Posts Tagged ‘essential’

postheadericon Essential Self-Defense Law Part II: Appropriate Force

Read ‘Essential Self-Defense Law Part I: Imminence’ Here

In the first installment of this article I laid out three legal principles that I firmly believe all armed citizens should be well aware of as a bare minimum of self-defense law understanding: The ability to recognize an imminent threat, an understanding of appropriate force, and an understanding of maintaining innocence. We went on to analyze how to recognize imminence in part one. Now, we will proceed with our discussion and explore the legalities and use of appropriate force.

Understanding Appropriate versus Excessive Lethal Force

When we use force as a citizen to mitigate a violent threat we are legally entitled to only one thing: neutralization of the threat. The textbook definition of neutralize typically reads to “render (something) ineffective or harmless by applying an opposite force or effect.” When we shoot we shoot to neutralize. That is all. Terms such as “shoot to kill” or “shoot to wound” are for the movies, they have no bearing on legal self-defense for the armed citizen. If a threat is indeed an imminent lethal threat then we are justified in a lethal response, and in the case of shooting we shoot to neutralize the threat. A threat becomes neutralized when it no longer poses a danger to innocent life. This may result in the threat dying, or being crippled, or in the threat simply running away. How much force is needed is situationally dependent.

You are not in any way obligated to put yourself or another innocent party in harm’s way by holding back on the use of force. You are not obligated to take a single shot then pause to see if another is needed. You can legally shoot a threat to the ground. If an attacker is on the ground but still fighting, such as still pointing a gun at you from the ground, then you can keep shooting. The attacker is not neutralized until he ceases the violent activity that is endangering lives. However, you are obligated to cease in using force once a threat is truly neutralized. This is the area where a lot of legitimate self-defense events go bad. What if the attacker hits the ground after being shot multiple times and the gun flies out of his hand and across the floor. If the attacker is now unarmed and immobilized so that he no longer poses an imminent threat, and you then stand over the attacker and finish him off with one to the head, guess what? You have used excessive force and will probably do some time in the big house for it. Did he deserve to die? Perhaps, but that is not your call.

What are some neutralization possibilities as it applies to criminal attackers? Well, if you produce your concealed firearm when faced with a lethal threat and at the first sign of the gun the criminal turns around and runs out the door as fast as possible, guess what, you have neutralized the threat. Now, if he is still pointing a gun at you as he flees you are legally entitled to use force. Shooting people in the back is not always wrong, it depends on what they are doing when they get shot in the back. But, if he flees and all you have presented to you is his back as he now runs down the ally and around the corner, if you shoot him in the back, you have used excessive force that is not justified.

On the opposite extreme, a neutralization may entail emptying an entire magazine worth of ammunition into a determined and violent criminal, and then beating him the remainder of his way to death with the empty gun if that is what it takes to get him to cease his dangerous and violent activity. The bottom line is this, the amount of force that is appropriate and required varies completely based on the circumstances. So, we should be ready to use any level of force required without hesitation if it is needed, but we must avoid excessive force. If a threat is still capable of hurting people the continued use of lethal force against that individual is usually justified. However, once that individual is no longer posing a threat, you are legally obligated to cease using force and if you fail to do so you are in for big legal trouble.

Avoiding Excessive Less-Lethal Force

Proportional and necessary force are terms that are sub-sections to our topic of appropriate force and it is important so I bring it up here. You may be forced to defend yourself against threats that are violent, but not deadly. This is when we need to understand the realities of using only force that is proportional. Proportional force means using only force that is at the same level as that used by the aggressor. Generally, proportional force is going to stipulate that a non-lethal threat only warrants less-lethal force. If a drunk slaps you in the face after you accidently knock over his beer and you immediately produce your gun and give him a quick Mozambique drill, do you think that is a proportional response? I think most would agree that it is excessive force. “Proportional” can get murky as disparity of force can upset this seemingly straight-forward concept. Sometimes what is necessary may go beyond just proportional force, or sometimes what is necessary may actually be less than proportional, so my advice is to use only necessary force: the level of force needed to end the threat, but nothing more. A deadly threat such as an armed attacker typically demands a lethal response as this is necessary to neutralize such a threat. An unarmed threat, in most cases, will call for only a less-lethal response, be it open hand skills or less-lethal weaponry like OC spray.

