Friday, August 7, 2009

Your Typical DGU out of Houston Texas reports on an incident of defensive gun use.

A young robbery suspect was dead and two others in custody after a run-in with an armed snack vendor.

The vendor told police the suspects walked up and demanded that he hand over some of his products.

“When he advised that it was not their policy to provide product outside of the actual store, they became irate and demanded that he basically give them something, at which time one individual began to assault (the vendor), striking him in his nose,” HPD Homicide’s Brian Evans said.

Evans said a second suspect then started punching the vendor, so the vendor grabbed his gun and opened fire.

“The individual is a concealed handgun license carrier and was armed at the time. He retrieved a weapon and subsequently shot and killed an individual here on the scene,” Evans said.

I suppose being punched and struck on the nose could be considered a lethal threat. The response was certainly lethal. What's your opinion? I get the feeling that down in The Lone Star State this kind of thing is condoned. And, it's not only in Texas, is it?

I'd say, from the scant details, the vendor acted with excessive force. Of course, if the incident was under video surveillance and the hitting and punching had a particularly vicious and escalating nature to it, he very well might have been justified. But, I doubt it.

This case illustrates perhaps the biggest problem with those incredible claims of how many DGUs there are. Many are listed as legitimate which are not justified at all. And, it's not a simple case of removing them from the one list; they must be added to the other. Picture it like a bar graph, one column is "incidents of gun violence" and the other is "DGUs".

On the first column, "gun violence," there's very little chance that any of them belong on the "DGU" list. On the other hand, many supposed DGUs really should be on the other list, so for every one that reduces the height of the "DGU" bar, it automatically increases the height of the "incidents of gun violence" bar.

Please leave a comment.


  1. When you're outnumbered, using a firearm isn't considered excessive force.

    If anything, the firearm acted as a force multiplier, putting him on equal footing with his attackers. It's no different than an elderly person using a firearm against a younger, more able attacker or a small-framed woman using a firearm against a larger, stronger attacker.

  2. AztecRed beat me to it and he is correct.

    If attacked by a lone individual wielding nothing but his fists, responding with lethal force would be illegal.

    If attacked by more than one person wielding nothing but fists, it is legal self defense.

    There are several other nuances in the law dealing with multiple attackers, but I highly doubt you're interesting in learning about them.

    The rest of your post is complete and total conjecture and not worth responding to.

  3. I can't speak for the snack vendor, but I've been jumped several times in my life and I have never felt the need to carry a gun. I used to be a bouncer in a small redneck town so when people sobered up a few days later after I had tossed them out they'd get with their buddies and come looking for me. I keep a gun trigger-locked in my dresser, and while I lived through all of my attacks (obviously); I won a few and I lost a few, but I never felt I had to shoot anyone.

  4. Perfect example of a justifiable use of force.

    You have multiple assailants assaulting you during the commission of what is obviously a robbery. Anyone who thinks fists can't cause serious, even lethal injury has watched too many movies.

    If attacked by a lone individual wielding nothing but his fists, responding with lethal force would be illegal.

    Not necessarily. I'm 6ft 150ish and have CP. If some 250 lb guy is wailing on me with his fists I'm damn sure I'm going to use my gun if I can't retreat from the situation.

  5. MikeB,

    When does it become the proper level of force? Moments before they pummelled him to death? When they break bones? Destroy his sight with a blow?

    I notice that you focus on the victim's response and don't discuss the excessive use of force from the two thugs. Why is that?

    What would you do if you were the vendor? Give up your livelihood? Many of the vendors like that actually purchase the product in advance, then collect from the machines.

    So, do you give up your money? Do you let them beat you senseless?

    Can you show me any law, statute or regulation that says a victim has to let anyone beat them?

    If you would like, since I know you don't do research, I'll provide the statutes that authorize self defense.

    Once again you focus on the victim and not the actions of the thugs. Way to condone their violent actions.

  6. Also, Mike ignores the most pertinent part of this example. Who precipitated these actions on the part of the store owner?

    Answer - the thugs who assaulted and tried to rob him. Were it not for their CHOICE to commit a VIOLENT CRIME against him they would still be alive today.

    I say good riddance. I have no sympathy whatsoever for such criminals. They belong in jail or 6 feet under. Pick the wrong victim and you might end up dead. Call it an "occupational hazard" of choosing violent crime as a way of life.

  7. Unlike Zirgar, not all of us can handle a multiple attacker situation, or in all truth, a single attacker depending on the size. Carrying a firearm is an equalizer, if need be, but hopefully a deterrent first. This attacked man couldn't simply show his firearm to discourage an imminent attack - he was essentially sucker-punched. Thus his firearm became an equalizer.

    I don't know about others, but if I was being attacked by two grown men with a third for backup over a bag of chips, I'm pretty sure I'd fear for my life. On top of that, it's demonstrated in their attack that they have the intent to harm and the ability. By those standards (fear for life, intent, ability) the state of TN says I am justified in the use of deadly force.

