Don’t Threaten; Shoot The Sumbitch

I was reading this article about a woman who drove off some would-be carjackers with a gun:

Kari Bird just started law school and continues to work full time. Bird got home at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and when she got out of her car, a group of three or four young guys approached her.
“I really didn’t think too much about it, one of (them) was smiling,” Bird said.
He was smiling, but he quickly pulled out a gun.
“He told me to … give him my keys,” Bird said.
She did turn over her keys, but realizing all her law books and belongings were in the car, Bird made a quick decision. With the gun still pointed at her, she reached into her center console to pull out her own gun.
“(He said), ‘Oh s***’ and then ran,” Bird told Fox 59.

So far, so good. then I read this sentence:

She’s thankful it did turn out alright, but wants those boys to know that this is no way to treat anyone.
“They need to stop this. They’re not going down a good road,” Bird said.

I hate to break it to Ms. Bird, but it didn’t turn out all right. These little assholes know exactly what they’re doing: treating other people as victims, and prepared to kill said victims if they don’t get what they want. And they’re not going to stop what they’re doing, because you didn’t shoot the little prick pointing a gun at you.

So you frightened them off because you had a gun. What will happen next is that they’ll shoot their next victim just in case he or she has a gun, like you did.

Don’t expect criminals to see the error of their ways, because they don’t. The only way they’ll stop is if they’re arrested, or shot. And you’re not a cop.

The old rule applies: don’t ever pull your gun unless you absolutely have to; but when you do pull it, use the damn thing to the best of your ability. You’ll not only save yourself, you’ll probably save others like yourself in the future from a similar fate.

14 comments

  1. Dang straight, those textbooks were prob close to $1000.00. Plus your notes and outline…yeah, I would have totally straight up shot someone or taken a bullet before I let someone steal my outlines, notes and textbooks back in law school.

  2. With all due respect, Mr. Du Toit, all this big talk leaves unanswered the question of what happens afterward. That is, suppose I manage to shoot some goblin, and you get to add another tally to your dead goblin count. Great! But what happens when the local authorities decided to prosecute me for manslaughter, on the principle that I didn’t *have* to kill the sumbitch? What happens when the OCR decides go after me for violating his civil rights? Not everyone lives in Texas…

  3. Gilbert has a valid point. I live in Florida (The gunshine state) with some of the best pro self defense laws in the country. This does not remove the fact that you will be hauled through serious hassles, both legal and moral should you apply deadly force to any miscreant. You will be arrested, hauled to jail, interrogated, maligned by the press, your home address will be published for all the demonstrators, soft headed liberals and anti gun fools to parade around no matter if you are totally justified and proper in the shooting.
    No, the aftermath will not be fun.
    So, this old man that carries every day everywhere (and is an NRA master in several classes) says that you better be damn sure that your life is on the line before you pull that trigger and also realize that most of the times, just presenting a firearm will terminate a hostile engagement.

  4. Agree. If you can terminate the encounter with no one pulling any triggers and you go home safe and with all your stuff, that’s a win-win. You don’t really want to go down the road of likely getting arrested, posting bond, paying a lawyer, and wondering whether a prosecutor is going to prosecute you if you don’t have to. Because if you pull that trigger, your life is going to change, and not necessarily for the better.

    Statistically, most Defensive Gun Uses are like this one – a shot is never actually fired. And that’s a very good thing.

  5. The concerns voiced above are all valid, but that “kid with a gun (and a criminal bent)” is a future threat to everyone else. You don’t (or, we didn’t) let rabid dogs wander the streets – we put them down when we encounter them.
    Ms. Bird met one of those rabid dogs, and kicked that can down the road.
    Korea, anyone?

  6. First, you don’t go back into the car to get your gun – you wear the damn thing because next time you may not have the time to go back into the car for it.

    Second, f it is necessary to present the gun and point it at someone press the trigger through to sear break. I haven’t checked the laws of all 50 states, but I do know the majority have laws about aggravated battery (or other language meaning the same thing) which is classified as a felony, so just pointing it earns the wrath of the cops and prosecutors.

    Third, if as a reasonable and responsible adult in full possession of your faculties you are facing a direct and immediate threat to your life or safety – and someone pointing a gun at you easily complies with that – the laws of most states allow a wide range of self defense actions up to and including the application of lethal force.

    Fourth, now that the local Bad Guys know: 1) where you live; 2) where you park, and; 3) that you have a gun, why would they not shoot first next time?

    Reaction times being what they are, identification of a sufficiently severe threat and executing the draw stroke through to sear break takes 1.3-1.5 seconds for most people (the trained and practiced can do it in about 1.0 or so, but it takes a lot of practice to get there, and we won’t discuss the “gamers” in IPSC, IPDA, ICORE, Fast Draw, etc. who can cut that by a third because they’re short-circuiting the ID portion), once the draw stroke is initiated you have that 1.3-1.5 seconds to find a reason to not fire the gun, and lacking that reason one presses through to sear break. In other words, if threat conditions warrant drawing it, you draw it to shoot it.

    Fifth, one does not press through to sear break once – one repeats the action until either the threat no longer exists or the gun no longer fires (Pro Tip: Practice your reloads. A lot.). Hollywood movies and TV shows – erroneously – teach that “one shot does it” which is not the case In Real Life.

    Sixth, if you own a firearm with the intent to ever use it for self defense you should have a Plan A for after the event. At a minimum, you should have the business card of a good criminal defense attorney in your wallet (in your phone is OK, but only after the card is in your wallet) and have met with him or her to discuss what you should say to cops while you are waiting for them to arrive.

