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SHOOT OR NO SHOOT: Knife Attack on Children

SHOOT OR NO SHOOT: Knife Attack on Children

A legal analysis on parents’ right to use deadly defensive force for kids

Today’s post is prompted by a strange and horrifying knife attack—strange because it happened on a public street, and horrifying because it involved slashing attacks to the faces of two small children.

As you might imagine I’ve been inundated with a single question: would deadly defensive force be lawful against such an attack. Naturally, the answer is both “yes” and ‘no.”

If you haven’t yet seen the video of this attack, here it is– there’s no blood or gore, but if you have small children (as I do) the act itself is horrifying enough.

Context and Caveats

First, a caveat: The only information I’ve seen on this event is this video, so that’s all I’ll use in this analysis. I’ve read other information about this event on the internet, but what I’ve read has been unsourced, is therefore unverifiable, so I’m going to ignore it for purposes of this post.

Second, a second caveat: It certainly appears that the attack here involved the use of a sharp-edged weapon, as seen in this screen capture of the attacker departing the scene:

That said, the video does not show the kinds of horrific harm one would expect to a child slashed across the face with such a sizeable edged weapon—and if you’ve never seen real edged-weapon injuries, I can assure you that they are horrific—and the parents don’t immediately display the kind of reaction one would expect upon seeing their child’s face carved open.

Nevertheless, for purposes of this analysis, I’m going to treat this as an edged-weapon, meaning deadly force attack. There are two reasons for this.

One, is the video evidence itself, as already shown above.

Second, is the legal reality that it doesn’t matter if this was actually an edged-weapon attack. For self-defense/defense-of-others purposes what is controlling is not the actual nature of the attack, but the reasonably apparent nature of the attack. Certainly given the object in the attacker’s hand and the manner in which it is used, a perception by the parents of an edged-weapon attack would be reasonable, even if it was mistaken.

Based on such a reasonable perception of the attack as one involving an edged-weapon, the response of the parents to it as such would, therefore, be reasonable, even if it were later turn out that the attacker was using a blunt-edged weapon not capable of serious harm, a rubber knife, etc.

Third, these events apparently take place in a country other than the United States. I claim no legal expertise in use-of-force law outside the US and its territories, nor do I claim any expertise in the laws governing the carrying and use of defensive weapons by law-abiding citizens in other countries.

For purposes of this analysis, then, I will treat this event as if it occurred in the United States, and in one of the jurisdictions of the US that recognizes the Second Amendment and allows for law-abiding, mentally sound citizens to carry firearms for lawful use in defense of themselves and other innocents.

Fourth, I’m going to limit this analysis to the use of force for purposes of defense of self and others, and exclude any considerations of use-of-force for other purposes, such as for making a citizens arrest, for example.

(Pro-tip: We are currently developing a new Law of Self Defense course on citizens arrest, so if that subject is of interest you’ll want to be sure you’re signed up as a member of our blog so you’re informed of the launch sale for that citizen’s arrest course. Bronze-level membership is still, for the time being, free. Join here.)

The core question being asked about this knife attack on children is: Would deadly defensive force be lawful in the face of this event?

Or shorter: “Can I shoot this b**ch?”

The answer is both “yes” and “no,” because as is often the case in use-of-force events the facts and circumstances here are dynamic and changing, rather than static. There are intervals here in which deadly defensive force would be lawful, and intervals in which no defensive force would be lawful at all.

I’m prone to saying that this use-of-force law stuff isn’t really rocket science, as it only consists of a maximum of five elements, those being the up to five elements of a justification claim for self-defense or defense of others.

Those elements are innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance, and reasonableness.   For purposes of this analysis, we’ll assume that we’re in a duty-to-retreat jurisdiction such that all five elements (including avoidance) are applicable.

The analysis, then, is straightforward. The parents use of defensive force against the attacker would be lawful when every one of those five required elements is present. If any one required element is missing at the time the parents use force against the attacker, then whatever the parents’ use of force was—retribution, vengeance—it was not lawful self-defense or defense of others.