  8. In this case it's a force disparity, since you have multiple attackers. Three people beating on you will result in you being dead or in the hospital very quickly. In this case, they picked on the wrong guy, and paid for it. I don't feel sorry for the assailants. The force used here was not in any way excessive.

  9. You would like to think that lethal force like this would dissuade future atatcks. You know what, if every two bit thug out there thought that there was a possibility that the person they were attacking had a gun and was willing to use it, you may actually see the number of attacks go down due to fear of being shot. Everthing action in this life, this world, is based on a risk vs reward analysis. If bad guys believe that the possible risk, in this case being shot, is not worth the reward (food, cash, whatever) then you will see less attacks. fear is a great detterent, and if petty thugs fear that being shot is a possible outcome of their actions, than maybe they will choose other actions. I live in Jersey, and our gun rights are horrible. We are encouraged to flee instead of defending our bodies and our families, and you know what? That is a sin.

  10. If I'm ever attacked by three guys, I don't want a gun. I want Zirgar.

    Of course all you pro-gun guys defend the shooter. Why is that? Wouldn't it be more fair and honest on your part to admit it all depends on the nature of the attack, like I mentioned in the post?

    What if video surveillance revealed that the young guys were just bullying him a little, taunting him with mild slaps? Isn't it conceivable that a guy with a CCW might get scared and overreact to something that upon later examination proved to be less that seriously threatening?

  11. mikeb your reading comprehension is lacking again.

    "Wouldn't it be more fair and honest on your part to admit it all depends on the nature of the attack, like I mentioned in the post?"

    All of the commenters besides you and Zirgar, state their reasons why this was a legal use of a firearm. (Doesn't that mean they are admitting it is based on the nature of the attack? In this case, the nature of the attack called for defensive use of firearm).

    Since I have seen you question every defensive gun use ever presented here, and on other sites (including when someone was raped), could you provide one example of DGU that you don't question the legitimacy of? Just one.

  12. Here you go Reputo, from just the other day.

  13. Sorry Mike, that doesn't count. One DGU please, not justifiable homicide by cop, which is a separate category.

  14. All we have are the facts presented. It'll be up to the police, the District Attorney (or grand jury, depending on the state) to decide whether or not this was excessive. In the case of unarmed attackers, it comes down to Disparity of Force. Based on the facts presented, he was being punched. There were three individuals. How old was the vendor? Do you expect a middle aged man to take on three younger individuals? These are the factors that will be considered. Three against one is always a force disparity, however, and the fact that only one of the group is actively throwing punches does not get factored. The others could have merely been cutting off his avenue of retreat.

    Either way, punches can be deadly. Given that his face was already being used as a punching bag, he's completely justified in drawing and firing on his attacker. He didn't ask to be attacked. The criminals are the ones who decided to assault him. Actions have consequences.

  15. "If I'm ever attacked by three guys, I don't want a gun. I want Zirgar."

    And if you're ever attacked by 3 guys, Zigar will be by your side, won't he?

    24/7, zigar is there, right?

  16. Sebastian, You're probably right. You can't go by me, I realize. I even had a problem with the AA shooting. Remember that one, a CCW guy shot and killed a kid who was holding up the AA club with a gun? In the end it was judged justified.

    So, if justified shootings by cops don't count, as Mike W. says, I guess I'd be hard pressed to come up with a DGU that I agreed with. I'll have to pop over the Clayton's place to find one since they're so hard to find in the regular news outlets.

  17. "So, if justified shootings by cops don't count, as Mike W. says, I guess I'd be hard pressed to come up with a DGU that I agreed with."

    So, you think it's fine for cops to defend themselves but not the average Joe.

    You sir, are a sheep.

  18. I'll have to pop over the Clayton's place to find one since they're so hard to find in the regular news outlets.

    You realize that the stories at Clayton's are ALL news stories from all over the country right.

    So Mike, if a woman is attacked by 3 guys attempting to rape her and she shoots them is that not a justified DGU? Should she just give them what they want, or assume they won't hurt her if she cooperates?

  19. Mikeb302000 seems to care more about criminals than he does victims. I really have a problem with his thinking it is wrong for the man to defend himself if they were only slapping him around. Where in the law does it say it is alright for them to do that. Maybe if they thought that there was a possibility of being shot them they wouldn't try. I think you should be able to use deadly force to defend yourself or someone else in the commission of any crime. I think if you were to see a purse snatching, you should be able to shoot the guy while he is running away. Don't you think he would be less likely to try it if he didn't know whethter or not he would be shot dead? I think it would make all criminals think again. Of course you will still have some to try, but that would be at their own risk and we can only hope they are shot to end their criminal career early. why do the criminals have more rights while committing crimes than the victims?