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Discussion Starter #1
QUESTION: Would / do you use a gun marked "Tactical" as your primary defensive gun?

So, here's the question:

Would you / do you use a gun marked "TACTICAL" in 1/2-inch high letters as your primary defensive handgun. Here's the basic pro/con arguments:

PRO:
Great gun, little slicker than the stock USP/USPc, looks hella mean in my hands.

CON:
"TACTICAL" + "Match Trigger" + Threaded Barrel = field day for the attorney who wants to hang you after your shooting. Shoot someone with Black Talons out of this gun, and they'll give you another 10 years in the electric chair.

Interested to hear the thoughts out there. Personally, I have to say "negatory" to this one.
 

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I have significant agreement with your general point but I don't personally think the word "Tactical" is going to be a particular red flag to the liberal and/or stupid and/or anti-gunner mind.

What does it mean? Having to do with plans. Whoah.

And not really because of the logical reason, but simply what I believe the effect of words to be. Meaning has not that much to do with it: "Black Talon" is evil regardless of the claws of birds or other creatures and low reflectivity of light with no particular tint not being themselves significant.

However, for example, would I use a gun with giant letters carved 1/4" deep into the slide reading WILSON COMBAT, the answer is no, for precisely the reason you say. "He was looking for combat."

(And besides that, it's ugly and visually offensive. I don't buy "billboard' guns but that's another issue.)

But tactical?

Yes, to a mall ninja that's an appealing word, but personally I don't expect that to the type of antigun moron you're talking about, it registers one way or the other.
 

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the way I look at it is if someone was to try to harm me or my familiy. The last thing I'm worried about is what happens afterwards.
 
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A very interesting question. I agree with the last post in I could care less to think about what happens afterward if faced with defending myself and family, but unfortunately I think an anti-gun nutjob lawyer would be try to equate the word "Tactical" with "Offensive Weapon" or "Just looking for a reason to shoot someone", couple that with bad jury selection and a little forthought might well make the difference in what happens afterward, the difference between "Not Guilty your honor" and going home with your family, as opposed to 10-20.
 

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hkbwb said:
the way I look at it is if someone was to try to harm me or my familiy. The last thing I'm worried about is what happens afterwards.
+1
Although it sad to say but I do agree that some scumbag lawyer would have a field day with a gun such as the Tactical.
 

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How many cases are there where (a) someone commits a shooting in what is clearly a defensive situation, and to an impartial observer it looks like a justified shooting, and (b) the type of gun used in the shooting (tactical, black, ugly, too tricked out, mall-ninja lock) actually contributed to the shooter being convicted for a wrongful shooting, or getting much more trouble in a civil case?

In the general atmosphere of paranoia and fear/hatred of authority that one finds in gun forums, this topic comes up all the time. It is said over and over again that using tactical-looking guns, or hollowpoint ammo, or military-style gear, or radical accessories will make it much more likely that you will get convicted by a jury of soccer moms. However, I have not heard of a single case where someone actually demonstrated such an effect. There are darn few documented cases anyhow where a person who committed a defensive shooting is tried afterwards, and in most cases the guns used are extremely boring (Ruger revolvers, cheap pistols, the common stuff).

It would be wonderful if someone could actually study this issue for a change, and post some facts, instead of everyone always operating under the assumption of fear and paranoia.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There is a case right now underway in Arizona, where a woman is in-court, attempting to protect her financial assets, because she shot a large, inebriated man who all but broke down her door in the middle of the night (after pounding on it for some time and demanding admittance). She took a defensive position in her hallway, and upon his entry, shot him with a .357 magnum handgun.

In the civil proceeding, she has spent several years defending against the notion that she was "lying in wait" for this "poor, drunken, confused man", and that only a "bloodthirsty" person would arm themselves with a "magnum" handgun (the tools of Dirty Harry, Charles Bronson, and othersuch executioners).

Now I make no bones about the fact that this is a distasteful bastardization of the law...but it happens quite commonly in courtrooms. Prosecuting attorneys -DO- twirl murder weapons in front of juries (Grand and otherwise), and -DO- attempt to capitalize on features and attributes of weapons for shock effect.

While we can debate whether or not it -should- be this way, to say otherwise is to ignore the realities of the modern legal system.
 

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However, what is the evidence that this idiocy of the plaintiff's attorney is making the slightest difference in his client's favor and against this woman?

