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Discussion Starter #1
One of my friends had a guy pull a baseball bat on him.The guy had 2 other guys with him.He told my friend he was gonna rap the bat around his head.My friend stood his ground and the guy never did use it.My question is would my friend have been within his rights to pull his gun and and shoot this guy with the ball bat if he would have charged my friend with the bat? The back story is my friend and the guy with the bat had a disagreement over hay cutting services this guy provided.They met at a neutral location to discuss their problem. Basically an abandon gas staiton out in the country.Heres what I told him. First you should have never went to meet with him because you knew it was going to get heated.2nd he was wrong to make the threat however if he would have charged you with the bat you would have been within your rights to pull your weapon and shoot.Problem is the guy had 2 other guys with him that would have lied and made you out to be the bad guy.3rd if they lied and said you were the aggressor you would have probably been arrested and cost you alot of money to defend yourself.What do you guys think?
 

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He would have went to prison for a long time. In my younger days I have seen people pull baseball bats and even guns that doesn't mean they have what it takes to use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He would have went to prison for a long time. In my younger days I have seen people pull baseball bats and even guns that doesn't mean they have what it takes to use them.
So your answer is he doesnt have the right to defend himself from a baseball bat because most people wouldnt use the bat??? Dont take this the wrong way cause i value your opinion.I just want to be clear on your answere.
 

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So your answer is he doesnt have the right to defend himself from a baseball bat because most people wouldnt use the bat??? Dont take this the wrong way cause i value your opinion.I just want to be clear on your answere.
Go watch PMSNBC's coverage of the trial for a while. You'll see how they think. They cannot get past their bias, it blinds them from seeing their own obvious hypocrisy and irrational decision making. When the witnesses for the prosecution testified that Zimmerman was being "beat up" by Martin, you'd think "case closed, he was being beat up, had a gun and stopped himself from being beat up". I was trolling through the lamestream, their view was that it changed nothing, that he was only being "beat up" "all he had was a broken nose and a cut on his head, compare that to a fatal gunshot" The lib mind cannot comprehend "hindsight" and doesn't have the rational capacity to understand that while being beat up, I can't know when he'll stop. In the lib mind it's only the outcome that matters. Broken nose is not equal to dead, therefore you must pay. In the lib's view, the only justifiable lethal defense would be if you killed a man after he'd already killed you.
 

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Someone posted here a few weeks ago that if you pull your gun in self defence and shoot some one you will probably go to jail. If the other party had a gun and shot at you that is a different matter. I think this Zimmerman trial kind of shows this to be true.

Zimmerman is in a state that has the castle doctrine. Witnesses state Martin was on top of Zimmerman. Zimmerman shot him. This looks like a case of self defence to me. Looks like they twisted this so much he is going to prison over a justified shooting.

Just my opinion and I could be wrong.
 

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Was your friend in 'eminent danger'? In direct fear for his life? Was retreat an option? Should he of put himself in that situation? It'd be a short trial, and you'd visit from opposite sides of the plexiglass. The use of lethal force is to be a LAST RESORT. You knowingly putting yourself in a bad situation, will get you labeled with 'intent', if things go to that extreme.
 

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The fact that he went to a deserted place to have it out with this guy is bad news for your buddy if he had shot the attacker. He went there with intent. He took a fire arm with intent. He used the fire arm. That is planning and fore thought. That's murder 1 or attempted homicide if he only wounded him. He walked into a dangerous situation willingly and knowingly.

That really is not self defense. Your buddy was playing a dangerous game. To me it sounds like your buddy wanted to shoot this guy and was just looking for a good enough reason to justify it in court. He didn't find one and he damn near lost everything he has including his liberty.

As a gun owner in a state with a stand your ground attitude toward self defense shootings. As a person who trains for self defense shooting with a wide variety of fire arms from a 22LR pistol to an AR-15 rifle. As a person who has carried concealed since the day I turned 21. ( I am 53 now ) As a person who has had to use his fire arm in self defense. If I were on the jury at your buddies trial I would vote guilty.
 

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Sounds to me like your friend would have been justified using deadly force if the other guy escalated. IF he makes threats and charges, I believe you can say that this constitutes unlawful deadly force since bats have killed quite a few people over the years and he has two other people that could join in.

With that said, likely he would be going to jail if the other two guys werent honest. Just a bad situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The fact that he went to a deserted place to have it out with this guy is bad news for your buddy if he had shot the attacker. He went there with intent. He took a fire arm with intent. He used the fire arm. That is planning and fore thought. That's murder 1 or attempted homicide if he only wounded him. He walked into a dangerous situation willingly and knowingly.

That really is not self defense. Your buddy was playing a dangerous game. To me it sounds like your buddy wanted to shoot this guy and was just looking for a good enough reason to justify it in court. He didn't find one and he damn near lost everything he has including his liberty.

