Many people don’t understand the ins and outs of self defense. My wife, who has attended classes in self defense and actually has a CWP even has problems with the concept.

A couple in Sanford were checking out at WaWa when they noticed that a bottle of wine had been added to their order. They told the clerk that it wasn’t theirs, and the clerk took it off the bill. The woman behind them in line told the couple that it was her wine, then demanded that they pay for it. When they refused, she began beating them with the bottle, and knocked the male unconscious. The woman with the wine bottle was subsequently arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

I was reading that story to my wife, and I made the comment that, should someone do something like that to me, her ass would be shot long before she was able to hit me with the bottle and knock me out. My wife’s reply was, “I don’t think a jury would agree that shooting an unarmed woman is self defense.”

I pointed out to her that the wine bottle was definitely a weapon, and not only was there a risk of serious bodily injury, the man actually DID suffer serious bodily injury, as any blow to the head that results in unconsciousness is at least a concussion, and has a fair chance of resulting in death.

My wife is from New York State. The attitude that is fostered there when it comes to guns in pretty well known to those of us in the gun community. When we were first dating, she questioned why I felt the need to carry a gun and said that she had never needed one. She was open to listening, so I took her to the range. She eventually took some classes and got her CWP.

Still, she is a pacifist at heart. When we were first dating, we were at a baseball game (the Rays v the Yankees- she is a Yankees fan) and a fight broke out in the crowd. One of the trouble makers was being escorted out by a cop, and he decided to punch the cop in the face. The cop took the guy down hard with a leg sweep. The assailant landed on his face hard enough that I heard his face hit the concrete from 30 feet away. After it was over, she was visibly shaken, and told me that she doesn’t like violence, and it makes her sick to her stomach.

The terrorist attacks in Paris were a turning point. We were on vacation in France when the attacks took place. When we saw the news of the shooting, she turned to me and said, “When we get home, I want to take the concealed weapons safety course, so I can apply for a concealed weapons permit.”

Still, even though she has the CWP, she isn’t thrilled about using force.

I get it- she is a girl, and I am not married to the Sara Conner from Terminator 2. The reason I relate this story is that you will be tried by a jury of soccer moms who are likely less gun friendly than my wife is. Remember that when you are in a situation that may require you to use force. You also need to have a lawyer who is good enough to explain your shooting in a way that will get the jury to understand why you felt the need to use force.

Categories: CrimeSelf Defense


Danny · December 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

When you are confronted by a stranger, even though his hands may be empty those hands themselves might be effectively used to kill you. In fact I’d argue that trained people are probably deadlier without a blunt object.

Skyler the Weird · December 3, 2023 at 1:39 pm

Even worse than Karens on the jury is the likely event it will consist of Latrinas and Lemonjellos and the victim of your self defense was a member of the community. An aspiring rapper who’ll never get to go to college.

joe · December 3, 2023 at 1:57 pm

even in “red” tx, I would not have shot her…I would have punched the bitch in the face…I don’t trust a jury anywhere in the DFW area… good attorney or not…

    Divemedic · December 4, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Ah- a variation of the “take your ass whipping like a man” theory, aka “if you were a real man, you wouldn’t need a gun” theory of self defense.

      Toastrider · December 4, 2023 at 8:52 am

      No, he’s being pessimistic but not without reason. You and I and everyone else here are wise enough to know that a punch can kill. But does a jury?

        Divemedic · December 4, 2023 at 8:58 am

        That’s why you hire a good attorney. It’s his job to teach them that. You DO have concealed carry insurance, right?

Elrod · December 3, 2023 at 2:42 pm

I do not discount the possiblity that the application of lethal force may have been required, but….what comes before that is important. Not being there I do not know, but I suspect the man – actually, the couple – probably “just stood there” with the assumption that “things would be normal” and were somewhat distracted by paying attention to the transaction; a polite “that’s not our wine, we’re not interested in paying for it” which, under normal circumstances, would result in a normal response.

Ain’t nothin’ normal no more.