That is the point: not whether a moronic and ethically-garbage-pail attorney might try it, but whether it matters a lick. Or whether indeed the attorney may look such an ass in this attempt as to damage his credibility. (He certainly would damage his credibility with many intelligent people if he were to harp on this.)

I would tend to say that any jury that is so hopelessly stupid and anti-gun as to decide that whether a gun was a 357 Magnum instead of a 38 Special had important relevance to whether a shooting was justified or not, is so hopelessly stupid and anti-gun that it's extremely unlikely one isn't cooked anyway.

I would suggest subtracting the articles of one particular gun writer from this equation: you know, the one who bases most of his career on alleging this particular line, with 5 alleged cases per month with potentially-verifying details seemingly always made nameless/placeless etc, and I don't know of any examples where people have found them, the disasters of being convicted because of having an ill-named gun and so forth. And I do know of an extended effort by him that was found massively fabricated, the account of the Miami FBI shooting. Anyway if the argument is true, there can't be just one man in the nation that has the evidence for it. So let's subtract that one individual's endless claims on that, and what do we have then?

Not to say that I don't think there's some merit to the concept: if a case is marginal, and totally aside from this detail there's a reasonably arguable case for real reasons that you might have been kind of happy about the idea of going and shooting people rather than finding it a last and unfortunate resort, actual evidence that you were out looking for trouble etc, then the gun having COMBAT in giant letters on the side probably does not help. However, going to the extreme with this idea seems completely unsupported (unless buying everything that this one writer says.) And besides, I would strongly strongly suggest there not being this appearance or actuality of that anyway. That is much more important than the model or brand name, IMO, in terms of how I figure how others think, including how liberals think.

I think it would be very valid to ask oneself, Why did I choose this gun for self-defense in this instance?

If the answer is "Because I am a mall ninja type and I needed to be tacticool and I wanted to be able to fire 14 rounds of my Blitz-Action-Trauma bullets in 4.5 seconds and do a tacticool reload and shoot 14 more at him, while training my Picatinny-rail-mounted laser on his forehead" and that's the only honest answer you could give, well then maybe you ought to consider something that looks obviously like a hunting or target gun that you had to press into this unexpected service, so the jury might be less likely to catch on that in fact you were itching to shoot someone.

On the other hand if that's not even close to right and the answer is because if your life is threatened you don't want a gun that fails to operate, you know this one to be reliable and here is the evidence, you personally shoot well with it and you think that's important because missed shots endanger other people and fail to do anything to protect your life, and this truly is how you think, personally I think an attorney will make a fool of himself trying to hinge his case that your gun says "Tactical" on the side. Opinions can vary, but that's mine.
 

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I tend to agree with TreeLogger. You hear a lot of anecdotal stories that a 'tactical weapon', or hollow point exploding ammo was used and the victim became the criminal. I have yet to see much in the way of hard news showing it's a common occurance and you know they would be all over the story if it was out there. The press corps hates firearms. The only person I knew of that had trouble after a defensive shooting was a female firearms instructor that put 4 .38 cal rounds in a bad guy's heart as he was threatening to rape her. I guess it seemed too much like a day at the range for the DA to let it pass. I'm not sure what he expected her to do and eventually the charges were dropped. Something about the fool being in her bedroom with a knife just didn't settle right with the court I guess. Personally I wouldn't use my .45 Tac as a home defence weapon. It's made for longer range shooting and most home action would be up close and personal. I have a Colt 1991A1 .45ACP Compact, or my USPf 9mm that I'm more inclined to have beside the bed.
 

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Good point treelogger, but until I hear some hard facts ill steer clear of running a tactical or modified weapon for personal defense I would hate to find out the hardway or be the first one to be sued because some ahole broke into my house and I shot him with a hair trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Arizona shooting I've referenced above is not anecdotal. The lady I mentioned shoots at the same range where I belong, and took her primary / CCW instruction there.

My central point and question lies around whether it's "wise" to use a "specialized" gun which may attract undue attention (for example, a .45 Tac), when the same guns exist out there, with almost identical performance (the USP45f), and a lower "profile."

This is the debate I have when I consider putting my .45 Tac in the nightstand as the "go-to" gun. Personally, I'd rather have something that looks very box-stock, and very similar to what the local boys in blue are carrying, rather than something that looks like I was "spoiling" for a shooting.