As a gun owner in a state with a stand your ground attitude toward self defense shootings. As a person who trains for self defense shooting with a wide variety of fire arms from a 22LR pistol to an AR-15 rifle. As a person who has carried concealed since the day I turned 21. ( I am 53 now ) As a person who has had to use his fire arm in self defense. If I were on the jury at your buddies trial I would vote guilty.
Thank you for your insight.You pointed out some things I would have never thought of.My friend didnt have his gun on him.He didnt have any intention on shooting him.This is just me asking questions to learn.And you just taught me a few things I would have never thought of so I thank you for that.I was just thinking about when he threatened with the bat and with the mans threats would that be enough to defend yourself with your gun.I told him he should of never went to meet him.It could of went very badly for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds to me like your friend would have been justified using deadly force if the other guy escalated. IF he makes threats and charges, I believe you can say that this constitutes unlawful deadly force since bats have killed quite a few people over the years and he has two other people that could join in.

With that said, likely he would be going to jail if the other two guys werent honest. Just a bad situation.
Thats what I was thinking.The only witnesses would have been the other guys and that would not have been good.Thank you for you opinion.Im just trying to learn.
 

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Keep in mind an important legal consideration when it comes to self defense: at trial, the defendant has to prove self defense. Unlike most crimes where the prosecution has to prove a defendant guilty and the defense can literally not present any case at all, a defendant claiming self defense is charged with the burden of proving that said circumstances existed. While the prosecution would still have to prove that the defendant did indeed shoot the victim, the burden of justifying that act to the jury falls on the defense. It is not the prosecution's burden to disprove (although they will try) self-defense.

Point being, before executing one's right to self-defense, that person better know that they have all of their ducks in a row, even if the immediate actions of the attacker justify a self defense response. Even here in a state like NY, shooting an attacker who is wielding a bat can be fairly easily justified at trial under many circumstances, but as pointed out by others, there are aspects of your friend's story which would make it extremely hard for him to have proven a self defense justification at trial (depending on the specific laws of in his state of course).

As for George Zimmerman, the major problem he is facing is that while Trayvon Martin's actions may have justified a self defense posture from Zimmerman, Zimmerman himself appears to have initiated the entire sequence of events. That creates a very fine line (and lots of questions) that his defense must walk because they are going to have to convince the jury that George Zimmerman had a valid reason for confronting Trayvon in the first place. Had Trayvon approached Zimmerman in his car minding his own business while stopped at a red light, we would never have heard of the case. Being that this whole situation started because Zimmerman took it upon himself to follow Trayvon in the first place, the burden is now on him to prove why he ended up in a possible self defense situation.

Had Trayvon Martin survived, his version of the story very well may have spelled out a greater justification for his own defensive actions...
 

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Keep in mind an important legal consideration when it comes to self defense: at trial, the defendant has to prove self defense. Unlike most crimes where the prosecution has to prove a defendant guilty and the defense can literally not present any case at all, a defendant claiming self defense is charged with the burden of proving that said circumstances existed. While the prosecution would still have to prove that the defendant did indeed shoot the victim, the burden of justifying that act to the jury falls on the defense. It is not the prosecution's burden to disprove (although they will try) self-defense.

Point being, before executing one's right to self-defense, that person better know that they have all of their ducks in a row, even if the immediate actions of the attacker justify a self defense response. Even here in a state like NY, shooting an attacker who is wielding a bat can be fairly easily justified at trial under many circumstances, but as pointed out by others, there are aspects of your friend's story which would make it extremely hard for him to have proven a self defense justification at trial (depending on the specific laws of in his state of course).

As for George Zimmerman, the major problem he is facing is that while Trayvon Martin's actions may have justified a self defense posture from Zimmerman, Zimmerman himself appears to have initiated the entire sequence of events. That creates a very fine line (and lots of questions) that his defense must walk because they are going to have to convince the jury that George Zimmerman had a valid reason for confronting Trayvon in the first place. Had Trayvon approached Zimmerman in his car minding his own business while stopped at a red light, we would never have heard of the case. Being that this whole situation started because Zimmerman took it upon himself to follow Trayvon in the first place, the burden is now on him to prove why he ended up in a possible self defense situation.

Had Trayvon Martin survived, his version of the story very well may have spelled out a greater justification for his own defense of self...
Accurate.
The legal system in the USA is not what it used to be. "Poor" little Trayvon is going to have the best legal team money can buy. GZ is on his own. Fairness in America is a sliding scale, right now the scale has slid far, far towards the criminal. It doesn't matter that Trayvon is a career (most of his life) criminal, it doesn't matter that Trayvon was on top of GZ beating him up. The winning angle is; GZ didn't hide in his house and wait to be robbed again. I'm not choosing sides mind you, just pointing out reality. The cradle to grave gov't watch over me crowd doesn't think a citizen ever has the capacity to decide his own fate. The sad fact is; political opinion has crept into the judicial system and you may or may not be judged solely on the "facts".
 