    A Point of Order: Some will suggest the “Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up” course of action; as societal order deteriorates – and in some neighborhoods that point has been reached – that will become a valid course of action at some point. Until then, however, checking boxes and filling in the blanks will be necessary. Check with your attorney, but it is not unreasonable to immediately vacate the scene and go to a location which poses less danger than standing around in the dark with your (figurative) limp dick in your hand in what is obviously a bad location waiting for Bad Bart’s friends to regroup and mount a second assault before your reinforcements arrive. Check with your attorney and comply as reasonably as you can with their instructions. A key point: the timeline between the last shot fired and calling 911 (and attorney contact) will be critical. A couple minutes while you seek safety can easily be explained as a rational response to danger; waiting until the next day may be problematic. It should be noted that the system, seriously flawed as it is, will regard the first 911 caller as the victim so make sure you’re that first caller even if you have to do it while driving.

    And, lastly, a word about Situational Awareness. I’d suggest reading Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. We may sometimes have little choice about where we live, and correspondingly, where we can park, but crime is rather mobile because the people who commit it are; prudence dictates surveying conditions and perhaps parking elsewhere or at least driving around the block to allow a potential threat to move on.

  7. It’s a depressing statement on our society that all the points raised — in both Mr. du Toit’s post, and the comments — are valid.

    Letting rabid dogs run wild is a really crap idea. The same applies to human-shaped goblin types. But bluntly put, the laws in this country regarding self defense are a mishmash varying from reasonable down to ‘don’t even bother, if the crook doesn’t rob you, the law will’.

    George Zimmerman was getting his head bounced off concrete before he finally managed to shoot Treyvon Martin dead. We all know what that poor bastard got subjected to, right?

    1. If they can’t outright ban guns, they can go after people who defend themselves with guns instead.

      Imagine if TM had pounded GZ into a permanent coma, stolen his gun, and used it to kill a succession of 7/11 clerks, and ended up getting killed by another choir boy.

      First, we would not have heard a single thing about the case, except a quick newsflash and a small blurb in the Local & State section of the Orlando Slantinel.

      Second, that wouldn’t twinge a single outrage nerve on a single SJW, except their usual boilerplate about “gun bad”.

      But because of the narrative- vigilante with German name shoots little kid out for Snapple & Skittles, they could lie, lie, lie, and press an attack on the right to defend yourself

  8. One other point: what if you’re mistaken? Odds are very far against it, but then odds are very far against winning the lottery, too, but it happens. And if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win. In this case, the “prize” is a lifetime of guilt and possibly personal ruin.

    I don’t say “Never use the gun”. If you think you need to fire in self-defense, do it! But if you don’t need to, don’t. You’re taking on a big additional risk to yourself, when you don’t have to.

    1. A defense attorney once explained that his job was basically selling his case to a jury.
      Some cases are basically grilled fillet steak, and other cases are roasted cat.
      Selling steak is easy; selling roasted cat is tough.
      In general, being a regular person who generally avoids stupid places/people/times and can clearly articulate a reasonable fear for their life? Steak.
      Out doing something stupid with your addict buddy, and wind up shooting someone following a drunken argument? Classic roast cat.

      In the case above, shooting a fleeing felon that is running away is a classic way to turn steak into roast cat. You may be able to eventually sell it, but it won’t be cheap.

      Link here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?27448-Punisher-Skull-on-a-Self-Defense-Firearm&p=644815&viewfull=1#post644815

      1. A free case of ammo to anyone who can find in my writings, anywhere, a suggestion from me that one should shoot a fleeing felon in the back.
        What I’m suggesting is that if someone is pointing a gun at you and you’re able to draw your gun without him shooting you first, then shoot the fucker, preferably in the face.
        Yeah, there are possibly going to be problems afterwards, but none of them are going to be as bad as being dead, killed by some little psychopath because he wants the shinies on your wrist.
        This woman got away with pointing and not shooting, this time. But it’s not the way to bet.

        1. Actually, I’d say the takeaway here is that she should have her gun closer than in the car somewhere. In fact, anytime I see one of these stories about a good person retrieving a gun from an off-body position, I reflect on just how lucky they were at that moment.

          The general rule is that one stops shooting when the fight ends. If I get lucky and the perp runs (and isn’t shooting over his shoulder), I don’t keep shooting at him. If I hit him, but he’s only wounded (and isn’t shooting from the ground), I don’t get to finish him off.

        2. (Apologies if this is multiple-posted; I seem to have confused WordPress.)

          IANA criminal psychologist or gunfighting expert. But ISTM:

          If the goblin is a psycho intent on killing you, he would have already shot.

          If he has his gun out and aimed, and hasn’t shot, then he has some reason not to shoot. But that reason will go away if you shoot at him; he will shoot, because, hey, you’re trying to kill him.

          So pulling the trigger will escalate to a live gunfight, which begins with you at a serious tactical disadvantage (he’s already drawn and aimed). An expert gunfighter like John Wesley Hardin or Massad Ayoob might disable him with a head shot before he can return fire, but that’s not a reasonable expectation for an average citizen. Repeating the above disclaimer, I would guess the citizen has at best a 50% chance of winning the gunfight. That’s a lot of risk for no personal gain – you have already deterred the attack.

          (Another point: in this case, there were multiple goblins. Only one had showed a gun, but the others could be armed too. What are the odds of winning a one-on-three gunfight?)

          I support armed citizens and personal carry, I cheer every effective act of self-defense – but I cannot agree that an ordinary citizen has an interest or duty to initiate or escalate combat with would-be criminals beyond what is required to prevent the crime.

          (BTW, I notice that the news article gives the age and dress of the perps, but leaves out an important descriptive element. Of course.)

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