Again...I've no argument that it shouldn't be this way. But when we live in a world where ATF agents contemplated going after the guy who gave AR-15's to the LAPD in the North Hollywood shootings (he did not make the officers go through the waiting period or complete 4473's)...anything's possible.
 

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I did not say it didn't happen.

What I asked was, what evidence is there that the plaintiff's attorney harping on it being a 357 Magnum instead of a 38 Special (or whatever) is making the slightest difference in the outcome of her case to her disfavor?

Just because he's flapping his mouth that way does nothing to prove it's impressing the jury favorably in his direction. It might even be persuading them he's an ass. Until someone demonstrates what effect has occurred, the example does not show that it causes a problem.

I don't suppose you're suggesting the scumbag wouldn't have sued if it had been a 38 Special?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You cannot measure the "effect" that this has on trials and juries, because the process is subjective, and it's difficult (if not impossible) to quantify the impact. It is, however, grist for the mill of a lawyer...some of which is going to be unavoidable if/when you have a defensive shooting.

What I'm talking about is avoiding the "easy" attention-getters...or to put it another way, not "borrowing trouble."

Before one dismisses the impact these (albeit silly) things may have on a jury, consider the following public phenomena:

"Cop-Killer Bullets" (KTW ammunition)....did these ever really kill any cops?
"Glocks can bypass airport security screening"....right....as long as you remove the barrel, slide, and internals....
"Assault weapons"...because an AR-15 is -much- less lethal without a bayonet.

The same public that can believe these things...are going to be on -your- jury. When it comes to dealing situations which involve human judgment, perception is reality.
 

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All I am saying is that while I believe there is some merit to this general view, I do not believe it is demonstrated or likely is to anything like the degree advocated by the evangelists of it. (Or really, the evangelist, singular, and those that repeat what he says.)

And that the fact that an attorney may cite such nonsense is not proof that it is doing the defendant any harm.

When it comes to stuff that a reasonable person indeed would take as suggestive that someone was itching for a shooting, then of course.

When it comes to stuff that only a complete moron or total left-wing loon would, then what is the situation?

That you're doomed if you have 12 of 12 of them.

And btw, you're probably doomed if you have 12 of 12 of them with the 38 Special too, just as much as with the 357 Magnum.

IMO, if it were not for one single writer who does not show his examples actually occur yet nonetheless is accorded vast credibility by some, that I think it's fair to say have not generally checked it out but are simply being trusting, but decidedly not accorded this by others, there would not be extent of paranoia that there is among many of ideas such as that simply the word Tactical on the side of the gun is going to get them in jail. This is the work of one man -- not only very very unproven but very very unsupported despite the unending articles touting this line every month -- it's surprising what heavy propaganda can do over time.
 

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Lawyers

Like it or not, if you are involved in a shooting, there will be legal issues to deal with. Play those legal issues wrong and you will be on the wrong side of a judgement. There is nothing inherently wrong about legally using a "Tactical" weapon or a "Combat" weapon (own several of each, thank you) in a defensive situation. Where things get screwy is when you open your mouth inappropriately.

If you have to discharge your weapon (of any kind) to take down a BG, do the following after you are sure that the threat is neutralized:

Call 911.
When the police arrive, tell them that you are the one that called and do what they say with your weapon.
Notify them of all threats and evidence that you are aware of.
Tell them that you will be happy to answer their questions *after* your lawyer has arrived.
Call your lawyer.

So much depends upon this initial report that you do not want to screw it up.

Sure, lawyers can play tricks and try to trip you up with words like "tactical", "combat", and "magnum". But a good lawyer will demonstrate that you exercised restraint and control beyond the minimu requirements of the law so as to minimize the possibility that innocents would be injured. That you learned how to control your particular weapon through diligence. That you did exactly what was necessary under the law and nothing more to neutralize the threat. If you managed to shoot the BG dead through the heart with a magnum round, would he somehow be less dead with .40?

Your biggest enemy after a shooting is your own mouth. Hire somebody that knows how to use theirs professionally. It is an absolute shame that in our society a justifiable shooting is only the beginning of the ordeal.
 

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azpilot06 said:
"TACTICAL" + "Match Trigger" + Threaded Barrel = field day for the attorney who wants to hang you after your shooting. Shoot someone with Black Talons out of this gun, and they'll give you another 10 years in the electric chair.

