DGU or Not?

Joe Huffman describes a scenario. Go ahead and read. I’ll wait. You’ll need to read to understand my take.

Given that you have a force disparity (two younger men against an older man), I tend to think that this is legitimate self-defense, and thus a DGU. But two likely unarmed men against an armed man, you may be facing charges, and likely find yourself having to argue disparity of force, which is always an ambiguous enough a situation to want to avoid.

Based on his description (15 to 20 yards as described), he’s out of the range of most less than lethals. But I would point out that given the threat “I guess I’m going to have to fuck up your camera,” would completely warrant the immediate and un-threatened use of chemical defenses, regardless of how the situation progressed from there.

Given the situation, I think this person acted prudently. But the real question, if it came down to that, is how a jury would see it. That’s the ultimate question, and the only one that matters in the end, really. That’s why I advocate carrying defense that runs the whole spectrum of force. You’re generally going to be far better off defending the use of less than lethal force than you are defending the threat of deadly force. The important thing is to have options.

4 thoughts on “DGU or Not?”

  1. Hopefully his friend turned the kids in for threatening him. They clearly have an attitude, and probably priors given how quickly they decided to assault him & smash his camera. Tricky situation, but as you said, a lot depends on the make up of a jury since they do screwy things. Best to avoid becoming involved with our legal system whenever you can.

  2. Being a senior citizen who also enjoys spending time in the woods bird watching and picture taking I can relate somewhat to the situation described. I believe in avoiding confrontation if at all possible. I probably would not have stood there and had a conversation with them. That being said, I also believe in carrying a cheap pocket knife to use as a “throw down” and I carry a revolver loaded with quality hollow points. If I have to shoot someone in the woods I don’t want to have to look around to pick up brass and hopefully the hollow points will expand enough to eliminate positive ballistic testing. I feel that self-defense is not a crime and if I didn’t commit a crime there is no reason why I should hang around to justify my actions. Realistically if I am deep in the woods the odds are that no one will ever figure out who shot the assailants and if they do you always have the knife attack alibi to defend your actions.

    1. ok karl, that sounded a little creepy. planting evidence, hoping for no witnesses as you leave the scene and don’t report that you shot someone. sounds like you’ve really thought this through…

      as for myself, i think from a ‘hindsight is 20-20’ perspective, after a verbal warning and one of them kept coming, and presuming 15-20 yards i’d put the camera on the ground between us rather than draw at that point, and back away. but I’m really not an expert on this, and I’m not sure exactly what I’d do. I’m willing to take any criticism from anyone, but I’m just being honest. what if only one charged at you? i can gaurantee you that’s going to be a problem in court (after all, it was his friend you shot). ‘we were minding our own business your honor (tears)’
      sebastian, i think you’re right, the ultimate question (after the decision to escalate and use a firearm, i suppose) is how the jury will see it. if i shot one (or two men) in the woods who were riding four wheelers who weren’t trying to rob me, just destroy my property… let’s just say I think I’d need a really good defense team to keep me out of the pokey.

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