Last Resort?

Discussion in 'Texas Concealed Handgun (CHL)' started by Austin, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Austin

    Austin Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    Converse(San Antonio)
    When is it appropriate to draw your firearm? I have lost faith my CHL class teacher(see fourm CHL-Texas With Ross Bransford in Austin, Tx) He told us that our Firearm is our LAST resort. Therefore; suppose someone was comming at you with a club, or a knife, or a gun for that matter. In a few words he said one should say "STOP", "DON'T", or "BACK OFF" or whatever you think appropriate. Then draw and fire if they do not Stop, Don't or Back off.

    Being that it is the LAST resort in my instructor's scenario one would not draw his firearm as a detourant nor would he advise you draw your wepon and say "I've got a gun!" Is this consistant with what you've been taught or believe? How many times could a drawn, un-fired firearm detour a purse snacher, burgler, or general bad guy? I see and understand both trains of thought but I can't say that I know what the right answer is or if there even is one.

    I have No desire to shoot anyone. That being said I have no intentions of me or my wife becoming a victim and wouldn't hesitate to squeeze one (or six) off.

    What do you think?

  2. mpolk

    mpolk Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Waco, Texas
    Drawing your gun SHOULD ALWAYS be your last resort. You just have to make that decision very quickly sometimes.
  3. deadeye1964

    deadeye1964 New Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    I believe until you have actually gone through it, you will not know the answer to that. I was at a seminar a while back and Charles Cotton was the speaker, he metioned that certain decisions need to be made now, before you leave your house, not when you are in a bad situation or under stress. For example, if I ever feel my life is in actual danger and I truly fear for my life, I am doing WHATEVER it takes to stop the situation and not think twice about it. I have also made the decision if a place of business that is being robbed, I am not going to intervene unless I am 100% certain there are lives in danger( tough call). The toughest call to me is stepping in when a 3rd party is involved, I will not do this unless I know the situation from the beginning and I KNOW that their life is in danger. We are not LEO'S and if you ever shoot someone in a domestic dispute, you are probably going to jail or at least getting sued.

    If someone is coming at you or your family with a club,knife or gun like you said, you are justified in deadly force unless of course you did not fear for your life, and I would not think twice about it.This is a decision you should make now, not when or if it happens. I do not plan to use the words don't, stop or backoff if the BG is advancing on me or my family with a weapon, I really do not think those words would actually make him change his mind,
  4. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

    Jan 23, 2009
    No two people will react in the same fashion to the same circumstances.
    Myself, I have been mugged and robbed many years back in Houston and each time I reacted differently.
    Drawing your weapon must be the last resort and was what was taught in my CCW class; to drawing a gun without just cause is brandishing even if it defuses the situation. The LEO that taught our class was on the fence though because he felt the law was not defined well enough to allow for a legal form of brandishing a weapon.
    I can say that if I thought it was a good deterrent I would probably brandish my weapon and take my chances.
    I do not wish to shoot someone unless I have too and feel most CHL holders feel the same.
    IMO - each person will have to make that decision when and if the time ever comes. I don't think many of us really know what we will do until faced with that one split second a decision has to be made.
  5. Shorts

    Shorts TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Mar 28, 2008
    Drawing a gun is the last resort. If you are drawing, that means you will be shooting it. I know that's a cliche phrase "if you draw, you shoot".

    That does not mean you have clearance to shoot up the town and you walk around trigger happy.

    On the contrary, it means that the situation has escalated to the turning point that a person feels they have no other chance of stopping the threat to their life except by drawing and shooting. By the time you begin to draw the gun, you should have already attempted to leave, make space, diffuse, and overall attempt to back out and get away from the threat. If then the bad guy advances after you've clearly attempted to stop him verbally, well, this is where I would draw and fire.

    The draw and shoot I feel for myself should be a near instantaneous and fluid action. I do not see the draw and shoot as a drawn out two step process. I do not see the draw as a segue to a standoff. The draw is merely the step necessary to fire.

    YMMV. And this is where personal decisions will come into play. As the guys have said, every person reacts differently in this Fight or Flight decision. The situation matters when you decide on a course of action. The setting matters. So many variables come into play here that there is no universal set of rules.

