The Law and Self Defense
How much is too much? When does self defense
become active aggression in the view of the courts? How much "force"
is allowed when trying to protect yourself and your loved ones?
These are all good questions and it is important
to at least have a basic understanding of the answers and how
they pertain to self defense.
Let me start off by saying that I am not an Attorney.
I am not offering legal advice in this article. I am merely expressing
my opinion as a long time self defense instructor.
There is an old saying in the martial arts that
goes like this: "I would rather be judged by twelve than carried
by six". This may be true, but with today's liberal courts you
ought to be careful about at what point you stop being a defender
and start being considered an attacker yourself!
For the most part it is probably okay to counter
attack to a point where the "threat" is diminished or no longer
there. It is probably not okay to continue 'to be sure they don't
get back up' as is taught by most instructors.
The law allows each of us to defend ourselves.
Most states allow you to use "equal force" in that self defense.
I take that to mean that if someone comes at you with a knife
that your response to that threat may be stronger than if the
attacker was unarmed.
The "threat" of an eleven year old attacker would
probably be considered less then a six foot-two adult male. If
you are female, chances are you would be allowed to use more force
than if you are a male.
If you are trained (especially if you are a black
belt) the amount of force you are allowed by law may be less (and
probably would be less) than if you were un-trained.
Good verbal skills can save you. Not only may
they prevent the thing from getting physical in the first place,
but if it does (and there are witnesses), your loud verbal defenses
may protect you in a court of law. This is especially true if
part of theat verbal defense includes statements like, "I
don't want to fight with you." I don't want any trouble".
"Back off an leave me alone," etc.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice as the
author is not a lawyer. It is only his lay opinion.
defense that is quick and decisive. Defend yourself against
the 30 most common street attacks.