Defense of Others from a MOB
Recently in Memphis, TN several people were attacked by a rouge mob of teenagers. I have heard many say that they would bust out their smokewagon and start sending them to Hell. Look at any Facebook post or tweet about the Kroger attacks in Memphis, TN and you will see what I am talking about. Let me interject here and say… ”Good luck with that!”
If you have seen the backlash in Ferguson, MO then you know that you can be so right…that you’re wrong! Now, legally in TN if you were there standing next to this poor kid getting his head bashed in you would be well within your rights to shoot the guy doing the bashing. I have a hard time emotionally watching the video because of my anger towards these animals who would do such a thing to an innocent and young worker just trying to do his job.
Let’s explore this scenario where you shoot the animal bashing the poor kids head in for just a moment shall we?
You “legally” shoot the guy bashing this poor kids head in. He goes down instantly and the others around him start screaming and run off scared that they’re next. You scan for more bad guys and they have all left. You may or may not holster your gun depending on your perception of further danger. Because you are the only person left, you start checking on the poor kid lying there unconscious. If there is medical aid you can render you start to do so.
Soon, you hear the sirens and see blue lights. The police roll up in force because someone (you) was actively shooting on the scene. You quickly drop your gun and throw your hands up in the air. With their guns aimed at you the police give you commands to lay face down on the ground. They command you to spread your arms apart with palms facing upwards. While one police officer is holding you at gunpoint another runs up behind you and knees you in the groin to “establish” that they are in control and “encourage” you not to resist. You are then placed into handcuffs and your weapon secured for evidence. They stand you up and “perp walk” you in front of the, almost certainly rolling, video cameras for the entire world to see. They then place you in the back of a squad car and hold you while they gather evidence and assist the ambulance…and coroner.
Now that the Homicide Investigators are here they begin to question you relentlessly. You are an informed concealed carrier and ask to speak to your lawyer before you answer any of their questions. Now…you are taken downtown and processed. Your picture and fingerprints and taken. Next, you are placed in a holding cell until your lawyer arrives (remember, you asked for your lawyer). Whenever he/she gets there (could be hours) you are taken up to a closed room with cameras rolling and your lawyer begins to do his/her thing. Here is where the unknowns start to run their course. Did you know the guy? Why did you kill him? Suddenly, you become a gun-toting nut who has longed to kill someone with your gun! And the accusations just continue. All along your wife is wondering where you are and what is taking so long to get milk and bread fro the kids in the morning. She gets a phone call from you or your lawyer telling her that you are locked up for murder. Can you imagine her emotional state right now? You where trying to help someone who would possibly die and here you are being treated like a murderer!
When the attack is against YOU then do what you have to do. When the attack is happening to someone else…well, be aware of what you are about to throw yourself into. Think about the criminal implications but also think about the civil trial that is sure to ensue. Here’s the tip of the day…you have everything to loose and they have everything to gain (your money, their freedom, turn of public opinion in their favor, etc.). The animal you just stopped from killing someone miraculously now has a family who loves him dearly. He will undoubtedly have been headed to Harvard Law School and held the answer to solving World Hunger. He probably was an alter boy at his church and even sang in the choir too! How could you have robbed him from all the great things he was about to become?
So, what could you have done???
Let’s look at a tiered level of response that could replace the shooting response until shooting to stop is the only choice left.
Verbal Commands would be first. Yelling “stop” so that all the other “witnesses” can tell the police they heard you say it. Next, a distraction attempt like throwing an object at the attacker and it doesn’t have to be something of yours, grab anything around you that might hurt! If that didn’t work consider using a mob deterrent like pepper spray. If you would have had an aerosol can of pepper spray to use on the attackers you might have stopped them from harming that poor kid even further…without the use of deadly force. I am not saying don’t use your gun. I am saying think about a tiered level of response that, if ultimately required you to use your gun, gives you the best legal defense in court. In the worst case you could be charged with assault…not murder!
In this case, in TN, should you have used your gun to defend someone who could die from the injuries they’re receiving then deadly force is authorized. It doesn’t mean you WOULD be exonerated in court but you have a great chance of it…if you keep your mouth shut and let your lawyer handle it. In that case you are looking at several months of legal issues and thousands of dollars in lawyer fees. Put your emotions away for a minute and think about it.
If you choose to use pepper spray for defense against a mob lets look at how you would do it.
Carry your pepper spray in a convenient place, like your pants or jacket pocket. Don’t store it in a purse compartment or any place where you need to waste precious seconds trying to find it so you can use it.
Scream “Stop” or another word or phrase to distract the perpetrator. This enables you to start spraying without his knowledge.
Bend your knees slightly and balance your body evenly on both feet when you use the pepper spray. Raise the canister at least 6 inches in front of your body and aim at the assailant’s face.
Target the assailant at close range so none of the pepper spray will hit thin air or material objects. Fire only when you are ready.
Aim the pepper spray at the assailant’s face or directly in their eyes. Keep your focus on the assailant’s head and keep the stream flowing steadily.
Fan your canister as you use the spray. Release the spray in a side-to-side motion while still aiming at the face and eye area for increased chance of incapacitating the assailant.
Spray the assailant with a second burst, then move away. Keep your eyes on the threat and spray again if necessary.
Remember that pepper spray takes a few seconds to work, so don’t release a second shot too quickly.
Remember, this is to stop them from hurting SOMEONE not YOU! You have your gun if they start attempting to seriously injure or kill you.
This is just food for thought and not meant to be the end all “right” thing to do. You decide how you should act but now you know more then you did before and have more knowledge to base your decisions on. Fighting is more of thinking several steps ahead of your attackers and acting accordingly then mereblind brut force.