    Edit: I do have a great example of a road rage incident where a gentleman brandished his gun and ended up having a very difficult time through the following procedures. There is a very fine line and it is easy to cross when you take into account two perspectives. Reminds me of the military's mantra towards reducing sexual harassment: it's not how you meant it, but how it's perceived.
  6. Jeff-Tex

    Jeff-Tex Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    The way I was always told, a citizen can only draw their weapon after a criminal offense has been committed, e.g. a break in, personal attack etc. Only a LEO can draw their weapon beforehand to prevent a criminal offense. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  7. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX
    You are wrong. The same laws regarding use of force apply to everyone. There is a law enforcement section in the use of force laws, but it refers to making an arrest. YOU can use force to make an arrest. You cannot use deadly force to make an arrest, but a LEO can use deadly force to make an arrest or prevent an escape under certain circumstances.

    Under section 9.04 of the penal code, producing a weapon as long as the your purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

    That means that you can be justified in drawing your weapon when you would not yet be justified in using deadly force.

    It is also not true that you should only draw your weapon if you intend to shoot.

    To the OP; your instructor, if you are representing him accurately, is severely uneducated on the realities of life.

    It IS true that shooting someone, or any use of deadly force, should be your last resort. However, sometimes your last resort may be your only resort.

    That all depends on the circumstances. A gun has a long range, and it's use can be delivered from quite a distance. A club or knife is a more short range weapon. If your weapon is holstered, a person with an edged weapon at 21 feet can cover that distanced and delver a fatal wound to you before you can draw and get off a shot. So if a person is threatening you with a knife from 20 feet away it would be appropriate to have your firearm drawn and pointed at the person. This is when verbal commands are needed.

    In this case you may not have to fire. If he runs away your problem is solved. You call the police and report the assault.

    This is but one scenario where the presentation of your firearm without the immediate intent to fire would be lawful and appropriate.

    If the guy is within striking distance with the knife then your last resort may be to draw and fire.

    I can give you many other examples if you need......

    Being in fear if your life is not a justification for using deadly force. The words appear nowhere in chapter 9.
    You cannot make the decision now. How close is the bad guy? How many attackers are there, etc?

    You should re-think that. As I wrote earlier, if the bad guy is not within striking distance, then drawing your weapon and giving verbal commands just might stop him, and the words create witnesses to the fact that you were attacked and tried to make him stop before using deadly force; all of which are reasonable things.

    Texas has no "brandishing" law. 9.04 and the other use of force laws makes it clear to me. I wonder if the cop was ever hesitant to "brandish" his firearm at work? He is under the same law as you.

    Without justification you could be charged with assault or deadly conduct for pointing a firearm at someone. However, chapter 9 gives us justification in the proper situations and if certain conditions are met.

    Again, the law does not require that.

    I agree with much of that. However, I see two separate uses for the draw; to fire your weapon and to present your weapon.
  8. whit128

    whit128 Member

    "Texas has no "brandishing" law. 9.04 and the other use of force laws makes it clear to me. I wonder if the cop was ever hesitant to "brandish" his firearm at work? He is under the same law as you".

    While it does not use "brandishing" it comes mighty close.

    Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
    (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm;
  9. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX

    Yep. However, chapter 9 of the penal code allows justification to that under specific circumstances and under certain conditions.

    There is also a violation in the penal code that says if you intentionally or knowingly cause the death of an individual, or intend to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual, you have committed murder.

    If you shoot and kill someone who was attacking you with a knife, then you committed the acts required to charge with murder. However, chapter 9 has a justification for that; therefore, you would be justified in that act.

    The same goes for displaying your weapon. If you meet the requirements in chapter 9, then you were justified in displaying your weapon. ;)
  10. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

    Jan 23, 2009
    These were the exact points our instructor was trying to make.
    You have to be sure you are justified in you actions pulling a gun; when not justified it is illegal and in a word "Brandishing"

    Our instructor felt the law needed a few more legal ways to resolve certain situations where a show of possible deadly force could / would end the conflict.

    The example of a knife welding nut would be a situation where showing deadly force would most likely end the conflict as well as have the CHL holder having the upper hand now with gun at the raeady but not drawn or pointed. (hey, dummy, you brougfht a knife to a gun fight senario)

    I think most people can see the logic in such a law.
    You have not draw the weapon but have "Brandished" the weapon to defuse a sistuation where a life threatoning possability exsisted.


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