land, land in which the property owner is usually not pleased that I am there in the first place. Openly carrying a firearm would likely to be reacted to in a very negative manner, with results ranging from the property owner insisting that I do not carry firearms on their property (at which point I can't even concealed carry) to ordering me off the land, and loosing me the job.
Two, I'm very familiar with how violent crime happens in the real world. Probably far more familiar than you.
Three, no, you are addressing one possible scenario. There are thousands.
Four, I've answered that many, many times here. And yes, in the scenarios for which I carry, there is a good chance that drawing my firearm will put an end to the imminent threat.
 

molonlabetn

New member
I feel very sorry for the BG's who will encounter someone who will shoot them dead even if they turn and run, because they *were* an imminent threat.

Wow...

That's a leap.

What makes you think, from anything that I've said, that I would not wait until I was very sure that my life was in danger, and have provided all the deterrence possible without committing aggravated assault, before drawing and firing?

I would do the same thing as you, by waiting for them to be deterred, only without committing a felony.
 

molonlabetn

New member
I think we may have a little different idea about the time periods involved... I'm sitting here assuming that you think you're going to stand-off with a crack-head or rapist at gun-point for 30-seconds. That may account for some of the misunderstanding.

In my eyes, if I don't see a rapid deescalation before my muzzle is level, the trigger is pulled. It could happen, and likely does. But what's more likely is that most people will draw their gun very early in a confrontation before there is certainty of the BG's resolve, when it would be far more appropriate to declare that you will stop them if they attempt to harm you. And that's only if they are unarmed...

One would be a fool to give a 'moment to ponder' to an armed bg who has made clear their intent to harm you.
 

Ziggy

New member
I think we may have a little different idea about the time periods involved... I'm sitting here assuming that you think you're going to stand-off with a crack-head or rapist at gun-point for 30-seconds. That may account for some of the misunderstanding.

In my eyes, if I don't see a rapid deescalation before my muzzle is level, the trigger is pulled. It could happen, and likely does. But what's more likely is that most people will draw their gun very early in a confrontation before there is certainty of the BG's resolve, when it would be far more appropriate to declare that you will stop them if they attempt to harm you. And that's only if they are unarmed...

One would be a fool to give a 'moment to ponder' to an armed bg who has made clear their intent to harm you.

It would be easier if this conversation (and my situation/concerns) weren't spread over three different threads.

This discussion began because I prefer to carry unchambered. I am most likely to encounter a mugger or rapist in a rural setting who does NOT have a firearm. I feel that the few seconds it takes me to rack my slide will provide that BG with the extra "she's serious" incentive to change their mind. As a woman, alone, there is little I can do to decelerate the situation before drawing, if a BG has decided I'm an easy target, the firmest of words will be unlikely to dissuade him. Drawing and racking will. I'm certainly not looking at 30 seconds...but the 1/2 second it takes me to rack. One step towards me after that, and the situation has escalated to justification to fire.
I pocket carry, and I'm not one of those women to draw every time I feel some man might be eying me. If I draw, it WILL be with intent to fire, but I feel that chambering a round is the best way I have to say "I am serious, if you take a step in my direction I will shoot".

This is NOT my attitude towards home protection, nor towards, say, carrying for self defense at night in the city. But still, many of the people who argue against my carrying unchambered are the same people who boast that racking their pump-action shotgun will get the BG out of the house without ever having to fire.

Please keep in mind that a woman does not have the power to de-escalate the situation that a man does. No matter how firmly I speak, a man set upon attacking a woman is likely to have a "she's just a gal" mindset, and I consider the ability to show that I'm serious with my weapon to be a boon in that situation.
 

molonlabetn

New member
One, my scenario. I spend much of my time on private land, land in which the property owner is usually not pleased that I am there in the first place. Openly carrying a firearm would likely to be reacted to in a very negative manner, with results ranging from the property owner insisting that I do not carry firearms on their property (at which point I can't even concealed carry) to ordering me off the land, and loosing me the job.
Two, I'm very familiar with how violent crime happens in the real world. Probably far more familiar than you.
Three, no, you are addressing one possible scenario. There are thousands.
Four, I've answered that many, many times here. And yes, in the scenarios for which I carry, there is a good chance that drawing my firearm will put an end to the imminent threat.

One, that's your choice, and I wouldn't dream of criticizing it. I can't carry at work either.

Two, then you know what I mean. Violence is violent.

Three, there are many scenarios which lead up to drawing the gun, but after that point has been breached, your actions should be a reaction. If you have time to think about what you are doing, there was an alternative.

Four, okay, and are the clients okay with this? If you're confident that you're going to come across miscreants who won't follow through with their threats of hostility, why not carry some pepper-spray or a taser, too?
 

Ziggy

New member
One, that's your choice, and I wouldn't dream of criticizing it. I can't carry at work either.

Two, then you know what I mean. Violence is violent.

Three, there are many scenarios which lead up to drawing the gun, but after that point has been breached, your actions should be a reaction. If you have time to think about what you are doing, there was an alternative.

Four, okay, and are the clients okay with this? If you're confident that you're going to come across miscreants who won't follow through with their threats of hostility, why not carry some pepper-spray or a taser, too?