Whether those required elements are present, however, is not a constant over even the short duration of the video of the attack. At some points of the video all five are present, and the use of defensive force would be lawful, and at other points of the video one or more elements are missing, and the use of defensive force would not be lawful. (Alternatively, the degree of defensive force that would be lawful might change with the circumstances.)

Video Analysis

So, let’s step through the video of the attack.

Certainly, no defensive force can be lawful until one is aware that an attack is occurring. Given the surprise nature of this attack, which no normal human being could anticipate—in particular, slashing a small child across the face, twice—so for all practical purposes the initial attack could not reasonably be predicted.

As a result, there would be no reason to know there was a need, or a justification, for the use of defensive force until that attack on the first child, which occurs about 3 seconds into the video.

Once aware of the potential need for defensive force, the use-of-force analysis is straightforward: are the required legal elements necessary for the contemplated use of defensive force present—in which case that use of defensive force would be lawful—or is a required element missing—in which case the use of defensive force would be unlawful.

Certainly, while the first child is being slashed, all the required elements of self-defense (or, here, defense of others, the elements are effectively the same on these facts) are present to justify the use of defensive force against the woman attacker:

Innocence: Clearly, the woman attacker is the aggressor.

Imminence: The attack is actually in progress.

Proportionality: It reasonably appears to be a deadly force attack, thus justifying a deadly force response.

Avoidance: There’s no avoiding the attack actually in progress, and in any case even if the parents could safely flee the adult attacker, the children could not, and likely even the parents could not if burdened by carrying the children, and further an attacker with a knife already in contact distance is unlikely to be fled from with complete safety, thus relieving the victim of an otherwise existing legal duty to retreat.

Reasonableness: Already touched upon above, but certainly it would be reasonable to perceive this attack as one involving an edged weapon on innocents.

The initial attack on the first child occurs at about 3.25s in the video:

The difficulty here is that this initial attack is very fast and very brief, and so the circumstances described above—particularly the element of imminence—exist only briefly. Indeed, from the moment the woman initiates the attack on the first child to the moment she is withdrawing from that attack is less than a second (from about 3.25s to 4.20s).

Would it have been legally justified for the parents to use deadly defensive force against the woman attacker during this one second, initial attack? Legally, yes, but probably not practically. There are some people who can deploy a handgun from concealment and effectively engage a target in 1 second, but there aren’t many of them.

In any case, it is first necessary to recognize that an attack is taking place at all, and that the nature of the attack is deadly force, and that recognition alone can easily take a second or more by itself in this kind of surprise setting.

Immediately following this attack on the first child, for the next two seconds (from about 04.20s to 06.20s in the video) the attacker begins to stroll away from the scene. Although the edged weapon is still in the attacker’s right hand, at this point she is arguably no longer an imminent threat, as there is an apparent lack of the jeopardy requirement of imminence.

Absent imminence the use of any defensive force, much less deadly defensive force, would not be lawful. While it would certainly be understandable that a parent might want to shoot this woman in the back as walked away having slashed a child twice across the face—I’ve four children of my own, so I get it—that would be retribution or vengeance, not self-defense or defense of others.

In short, without the element of imminence, meaning in the absence of a threat actually happening or about to immediately happen, there can be no lawful use of defensive force.

Of course, all that once again changes very quickly, as the attacker suddenly turns back to the bewildered parents who are still processing what’s happened, at about the 6.20s mark of the video:

At this point the woman initiates a second attack upon the family, and in particular upon the second child in the yellow shirt:

After apparently (or at least hopefully) being foiled in this second attack, the woman once again disengages and begins to walk away, at about 10.20s in the video:

During this ~4 second period of this second attack, from about 06:20s to about 10:20s in the video, would the parents have been legally entitled to use deadly defensive force against the attacker, and would it have been practical for them to do so?

Legal Analysis

From the legal perspective, the analysis is the same: innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance, and reasonableness. The only element that’s changed since the last analysis when the woman attacker was walking away is the element of imminence, which was previously lacking, making defensive force by the parents unlawful, then.

Now, however, the attack is actually in progress, which obviously meets the requirements of imminence. Along with the other required elements being present, legal justification for the parents to use force—and against an edged-weapon attack under these circumstances, to use deadly defensive force such as a handgun—are all demonstrably present.

