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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 4 years ago I had a situation occur. This was quite possibly the turning point for me to really want to get my CFP.

I was traveling with my wife and son from our house in Murray at the time, to my parents house in Idaho. We were headed up for a weekend visit and to get away from the busy city life. We were in our car, heading North on I-15. It was a Saturday, probably around noon. For some reason traffic was really heavy that day, almost as heavy as rush h our afternoon traffic.

Anyhow, we has just passed the 600 North overpass when I noticed a guy on a motorcycle behind me. We were traveling in the far left lane as we were passing traffic. I'd guess the average speed of traffic was around 60 MPH. We were probably going about 62 or 63 MPH. So we were passing traffic, but slowly. There was almost bumper to bumper traffic. A car ahead of me, so I couldn't speed up. Plenty of cars to my right, so I couldn't easily move over. At one point, I noticed a slot to my right. I turned on my blinker getting ready to move over. Just as I had started to slowly move over, a car shot out of the far right lane, into the middle lane spot I was going to take. By now, the guy on the motorcycle was quite upset. He kept giving me the one-finger salute from time to time. I wasn't going to cause any accidents on this guys behalf. Besides, if he got around me, he'd only have to deal with yet another slow moving vehicle.

We traveled about another half mile or so. I noticed another slot to my right. I again turned on my blinker and started to slide over. Suddenly the guy on the motorcycle shot over narrowly missing a car and he pulled up alongside me. He pulled up next to my wife's window and started yelling every obscenity known to man. Constantly giving us the finger again. I tried to ignore him as much as possible. I let off the gas and started coasting in an attempt to just have him go away. He also slowed and finally did the unthinkable. He pulled back his leather riding vest and there in his shoulder holster was a 1911 pistol. I distinctly remember this for some reason. It could have been a .22 for all I cared though. This guy was actually threatening my by brandishing his weapon. He even put his hand on it as if he were going to pull it out.

This went on for only about 1/8 mile or so. He finally gave up and shot directly across traffic again and took the 2300 North / Warm Springs Road exit just before crossing over Beck Street. To say I was scared was about accurate. To say my wife was scared would be the understatement of the year. I'm not certain if anyone else saw this guy showing off his weapon in such a manner or not. Because he never got in front of me, I was never able to get his license plate number. Not sure if anyone else on the freeway did or not. I didn't have a cell phone at the time either, so I was unable to call the police. By the time I would have gotten to a phone, he could have been long gone from the scene anyway.

I replay it in my mind from time to time. I didn't have my permit at the time, and thus no gun with me. And I keep thinking what I would have done if he would have actually pulled it out and pointed it at us. I undoubtedly would have swerved over into his lane in an effort to run him over. I was prepared to do that at the time he was threatening us. In fact, it had run through my mind about a million times ever since he got up along side of us and started yelling at us. I'd like to think I had justifiable reason if it would have come to that. If anyone knows otherwise, please tell me so. If I did have to run him over in self-defense, I'm not sure how the law would apply to this. But you can guarantee I'd rather be alive in a jail somewhere than 6-feet under because of this ******.

Now that I have my CFP, I know undoubtedly as well what my new choice would be if this situation were to ever happen again.

Cliffs: It's a long read, but worth it IMO. :lol:
 

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I Spent a year in the Arabian Desert and one big thing they stressed was when your driving you don't shoot, although we had a gunner, you vehicle is your weapon especially against a motorcycle. I am not saying that I would have hit this guy, traffic and all, and I wasn't there in your shoes so I could never attempt to make that call for you. I just wanted inject the vehicle weapon thingy.
Tony
 

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Before pulling the weapon it would have been a misdemeanor assault 2 charge (most likely). Not yet warranting deadly force, but I would have been prepared to swerve into him if he had pointed it at you. (IANAL)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The weapon was never pulled from his holster. Probably the only reason he lived to ride another day. If he had pulled it, I would have swerved. One thing I didn't mention is that when he had pulled up and started cursing and whatnot, traffic immediately behind him slowed. I think the lady in the vehicle behind him wanted nothing to do with him either.
 