Action-reaction: that's why I work hard to think ahead, and train regularly. In my case, for the purposes of this discussion, "brandishing" doesn't mean waving a gun around yelling "go away", it means racking the slide and aiming.
I'm an independent contractor, so my clients are unrelated to my carry situation-but it is for my clients that I am on private land, and therefore choose to conceal.
It's not that I'd come across BG's who won't follow through, if that's the case pepper spray would be fine. It's my personal conviction that BG's who see what they think of as an "easy" target will change their mind quickly under threat, and if they don't I am prepared to follow through as quickly as necessary. To that end, I do carry pepper spray as well, and both my pepper spray and my gun are more for hostile wildlife that hostile humans when I'm working.

From what I've read, for every crime you read of where a weapon was fired in self defense, there were a dozen not reported to the police where a gun was drawn, and the bad guy fled. By the definition here, those guns were "brandished". Isn't it the goal of all of us to not ever have to actually fire?
 

ishi

New member
Great discussion!

I want to say that Ziggy's respect for the sanctity of human life shines through every post she writes, and it does her great credit. Molonlabetn is coming with some strong tactical analysis, and I enjoy reading that too.

It seems to me that we're almost answering a question that hasn't been explicitly asked yet:

Can a handgun be an effective and legal deterrant?

Molonlabetn has been saying that the effectiveness of a pistol as a deterrant is questionable once the legal requirements are reached. Ziggy seems to be accepting the diminished effectiveness as a trade-off for giving the BG more of a chance to change his mind, thus avoiding bloodshed. Am I being fair to both posters with my synopsis?
 

Ziggy

New member
Great discussion!

I want to say that Ziggy's respect for the sanctity of human life shines through every post she writes, and it does her great credit. Molonlabetn is coming with some strong tactical analysis, and I enjoy reading that too.

It seems to me that we're almost answering a question that hasn't been explicitly asked yet:

Can a handgun be an effective and legal deterrant?

Molonlabetn has been saying that the effectiveness of a pistol as a deterrant is questionable once the legal requirements are reached. Ziggy seems to be accepting the diminished effectiveness as a trade-off for giving the BG more of a chance to change his mind, thus avoiding bloodshed. Am I being fair to both posters with my synopsis?

Fair on this side (and maybe ishi should be a mediator instead of a lawyer...). That's pretty much on the point to what I am saying. I acknowledge decreased effectiveness, but feel it is worth it *in my situation*. I also appreciate the few acknowledgments that I have now received to the concept that wishing to deter does NOT equal fear of actually using the firearm, lack of ability or preparedness.

Molonlabetn, thanks for taking us down a notch...and the statement about shooting was not directed specifically at you, but at my frustration with the many guys I've encountered who either state, or imply, that if they draw, they will shoot no matter what, and if they shoot, they will kill no matter what (which may be worth a thread in and of itself).
 
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molonlabetn

New member
Great discussion!

I want to say that Ziggy's respect for the sanctity of human life shines through every post she writes, and it does her great credit. Molonlabetn is coming with some strong tactical analysis, and I enjoy reading that too.

It seems to me that we're almost answering a question that hasn't been explicitly asked yet:

Can a handgun be an effective and legal deterrant?

Molonlabetn has been saying that the effectiveness of a pistol as a deterrant is questionable once the legal requirements are reached. Ziggy seems to be accepting the diminished effectiveness as a trade-off for giving the BG more of a chance to change his mind, thus avoiding bloodshed. Am I being fair to both posters with my synopsis?

That's pretty fair.

The only thing I'd add about myself is that I also am very committed to avoiding bloodshed, to the point of avoiding selection of that possibility until its use is required. I feel that intimidation is a poor reaction to hostility. Reason and then Force, immediately in that order, with the objective being to stop the encounter whether voluntarily by the perpetrator, or with finality by the victim. Once stopped, Force is no longer required.
 

ishi

New member
... but at my frustration with the many guys I've encountered who either state, or imply, that if they draw, they will shoot no matter what, and if they shoot, they will kill no matter what...

let it begin...

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Ektarr

Dedicated Infidel
If what I've read is accurate, there's a school of thought here that you wait until the very last second, when there's no doubt that you're in jeopardy of life and limb, and then...and only then...do you draw and shoot. I think someone said it was foolish to give an aggressor time to think and "mull it over".

Forgive me, but what about a scenario where...upon drawing your weapon, in that instant that the aggressor recognizes the shift in conditions...he drops his aggression and any weapon he may have in hand and starts backpedaling like crazy. Surely the "draw-and-fire" motion isn't apppropriate here.

At the same time, it's said that a person with a gun is in danger when confronted by a person with a knife within 7 yards...that the knife-weilder may be able to attack and cross that distance in less time than the gun-weilder can react! There needs to be a line in the sand in this scenario where...aggressing or not...any movement however subtle that suggests the knifer may be positioning himself for an advantageous position should be met - MUST be met! - with a bullet.

Bottom line is, every situation will dictate the appropriate response, and one should have ALL of the various options at his/her disposal. Limiting your options by building in too long a response time, or too short a one, is not a good idea.

