Disparity of Force: When to Use a Firearm Against an Unarmed Attacker

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Using deadly force in self-defense with a firearm to protect yourself or ones in your party from one or more attackers who are inflecting great bodily harm or with intent to kill is permitted. Given that the opponent(s) presenting the ability to cripple or kill you. Such ability is pretty obviously when a force multiplier is present, such as a gun, knife, or any blunt instrument of some wielded in a threatening manner.

Nonetheless, the ability to cripple or kill may take the forum of a, not what we called common weapons, but a forum of some physical advantage that the opponent has over you. That tilts the odds so greatly to his side that his continued assault (just using the fist which can become a weapon during the attack) is likely to kill or maim you. This situation is known as a “disparity of force.” Now let’s take a look at the several different forums disparity of force can take.

Force of Numbers

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Here is a scenario. A lone male name Mike (to be victim) is coming out of 7-Eleven on his way to his car, and immediately is approach by three other males who have similar body height, built and weight to Mike. With bare hands, one of the three guys fiercely pushes Mike against his car and knocking him over to the ground. Next thing you know, all three thugs start stomping him and punching his head while on the ground. Now the attacker’s feet and hands becomes lethal weapons. Mike is trying to cover his head and face, next he is able to quickly reach for his concealed carry pistol and firing at his attackers hitting two of them, while they flee.
Being attack by multiple assailants, the likelihood of them beating you to death or horribly injuring you is so great that their force of numbers can be equivalent of a deadly weapon. Responding with your gun as a deadly weapon is justifiable.

Great Difference in Physical Size and Straight

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A smaller guy being violently attack a big muscular guy. Or a male violently attacking a female is generally seen as a disparity of force. Men in general are a lot stronger than women by nature. It’ understood to be more physically aggressive as well.

In the mid 19080’s, Florida v. Marry Mernucci Hopkin. Where her long-abusing common-law husband lunged at her with obvious homicidal intent, she raised a .22 revolver and pulled the trigger three times. One entered the front of the chest, one hit behind lateral midline, and one square in the back. She was certain that as soon as she turned away, she had stopped firing. The state’s Attorney’s Office charged her with 2nd degree murder. But later she was acquitted thanks to the able direct examination by her brilliant defense attorney.

The Mike Brown case is another great example. Unfortunately most people watch a lot of Hollywood movies and TV shows, we see the protagonist firing one shot from his handgun hitting the bad guy in the chest or head, he goes down and dies in a matter of seconds. Many think this is true.
But guess what? It’s so unreal and deceiving. It’s uncommon for a one shot kill from a handgun on a bad guy while both parties are moving. You have to include factors such as distance to the assailant, body size, built and weight, bullet speed, bullet type, clothing. As I mention before in my previous article, handguns are not true power stoppers.
Mike Brown was a large person, his 6’4”, nearly 300 body weight advance towards Darren Wilson. Not to mention the escalation multiplies by 10 folds when Brown goes for Wilson’s side arm.

The disadvantage position

This was the case with Trayvon and Zimmerman. Florida v. George Zimmerman. Evidence showed that Trayvon Martin had Zimmerman down and was banging his head into a concrete sidewalk when Zimmerman stopped the attack with a single fatal shot from his Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol. Zimmerman’s trail would have ended quicker if he had a recording. Or if there were surveillance cameras pointing towards the scene.

The Physically Disadvantage & the Disabled 

Mobility-hindered

Those in a wheelchair because they lost their legs, or walking on crutches due to an injured foot. There are numerous physical disabilities which these potential victims are unable to fight and fend off their attacker(s). In this instances, using a gun as a lethal force to save themselves will be justify.

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