New member and poster here. By introduction, I am an attorney (commercial law), so I should arguably know the answer to this question already.
My thesis is that facing an unarmed opponent may very well be your most dangerous encounter. I offer two scenarios for consideration: (1) situation where you have not revealed your weapon; and (2) situation where you have in some form revealed the fact that you are armed, including but not limited to attempting to use the threat of deadly force to scare off your opponent.
Scenario #1: Assume no safe escape option. You are confronted by an unarmed assailant who is doing his best to draw you into street fight. Maybe you have some martial arts training, and maybe you are confident you could some kick some butt as needed with your bare hands.
But if you get pulled into a grappling match on the ground, e.g., then even if you are “winning” the fistfight, there is nonetheless still a deadly weapon involved: yours! A fistfight presents an opportunity for your adversary to capture your gun and use it against you.
How would you handle this? To the extent deadly force plays a part in your self-defense, one could argue that this is your fault – you are the one who “brought a gun to a fistfight”. In other words, you are the one who introduced deadly force into the equation, so your hands are not completely clean of responsibility vis-a-vis the outcome.
Scenario #2. Same setup, except now you have (intentionally) revealed that you are armed. This could be you presenting in a low-ready, showing your holster, or by giving a verbal warning you are armed, or anything along those lines. You had hoped that introducing your firearm would scare off the bad guy.
Instead, your adversary becomes more aggressive, essentially “calling your bluff.” He says something along the lines of, “I’m gonna take that gun away from you, shove it down your throat, and kill you with it.” Then he begins walking towards you, seemingly unfazed.
Again, if this guy gets your weapon, then your life will be endangered.
But, until that happens you would be shooting an unarmed assailant. Not a good look for when the cops show up.
So, any thoughts or suggestions? This is just a though experiment for now, but I can very, very easily envision that scenario – especially if your opponent is under the influence of PCP, e.g.
You have now affirmatively introduced deadly force, but you can’t exactly shoot an unarmed man (absent additional factors). And if you do shoot because you now fear for your life if your weapon is taken , you will have some tough counterarguments. Why did you reveal your weapon in the first place? You threatened lethal force against an unarmed (for now) assailant, so arguably you set this chain of events into motion.
This is just a though experiment for now, but I can very, very easily envision that scenario – especially if your opponent is under the influence of PCP, e.g.