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Thread: Question about pointing pistol at someone

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by TGS View Post
    The low ready is pointing a firearm in someone's direction, or where you believe another person to be.
    Actually, it is not pointing a firearm in someone's direction, which is precisely the point of depressing the muzzle so that it does not cover them.

    You can tell me, with a straight face, that you believe there is no difference between me pointing my shotgun or handgun at your chest, and holding that same weapon depressed so as not to cover your body?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Actually, it is not pointing a firearm in someone's direction, which is precisely the point of depressing the muzzle so that it does not cover them.

    You can tell me, with a straight face, that you believe there is no difference between me pointing my shotgun or handgun at your chest, and holding that same weapon depressed so as not to cover your body?
    Depending on the situation, it doesn't matter.

    If you are doing pistol drills on a range in the woods and I, dumb hiker that I am, stumble out of the woods downrange of you and you go from aimed in at the target to dropping the pistol to low ready, and look at me like the idiot that I am and inform me I am in a bad spot, and should get off the firing line post-hast...

    No.

    If you are investigating a bump in the night outside your house thinking you are going to FINALLY bag that raccoon which has been messing with your cat's food, and you turn the corner, and see me standing their...and you, holding the gun in low ready inform me I am in a bad spot, and should get on my knees post-hast...

    Probably.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    You can tell me, with a straight face, that you believe there is no difference between me pointing my shotgun or handgun at your chest, and holding that same weapon depressed so as not to cover your body?
    No, there is not. 100% straight face.

    As long as I still believed you had intent to use it against me, it would still be justification for me to shoot you, just as it would be if you reached for a pistol while confronting me.

    Being that I have professional education and training on the use of force, and the definition and purpose of low-ready, I'll be bold with this:

    Pro Tip: Don't bring guns into the mix unless you're already willing to shoot or be shot at. Once you bring a gun into the mix, it doesn't matter how you're holding it. A gun gives you the opportunity and ability to project lethal force on me, and whether you are flashing it at me, waving it, holding it at the low-ready or pointing at me is not going to change whether or not I feel there is jeopardy (intent)......your intent is decided by other factors. If you have really bad muzzle discipline while showing off your BBQ gun, I'm not going to think you have intent to harm me. If I believe you are using that gun to project your will on me.....yes, you're getting shot, and it's not going to make a difference whether you're pointing it directly at me or not.
    "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."- Last words of Todd Beamer

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Actually, it is not pointing a firearm in someone's direction, which is precisely the point of depressing the muzzle so that it does not cover them.

    You can tell me, with a straight face, that you believe there is no difference between me pointing my shotgun or handgun at your chest, and holding that same weapon depressed so as not to cover your body?
    It's a big difference to me. In the latter we are about to engage in a spirited negotiation to attempt to resolve the situation with the minimal loss of resources to each party. In the former you have committed suicide.
    "PLAN FOR YOUR TRAINING TO BE A REFLECTION OF REAL LIFE INSTEAD OF HOPING THAT REAL LIFE WILL BE A REFLECTION OF YOUR TRAINING!"

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by TGS View Post
    No, there is not. 100% straight face.

    As long as I still believed you had intent to use it against me, it would still be justification for me to shoot you, just as it would be if you reached for a pistol while confronting me.

    Being that I have professional education and training on the use of force, and the definition and purpose of low-ready, I'll be bold with this:

    Pro Tip: Don't bring guns into the mix unless you're already willing to shoot or be shot at. Once you bring a gun into the mix, it doesn't matter how you're holding it.
    Wild guess, you currently and have for your life lived in the east? Out west and in Alaska, virtually everyone has firearms, so guns are already in the mix. Your rationale regarding intent may sound good now, but may not jive with law and practice in much of the country.

    That is the easy part of a definition, like I posted from Alaska, that rests on where the muzzle is pointed. This is the same reason that the Rogers School focuses on rule two so hard, where the muzzle is pointed, since you can't be shot without the muzzle covering you. Frankly I could care less what the guy's intent is, since a bullet fired with no bad intent can kill me just as quickly as a bullet fired with malicious intent -- my objective it to avoid having a muzzle pointed at me. Since I spend so much time in the field hunting, and around people with long guns, I am extremely vigilant about being covered with a muzzle, and covering anyone else with a muzzle. I am sure TLG and other instructors worry more about being covered by a student's muzzle than one from a bad guy.

  6. #36
    A camel named Charlie... TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Wild guess, you currently and have for your life lived in the east? Out west and in Alaska, virtually everyone has firearms, so guns are already in the mix. Your rationale regarding intent may sound good now, but may not jive with law and practice in much of the country.
    Wrong.

    And by now, it sounds like your just projecting straw man arguments just to make yourself sound correct with absolutely zero relation to your original question, so I'm done.
    "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."- Last words of Todd Beamer

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    What caught my interest was South Narc's question about who had pointed a pistol at a person with the willingness to shoot (my paraphrasing), and how that was at odds with what I thought was best practice, in not indexing he target until it happened in the process of breaking the shot. Since the point of reading threads like the one on line in the sand, that might not ordinarily interest me, is to challenge my assumptions, I wanted to raise this in a separate thread so that I could learn more.
    I haven't seen this question addressed yet, so I'll chime in.

