Came across this post recently, discussing why we’d want to hold a suspect at gunpoint and how to do so. Standard intelligent discussion of the issue…and, and I mean this – with all due respect, all wrong. In two ways.
First, as civilians, we never want to hold a suspect at gunpoint, or use force, or the threat of force, to detain them in any way. The legal term for that is arrest. No kidding. No exaggeration. Arrest! And the laws pertaining to false arrest are all tilted in favor of the arrestee, not you, the civilian. Fuggedaboutit.
Yes, I concede that I can construct a scenario in which you or I would have to hold someone at gunpoint (presumably for the police to come and collect), but that’s pretty much as likely as those Armageddon scenarios that the kiddies like to fantasize about. Statistically zero.
Your communication with BGs should all be about getting them to stop their attack on you. Stop! Don’t Move! Don’t come any closer! Drop the weapon! Don’t make me shoot you! And so on. Short, clear phrases with hard consonants. Nothing else. (Particularly no Dirty Harry patter!)
Once they stop trying to hurt you the only thing you might say, other than repeating one of the above commands, is possibly, and only if safe to do , “run away!” You should be calling 911 from a position of cover or advantage. If the BG runs away, let him. If they re-engage, then go back to the above commands (or shoot, only if necessary of course). There’s simply no need for anything else, comms-wise or action-wise. In fact, anything else on either front can only get you in trouble. Plus detaining a suspect is fraught with way more danger than calling 911 from a position of advantage. Hope that’s obvious.
The second reason that the advice in that article is all wrong is that it’s about detaining a compliant suspect, which is kinda silly. I won’t prolong this post any further, but my thoughts about this are in this not-too-long-ago article in American Cop. Although the audience for that piece was fellow cops it applies to civilians too, in the light of what we’re discussing here.