Another Firearms Training Issue?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Bill Mattocks, May 3, 2017.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Reported road rage. The victim of the road rage cut someone off on the highway. That person followed him until he stopped, then punched him in the face repeatedly. The victim apparently tried to draw his legally-concealed weapon, but shot himself in the leg by accident.

    Need more details, but several things crossed my mind upon reading this.

    First, road rage. Looks like the guy who got hit was maybe a bad driver, but he didn't deserve to be beaten up. Looks like the guy who did it got arrested, so good for that.

    Second, victim drawing his firearm. Was he justified in doing so? Clearly he was under attack, that much seems clear. I do not know what his ability to defend himself by means other than deadly for where, or if he would have been reasonably in fear of his life; need more data. But I note as I have before that once a gun clears the holster, any confrontation is now a deadly force incident. The chances are that if it progresses, someone is going to get shot.

    Third, victim shoots himself in the leg. Sounds like a lack of training to me. Properly functioning guns do not go off by themselves. It was either carried incorrectly or it was drawn incorrectly. Both would indicate poor choices on the part of the victim prior to making the decision to draw the weapon.

    Comments?

    Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in Road Rage Fight Outside Victorville Best Buy - Victor Valley News | VVNG.com

    Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Leg During Road Rage Incident in Victorville: Officials

    "Givens got out of his car and “confronted Chow about his driving,” officials said, and then began repeatedly punching Chow in the face.
    Chow has a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, and told investigators he pulled his handgun from his waistband because he feared for his safety and that of his wife.

    Chow’s gun accidentally went off while he was retrieving it and resulted in him shooting himself in the leg, sheriff’s officials said."

     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with your summation. A negligent discharge is virtually always a training issue.
     
  3. BuckerooBonzai

    BuckerooBonzai Orange Belt

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    Agree. In the Army we have changed the term from "Accidental Discharge" to "Negligent Discharge" to make the differentiation of how it is almost always a "negligent" reason and not an accident.

    In one unit I was in, if you had an ND, you were kicked out of the unit and never allowed to return to it.
     
  4. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the Marine Corps as an MP back in the 1980s, we also called it a 'negligent discharge' and anyone who went 'bang' in the clearing barrel would be facing Article 15 Non-Judicial Punishment at the minimum.
     
  5. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    What is your opinion on whether or not he should have drawn at all? Was this a legitimate case of being in reasonable fear of one's life that justifies the use of deadly force? One presumes that if the victim had drawn without shooting himself, the next thing that would have happened would have been the guy punching him got shot, or a struggle for the gun.

    I don't have an agenda here; I'm unclear on this myself; borderline event. I'm interested in what others think.
     
  6. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    From a justification standpoint, you are justified if you perceive you were endanger of losing your life or of great bodily injury (perception must be reasonable)

    Great bodily injury in some states is define by broken bones and/or unconsciousness.

    So it's is possible to rise to the level of lethal force with someone punching you repeatedly in the head.
     
  7. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree, but I am still in the 'if' phase of whether or not it rose to that level even with the face-punching. Hard to say, eh?

    It is interesting in that it parallels the arguments made in a major court case a few years back where an unofficial Neighborhood Watch person got into a physical altercation with someone which ended up (according to the person who lived) with him being punched in the face repeatedly, until he drew his legal concealed firearm and killed the person allegedly hitting him. I'm sure you recall that case, most US citizens do.

    This is far less in the public eye, but at the moment the gun cleared the holster, it seems circumstances were similar if not identical. Stripping away all the stuff that happened leading up to the altercation and just focusing on the moment itself. Man is hitting me in the face. I am afraid of dying. I draw my gun to shoot him.
     
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  8. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i might agree with the description, but that doesnt tell us what he did wrong. "you done messed up, son" dosent help fix the problem. we do not know the circumstances in which he tried to draw. in many instances there is a tussle over control for the weapon. the description says "while trying to draw" so we can assume this may not be the case but if the defendant was being hit and taking damage at the time of draw, would it be reasonable to re think the "needs training answer"...i would think that might be a little harder to make a clear cut conclusion.
    i know that you need distance to draw and you dont draw while someone has the "drop" on you. but if i was with my wife and i was taking damage to the point where i felt i might be rendered unconscious or die......?
     
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  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    You make a good point. I had not considered that.
     
  10. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    is there a disparity of force? was the assailant 250 pounds and the victim 130?
     
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  11. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Typically has nothing to do with anything. There is no 'disparity of force' codicil found in any self-defense statutes I am aware of. The key phrase is usually the 'reasonable and prudent person' test. Would a reasonable and prudent person (a hypothetical person, but still a legal definition) be in fear of his or her life or grave bodily injury from the attack? If no, then deadly force not authorized, if yes, then it is. The amount each one weighs has no legal place in self-defense law that I am aware of, but I am not a lawyer.
     
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  12. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i think you are incorrect, i believe there is a factor of "disparity of force"...like a woman Vs a man , mulitiple attackers, or involved weapons.
     
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  13. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Interesting tidbit; one of the comments claims to be from a person who witnessed the attack:

    Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in Road Rage Fight Outside Victorville Best Buy - Victor Valley News | VVNG.com

    "Offra Kaim
    So I actually saw this happen..... a man was punching an old guy while he was sitting in his vehicle. He tried to get away and drive off but the other guy was hanging on to the car still hitting him, that's when the old guy pulled his weapon and accidentally shot himself. He shouldnt have had his finger on the trigger. In his defense I may have pulled a gun if someone was hitting me like that."

    If the above is correct, the victim tried to drive away to end the assault and the guy hitting him hung onto the car and kept punching him. Consider also the disparity in ages; the victim was about my age, the aggressor much younger and presumably in better physical condition.

    I also find it funny some of the comments - people are so, well, stupid. "Why didn't someone call the police?" Really? Do you think you dial 911 while you're being punched in the face and poof the cops just magically appear instantly? Wow...
     
  14. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Show me the cite and I will correct my statement.
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's ND in the British Forces as well, chargable offence.
     
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  17. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    I see this posted from time to time....is this being taught?

    I disagree with this completely.

    When your life is on the line....you draw and defend yourself.
     
  18. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have an opinion. We don't know nearly enough detail, and the laws vary from locale to locale.
     
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  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    That is what appears to be a jury instruction. It is not the law on use of deadly force in MA.

    What you are describing is actually the instructions given by a judge to a jury when they consider what the 'reasonable person' requirement means in real life. It says clearly that a jury may consider such things as your 'disparity of force'. In no way does it state that a little guy can't put a big guy in legitimate fear of his life. It says a jury can consider if that was the case.

    I'm a big guy. If a little guy knocks me down or I slip and fall and he climbs on me and starts wailing away at my noggin, he might manage to knock me out. There's no way to know with just the information I've given. "Disparity of force" according to you would mean because he is little and I am big, I would *never* be justified in defending myself with deadly force, no matter what he did to me. The law says 'reasonable person' because all such cases are different. Maybe the guy is a matchstick and is slapping me while calling me names. Maybe he's a MT fighter and he's tearing the life out of me. You tell me how weight decides the whole story here.
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Do you have the same thing as us where the details aren't all reported in the media because the upcoming court case makes details and evidence sub judice? We usually don't get all the information until it comes out at the trial.123
     

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