Thoughts on Brandishing

bran·dish vt \ˈbran-dish\

1: to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly

2: to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner

verb dangle before the eyes, display, draw one's sword, exhibit, flap, flaunt, flourish, gesture, rattle the saber, shake, show, swing, threaten, vibrare, wag, waggle, wave, wield

Associated concepts: harassment, menacing

Legal definition - Alabama Code § 13A-6-23


(a) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by physical action, he intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

Should you display a firearm to try to de-escalate or defuse a situation?


If you are the first person to display a weapon, you will likely be perceived as the Bad Guy. Note how we are now talking about a weapon, rather than specifically a gun.

You may be making yourself into the guy someone else might decide to shoot!

Swap shoes with the other guy (GunDudes joke - hahaha). Consider it from the other side. If you are in a possibly heated discussion over something and someone pulls a gun, what would your reaction be? Escape comes to mind, first. Retreat is not always an option. Perhaps that would give you good cause to consider your life to be in immediate danger. They just escalated the situation. In that case you may be seriously looking for an opportunity to neutralize the situation that involves two to their chest and one to the head. Remember that you must stop when the threat no longer exists!

So, you do probably do not want to be the one to escalate the situation.

Never say never. (My Uncle Boo used to say that)

If you feel that your life is in immediate danger, you need to do what you have to do. That being said, you need to have practiced what you will do because *that* is what you will do when it hits the fan. I will move. I will at least move left or right, off the line of attack, and hopefully towards cover or concealment. I have practiced drawing while moving. I will do what I have trained to do.

In summary: Thou Shalt Not Brandish, Thou Be-ist The Good Guy.

Update: Some states have begun to pass laws specifically allowing what they call "Defensive Display".

The idea is to protect a citizen when they have to use a firearm for self defense without actually firing it.
It justifies the threat or reach for a gun in a self defense situation. I'm on board with that. Here's a link.