The court goes on to state the law: “We recognize that a judge need not give a self-defense instruction unless there is some evidence that the defendant availed himself of all reasonable means of retreating from the conflict before resorting to self-defense or that no reasonable avenue of escape was available to him…
The flies in the ointment are several_ there is “emotional high-jack” along with incredulity/disbelief about what’s happening, whether in fact you are even the “target” of what seems to be unfolding_
There is the indignation stage: “how dare this/these punks.. will you look at this?” etc.
Then there is the anger stage, i.e., “I’d like to stomp his f!@@ head into the bumper of his f!@@# truck” _ you know what I mean.
And then there is this _ it is very difficult to read a potential human threat
examples of this are legion.
The problem is compounded by the fact we are brought up by family and religious teachings to think the best of our fellow man. And we follow this blindly to our detriment some times.
And, particularly in some people trained in martial arts, there is the “I don’t back down for nobody” syndrome, especially in the ones who believe they have trained in superior ways.
Say you are stopped at a red light late at night going home. Some punk in an old clunker pulls beside you, and at the green signal, he burns rubber “racing you off the light” _ you do not oblige, mind your own business, and keep going.
The punk starts to play games with you, slowing down, speeding up, and cutting you off several times.
So you keep going instead of stopping or trying to get off at a side street, while your mind is ruminating at trying to evaluate the potential threat amidst your disbelief and anger.
So say this keeps up until you are cut off the road and the punk gets out of his piece of junk and comes at you with a tire iron, smashing your car windows trying to get at you inside.
You either cut him with a blade or shoot him.
Now, when does the court see you at point of withdrawal before your “self defense” act of cutting or shooting?