warning shots

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mulligan

warning shots

Postby mulligan » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:14 pm

Howdy

My roommate and I had a spirited discussion about the usefulness of a warning shot when confronting someone who is has entered your personal space and refuses to leave.

She thinks it's a good idea and I don't. I'm hoping to get some additional views to augment my persuasion skills since we pretty much went 'round and round' for an hour repeating the same stuff at each other.

I introduced a mock scenario based loosely on a report I found someplace on the web:

You are having a party at your home.
A confrontational, intoxicated, uninvited person has somehow managed to get in the house.
You have a previous history with this person, including physical confrontation (he's bigger than you).
Person is asked to leave, then TOLD to leave. This escalated the issue.
You go get your gun from its "required by law" storage space in another room.
Person follows you and initiates physical contact while you are retrieving weapon.

Do you fire a warning shot?

I tend to think a warning shot in a house full of people is reckless; and in a room with a guy who's shoving you its a waste of time (and ammo).

the roomie sees a warning shot as necessary to warn/alert/get attention of people as well as confirming the seriousness of your intent to the attacker.

discuss please/thanks

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Re: warning shots

Postby randy » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:41 pm

First, I'd move away from any location where you are "required by law" to keep a home defense weapon inaccessible. ;) I know not the point of your question, but just to point out that not every place has such idiotic laws.

No warning shots. Period.

1. Tactically it's a bad move. You're wasting time and ammunition. It gives time for the goblin to close with you or to draw and fire his own weapon. Many criminal types will look at a warning shot as proof that you don't have the "guts" to shoot someone and will actually increase the pace of their attack, especially in close quarters.

2. It's also a bad move in that you are legally and morally responsible for every round you send down range. In a building how do you know you're bullet won't penetrate and kill an innocent third party?

3. Legally, it's mixed depending on where you live. In general, you are authorized to use deadly force to defend yourself (or others) from an imminent threat to life or limb. Some prosecutors will look at the fact that you took the time to waste a round as proof that you were NOT in imminent danger, and, in reference to #2 above, were in fact recklessly and negligently endangering the lives of others by firing such a shot.

Bottom line, if you are in a situation where you feel that threatened, the legal, tactical, and IMHO moral thing to do is to put the first round center of mass of the target.
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Re: warning shots

Postby DougWojtowicz » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:05 pm

Ask how how she'd feel if her wayward shot ended up in someone who wasn't committing a crime.

Now ask her how she'd feel if that wayward person died from a warning shot, and not a round that overpenetrated or only missed the OBVIOUS threat by mere inches.

Because a missed round or a blow-through round is par for the course in all self defense instances, while warning shots and rounds fired into the air are launched without concern of where it should go, and emergency rooms are filled with people who've suffered injuries from falling or missed bullets.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Darrell » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:06 pm

If it's time to get your gun, it's time to shoot the bad guy. Big ditto on wasting ammo with a warning shot.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Kommander » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:07 pm

I am unaware of any Texas law that requires that you store a defensive weapon in an inaccessible location. Is this a law for just where you live? Anyway I also think that the warning shots are a bad idea and for the same reasons randy already stated. Also when the person refused to leave the first thing I would do it call the police. Let them deal with this ass.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Rich » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:19 pm

First, intoxicated/drug addled (redundancy alert) people do not behave rationally. What you think of as a warning may be taken as a challenge. So be careful about introducing a firearm into the situation.

Try to calm the person down. If that can't be done, don't be shy about calling for reinforcements, whether it's the Sheriff or the person's mother/wife/significant other, etc.

If you do have to get your gun, be prepared to use it, and then accept the consequences if or as they occur.

Hypothetical situations may sound alike, yet be vastly different in real time.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Fivetoes » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:33 pm

In your situation you first call the police and report a tresspasser, that is the warning. Then if you feel he is going to do bodily harm you shoot him, in the center of mass.

mulligan

Re: warning shots

Postby mulligan » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:38 pm

Actually I'm a Texas import, but I was raised in Iowa where I'm told any visible firearm is considered a 'threat', permit or no. This "policy" info 2nd hand from local Iowa LEO's, off the record of course as it's not in print anywhere I've seen. Regardless of location though, the whole thing is really just an imagination exercise sparked by something we saw on TV and my hazy recall of past reading on the web.

I think if you've time to walk to a different room and unpack your weapon you can call 911 en route, or if you lack the motor skills for dual-tasking (walking and dialing) there's plenty of people at the party who could dial while you are arming up. However, until 911 gets star trek transporter technology, odds are good the whole thing will be over before LEO's can arrive.

Her thoughts on shooting the floor/ceiling: "I'm aiming at the floor, not any person."