So could, say, the father (or the mother, or both parents simultaneously) simply draw a handgun from concealment during this four-second window and shoot the knife-wielding attacker in the face—and be lawfully justified in doing so?

Well, that’s a good question: Could he? Legally, the necessary conditions for either (or both) parents to use deadly defensive force against the attacker, both in defense of themselves (self-defense) as well as in defense of their children (defense of others), are all present during this second attack in this 4-second window.

But just because one is legally permitted to present that concealed handgun and engage a knife-wielding attacker doesn’t mean that one has the practical ability to do so in a manner that effectively stops the threat.

Indeed, I would suggest that these circumstances, in particular, involving a close-quarters knife attack on small children in a very tight time frame, presents a tactical problem that would require a very high level of situational awareness, on-the-spot decision making, and efficient execution of the defensive action in order to be effective.

All three of those abilities—the awareness, the decision-making, and the execution—likely require weeks or months or years of practice in order to be available on demand.

As the cliché puts it, the gunfight (or any fight, really) isn’t generally won in the moment, unless one is just lucky. Rather, it’s won in the weeks and months and years of training and practice that (hopefully) occurred prior to the moment.

In this instance, of course, the parents take no tactical measures against the woman attacker, limiting themselves to the rather instinctual reactions of pulling themselves and their family back from the edged weapon. Needless to say, had the woman attacker been determined to sink the blade into any of the family, she could easily have done so by being more aggressive and following through on her attack—a call within her control, not the family’s control.

In any case, having apparently cowed the parents, the attacker then once again begins to walk away, at about the 10.20s mark in the video. At this point the apparent mother of the children appears to harangue the apparent father to “don’t just stand there, be a man!” and finally he jumps into aggressive action.

As often happens, however, especially to people who have not mentally prepared themselves for reacting to a fast-moving attack of this type, by the time the father gets into gear it’s really too late, on every level.

It’s obviously too late to save the first child from harm, but as noted it’s hard to blame the parents for failing to anticipate a really unpredictable and insane knife attack like this on their children.

It’s also too late, however, to neutralize the second attack. There was a window of imminence during which the use of defensive force, even deadly defensive force, would have been legally justified—but this window of imminence was transient, as such windows tend to be, lasting only about 4 seconds.

Once the window of imminence has closed, the required element of imminence is gone, and the justification for the use of defensive force is also gone.

At this point in the video the father begins to pursue the woman attacker, who is rather casually walking away with the first child’s backpack, the apparent knife still clasped in her right hand. As the father approaches, she points the knife in his direction, dissuading further action on his part, at about the 17.00s mark in the video:

The question here is, what is the father really doing at this point? He’s not protecting his family, because the woman attacker is no longer an imminent threat to the family as she starts walking away from them across the street.

As he rushes at the woman attacker, and she holds the rather lengthy edged-weapon out towards him, the man could easily impale his chest on that blade—it’s surprisingly easy for a sharp point to penetrate the chest cavity, and create havoc among the heart, lungs, and rather large and important coronary and pulmonary blood vessels to be found there.

In many cases victims of such a knife injury to the chest feel little more than a punching-type sensation, have no idea they’ve been mortally wounded, and over the next handful of minutes gradually hemorrhage internally, get dizzy, and die—in this case, the dying would be in front of his wife and two small already terrorized children.

For what? Are the stakes, at that point, worth the risks?

In theory, once the woman points the knife back at the pursuing husband he could argue that he’s once again facing an imminent deadly force threat, but it’s already clear that he’s neither mentally nor practically prepared to defend against such a threat, so the whole exercise of pursuing the woman seems rather pointless.

At that point, the woman attacker than walks across the street, and the video ends.

I’ve read that the woman has since been arrested and faces (as one would hope) serious criminal charges, although I’ve no way to verify such reports, nor do I have any particular interest in doing so.

Why no interest? Because, really, who cares? My concern in such a situation is the safety of my children, my wife, and finally myself.

My interest in the legal outcome for the woman attacker, once the safety of my family has been secured, is entirely theoretical and largely beyond my control.