Typically lethal force is not going to be justifiable against an unarmed aggressor, but, as discussed before, disparity of force can make a lethal response to an unarmed attacker necessary for some individuals in some circumstances. Again, consider a large strong male assaulting a small female. In that case the lethal response becomes necessary force. But, what if a small female were to assault a large strong male, perhaps swing a baseball bat at him? If the larger stronger male dodges the bat and closes on her so that he can simply restrain her so that she cannot injure him, or simply get away from her without risking his safety, would it be right for him to use truly “proportional” force and beat her up if he does not have to just because that is the level of force she is using? Technically, a ball bat is a deadly weapon in the eyes of the law and a lethal response may be justified, but perhaps it is not necessary. So, again, my advice as a good policy to default to is use ONLY the force necessary in any given situation to deal with the threat as this is usually going to be more legally defensible.

I am a firm advocate that all concealed carriers should have some open hand fighting skills and perhaps should carry a less-lethal alternative such as pepper spray for such events. What is required of you in your force response will also vary once again based on disparity of force. A strong and trained man will obviously be expected to handle non-lethal threats in less-lethal ways. An older person, a female, or someone who is in some way frail is not expected to go into hand-to-hand combat with a younger or stronger opponent. In some circumstances a strong and capable male may have need for a less-lethal option such as pepper spray because such a force tool can be used instead of going hands on which may put the defender, as well as the aggressor, at greater risk. Pepper spray and other less-lethal options are not just for females who don’t want to carry a gun, they are for anyone serious about self-defense.

Generally I find that far too many concealed carriers spend no time at all considering less-lethal self-defense. I will point out to you that per FBI crime statistics the average American is 5 times more likely to face a non-lethal assault than a lethal assault. That means you are 5 times more likely to need to employ your hands or a less-lethal weapon system than you are to have to deploy your gun. This is something you really need to take into account. Over-reliance on the singular tool can set you up for disaster if it leads you to escalate to an excessive force option because you have no lesser force abilities. Again, this is even more critical for the younger and stronger male than it is for the elderly, infirm, or small female because the young and strong are legally held to a higher expectation of being more proportional in defensive options.

In closing let me again reiterate that this article should be only the beginning for you if this is your first foray into this world of understanding self-defense law. The more versed you are in this knowledge base the more likely you are to make good decisions quickly, making you more likely to protect your physical life, as well as your legal and financial future. In part three of this article we will discuss the principles of maintaining innocence in a self-defense encounter.

Disclaimer: The above are opinions of the author. In any situation dealing with self-defense, it is your responsibility to understand the laws in your area, and what you can and cannot legally do. It is also your responsibility to use your best judgement, given the situation that you may find yourself in. In no way should this information be viewed as legal advice. When in doubt, consult a lawyer for any clarification that you may require. Simply put, use your best judgement and always abide by the law.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon Essential Self-Defense Law Part I: Imminence

I am not an attorney, nor do I propose to offer legal advice of any kind. I am, however, a gun writer and trainer that has become propelled to pen this article because I see an incredible deficiency in many a concealed carrier’s knowledge base regarding what constitutes the justifiable and legal use of force. The problem is that this ignorance can end up putting well-intentioned people in jail, or at least through a costly legal ordeal. For those new to this discipline this three-part article is intended to provide you with a solid starting point. Those of you that are knowledgeable in this field should seek to educate your fellow armed citizen and my synthesis of the primary concepts involved may prove helpful to you as well.

The reality is that we cannot eliminate all legal danger from our lives, any more than we can eliminate physical danger entirely. However, a complete ignorance of self-defense law is a good way to ensure that you will have legal trouble in the aftermath of a use of force defensive encounter. A solid understanding of these principles will not eliminate that possibility, but will certainly go a long way to mitigate it.

There are, unfortunately, very few attorneys that focus specifically on the field of self-defense law. The foremost one that I do know of is Andrew Branca, and he has an excellent book called The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen. Read it if you can. Trainer and author Massad Ayoob also does significant work on this issue, and while not a lawyer he has extensive experience in the courtroom as an expert witness. What I provide here is not at all in depth, but it is the absolute essentials of the knowledge that you should have if you carry a firearm for self-defense. Let this article be only your beginning into this self-education, but here I seek to pass along the most essential elements of this crucial topic.