My thoughts: look before you shoot, and look while you shoot. If you are not looking at the bad guy he must not be much of a threat or you're running away. If you're shooting at a place (floor) and looking at the bad guy you are all kinds of wrong .. imo.

As a side note it came up in the discussion one should have the freedom to shoot one's own possessions at any time. Which I agree with, provided no one else's possession are downrange.

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Re: warning shots

Postby AZMARK » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:21 am

mulligan wrote:You have a previous history with this person, including physical confrontation (he's bigger than you).

Person follows you and initiates physical contact while you are retrieving weapon.


You're already in a bad situation, no warning shot. Hammer him to break contact, and then if needed put one between the running lights.
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Re: warning shots

Postby 308Mike » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:38 am

If you are in possession of a firearm, you are responsible for any and all bullets leaving that gun while you are in control of it - this includes warning shots and ricochets. What if you fire into the floor and it hits the concrete slab and now ricochets into a wall, goes through and hits someone else? Fire into the ceiling, where's the bullet going to stop? Oops, it hit a nail and was deflected into another room, etc.

After that first shot in an enclosed space, you aren't going to be able to hear shit and there's going to be dust floating around in the air (especially if you fired into the ceiling where there's no benefit of carpet). What if he jumps on you after you fire the "warning shot" and has you pinned to the floor with his weight and now you CAN'T use the gun, and if he gets it from you, he might not only kill you, but others as well - WITH YOUR GUN.

If you YELL at him to back off (witnesses will hear it before hearing the shots) and he doesn't, and is still coming after you - BANG! BANG! And you keep shooting until the threat stops.

What's happened is HIS CHOICE, it's what HE'S FORCED upon you. You have a gun pointed at him, and you've warned him, if he doesn't believe you'll shoot, that's HIS poor judgment.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:53 am

I dont have people over that act like that first of all...

secondly, the people that do come over to my house treat my place like theirs... so if someone started acting like that, and even got physical, they would be dealt with quickly and without much fuss.

in all likelihood, if a situation developed into something so serious that a gun was needed for defense, then there were MULTIPLE errors made by the homeowner that lead up to that... at least in your party scenario.

If the point is EVER reached where lethal force is needed, the first warning that a bad guy will have is the report of the first shot being fired. My logic, there are a great number of levels of the situation that have to be crossed BEFORE lethal force is justifiable. Those levels are crossed by the bad guy, and he does so consciously. His actions are at his own peril.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Kommander » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:21 am

I think your local Iowa LEOs need to refamiliarize themselves with the written law. But since you are no longer in Iowa that is neither here nor there. In Texas on your property you can have you gun anywhere and in any condition (loaded, unloaded, baked in a pie, etc). You dont need to have it put away in some special storage area. If you wanted to carry said gun on your belt during the party that would be your prerogative.

Now if you want to carry outside your property in Texas your going to need a permit and keep it concealed.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Aglifter » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:30 am

Barring being an idiot, by the time you need to expose your gun, you need to be firing it. Also, nowhere in TX are you not allowed to have a gun on your person, in your house... I doubt there's such a requirement in Iowa, either. Now, a secure storage area is a good idea for parties... I will say this, if, for some reason, you're reluctant to call the police -- say, worried about MIPs --which is a dumb concern when you're thinking about using a gun, and your LEO dept. may have a policy about not responding to lesser crimes if called in for something like a home invasion -- think axe.

I realize this sounds dumb/weird, and you may not have the large, scrufty looking friends to pull it off, but nothing says, "I'm crazy, and get out of my house" like an axe. Your typical college moron doesn't really believe that someone will shoot him for not leaving a party, but an axe says "I'm drunk, mean, and violently insane" in a uniquely effective manner.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:32 am

http://opencarry.org/ia.html

looks like so long as you arent in the city, you can open carry
Iowa is not a traditional open carry state, but no permit is required to open carry except when in vehicles or when inside city limits. Open carry in cities is technically legal with an Iowa permit to carry weapons, however Iowa is a may-issue state, and some sheriffs have indicated that they will revoke your permit for open carrying.
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Re: warning shots

Postby First Shirt » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:53 am

A good friend of mine used to have a sign in his shop that said "The only warning shot you'll get is if I miss with the first one. And I haven't missed in years!"

I've always liked that philosophy.
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Re: warning shots

Postby tcourtplayer » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:02 am

I've said this before and I'll say it again. The best advise I've ever gotten on this topic came from my weapon carry instructor:

If its serious enough to draw your weapon its serious enough to shoot. A gun IS NOT A NEGOTIATION TOOL, it is a SELF DEFENSE TOOL. Treat it as such.
JAG: So why do you need armor piercing ammo?
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Re: warning shots

Postby randy » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:30 am

mulligan wrote:Her thoughts on shooting the floor/ceiling: "I'm aiming at the floor, not any person."