In a technical sense, I hope she’s arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and locked away from normal people, and I’ll do whatever I can to facilitate such an outcome. On the “1-to-10” scale of what really matters, however, especially in the context of the safety of my family, all of that downstream procedural stuff ranks at maybe a 1.

And probably not even that high.

Lesson – Be Prepared

So, what’s the lesson here?

With respect to the initial attack, it’s not clear to me that there’s anything anybody could have done, other than identify the attacker’s psychopathy long before and have her already secured in a facility away from the public.

With respect to the second attack, however, there something could, in theory, have been done, and the use of deadly defensive force in the doing would almost certainly have been lawful.

But the doing takes preparation, both mental and physical, and quite a bit of it over an extended period of time. That’s really the sole difference between the father who in that 4-second window can effectively and lawfully and decisively defend his family, on the one hand, and the father who stands there bewildered with the wheels spinning pointlessly in his head, on the other hand.

The former prepared, the latter did not.

The lesson: Be prepared.

Physically, that means things like being sufficiently fit to engage another human being with defensive violence, and in the particular case of a defensive handgun having practiced enough with that handgun—and, of vital importance, recently enough—that you’ll have the technical skills to deploy such defensive weapons effectively in what may prove to be a very transient window of time during which such defensive conduct is lawful.

Mentally, being prepared means having thought through long before the moment of crisis the extent to which you are prepared to use defensive force, and particularly deadly defensive force, and under what circumstances. While we can’t predict every possible kind of attack—only the aggressor gets to pick the time, place, and manner of their attack—we can learn from the misfortune of other victims, just as pilots learn from other pilots’ crashes.

I also suggest that being able to act decisively in the moment is fostered by having the confidence to know that your defensive choices fall well within the legal boundaries for the use of defensive force, and especially deadly defensive force.

In the crises of the moment, you should already know that your defensive choices are as lawful as it’s possible for them to be, so that you can focus your stress-limited mental bandwidth on winning the physical fight with the confidence of knowing you’re already well-positioned to win the legal fight that follows.

Helping you make better informed, more confident, more decisive decisions in lawful self-defense, and thus helping make you hard to convict, is of course our mission here at Law of Self Defense.

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You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

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Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
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Good to shoot all day long for this incident.

    BerettaTomcat in reply to BerettaTomcat. | September 1, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Even when the criminal is retreating, you can lawfully shoot a fleeing armed felon that poses a threat to the community.

      sorry for the down vote, i was clicking on “reply”, but i have to disagree with you.

      depending on where you live, Failifornia, for instance, you’re likely to get prosecuted for shooting a fleeing suspect, just because some prosecutor want’s the publicity.

        Sad to say, in California anything can happen. My unarmed son was attacked in LA while waiting for a late night bus. The attacker had a knife and was under the influence of drugs. After suffering defensive wounds on his arms, my son managed to take the knife away and damaged the attacker who was trying to strangle him. Result? My son was put on probation and had to pay over $20K in medical expenses for his attacker. Why? The judge decreed that he used excessive force.
        Lessons were learned. My son lives in Costa Measa now, and never stays out late.

      jhkrischel in reply to BerettaTomcat. | September 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. The fact that there was one attack, followed by a pause, followed by another attack, gives us a reasonable pattern – every pause will be followed by another attack. The only action I think the attacker could have done that would have removed imminence would have been dropping the weapon, falling to the ground, and giving up. The fact that the attacker continued to hold onto their weapon, and resumed attacking once already, means to a reasonable man that they are *still* a continuing threat. They have not dropped their weapon, they have not surrendered, and they are still a reasonable threat to both the initial victims, as well as others.

      So, I can understand not lawfully shooting someone who drops their weapon, falls flat on the pavement, and puts their hands behind their head, but someone running away from me with a firearm might just be heading to cover before resuming the attack again.

Criminy. What a bunch of blah blah blah, and just to advertise a DVD/Online course too. But, that is what lawyers do best, isn’t it — blah, blah, and blah some more. Eff all that.

All you have to do in these United States of America is meaningfully articulate to police and/or the district attorney your reasonable dreadful fear of impending death and/or extreme bodily injury at the hands of the person you “STOPPED” with your concealed carry permitted firearm…. or with any other item used as a defensive weapon – or with even your bare hands for that matter. Period!