All of this is my opinion after many years of consideration and a lifetime of handling long and short guns in a variety of situations. It's not meant to 'lecture' anyone or disparage their choices of how/when/what to carry or how/when/why they should present and/or shoot. I hope no one takes offense.
 

spc

Member
What I see here

Is a woman out in the field,,,, middle of nowhere with the opportunity to see a possible threat from quite some distance. With this she has plenty of time to determine if a possible threat is imminent and the time to draw (and load) well before the 21' line has been breached.

I also see a CCW carrier in the city discussing the direction his training would lead him in an urban enviornment.

We are talking apples and oranges here.

I CCW an 'O' frame that is cocked and locked (1911 with one in the pipe, safety on) and would carry in that mode regardless of an urban or rural situation. I am a firm believer in carrying in a condition that offers the fastest response available regardless of enviorment.

My question for Ziggy is; what if your support hand becomes unavailable to rack the slide because you are holding tools, notebook or you injure it making a move to create more distance between a BG and yourself? Now you have just a paper weight and I am sure there are plenty of rocks already available out in the field.

I have always been taught that I should have my self defense firearm ready to fire and not have to do any other preperation other than to flip the safety if so equiped. I do acknowlege that statistics point out that drawing a firearm as a threat becomes imminent has caused many threats to cease before a shot is fired, but needing to rack the slide to arm your firearm is just one more opportunity for MR. MURPHY to intervene (maybe it will jamb).

I can only assume you are in wide open territory where you can see for long ranges and be aware of anyone or anything (large cat) approaching. I carry in both senarios and would only carry with one in the chamber. I would highly reccommend and urge you become comfortable with your firearm in the most efficient carry method as well (remember MR. MURPHY).

If we abide by the safety rules, keep the finger off the trigger and indexed on the frame, carry the firearm in a holster that completely covers the trigger, there is no threat of a negligent discharge.

YMMV, but this is the way I see it

spc
:)
 

Ziggy

New member
carry

A good post, SPC, thank you, but let me just post one more time, trying not to yell, that I AM NOT UNCOMFORTABLE with carrying one in the tube, I choose not to for reasons already espoused. I am NOT afraid of negligent discharge, I am well trained, I am comfortable with my carry weapon. I choose to carry unchambered.
 

ishi

New member
From the posts I've read, it seems like Ziggy fully understands the grave tactical problems caused by carrying unchambered and giving additional warning after a clear and present threat to life and limb are present. It's a personal choice then, based on her very pronounced (and in my view, commendable) hatred for violence. It's not a choice I make or recommend, but I understand it, and I have the greatest respect for the motivation behind it.

In any case, carrying a gun gives a far better advantage than not doing so.
 

spc

Member
A good post, SPC, thank you, but let me just post one more time, trying not to yell, that I AM NOT UNCOMFORTABLE with carrying one in the tube, I choose not to for reasons already espoused. I am NOT afraid of negligent discharge, I am well trained, I am comfortable with my carry weapon. I choose to carry unchambered.

Thank you Ziggy, I put a fair amount of thought into my post after reading much of the debate.

We should all be concerned about and concious of the possibility of negligent discharge as that does help keep us safe in our firearm handling. I am sure from your posts that you are trained well and comfortable with firearms and carry and you are using it to your needs and desires. I applaud and commend you for taking the steps to provide for your own protection as well. I wish more people would take that accountability into their own hands, especially women.

You apparently feel that you are comfortable with unloaded carry and your ability to chamber if and when the need arises. I feel that you are in a location and situation where that is a very reasonable decision and that is why I was explicit about the difference between urban needs and your wide open rural needs.

I would hope that you would take into account training to arm your gun with only one hand, such as hooking the rear sight on your belt to rack the slide or some other method of making your gun serviceable if Mr. MURPHY happens to show up at the wrong time.

Most of us will never need our firearm for self defense, but if we are going to take the time, cost and energy to carry we should be as prepared as possible if/when the time does come. After all, that is our goal is it not?

spc;)
 

Ziggy

New member
preparedness

SPC, I appreciate the fact that you did read the discussion, and brought up points that hadn't been raised before. The possibility of having my left hand unavailable, or of having the slide jamb, are issues that I *will* think about. Murphy does indeed intervene, eh?
 

Ektarr

Dedicated Infidel
If it's time to draw, it's time to shoot. A gun isn't for scaring people.
I respectfully disagree with Part A, for the reason I posited above: A situation can turn on a dime, and things can change from the time you draw to the time you fire. You may draw on an aggressor, but end up pointing at someone who recognizes his error and has become a retreater. Nobody wants to shoot someone inappropriately and an error in judgement ("Man, I picked the wrong person!") is not a Capital offense.

Additionally, in my opinion, the act of drawing your weapon is a preparatory act, not a decisive one . . . there's still time to decide that the situation has changed/is changing and you need to pause or stand down. There's a reason they say that the mere act of presenting a weapon is a deterrent.

Making the act of drawing/firing one smooth motion is contrary to good, intelligent self defense tactics.

One man's opinion.
 

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