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.