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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 11/21/2001 5:43:40 PM EST
Aright folks...don't get me wrong here, i'm not necc. asking for a "professional legal opinion" but something along the lines of, "yeah, i'm a cop/lawyer/da/etc and this is what i think". In my present situation i cannot carry a concealed weapon (handgun) legally, but i do carry a gerber 3.5 inch folder around with me; everywhere. I mean, i keep it in the same pocket w/nothing else so i always know where it is if i need it. my question is..."theoretically" when does the threat of bodily harm/injury become great enough for me to pull a knife? I thought i remember hearing somewhere that "one more level" is acceptable? If i'm presented with fists, then my knife is the "next level" and i am justified? I have absolutely no desire to cut or hurt someone, but i want to know whether i would be thrown in jail and charged for pulling a knife on someone who started a fight with me. i am not the fighting kind of guy, that's for sure...i've never faught anyone in my life, but if i was presented with a situation in which i thought i might face bodily harm, and not neccesarily death; am i justified in pulling a knife and potentially killing a man? I've been wondering whether to even ask such a question...but i'd rather ask the question and get flamed then not ask and always wonder. thanks boys...and happy thanksgiving [:)]
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 6:04:37 PM EST
This is an excellent question. The level is a SUBJECTIVE one. The level a 5'2" 110# woman (victim) has against a 6'4", 240# man (aggressor) is different if the tables were turned. A knife isn't necessarily the next level up , Mace or a baton would be the next level up in a continuum of force, but if you don't have that at your disposal, then the blade it is. But know this, a knife is a deadly weapon, so if you think that your life is in jeopardy, use it. If you think that you can just duke it out and get away, [u]by all means do that[/u]. Lord knows you don't want to kill a person if you don't have to! If you have multiple attackers, than you can use the knife. But the best thing is to use the knife as a deterrent to fighting in the first place. Brandish it and get the hell out of there and only use it if you must. A knife has tremendous deterrent ability so use that to your benefit. If you do use it, expect to go to jail initially and hash out the issues in court. My suggestion is to take a knife fighting course so you know how to effectively use it in the instance you have to and also read "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. The book is mostly about handgun defense but the principles apply to blades as well. Outstanding book! Good luck!
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 6:15:28 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 6:27:15 PM EST
thank you both...valuable information, and i'll look for ayoob's piece -marty
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 7:17:26 PM EST
That is, indeed, an excellent question. Let me just add what I think and you can consider it FWIW. You cannot pull a knife in a fist fight, you can defend yourself against serious bodily harm. So, how to tell the difference? If you are just losing the fight and are suffering bodily injury that doesn't mean you are justified. If you become defenseless, like on the ground in a fetal position and you are getting kicked, then things begin to look alot different and a knife becomes a reasonable defense against an assault that could inflict serious harm. Remember, a knife can wound to a degree. That means stabbing, slicing at the assailants hands and arms or feet is different than stabbing at the heart or chest. You've heard of defensive wounds when a victim tries to fend off an attackers' knife and receives cuts about their hands and arms, if you assailant picks up an object and starts to use it on you then it is reasonable that you use your knife to injure his weapon hand in order to stop the attack. These objects could be a bat, a stick, a bottle, or a knife. I hope that's helpful. Everything in this area of law is about what is reasonable. You don't want to be the person who escalates the level of force. You will be judged on your reaction to force, not your superior skill or choice of weapon to end the attack.
Link Posted: 11/21/2001 9:36:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2001 9:30:07 PM EST by Vinnie]
As a practitioner of Kali (Filipino martial arts, stick, sword and knife) I can tell you carrying a knife and not knowing what to do with it can a) land you in jail or b) have you found dead with a chalk outline drawn around you. In a knife fight odds are you lose. Either you get cut (you lose), your opponent get's cut (you win) or you both get cut (you lose). As with a gun, the only time you should draw it is if you REALLY plan on using it. Drawing it to scare your aggressor can get you killed or arrested. As with a gun, I'd recommend some type of training in it's usage. You can use a knife very effectively to restrain/immobilize without cutting someone.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 9:55:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By Vinnie: You can use a knife very effectively to restrain/immobilize without cutting someone.
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This is some seriously esoteric stuff! In a knife fight, you WILL get cut, count on it. Just don't be the one who get's cut to death.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 12:45:17 PM EST
3.5 in. is .5 in. too long according to PRNY law. if you pull this knife you will goto jail, weather justified or otherwise.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 1:20:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 5:03:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By GeneStoner: This is some seriously esoteric stuff! In a knife fight, you WILL get cut, count on it. Just don't be the one who get's cut to death.
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Agreed, but the opening questioned the legality of using a knife for self defense. I was merely suggesting training.
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 5:17:34 PM EST
1. don't get yourself into a situation like that. 2. if you are gonna carry and pull it on someone, then you better sure in the hell know how to use it. (or you could be in for a learning experience). 3. avoid confrontation. nothing but trouble.
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