Defensive Gun Use: Husband Edition
Current events are a treasure trove of free education for gun carriers, if viewed through the lens of legal justification for a show of force or use of force. Since this is a gun website, we’ll limit “force” to occasions when a gun is involved, though it can take many other forms.
Observing the news is one way that we, as civilians, can mentally practice the skills required to identify the characteristics of legitimate threats. That includes the behaviors of the potential threat(s), environmental factors, any disparity between the threat and his/her target, distance, cover/concealment opportunities, and so on.
Gun carriers are encouraged to put themselves in the shoes of the target in these examples, and judge what they may have done differently AT THEIR CURRENT LEVEL OF SKILL. Anyone who can’t describe their current level of skill and prove that description with performance needs range time, to challenge themselves and improve with good training and practice.
This episode of DGU features The Ex versus The Current (husband) and, kidding aside, it’s an opportunity to examine whether Current Husband’s presentation and firing of a handgun was reasonable and necessary. Here’s some coverage of what happened: Click here to watch the video.
Mr. Ex was reportedly angered over a cell phone bill incurred by a daughter he shares with Mrs. Current. As he approached Mr. Current, he reportedly was wielding nunchucks and behaving in a manner Mr. Current believed to be aggressive. Mr. Current stated he envisioned Mr. Ex pummeling him into next week, and then taking his wrath out on other family members.
One fact everyone involved knows is that Mrs. Current has invoked a restraining order against Mr. Ex since their divorce.
Mr. Current shot Mr. Ex at least once, critically wounding him.
Let’s look at the standards for justified use of deadly force, where the presence of the aggressor (Mr. Ex) is concerned:
Mr. Ex did have the means to exact devastating bodily harm with nunchucks.
Mr. Ex was reportedly closing the gap between himself and Mr. Current.
Mr. Current perceived that an attack was imminent, after all, Mr. Ex was making an unwanted intrusion onto his personal property, was demonstrating intent to harm by his demeanor and show of arms, and Mr. Current considered the attack would be directed toward not only himself but also his family.
WAS DGU REASONABLE?
Mr. Current has no obligation to face an assault by an armed person before defending himself.
WAS DGU NECESSARY?
Mr. Current has, in most states, no duty to retreat into the interior of his home and invite Mr. Ex to perform a forced entry before defending himself.
This armchair quarterback view of the news is intended to give gun carriers a workout in considering when, and if, drawing, presenting, and perhaps firing their firearm is appropriate from a legal standpoint. It has NO consideration of potentialities for civil charges, which can happen to any of us at any time, for a variety of reasons, sound and otherwise.
Definitely a justified shooting !
a show of force (pull and display weapon) before Mr. Ex got within fatal circle may have de-escalated the situation. If not, shoot to kill.
Being of an age that some would consider to be beyond middle age, my training in firearms dates back more than 45 years. I was taught that in no case should a firearm be drawn if lethal force was not called for. In many jurisdictions, firing a warning shot is, as was pointed out by Mr. Nash, a felony. In most of those jurisdictions, defending yourself from a potentially lethal assault by responding with lethal force is not a crime So the questions should revolve around several points: 1. Are nunchucks a lethal weapon? 2. Did Mr. Ex pose a viable and/or legitimate threat to Mr. Current or any member of his family? 3. Did Mr. Current feel that he or any of his family were in life threatening jeopardy?
If you answered yes to the first 2 questions (Mr.Current is the only one who can answer the third) it would seem that he took appropriate action.
One more point, Mr. Ex was transported in critical condition. That indicates either poor marksmanship on the part of Mr. Current and/or a substandard self defense load. For home defense, I (and many professionals) recommend a 20 gauge pump shotgun; loaded with #4 shot out of an improved cylinder choke, it will end most discussions of the domestic assault kind.
STK. Remove all doubt. Our children are with us too brief a time as it is.
I read you columns quiet often ,given certain variables in this case there is not in my opinion enough evidence to warrant a conclousion on my part. let me explain I am a vietnam vet. disabled. if there is no way to escape myself and or my family have no place to go to escape mr. X , as far as i’m concerned the shot was justified or shots what ever it takes to end the confrontation. taking another ones life is probably the hardest thing a person will ever have to do in their life time. In my opinion there is no such thing as warning shot show of force is when you draw that weapon. make sure of your target and shot to kill. And yes numchecks are considered a deadly weapon. If Mr. X proceded to approach after my show of self defence and or jestures he has taken his life in his own hands.