Brandish, or Blow 'Em Away?

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by ScottG, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Re this thread.

    Many, if not all, jurisdictions have laws against "brandishing" a weapon. It seems our new member ran afoul of such a law.

    As a hypothetical question, why should brandishing as such be against the law? Now I can understand louts and thugs brandishing a weapon as intimidation or a threat, but if merely showing a weapon will stop a criminal from acting, why shouldn't a citizen concerned for his/her safety be able to do so if the other option would be to just shoot the object of fear if no avenue of escape is available? Would it be preferable to shoot/kill someone who is menacing you, or to have them leave because they see you are armed and ready to protect yourself?

    Is there a difference between drawing a gun and making ready to use it and showing it to ward off a possible threat? Why? If our new poster was surrounded would he legally have to wait until the assailants actually launched an attack before he was legally able to fire upon them? That seems bizarre. He would be in the right to shoot someone who attacked him, but he can't ward off an attack by showing his weapon?

    I know that showing a gun may lead to an escalation, but it can also end an attempted car jacking, robbery, or murder. Any thoughts as to why this situation resulted in jail time? In your opinion, why should it have or why shouldn't it.
     
  2. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    You don't draw unless you intend to shoot. You don't shoot unless you intend to kill. Therefore, you don't draw unless you intend to kill.

    Bad things can happen if you draw and don't use it. If a target doesn't know you don't have a weapon, they can't strip it from you and use it against you. Also, without a weapon in hand, you're not a threat.

    A: "Hey, look at me I have a gun!"

    B: "Hey, that guy has a gun. Why does he have it out waving it around? Could be a threat."

    B's piece: "BAM"

    B: "Ughh..." "cough, cough..."
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008

  3. fapprez

    fapprez New Member

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    Exactly! Brandishing MAY stop a crime but will also create panic in the surrounding people. Brandishing should remain illeagal. However, open carry could stop a crime in the same manner of brandishing, without having to pull it out and wave it around.
     
  4. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    How is it that a LEO can draw and tell the BG to stop, the BG stops and thus avoids being killed and this is a good thing? How can it be a bad thing that not having to kill the BG is not a good thing? One certainly should not be allowed us a weapon to intimidate a fellow citizen but to stop an imminent personal attack it seems to me to be a rational act. It looks to me like the anti-brandishing statutes create two situations: to avoid the possibility of the brandishing violation the armed citizen kills someone who might have been detered by the weapon; and the brandishing statute are misused to create a criminal act on the part of the firearm holder.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    IANAL- However, cut & paste from Virginia Criminal Code. Problem arises when you are NOT acting in justifiable self defense:
    § 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.
     
  6. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    If what our poster said is the truth, it seems to me he should not have been charged or convicted of anything. If these guys meant to harm him, he seems to have been legally justified in warding off the threat in the manner he did. They left. That Virginia statute appears to mean he could legally have done what he did in Virginia. Is a self defense provision in the Georgia statutes as well?
     
  7. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I should add it to my signature, so it is in every post that I make, there are at least two sides to every story.
     
  8. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    It would seem the manor in which this was handled was what got the guy in trouble .

    What he did was legally brandishing yet had he entered the driveway of the land he was there to look at brought the car to a stop and stepped out and been approached by the drivers of those vehicles he would have been justified in putting his hand on a holstered weapon "Or one unseen inside the car " and clearly warning them that he was armed .

    This or some variation of is the best way to handle it .

    Even just yelling "Hey knock it off I've got a gun" out the window would be legal to do so because you wouldn't be making a threat but simply stating that you are armed .

    "leave me alone I've got a gun"

    "I'll draw my gun if I have to"

    "I have a gun" any of those would be seen as legal because as stated above you are not issuing a threat .
     