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Yeah, I agree that given the situation you can't do much (other than report him). Taking any action to counter-act his "threat" in that situation would have been overkill, especially with as many innocent bystanders were around you (shooting or crashing into him, either way someone else is pretty likely to get hurt also... something you will stand a chance of being held liable for).

I also agree that using your vehicle versus a gun would be a better choice. It's pretty hard to "miss" when you ram your big car into his relatively big motorcycle... it's a whole lot easier to miss when it's a little tiny bullet aiming at a relatively small body while both are moving and bouncing.

That being said, consider this also: Were he to pull his gun and proceed to draw down on you and you pulled yours and shot him first (hopefully, though highly unlikely unless he was bluffing... but how would you ever know?)... think about how that would play out in court... even though you'd be justified, just the mere fact that you pulled a gun would've undoubtedly caused SOMEONE on the jury to to question your character (even though that's irrational). However, choosing to crash a car into him, the gun-wielder, wouldn't have caused ANYONE to think twice about your character.

That's unfortunately the nature of the society we live in -- the fact is, your odds in court are ALWAYS improved immeasurably when you choose to use any other weapon at your disposal, other than a gun (just make sure the other choice will WORK!).
 

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xmirage2kx said:
Before pulling the weapon it would have been a misdemeanor assault 2 charge (most likely). Not yet warranting deadly force, but I would have been prepared to swerve into him if he had pointed it at you. (IANAL)
I don't think you would have to wait for him to draw just till you could articulate this in court well enough to convince a jury

" However, that person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if he or she reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or a third person as a result of the other's imminent use of unlawful force"

http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_02022.htm

oh also (IANAL)

and one more thing that statute does not have the anti civil law suit clause like the other deadly force laws do
 

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Just to clarify, the self-defense laws apply to ANY weapon or no weapon at all. In other words, it SHOULD be no different if you shot him, used your car, or strangled him as long as you can prove self defense.

As bane pointed out though, in a civil trial, the fact you used a gun could be a potential problem for a jury.

In this situation, I think you did all you could have done, except now you know to have a cell phone and a gun available as options.
 

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Obviously this situation didn't warrant any use of deadly force, and I feel that most situations where some idiot does something like that with a gun or bat or whatever, does so only to show how tough they truly are. But I don't know which one of them is just doing it to threaten me or is looking to take my life. That is where it becomes hard and you must do whatever you can to get out of the situation if possible. From what you wrote it sounds like you did what was appropriate.
 

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apollosmith said:
In this situation, I think you did all you could have done, except now you know to have a cell phone and a gun available as options.
Ditto -- except I would add to that list a non-lethal or at least a less-lethal option such as a knife, OC spray, etc. (not that it would have helped in this particular case, but it would in most)

I have been thinking about this a bit more, though... undoubtedly this is probably going to muddy the water a bit, so, suffice it to say that I agree with the general sentiment and my previous post... the BEST course of action was taken, given the circumstances, and had the guy drawn his weapon the BEST course of action, IMHO, would be to use the car.

However, for the purpose of academics:
One thing that I have been thinking about in this case is the other guy's demeanor through the entire situation along with his ultimate threat and the fact that merely drawing one's weapon and aiming it at the hostile aggressor is not an act of deadly force but is "only" aggravated assault -- what's everyone's thoughts here, is aggravated assault in this case a justifiable and defensible action to take??? It seems to me that if you couple his unjustifiable and aggressive behavior along with his verbal threats followed up with his physical threat that one could easily demonstrate that a reasonable person would have feared for their immediate life (given that there were no escapes available) and that the drawing down on the perpetrator is a reasonable measure to take to prevent the perp from following through on his threat... :?:
 

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banes post brings up several very difficult issues.

The guy brandishes his gun, thus assaulting you. You therefore can assume his intentions are not good. If you fear that he may take additional actions and perhaps may draw and use his gun, then would you not be justified in drawing on him first?

One would hope that a prosecutor would understand your reasonable actions in this case. But, drawing your weapon is likely to escalate the situation and result in a shootout when the punk was otherwise just trying to show off.