Better To Be Tried By Twelve Than To See Your Child Carried In A Box By Four!

    redc1c4 in reply to FlatFoot. | September 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    meanwhile, back in reality…

    i’ll take the gentleman’s advice over your ravings, if only for the fact that they re calm, rational and reasoned.

    the fact that he is a well known acknowledged expert in the field is just icing on the cake.

    let us know when you get our of prison, legal eagle.

      DaveGinOly in reply to redc1c4. | September 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      “calm, rational and reasoned”

      Yes, and very much separated in time and space from this particular potentially lethal attack. This is what is wrong with our self-defense laws – they require people under extreme psychological distress to accurately assess an unexpected, violent, and fluid situation, to evaluate that situation with an expert-level analysis of applicable law (this alone presumes knowledge of the law in excess of what may be required in any particular circumstance – there can be no gaps in your knowledge and understanding), to accurately judge the level of the threat (without perfect information), and to do so in a matter of a few fractions of a second while the majority of your brain’s computing power is just trying to keep you alive.

      You can see how long it took Andrew to explain all of this. (the “Legal Analysis” alone is 926 words.) And even so, there are doubtless people equally informed about the subject who would find something in his analysis with which to disagree. But this is how a victim’s reaction to an attack will be analyzed in a court of law. Is this fair? Reasonable? Just?

      I am fairly certain that most people who lawfully use lethal force to defend themselves do not do any of the analysis Andrew writes about above. Even if they are experts in the field, violence can be so sudden and unexpected that there is simply not enough time to do the analysis and survive. Most defenders who had “good shoots” were probably just lucky that the stars were in alignment for them. It’s almost a certainty that even if they did analyze the situation before shooting, their analysis was almost certainly faulty, if for no other reason than a lack of perfect information.

      Nice suck up, buttercup. Who you trying to impress?

      “Ravings”…. the Lawyer writes 70+ paragraphs (not counting the whole self-serving reason he actually wrote his novella at the end) about if you could have shot that maniac with the knife or not when all you need to know is that you just simply need to articulate your fear of imminent death or great bodily injury to yourself or another and had to shoot that lady in order to stop her. That’s it. So, you and every other gullible nitwit who buys into that über-lawyer claptrap go ahead and recall those 70+ paragraphs someday if the need ever arises.

      Did you buy the lawyah’s DVD or Online Course, sport? Seems like you better, and it’s super cheap today only!

      pst314 in reply to redc1c4. | September 2, 2019 at 11:33 am

      So why would someone post such insulting comments denigrating the blogger and denying the value of his legal analysis and advice? Two possibilities seem most likely:
      1. The commenter is psychologically twisted and enjoys abusing strangers.
      2. The commenter is a leftist who hates laws that permit self-defense, and wants make it more unpleasant to read these comment threads.

    Eh, characterizing Branco as a crass, profit driven grifter? I hope you dont mind being called a motherless shitheeled weasel?

    Anywho. You go ahead and blab to the local police. And good luck with that.

    mochajava76 in reply to FlatFoot. | September 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Pop quiz, flatfoot:

    Do you think the assailant or victims knew they were being captured by a video camera?

    Are you always aware of where cameras are at all times?

    You can try to articulate your motives to the police and bend the truth but if caught on video you will be prosecuted

      Pop quiz for you: WTF does a camera even have to do with that extremely easily articulated life or death knife attack situation in the first place? Are you really that friggin’ daft?

      No wonder people buy the lawyer’s useless crapola on DVD.

    MarkS in reply to FlatFoot. | September 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I’ve considered taking Andrew’s course but then after consideration I came to the conclusion that if I was ever in a situation I thought dire enough to require me to kill another human, I would let the situation, not the niceties of the law, determine my actions

This would-be murderer (if she hasn’t killed already) can never be trusted, and should be locked up for the rest of her obese life.

Speaking of abusers, watch body language Mandy Bombard dissect parents failing their daughter around joe biden: their body language allowed biden to feel comfortable in moving in so he can move in and molest their daughter:

The Friendly Grizzly | September 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That the use of deadly force on the attacker of one’s children, or anyone else for that matter, is subject to debate, is disheartening.