That statement shows she has no knowledge of either the legalities nor the physics of firearms.

How does she know she's not aiming at any person (if in a multi-story building)? Does she have X-Ray vision? Has she ever heard the term "ricochet"?

OK, she's not aiming at any person. No intent. Which means if the round punches through a floor/ceiling or ricochets and kills someone, she'll only be charged with negligent homicide, not murder.

You might refer her to some of the articles on "The Box O' Truth".

And I repeat my earlier comments, in summary: If you are not legally/morally justified in shooting the person, then you are not justified in pulling the trigger, period.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Rentsy » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:47 am

If the switch in your head that says "Fire your weapon" flips, it is to be assumed that you are firing to defend yourself from immediate harm. This is done by trying to hit the enemy.

Anything else will get you killed, or worse, sued. Don't use "warning shots" to justify a lax firearm discharge. It is stupid.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Whirlibird » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:30 am

As an LEO, I will say this as simply as possible.

Shoot to STOP. If it takes 1 shot or 19, Shoot 'til the attack stops.
If the moron dies from the event, too bad for him/her.
That warning shot, may just have been the last shot needed to end the incident without you suffering injury or worse.

Warning shots are a bunch of things, all bad.
They waste ammunition.
They may give the perpetrator the false belief that you didn't intend to miss and cause them to spur on their attack.
They are a hazard to anyone downrange, be it in the next room or the next county.
They distract you from the immediate threat.

Your roommate is in for a heck of a eyeopener if anything bad ever happens.

However in your situation, you have asked the person to leave, then told them. They are now trespassing.
They follow you and initiate physical contact (you are already so screwed!), they have now committed harassment or assault (depends on local laws) and combining the two are now committing a burglary.
This person is comitting a Felony!
This person already has their hands on you, it doesn't take that long to kill or maim someone who you are hands-on with.
This person will likely attempt to remove the weapon from your grasp, pointing it away from them only aids them with this.
At this point you NEED every last BB in the piece to ensure your SURVIVAL!

Another thing to think about, if they get their hands on you while you are retreiving the weapon, how do you think they are going to grab you?
What direction are you most likely to be facing? (Hint: It ain't gonna be facing them)

Another way to look at it:
We (I'm the big stupid drunk) have a disagreement and you let me get ahold of you when your gun isn't pointed directly at me. I'm fully able to do some serious bodily injury (damage!) while you are just trying to keep your weapon in your hand. You will be focused on trying to keep the gun away from me that you're gonna miss most of what's happening to you. If you let me get hands-on, you will most likely not be able to shoot me, nor will you be able to walk away from the situation.

You said it, this person is bigger than you. Stronger than you. Angry and drunk= Stupid.
You mistaking big stupid drunk for anything but a danger, could cost you more than a trip to the hospital.

Also point this out to her, women don't have upper body strength to speak of.
I get my hands on her and I will be able to do her some serious harm if she's lucky.
Her only chance is to render me incapable of inflicting harm on her.
Of stopping the assault.

Bang. (Repeat as needed!)

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Re: warning shots

Postby Catbird » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:20 am

mulligan wrote:
You are having a party at your home.
A confrontational, intoxicated, uninvited person has somehow managed to get in the house.
You have a previous history with this person, including physical confrontation (he's bigger than you).


I would go get my gun from its "required by law" storage space at this point.

Person is asked to leave, then TOLD to leave. This escalated the issue.


Ordering the person to leave is the warning shot.

Keep the weapon down/pointed in a safe direction and tell someone to call the police.

Keep everyone as calm as possible. Don't talk to the uninvited person except to tell him the police are on the way and that he needs to leave. Keep telling him to leave until:

A) he leaves,
B) the police arrive and take control of the situation, or
C) he makes a move on someone. Shoot to stop if necessary.

If the situation has devolved to the point where he's jumping you while you're trying to retrieve your weapon from storage, then events have progressed way beyond warning shots.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Kommander » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:31 pm

One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Greg » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:17 pm

randy wrote:And I repeat my earlier comments, in summary: If you are not legally/morally justified in shooting the person, then you are not justified in pulling the trigger, period.


Randy pretty much nails it right here.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:12 pm

Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.


they only real grey area would be if you were drinking too. then you could get into trouble for being armed...
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Re: warning shots

Postby Glenn Bartley » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:16 am

First, I'd move away from any location where you are "required by law" to keep a home defense weapon inaccessible.
To begin with, telling anyone to move, who lives in their home whether by choice or not, is pretty much pointless to this discussion. Nice thought, but most folks cannot just up and move at your whim.