When I first obtained a carry permit at the age of 21 I did so in a state that had a really good program in which the bulk of the required state-mandated CCW course focused on legalities related to using lethal force in self-defense. I think that proves a good model as it exposes new concealed carriers to at least some knowledge of self-defense law. Most states do not require this and the vast majority of concealed carriers have absolutely no training in self-defense law. Therefore, all responsible armed citizens should take personal responsibility to educate themselves in these legal principles and seek this knowledge out. I have spent a great deal of effort in further refining my knowledge of self-defense law throughout the years and I wish to share with you here what I have come to consider the three most critical points that you need to be conscious of and these three principles will serve as a good knowledge foundation:

Three Basic Tenants of Self-Defense Law to be Aware of:

1) Recognize Imminence: Only a threat that poses an imminent and reasonable risk of death or grave bodily harm to yourself or others justifies a lethal force response.

2) Appropriate Force: You only have the legal right to use the force necessary to neutralize a threat. Anything further than neutralization may be considered excessive force.

3) Maintain Innocence: You must be an innocent party in the confrontation for you to argue that you used self-defense, not an active aggressor that starts or escalates a situation.

These are three big picture principles to hold in mind and they are the three I offer for your consideration as a bare minimum in understanding self-defense legalities. These are the areas in which a lot of well-intentioned people have made costly mistakes. Regardless of state specific laws such as stand your ground, castle doctrine, or the lack thereof, these principles I lay out here usually apply. In the remainder of the first installment of this article I am going to provide an overview of the first principle and in part two and three we will discuss the others. So, to begin, how can we identify a legitimate threat that warrants lethal force? Let’s discuss:

Recognize Imminence and the Reasonable Risk of Death or Grave Bodily Harm

It is time to learn three new terms if you are unfamiliar with these: Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy. These are the three traits that a threat MUST display to be reasonably considered a lethal threat that warrants a lethal force defensive response. If even one of these elements is absent then lethal force is not justified. Let’s take a look at these basic legal tenants:

Ability: The principle of ability stipulates that for a violent actor to be reasonably considered a deadly threat he (or she, or they) must actually have the ability to kill or significantly injure you. Sounds obvious right? So, for example, a guy pointing a gun at you obviously has the ability to kill or hurt you. An old lady in a wheel chair who is angry at you for bumping into her while standing in line and swinging her pocket book at you probably does not have the ability to kill or seriously hurt you. The most obvious example of an attacker’s ability to hurt you is when armed with a weapon. If an aggressor has a gun, knife, or blunt instrument the ability is legally there. If an adversary is armed the decision to use force is typically clearer cut, at least as it concerns the ability clause.

Now, within the domain of the ability principle comes the subject of disparity of force. This means that an opponent may legally be considered to have the ability to pose you grave bodily harm or death even if unarmed because he or she is a superior combatant for some reason. The most obvious example of this is male-on-female violence. The average man is significantly stronger than the average female and a violent attack perpetrated by a male against a female usually constitutes ability even if the male is unarmed. Superior numbers can also constitute disparity of force, for example, if a male defender faces multiple male attackers. Also, some circumstances can constitute disparity of force, such as one appointment being in a position of advantage, such as punching another physically equal person who is at the moment strapped into a seatbelt, or an aggressor mounted on top of a grounded combatant and bashing his head into the pavement. So, disparity of force is not at all straight forward, but it is often at play. A general understanding of these principles is warranted.

Opportunity: The second trait that must be present and demonstrated by an attacker to justify a lethal response is opportunity. This means the attacker must have the opportunity to harm you. For example, a guy with a knife who is 100 yards away and screaming at you, as you are getting into your vehicle so that you can safely drive away, has the ability to do you harm, but due to the distance he does not reasonably have the opportunity to hurt you yet. Now, what if that same knife wielding lunatic was standing only a few yards away and you are not yet in your vehicle? Now the opportunity is certainly there. Despite having the ability to do you harm, an assailant must have the opportunity, which typically means he needs to be present and at a close enough distance to do you harm. Otherwise, there is no opportunity as it stands legally.

