The Warning Shot.

Florida has broken out with a case of the political dumbass.  Here is what I’m talking about;

There are a myriad of problems with this legislation.  But to understand just how deliriously stupid this idea is, we need to understand first, when it is okay for someone who carries to draw their weapon.

If you, or a loved one, is threatened with great bodily harm, you MIGHT be justified to draw your weapon. There is no perfectly defined line as to when it is okay, and when it isn’t.  Massad Ayoob, legal kung fu master when it comes to matters of concealed weapons and armed self defense, describes the necessity as a disparity of force. This is not quantifiable and very subjective.

If you fire a warning shot several things become readily apparent

#1. Your life or well being are not actually in danger.

If you are in danger of losing your life or suffering great bodily harm, why would you intentionally miss?  If the threat is there, you deal with the threat. It wasn’t the ground, or the sky that threatened your life, so why would you shoot it?  You shoot the attacker.

#2. You are using your firearm as a means of intimidating someone into coercion.

If you fire a warning shot, since we have established that you were not under threat of imminent bodily harm, now you have become the aggressor of the situation.  You have escalated the issue to the point of deadly force.  Now you are using your weapon, not for self defense, but as a means to intimidate.

#3. You are still responsible for where that bullet travels.

What if you are in a mall parking lot? Inside a grocery store? The bullet fired can ricochet, and may cause injury to an innocent bystander.  So now, your life was not in danger, you were trying to intimidate another individual into submission, and you may have injured an innocent bystander. 

By all accounts, you are now the criminal.  So why the law? Why even bring it up?

Because of this case; Marissa Alexander, of Jacksonville, was given a 20-year prison sentence after firing a gun near her estranged husband during an argument.

Let’s recap that case though.  She fired a warning shot. Was her life in jeopardy? Nope. They were having an argument. She left the premises to get the gun from her car, and then re-entered the premises.

Alexander pushed past Gray and went into the garage where she got her gun from her car’s glove compartment.

If her life was truly in danger, once she “pushed past” she should have left.  From the prosecution of her case;

Gray told prosecutors in the deposition that Alexander came back into the house holding the weapon and told him to leave. He refused, and what happened next is somewhat unclear. In his deposition, Gray said "she shot in the air one time," prompting him and the children to run out the front door.

This was not a case of self defense. This was using a firearm as a means of intimidation.  She got a jail sentence for it, like she should have.

Warning shots are a bad idea.  Warning shots waste a round of ammunition that could be used to stop an assailant.  Perhaps it works in movies and on television. Real life however is very different. 

This entry was posted in Concealed Carry, Pistol, Self Defense. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Warning Shot.

  1. lwk2431 says:

    “This was not a case of self defense. This was using a firearm as a means of intimidation. She got a jail sentence for it, like she should have.”

    You are right that it was not self defense. She got a sentence, and should have, but I think it was way out of proportion to her crime due to mandatory sentencing laws in Florida.

    “If you are in danger of losing your life or suffering great bodily harm, why would you intentionally miss?”

    Have you read the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman? A lot of people are incapable of firing to kill another person. Don’t approve of the idea of warning shots per se in many cases, especially in your public scenario. You are responsible for every shot you fire (and so should cops, but that is not always the case I think).

    But in some cases if a person fires a warning shot, and doesn’t hurt an innocent bystander I am in favor of giving them a little slack. We give a lot more slack to supposedly highly trained police.

    I agree a great deal of what you say, but I am not sure it totally covers all the dimensions. 🙂




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