As to warning shots, you as the person holding the firearm, has to decide whether or not you think it will be useless. it is a judgment call. I have fired a warning shot, once in many years of firearms ownership. It worked, The guy who had been attacking me, then was in the process of calling others to help while he was actually taking a break from the attack of me ran away. So too did the approximately 15 - 20 others whom he was trying to get to attack me. He was unarmed. Except for a small red spot, and coughing up some blood the next day, I was without apparent injury, and without apparent (note I said APPARENT) evidence that he had been attacking me. As it was I had been attacked by at least 5 bad guys who took a prisoner away from me. No witnesses except them and the prisoner as far as I am aware, and of course me. I broke away from them, they got my prisoner, and I started to back off. One bad guy, the big mouth, told the others to come and get me. He came up to me. He was edging them on. I pulled my Colt Border Patrol, aimed at him, and then aimed a tiny bit higher. The shot parted his hair, I swear it did. They all took off. The Mexicans arrested my prisoner, and sent him to jail longer than we would have here in the USA. I got my handcuffs back. I stopped any further attack. I did not have to testify in a manslaughter or murder trial. I did not have to hire an attorney. I was alive and well because of what I did even though an outright violation of Border Patrol policy at the time. Was it the right thing to do? I took a calculated risk, and it paid off. I was told by many I did the right thing, and by just as many I did the wrong thing. I know what I did saved my life, just as well as shooting him would have done. I have also shot someone else who was trying to rob me. No hesitation there to shoo the bum. As the one holding the gun, I had to decide. As the one holding the gun, you will have to decide. When your room mate is holding the gun, let your room mate decide.

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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:53 am

Glenn Bartley wrote:
First, I'd move away from any location where you are "required by law" to keep a home defense weapon inaccessible.
To begin with, telling anyone to move, who lives in their home whether by choice or not, is pretty much pointless to this discussion. Nice thought, but most folks cannot just up and move at your whim.


The statement was what "I'd" do... I like many others would NEVER live in a place that was that restricive.

Glenn Bartley wrote:As to warning shots, you as the person holding the firearm, has to decide whether or not you think it will be useless. it is a judgment call. I have fired a warning shot, once in many years of firearms ownership. It worked, The guy who had been attacking me, then was in the process of calling others to help while he was actually taking a break from the attack of me ran away. So too did the approximately 15 - 20 others whom he was trying to get to attack me. He was unarmed. Except for a small red spot, and coughing up some blood the next day, I was without apparent injury, and without apparent (note I said APPARENT) evidence that he had been attacking me. As it was I had been attacked by at least 5 bad guys who took a prisoner away from me. No witnesses except them and the prisoner as far as I am aware, and of course me. I broke away from them, they got my prisoner, and I started to back off. One bad guy, the big mouth, told the others to come and get me. He came up to me. He was edging them on. I pulled my Colt Border Patrol, aimed at him, and then aimed a tiny bit higher. The shot parted his hair, I swear it did. They all took off. The Mexicans arrested my prisoner, and sent him to jail longer than we would have here in the USA. I got my handcuffs back. I stopped any further attack. I did not have to testify in a manslaughter or murder trial. I did not have to hire an attorney. I was alive and well because of what I did even though an outright violation of Border Patrol policy at the time. Was it the right thing to do? I took a calculated risk, and it paid off. I was told by many I did the right thing, and by just as many I did the wrong thing. I know what I did saved my life, just as well as shooting him would have done. I have also shot someone else who was trying to rob me. No hesitation there to shoo the bum. As the one holding the gun, I had to decide. As the one holding the gun, you will have to decide. When your room mate is holding the gun, let your room mate decide.


Thank god you didnt hit anyone with that shot too... imagine if that shot had killed a 6 month old baby in its crib a mile away... why we would all hear about yet another case where a LEO killed an innocent negligently and didnt get punished...

True, it might have saved your life, but making sure that your shot hit its target and stopped the threat might have done the same damn thing... and it would have had the bonus of making sure that the taxpayers didnt have to pay for some scumbag to sit in jail.

as stated above, if you need to draw your gun, you have already passed WAY beyond the point where warnings are needed.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Bob K » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:13 am

My orientation is that once I point a firearm, said subject has 1 second to surrender; if he doesn't, I shoot to incapacitate.
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Re: warning shots

Postby randy » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:14 am

Glenn Bartley wrote:
First, I'd move away from any location where you are "required by law" to keep a home defense weapon inaccessible.
To begin with, telling anyone to move, who lives in their home whether by choice or not, is pretty much pointless to this discussion. Nice thought, but most folks cannot just up and move at your whim.


The problem with posting in a forum like this is that it is hard to communicate the full tone. Hence the " ;) " in my original post trying to indicate that I was not entirely serious (alright, I was being a smartass), and the real point as I stated later in the same section was:

just to point out that not every place has such idiotic laws.


Too many folks, especially those that live in areas with excessively restrictive firearms laws, tend to think those laws are in place everywhere (which is just an example of the normal human tendency to extrapolated everything from their own limited experience). I wanted to ensure we were working from a common set of base assumptions.