It's a VERY difficult situation and one that there probably is not a right answer. But as was mentioned before, when it comes to my family, I am more likely to err on the side of overly protecting than allowing harm through inaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is a good point Bane. Even if I had a gun with me at the time, I personally wouldn't have pulled it on him, even in light of his recent actions of aggressiveness. I felt threatened sure, but I couldn't personally justify a "life threat" on brandishing alone. I'd have done a number of things differently though had I been carrying. I would have pulled my weapon and had it at a semi-ready position. I would have not shown mine though until he began to pull his. Reason is that I feel I would have had enough time to notice and be at full ready position if he began to draw. I probably would have pulled my weapon from it's stored location, and has it at rest on the passenger's lap or something. Definitely wouldn't have shown it though.

It would have been extremely difficult for him to draw based on the fact he was:
- riding a motorcycle
- in heavy traffic
- in excess of 60 MPH
- right handed (needed to throttle)
- shoulder holster cross-draw carry mode.

It definitely would be a chore at a very minimum to pull and aim in that circumstance.
 

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We have to consider the disparity of force in considering our actions.

Car = bigger more damaging than a motorcycle

BUT motorcycle + gun = deadly force on par with the car.

I had a very similar situation once when I had my 8 month old son in the car with me.

The big difference was that the offender was not on a motorcycle but in a semi.

I had no gun and after he had terrorized me and my son for some time I was able to swerve off the road and into a rest area at the very last second and he was not able to follow us.

This was years ago (my son is now 26) and I did not even own a handgun at the time, but with the disparity of force semi vs. car, IMHO a gun could have been warranted, if I couldn‘t get away, even if he had no gun. This simply because of the disparity between his semi and my car.

I am glad that it went no farther for you and your wife and that all were safe.

Tarzan
 
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I disagree with most of the posters here, I absolutely would have rammed him into the t barrier pulled off the next exit and made a frantic call to 911. Someone obviously threating me with a firearm holstered or not they are dead.
 

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hedonistic said:
I disagree with most of the posters here, I absolutely would have rammed him into the t barrier pulled off the next exit and made a frantic call to 911. Someone obviously threating me with a firearm holstered or not they are dead.
I'm sorry, but I believe you would go to jail. Flashing his firearm is brandishing. Ramming him is assault with a deadly weapon at the minimum. If he dies, manslaughter. If he draws and points at you, you have many many options other than ramming him. This is not an expression of a New-York "duty to flee," it is a reasonable conclusion. Certainly that's what it will be when his lawyer is finished with a criminal and/or civil jury.

Of course, drawing while on a motorcycle leaps into new realms of stupidity, but that is not the discussion.
 
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Reason is all over the map, while being harassed repeatedly by a man with a gun on a vehicle you obviously cant outrun to me could reasonably cause anyone to fear for their life, the lives of the family members in the car. Add an emotional argument sound frantic and fearful on the 911 recording. I very much doubt anything would happen to the driver. I doubt from the sound of this mans (motorcyclist) behavior that he has not had a brush with the law for something similar. This behavior is not something that happens to anyone who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Depending on this mans history and record would have a great effect on the application of the law. Ask your self this, if this man is a convicted felon, wanted, or simply has a history of violent acts would clean record family man (driver) stand a chance at being prosecuted? On the same note if the driver where a city councilman, a decorated retired war veteran, a doctor, basically anyone with a history of bearing large amounts of responsibility and stress in a respected position vs less educated blue collar and poor, do you think that may effect the application of justice?

Lastly lastly if I chase make obscene threating gestures and brandish a gun especially in front of you, your wife and children couldn't I reasonably believe that you might use any means at your disposal to defend yourself and your family?
 

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hedonistic said:
Someone obviously threating me with a firearm holstered or not they are dead.
You mean, you'd 'stop' them, right? Not 'kill' them. I have to admit it's a bit alarming that you'd 'kill' them and then just sound a bit scared on the 911 call and everything will be fine.

I certainly hope that me and my family are no where on the highway or within gunshot range of you when you decide to kill (not 'stop') someone you perceive to be a threat. I have no idea what I would have done in that situation. I doubt you do either. But I think the general mentality that you would kill anything that appears to be a threat (ala, your rather offensive avatar) without regard for their life or the safety of others is the type of mentality that the anti's thrive off of.

