A situation report is exactly what the name implies: a report on a situation containing verified, factual information that gives a clear picture of the "who, what, where, when, why and how" of an incident or situation. Many organizations use situation reports to give superiors the input and information they require to make correct and appropriate decisions. Emergency management organizations, government agencies, armed services, businesses, law enforcement agencies, humanitarian nongovernmental organizations and diplomats all rely on situation reports.
What to do when you find yourself in a violent use of force scenario.
Stand your ground laws and Castle Doctrine laws... what you need to know.
First and foremost, I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. The best advice, talk to an attorney that specializes in criminal law about these situations and legal advice.
Now that we have that out of the way, some common sense information.
Stand your ground varies from state to state. Please read the ordinances and statutes for your residence or where you are travelling to. I like to use Findlaw.com, easy to use and the language is easy to understand.
What does "Stand Your Ground" mean?
No duty to retreat from the situation before resorting to deadly force; not limited to your property (home, office, etc.). For instance, if you are in a mall, and you or your family are being violently attacked and you fear for your life or your families life. You can use deadly force without having to retreat. However, if and when possible, I personally would recommend that you retreat. If retreating can be done safely without threat of losing life or serious bodily harm.
What does "Castle Doctrine" mean?
Limited to real property, such as your home, yard, or private office; no duty to retreat (use of deadly force against intruders is legal in most situations); some states, like Missouri and Ohio, even include personal vehicles. Essentially, if someone breaks into your home or property(in some cases), you are no longer required to retreat the premises. This is different than "Stand Your Ground", in that it specifically mentions your residence or property.
REAL WORLD SCENARIOS
If a burgler breaks into your home and you have a stand your ground law or a castle doctrine law in your jurisdiction, you are currently not home but realize when you arrive that the burgler may still be in the home. What can you do? Can you go in to the house, gun drawn and shoot the burgler?
No... in most circumstances no. Let me explain why. The use of deadly force is only to protect someone's life as a last resort. No other option was available. I could not retreat, i could not escape without fear of losing life or serious bodily harm.
Property in most circumstances cannot be the reason for using deadly force. Regardless of what that property is. Money, Home, Jewellery, Car, etc. Use of deadly force is only authorized when life or serious bodily harm are imminent. You usually can use deadly force when protecting other people being attacked and you fear for their lives. I want everyone that reads this to understand. Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are not a license to kill. In fact the intent of the law was to reduce the chance for loss of life and overzealous prosecutors or improperly written laws. It changes the burden(from the victim to the criminal) in justifying the use of deadly force when a crime is being committed against you or someone else and the threat of life or serious bodily harm cannot be avoided.
My family and I were on vacation in Orlando last week. One night we were at a popular seafood restaurant near the resort where we
stayed, around 6:00 PM. I thought we were relatively safe on our way our the door with my family and the grandparents. I was in condition white... a mistake I can honestly learn from.
I heard a scuffle in the parking lot. A male 35+, brown hair, glasses, white, 180lbs, 5' 7" was yelling cuss words and chasing a taller 5'9" blonde hair, white female, 130lbs around a car. He was drunk and I noticed he was bleeding out of his ear, and she indeed looked fearful of being harmed. I told my wife and the grandparents to go back into the restaurant with the kids and wait for me. I handed the closest restaurant employee my cell phone and asked him to call 911 and report there is a domestic fight in the parking lot.
I'm a big guy, trained, so I decided to intervene. I told the woman to go back into the restaurant while I approached the threat -- and you know the thought I kept having cycle through my head -- "Why did I not take my gun and holster on vacation?"
Then I was immediately trying to ascertain this situations threat value. Was he armed? Was he trained at all? He didn't appear to be armed or much of a threat, but at the same time I never underestimated the threat. He thankfully backed down, got in the car and waited for the police to arrive.
I was a bit miffed the female didn't heed my advice and deescalate the situation by moving into the restaurant. Whenever possible, if you can safely leave a violent situation DO SO IMMEDIATELY. I got lucky this guy was more fearful of my size or presence than I was... it doesn't always work that way. We all got a second chance that evening, but I will not take it for granted again.
What is the point of this story... don't be unprepared. I got lucky on this one, but I wont be caught without a defensive plan again. I could have gotten hurt and so could others. Please never be caught in a situation unprepared or missing protective equipment. I would have been happy with pepper spray in that situation, but I wont be without my sidearm again.