Marysville, Washington, USA
October 25


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APRIL 13, 2012 3:32AM


Rate: 10 Flag

Florida is in the headlights again, for the actions taken by someone in the belief he was following the rules of "Stand Your Ground."  However, we do not know that for sure.

Without going into the exact wording of the law, one must believe that "Stand Your Ground" is meant to deter crime, not cause it. 

If I have a weapon, and you make the choice to attack me, I have the right to use my weapon to defend myself.  The mere sight of my weapon should be enough to deter even the most ardent criminal.

I do not believe the intent and meaning of "Stand Your Ground," would allow me to pursue you if you choose to head in the opposite direction after I called your attention to my weapon.  Especially if I was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, who suggested that I not follow you.

In 1977, I had the opportunity to kill another man who was holding me at knifepoint.  It was obvious that he had been drinking, and because of that, it was against California state law for me to sell him any type of alcoholic beverage. 

When I refused to sell him a six pack of beer, he pulled out his knife and told me that I would sell him the beer, "or else."  For whatever reason his buckknife blade of about six inches looked like it was two feet long.

So, I asked him if he would like his beer in a bag, and he nodded "yes."  That allowed me to reach for the bag that had my nickel finished 6" barrel .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver in it.  I withdrew the gun and rolled the cylinder so he could see the bullets. 

I said, "Friend, if you do not leave, they will be picking up pieces of you from here to McDonalds, two blocks away.  There will be a dime sized hole in your chest, and your back will look like a small cheese pizza."

He started shaking so bad he was actually vibrating, but he did leave the store.  I got on the phone and called 911 to report what had happened to the police, and they arrived very quickly.  It only took a few seconds to make that call.  I went outside to see if I could get a better description, but there was no sign of the guy.  There were no motor vehicles, no bicycles, nothing in the way of a conveyance.  He just completely disappeared, as in vanished into thin air.

I am very glad that the sight of my weapon, stopped that guy from doing something stupid with his knife.  In effect, I was "Standing My Ground."

More likely than not, I could have shot and killed that guy, and it would have been self-defense.

However, I do have principles and ethics that prevented me from taking the law into my own hands.  If he had lunged at me with his knife, there would have been a much different outcome.

"Stand Your Ground" does not have to be a license to kill, though some people will believe that it is just that. 

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Excellent post! As the "victim" of two armed robberies and the loser of a one sided knife fight, I can empathize with both Self Defense and "Stand your ground" laws... what you did is exactly the intent of that law. Blasting away at some unarmed burglar doesn't even come close to self defense, but it's permitted by the several states that have "Home as a Castle" laws.
Agreed. Standing on the butt side of the .357 you certainly did not seem to be afraid for your life. You did correctly. Had he lunged, well, that's a different story. That's the way it is supposed to work.
Enjoyed your post - so much that I joined and posted one of my own titled "Standing my Ground with a Mauser." I haven't gotten the hang of this site so I don't know how to send it to you. Maybe you can look it up on my blog..? Edgar N. Valderrama
Maybe it will fit as a comment to you. I'll try it.
Good story Berries

You’re absolutely right "Stand Your Ground" does not have to be a license to kill; in fact one often doesn’t even need the threat of deadly force to ward off violence.

I too was accosted once while in a service station parking lot.

Many years ago I had pulled off of the Pomona Fwy in California to tighten a fan belt in my p/u while heading home to Costa Mesa from a summer holiday at Lake Mead. It was at the Euclid off-ramp in the Chino/Montclair area, an area that’s not exactly one that promotes a warm and fuzzy feeling any time of day, much less at 11:00 PM.

My wife and daughter were in the p/u when a man suddenly appeared from behind some oleander bushes about 20 feet away from me and began walking directly towards me, intensely focused on me. I knew exactly what his intentions were by his body language, the look in his eyes and the fact that he had one hand in the pocket of a sweatshirt with the hood of his sweatshirt over his head - (in the inland CA heat of August).

All I had at my disposal was a hammer and a wrench, but I simply took my head out from under the hood of the p/u, stood up, unflinchingly and very seriously stared back into his eyes. Without breaking eye contact, I slowly and calmly nodded at him. His demeanor changed instantly and he changed directions. He knew that I knew what his intentions were and that’s all it took. I am no martial arts guru, I don’t carry a weapon and I detest violence. The only thing I had in the way of an advantage was a fit, 6 foot, 220 pound frame that could be imposing to some I suppose, but remaining unwaveringly calm and collected did and will almost always overcome a threat. That’s even part of a process taught to all hospital employees now as a means to divert the ever-increasing violence within hospitals.

