Here’s a scenario to ponder while reading the rest of this post.
It’s a warmer fall evening in September. You are walking to your car after meeting some friends for dinner after work. In your state it’s legal to carry in a restaurant if you’re not drinking alcohol. You’re texting your wife to let her know you’re heading home. About halfway to your car, you’re punched in the back of the head and hit the pavement.
You aren’t knocked out but you’re a little groggy. You stand up to assess your situation and defend yourself. You see the attacker does not appear to have a weapon.
How do you deal with unarmed attackers
Let’s start before the attack. You’ll need to know how the law in your state interprets when it is okay to use deadly force. Many states say it’s only okay to use the same amount of force to defend yourself as is being used against you. What this generally means is, a self defense shooting is acceptable if the assailant has a gun threatening you. This also means when someone attacks you with their fists, you can’t use any force substantially greater than that to defend yourself.
This really puts you in a sticky situation doesn’t it?
Knowing the laws and keeping up with any changes to the wording or any rulings in your state is very important and is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Ignorance to the laws can land your butt in jail for a long time.
Now that you’re all caught up on the legal verbiage, let’s talk about some things to consider.
Numerous factors go into judging if your use of force was justified.
Being punched several times by someone 4 decades your junior can be a much bigger threat than it would be to a person in their early 30’s.
Are you being attacked by multiple unarmed assailants? If so, the likelihood of you taking all of them out with your bare knuckles like you’re Bruce Lee is pretty unlikely ... unless you’ve had some type of special training and are in darn good shape that is.
What if the attacker is on some sort of narcotic and is feeling no pain and not thinking clearly?
While it may be an easy solution, brandishing your firearm is a crime. Being arrested, jailed, lose your ability to own weapons and possibly get sued by your attacker would suck big time.
Something to consider when you draw your gun on an assailant who appears to be unarmed. If you draw first, you are raising the bar of force being used and threatening to take their life. If they are a legal concealed carry holder, they could technically have a legitimate reason to shoot you. You did technically use a weapon first.
If shots are fired and the smoke clears, the story being told will be with information that can be proven in court or the survivor decides to tell the police.
Many possible alternatives like running away, using a less lethal option (pepper spray or taser) or similar. I know this will seem like a cop-out, but there is no universally correct answer to the question. Each and every scenario is different. You may have the upperhand and never need to draw and/or fire your weapon. While in other situations, you may genuinely fear for your life and feel totally justified in drawing your concealed carry weapon to save your life.
Be it a disturbing noise while you’re at home or a strange feeling like you’re being followed through the parking garage, carrying a weapon on your person is a hefty responsibility. Knowing the laws and limitations is part of that responsibility.
Ultimately, saving your life in a desperate situation is the reason you carry your weapon. Using it and accepting the outcome of that choice is part of that hefty responsibility. Be smart and know what legal restrictions you have when drawing and/or discharging your weapon in your time of need. You have the tactical advantage on your side.
If you are in need of a solid IWB holster for conceal carry take a look here: Alien Gear Concealed Carry Holsters
About The Author
Trevor Dobrygoski has been a freelance copywriter since 2009. He has written about many different topics over the years. His 9-5 is outfitting police and other public safety vehicles with all of the equipment the law enforcement and other first responders need to save lives. When not working and writing, he is coaching, refereeing and playing soccer.