The response, assuming there was room, was increase the distance; had the woman needed to take a step, or two, to strike him with the bottle, and, assuming he understood the concept of “situational awareness,” (and practiced it) it would have both telegraphed her intent and given him room to get off the X to avoid or block the blow. If the intent to commit assault continued – and he had no non-lethal or less-lethal tools (pepper spray, perhaps a baton, options here are limited) self defense with lethal force was next on the list.

The other option would be to take “swinging room” away by closing the distance, getting inside the woman’s striking distance.

All that said, there’s no guarantee pepper spray would 1) be deployable fast enough; 2) be effective; so, when shit gets real sometimes you have to move past the less-lethal stuff in a hurry. And, unless you’ve trained for it, and practiced what you’ve trained, closing the distance has its own shortcomings. She might have stepped back to gain “swinging room,” she may have resorted to a different attack mode or employed a different weapon. Being within arm’s length poses hazards distance does not and it severely changes the “response options list.”

A couple, if they’re considered it, discussed it and trained/practiced it, can engage in mutual support – separate a little, gain some distance, cover each other and stay alert to take action to escape or deal with the original, and potentially, other, threats. If, however they’re mutually in IOWA mode (Idiots Out Walking Around), make sure your medical and life insurance payments are current.

Maybe just pocketing one’s money and walking out without your intended purchases is a reasonable option. Somehow, had they done that I’d wager the woman would have followed them outside, so maybe the answer is deal with it where the video cameras are aimed right and the lighting is good.

In any event, ain’t nothin’ normal no more, so everyone needs to consider their response(s) to non-normal circumstances and have a plan(s) to deal with it. Life isn’t the same as it was, anywhere, deal with it.

Roy · December 3, 2023 at 5:17 pm

About that wine bottle…
The movies have made the average American ignorant of how much damage getting hit over the head by a bottle can cause. In the movies, in a bar fight, someone gets hit over the head with a movie-prop bottle, the bottle breaks, and they are none the less for wear. The reality is that a glass bottle is harder and stronger than a human skull. If you get hit over the head with one, especially hard enough to break the bottle, you are probably going to die.

That exact thing happened to the father of a childhood friend of mine when we were teenagers. His dad somehow got into a bar-fight and his assailant hit him over the head with a beer bottle. It shattered his skull and he died. His assailant went to prison.

If someone attacked me with a bottle, I wouldn’t hesitate to use deadly force for defense.

Mostly, though, I just stay out of bars.

    Vlad · December 4, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Those movie bottles (and windows) are made out of sugar or the newer “breakaway resins”. A very brittle type of plastic. The sound is added in editing.
    A real bottle is absolutely deadly.

Bad Dancer · December 4, 2023 at 7:21 am

I applaud her journey to preparedness and a respect for the realities of it. Full marks

When I was much younger and bouncing at a local bar down the stripmall from the blockbusters I worked at I would repeatedly beg and plead to the bartenders and owners to never ever give bottles to patrons. Yet every wanna be big shot would ask for the bottle and the bar tenders who never had to deal with them would hand it over and charge the tab. A jack daniels bottle is very very solid and hurts a lot when swung around by a drunk idiot who thinks he’s going to be the next big thing. I’ve never seen one break when used as a club. A bottle is absolutely a weapon and I’d be looking for the nearest way to make and keep distance if someone grabbed it.

Pete · December 4, 2023 at 4:47 pm

Yes, so many “fight videos” show the older white people just standing there cluelessly while the black starts getting loud, waving its arms around and in general working itself up to an attack.

If a black you don’t know comes near you or speaks to you in public, you should instantly get hyperaware and create some distance. It’s like talking to the cops. Nothing good can come of interacting with a black. Absolute best case scenario it’s trying to beg for change or sell you stolen goods. More likely you’re being set up for an attack. Check behind you for his buddy readying a sucker punch.

Also: I’m so tired of people thinking if some asshole starts punching you, you can only punch back. Does this hold true for women? Children? Elderly? A 160-pound man attacked by a 300-pound bodybuilder? If not, then when is the moment when someone transitions from “strong enough to punch back” and thus prohibited from shooting his attacker, to being allowed to shoot?

    Divemedic · December 4, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    The good part of that is there is caselaw in Florida stating that drawing and pointing a firearm in self defense is by law nonlethal force.

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