Preemptive strike ruin self defense case?

According to the attorneys present at this workshop, both prosecuting and defense, uttering the words “I’ll shoot” can and usually is used against you. They say it’s not hard to convince a jury that your intent was to kill someone. In other words, they will turn you into a blood hungry gun owner.

Best to stop after “Stop, I am armed.” If they’re armed you should be telling them to drop whatever it is they’re armed with and “ask” (tell) them “don’t make me do this.” This statement takes the onus off you the defender and puts it back on the offender. They knew the consequences of their actions and continued the attack.


I’m curious, what kind of workshop was this. Do they have much if any actual experience with self defense cases? What state because this is counter to just about everything I’ve ever been told or taught by self defense specialists as well as the text of the self defense statutes in most of the states I’ve studied up on.

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It was a gun owners seminar - during the discussion about the responsibilities etc the question came up from another CCW holder regarding the use of force spectrum.

The don’t say I’m going to shoot was in response to a question about their use of force+1 statement. They went around the room asking CCW holders and non-holders what they would say to someone. They were all a semblance of “I’ll shoot.”

The below was stated by a defense attorney in response to the DA saying with the statements from those who know/know of you and a search of your social media/internet history he could twist and turn “I’ll shoot” to meet the requirements of pre-meditated murder.

The defense attorney wasn’t shy about agreeing with the DA which is when he gave the “STOP! I am armed. DROP the WEAPON! DON’T make me do this!” statement.

The defense attorney is very experienced - I personally would take the advice of a defense attorney over a self defense specialist or authors.


Sticks and stones will break my bones, but your words will never hurt me. NO imminent threat… right?


Ok so that’s a completely different context than what I was discussing which is the threat of the use of force to stop an incident that is escalating which is specifically allowed by statute in most states.

Verbal threats + threatening actions combine to a justifiable use of force.

Someone simply driving by shouting threats /= a lawful use of force in response.

Someone who does the above then turns the vehicle towards you and accelerates does.

Someone doing the first while pointing a firearm in your direction does.

The difference? Imminence and the ability to carry the threat out.

Thanks for your input. I always like hearing what the different people on this community have to say because everyone is always wanting to help the other.

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Guess I should have said (Sarcasm ON)… I’m team lead for security at my church. Nice breakdown though… Concise!

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It’s not a different context - saying you will shoot can be used by the prosecution to show premeditation. I was simply pointing out what a DA and prosecuting attorney suggested as alternate language.

In a day when legal gun owners are under attack we must choose our words wisely, not giving them anything to use against us.

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You got that right. The defense attorney gave solid advice!


Yes it is a different context. Your internet history and how you act prior to a defensive encounter can all be used against you.

If you run around playing tough guy/gal on the net basically stating you’re going to shoot someone the first chance you get and think you can get away with it or use otherwise reckless language, have T Shirts, bumper stickers, signs etc with slogans like, “Kill’m all and let God Sort’m out” those things will absolutely make your case more difficult.

The context here is during a defensive encounter and the lawful use of force, or lawfully threatening the use of force/deadly force to deescalate a situation and avoid having to use that force.

“Stop or I’ll shoot” is a very specific and quite accepted threat of deadly force where such force or threat of same is lawful.

Now “Stop or I’ll Kill you” or, “Stop or I’ll blow your #(%@ head off”, takes it to a different level and could easily complicate your case if the situation does escalate to you having to use deadly force.

You have to separate the two.

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Oh I see your focusing on the DAs extended comment instead of focusing on the defense attorney’s advice on what not to say.

My original response was in context - the part you chose to focus on was in response to your questions.

You go with your defense specialist advice and I’ll stick with the defense attorney advice.

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Is it legal under California law to threaten the use of deadly force to deescalate an encounter that is escalating?

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I haven’t looked at the laws of CA yet, but why give the DA extra ammo by saying you’re going to shoot instead of using the language that indicates what you’re really trying to do: get the threat to stop.

Or “Stay back! Get away from me! Drop your weapon!”

That way you’re being very concise about what you want the attacker to do and you’re not giving the DA any additional ammo against you.


You are so missing the point of what the defense attorney was saying.

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Glad to see someone gets it.

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I seriously wish you could just answer the question.

Is it lawful in CA to threaten the use of deadly force to deescalate an incident where you may have to lawfully use force?

It’s irrelevant - it’s about choosing your words wisely so they can’t be used against you in court.

If you watched the lastest police shooting, that is exactly what the police did when they were backing up from an aggressive person with a knife. Stop, don’t make us do this, don’t make us do this.


I wasn’t there but again, I wish you’d answer the question because if it is lawful then there is no lawful basis for making such a statement and I think you simply misheard or misunderstood what was said at the meeting if indeed this is a defense atty who practices self defense law.

In all my years I have never heard such a statement from an attorney and I’ve talked directly with over a hundred of them on this subject and listened to dozens of them for whom “gun law” and “self defense law” are their specialties.