Some of us carry every day because we respect life and pray we never have to use our weapon to save a life. Others among us convey the message (knowingly or not) that they can't wait for that opportunity.
 

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I think you did the right thing. Now if he had pulled it and pointed it you, do what you have to to stop the act. I pray that the day never comes that I may have to take another life again. But if I have to than so be it.
 
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apollosmith said:
Some of us carry every day because we respect life and pray we never have to use our weapon to save a life. Others among us convey the message (knowingly or not) that they can't wait for that opportunity.
I have said before that if I never have to point a gun at another human being for the rest of my life I'd be more than happy about it. I know because in the years I have spent defending my country, I have done plenty of it. The reality of SUV vs motor cycle at 60mph usually dose not tickle the cyclist, he ends up dead. The realities of 20/20 hind sight of how improbable his ability shoot you are not flashing through your mind while your life is being threatened. I never said I would have shot anyone. In this scenario thats pretty unlikely. More than once I have chosen to risk my life to preserve th lives of others. More than once I have chosen reason over the application over the law so as not to needlessly destroy lives. A few more felonies in my arrest records would not have hurt my carrier. If that and the fast track defense of my country when I shipped off to basic 30SEP2001 dont mean I respect life I don't know what dose.

I bet I'd be quicker to on the trigger than most here. In the most likely self defense scenarios I'd be likely to empty the gun and access the damage while I reload. The realities of the litigious after math don't escape me. To many people are afraid to use force. Tickle fights and nice words don't stop violence and neither do what ifs and, worry about the consequences of preserving your right to life.

If that attitude or I offend you, I dont care. Find yourself a comic book character to protect the pretty little world in your mind and leave the real stuff to men like me.
 

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hedonistic said:
If that attitude or I offend you, I dont care. Find yourself a comic book character to protect the pretty little world in your mind and leave the real stuff to men like me.
I'm not offended. I think it's clear that you are more likely to shoot first and ask questions second than I. I really hope that if it comes down to it, that you are right and justified and that in your rush to action that innocents are not hurt. I also hope that my likelihood to take a less aggressive approach doesn't get me or my family killed. Either way, I think both of us are ready and willing to take the action necessary.

Is one approach better than the other? It depends on the outcome, not so much the mindset going into it.

But for sake of argument, let's say you take a man's life and there's a question as to whether that killing was justified. If a jury of your reasonable peers were to read your words here and be shown your avatar, how do you think you would fare? Do you think they might be offended?

If there's a chance the comments made by anyone here would hurt them in a court of law, you can be fairly certain that they have potential to damage the rights of all of us to defend ourselves. While I hope I never have to take a life in self defense, it scares me much more that my rights to defend myself are slowly eroding - and they are eroding because a growing number of our peers see us as trigger-happy, emotionally detached killers. I intend not to promulgate those perceptions.
 
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Do I care? When it comes right down to it if I am ever on trial my very lifestyle and military service could be used to show my "Rambo" mentality. As could some of my toys that are registered with the feds. So what?

apollosmith said:
Mine is similar to SGT Jensen's:

I carry a gun to shoot someone.

The ultimate reason for having a gun is if, though the chances are remote, I have to shoot someone. While it could be used to scare someone away, that's not why I carry it. If someone chooses to put myself or my family in danger, I know that I have the ability and mechanism to stop them and stop them NOW. No other thing on the planet can make me or my 100 pound wife equal to a drug-crazed, 300 pound, prison-hardened, blood thirsty murdering rapist like a gun. I pray I never have to, but if it comes to it, the reason I carry is to shoot someone.

My full reasons for carrying are at http://smithplanet.com/archives/my-right-to-bear-arms
Prosecutor "Mr Smith has bragged publicly that 'I carry a gun to shoot someone.' this is the attitude of the defendant who claims to be justified in shooting ....."

Yea, show me a gun forum member that is not subject to having quotes taken out of context, and I show you one that hasn't posted.
 
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