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Though many city/state laws vary, federal statute on the use of deadly force says "you may equal any amount of force directed against you up to and including deadly force, with the reasonable belief your life, or the life of a third party is in jepordy."
Thus if you are threatened with a bat, knife or other potentially deadly weapon from 10 feet away, your life is in fact being threatened. If though the same threat is made from a distance where use of that weapon isnt possible, and you shoot someone, you will be charged and convicted of murder or manslaughter.
Even within the same juristiction, regardless of laws, there is much variation in courts decision based on the judge, DA, and even the arresting officers actions, depending on those persons belief or opposition to use of deadlly force. In the end you may well go to jail even if the use of deadly force was appropriate, just because the jury picked were mainly anti gun.

When i was still in law enforcement, when asked how to handle a home defense issue, my advise to the home owner was if they definately HAD to shoot, be sure the perp was dead. That way there was only one liar in court.
 

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Everyone keeps defaulting to the Zimmerman case every time there is a question about self defense, I have done it myself. Problem is, that case is nowhere near the normal. The police that arrived on scene that night believed that the shooting was justified and it would have been if it werent for the media pressure from Jessie and crew. If it were a white man shot that night, Zimmerman would be a free man today. Fact. Now, to answer Ryans question. Its true that your friend should not have gone to that location to discuss the issue and it sounds as if the other guy brought plenty of back up. It probably would have been real hard to prove a case with his two witnesses lying for him. But, lets use another scenario and say that its just your friend and the other guy approaches him out of nowhere with a baseball bat and threatens to bash his head in. Any threatening move in his direction with the bat would justify shooting him deader than a doornail. A bat is a deadly weapon and his life would certainly be in danger. That being said, I still would have shot him in the first scenario if he came at me with the bat, no matter how hard the case would have been to prove. Never go anywhere unarmed.
 

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I am sorry Ryan42

I read the initial scenario wrong. I thought he had taken his fire arm. I also thought it was a real life situation. I need to read more accurately before I speak.

In the law here in PA there is quite a bit of emphasis put on intent. Let me show you what I mean by this.

In your scenario you buddy knew the situation was dangerous before hand. That makes him wrong for going. That shows his intent to do violence.

Now let's say this guy ran your buddy off the road as he was going somewhere and got out of his truck with his two buddies and his baseball bat. Now this is a self defense situation. The other guy just by stepping out of his truck with a weapon in his hand has shown intent to do violence. At this point I think your buddy would be justified in opening fire instantly. As for the two guys the attacker brought with him, they die too unless they turn and run. You can't shoot someone in the back and claim self defense.

You see the difference? In one situation your buddy was just minding his own peaceful day to day bidness. In the other he was a part of the violence. All due to his intent.

There are some really fine legal lines here and I am not a lawyer. This is all just IMHO.

In my philosophy of self defense a fire arm is not safety, a fire arm is not security a fire arm is not survival ability. A fire arm is FAILURE. When it gets to the point where you need a fire arm then you have failed to do everything else you should have done to make yourself safe. At the point of a gun your survival chances are 50/50 at best. Your chance of coming through the situation unchanged is zero.

Sometimes you don't have an option. Someone starts kicking your door in you don't have a choice. ( That is what happened to me. ) But any time you have a choice keep in mind the best way to win a gun fight is not to be in a gun fight.

I think it's great that you are thinking about this and asking questions. That is what responsible gun owners do. Again IMNSHO.
 

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Everyone keeps defaulting to the Zimmerman case every time there is a question about self defense, I have done it myself. Problem is, that case is nowhere near the normal. The police that arrived on scene that night believed that the shooting was justified and it would have been if it werent for the media pressure from Jessie and crew. If it were a white man shot that night, Zimmerman would be a free man today. Fact. Now, to answer Ryans question. Its true that your friend should not have gone to that location to discuss the issue and it sounds as if the other guy brought plenty of back up. It probably would have been real hard to prove a case with his two witnesses lying for him. But, lets use another scenario and say that its just your friend and the other guy approaches him out of nowhere with a baseball bat and threatens to bash his head in. Any threatening move in his direction with the bat would justify shooting him deader than a doornail. A bat is a deadly weapon and his life would certainly be in danger. That being said, I still would have shot him in the first scenario if he came at me with the bat, no matter how hard the case would have been to prove. Never go anywhere unarmed.
I would not have gone in the first place but if I had then I agree with you.

Shoot him and his buddies. It would reasonable to assume that if he has a weapon then so do they.

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
 
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