    As far as I know, the idea of not pointing a gun at someone you might have to shoot is pretty new in law enforcement. I'll set up an example of what I mean by "someone you might have to shoot" so there is no confusion.

    Suppose you are an officer on patrol and you receive a report of a robbery in progress. The caller (a witness across the street from the robbery) gives a good description of the suspect (height, weight, clothing, and skin tone). The caller also reports that the suspect displayed a black handgun. The caller reports that after the robbery, the suspect ran away on foot and gives a direction of travel.

    You, the brave officer, are two blocks away and rush to the scene, approaching from the direction the suspect supposedly ran towards. Lo and behold, you see someone that matches the description of the suspect running away in the direction you expect to see him running. You do not see a weapon. You quickly exit your patrol car, draw your weapon, and start issuing commands to stop (hopefully from a position of cover). For the sake of the example, let's suppose the suspect does stop. He is now about 15 yards away from you, standing with his hands in the air, facing away from you.

    This is an example of someone that you very well might have to shoot, but he does not need to be shot right now.

    I went through the academy in 2005. We were trained that the above suspect should have a weapon pointed at him with the sights aligned as close to center mass as possible while still keeping the hands in view. No one ever questioned that it might actually be faster, not to mention safer, if we hold the gun at extended ready with the muzzle pointed at the dirt rather than at the suspect's chest. Since his hands are in the air, they are still visible even with the sights on his chest.

    I didn't hear any noise about this until around 2009 when I went through the FBI's firearms instructor school. It was not part of the class. Another student mentioned that he had read about it. I could understand how it is safer, but I couldn't believe that it might be faster to work from an extended ready if you actually wound up having to shoot.

    We went back to our department and ran a few officers through scenarios on a FATS machine. Sure enough, the guys that used the extended ready were faster to fire a shot when needed than the guys that aligned the sights on the suspect from the get-go. Almost invariably, the officers that had their sights on target would drop to an extended ready to see the suspect's entire upper torso before firing. The guys that started at extended ready could see everything they needed to see and didn't take this extra step. Pretty surprising at the time. Of course it seems like common sense now. Hell, maybe it was common practice and it just didn't get around to my part of the world until a few years ago.

    I have heard from several other trainers that conducted similar experiments and found the same results.

    I will also say that you might be surprised how quickly things can change and what you are capable doing in a short amount of time in a dynamic, dangerous situation. I have made the decision to shoot someone, started pressing the trigger, and wound up not firing a single round. This happened not once, but twice in my short seven years in LE. From talking to other officers, my experience is not unique.

    Most officers I talk to these days say they are taught to keep the muzzle pointed in as safe a direction as possible not only so that they do not mizzle the suspect, but also so that they can see the suspect's entire body. That is a pretty radical departure from what I was taught just a few years ago.

    That said, it is still possible to muzzle someone and end up not shooting them even with this policy in place (see my experience above).

  8. #38
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    We need to seperate law enforcement display of a firearm, and a non-law enforcement display of a firearm.

    For law enforcement, it can be a situational management tool, effectively "You better do what I say, because if you don't the consequences are going to be severe..."

    Police officers are commissioned by the state to be allowed to enforce laws, and to use force or the threat of force as appropriate to do so.

    Private citizens have a much narrower scope of permissable displays of a weapon.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by TGS View Post
    Wrong.

    And by now, it sounds like your just projecting straw man arguments just to make yourself sound correct with absolutely zero relation to your original question, so I'm done.
    My original question was to learn what scenarios might cause a person to point a weapon at someone prior to commencing the shooting sequence. In support of that position, I have explained why starting from the extended, confirmed ready, with the muzzle depressed is at least as fast, and possiby faster than starting pointed in, that it minimizes the chance of a negligent discharge hitting the target, and it better legally where I have been able to identify specific state statutes.

    I am still waiting for someone to give me a good reason to point a weapon at another person prior to commencing the shooting sequence?

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Actually, it is not pointing a firearm in someone's direction, which is precisely the point of depressing the muzzle so that it does not cover them.
    G, you're pointing a firearm towards general direction of an alleged offender. Say, no shooting happens and things end up in a court. Without even going into state-specific legal technicalities whether a mere presence of firearm pointed somewhere into a direction of a bad guy constitutes an offense, it is your word against his if your muzzle covered him or not. You are going to say, yes your honor I had my gun in extended low ready as I was taught by Bill and I never covered him. He is going to say, your honor, I could see that big hole looking right in my eyes.
    Suppose there are eye witnesses. Do you think they'd be capable to definitively state that your muzzle never covered him? Maybe you were aiming at pelvis, you know, like some "experts" say?

    Even accepting a theoretical consideration that extended low has legal advantages, I think the burden of proof will be on you to convince everyone that you were not covering him, and it may become an impossible task. That would be my reason not to take these theoretical legal advantages into consideration.

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