A Lesson in Disparity of Force…
August 4th, 2008
What do you do when confronted with an unarmed adversary?
What do you do when confronted with multiple unarmed adversaries?
Can you shoot unarmed adversaries?
These questions are answered in this week’s blog post by studying another real-life example of what can happen to you at any time, in any place – once again demonstrating the importance of having a concealed weapon and knowing when to use it…
First, I want you to read what the below men did to a good man and his family while at an amusement park. As you read this news report, ask yourself what you would have done if faced with the same situation, then I will discuss what he should have done.
Here is the news report to read. Note: Article is in 3 parts.
OK, so what would you do?
Are you going to shoot an unarmed man for slapping your daughter’s buttock or making lewd remarks to her? Hopefully not, but you certainly are going to protect her from further sexual harassment by stepping up and placing yourself between your daughter and the dirt-bag who is groping her, just as any father would do.
So when did this situation escalate to the point where the father would have been justified in presenting his weapon or shooting unarmed adversaries, had he been carrying a concealed handgun?
Generally speaking, you can only legally shoot when your adversary demonstrates the ability, opportunity and intent to inflict immediate and serious bodily injury to you or those around you.
No jury is going to accept you shooting someone – and police agencies will not even accept you presenting your weapon – over a verbal argument, name-calling, or even groping.
In this case, based on the information we have from the news report, the father of three girls would have been justified in presenting his weapon (had he been armed) against unarmed adversaries, and shooting if necessary, at the point he was confronted with multiple, hostile adversaries because he was then clearly faced with a disparity of force.
Disparity of Force is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at an overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious bodily injury.
Here are some examples of Disparity of Force:
- Large man against small man.
- Able bodied man against disabled man.
- Man against woman.
- Two or more men against one man.
- Two or more juveniles against one man or one woman.
- Man or woman known to have training in the martial arts against untrained man or woman.
Again, your adversaries (even in a disparity of force situation) must be demonstrating the ability, opportunity, and intent to inflict immediate and serious bodily injury to you or those around you in order to justify shooting.
In this particular case, based on the information we have from the news report, the initial incident of two dirt-bags slapping his 12 year old daughter’s buttock did not demonstrate intent to inflict immediate and serious bodily injury on anyone. The father was right and just in his efforts to stop the groping by stepping between his daughter and the men and exchanging words. Had he possessed a concealed firearm he would not have been justified in presenting it at this moment.
However, once one of the two thugs got on a cell phone and called in their reinforcements (a total of 8 men against one man) he should have done the following:
1. Command in as loud a voice as possible for the gang to stop their advance, as he continued to retreat with his family.The loud command creates attention so witnesses could see and hear that he is clearly the victim and attempting to evade the confrontation.2. If the gang of men did not stop their advance, and he could not retreat with his family any further, then he had no choice but to present his weapon to the READY position (pointed 45 degrees toward the ground, finger off the trigger, safety on) and command as loud as he can, “Stop or I will shoot!”
NOTE: At this point, 99% of the punks and thugs you may deal with are going to stop and leave. I suspect that the 8 criminals intimidating this poor man and his family would have stopped in their tracks and dispersed immediately had they been confronted with a gun in the hands of a man who knew how to use it. Only the most dedicated, crazy, or substance-abusing adversary is going to advance on a man with a gun and command presence. Still, don’t ever bluff with a gun or you will just create a greater danger to those around you should a dedicated, crazy or substance-abusing adversary call your bluff and take your gun from you. You MUST be ready, willing, and able to use the gun should you ever present it.
3. If one or more of the men had advanced against his gun and were within a distance to immediately inflict serious bodily injury to him or his family, then he was justified to first shoot the man who was the greatest danger and be prepared to shoot the next greatest danger and so on until the rest leave or there is no more danger.
4. For the safety of himself, his family, and those witnesses downrange, he would need to make every shot count by seeing the front sight and pressing the trigger for a crisp trigger break that did not disrupt his sight picture. He would need to use proper trigger reset. He would also need to manage his ammunition by placing two rounds in the center of mass on the first adversary, but follow up with single rounds or head shots on any further adversaries who advance against his gun, as he may have to shoot them all…
Not a pretty picture. And of course there would have been some potential criminal liability, and certainly civil liability, had he been carrying a gun and was forced to use it as described above.
What is the alternative? No crystal ball is needed for that answer because we know he DID NOT have a gun and we know what happened to him. The alternative is that the government, the police, and the 22 security guards in the park that night could not prevent a beating that put him in the hospital for a week, injured his wife and daughters, may leave him with permanent physical injuries, and certainly will leave him with the psychological scars of knowing he was not able to protect himself or his family against a random act of violence.
Oh, there was one other alternative… he could have kept his mouth shut and done nothing when his 12 year old daughter’s buttock was slapped by a couple of punks.
Here is the question for you: How do you want to live your life?
In the scenario we just discussed, you have three choices:
A. Keep your mouth shut, look the other way, and give up your daughters and wife to the whims of a gang of punks.
B. Step up to protect your daughter and family, without the ability to do, and face the cowardly attack of 8 men that puts you in the hospital as a result.
C. Have a gun, know WHEN to present it, and be ready, willing, and able to use it should you ever need to protect yourself or your family against immediate danger of serious bodily injury.
If you chose A, then you have been conditioned to live a life void of the courage, freedom, and self-reliance that made us citizens, not slaves. I would like to help you, but I don’t know that you want help. Your destiny is with those who would trade freedom for peace.
If you chose B, then you have the right stuff and just need some training. Front Sight is here to help people like you.
If you chose C, then by all means take advantage of my greatest Course, Gun, and Gear Offer at http://www.frontsight.com/free-gun.asp
And if you know the man and his family who were attacked, please have them contact me. I have a lifetime membership waiting for him. I commend him for stepping up to protect his daughter and family as any good father would. Had he been to Front Sight before this incident took place, the outcome would have been significantly and positively different.
Here is an Associated article for more information.
I will be posting a different article on this blog each Monday so I look forward to your visit every week.
If you have an interesting photo, story or tip about a relevant topic of interest to gun ownership, firearms training or Second Amendment issues, please feel free to send it to me at:
If you want to take advantage of the Greatest Course, Gun, and CCW Permit offer in the firearms training industry see this link:
See you next week.
Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute