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Tue May 15, 2012, 02:15 PM

Some reasons why warning shots are a BAD idea.

Last edited Tue May 15, 2012, 05:29 PM - Edit history (1)

From time to time an armed self defense story is posted here and often someone will ask why a warning shot wasnít fired. Warning shots can go wrong in several different ways and make a bad situation much worse. Here are some ways.

The criminal may not understand your message as you intend it. With the warning shot you are trying to tell the criminal that he is in deadly danger, that you donít want to actually shoot him but that you will if you have to. Instead he may read your warning shot as meaning that you donít have the will to actually shoot someone and may attack to take your gun away from you. Or he may believe that your warning shot was really a shot at him that missed and that you are about to kill him. If he is armed he may then shoot back at you.

The warning shot can hit an innocent person. We have recently seen the case of Summer Moody who was killed by a warning shot. While she was totally innocent, she wasnít the target either. She isnít the only person who was killed by a warning shot as it happens from time to time.

You can go to jail for a warning shot. A few years ago there was a case in which the defender fired both a warning shot and a killing shot. The warning shot lodged in an apartment wall close to an uninvolved person. The shooter was not charged for the killing but did go to prison on a conviction of reckless endangerment for the warning shot.

You use up some of your ammunition. There was a case in Manila in which the policeman fired three warning shots from his revolver against a knife armed attacker. The knife guy then charged the cop who turned to run because he was too close. He tried to fire over his shoulder while running, missing with the three remaining shots. Then he tripped and the knife armed attacker was on top of the cop, stabbing him to death. While that is an extreme case, you may need all of your bullets. I once personally knew a retired cop in New Orleans who responded to a naked guy with a large knife chasing people in the French Quarter, back in the 1950s. It took all six of his bullets to bring the guy down. The first five hit center mass, number six was quickly carefully aimed, at very close range, for the brain. You may need everyone of your bullets. There have been cases in which a drugged-up offender has absorbed every round from a magazine and still been fighting. I remember a case in New Orleans in which the bad guy was hit over 30 times before he went down.

The warning shot can be used against you in court to show that you resorted to deadly force too early. You opened fire while you had time to observe and judge the effects of your shot so you clearly were not yet in ďthe gravest extremeĒ. That you were shooting into the ground doesnít matter. When you squeeze the trigger, deadly force has been brought into play.

The only reason to use deadly force is that someone is doing something that is so evil that they must be stopped, (Rendered physically incapable of further aggression) even if they die as a side result of being stopped. If things arenít that drastic yet, keep the finger off the trigger.

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Some reasons why warning shots are a BAD idea. (Original post)
GreenStormCloud May 2012 OP
Kalidurga May 2012 #1
rfranklin May 2012 #2
GreenStormCloud May 2012 #5
rfranklin May 2012 #8
GreenStormCloud May 2012 #9
rfranklin May 2012 #11
GreenStormCloud May 2012 #12
Glaug-Eldare May 2012 #13
AtheistCrusader May 2012 #17
Union Scribe May 2012 #15
aikoaiko May 2012 #16
ProgressiveProfessor May 2012 #6
Glaug-Eldare May 2012 #3
SoutherDem May 2012 #4
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2012 #7
Meiko May 2012 #10
ileus May 2012 #14

Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 02:23 PM

1. I was watching a show with my daughter...

I thought the main character had fired a warning shot. I turned to her and I said, never fire a warning shot. She informed me that she just missed. Point still stands though, never fire a warning shot, if you shoot intend to hit your target.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 02:26 PM

2. Next time I'm in Manila, I will remember your advice...

 

Where do you dig up this garbage?

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #2)

Tue May 15, 2012, 03:00 PM

5. So you can't refute anything I said. N/T

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #5)


Response to rfranklin (Reply #8)

Tue May 15, 2012, 08:12 PM

9. So now you make personal attacks.

It take it that you are opposed to a gun safety discussion.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #9)

Tue May 15, 2012, 08:31 PM

11. This is not a post about gun safety. It is a post about shooting people.

 

You must live in a really bad neighborhood.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #11)

Tue May 15, 2012, 09:19 PM

12. Again with the personal attacks.

You don't seem to be able to discuss the issue of warning shots. Since you are hostile to the thread's OP does that mean you think that warning shots are a good idea?

BTW - This is the gungeon and self-defense with guns is talked about here.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #11)

Tue May 15, 2012, 09:55 PM

13. It's about both.

The OP is about gun safety because warning shots may rapidly escalate a confrontation, may kill or wound innocent people, are destructive without purpose, and in most cases violate the law.

The OP is about shooting people because, if it is necessary to shoot somebody in defense, firing warning shots depletes your ammunition, disrupts your hearing, diverts your aim, and generally puts you at a tactical disadvantage.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #11)

Thu May 17, 2012, 10:49 AM

17. Warning shots are legally and morally hazardous.

Morally, because you are risking a shot without a whole lot of time and consideration as to whether the direction you are firing is actually safe or not, and what might be behind it.

Legally, because turning your firearm away from what you consider a life-threatening person, is considered prima facie evidence you aren't in fear for your life at all.

So, by all means, keep up the bad advice.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #8)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:04 PM

15. Shit like this has no place on DU.

It's one thing to disagree with what someone writes, it's quite another to deliberately misrepresent what they wrote in order to insinuate that they're crazy and want to kill people.

All you just did was show everyone that nothing you say should be taken seriously.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #8)

Wed May 16, 2012, 01:11 PM

16. ???

Discuss gun control laws, the Second Amendment, the use of firearms for self-defense, and the use of firearms to commit crime and violence.

www.democraticunderground.com/?com=about&forum=1172

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #2)

Tue May 15, 2012, 04:50 PM

6. Its good advice wherever you are

Warning shots are often dangerous and a bad idea tactically.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 02:27 PM

3. Bingo. Warning shots are negligent.

Last edited Tue May 15, 2012, 07:40 PM - Edit history (1)

Don't even draw the gun if you don't believe the peril is serious enough that you are in immediate, serious danger of being maimed or killed. Firing a "warning shot" means that you are using deadly force when you don't believe deadly force is really necessary to end the threat.

I can imagine the conversation...

Detective: So, that's when you drew your gun?
Homeowner: That's right, that's when I fired a warning shot.
Detective: Why didn't you shoot him?
Homeowner: I didn't want to hurt him, I just wanted to scare him away.
Detective: So he was not a threat when you drew your gun?
Homeowner: Of course he was, I just don't want to shoot anybody.
Detective: Then why did you pull out a gun in the first place?

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 02:37 PM

4. The warning shot can hit an innocent person.

Back in 1986 I had a cousin killed by a warning shot, and the warning shot wasn't intended to ward him off, he had nothing to do with the two arguing. I understand someone not wanting to kill someone, but the warning shot may do just that, only someone who has nothing to do with the situation which made the warning shot seem needed.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:31 PM

7. The only valid "warning shot"...

...is the one one before the bartender flags you.

Don't drink and drive.
Don't drink and date.
Don't drink and shoot.
Don't drink and carry.
Don't drink and vote.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 08:17 PM

10. Warning shot?

 

I don't think so. If you are carrying a weapon or have one readily available you had better be prepared to use it. If you can't for whatever reason shoot another person then you should not have a gun for self defense. I have taken several firearms training courses and all of them have a similar messages, one of them being "no warning shots", ever. You either fear for your life or you don't, there is no gray area here. Before you even pull your weapon from it's holster you should already have decided you are going to shoot...if not, leave it in the holster.

In addition the last thing you want is a bunch of bullets flying around, talk about irresponsible. What if you kill an innocent bystander? You are going to jail.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:24 PM

14. I could see a warning shot

out in the country like where I am...someone breaking into a barn or stealing gas not really an immediate threat to your person or family. Just to motivate them to find another line of work. (It worked for my brother in the 80's)

But I can't imagine ever firing a warning shot inside my home or in public...for the safety of those around you it's best to remove the threat if it comes down to discharging the firearm.


Remember refuse to be a victim.

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