Stand your ground or walk away?


I read this article about a bar fight in Iowa and it’s left me pondering the whole situation and how stand your ground will be applied - or if it will be applicable. Since we weren’t there and do not have all of the details, we cannot say if what the defendant did was right or wrong.

Here’s a similar scenario for us to discuss:

You’re in a bar in a stand-your-ground state where a belligerent, obviously drunk (3x the legal driving limit) construction worker is verbally threatening you and telling you he will kill you, what do you do?


@Dawn I’m curious to know what about this read could lead someone to the belief this case would be anything other than murder. I’m not saying otherwise because I wasn’t there but if the artical is taken at face value I don’t see why this man shouldn’t go to prison. The drunk had zero ability and from the sounds of it he was making no attempt either.

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As we know, the media doesn’t always have or give the full story. I have some very strong views about what the article said happened and what I think the results should be, however, I’m going to keep them to myself for now as I would hate to be judged because of something that may have been reported wrong. As the case developes, I may share my views.

We can definitely talk about the validity of Stand Your Ground claims and when they are helpful. We should also address what is self-defense and what is not self-defense. (The article definitely raises those questions.)


One thing I would add with stand your ground claims is that in most areas with stand your ground law, a person is only covered if that person has the legal right to be there. If the person is armed in a bar or court house (illegal in most places) that person loses any protection they had under stand your ground. I understand laws are different in every state. This is why it’s vital to know the law in your state. I’d also add that there’s a huge difference in knowing the law and thinking you do because your buddy told you so.

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You walk away, if you are in a bar you most likely are not armed as this is generally a gross violation of being a CCW holder. It is not worth the altercation or ramifications of an arrest and subsequent trial. If you can’t walk away have rhe bartender call the cops and do your absolute best to not engage.

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A stupid fist fight should never progress to a gun fight. Take your ars wopping and be on your way. It’s murder. Only if the guy pulls a weapon on you with intent to harm you should you pull. That means they’re lunging towards you or pointing a gun at you. If your that drunk that’s no excuse for murder.


I would get out of the area. If I’m carrying then I’m sober and should be able to get away from somebody that is sloppy drunk. A flashlight with a strobe would be nice for that situation. That being said, if a deadly weapon came out and I was cornered, I would stand my ground and defend my life by any means possible.

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First: I’d try to deescalate the situation. Second: I’d make a move towards the exit. When those fail I’d make my mind up to stand my ground. Most intoxicated folks have courage from the drinks and won’t focus on anything but the conquest. You may be able to temporarily refocus his attention but may not keep them long. By making my move towards an exit I could speak to the bartender as I go past them towards the exit setting up the fact I do not want to be involved.

If they manage to block me from leaving, then I have no choice but to engage and stop the threat by any means necessary. They being drunk doesn’t affect the need, as I don’t know them and their strength. The fact he works construction says he may be stronger then I am, so unarmed and at a disadvantage, I do fear for my well being.

Situational awareness, he’s drunk and I am not close to an exit. Verbally i made my intentions well known. Create space, try to exit or get close to door, call attention to my trying to leave. And finding a weapon of opportunity handy when all else fails. And I would exit after it is concluded but not leave from area. Maybe near the doors or move my car closer.


Follow up on the initial story I posted above, the man was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder - the jury didn’t believe he was defending himself.



Well, @KevinM says the best way to win a fight, is to not get in a fight. Just walk away.


@Dawn The man being found guilty doesn’t change my method. Trying to make an exit and loudly telling the man I do not want to deal with you, makes people on my way to the exit witnesses to my situation and focuses their attention on what happens next. Everyone likes a bar fight but the owner and the losers…lol. Plus it maybe videoed by someone that can be used as evidence.

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As others have said try to get away and make your way to the exit, but if that fails and he’s still trying to swing on you always have a backup like I do and pepper spray to eliminate the need of any gun or weapon (beer bottle, knives, ect.) Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states I do believe and it will stop most anyone no matter how intoxicated.


I’m with Joe on this one. Make your way to an exit announced loudly that you were trying to get away from that person and want no trouble. That is a situation you probably do not want to draw on a person in. they are drunk and belligerent therefore there’s no reasoning with them do your best to get out of there.