Too many prosecutors looking to be on page one, and too many judges looking to make a name for themselves.

I’m afraid I’d have to plead ‘Not Guilty’ by reason of temporary insanity because I’d have emptied my pistol into that bitch, and if she showed even the slightest indication of moving (let’s call that ‘furtive’) I’d have reloaded and emptied it again.

Call me old fashioned, but if you cut MY kids on the street in an unprovoked attack, then you need killin’.

Doesn’t the decision to use deadly force depend on your self preservation instincts based on the political jurisdiction you are in at that moment? There is an assistant state’s attorney in Maryland who charged a homeowner, for shooting a man who kicked down his door and charged the homeowner, with second degree murder on the assumption the homeowner did not call 911 first. The judge laughed the charge out of court, only after two years of anguish and legal fees for the defendant

    rabid wombat in reply to MarkS. | September 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Remember, often times the process is the punishment

    Mac45 in reply to MarkS. | September 1, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Maryland is a duty to retreat state. This means that you have to make some attempt to retreat, before you use deadly force in self defense, unless such retreat is essentially impossible. Defensive use of force laws are often different, depending upon the state in which you use it. That is why knowledge and training are essential.

      randian in reply to Mac45. | September 1, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      If the attacker is already within charging distance isn’t retreat obviously impossible? Or are you now required to present your back to an attacker in Maryland?

        Mac45 in reply to randian. | September 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm

        It depends upon the situation. As we recently saw in the Drejka case, turning your back to an attacker is not required to retreat. Also, distance has a bearing on the possibility of retreat. Inside a home, it may be possible to simply step back, or sideways, and close a door between you and an attacker.

          randian in reply to Mac45. | September 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

          In the heat of being charged by an attacker I should be as able to dispassionately analyze the situation as I would be in the cold logic of the courtroom? “It may be possible” usually assumes I was able to perceive and assess the attack from the moment it was initiated, rather than losing valuable time realizing what I am perceiving is in fact an attack, making “it may be possible” a frequently absurd demand. I can’t immediately react, even if such a thing were humanly possible, because I would also be prosecuted if I incorrectly assess what is not an attack as an attack.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | September 1, 2019 at 11:40 pm

          Welcome to the real world.

          Yes, you have to be able to “reasonably” assess whether you can safely retreat or not. And, just as with every other decision you make in life, it will be evaluated by others.

          This is the purpose of training and experience. Step into the ring with a trained boxer and you will most certainly lose the fight. Get some training and practice and you have a better chance of survival.

          So, how do you assess what constitutes an attack and what does not? What actions are allowed by law in a given set of circumstances? In the case of Maryland, what constitutes the limits of the necessity to retreat prior to using deadly force? And, sometimes, even though your actions are entirely reasonable, because the law on the subject is vague, you may have to defend your action in court. But, if you have knowledge and training on your side, you stand a much better chance of justifying your actions, in the legal sense.

So, let’s walk through this incident step by step.

First, neither of the parents exhibited any situational awareness at all. The assailant was able to walk past the family, turn and slash the first child across the face, twice. The appropriate reaction to this would be to immediately drag your children away from the assailant and deploy your weapon, whatever it is. One parent attends to the children and the other uses his or her weapon as a defensive threat. At this point the exactly threat and damage is probably unknown. However, it reasonably appears that a deadly force battery has occurred, so a defensive threat is probably justified. But, this is where the situation gets tricky.

As the attack is over, any jurisdiction which restricts the use of deadly force to those necessary to stop an imminent attack, use of such force is no linger justified. I’ll deal with using force to stop an escape of an apparent dangerous felon later.

In this case, the assailant does not leave, but returns and repeats the attack on the second child. As she moves toward the second child, with what reasonably appears to be a knife in her right hand, shooting her, stabbing her or striking her with an impact weapon would be wholly justified. And, as the distance is so close, multiple shots, stabs or hits would be justified. However, the parents are so far behind the curve, at this point, that they are essentially helpless.

