Fight or Flight? Could a person be morally responsible for a criminals next victim if they had the chance to stop a criminal but choose to be safe and hide or allow the criminals to get away?

Self-defense law has developed over a very long time and is very much the same today as it was before the modern phenomenon of civilian training. Few DAs even understand the firearms laws in my state, and fewer still have any knowledge or awareness of the content of basic firearms training. The idea that their actions are influenced by USCCA or NRA training fails the laugh test. Sure, you can have whatever opinion you like, but the law in my state says you have a duty to retreat before using force except when inside your dwelling (and they are, too). Inside you’re probably going to be OK if you employ deadly force on an intruder, but you still must be able to argue that you

  • Acted in the reasonable belief that the intruder was about to inflict great bodily injury or death on the defendant or another person who was lawfully in the dwelling; and
  • Used reasonable means to defend themselves or the other person lawfully in the dwelling.

Plus, you bust a cap in their head, you’re going to have to pay somebody to clean that up at the very least. At worst it turns out it was just a drunk kid who entered the wrong house bleeding out on your floor. If that’s the case, it will be years before you get your life back to normal. Your guns will be stored at your expense in some bonded warehouse, and you won’t be able to carry. Other strategies could have had things back to normal for you the next day. But hey, keep it real if that’s what’s important to you.

2 Likes

More fear mongering. Those weren’t always the rules and ridiculous rules like those work for the intruder and against the home owner. They encourage lawlessness and their purpose is to slowly inch closer to disarming a society under the guise of safety. Not sure where your at but it sounds like one of THOSE states and the reason THOSE states like New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts have been able to pass such ridiculousness is most likely corruption. Nothing pleases a criminal more then to be sure that their victims are unarmed or has their hands tied behind their backs by slimy connected politicians and their self defense laws. Sure, some people are dumb and you can’t fix dumb no matter what laws you implement or how much you try and train it. Accidents do happen and are tragic but occur no where near as frequent as other tragedies but get 10 times the attention. Training now is vastly different then when firearms training occurred in grade schools before we allowed all of these ridiculous corrupt fear mongering politicians to implement their self defense laws. I do believe that firearms training has been changed and shaped by politicians and their self defense laws rather then the other way around as you suggested. They won’t be influenced by anything including the people they represent. That’s the problem. When your being attacked you can’t be worried about your guns being taken or who’s going to pay for that storage. Some states mandate that you must make an effort to run. That’s crazy. And it’s not an ego thing it’s just common sense. That kind of thinking is exactly why criminals are more inclined to choose that profession and how victims are made.
Fear has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise

2 Likes

Fear mongering? Not my intention. I was literally thinking of Jeffrey Lovell’s case. Face Everything And Rise turned his life upside down, and he was acquitted. Not sure how the wrongful death civil suit turned out. But everybody who knows the state’s laws knew that he was on the ragged edge with that shoot. He was lucky not to have been convicted. While he didn’t have the duty to retreat, in hindsight it was clearly the best option for him and his wife to do so. I’ll bet he wishes every day that they had.

As for any of this emboldening criminals, I don’t see it. There’s nothing particularly emboldened about the criminals here. I’ve lived in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts. Guess which has the lowest home invasion and burglary rate by far.

1 Like

Probably the smallest one. I don’t know about the case your talking about but to me it’s clear. The more you restrict someone the less capable they become. So if your restricting self defense then naturally defending yourself becomes harder. It sounds like this guy your talking about had a headache of a time with his legal defense but got acquitted anyway. Sounds like a big expensive waist of time if you ask me. Should probably have been and could have been a lot more simple. If that’s the case it speaks to my point. Not everything is cut and dry obviously but it’s really not as complicated as the legal system likes it to be. And always remember,
FEAR has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise

1 Like

Which is one good reason to avoid. So, for example, if you pull up in the driveway and your home seems to be occupied exclusively by intruders, retreating and avoiding that attack while waiting for police to clear the house is a good idea.

You also don’t have to worry as much about being literally dead this way

And I’ve been meaning to ask, why so much focus on fear? Is that what drives your decisions?

1 Like

I probably wouldn’t go in that house. It would be too dangerous and a poor decision. I think what drives all of us is adrenaline secreted by the brain as a response to emotion controlled by repetitive training. Instinct and natural reaction is usually all we have in those short, tense, and stress filled situations. This is why when training somebody we should emphasize as a general philosophy what they’re allowed to do instead of emphasizing unjust legal ramifications and aggressive DEFENSIVE action as a last resort. I understand your position. It does make sense to do the “safest” thing but my position is that as a whole this philosophy naturally creates more unsafe situations and ultimately puts the criminal in a better position and victims plus the 2nd amendment in a weaker position. Remember, fear has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run or
Face Everything And Rise

3 Likes

If we follow the reasoning of some here we would lock our guns up and hide in our house, calling 911at the slightest bump at the door. :roll_eyes:

“An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”
Jeff Cooper

3 Likes

Actually, it IS as complicated as it is.