As for your personal experience, First I'm glad it worked out for you. It shows that no rule or guideline covers 100% of all situations. As Murphy's Rules of Combat say: "It it's stupid and it works, then it's not stupid". In your specific situation it worked with a positive outcome.

--As the one holding the gun, you will have to decide. When your room mate is holding the gun, let your room mate decide.


Agreed. EVERYONE has to decide for themselves when it comes down to it. I was hoping to help ensure that mulligan (and the room mate) have enough information to make a better decision, than the one they would come to based on the room mate's (as I perceive it from available information) ignorance on the subject.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Kommander » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:04 am

mekender wrote:
Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.


they only real grey area would be if you were drinking too. then you could get into trouble for being armed...


I don't drink so it was not really a problem but you are correct.

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Re: warning shots

Postby workinwifdakids » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:10 am

There's stuff under carpets. Hard stuff, like wood, nails, and concrete.

Bullets do funny things - ask John Connally.

Warning shots? That's about up there with shooting the gun out of someone's hand, in terms of being dumb and dangerous.
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Re: warning shots

Postby tcourtplayer » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:56 am

mekender wrote:
Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.


they only real grey area would be if you were drinking too. then you could get into trouble for being armed...


Just in case anyone is wondering, in FL the entire section of laws dealing with it being illegal to use a firearm while intoxicated is null and void if it is a self defense scenario. I would highly suggest looking into your own state laws because I'm sure there are at least a few other sane states out there that make similar accommodations. While I'm not advocating using firearms while intoxicated (in fact it is very dangerous to you and others and thus very stupid) I am noting that it is good that some states realize that you can't always pick when someone will bust into your house and start attacking you and yours and its nice that you wont have to consider how many beers you've had at the BBQ before defending yourself.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:16 am

tcourtplayer wrote:
mekender wrote:
Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.


they only real grey area would be if you were drinking too. then you could get into trouble for being armed...


Just in case anyone is wondering, in FL the entire section of laws dealing with it being illegal to use a firearm while intoxicated is null and void if it is a self defense scenario. I would highly suggest looking into your own state laws because I'm sure there are at least a few other sane states out there that make similar accommodations. While I'm not advocating using firearms while intoxicated (in fact it is very dangerous to you and others and thus very stupid) I am noting that it is good that some states realize that you can't always pick when someone will bust into your house and start attacking you and yours and its nice that you wont have to consider how many beers you've had at the BBQ before defending yourself.


while that is indeed true, you can bet your ass that any shooting will get 10 times the scrutiny if you are drunk than if you arent.
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Re: warning shots

Postby tcourtplayer » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:34 am

mekender wrote:
tcourtplayer wrote:Just in case anyone is wondering, in FL the entire section of laws dealing with it being illegal to use a firearm while intoxicated is null and void if it is a self defense scenario. I would highly suggest looking into your own state laws because I'm sure there are at least a few other sane states out there that make similar accommodations. While I'm not advocating using firearms while intoxicated (in fact it is very dangerous to you and others and thus very stupid) I am noting that it is good that some states realize that you can't always pick when someone will bust into your house and start attacking you and yours and its nice that you wont have to consider how many beers you've had at the BBQ before defending yourself.


while that is indeed true, you can bet your ass that any shooting will get 10 times the scrutiny if you are drunk than if you arent.

Oh, I don't deny that at all. As I stated in my comments I believe the use of firearms while intoxicated is extremely dangerous and thus very stupid. Because of this any use of firearms while intoxicated should receive a MUCH greater amount of scrutiny then when used while stone cold sober. I was merely stating that it is nice that there are states out there that realize just because you drank at a party earlier in the night doesn't mean you are no longer justified in using all means available for self defense including a firearm if applicable (such as in cases of home invasion in the middle of the night...no time to take a breathalyzer there before grabbing for the bedside gun.) In a perfect world this discussion wouldn't even be needed but we are far from that world here.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:28 am

tcourtplayer wrote:In a perfect world this discussion wouldn't even be needed but we are far from that world here.


slowly but surely, we are getting the gun rights back that will help in that endeavor.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Aglifter » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:54 pm

I'm a bit rusty on it, but I think that if you used a gun to defend yourself, while intoxicated, any laws against being in possession of a weapon while intoxicated should be considered a lesser included offense -- honestly, I have to look at the laws for being intoxicated, in possession of a weapon, I suspect it requires being in public as well... (Too many problems about being "in possession" of a weapon, while drunk, in your house...)
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Re: warning shots

Postby chrisb » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:27 pm

Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.
\

Exactly. Here in Texas, you would be within your rights to blow the guy away as soon as he refuses to leave, and you feel you or others are in real danger.