This is a common mindset that most people face, in western society today. The society is so safe that people never develop defensive habits. They do not scan their surroundings for potential danger. They have no ingrained habitual responses to attack. They are essentially modern dodos.

Simple things, such as the man walking on the side away from the street with the woman walking next to the street with the children between them would have placed the man in a position to more readily defend against an attack from a pedestrian, while allowing the woman to retreat with the children. Upon retreating, if the man had been neutralized, the woman would have had sufficient time to deploy a defense weapon and used it to thwart the attack on the man or a continued attack on her and the children. These are known as tactics and they will keep you alive and allow you to thwart an attack.

But, to be effective, one has to have training. You have to practice situational awareness, employ effective movement tactics, you have to be armed and know when to deploy and use your weapon. And, you have to think on your feet. Merely having a weapon in your possession is worthless, if you do not know how to use it properly or are unable to use it. Also, it is essential that you have some kind of effective hand-to-hand training. There are times when you can not be legally armed. There are other times when you will not have time to deploy a weapon. It is essentially that there be multiple tools in your self defense toolbox.

Using deadly force against a fleeing person, who you reasonably believe has just committed a felonious attack upon yourself or another, become more complex. Except in the case of certain crimes in certain states, the use of force to stop a fleeing forcible felon would fall under the common law practice of citizen’s arrest, though in some cases it can be argued that it is defense of another, the “another” being other innocent citizens. This is iffy. So, your best bet is always to be be prepared for potential attack and to thwart that attack prior to it being successful.

    CommoChief in reply to Mac45. | September 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm


    I have to agree. Parents should always position themselves between children and an avenue of attack. Use basic situational awareness to avoid or forestall the attacker. Have a basic response plan; which parent does what based on direction and type of attack.

    You don’t need to be paranoid or have LEO/military experience and training to use basic observation of the environment looking for abnormal actions. If someone veers/angles towards your party for no clear reason that is your cue that something isn’t right. Adjust accordingly to what is the baseline of normal in your location.

    venril in reply to Mac45. | September 3, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    “… This is a common mindset that most people face, in western society today. The society is so safe that people never develop defensive habits. They do not scan their surroundings for potential danger. They have no ingrained habitual responses to attack. They are essentially modern dodos. …”

    Years ago, as a college student, sitting in our dorm common room, the elevator opened. Someone we didn’t recognize leaned out and yelled that we should turn down the TV. We ignored him and he yelled again, louder. As he did, another person we didn’t know, walked from the elevator to the TV and turned it down for us. We sat dumbfounded. The ONLY person to do anything was an English exchange student who jumped up and got in his face. We eventually got up as well, but we were like the parents. None of us had any experience with something like that and had no reflexive response to that aggression. Sort of like the vet who ducks at a bang, but in reverse. We heard the “bang” and were sorting out what the eff just happened and how should we respond.

    Weird and disappointing to all of us I think. Turned out they were RAs from other floors – but didn’t identify themselves as such until well into the encounter.

      venril in reply to venril. | September 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      Something like that would have made a great Psychological experiment.

      Come to think of it, it reminds me of the 9/11 flights. The first complied with the hijackers, as we’re told to do, praying no doubt that the hijackers wouldn’t need a victim. They were killed in the crash. Passengers in the other flights learned what had happened and had time to respond with varying degrees of success. They all still died tho, but thwarted one attack, against Congress or the White House.

That video is so terrifying, it will give me nightmares , I wish I never saw it

What Country was that?

I’m pretty sure I would have jumped her a$$, and I wouldn’t stop kicking her a$$ until I was pulled off

Hey y’all. Know who would have benefited from knowing this within the last year?

Michael Drejka.

Sorry but I carry to defend my family and myself and its not my job or responsibility to defend anyone else…. The parents of this kid should have chosen to arm themselves to defend themselves…People are Anti until they need it and then its to late…

Can you shoot the woman the moment she ceases retreating and moves towards you again, before she is in range to commit the second attack? My assumption would be that an attack is imminent, given the fact of the first attack, and I have hardly had any opportunity to assess the injuries to the first child. Retreat with a severely injured child (which thankfully apparently didn’t happen) is likely to get both of you killed.