How an individual’s personal philosophy says things could be, should be, use to be, or whatever, will not help one bit to deflect the consequences of a justified or unjustified shooting which could have been avoided.

If a person chooses to risk their life, finance, freedom, and family in order to “teach a lesson” to some abstract criminal culture imagined to be calculating on the basis of crimestopper anecdotes — well, that’s how those “natural rights” work. A person has a right to attempt any old thing — legal or illegal, smart or not-so-smart. Awkwardly, “rights” do not prevent consequences.

I think a person may address FEAR in other ways:
• forget about consequences, and act based on philosophy, or
• consider consequences, and act based on plausible outcomes.

A person with a brain is never unarmed.
A person who uses their brain is never disarmed.
– unknown

He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is battle slain
Can never rise to fight again.
– Oliver Goldsmith, 1761

The man who runs away may fight again.
– Demosthenes, 338 B.C.

It’s really not as complicated as the legal system likes it to be. In that guys case he was acquitted! So essentially he had to be financially punished for doing the right thing. Your definitions of fear aren’t acronyms! What’s up with that!? If you seriously can’t understand where I’m coming from by now we’ll have to agree to disagree. I appreciate your position and understand that you think being safest is the best course of action. This is where we disagree. I still think it emboldens criminals to be criminals and legal systems to make more restrictions essentially making the whole world(this country) a less safe place to be. Always remember that fear has at least(:rofl:) two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run or
Face Everything And Rise!

1 Like

Can you be more specific as to what “reasoning” you’re referring to? Why would you lock your guns up? The case I mentioned, the guy shot through the door and killed a belligerent, drunk 15 year-old who had the wrong house. He had two choices that would have kept him safe and out of court. One was to retreat with his wife while armed. Another was to wait until the guy made it into the house and only shoot him if he kept coming after being challenged. The kid apparently thought the person behind the door was one of his buddies screwing with him. He chose option #3, which was to shoot through the front door at a person he couldn’t see. What was so courageous about that choice?

1 Like

Wow! It’s like this thread has been shocked back to life! I love it!! The scenario with the boy is tragic and so sad! And rare!! Bad stuff does happen and nothing can stop that. Say the kid enters and the man doesn’t have a gun so he uses an aluminum bat instead. Is it the bats fault, the guy’s fault, the kid’s fault, or the alcohol’s fault? I’m more inclined to blame the alcohol or the person who got the kid alcohol. That guy was going to defend himself either way and he can’t be blamed for that.
Fear has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run or
Face Everything And Rise

1 Like

From the autobiography of one of the founders: “We [Benjamin Franklin and Great Awakening evangelist George Whitfield] had no religious connection. He us’d, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard. Ours was a mere civil friendship, sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death” (page 29 in my copy.)

Franklins says much about God in his autobiography. He never mentions the name of Christ or of Jesus.

Thomas Jefferson cut out the portions of the Bible that he didn’t like.

I’ve not studied the others. Maybe these were the one or two exceptions to which you were referring.

What is confusing is that the founders were deists. They talked a lot about God. But talking about God does not make them Christians (Matthew 7:21-23). I’m not saying some of them weren’t Christians.

I also don’t mean to take the thread off topic.

2 Likes

Franklin was obviously not a Christian. He claims in his autobiography to be unconverted. He had a self-made plan for moral perfection. He apparently didn’t need Christianity because he could perfect himself. Your point is very well made.

2 Likes

What the hell does that have to do with any of this!?!:rofl::joy::rofl: Always Remember fear has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run or
Face Everything And Rise

No. I’m not getting sucked into an inane conversation, I was giving @Elitesless some moral support. :upside_down_face:
As he said more fearmongering. :exploding_head: Bye.

2 Likes

That’s because to do otherwise will void your policy and we won’t get our money back. :man_shrugging:

2 Likes

This + 100.

My concern with the “stand your ground” language is whether or not standing your ground is the best tactical choice for the safety of the defender and/or anyone he is defending. The best tactic for the occasion may be standing your ground, “retreating,” or advancing depending on the situation.

There is another legal defense company that has a podcast featuring a very accomplished trainer. I believe the term he uses is “tactical withdrawal.” I like your term better. (I’m not linking to it out of deference to the USCCA and because I couldn’t immediately find it).

I also recall this article from the USCCA magazine. It likens shooting someone to a hypothetical scenario where you have one and only one magic pill that can get you out of a jam. When do you take it? For me the answer is only if I have no other option whereby to save my life, a family member’s life, or a very narrow group of other people.

1 Like

Also, because to follow that advice will provide the individual member and loved ones the greatest opportunity to avoid the very real hazards of death, injury, imprisonment, financial ruin, forfeit of rights, psychological distress, messing the carpet, etc, etc. But, hey, if spanking some (maybe) bad boy for the (hypothetical) benefit of society is your thing — best of luck.

There was a discussion by one of the posters saying the founding fathers with one or two exceptions were Christians. Seemed relevant to that incorrect assertion.

1 Like