My decision to shoot would probably be something like this.

1. Get gun.
2. Ask guy to leave with gun concealed.
3. Tell guy to leave with gun drawn and aimed at him.
4. Have someone call the cops.
5. If guy makes aggressive move towards me he gets dropped once he is in range to do me harm. If there was time to give him a verbal warning, then I would. If not, not so much.

Bottom line: If you are in my house, and I don't want you there, you sure as hell better leave pronto.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Rod » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:05 pm

chrisb wrote:
Kommander wrote:One other thing I thought I should bring up here is that the second you saw this person and knew they were trouble you should arm yourself. That way if he does something stupid you don't have to run all over your house looking for a gun. I used to live in a house with several other college kids and I was always armed, even when we had the girls wrestle in the pool full of shaving creme.
\

Exactly. Here in Texas, you would be within your rights to blow the guy away as soon as he refuses to leave, and you feel you or others are in real danger.

My decision to shoot would probably be something like this.

1. Get gun.
2. Ask guy to leave with gun concealed.
3. Tell guy to leave with gun drawn and aimed at him.
4. Have someone call the cops.
5. If guy makes aggressive move towards me he gets dropped once he is in range to do me harm. If there was time to give him a verbal warning, then I would. If not, not so much.

Bottom line: If you are in my house, and I don't want you there, you sure as hell better leave pronto.


I would probably move number 4 to number 1 or do it myself and let the police know I was armed because of fear.
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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:14 pm

Aglifter wrote:I'm a bit rusty on it, but I think that if you used a gun to defend yourself, while intoxicated, any laws against being in possession of a weapon while intoxicated should be considered a lesser included offense -- honestly, I have to look at the laws for being intoxicated, in possession of a weapon, I suspect it requires being in public as well... (Too many problems about being "in possession" of a weapon, while drunk, in your house...)


here in NC the only laws against possession while intoxicated are for concealed carry... now if you were open carrying and drunk im quite sure they could find something to charge you with... but either way, that wont matter on your own property.
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Re: warning shots

Postby 1911Man » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:47 pm

Bob K wrote:My orientation is that once I point a firearm, said subject has 1 second to surrender; if he doesn't, I shoot to incapacitate.


That may be fine where you live, but it's illegal in Texas to intentionally maim someone. The law reads that if force is required to stop an attack, then deadly force is allowed. The goal of shooting is to stop an attack. You can tell the LEO's that you were shooting center mass and missed (through your attorney), but never admit to shooting to wound or incapacitate. At least not in Texas. They even changed our CHL targets to focus totally on center mass shots.

Warning shots are generally a BAD idea. Every rule has exceptions.
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Re: warning shots

Postby 308Mike » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:18 pm

You shoot to stop the threat. There are no liability freebies for shooting to warn someone.
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Re: warning shots

Postby SeekHer » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:02 am

I've posted this before:

If you carry a weapon be prepared to pull it...

If you pull it you had better be prepared to use it...

If you use it you be prepared that you may have to kill someone...

If you do kill someone your better have a good lawyer on speed dial and be prepared to give no statement to the police until they arrive other then your name and address...

If you are not prepared for the above you have no business carrying a weapon...
There is a certain type of mentality that thinks if you make certain inanimate objects illegal their criminal misuse will disappear!

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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:40 am

SeekHer wrote:If you do kill someone your better have a good lawyer on speed dial and be prepared to give no statement to the police until they arrive other then your name and address...


the only thing ill tell the police is my name, my address, my lawyers name, his phone number and the location of anything i had to move to secure the scene, like the bad guy's weapon.

other than that, "sir, i will be glad to give a statement just as soon as i can talk to my lawyer."
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Re: warning shots

Postby tcourtplayer » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:25 pm

One more interesting point a cop actually told me once was:

1) just tell them the basics (name, address, "I felt threatened for my life, drew my weapon and fired." ask for your lawyer and that is all you say)

2) After that statement, immediately request medical attention. This does two things:
A) Gives you a medical record of having an elevated heart rate and blood pressure after the shooting if you do go to trial (criminal or civil) to help prove you were under stress (you feared for your life)
B) Then one of the first things they'll always do is dope you up to help you calm down after a stressful event. These means anything you say by accident can not be used because they can't use any statements you make while they know you are under the influence (since you do not have the legal capacity to waive your rights) This gives you time to sit down with your lawyer, carefully go through the events as you remember them and craft a statement to hand over to the police instead of sitting in an interrogation room trying to answer questions on the fly.
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Re: warning shots

Postby kparker » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:06 am

once he is in range to do me harm.

If he's in the same room as you, but not already "in range to do you harm", then you live in quite the palace! :-)

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Re: warning shots

Postby mulligan » Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:23 pm

consensus seems to be:

1- know the law for your location.
2- situational awareness is key.
3- warning shots are generally bad/unsafe/unnecessary/etc, but exceptions happen.
4- letting drunk belligerent people into your house is bad for business.

also not a bad idea to memorize some form of: My lawyer will give you a statement after I speak with him.

:)

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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:45 pm

mulligan wrote:consensus seems to be:

1- know the law for your location.
2- situational awareness is key.
3- warning shots are generally bad/unsafe/unnecessary/etc, but exceptions happen.
4- letting drunk belligerent people into your house is bad for business.

also not a bad idea to memorize some form of: My lawyer will give you a statement after I speak with him.

:)


that is about the sum of it... i will say that #2 on your list is perhaps the most useful... i have been in countless situations where i was aware of something being wrong long before anything overt happened. I personally feel that this awareness saved me from some serious headaches more than once.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Jered » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:07 am

If someone is already to the point where he's doing something that makes me feel the need to shoot him, he doesn't get a warning.

He gets a shot.
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Re: warning shots

Postby Precision » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:29 am

Jered wrote:If someone is already to the point where he's doing something that makes me feel the need to shoot him, he doesn't get a warning.

He gets a shot.



I agree, then up it to "anything (anyone) worth shooting is worth shooting twice".
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Re: warning shots

Postby Combat Controller » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:00 am

IIRC the law in most places says that if you are justified in shooting, you should not warn. If the behavior is not bad enough to justify killing then a warning will only get you in trouble.
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Re: warning shots

Postby NVGdude » Mon May 25, 2009 5:01 am

A warning shot is a damn good way to get convicted. Just ask Harold Fish. (goole it if you aren't familiar)

Say this out loud "I was afraid for my life, so I fired a 'warning shot'"
Were I on a jury, I wouldn't believe it either.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Dedicated_Dad » Mon May 25, 2009 9:29 am

kparker wrote:
once he is in range to do me harm.

If he's in the same room as you, but not already "in range to do you harm", then you live in quite the palace! :-)


THIS one will DEFINITELY open the eyes of the anti-gunner, if you can get them to play along.

Give them a toy gun, start from across the room, when you "attack" they try to draw and "shoot" you before you tag them.

**NEVER** happen.

Funny how quick they realize the total emptiness of their "position."

Cops/DAs complain about the "CSI effect" -- juries refusing to convict on solid, but not "CSI wiz-bang" solid, evidence. We poor self and family-defenders have to worry about the "movie effect" -- otherwise sane people wondering "why didn't he just shoot the gun out of his hand/shoot him in the leg" or some other sort of nonsense.

Your friend is -- sadly -- an idiot with no grasp of reality. In some ways I envy her naivete.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Windy Wilson » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:11 pm

Precision wrote:
Jered wrote:If someone is already to the point where he's doing something that makes me feel the need to shoot him, he doesn't get a warning.

He gets a shot.



I agree, then up it to "anything (anyone) worth shooting is worth shooting twice".


(or more), and "I was amazed that he didn't go down right away like you see in the movies" (for why there are 12 bullets in the Orc when he was standing within arm's length of you).

Colonel Cooper recounts in his book, "To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth", the case of a man who was attacked, and, using a .380, emptied the gun into the assailant. A DA wanted to press charges, on the theory that "you emptied the gun into him, that was overkill and you executed him in cold blood". Colonel Cooper experimented with how fast he could keep a mag full of .380 on a target at the distances involved and concluded that it could be done quickly enough to be within what he termed "hot blood". Cooper concluded with an observation that .380 wasn't a big enough caliber either in the moment or in the courtroom.
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Re: warning shots

Postby D5CAV » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:59 am

Proper Response in Court

Prosecutor: "Why did you shoot [bad guy] 7 times?"

D5: "Because the gun stopped working after 7 shots"
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Re: warning shots

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:34 am

Greg wrote:
randy wrote:And I repeat my earlier comments, in summary: If you are not legally/morally justified in shooting the person, then you are not justified in pulling the trigger, period.


Randy pretty much nails it right here.


Hmm, I don't know that I would completely agree with that. In the scenario stated here, I don't think warning shots are justified, but that does not mean that they are never so justified.

I have never fired warning shots, but I have had men working under my direct supervision do so, and it was justified under the ROE we were working under at the time. A litteral shot across the bow can be an effective communicatin tool for dumb asses who can't get the message that the boat which drove in front of them and pointed their guns at them is not playing (there are a lot of such dumb asses in the third world).

I also noticed that the Army has backed off on the "no warning shots ever" for their ROE training on the way here. Ultimately, shooting every dumb ass (or group of 'em) who can't take the hint that they need to turn around and go the other way is not a good way to win the hearts and minds around here.

Of course that is military situation, not always applicable in home/personal defense situation. That does not mean never though. The basic idea of a warning shot (like at sea) is a communication tool, and it implies some degree of distance. If you are close enough to be in fear of your life or if you are in a situation where you have to worry about your round going somewhere unsafe, then they are out of the question.

I think they would be especially likely if you are in a rural area of a state like Missouri (I think Texas too) where deadly force is legal for the protection of property.

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Re: warning shots

Postby mekender » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:53 am

perhaps the only time warning shots are appropriate are when you are attempting to get a boat/ship to stop...
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Re: warning shots

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:40 pm

mekender wrote:perhaps the only time warning shots are appropriate are when you are attempting to get a boat/ship to stop...


...Or

What if there is a mob of people coming towards you. Fire a warning shot while you still have some distance between you or wait until your life IS threatened and start shooting them? (This could be a mob of pissed off third worlders or the Rodney King riots, same/same.)

or (assuming you are in a state that allows the use of deadly force for the protection of property) what if someone is 20 yards away running away with your ____ that you paid a lot of money for and need. Go center of mass on the first shot or fire a warning shot to try to get them to stop or just watch them run away? (I think the right answer could be any of the three depending on the circumstances.)

...and certainly there are other scenarios two. Now none of these are run of the mill home/personal defense situation. I fully agree that warning shots in such a case are not a good idea, but to say that there will never be a case between going center of mass and nothing, I don't think that is correct.

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Re: warning shots

Postby Kommander » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:33 pm

If your being pursued by a mob I think that you time is better spent getting the hell out of the area than firing warning shots. Unless you have a belt fed MG your not going to be able to keep the mob off you via firepower and I think in most cases shooting into the mob is only going to piss them off more. Also if one is worried about an approaching mob I think it is safe to say that one is in a hostile area and presuming one manages to escape from the mob said "warning shot" rounds may well be needed later for specific threats.


Oh and Thread Necro FTW!

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Re: warning shots

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:20 pm

Kommander wrote:If your being pursued by a mob I think that you time is better spent getting the hell out of the area than firing warning shots. Unless you have a belt fed MG your not going to be able to keep the mob off you via firepower and I think in most cases shooting into the mob is only going to piss them off more. Also if one is worried about an approaching mob I think it is safe to say that one is in a hostile area and presuming one manages to escape from the mob said "warning shot" rounds may well be needed later for specific threats.


Oh and Thread Necro FTW!


Maybe I am misunderstanding your point, but I think in most situations like that, running is probably not an option. Obviously, if there are enough people and they decide they are going to get you come hell or high water, you are screwed. However, that is I think the rare exception. In most cases, they are going to go the path of least resistance and one would hope that path is somewhere else other than through you.

In the Rodney King riots would be an example of what I am talking about. The guys who demonstrated in front of/on top of their homes/businesses with weapons (and in some cases fired off a round or two to show they meant business) mostly had their stuff left alone.

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Re: warning shots

Postby HTRN » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:48 pm

Kommander wrote:Oh and Thread Necro FTW!


I have a macro for that:
Image

:mrgreen:


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Re: warning shots

Postby Dedicated_Dad » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:26 pm

D5CAV wrote:Proper Response in Court

Prosecutor: "Why did you shoot [bad guy] 7 times?"

D5: "Because the gun stopped working after 7 shots"


Many years ago, I had a cop advise me to fire my last round into a floor or ceiling as "proof of a warning shot." Obviously bad advice.

He also advised me to empty the weapon, because there's lots of evidence that people in real fear will keep pulling the trigger long after it's empty. He basically said "one between the eyes is seen as calculated murder, "spray and pray" is indicative of real panic/fear. This actually seems to me to be GOOD advice, but I welcome input. Honestly, I think the fact is that if someone's running at me I'm likely to end up emptying it anyway, without thinking...

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Re: warning shots

Postby HTRN » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:50 pm

NVGdude wrote:Say this out loud "I was afraid for my life, so I fired a 'warning shot'"


Ah, the "Uncle Jimbo Defense".


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Combat Controller
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Re: warning shots

Postby Combat Controller » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:12 am

I think that one was "He's coming right at me!"

In a self defense situation I think the majority of the time warning shots are asking for trouble. But there are times I concede it may work.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

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HTRN
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Re: warning shots

Postby HTRN » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:56 am

CombatController wrote:I think that one was "He's coming right at me!"

"Democrat's piss me off!"Image

:mrgreen:


HTRN
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Describing what HTRN does as "antics" is like describing the wreck of the Titanic as "a minor boating incident" ~ First Shirt

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workinwifdakids
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Re: warning shots

Postby workinwifdakids » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:20 am

"a 46-gauge" lmfao
And may I say, from a moral point of view, I think there can be no justification for shoving snack cakes up your action.
--Weetabix


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