Too many people now seem to think that a showdown at the OK Corral is the only way to confront violence, but in most cases, that only escalates it.
"Standing My Ground with a Mauser"
I was walking through a nice neighborhood in Mexico City with a little semi automatic Mauser pistol under my belt way back in the '50s. There were very few and rather dim street lights in the area, and there were little trees along the sidewalk. It was past midnight and traffic was almost non existent.

I walked in the middle of the street to avoid being jumped on at the corners and felt comforted by the feel of my hand on the gun. As soon as I walked past one street intersection I observed two individuals as they detached themselves from the sidewalk and into the intersection, one on each side of the street, both closing in on me. I stepped into the darkness under the nearest tree and turned around to face my new "friends." Calmly, I drew the gun. Contrary to all recommendations I carried a full clip with a round in the chamber whenever I thought there might be a need to use a gun. On this occasion I figured all I needed was the sound effect so it would be worth wasting a bullet in creating it. Holding the gun in front, where its sound would be plainly heard, I ejected the round from the chamber and clicked a new one in, standing my ground in the shade of the tree. I am a music lover, and I can tell you that the double click I produced that night gave me the same satisfaction as I would have derived from one of Bach's Little Fugues.

I stood there with the little gun in my hand, looking at my stalkers, who were visible under the street light, though I was invisible to them. My satisfaction equaled that of actually playing the fugue on the piano as I watched my daring bandidos silently look at each other without uttering a sound before executing a smart about face and then return each to his post on the corner.
You have a good centered soul and I am so glad you did not loose control.
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★
Refreshing to read a recounting of a rational, intelligent response in a classic self-defense scenario. It's also encouraging to see the support you're getting in the comment thread, this being a predominantly liberal forum with viewpoints heavily weighted against personal ownership of handguns .
Kinda weird law from several perspectives.

Suppose a guy actually tries to attack a second guy…and the second guy “stands his ground” with a weapon. And the first guy takes the introduction of the weapon by the second guy as an potential danger…and “stands his ground” by producing a weapon of his own.

If either person were killed…could there be a prosecution that would not be defended by introduction of the “stand your ground” law?
Eavl - as a CHL holder myself I have a question. Have you considered what would have happened if your friends would call the police themselves? Describing you, with an automatic obviously because you chambered it , and saw its color (or jut lied and guessed correctly). And of course when searched you do have the gun.

I would be concerned if I were stopped by the cops in the area, a few minutes later with 2 witnesses describing me fairly well, and claiming I am carrying a black auto and had pulled it.
According to my instructors I might have a lot of explaining to do.

Not criticizing , just asking. I realize that assuming your assessment of the guys was correct, they were not going to be calling any police.
Frank - You make a good point which promted my question to eval.
I have said before, I hardly ever carry. But based on my training
I would have to think really hard to use my gun to simply scare off a potential attacker. Brandishing a gun without really good reason can land one in big trouble.

If I ever did, I would have to think hard about my next action. Leave and hope the other party was up to no good and will not call the cops. Or call myself, wait for them and explain exactly why I did what I did and hope I did not break a law. The worse case would be leaving and the other guy calls it in and now I could be in big trouble. I would think, no matter what my story was, the big question would be, if you were right, why didn't you call it in?
And my answer would be..........?? And the response might be
"please turn around and put your hands behind your back."

In your hypothetical you define the first guy as the attacker.
I don't think the atacker has any defense SYG or not for escalating, lets say an assault/purse snatching, to an assault with a gun/killing because his victim pepper sprays him.

I don't think the attacker can claim he was standing his ground in order to not come out on the losing end of his initiated attack.
Whistle I think you illustrate a very important point. Just because you have a gun does not mean you want to shoot someone. Truth is gun owners are like non gun owners and that they live in peace, settle their differences without violence and avoid trouble.

It is easy to play the game endless scenarios of what if or maybe, but when you are standing face to face with a violent person reality is the more options you have the better the chance the "innocent" will live. If producing a gun without firing will stop the potential violence I would say the overwhelming majority of gun owners would take that option over shooting. And in reality it can be the only non violent option on the table.

Shooting is the second to last option when faced with a violent person. The very last option is letting them attack you which is really not a very good option at all.
In that example it was he correct response. He brought a knife to a gun fight. Had he brought the correct weapon perhaps things would have ended differently.