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Main Objective for Using Deadly Force
Non-Deadly Force Escalation to Deadly Force
The main objective of this Florida Gun & Self-Defense article is to educate gun owners about gun law and self-defense law. Ignorance of the state and federal laws is not an excuse for unintentionally breaking those laws. It is gun owner’s responsibility to learn and abide by the law and practice safe gun handling accordingly. I am not a lawyer, but have been and currently still am engaged in, the study of Use-of-Force Florida Law and Florida Gun Law. The following content is from that education.
Memorize the Four Rules for Safe Firearms Handling. Mistakes will not occur by doing so. One, treat all guns as if they are always loaded with a round in the chamber, even when the gun is empty. Two, never point the muzzle at anything you ‘don’t’ want to destroy. Three, keep your finger off the trigger until your gun sights are on the intended target. Four, always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
In addition, when you pull the trigger, think of all bullets as having a prosecutor and a very expensive lawyer attached to them. Therefore, use your gun safely and lawfully. If you are unsure of any situations regarding gun usage or handling or what is lawful or unlawful, please refrain from public conceal carrying of your firearm until you have proper training. Contact me, and I’ll point you in the right direction to give you the confidence to safely and legally operate your firearm.
Today’s firearms focus will be on the main objective for using deadly force in a case of legal self-defense. When a person brings unlawful deadly force against you, your only objective is to not kill the attacker, nor to win the battle brought against you, but instead the main objective is to ‘stop the threat’ and survive unharmed. You can legally only use enough deadly force to ensure your own safety and the safety of anyone who might be with you. Any amount of deadly force more than that is illegal.
If your attacker stops their deadly threat against you at any time during the assault, you have a legal responsibility to stop using deadly force. Revenge on the attacker is not legal and will justify felony charges against you.
So let us say you shoot the attacker, and he falls to the floor with the gun still in his hand, but he is not moving. You give verbal commands to let go of the gun, but he does not respond. I recommend that you do not trust him, keep your gun sights on center mass of his body, while moving out of his line of sight.
If he moves his head to locate you, warn him to drop the gun and not to move and if he does not comply but instead attempts to get back into the fight, you can legally fire more rounds until the threat ends. And again, keep your sights on the subject and have someone else call 911. If you are the only one able to call 911 wait until you can do so safely. If you can move to a safe place of cover, (impenetrable barrier) do so and keep your gun on the subject. If you are able, attempt to call 911.
Now I would like to give you my thinking on where to put rounds on the threat’s body, given the current criminal element’s combat strategies of using body armor and multiple firearms. It is very evident that body armor is being used by murderers more and more. Therefore, pistol rounds are ineffective in stopping a threat if you aim for center mass. Due to the increased risk element body armor poses, I have changed my tactic and now aim in just below the body armor protected area.
I realize the pros and cons of doing this. But the main objective is to stop the threat from moving and a round to the lower torso will have a very good chance of taking a leg out of action and at the very least significantly slow the shooter down. In that area of the body there is a descending aorta, the Iliac and femoral arteries and the pelvic bone, which if damaged by rounds will immobilize the shooter. I shoot in three to five round bursts in just under one to two seconds depending on the situation. The midsection of the human body is the last part of the body to move when the threat begins to respond by turning away from a weapon being used against him. The odds of rounds hitting their intended mark during that initial one to two seconds are much higher than rounds aimed at a center mass area which is turning away.
And if the threat is immobilized but still actively attempting to engage me, I will have greater odds of successfully delivering rounds in the area of the dominate arm holding the weapon and the neck-to-head area. Now if the downrange area beyond the shooter has people present, I will aim for the immobilized, and therefore safer lower torso area again, instead of the more active risky dominate shoulder, neck, head area.
Self-Defense Fiction: If I am in a non-deadly force event with a person, and he prevails over me, causing me to begin to lose the conflict, I can bring a gun to bear in order to win the fight because I can claim self-defense and stand my ground.
This is incorrect and illegal. And will earn me aggravated assault charges ‘if I don’t fire the gun’. It might have resulted in the combatant withdrawing from the conflict, but charges will be brought against me for aggravated assault for the deadly-force second fight of which I was the aggressor when I went to my gun.
I cannot claim Stand Your Ground self-defense because in the first fight, I and the other person were both mutual combatants engaging in assault and battery on one another, and charges might be brought against both of us, or they might not. But when I went to my pistol, I became the aggressor in a deadly force attack, and it does not matter that I was losing the first fight.
Losing a non-deadly fight does not justify escalating the conflict to a deadly force event. Even though I saved myself from additional physical damage from the combatant in the first fight, I have gained myself significant prison time for a felony charge of aggravated assault in the second deadly force fight. So, in the end, I get to go to prison looking good with minor physical damage, instead of going home looking like the loser of a physical fight.
Today’s article also published online at my business website FloridaGunSelfDefense.com
Florida Gun & Self-Defense offers firearms and self-defense training and education. Single or group classes or customized training is available. For more information visit FloridaGunSelfDefense.com or call Dave Douglass at 863-381-8474
Dave has been a firearms instructor and trainer since 2013. He is skilled in advanced tactical gun and self-defense gun operation, in accordance with Florida gun law and use-of-force self-defense law. He is not a lawyer but has studied Use-of-Force Law and Gun Law for over ten years. He is an adamant supporter of an original historical literal interpretation of the Second Amendment. You can contact him at email@example.com