That's why, when you get out you find the lawyer, judge, and jury members and shoot them too for screwing up your life. What've ya got to lose after 20 years in the pin for defending yourself? :D

After using your right to protect yourself and loved ones fails... just tell them the voices in your head said it was a good idea.

I think it's important to go through the proper check list. For instance... did this girl involved in the shooting call the police? I mean a drunk guy beating on your door would give you enough time to call the cops... not saying you rely on them to arrive in time.... but you make the call if time allows. Not that I'm defending the anti gun folk. Someone forces their way into my home, their just getting shot bottom line. No ifs ands or buts about it, they're getting shot. Killed... maybe. Once the threat is taken care of it's up to the shooter to continue with the check list... call an ambulance for the person shot. Make sure you "sound" concerned for the bad guys well being on the phone. If safety permits attempt to aid them in any way you can like wadding up a towle and placing it over the wounds to stop the bleeding. I assure you once they've been shot and are possibly near death they won't attack you for trying to help them. You want the cops/ambulance workers to enter your home to find you trying to help this bad guy. It'll go a long way. And the last thing you want to be is proud of the fact that you shot them. Don't say "You're damn right I shot him" "And I'd do it again" LOL. Even if you're not sorry... act like you are. Democrats get miles in public opinion polls by acting like they give a rats ass about poor people, or gay people, or none white minorities. Use the same tactic with those who fall for such things. Work up a few tears and say "That poor man"... "Is he going to be ok" Sniffle Sniffle, "He just wouldn't stop" "I told hime to stop" Sniffle "But he wouldn't listen". And then maybe stay with them that night at the hospital. Make sure as many people see you giving a damn as possible. And then tell them you bought that weapon and ammo because a police officer told you it was good. None of us use the most devastating weapon in our collection for home/self defense. I mean... who has a belt fed 308 as a night stand gun. If all else fails, show the jury what you could have deployed if you were really looking for some action. And then ask them why would you use just a pistol, carbine, or shot gun when you got big Bertha in the gun safe. If you were blood thirsty you'd sit in your living room with a grenade launcher with the front door standing wide open with a sign in the yard saying "Free Kittens... Come on in".
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What....you mean it's -not- adviseable to do the Bernie Goetz and say "You don't look so bad...here, have another" after your shooting?

Great...now I gotta re-print the post-shooting cards I've been distributing at the range!

IMHO, gun and ammo manufacturers could take a cue when it comes to marketing their warez to the civilian and police markets. Federal's "Personal Defense" ammo sounds much better than "Thunderzap!" or "Turbo Grabbers" (both of which are the names of real ammo, BTW). The "Custom Defensive Package" sounds much better than "Combat Elite", or "King Cobra".

Same guns...different marketing. You can still shoot someone with your nickel-plated, long-slide .45 with mother of pearl grips and a skull on each side, with a laser sight, and thermal imaging scope, and a JDAM GPS-driven guidance package on the front of each one of the Black Talon rounds you launched.....but if that gun was Colt's "I Love Bunnies" edition....it'll play a little better in court :p
 

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What is printed on your pistol is absolutely #$%@&*'n meaningless, and any good lawyer will articulate this well to any jury. The important part is the justification for the shooting. Any adult can recognize that a .45 is a .45, no matter who makes the pistol, in what country, or what it's called. There is still a dead man in your living room and they just want to know why.

I think we should give people a little more credit..

I dont think the prosecution will be recieved well if they're claiming that you, with no serious prior criminal record, dragged an innocent full grown man into your home so that you could execute him with your USP Tactical just for S&Gs, then unload the pistol and call the police immediately afterwards.
 

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My answer is "yes". I carry my Tactical on duty, SWAT, and off duty. The Brand/type of gun is not going to have a whole lot to do with any legal actions after a shooting. (Depending on where you live).

If your actions are legal and just then there isn't anything to worry about. After a shooting if the DA or Grand Jury doesn't indict you then the civil litigation isn't going to have much traction.
 

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As far as a night-stand gun, no problem. It is hard to make a case against someone using any kind of weapon in a home invasion type setting.
But as to using the Tac as a CCW, not on my life. Remember, you will be judged by 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. If you have ever been called for jury duty (I have been called multiple times) and have seen the types of people the lawyers (both sides) want to set judgement it will make your hair stand up.
 
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