Again guns are not the issue, the me first and only attitude is

“What Country was that?”
Tblisi, Georgia

I live in OKC metro area – in 1986, there was a shooting in a post office which resulted in the term “going postal”.

And then there was the OKC Bombing in 1995 –

And then a beheading in 2014 –

So, we have experienced a variety of ways to be killed, not counting the drunk drivers, office and home invasions and other methods.

Before conceal carry became law, I had an employee who had been raped and the idiot was contacting her at home and at the office. The cops, down the block from the office, told both of us to carry and aim center, then call. A few years later, some nut was rear-ending cars with lone females in the car. When I called the police, the female officer told me to carry, with my gun range bag in the car, and to use the excuse that I was either going to-or-from the range. I took the conceal carry course, but now the laws are changing.

However, I do carry an assisted opening knife.

I sail and I race sailboats. Having a quick opening knife can be very critical in an emergency. Of course, I have a wrist band on them, so I can use the knife without having to worry about dropping it in the water. At least, that is what I would say if stopped. Gees, I think I even labeled a few as “boat bag”.

Would I use a knife in a close encounter – YES. I was mugged and was ok since I dropped the purse and everything. Now, the only thing in my right pocket is my hand on my knife whenever I am in an unfamiliar situation.

I’m afraid for the vast majority of people who concealed carry, including many police, the step-by-step process would be much shorter and characterized by an internal monologue of:

“OhmyGOD she attacked my child with a knife! Draw, DRAW, safety off she’s too close, sights center of mass BANG BANG BANG… pause Oh, God I shot her somebody call 911!”

That’s it. Unless the perp was running away full tilt, the most likely reason why any CC draws in this situation *is* imminent fear of death, and the decision is not “Draw gun and evaluate situation” it is “Draw gun and fire repeatedly until threat falls down”

    You carry a defensive firearm and you are not a member of the majority. You are only one of about 5% of the populace. So, what the majority would do is irrelevant to the discussion. Now, LEOs are trained to respond in specific ways to specific circumstances. This makes it easier for the person to respond, more or less correctly, with little critical thought. It also makes it easier to justify your actions, after the fact. You fall back upon training and accepted procedures. The same thing applies to defensive weapons use by civilians. If you are trained to respond in a certain way in certain circumstances and you respond that way and the response is an “accepted” practice, you stand a much better chance of justifying your actions.

    Training, training, training. Then practice, practice, practice. That is how you get to Carnegie Hall or survive a deadly attack.

In a self-defense situation, the aggressor– whether inadvertently or deliberately– often creates a no-win scenario for the would-be defendor. Whether the defendor does action A, B, C, or no action at all, someone is ending up seriously injured or dead. You can but try to “lose the best way” and hope the lawyers sort it out right afterwards.

John had this one on ASP a few days ago. (ASP is a must watch youtube channel).

So what this video says is I need a sub 1 second draw. Then this was somewhere in Russia- so some good Sambo technique and she gets dropped on her head. Problem solved.

    Mac45 in reply to Andy. | September 2, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Tool boxes need more than one tool. You can not build a house with only a hammer. The same is true of defending yourself. Do not become guncentric.

    Let’s say that this family is traveling with mom on the street side, the kids in the middle, and dad on the sidewalk side of the group. If the woman with the knife attempts to attack any member of the group, she has to get by the male. Though there are a number of blocks which could actually stop the knife attack, even if she scores against the man, he can still cripple or kill her in a single strike or a few strikes or kicks. And, that is what men do. That is our job. We protect our lover ones. Even at out own expense.

Seeing how the attacker had already turned and moved away only to attack a second time it seems reasonable to expect her to attack a third time so you should be able to put her down in self defense.

Though there are a number of blocks which could actually stop the knife attack, even if she scores against the man, he can still cripple or kill her in a single strike or a few strikes or kicks. And, that is what men do. That is our job. We protect our lover ones. Even at out own expense.

agree–when defending your lady or loved ones, there is no retreat–you disable/kill the attacker–at two meters or less, forget a firearm unless already deployed–you don’t have time–although in defense of loved ones you have to forego the first rule, keep in mind the holy trinity: 1)clear the body(if possible), 2)control the weapon, 3)attack