Jeopardy: What jeopardy means is essentially that the assailant is clearly manifesting the will to hurt you or another innocent party. A good example is this: if you live in a gun friendly state like my own state of Virginia it is common to see people open-carrying guns in public. If you are standing in McDonalds and a guy with an openly carried gun stands in line next to you, do you have the right to respond to that with lethal force? He has the ability to hurt you because he is armed. He has the opportunity to hurt you because he is standing right next to you. But, is he showing any signs of threatening you or others? No. He has ability and opportunity but he is not placing anyone in jeopardy. Now, if a guy walks into the establishment with a gun in hand pointing it at people and screaming to put the money in the bag, now ability, opportunity, AND jeopardy are all present, and now we are dealing with a legitimate lethal threat.

Going further on with this discussion on these conditions let me say that it often boils down to using common sense, but things are not always clear cut. There are a lot of situations that may be gray, not black and white. For example, an active shooter that starts massacring people in a public space in front of you is going to pose an obvious lethal threat to yourself and others, and an immediate lethal force response like gunfire is going to be warranted and entirely justified. The ability, opportunity, and jeopardy are all clearly present. But, what about a suspicious looking fellow following you in a dark parking garage? Even if he gives you a bad feeling, has he done anything yet? If confronted by a seemingly hostile individual who may be aggressive but is not yet attacking and does not appear armed, how do you handle that? If you act too soon and pull a gun on a person who ends up being innocent then you are going to be charged with aggravated assault. If you act to late and don’t take action against a legitimate threat then you may end up dead.

The more knowledgeable you are about self-defense law, the more likely you are to make the right decisions, which often must be made in fractions of a second. Spend some time thinking about these principles and do some research so that your understanding of these legalities becomes familiar and instantly available in your mind. In part two of this article we will continue our discussion and analyze appropriate force.

Disclaimer: The above are opinions of the author. In any situation dealing with self-defense, it is your responsibility to understand the laws in your area, and what you can and cannot legally do. It is also your responsibility to use your best judgement, given the situation that you may find yourself in. In no way should this information be viewed as legal advice. When in doubt, consult a lawyer for any clarification that you may require. Simply put, use your best judgement and always abide by the law.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon Ransomware threat highlights why backing up data is essential

There has been a marked increase in ransomware attacks recently. We take a look at what this means and why backing up your data helps you combat this threat.

The post Ransomware threat highlights why backing up data is essential appeared first on We Live Security.


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postheadericon Microsoft Dynamics delivers essential business solutions through apps, devices and services

ATLANTA — March 4, 2014 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Tuesday opened its sold-out Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 conference with a keynote address from Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions. The event offers attendees hundreds of sessions showcasing new innovations the company will deliver in the coming months that will help businesses succeed in a customer-centric world.

In his keynote featuring Microsoft Dynamics customers Chobani Inc., City Harvest Inc., Delta Air Lines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery Co. and Weight Watchers International Inc., Tatarinov called on businesses to change their approach and adopt a customer-centric view to enable them to deliver meaningful customer interactions. In this era of the customer, he underscored the importance of technology combined with cultural changes in the organization as critical for businesses to gain insight into their customers’ needs and deliver experiences that help build lasting relationships.

To help businesses deliver amazing customer experiences, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive set of new capabilities across its business solutions portfolio. The additions will allow organizations to take advantage of cloud services, run agile operations that exceed customer needs, and help engage them on their terms across the Web, social, apps and mobile fronts to help fuel growth.

“Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect and interact with one another,” Tatarinov said. “In this era of the customer, experience is the new currency. Microsoft is best positioned to help businesses deliver amazing experiences for people at work and on the go.”

Business applications through devices and services

At the event, the company showcased Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 (expected to be available May 1, 2014), its ERP solution for enterprises. This update introduces a new end-to-end apps and services framework, allowing businesses to develop and distribute modern apps for specific scenarios and mobile devices that can easily and securely connect with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Adding to the growing number of mobile apps, the company announced a new app for shop floor operators that lets them report on production jobs with touch-enabled Windows devices. Customers and partners can learn about Microsoft Dynamics AX’s apps and mobile capabilities at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dax/archive/2014/03/03/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-r3-devices-and-services-framework.aspx.