  9. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    In most states you are not allowed to "brandish" a gun or shoot someone unless you are in a position to either defend your life or if you are staving-off an armed attack. In NY I am not allowed to shoot anyone that isn't shooting at me. And protecting property is no excuse either - if I see someone breaking into my car or driving off in it I am not allowed to shoot him or at him. If someone breaks into my house at night I am not allowed to shoot him unless he is armed and threatens me with bodily harm. I was told this by the cop who issued me my permit. Would I comply? I doubt it!
     
  10. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    A motor vehicle has been proven, in a court of law, to be a deadly weapon when used as such.
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    That's true - but you are not allowed to shoot someone for stealing one of those deadly weapons...unless he is trying to run you over with it! And I suspect proving that, short of having tread marks up your ***, would be difficult at best...not like planting a weapon on someone that you had to shoot..that would be much easier...
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  12. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    You actually can in many states. Unfortunately, neither of us are in one. IIRC, the Castle Doctrine applies to your vehicles in Castle Doctrine states.
     
  13. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

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    There are at least THREE sides to every story... your side, my side, and what REALLY happened...
     
  14. jtmat

    jtmat New Member

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    I might be wrong, but I won't kill someone for stealing my car unless I'm in it.

    I would also never pull a gun that I did not intend to use. When I pull my gun, the trigger is being pulled as the gun is leveling off. Their last words should be, "What is that flash?"

    Only an idiot would brandish a gun. First, I DON'T want ANYONE to know I have a gun. I want to keep that knowledge to myself until the last second.

    IMO, brandishing a gun takes more away than you gain....

    And killing someone, even if they are a POS is not worth it as they are driving away in your car. Even if you believe you should, what about the kid in the window as your bullet ricochet off the back glass? Oh, yea, you are sure that won't happen....

    The car is gone, get insurance next time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  15. hical

    hical New Member

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    well.

    I think brandishing your gun can have either have good or bad situations.
    If a mugger with a knife finds you late at night in a dark alley and says "gimme your wallet" then maybe brandishing your gun would probably scare the attacker away, or you can just shoot em if he is putting you in imminent danger.


    But, say you brandish your gun and the other guy at the end of the barrel has a gun to? I guess it would just end up like the old wild west and i guess the faster gun would win? which is not good since the person who brandished their gun first would be at fault.


    I say it would probably put you in a very dangerous situation by brandishing your firearm. Dont draw unless you plan on shooting the other person when you have no other choice and when your life is on the line.
     
  16. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    I never brandish a gun when a cell phone will do! ;)
     
  17. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

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    I just want to throw my $.02 in... why? Because I can :)

    First of all, there have been a lot of 'absolutes' in the opinions expressed here. Unfortunately, there really aren't any absolutes when it comes to dealing with firearms and our justice system. Otherwise, some people would be in prison right now, and some would have never gone. I can't say ABSOLUTELY whether I would shoot someone for stealing my car. I don't have the insurance because I can't afford it because too many people WOULDN'T shoot people for stealing THEIR cars. My family currently has only one vehicle, and if you steal that, you steal my livelihood.

    Now... on to "brandishing". Again, there have been many 'absolutes', but there is no absolutes in dealing with self defense, etc. Let's first dispense with some definitions and conceptions. Brandishing a firearm means pulling it out and waving it around. It's a stupid thing to do. Presenting a firearm means drawing it out from concealment and assuming a defensive posture... from being at low ready to taking aim. Presenting a firearm constitutes the use of deadly force. Can you present your firearm? Sure... as long as you are already authorized/justified in using deadly force. Does it mean you HAVE to shoot? No.

    It's quite difficult to justify displaying a firearm while in a moving vehicle. If you're in a vehicle that's moving, you are already set up with an escape mechanism. You can't really "present" a firearm while in a moving vehicle if you're the driver, so it's best to just keep it handy and slow down enough to make evasive maneuvers or minimize injury should the attackers become aggressive enough to bump into you, but go fast enough to avoid looking like you want to stop for a real confrontation. Defensive driving is all about you, not them.

    I'm sure that last paragraph doesn't sound like I want it to... maybe I should stop posting at 2am???