What You Can/Can't Do.

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by MJS, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Steve Grody

    Steve Grody White Belt

    Apr 28, 2009
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    Los Angeles, Downtown Arts District, 90013
    I'm glad that I have three students that are lawyers (and one is a reserve cop as well) that I have been able to talk with about SD legalities. Although there is a possibility that you could get in trouble legally while still trying to act appropriately within the law (interpretation being so often subjective), there are some general principles to be aware of. "Appropriate Force" is of course central, but what seems rationally to be "just enough" could easily be hard to stop at when the situation seems threatening enough. In this regard, it seems to me that the law could easily be in conflict with self-defense: I know of people that have gotten in trouble for kicking the man after he is down, but down is certainly not "out," so kicking the Bad Guy on the ground, seems perfectly proper to me if he seems uninjured. On the other hand, if my memory serves me correctly, one of those lawyer students mentioned "fighting words," e.g. "I'm going to beat the snot out of you!," which legally is assault. In those cases you do not have to wait until the person moves on you and you may attack-as-defense first. It sure helps if it does not appear to be a "consensual" fight, e.g. knuckleheads at the bar. The bottom line still seems to be the ol' "Better to be tried by twelve rather than being carried out by six."
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  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Jun 21, 2003
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    Hi Steve! Welcome to the forum. :)

    Can't disagree with anything you said here, and this was the main reason I started this topic, because as you said, it seems like there is that 'fine line' and what seems ok to one person, may not be ok in the eyes of the courts. Additionally, as another member said, are we going to be thinking clearly at that moment? While its easy to sit and say that we can be aware of what we're doing, I for one, am thinking about my safety, first and foremost, not whether or not the strike I'm about to do is going to be viewed as 'wrong.'

    And yes, I prefer to live by that quote in your last paragraph...better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. :)123

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