To rapidly serve more customers in new segments and emerging markets, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 adds support for deployment on Windows Azure via infrastructure as a service. This capability delivers high availability of data and disaster recovery data, as critical business data is stored in the cloud and can be retrieved by businesses virtually anytime, anywhere. Pre-configured environments are also available on Windows Azure for businesses to speed deployment, and significantly reduce time to value from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, for demonstration, development, testing and production usage.

Powered by Windows Azure, this release of Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services introduces new solutions for serviceability and support to help organizations improve the predictability of implementations and provides them with the agility required to keep up with ever-changing business environments. Early adoption of this service has demonstrated that customers have been able to significantly reduce time spent to define, develop and operate their business application. For example, in cases where early adopter customers needed incident support, more than 65 percent of them were able to address issues and questions on their own through the use of this service.

Reinforcing the value Microsoft Dynamics AX is delivering to businesses, Microsoft released a commissioned Forrester Consulting TEI (Total Economic Impact) study. Based on customer surveys and interviews, Forrester determined that a composite organization using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 had a three-year ROI of 92 percent, a payback period of 21 months and benefits of over $ 6 million,* highlighting the real benefit and time to value this solution delivers to customers.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is a significant step for the entire industry toward the future of ERP, with apps, devices and services in the cloud as cornerstones of its new capabilities. The advancements it offers in business logic and data model, cloud and new apps, and services and devices scenarios all set the stage for continued future innovation evolving directly from the functionality being delivered today.

Delta Air Lines, a Customer Excellence Award winner for the Enterprise category at Convergence 2014, is an example of a Microsoft customer that is using devices and services to deliver amazing experiences to their customers. Designed and developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform and running on Nokia Lumia devices powered by Windows Phone 8, Delta is transforming its passengers’ in-flight experience and bringing flight attendants closer to the company’s 160 million plus customers per year.

“Delta’s mission is to provide safe and efficient transportation and outstanding customer service on over 5,000 flights a day to our customers on six continents,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service, Delta. “Technology innovation is essential to helping us connect with our customers and deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations. Partnering with Microsoft gave Delta an opportunity to equip our more than 19,000 in-flight professionals with a combination of devices and services to offer more personalized service on board every flight.”

Delivering on the promise of rapid innovation to more than 40,000 customers and nearly 4 million Microsoft Dynamics CRM users, the company today reinforced the upcoming capabilities in the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM expected in the second quarter of 2014. This release introduces Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to help businesses drive and manage their marketing campaigns, Microsoft Social Listening to empower more employees with deeper insights, and new capabilities such as the Unified Service Desk to help businesses engage with and care for customers in a personalized manner on virtually any device, anywhere.

Giving customers more value, Microsoft Social Listening will be offered at no additional charge as part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online professional licenses; on-premises customers will be offered Microsoft Social Listening for an additional $ 20 per user, per month.** Microsoft is also introducing a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise license, priced at $ 200 per user, per month.** This offers customers all functionality offered in the professional license and access to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and the new Unified Service Desk. More information about the new pricing and packaging structure can be found at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/default.aspx.

Business m omentum

As part of the event, Microsoft also announced that the next update of Microsoft Dynamics GP, due in the second quarter of 2014, will deliver new identity management and workflow capabilities, together with new self-service companion apps later this year. Demonstrating new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the company previewed new mobile capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics NAV that are expected to be delivered with its next update in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company highlighted the investments being made by leading global businesses and system integrators (SIs) such as Accenture and Avanade, IBM and Hitachi Ltd., in building global Microsoft Dynamics practices, giving customers high-quality resources to implement their business applications worldwide. Microsoft also continues to expand the number of global independent software vendors (GISVs) building industry solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics, announcing a new GISV partnership with JustEnough for demand planning and an expansion of its existing partnership with Dominion, a company that focused on automotive dealer solutions.

More information

More information about Microsoft’s Dynamic Business vision can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/about.aspx. More information and news from Convergence 2014 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics. The opening keynote presentation and general session keynote speeches are available on the new virtual event platform for Convergence 2014 at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14. Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSFTDynamics and @MSFTConvergence using #Conv14.

About Microsoft Dynamics

At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Total Economic Impact Study of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, December 2013

** CRM Online list price shown per user, per month in USD; actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services, such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft