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floydpink
April 30, 2009, 02:22 PM
If this is a taboo topic or one that has run its course, I am sorry, but as a new CCW license holder, it is on my mind.

If you come across a violent felony in progress, involving a stranger, is it generally a better idea to try to intervene passively by calling 911 and never by drawing your weapon if it doesn't involve you or your family?

I realize I am not a freelance LEO now but a few weeks ago the convenience store was held up at gunpoint and a customer drew his weapon and shot the robber. It was repeated in a similar situation a week later.

Reading about it in the paper had me wondering what I would have done.

I suppose it depends on the individual and my feeling is most would like to avoid the legal fees and time required to defend themselves in a civil suit, as well as the moral issues coming with a shooting, but I am not so sure I could walk away from a helpless person being assaulted and am not physically blessed to do it with my hands.

KingEdward
April 30, 2009, 02:35 PM
this can keep a person thinking.

my simple philosophy is 1)protect me/mine from threat 2)if a felony (assualt, rape, armed robbery, etc) is happening right near me but I'm still a little distance away, I probably will take some kind of cover first then assess what is going on.

If I can be of significant help and stop someone or make someone run and then assist the victim. I'll do what I can.

that doesn't mean I'm walking towards armed robber point weapon at them and giving LEO commands. That's not what I am.

I know of two situations when people I know (one a friend, the other family) did step in and here are the situations...

1) my friend was driving home and slowed down at a light. He witnessed a women on her knees being kicked around (literally) by a man. She was screaming and bleeding. My friend got out of the car, got fairly close with his snub .357 and fired a shot into an empty muddy drainage ditch. The kicker stopped and turned around and my friend called 911 and the kicker complied and backed off the woman. The cops arrested the kicker, helped the woman, and just interviewed and released my friend.

2) my brother was at a home depot late one evening. walking to his truck he witnessed a man pushing a woman up against a car and choking her. My brother dropped his bag at his truck, and walked toward the couple. When about 20 feet away, he yelled at the man to stop. At that moment, both the man and the woman turned and began to walk towards my brother. They kept coming until he crouched down and pulled out his ccw when they were about 12 feet away and increasing their pace. They stopped moving and he briskly backed to his vehicle and left. He did not call anyone. Nor was he ever questioned or called.

pax
April 30, 2009, 03:00 PM
When you pull & use a gun, you are gambling literally everything you own on getting it right and being legally justified. You are gambling your job, your home, and every penny you have in the bank. You are gambling your marriage and your ability to watch your children grow up in person instead of from jail. You are gambling every friendship you've ever made, every dollar you've ever earned or will earn, and your family's future happiness. You are risking sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, impotence, anorexia, alcoholism, drug reliance, and a long and bitter lifetime of regret if you get it wrong.

To take a gamble that big, it's a good idea to be overwhelmingly certain there's no other way out.

Is the life of a stranger worth a gamble that size? Depending on your personal morals, maybe he is. But never ever ever in an ambiguous situation, especially when you didn't see the prelude and don't know the players.

Personally, I'm not taking that gamble unless I am overwhelmingly sure of who the players are, who's the good guy, who's the bad guy, and what provoked the whole thing. A scene that I just stumbled on, where I don't know either one of the participants, simply cannot meet that standard.

This might sound as if I don't believe in intervening at all, but that's not true: I'll intervene in unambiguous situations where I'm certain of my ground. In situations where I'm not overwhelmingly certain, I'll still intervene -- by calling the cops. Calling the cops IS acting. It's just not quite as macho as rushing in.

pax

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 03:06 PM
Gun or No Gun...

Right or wrong I am goin' in to help the underdog. I would prefer to peaceably end the situation verbally but will go to any and all means available to me to do so. I am not positive the person getting kicked/beaten/stabbed don't deserve punishment but I am going to try to break it up and let the official umpires of life LEO and Judges decide. Having owned bulldogs for hunting and pets for many years I know sometimes they just gonna scrap. I "choke" them apart and get down to the brass tacks of who wanted a piece of who and why. Just natural for me to intervene.
Do I worry about my own well being? YESSS!!! I would be crazy not to... But I do not consider any legal ramifications for being involved. Seems if you try to do right for others and stay neutral, it works out in the end. Lucky so far to never have been in a bind since I was 17 and in a "Kettle's Restaurant" when a crazed boa wearin' individual sissy slurred expletives at the waitress, slung hot coffee at her and threw the coffee mug at her but missed. I sprayed him down with "Halt" mailman mace to slow his escape and found out the cops were called on ME...:eek: Burned rubber on the Moto Guzzi right on outta there too!
Brent

floydpink
April 30, 2009, 03:08 PM
Wow! That last one (Pax's post) got me overwhelmingly thinking. Very good food for thought, considering I am the sole breadwinner for my family and a stepfather of a girl who came from a broken past with very little future and also, I believe, the light in a 4 year old's life, my little girl.

Without me, I can't imagine what would become of them and I can't imagine my girl growing up without me.

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 03:25 PM
Pink, I knew you didn't mean mine...:eek:
Brent

Flapjack23
April 30, 2009, 03:29 PM
All these situations you happen upon a scene and assume what is occurring. You have no idea of the specifics of the situation. The man with the tattoos and long beard choking the woman in the parking lot may be an undercover police officer struggling with a woman he is trying to arrest for gun possession. Your interference may cause him to loose control of a criminal and she may shoot him or you. If you are going to react to a situation you happen along you better be very sure of what is occurring. Your CCW is for the protection of yourself and the people who are with you. If you want to protect innocent crime victims, become a police officer. That being said, if that bearded, tattooed man is chasing a woman down the street in his underwear caring a butcher knife, he is probably not the police. If you can stop him without causing yourself undue harm, that may be OK. If you are in a party store that is getting robbed, give the bad guys the money and they will leave. Don't turn a robbery into a shootout or you may be the one suffering the negative unintended consequences.

floydpink
April 30, 2009, 03:57 PM
Actually, hogdog, your post DID get me thinking..

I got to thinking about whether or not the Kettle restaurant you mentioned was the same one on the way to Tampa, in Thonotosassa I think, that serves the best country fried steak i have ever had

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 04:10 PM
This'n was Lafayette Louisiana in about 1985 or so...
And yes the country fried steak was GRAND as was the Biscuits and Gravy...
Brent

floydpink
April 30, 2009, 04:21 PM
Yumm, now I have forgotten about saving innocent people from felons and have to battle a growling stomach instead.

stilettosixshooter
April 30, 2009, 05:18 PM
To take a gamble that big, it's a good idea to be overwhelmingly certain there's no other way out.

Morally and legally as well. In Texas, if you are anywhere other than your home, you may not have access to "self-defense" justification for your lethal actions if you could have retreated safely from a dangerous situation.

Flapjack is right - It is extremely dangerous to get involved with lethal firepower unless you are 100% sure of what is going on. If you are not in danger yourself, you may be far more help to someone by calling the cops.

Personally, if I am unarmed and engaged in some kind of struggle with a BG and a civilian pulls a gun on him, I will probably be glad for the chance to escape - but I could very easily get killed in the crossfire regardless, or end up getting dragged away to some unknown location in the BG's attempt to escape the threat.

There are just too many variables, in my opinion, to jump into an unknown situation with a gun. My .02 - I know a lot of people will disagree with me, and I respect that.

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 05:22 PM
wow one point where florida gives us more lee way than texas... Our castle doctrine stand your ground is extended to "anywhere I am legally allowed to be" and defense of others is granted the same protection from suits as if defending my self. The shoot just has to be deemed "justifiable"...
Brent

stilettosixshooter
April 30, 2009, 05:48 PM
One point where florida gives us more lee way than texas

:D I take it back! The 2007 Texas legislature edited out the retreat provision - shame on me for using a 2006 penal code! Ours basically reads the same as yours now, probably.

Even before, however, the penal code only required retreat if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would have retreated. And reasonableness is a jury issue. And a jury of one's peers in Texas is likely to have more than a handful of individuals who think that not retreating in most instances is perfectly reasonable ;)

jeepman4804
April 30, 2009, 05:55 PM
last I checked Texas is the same way... you do NOT have to retreat. As a matter of fact if I see a person raping a woman, I can shoot. If I see a man beating the heck out of a woman, I can shoot. Any crime that is considered felony aggrevated assault is basically justified. Read your CHL handbook, and I mean a current one. If I remember correctly alot of things have changed recently. In texas we can now use lethal force on trespassers. I personally would not, but you can. I have had to draw my weapon on a guy that was literally almost twice my size and charging me down, the reason is simple. If he punches me, or knocks me down, he now has access to my firearm. When I get time I will find the Chapter, and subsection on these things and post em up.
Clay

jeepman4804
April 30, 2009, 05:57 PM
you already corrected it by the time I got my response typed out. Texas is by far the best state to live in when it comes to backing the CHL holders and giving them the most leeway.
Clay

David Armstrong
April 30, 2009, 06:30 PM
If you come across a violent felony in progress, involving a stranger, is it generally a better idea to try to intervene passively by calling 911 and never by drawing your weapon if it doesn't involve you or your family?

How violent is the felony? What kind of stranger? Can you intervene in ways besides 911 or drawing your gun? Is it worth losing everything you and your family have? Lots of questions to look at that might make a difference. Personally I teach intervene when it will not put you in great danger or when the intervention will not make the problem worse, and using deadly force only when you or your family/friends are in danger of death or great harm. The legal ramifications are to great to ignore or disregard when you intervene, and there are lots of really questionable problems out there that can backfire in a minute and you end up doing time.

ar15chase
April 30, 2009, 06:38 PM
I think a person is taking a big chance, trying to stop a crime in progress.
I guess if I faced a decision when I knew an innocent person was going to be killed, I would intervine, as long as I didnt have my kids with me. I would hate for my children to get in the crossfire of a gunfight. If they were with me I would go to a safe place and call police. I dont want to sound like a coward, but I would put my famlies saftey in front of a strangers anyday.

Jim March
April 30, 2009, 07:07 PM
Been there, done that.

I see two completely different scenario types:

1) I >>know<< what's going on. In other words, I'm dead certain as to who the bad guy is. I'm in a grocery store, guy comes in wearing a ski mask, shoots the register clerk in the leg. No hesitation, I'm going to draw and fire on anybody who is a lethal threat to myself or others.

2) I don't. And that's one hell of a lot more likely.

I've actually been in one of each of these - except the "type 1" involved two dogs as the assailants, which means the potential legal problems are far less. (Armed with only a knife, I got between the two dogs and their human victim - the dogs ran off.)

In the "type 2", I walked onto a subway car (BART in Oakland Cali) to find four lunatics trying to kick a guy to death. I thought the nutcases were women. I pushed them off of their down-on-his-belly victim while yelling "it's over" repeatedly, rocked 'em a few steps back, the downed party ran to the next car back, I retreated to cover his exit. Which was a damned good thing - at about 18 paces out I get two nasty surprises: two of the loonies had claw hammers (one dripping blood) and then one of the bystanders said "hey, those are guys!".

So I ended up staring down four homicidal transvestites with my hand on a belt knife ready to draw it at their first approach. Backed into a corridor it would have been ugly but possible to do 4:1 odds.

They backed off, got caught, prosecuted, the innocent (it turned out) victim shook my hand at the DA's office, charges dropped to misdemeanors(!), nine months later one of these jackarses tried to kill an Oakland cop with a knife, a year later the deputy DA blew his brains out.

I faced no legal problems whatever other than testifying as a witness.

What I did RIGHT was to act immediately yet not go to lethal force until it was absolutely no-other-choice. And it never got there.

What I did wrong was not watching their hands. I focused on the boots they were stomping him with, but it's the hands that kill a lot quicker. I survived that blooper because I was in, did the rescue and broke close contact all within a second or two tops. They didn't have time to "nail" me (pardon the pun). Classic case of "stupid but FAST response still worked".

Had I seen the hammers (again, one dripping blood), I'd have pulled that knife but held off and given a verbal challenge first. I might have also pulled the 4-shot 22Magnum minirevolver in my front right pocket and faced an illegal CCW bust...as it was nobody ever found out I had a wee little backup plan on me :).

Remember: for all I knew, the downed party had at least some of it coming for purse snatching or whatever. Turns out not, but I had no idea.

He recovered just fine by the way...passed out with a concussion on scene but he was fine by the time we met at the DA's office.

I also decided on a new rule after this event and doing more study: never get between two parties who still want a piece of each other. Only when a fight is totally one-sided is it at all smart (not very but what the hell) to intervene.

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 07:08 PM
ar15, Please understand this is not a jab at your post. I just have to use this line as it fits so well with much of the situation... On both sides of the spectrum...
I think a person is taking a big chance, trying to stop a crime in progress.
I agree whole heartedly! But taking chances for others' benefit is an age old American thing to do. Not being forced to do so is the key. Some will and some won't. I bet when the few decided to separate from england they were well aware of the risk they were taken if they failed and/or were caught. I am also sure many others would have the same belief but not the fortitude to take the risks.
Two things I live by are... "If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything." In this case I stand for the right to live in happiness without the threat of being preyed upon by human vultures and hyenas.

Second one is... "If you aren't living on the edge, you are just taking up space." This one is a little out there for typical day to day business but witnessing violent crime is not business as usual for the most part either.
Brent

Brian Pfleuger
April 30, 2009, 07:30 PM
I think Pax nailed it. You'd better understand what's at risk, which is EV-A-REE-THING and you'd better be certain that you're right.

So far as the moral question, I don't think it can ever be morally wrong to help someone who needs help.

Wagonman
April 30, 2009, 09:11 PM
I just had a off-duty situation that is analogous to this subject. I was coming home on the subway and the train was delayed in the station. I observed the security guard running to the engineer, when he came back I flashed the tin and asked what's the problem. He said a passenger stated he had a gun. I had him point him out. I drew down and had him put his hands up. However, I couldn't cover him and cuff him at the same time. I proffered my cuffs to the guard and he said he didn't know how to cuff. So I reholstered (refannypacked :) ) and cuffed, searched him and proceeded to wait fifteen minutes for backup.

The point is you have to weigh the risk and the benefits of action.

I could've just stayed out of it but what if he really had a gun and started shooting.

Erik
April 30, 2009, 09:41 PM
Advice to "always" do something is generally as poor as advise to "never" do something.

As to what to do: Weigh each situation and act accordingly. I'm in the camp that leans more toward intervention, as it turns out, but not always or even most of the time.

Splat!!
April 30, 2009, 10:16 PM
Is the life of a stranger worth a gamble that size? Depending on your personal morals, maybe he is. But never ever ever in an ambiguous situation, especially when you didn't see the prelude and don't know the players.

Is the life of a stranger worth a gamble that size?

Especially when more than likely the stranger had the same options as yourself to procure a CCW , firearm and necessary training to protect oneself........If they felt their life wasn't worth the time or energy , why should I risk all for them? I don't have a team of lawyers or insurance paid for by taxpayer's money to cover my ass.......

Defense of a child, will be the only third party I will ever defend.

hogdogs
April 30, 2009, 11:11 PM
I find this subject no different than jumping into the St.Johns river to save a toddler who slipped off the shallow bar and went under. Or swimming across the same river to save the STUPID chocolate lab that couldn't find the thrown stick but wouldn't quit looking until he about drowned and needed a full 50-70 yard river rescue... a few others come to mind but rendering aid is all equal to me...
Not for everyone, but for me it is as easy as pie to go after it. I think I draw the line at jumping into a shark attack to save someone though:o
Brent

Shadi Khalil
April 30, 2009, 11:46 PM
I think its all circumstantial. If I am walking by a bar and two drunks are whopping up on one, I'll just call the cops. If I'm in a place thats being held up, I'm complying unless I die otherwise. Then there are some situations where you couldn't help but intervene. Imagine you get off a bus and you see a man trying to force a woman at gun point to let him in the car that contains a child. How bout a mass shooting type situation? I remember reading an account from one of the heroic journalist who was trapped in the Mumbai attacks. He took some of the photos we all saw splashed across the news and Internet. One thing he said really stuck with me...

"I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."

David Armstrong
April 30, 2009, 11:50 PM
I find this subject no different than jumping into the St.Johns river to save a toddler who slipped off the shallow bar and went under. Or swimming across the same river to save the STUPID chocolate lab that couldn't find the thrown stick but wouldn't quit looking until he about drowned and needed a full 50-70 yard river rescue...
I would suggest that one big diffference is that those acts do not open you up to the possibility of being criminally charged, having to pay huge legal bills, spend time in prison, be subjected to ruinous civil judgements, having your children be socially ostracized, losing the ability to own or use firearms for the rest of your life, etc.

hogdogs
May 1, 2009, 12:15 AM
Actually if the child I pulled from the river ended up retarded or worse from the near drowning the chances are higher for a suit there than in a clean defense case. I am protected from recourse in a clean defensive situation by laws. I am not sure if we have as concrete a wording in good samaritan laws. Yes prudence in called for and in many if not all situations, you will know if, when and who to protect.
Brent

pax
May 1, 2009, 01:05 AM
In the case of jumping in to save the toddler, there's no chance at all of killing an innocent person if you get it wrong (unless, of course, you count yourself).

This is quite different from wielding a firearm, where there is a substantial risk of killing an innocent person if you do not understand what is going on when you jump in.

On a moral level, the life of an innocent stranger is absolutely worth as much as the lives of my own family members (by my personal moral lights), but I'll not risk my family's togetherness and happiness on anything less than an absolute certainty. Why not? Because my family's lives are worth as much to me as the life of a stranger who may not even really be in danger. Even more so if the stranger I save later turns out to have been the aggressor in the situation, and I find out I killed an innocent person when I jumped in. Nothing but a certainty -- an overhwelming certainty -- is worth taking a gamble that size with my family's happiness, or with the life of a stranger.

One of the things I have learned through my training: the greatest physical danger to an out-of-uniform police officer who intervenes in such situations actually comes from other cops when they first arrive on scene. "Friendly fire" is a horrendous oxymoron for the kind of devastating tragedy which can happen when someone goofs up during a rapidly-developing, stressful, chaos-filled, confusion-driven event. Here's the point: even well-trained professionals sometimes kill the wrong person when they arrive at the scene of a life-or-death struggle, especially if they did not see the entire prelude and don't know the players.

The entire issue is nowhere near as simple as people want it to be, and certainly not appropriate for bumper-sticker slogans without critical thinking. Knee-jerk, emotional reactions may be soul-satisfying, but often leave out crucial information. The more you learn about how these things often work in real life, the better you will be able to make realistic, reality-based decisions when you need to.

pax

stilettosixshooter
May 1, 2009, 01:48 AM
Extremely well put, Pax.

How violent is the felony? What kind of stranger?

In Texas, it is spelled out: the imminent commission of "aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery."

However, on face-value alone, every scenario doesn't fit neatly within the proscribed limits of the law. Pax put it best - even if you feel 99% certain, is it worth the gamble?

BikerRN
May 1, 2009, 02:14 AM
When you pull & use a gun, you are gambling literally everything you own on getting it right and being legally justified. You are gambling your job, your home, and every penny you have in the bank. You are gambling your marriage and your ability to watch your children grow up in person instead of from jail. You are gambling every friendship you've ever made, every dollar you've ever earned or will earn, and your family's future happiness. You are risking sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, impotence, anorexia, alcoholism, drug reliance, and a long and bitter lifetime of regret if you get it wrong.

To take a gamble that big, it's a good idea to be overwhelmingly certain there's no other way out.

Is the life of a stranger worth a gamble that size? Depending on your personal morals, maybe he is. But never ever ever in an ambiguous situation, especially when you didn't see the prelude and don't know the players.

Personally, I'm not taking that gamble unless I am overwhelmingly sure of who the players are, who's the good guy, who's the bad guy, and what provoked the whole thing. A scene that I just stumbled on, where I don't know either one of the participants, simply cannot meet that standard.

This might sound as if I don't believe in intervening at all, but that's not true: I'll intervene in unambiguous situations where I'm certain of my ground. In situations where I'm not overwhelmingly certain, I'll still intervene -- by calling the cops. Calling the cops IS acting. It's just not quite as macho as rushing in.

pax

The above post said it all as far as I am concerned. :)

Pax's second post, about "friendly fire" reminded me of something that is relevant to this thread. As an off duty LEO I'm more afraid of getting shot by the responding on duty LEO's than I am of getting shot by a badguy with a gun.

Biker

Ian0351
May 1, 2009, 02:20 AM
To help another in need. Cell phones are great, but if you were the person being raped would you want to wait for the police to arrive?
I have personally been in this situation a couple times, without a gun, and never failed to at least say something. The time that sticks out the most was, while living in a neighborhood with lots of drugs and thugs, I was walking to the grocery store for a six-pack when I saw a large man trying to force his way into an apartment while yelling threats at the woman inside who was striking at him through the window with a stick. I removed my phone from my pocket, pantomimed dialing the police and loudly informed the 'gentleman' that I was contacting law enforcement. The guy looked at me, looked at the apartment and bailed down the road. The lady inside said "thanks! I called the cops like 5 minutes ago and I was just trying to keep him out until they got here". I hung out for about 10 more minutes until the police finally arrived, but left without getting involved in the witness portion of the events.
Also, I spent a few years working in residential care with violent mentally ill folks... you'd be amazed how long it can take cops to respond to a rural assault call on a busy weekend.
If I had been armed in the previous scenario, I would have probably done the same thing, but with a hand on my weapon ready to draw in case Mr. Home Invader had come my direction instead of showing me his heels.
It all comes down to the particular situation.

BillCA
May 1, 2009, 03:37 AM
Pax has it absolutely right. If you are unsure of the situation it's best to be a good witness and call LE to deal with it.

However, my opinion is that if it's a child getting injured then I want to at least challenge the attacker and/or separate the attacker from the child. And I'm talking an obvious child here... not a teen that could be 17-19 y/o. If a verbal challenge doesn't work, I'm fairly certain rapid application of Koga techniques with a Maglite will interrupt the assault.

In an altercation between adults, I'm staying out of it unless I see clear evidence that one of the parties is excessively injuring someone (i.e. kicking someone who's down and helpless, large differences in size or numbers, etc.) And I'm thinking twice about even that.

If I'm inside the Stop & Rob when Danny Dirtbag comes in to rob it, I'm going to be a good witness right up until he points the weapon at me or it makes a loud noise inside the store.

Nnobby45
May 1, 2009, 03:48 AM
There are situations you'd better stay out of, for the reasons PAX mentioned. Especially if you don't know what's going on.

There are others where you couldn't look at your self in the mirror if you stood by and let it happen when you had the means to stop it--- and didn't.

Sometimes it isn't clear whether you're part of it or decided to intervene.

An acquaintance of mine was in a bank, years ago, when a robber came in and shot and killed the teller--right next to him. He shot the killer without hesitating. The killer ran out and died in the parking lot. I classify that as being right smack in the middle of it, and justifiably in fear, rather than intervening in something that wasn't his concern. Some may not agree.

For the record, the incident happened in California years ago when some folks actually had CCW's.

Other incidents are less clear as to being an intervention or already involved, but we live with what we do or don't do, either way.

And there won't be anyone but us to make the choice for us.

beasley
May 1, 2009, 03:51 AM
The fact is, if I see someone beating, choking, or harming someone in any way I'm doing something about it whether I have a gun or not. I'll first order them to stop. They have a chance to identify themselves as a cop at that point. If they don't identify or stop attacking then I'm intervening. Right is right no matter what the potential consequences. I'm not speaking hypothetically, I've had to intervene before.

starshooter231
May 1, 2009, 03:59 AM
My involvement in any situation would be based on the actual events as they transpire. But yes I would get involved in some way.



starshooter231

onthejon55
May 1, 2009, 09:23 AM
If you were being violently mugged or it one of your close family members was being raped, what would you hope that an armed citizen who was witnessing the event would do?

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 09:55 AM
Actually if the child I pulled from the river ended up retarded or worse from the near drowning the chances are higher for a suit there than in a clean defense case.
No. First, that supposes there is a clean defense case, which is rather problematic in itself contrary to what many here seem to think, but also not only would your actions not have been causitive to the child's retardation, most states samaritan laws preclude such suits. The only way you would be liable for anything would be if your attempt to save the child was so negligent that you actually caused the harm.

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 09:58 AM
One of the things I have learned through my training: the greatest physical danger to an out-of-uniform police officer who intervenes in such situations actually comes from other cops when they first arrive on scene.
Yes. We lose officers on a regular basis in that manner.

pax
May 1, 2009, 10:03 AM
An acquaintance of mine was in a bank, years ago, when a robber came in and shot and killed the teller--right next to him. He shot the killer without hesitating. The killer ran out and died in the parking lot. I classify that as being right smack in the middle of it, and justifiably in fear, rather than intervening in something that wasn't his concern. Some may not agree.

I'd say that was a case where the good guy was overwhelmingly sure of the circumstances. He did the right thing.

pax

Tucker 1371
May 1, 2009, 10:13 AM
I'm not a big guy by any means but I'm stronger than a lot of people with 60+ pounds on me and I've been in mixed martial arts and wrestling for several years. I'm confident enough in my ability to beat some punk down (actually more confident than I am in my shooting) that the ONLY way I am pulling a CCW in this situation is if he has a gun and is more than 10ft away. Disarming someone with a gun is not as hard as it may seem, especially if you have the right technique and know what you're doing.

HD and SD are different stories though.

bds32
May 1, 2009, 11:46 AM
I like the examples of people at least doing something such as challenging the aggressor to stop, staying on scene, and calling the police. This type of intervention seems to work alot of the time. Yes, the agressor could turn his attention to you but if you armed, you have alot more options to deal with it. The key thing here is to do something to stop the obvious unlawful assault on a person instead of just walking away and maybe making the 911 call as you leave. Sometimes all a thug needs to see is someone is watching and not backing away. Doing this amounts to courage. Some people act courageously and some don't. They'll explain it away as "I don't want to get involved or its too risky." But what it amounts to is a lack of courage in that particular situation.

A fight is a fight. An under cover officer making an arrest of a resisting suspect will look like a fight or an arrest. It's best to sit back and be a good witness in those types of situations. Those situations won't be a man kicking a defenseless person in the head multiple times to the point of near death. We've heard it a million times, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men doing nothing." Prepare your mind, train yourself, use sound judgment, and follow the right post incident procedure and I believe you'll be just fine when the time comes for a good man to do something.

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 12:04 PM
Disarming someone with a gun is not as hard as it may seem, especially if you have the right technique and know what you're doing.

I like to point out when this is mentioned that it is not that hard IF the person with the gun doesn't also have the right technique know what they are doing. Sucessfully disarming someone who knows basic retention skills is not easy to do.

Tucker 1371
May 1, 2009, 12:10 PM
Sucessfully disarming someone who knows basic retention skills is not easy to do

That doesn't mean that it can't be done or shouldn't be learned. My point is that if I don't feel that I absolutely HAVE to use a gun in a defense of others situation then I absolutely wont.

However, in an SD or HD situation where there is a clear and present threat to my own or my family's safety the gun is coming out in a heartbeat.

Glenn E. Meyer
May 1, 2009, 12:45 PM
In San Antonio, and not to far from where I live, a SWAT officer got into it with a burglar and was disarmed and then shot dead. Quite a tragedy. It does happen.

Also, being a big guy so H2H is not a threat is an interesting take. In the Insights Defensive Knife class, a large gentleman made that statement. The teacher who was a shorter individual pointed out that some aggressive shorter guys will like to take on large people and that H2H can turn to Knife to Hand quickly. He got into a verbal argument with the large guy in a scenario and then with the trainer knife, 'stabbed and slashed' him significantly in a few seconds.

Getting into a physical altercation robs you of the safety of distance and doesn't necessarily mean you will carry the day or the other part won't escalate with you not at a disadvantage. You have no idea what is concealed by the other person.

floydpink
May 1, 2009, 01:36 PM
It's easy to peck away on a keyboard about how I would wrestle an alligator to save a dog or come to the defense of a mugging victim and pull out my gun if necessary after getting all the facts straight, but my gut tells me a major deciding factor would be if my family or myself was in danger.

Another factor, and possibly a selfish one, would be if my 4 year old was with me when I came upon the danger.

I would be very reluctant to put her in any danger for my heroics nor risk the emotional scars she would carry from witnessing a violent encounter involving her father.


Nevertheless, I have enjoyed the insight from reading some of the responses.

akr
May 1, 2009, 01:42 PM
PAX is right. If you knew you might have help by rushing in and being physical, that would be better.......I doubt that will ever happen, though.

markj
May 1, 2009, 02:03 PM
Many people are attacked in plain site of others that do nothing every year.

http://gothamist.com/2006/09/18/left_in_grip_of.php

Happens all the time. Why?

bds32
May 1, 2009, 02:43 PM
Many people are attacked in plain site of others that do nothing every year.Happens all the time. Why?

I read an article some time back entitled "A nation of Cowards." The author was criticizing people for not arming themselves when the law allows them and for not taking action when action is desperately needed. Here is an excerpt:

It is impossible to address the problem of rampant crime without talking about the moral responsibility of the intended victim. Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.

In the case listed in the above post by markj, both the victim and the witness failed to do anything. The victim didn't prepare herself to fight off an attacker and made poor decisions after she was threatened on the bus. The witness didn't either and failed to act when a woman needed help. Hopefully that taught her a lesson that she is responsible for her own safety.

Now of course there are many many brave citizens who will arm themselves and take action when it is necessary but there is an overwhelming number of people who are content wallking through life as sheep depending upon the protection of a police force that can't get there in time to stop the actions of a criminal. The reason we have criminals walking around unchecked is because they know that relatively few will fight back and others will likely not intervene.

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 03:26 PM
That doesn't mean that it can't be done or shouldn't be learned.
Agreed, but that is quite different than "Disarming someone with a gun is not as hard as it may seem, ...."

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 03:31 PM
The reason we have criminals walking around unchecked is because they know that relatively few will fight back and others will likely not intervene.
That is a horribly simple synopsis of a rather complicated issue. We had plenty of criminals walking around when folks regularly fought back and regularly intervened. Many criminals plan on and prepare for resistance on the part of their victims.

stilettosixshooter
May 1, 2009, 09:33 PM
Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it.

Meh, I understand what he/she is getting at with the failure to arm, but I just don't buy it. I think people walking up on most quasi-criminal-looking situations call the police rather than intervene because they don't know what is going on. I think that is the RIGHT choice - regardless of how you feel about crime.

Some things are more obvious (a brutal assault on a child, the scenario where the robber fired on the teller, a man holding a gun to any cashier). But if someone is in a struggle with another, even a man with a woman, how do you know what you perceive to be the BG is actually the good guy winning the fight for his/her life? And how do you know your actions will not do more to aggravate the situation and further endanger everyone?

BillCA
May 1, 2009, 10:14 PM
I'm not a big guy by any means but I'm stronger than a lot of people with 60+ pounds on me and I've been in mixed martial arts and wrestling for several years. I'm confident enough in my ability to beat some punk down (actually more confident than I am in my shooting) that the ONLY way I am pulling a CCW in this situation is if he has a gun and is more than 10ft away. Disarming someone with a gun is not as hard as it may seem, especially if you have the right technique and know what you're doing.

HD and SD are different stories though.
I'm at that age where AARP keeps trying to get me to join, so I am not that confident in my ability to go toe-to-toe with some scumbag. And I won't if I can help it.

I don't have John Wayne's script writers helping me out. Nor Mickey Spillane to make me a tough guy. My first weapon is my voice - shouting for the attacker to stop, telling him the cops are enroute, etc. If he comes towards me, out will come the 16" Maglite and I'll find out if I remember all my Koga baton techniques (is it three from the ring, or three from the sky? :D). If he has a knife, he gets to see my gun and about 2 seconds to comply with instructions. If he pulls a gun, I hope his tombstone reads "He pulled a gun, when he shoulda run". Don't play fair with thugs. Stay ahead of them in force dynamics.

The reason we have criminals walking around unchecked is because they know that relatively few will fight back and others will likely not intervene.

That's only part of the answer. The other part is getting rid of D.A.'s who feel it's their duty to punish citizens for getting involved and stopping a crime. And not allowing thugs who get injured while committing a felony or crimes against a person to sue.

beasley
May 1, 2009, 10:26 PM
The DA's (in some parts of the country) are dangerous to our country. Our founding fathers did not believe it was primarily the police force's job to prevent crime. To be even halfway effective we would have to become a police state and throw out the constitution. Crime prevention is primarily a job of the citizens. This is one reason we should be armed.

stilettosixshooter
May 1, 2009, 10:33 PM
If he comes towards me, out will come the 16" Maglite.

I keep a Maglite with my HD gun as well :D Better to see the target with (and blind the BG), my dear.

akr
May 1, 2009, 10:35 PM
I never thought I was tough anyway. At my age now, I surely don't......and watching the little guys fight on UFC discourages me even more. You just don't know what you may be getting yourself into out there because these guys don't look all that bad. They are dangerous, though. :eek::barf:

OldMarksman
May 1, 2009, 10:52 PM
Personally, I do not think people are likely to be dissuaded from coming to the aid of a third party in a situation involving violent crime because of what a DA might do. Nor do I think liability risk exposure involving a true felon is a major issue.

I may be wrong on those.

The real risk as I see it lies in not having a complete understanding of what has transpired to create the situation. Should one step in and muck it up and kill or injure someone who turns out to not be a dangerous felon, he will have put himself in a real bind. And why should he not be charged or sued for any damages the result from his mistake?

You see someone--or two people--grappling with someone who is resisting violently. Should you intervene? How do you know? Looks like an assault in progress. But maybe it's an arrest, an attempt to restrain someone having a seizure, or these days, a domestic disturbance.

If it is domestic violence, do you really want to get involved? If you say yes to that, what makes you different from a peace officer, who will not do so without help. An how will you feel when bot parties complain to the police about your having assaulted them? Remember, you don't automatically wear a halo or a white hat, and someone else is not automatically a bad guy.

No, there are very good reasons to intervene only when the facts indicate it is really necessary to save life.

stilettosixshooter
May 1, 2009, 11:15 PM
The DA's (in some parts of the country) are dangerous to our country.

I've never really thought of it that way. But then again, I'm in Texas - where even if you are put through the rigor of indictment, arrest, and trial, you are tried by a jury of your peers...other Texans.

I'm reminded of the incident in Houston where a guy opened fire on two guys running away from robbing his neighbor - the case against him didn't even make it past the grand jury.

(Then again, many of the reports indicate that they started coming at him in his front yard - but he was still there because he went out of his house, despite the please of the 911 operator to stay inside. Tossup on whether he intervened as a third-party to a totally separate incident or not. Grand Jury clearly felt that it was the latter.)

Not intending to instigate a debate on the Houston case - just pointing out that in even controversial incidents, your location probably has a lot to do with the consequences of jumping into a situation with firepower.

David Armstrong
May 1, 2009, 11:51 PM
Our founding fathers did not believe it was primarily the police force's job to prevent crime.
That might be because when the founding fathers were around there were no police forces. The job had not been invented yet.

BikerRN
May 2, 2009, 01:06 AM
I'm reminded of the incident in Houston where a guy opened fire on two guys running away from robbing his neighbor - the case against him didn't even make it past the grand jury.

I'm not trying to derail this thread, but I would feel remiss if I didn't point something out about this case.

There was a Detective sitting in a car that witnessed the whole incident. Without that Detective's testimony to the Grand Jury I have no doubt that Mr. Horn would be facing a murder trial.

No, I was not there, or involved in the case in any way. I just talked with someone that was and is very familiar with the case. That one little fact is most often over-looked or not known by most people when they are talking about this case, yet it changes things significantly IMO.

If you spend your time avoiding trouble, trouble will find you soon enough. There is no reason to go looking for it.

Biker

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 01:15 AM
That one little fact is most often over-looked or not known by most people when they are talking about this case, yet it changes things significantly IMO.

It does, in fact! Thanks for letting us know.

I didn't find that fact in the articles, although now I vaguely remember from discussing it in my crim law class that the 911 operator was anxious for the guy to shoot at anyone - because there was a plain-clothes cop either nearby or on his way to help (must have been that detective). On top of all the other concerns, she was worried that the guy would inadvertently shoot at the cop, mistaking him for a BG.

Add it to the list of many considerations that a split-second decision can't always account for when intervening, even in defense of others!

GojuBrian
May 2, 2009, 04:13 AM
A few years back I was riding my bike through the neighborhood when I saw a man and a pregnant woman fighting in their front yard. She was telling him to leave, he had her by the arms yelling obsceneties.
I slowed down and about that time he shoved her down and started toward her when she started crawling away. I leapt of my bike (no gun) and got between them. He got in his car and drove off, still yelling. The police came as he was rounding the corner because another neighbor had called. They went after him and caught him a few blocks away.
The pregnant lady thanked me, I told the police what happened and went home.

If any man would have just rode by and watched, he deserves a butt-whoopin imo. Scumbag pushing a pregnant woman around,sheesh, a woman at all for that matter!! :mad:

Even if I had a gun I wouldn't have drawn on him though.

BikerRN
May 2, 2009, 05:43 AM
If any man would have just rode by and watched, he deserves a butt-whoopin imo. Scumbag pushing a pregnant woman around,sheesh, a woman at all for that matter!!

We will have to disagree on this then.

If employers have to pay a woman the same as a man to do the same job, then they should take the same risk.

This belief extends to day to day life for me. I treat everyone equally, male or female. That means that when I observe a man hitting a woman, I see a human being hitting another human being, not man vs woman. Of course it could be the woman that is the aggressor too.

Nobody gets a "free pass" from me, but I will not intervene in a situation when I am off duty, if I can help it, beyond doing more than being a good witness and calling 911. In this case you were very lucky. Usually in a domestic both the "victim" and the aggressor will turn on you.

Make sure that what you're risking is worth it, as it very well could mean your life.

Biker

chris in va
May 2, 2009, 09:22 AM
You are risking sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, impotence, anorexia, alcoholism, drug reliance, and a long and bitter lifetime of regret if you get it wrong.

Exactly. And don't forget, "wrong" could also mean you should have acted. Perhaps the victim having the gun pointed at them also has the aforementioned life...kids, family etc.

We will have to disagree on this then.


No, what you're not understanding is the guy hitting the pregnant woman was hitting two people, not just one. And yes women in general should get a little extra bias, just the way I was brought up.

#18indycolts
May 2, 2009, 10:05 AM
nobody gets a "free pass" from me, but I will not intervene in a situation when I am off duty, if I can help it, beyond doing more than being a good witness and calling 911.


so you wouldn't want someone to help your pregnant wife in times of trouble? You'd rather someone turn the other cheek? Wow, you clearly define apathy.

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 11:10 AM
Wow, you clearly define apathy.
Never confuse apathy with good sense. I'm going to hazard a guyess here that many of not most of the folks advocating intervention early and often have had little or no experience doing that, while those who are advocating tread softly and slowly have spent a fair amount of time having to intervene.

#18indycolts
May 2, 2009, 11:32 AM
Never confuse apathy with good sense.

however you wanna justify it in order to make you sleep at night.

Creature
May 2, 2009, 11:36 AM
Never confuse apathy with good sense.

And never confuse good sense with self-preservation. The Founding Fathers didnt confuse the two. They rolled the dice for what was "right".

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 12:07 PM
however you wanna justify it in order to make you sleep at night.
I sleep fine, thank you. I spent 20+ years intervening in stuff like this on a professional level, I've got it pretty well figured out.
And never confuse good sense with self-preservation. The Founding Fathers didnt confuse the two. They rolled the dice for what was "right".
You might want to read up a bit on the Founding Fathers. A whole lot of their "right" was based on personal gain and aggrandizement and self-preservation.

pax
May 2, 2009, 12:21 PM
Knock off the personal comments, please.

Thanks,

pax

Tucker 1371
May 2, 2009, 12:34 PM
We can discuss this until the end of time but I think just about everything that can be said about this general scenario has already been said.

I think everyone can agree that the ONLY way to approach this situation is with a cool, level head. Know your state's laws thoroughly. Your response is your choice but as someone stated earlier when you use deadly force you are gambling your freedom and your ability to provide for your family, choose your course of action with this in mind.

I used the hand to hand example earlier just to illustrate that, for me, the gun is an absolute last resort.

vox rationis
May 2, 2009, 12:52 PM
I think its all circumstantial. If I am walking by a bar and two drunks are whopping up on one, I'll just call the cops. If I'm in a place thats being held up, I'm complying unless I die otherwise. Then there are some situations where you couldn't help but intervene. Imagine you get off a bus and you see a man trying to force a woman at gun point to let him in the car that contains a child. How bout a mass shooting type situation? I remember reading an account from one of the heroic journalist who was trapped in the Mumbai attacks. He took some of the photos we all saw splashed across the news and Internet. One thing he said really stuck with me...

Quote:
"I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."

well said teifman

Trooper Tyree
May 2, 2009, 02:49 PM
Quote:
If any man would have just rode by and watched, he deserves a butt-whoopin imo. Scumbag pushing a pregnant woman around,sheesh, a woman at all for that matter!!

We will have to disagree on this then.

If employers have to pay a woman the same as a man to do the same job, then they should take the same risk.

This belief extends to day to day life for me. I treat everyone equally, male or female. That means that when I observe a man hitting a woman, I see a human being hitting another human being, not man vs woman. Of course it could be the woman that is the aggressor too.

Nobody gets a "free pass" from me, but I will not intervene in a situation when I am off duty, if I can help it, beyond doing more than being a good witness and calling 911. In this case you were very lucky. Usually in a domestic both the "victim" and the aggressor will turn on you.

Make sure that what you're risking is worth it, as it very well could mean your life.

Biker

I agree to a degree, but you have to factor in that men and women, no matter what is politically correct, are not usually evenly matched opponents.

Even further than that, a pregnant women is severly hindered by her unborn child, and the stress, strain and resulting impacts occured from defending herself or being assulted, can and may very well result in the abortion of the unborn child. Abortion in the sense of miscarriage etc.

As such, impartially viewing a pregnant woman and man fighting as simply two humans fighting is not quite a balanced view. A single punch from the man may result in the death of the unborn child, whereas a single blow to the man's stomach likely wouldn't even slow his assult.

The well being of a pregnant womans unborn child would be a serious concern if I were to observe a pregnant woman being assulted. It would be a sticky situation, but you wouldn't stand by and watch someone knife a person or shoot them without responding because of the immediate threat posed. I don't view the threat to the baby as being very much different. If a man is beating a pregnant woman, I have to assume he knows he is a threat to the childs life.

It's hard to say what any one of us would do or even ourselves, perhaps hardest to say what we could do ourselves. In theory though, my first priority and reaction to seeing a pregant woman being beaten would be to stop the physical assult as fast as possible, the danger to the child is real no matter why the assult is in progress.

Creature
May 2, 2009, 03:20 PM
You might want to read up a bit on the Foundign Fathers. A whole lot of their "right" was based on personal gain and aggrandizement and self-preservation.

The founding fathers weren't so much interested in self-preservation in the face of the most powerful and successful standing army and capable navy in the world ...and well as the king's judicial system as they were about "doing the right thing" for their children and grandchildren on down the line.

I disagree with your notion that there was less moral fiber and righteous indignation in the founding fathers than there was greed and personal gain.

I also disagree with the notion that it is better to stand by and do nothing than it is to get involved.

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 03:21 PM
I agree to a degree, but you have to factor in that men and women, no matter what is politically correct, are not usually evenly matched opponents.

Even further than that, a pregnant women is severly hindered by her unborn child, and the stress, strain and resulting impacts occured from defending herself or being assulted, can and may very well result in the abortion of the unborn child. Abortion in the sense of miscarriage etc.

+1. I agree. Well put!

mjoy64
May 2, 2009, 03:23 PM
You might want to read up a bit on the Foundign Fathers. A whole lot of their "right" was based on personal gain and aggrandizement and self-preservation.

OK... I'll bite. I still have not formed an opinion on this statement as I'm interested in hearing your (more) complete meaning. I have not disagreed much with any of your prior statements, but my attention is pricked with this comment.

I (personally) find a lot of wisdom in many of the "founding fathers" charter thoguhts for our country. While not necessarily complete nor perfect, I'd like to hear more about the "personal gain" and "aggrandizement" perspective you mention. I may be thinking too narrow here (2A rights), but I'm interested in this thought (not to derail this thread).

As to the OP I would project (i.e. guess) that I would only intervene if I was 100% certain of the situation AND I felt that it was a life and death situation. Absent that I'm calling 911 and (and I say this with great care and thought)... *possibly* intervening w/o involving my firearm. There are always a lot of variables and hopefully my training and instinct lead me to good choices.

Mike

#18indycolts
May 2, 2009, 03:38 PM
I spent 20+ years intervening in stuff like this on a professional level, I've got it pretty well figured out.


I'm not sure what degree you've spent doing it on a professional level, but (at least here in Indiana) police, either on or off duty or any other public safety person has what you call a "duty to act."

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 05:56 PM
FROM CREATURE:
The founding fathers weren't so much interested in self-preservation in the face of the most powerful and successful standing army and capable navy in the world ...and well as the king's judicial system as they were about "doing the right thing" for their children and grandchildren on down the line.
I disagree with your notion that there was less moral fiber and righteous indignation in the founding fathers than there was greed and personal gain.
Good, because I never said anything like that. Remember, it is always better to deal with what is actually said than to make stuff up.
From Mjoy64:
OK... I'll bite. I still have not formed an opinion on this statement as I'm interested in hearing your (more) complete meaning. I have not disagreed much with any of your prior statements, but my attention is pricked with this comment.
I (personally) find a lot of wisdom in many of the "founding fathers" charter thoguhts for our country.
So do I. But there is a tendency among some of the less informed to talk about the Founding Fathers as if they were some sort of heroic figures who stepped up willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of mankind, could do no wrong and such, when in reality they exhibited all the frailties and problems of most people. They included people that we would now consider con men, shysters, rapists, murderers, thieves, and so on. That does not diminish what they did, but to try to invoke them as some sort of Dudley Do-Right is incorrect.
Other than "the wild west" few elements of American History are more mythological in nature than the Founding fathers and the American Revolution. Washington, for example, apparently married Martha because she was the wealthiest widow he could find that would take him at the time and he was in desperate need of money to avoid loss of his land and possible imprisonment. Created quite a scandal at the time. But I'm sure that the mods don't want expansive history lessons here on Tactics and Training, so let me suggest a couple of books:
"Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong " by Loewen
"Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned" by Davis

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 06:00 PM
I'm not sure what degree you've spent doing it on a professional level, but (at least here in Indiana) police, either on or off duty or any other public safety person has what you call a "duty to act."
And I'll bet if you talk to those police officers that have been on the job for twenty years they'll overwhelmingly tell you just what I and other here have said...tread softly and slowly, and avoid when you can.

skydiver3346
May 2, 2009, 08:24 PM
I can't believe all the B.S. I am reading on this subject that Floydpink was trying to explain in his original thread. Are we men or mice?

You come upon a ongoing felony of innocent people, you call the police before doing anything (if you have the seconds to do that). Then depending on the crime being committed, you should (your decent responsibility) take action. As someone mentioned earlier, "what if that was your wife, daughter, mother, etc being beaten, robbed, raped".... You know that you would want someone to do something to save their lives and/or a trip to the ER.

You always need to be prepared mentally for things like this. Sure its hard to try and figure out all the scenarios of "what could happen" if you decide to intervene, but we are human beings and MEN! Grow a pair and stand up for your fellow citizens and do what is definitely right.
First of all, stop the attack from going further by confronting the attacker verbally and in a loud command. Act like you are in charge and mean it with your voice and look. If the attack continues, draw your weapon and warn them again. If they continue or turn and come towards you, give them their last warning. If they still continue the fight (I seriously doubt it will after this) then you must act accordingly and defend yourself and the victim.
You can then explain to the law enforcement folks when they arrive what actually went down. That is the way I see this and what I plan to do if it ever happens to me. Sure hope it doesn't but I know I will do the right thing, no matter the consequences. The alternative is do nothing and that is not acceptable to decent men.

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 08:42 PM
The alternative is do nothing and that is not acceptable to decent men.

There are lots of very articulate, well-reasoned responses posted here by folks who feel otherwise. I truly do not believe that they would opt not to intervene because they are "mice" or plan to "do nothing." It is a question of what course of action is best - depending on a number of complicated, difficult questions that must be answered in a split-second.

If I am being attacked by someone, I think it will probably be rather clear who the BG is. But that still doesn't mean I want any random person to fire upon my assailant if it could further endanger my life. I am confident that yelling and/or calling the police to give them specific information about the BG is more than appropriate, and I would be eternally grateful for that non-violent action.

Moreover, if it is NOT clear who the BG is, or if you think you know but are WRONG, taking lethal action is more than unadvisable. Not because anyone is a 'fraidy cat, but because you are potentially risking an innocent person's very life.

I do think a person has a moral obligation to call the police and/or keep an eye on the situation from a safe distance so you can give LE information. I wouldn't simply turn a blind eye to a situation that makes me uncomfortable, and I would hope others would agree. But that's a moral decision - the other is a question of situational reality.

skydiver3346
May 2, 2009, 08:58 PM
Yada, yada, yada, etc. I don't think I would want you on my side in a serious confrontation. We all have a responsibility to protect the weak and defend ourselves. If you took the time to actually read my response you would see that I mentioned "you should yell and confront the bad guy by a stong voice command". By the eay, its pretty clear to me who the bad guy is if he is coming after me just because I stop him beating a woman and/or committing this felony....
What are you going to do if he comes after you, to commit further damage? Run away? It's nothing personal with you. Just that I am really getting tired of reading the papers and evening news about the murders, rapes, crime increasing, etc. and no one ever doing much about things when they have the chance and/or ability to do so. Everyone is worried about lawyers, etc. etc. If you come upon someone committing a felony attack, you are obligated to try and stop it. If not, who are we then? You just can't have it the way you want it perfectly. You should act and follow a similar sequence I originally discussed. By the time you try and figure out how to "cover your ass" so you won't get in trouble, the victim is probably already beaten too badly or worse.......... Think about it, it could have been your loved one. For sure, it was somebody else's loved one.

pax
May 2, 2009, 09:07 PM
Skydiver ~

It's not a matter of "covering your ass" as you so delicately put it. It's a matter of being very, very certain that you do not kill an innocent person when you don't have all the facts.

Of course if you are certain of the circumstances -- so certain that you are willing to bet your entire life on it -- then by all means step in. That's what a good person would do, and it's certainly what I would expect of anyone with the ability to do it.

By the way, your planned tactics suck. Just ask Dan McKown.

pax

OldMarksman
May 2, 2009, 09:38 PM
What are you going to do if he comes after you, to commit further damage? Run away?

Better know your state laws. In many states, including mine, if someone "comes after me [or you]" unprovoked, yes, you or I do have a duty to retreat if possible. The principle goes back centuries.

Now, if you had stepped into it, it may not be considered unprovoked. At that point your ability to justify the use of deadly force as an action of self-defense is almost certainly gone--in all states.

Of course, if the person was in fact committing a violent felony before you stepped into it, that's something else again.

And that is what PAX is driving at.

You think you see a felon attacking someone. Perhaps you've actually come upon someone legally defending himself or herself from an attack that you did not see. Perhaps what you see is someone tying to save another from swallowing poison or choking. Perhaps you are witnessing an arrest in progress.

And no, if the person with whom you interfere is then "coming after" you, that adds absolutely no clarity to the question of who the "bad guy" is.

In fact, if the person whom you believe to be "coming after you" is now in fact defending himself or herself against you, you may now be the "bad guy."

And that's not just in the eyes of the law. It's in the eyes of reasonable persons judging the facts objectively.

But if you are certain of the circumstances, as PAX says, do what you need to do, knowing that you may get maimed or killed in the process.

In between? Well, if it turns out that you have come upon a domestic dispute, even if one person was injuring the other, you may find that both are eager to sign a complaint against you, and you will be on your own.

GSUEagle put it pretty well:

I think everyone can agree that the ONLY way to approach this situation is with a cool, level head. Know your state's laws thoroughly. Your response is your choice but as someone stated earlier when you use deadly force you are gambling your freedom and your ability to provide for your family, choose your course of action with this in mind.

Splat!!
May 2, 2009, 09:39 PM
Act like you are in charge and mean it with your voice and look. If the attack continues, draw your weapon and warn them again. If they continue or turn and come towards you, give them their last warning. If they still continue the fight (I seriously doubt it will after this) then you must act accordingly and defend yourself and the victim.

When you do this , call me and I will send you some cookies for you and bubba to share...:rolleyes:

skydiver3346
May 2, 2009, 09:54 PM
Hi Pax, (am just stating my opinion like everyone else is all)

I understand what you are stating and agree with you to a degree.
Of course, I would make sure that it was a situation that required "more serious response" before I would ever use a weapon. Please re-read my post. I did not say I was going to "kill" someone as you mentioned. I just said that I was going to intervene on the victims behalf instead of just standing there trying to figure out what the heck I'm goning to do (so I won't get in trouble for helping victim). By then as i stated earlier, it may be too late if you wait to figure everything out just to make sure you got all your bases covered? If said perp decides to attack me because I break up his assault, then I will give him a loud and severe verbal warning while backing up. If it still progresses to the point where I feel my life is threatened, then I will respond accordingly, Thats it.

I am really getting sick and tired of the low lifes in this country thinking they can get away with anything and nobody will do anything about it. It happens everyday here in Florida, (my city happens to be the murder capital of the state). Crime is rampant and these criminals are put in jail and then released to commit the same or worse crimes later.
I can promise you this, I plan to be ready at all times and am prepared. Hopefully that day never comes. But I will be ready to respond if I feel it is warranted, you can count on that. That is my personal opinion.

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 10:22 PM
I just said that I was going to intervene on the victims behalf instead of just standing there trying to figure out what the heck I'm goning to do (so I won't get in trouble for helping victim).

Agreed. I think most people would agree with you there.

I think most of the posts advocating a "non-interventionist" perspective were made (1) out of concern of using a firearm against someone who may or my not actually be a BG, and (2) with a nod to the legal ramifications as they pertain to the use of deadly force. If you aren't discharging a weapon, the legal ramifications aren't as considerable (unless you assault someone, and even then we are talking about a misdemeanor in most instances).

By "non-interventionist," I, for one, specifically mean not intervening with a firearm. Yelling, announcing your contact with the police, and/or calling the police are all what I consider to be non-intervening actions - they have the capacity to stop an aggressor but, other than directing a BG's focus on you, they probably will not further endanger someone involved.

Certainly, we are all against the BGs. No question about that.

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 10:36 PM
Grow a pair and stand up for your fellow citizens and do what is definitely right.
There is the basic problem, figuring out what is definitely right. Often it isn't particularly clear what is right.
Sure hope it doesn't but I know I will do the right thing, no matter the consequences. The alternative is do nothing and that is not acceptable to decent men.
There are lots of decent men who disagree with that idea.
Just that I am really getting tired of reading the papers and evening news about the murders, rapes, crime increasing, etc.
In most parts of the country and in the U.S. overall, murders, rapes, and other crimes are decreasing, not increasing.

skydiver3346
May 2, 2009, 10:39 PM
I apologize if I came across a little overboard.
I feel that we all have a responsibility to respond to folks in trouble and being assaulted (in the case mentioned earlier, it was a woman).
It is nothing personal with anyone's comments, but I have my way to respond to this situation, (others have their way's).

This is the bottom line to me: Sometimes when you intervene and try to stop a mugging, rape, brutal attack, etc. then you may have to follow up with more agressive responses if it ends up going that direction. It may entail you having to (hopefully not) use your concealed weapon to end the confrontation. I never said you should just walk up and pull out your gun without knowing all the facts. But I feel you have to act in someway to end the violence. Unfortunately if it ends up escalating to where they don't stop the assualt on the victim (after you have yelled and verbally warned them) I feel you need to take some kind of immediate and decisive action. It should not take a long time to do this as time could be running out on the victim. If the perp then attacks you for helping the victim, then so be it. Use whatever force you feel is required to end the situation, (even if it means using your weapon). Why do we carry our guns anyway? To protect yourself and your family from harm.

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 10:39 PM
Often it isn't particularly clear what is right.

Absolutely. Or, even worse - it appears to be VERY clear, but the appearance was 100% misleading.

David Armstrong
May 2, 2009, 10:48 PM
Or, even worse - it appears to be VERY clear, but the appearance was 100% misleading.
Exactly. As just one example, as a LEO I rolled on "rape in progress" calls twice that turned out to be couples spicing up their love life with a little role play.

stilettosixshooter
May 2, 2009, 11:08 PM
As just one example, as a LEO I rolled on "rape in progress" calls twice that turned out to be couples spicing up their love life with a little role play.

:eek: A good reminder to all of the public to keep it indoors, please!

Or, at least, the volume down!

David Armstrong
May 3, 2009, 12:04 AM
A good reminder to all of the public to keep it indoors, please!

One was, complete with "BG" crawling in the window wearing a ski mask. :o

Creature
May 3, 2009, 09:53 AM
Good, because I never said anything like that. Remember, it is always better to deal with what is actually said than to make stuff up.

I didnt make anything up. I understand exactly what you inferred. So do the rest of the readers in this forum.

Exactly. As just one example, as a LEO I rolled on "rape in progress" calls twice that turned out to be couples spicing up their love life with a little role play.
As for rolling up on two couples engaging in spicy role-playing sex, I am sure that their behavior did not pass the "reasonable person" test. Seems to me that any witness can only be expected to follow that criteria when confronted with those circumstances. Kinda like the abduction/kidnapping pranks we have all heard about. Would you as a citizen assume that these situations are just a pranks from the outset? Would you assume the same while on duty as a LEO?

Marty Hayes
May 3, 2009, 10:16 AM
For all of you pontificating on this subject, answer this question please.

Are you in a jurisdiction where you "stand in the shoes" of the 3rd party you are purportingly defending, or are you in a jurisdiction where you must simply "act like a reasonable person" when coming to the defense of another?

If you cannot answer this question, then I submit you had better spend some time researching this topic, because to get the answer wrong, means perhaps a long time in prison.

David Armstrong
May 3, 2009, 11:18 AM
I didnt make anything up. I understand exactly what you inferred.
Pretty much by definition if you are responding to what you think is inferred, you are making things up instead of responding to what is actually said. And in this case your inference is grossly incorrect.
Seems to me that any witness can only be expected to follow that criteria when confronted with those circumstances.
And that is the point so many are making here. What you are seeing may not be what you think it is, so go softly and slowly.

David Armstrong
May 3, 2009, 11:25 AM
Are you in a jurisdiction where you "stand in the shoes" of the 3rd party you are purportingly defending, or are you in a jurisdiction where you must simply "act like a reasonable person" when coming to the defense of another?
I know the answer for my jurisdiction, and that is a great point. Heard you did a great presentation at Tulsa, BTW.
CRASS COMMERCIAL PLUG: I work with some criminal defense attorneys as a consultant, so I have easy access. For those who are not in as fortunate a situation, Marty's Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network is something you should look into. Given many of the responses in this thread and in others, it might be one of the best investments you make.

csmsss
May 3, 2009, 12:36 PM
Advice to "always" do something is generally as poor as advise to "never" do something.

As to what to do: Weigh each situation and act accordingly. I'm in the camp that leans more toward intervention, as it turns out, but not always or even most of the time.This is STILL the most intelligent and useful post in this thread. Good judgment and clear thinking and the ability to formulate and act upon the correct action are far more important than trying to memorize all possible responses to unlikely hypothetical scenarios.

pax
May 3, 2009, 01:05 PM
CRASS COMMERCIAL PLUG: I work with some criminal defense attorneys as a consultant, so I have easy access. For those who are not in as fortunate a situation, Marty's Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network is something you should look into. Given many of the responses in this thread and in others, it might be one of the best investments you make.

I'll second that comment! The DVDs that come with membership in the Armed Citizens' Network (www.armedcitizensnetwork.org) are alone worth the cost of joining up.

pax

OldMarksman
May 3, 2009, 03:28 PM
You... [(David Armstrong)] have admonished us that what we see may not always be what we think we are seeing...and that we should not intervene.

Actually, what I believe David advised was to "go softly and slowly"; earlier, he said that police officers themselves will echo the advice to "tread softly and slowly, and avoid when you can".

And police officers, who are sworn to enforce and uphold the law, are afforded legal protections that the civilian does not have.

If David were the only source of that advice, I would be strongly inclined to heed it.

But he is by no means alone in making that admonishment. Where I live, it is permissible under the law for a civilian to use deadly force to protect a third party under certain circumstances. However, attorneys and most CCW instructors I know recommend very strongly against it for the reason you mention: what one "sees" may not be what one thinks it is. Mas Ayoob makes the same case in Chapter 4 of In the Gravest Extreme. A former policeman I know tells me that the only time his gun will ever come out is when he is "about to die."

Do not infer from that that I would not intervene if necessary to prevent the continuation or completion of a most heinous assault if I knew the facts and if there was no other reasonable alternative.

That is the limit of my knowledge, and I think it behooves me to learn more about Marty Hayes' comment in case the need to decide should ever arise in another state I might be visiting.

Creature
May 3, 2009, 03:55 PM
You are implying that I recommended using ONLY deadly force when interveneing...which I did not.

OldMarksman
May 3, 2009, 05:58 PM
You are implying that I recommended using ONLY deadly force when intervening...which I did not.

I did not mean to do so, but I do see that I came across that way.

My thought process was that, if the altercation at hand was serous enough and involved a level of violence sufficient to require intervention, it would (1) have the potential to rapidly escalate to a situation in which deadly force could be required (2) not be something that I would want to try to solve by entering the fray using physical force.

Of course, intervention could simply involve calling for help on the cell phone.

And that's the only kind of intervention I can think of that would ensure one's not mucking up an arrest in progress, preventing a successful act of self defense, or getting oneself involved in a domestic dispute.

However, if I've missed something, I'm all ears.

David Armstrong
May 3, 2009, 06:42 PM
Actually, what I believe David advised was to "go softly and slowly"; earlier, he said that police officers themselves will echo the advice to "tread softly and slowly, and avoid when you can".
Exactly, and thank yo ufor pointing that out. Many try to suggest things have been said that have not really been said, or ascribe positions to others that have never been taken. For reference, this is from my first post on the thread, and I still think it a good one:
"Personally I teach intervene when it will not put you in great danger or when the intervention will not make the problem worse, and using deadly force only when you or your family/friends are in danger of death or great harm. The legal ramifications are too great to ignore or disregard when you intervene, and there are lots of really questionable problems out there that can backfire in a minute and you end up doing time."
So yes, go softly and go slowly, and only go when you have to. Even then realize there is a good chance you don't know the full story behind whatever it is you are about to get into.

Xrayeyes
May 5, 2009, 06:24 PM
One of the things I have learned through my training: the greatest physical danger to an out-of-uniform police officer who intervenes in such situations actually comes from other cops when they first arrive on scene. "Friendly fire" is a horrendous oxymoron for the kind of devastating tragedy which can happen when someone goofs up during a rapidly-developing, stressful, chaos-filled, confusion-driven event. Here's the point: even well-trained professionals sometimes kill the wrong person when they arrive at the scene of a life-or-death struggle, especially if they did not see the entire prelude and don't know the players.


Hi guys, new handgun owner and new to the forum. I've learned a lot from you all already.

Anyway, to comment on this above quote...we had a break-in in progress at our farm. It was late at night and hubby had just gotten out of the shower. He looked outside to see our motion detector light on and someone breaking in to our vehicles. He came to me and told me to call 911 and he grabbed our Maverick 88.

After informing the 911 dispatcher of what was going on, I immediately made it VERY clear that my bearded, half-dressed angry husband was armed, and please don't shoot HIM!

It could have gone that way....

Just one more senario to think about.

I also take offense to the gentleman that puts women and men on equal defense footing just because of equal pay. Give me a break! I am certainly no femi-nazi, but I am very independent and I will do the best to defend myself. But, I am only 5'2" and 120 lbs, what kind of defense is that to a large man in an assault situation (unless you've had defense training)?

Dr. Strangelove
May 6, 2009, 02:14 AM
An interesting argument, some very well considered thoughts here; as well as some not so well thought out.

A concealed weapons license is not a license to dispense justice however you see fit, nor does it infer some "duty" to defend the general public. Getting involved in other peoples' battles, particularly ones of the domestic variety, is a sure way to cause yourself great personal problems.

Many of these threads concern scenarios that make me wonder if you weren't carrying a gun, would you have put yourself in that situation? Take the one a few months back concerning someone who stopped for gas in a bad part of town at 2:00am, then brandished a pistol when they felt "threatened". Are you doing it because of poor planning, or because you felt safe because you had a gun? Carrying a gun does not mean you should put yourself in situations you would not have otherwise.

I won't try to change the minds of those who have already decided that they are the "Lone Ranger white hat wearing joker whose duty it is to defend the honor and safety of all those around them", but for those on the fence, it's not chicken**** or un-American, it's just good sense. Why charge into a situation you know nothing about and stand to lose your personal freedom and your family's way of life?

BikerRN
May 6, 2009, 02:24 AM
I also take offense to the gentleman that puts women and men on equal defense footing just because of equal pay. Give me a break! I am certainly no femi-nazi, but I am very independent and I will do the best to defend myself. But, I am only 5'2" and 120 lbs, what kind of defense is that to a large man in an assault situation (unless you've had defense training)?

I would be, to use the the term loosely maam, "that gentleman".

If I happen upon you when I am in uniform, and empowered to act, I would do so in a manner that reflects my agency and it's policies.

If however I happen upon you and I am off duty I will intervene at my discretion and only to the level I choose to. It would take a very extreme set of circumstances for me to act on your behalf, using deadly force, if I was off duty. Most likely the actions being perpetrated against you would have to be a threat to me and my family as well.

Like it, don't like it, I care not. I will do what I have to do ensure my survival and that of my family as well. If that means calling 911 for you and getting to cover and being a "good witness", so be it. I am not Sir Gallahad, or any other kind of Knight bent on "saving the day".

You, as an adult person of free will, have the choice to take steps to ensure your own safety. If you choose not to take those steps, then so be it. Why should I assume a risk for you, that you have chosen not to assume for yourself? I will not risk death, possible prosecution and financial ruin just so you, the perpetrator and any other Tom, Dick or Mary Sue can sue me after the fact, and I will violate no agency policy or law in doing so. I will do what I consider is appropriate. That is to summon the on duty constabulary to "sort it out".

Those of you that say you wouldn't be able to live with yourself, I say HOGWASH!

We have all done things we don't like, yet we are still here, living with ourselves. Armed encounters and gunfights are not child's play and one never knows how they are going to respond until the actual crisis is at hand. One can only prepare and train. I have chosen to train to avoid conflict when possible, as there are enough situations where conflict cannot be avoided that I don't have to go looking for them.

Biker

markj
May 6, 2009, 12:52 PM
A concealed weapons license is not a license to dispense justice however you see fit,

When I carry, I feel like Judge Roy Bean.....

beasley
May 6, 2009, 02:23 PM
And I'm saying first, you often do not, will not, and can not "know", and second, there is no "must" imperative for intervention. If one chooses to do so, cognizant of all the risks and potential downside, that is their choice, but it is always a choice and we each get to make that choice.

I disagree. Most of the time it become clear with a little observation. It certainly becomes clear if you tell people to stop and communicate. If they are a LEO they will quickly let people know.

The issue is a moral one. When injustice is being done there is ALWAYS a must for someone who can try to stop it. To stand by and just observe someone being hurt or robbed is immoral in itself. Self preservation at the cost of others is by definition selfish.

Lets say we're on a sinking boat. Do we let the women and children on the rafts first? We may argue, "I have a wife and child of my own back home who need a husband and father" and try to justify jumping on the life raft first. That would be absolutely immoral. The moral thing to do is let the women and children on, and put your family back home in possible suffering.

Creature
May 6, 2009, 02:29 PM
Interesting argument, beasley.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 6, 2009, 02:35 PM
The issue is a moral one. When injustice is being done there is ALWAYS a must for someone who can try to stop it. To stand by and just observe someone being hurt or robbed is immoral in itself. Self preservation at the cost of others is by definition selfish.

What about the morality of failing to accept responsibility for your own safety and that of your family? Don't these people have the same opportunity to arm themselves and get trained that I do? If they don't value their own lives that highly, why should I second guess them?

Lets say we're on a sinking boat. Do we let the women and children on the rafts first? We may argue, "I have a wife and child of my own back home who need a husband and father" and try to justify jumping on the life raft first.

A better analogy would be where all of the passengers had the opportunity to purchase and equip their own lifeboat; but many chose not to because they deemed the likelihood of sinking small. Now that the ship is sinking, they want on the life raft you purchased.

pax
May 6, 2009, 02:43 PM
To repeat: discussion of the Founders and their motives have no place in this thread or forum. If you want to discuss civil rights and related matters, please do so in the appropriate forum below.

Deleted a couple posts. If yours was one, consider this a final warning -- since you ignored an earlier moderator request in order to post. I won't close this useful and interesting thread, but will ban those who cannot be considerate of others by taking their preferred topic to the appropriate venue after repeated requests.

pax

David Armstrong
May 6, 2009, 02:47 PM
I disagree. Most of the time it become clear with a little observation.
And yet we have seen in this little thread several examples of where it wasn't clear, and most any LEO will tell you multiple stories that contradict the idea.
The issue is a moral one. When injustice is being done there is ALWAYS a must for someone who can try to stop it. To stand by and just observe someone being hurt or robbed is immoral in itself. Self preservation at the cost of others is by definition selfish.
So, how much have you donated to help pay the medical bills of the guy in Florida who intervened and got shot? He was hurt, and yet here you are standing around doing nothing. I will assume you regularly volunteer at the local shelter, work with the Red Cross, donate to feed the starving children in Africa, etc. After all, those are an injustice that you could try to stop with just a little money. If I or anyone else here on GT is killed or injured intervening, will you vow to give our family 1/2 of all your income for the rest of your life? Wouldn't that be the moral thing for you to do, even though your family back home might possibly suffer?

KingEdward
May 6, 2009, 02:56 PM
In defense of others....

interesting, but seems to have turned into "am not", are too

am not , are too

it is a complex issue for sure.

we can all agree that we would probably try to do "the right thing" for
the situation to aid in protecting/saving life even though we might mess it up, or God forgive us make it worse.

Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it does not.

Does that mean we sin if we hesitate, or if we do nothing? Opinions vary.

at least we get to express them.

OldMarksman
May 6, 2009, 02:58 PM
I disagree. Most of the time it become clear with a little observation. It certainly becomes clear if you tell people to stop and communicate.

Voice of experience, I presume?

If they are a LEO they will quickly let people know.

An assumption. Can't comment, I am not familiar with undercover tactics.

The issue is a moral one. When injustice is being done there is ALWAYS a must for someone who can try to stop it.

Yet the current and former LEOs on the forum, all of the recognized authors, and every attorney, instructor, and current and former policeman I've discussed the subject with strongly advises against intervention unless one knows all of the facts. No assumptions allowed.

To stand by and just observe someone being hurt or robbed is immoral in itself.

Does that mean that you think it is moral to join a fight in progress? Do you really want to bumble into a domestic disturbance? LEOs usually call for backup first.

Off duty policemen usually stay away--see BikerRNs post.

On duty policemen are trained, indemnified against losing everything in a civil suit, equipped to call for backup, sworn to uphold the law (and legally permitted to present their weapons without fear of being charged for doing so), and equipped with non-lethal weapons and handcuffs and usually, backup guns.

Here's a checklist for the citizen who may think it his duty to step into something:


Trained in approved procedure? (Y/N)
Indemnified by the jurisdiction? (Y/N)
Back-up called and on the way? (Y/N)
Sworn to uphold the law? (Y/N)
Non-lethal weapons and cuffs? (Y/N)
Back-up gun? (Y/N)


I cannot answer yes to many of those. Can you?

beasley
May 6, 2009, 03:00 PM
So, how much have you donated to help pay the medical bills of the guy in Florida who intervened and got shot? He was hurt, and yet here you are standing around doing nothing. I will assume you regularly volunteer at the local shelter, work with the Red Cross, donate to feed the starving children in Africa, etc. After all, those are an injustice that you could try to stop with just a little money. If I or anyone else here on GT is killed or injured intervening, will you vow to give our family 1/2 of all your income for the rest of your life? Wouldn't that be the moral thing for you to do, even though your family back home might possibly suffer?

Don't ask rhetorical questions you don't know the answer to. To examine my giving wouldn't help your argument. That's ok, according to your answer you'd be fine with dumping the women and children overboard. I think you are making my point for me.

The fact is, I don't think you would do that. I think you'd intervene. If you saw someone being robbed or assualted you'd step in. If you were on the boat, you'd let the women and children on. Your conscience would over ride your rationalization. I think you should rethink what you're saying. Severe, immediate danger has to be dealt with immediately and by whomever has the ability to do it. By your statement, we should never risk ourselves to help people we dont know. To be a hero would be too risky.

TINCUP AL
May 6, 2009, 03:04 PM
This is a topic that EVERY ccw holder should have a firm understanding on before they carry. I have read and reread this thread and I think everyone should go back to page one and read PAX's reply. That is the best explanation that I have heard in a long time.

( edited to add : Things aren't always as they seem. You had better be sure )

beasley
May 6, 2009, 03:13 PM
I agree with Pax. I don't think a gun should be pulled in this kind of situation unless it absolutely has to be. If I see 2 guys duking it out then that's their business. If I see someone beating an unarmed woman or kicking an unconscious guy on the ground then I'm doing something about it. If you guys think I believe in jumping into everyone's disturbances you have me wrong. But if we know someone is being harmed wrongly and do nothing about it then we are culpable. I'm not arguing against those who say we should know before we act but against those who don't believe in acting because it might be too risky when we do know.

Glenn E. Meyer
May 6, 2009, 03:17 PM
I think that I came up with the example of charity in previous threads like this. It came from my knowledge (blah, blah) of theories of pro-social behavior. When folks post that it is immoral not to intervene even at risk to oneself as some kind of given, that is way too simplistic given what we know about the issue.

One of the factors may be folks seeming themselves as a hero. Giving to charity doesn't do it.

Some folks feel righteous anger against the aggressor and want to punish the BG.

Immediate emergencies seem to trigger action - perhaps a built in evolutionary circuit for group survival.

Others act on an outrage heuristic. There are more factors.

There are other factors. However, the question is a good one as it strikes to whether the action is true altruism - how can one claim true altruism if you don't act that way in other situations? If you only claim to act that way in situations that use weapons - is it driven truly by altruism?

To demand that someone gives up their life or family's wellbeing for you and being outraged if they don't is hypocritical if you won't support their family.

I asked if we should have tax payer fund for Good Samaritans - Hell, NO was the response. One poster suggested that it was my responsibility to have enough life insurance to support my family if I got killed saving YOUR family. Another suggested that he would let you sleep on his coach for a few days if needed.

Thus, the conundrum is to point out how claiming such action must be done on a moral basis misses the point of analyzing what is altruistic or being driven by some use the gun paradigm.

beasley
May 6, 2009, 03:17 PM
Really? To try to stop a rape or murder you would need to have handcuffs? How did the world go on before some of these items and tactics were invented?

beasley
May 6, 2009, 03:26 PM
Speculating on people's motives adds nothing to this argument. That's ad hominem. The person intervening may be a narcissist or may just be a kind stranger, that's not the issue. The issue is simply should someone intervene? I'm fine in leaving the person's motive between them and God as long as they stop a rape/murder/kidnapping etc.

pax
May 6, 2009, 03:45 PM
beasley ~

Calling for trained and well-equipped expert assistance in stopping the attack IS intervening.

I don't think it's fair to accuse people who would intervene in that way (rather than in some other way) of being "selfish" or "immoral."

If you must resort to personal arguments, save those words for people who would stand by and literally do NOTHING, not merely for those whose tactics you disagree with.

pax

OldMarksman
May 6, 2009, 04:03 PM
If I see someone beating an unarmed woman or kicking an unconscious guy on the ground then I'm doing something about it.

OK.

Two or three years ago a business associate of mine witnessed a neighbor striking his/her spouse with a shovel. The spouse was on the ground, apparently defenseless.

My business associate called 911. He undoubtedly felt, as I would, that he was morally obliged to do so.

The "victim" survived. The neighbors--the whole family, three generations-- then attempted to poison my friend's dogs, threatened his wife, and destroyed his lawn, and my friend had to move. Don't expect to be called a hero.

That's one reason LEOs hate domestic disturbance calls.

And that's just what that scene of someone being harmed wrongly could turn out to be.

Earlier, David Armstrong said "Personally I teach intervene when it will not put you in great danger or when the intervention will not make the problem worse, and using deadly force only when you or your family/friends are in danger of death or great harm. The legal ramifications are too great to ignore or disregard when you intervene, and there are lots of really questionable problems out there that can backfire in a minute and you end up doing time."

That is consistent with all of the qalified advice I have ever seen or heard on the subject.

I do not mean this to sound unkind, but I believe he has a whole lot more knowledge and experience than most of the people who have contributed to this thread.

I have thought a lot about what he said, and I think it's excellent advice.

Some former policeman I know won't even draw to defend friends--or so they say. Lack of morality? No. They simply understand the potential consequences.

I'm fine in leaving the person's motive between them and God as long as they stop a rape/murder/kidnapping etc.

That sounds great. But where the potential consequences come in is when what you have stopped turns out not to have been a "rape/murder/kidnapping etc.". Things are not always as they appear.

Injure one spouse or brother in what turns out to have been a most brutal domestic altercation and see how long it takes for both of them to sign a complaint and file suit against you. Stop one degenerate thug from beating another and see what it gets you. Intervene when a parent is trying to help a daughter who is in the dangerous throes of a grand mal seizure and consider the consequences, legal and moral. And remember, unless you are a sworn officer, you're entirely on your own!

Glenn E. Meyer
May 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
Beasley - one needs to understand the motives for actions and the pros and cons. If you don't see that - we have nothing to talk about. Understanding such is not an attack on the person, sorry you don't get it.

David Armstrong
May 6, 2009, 04:34 PM
Don't ask rhetorical questions you don't know the answer to. To examine my giving wouldn't help your argument.
Nothing rhetorical about it. If one is going to expound on the morality of others, one should expect to be questioned about their own morality. It is very easy to talk about morality, but such talk seems a bit hollow when it is not backed up by deeds, IMO.
That's ok, according to your answer you'd be fine with dumping the women and children overboard. I think you are making my point for me.

Please don't try to put words in my mouth or atttribute positions to me I have not taken. I did not answer the question as I feel it is a poor analogy and that answering it would not be applicable to this discussion, therefore to say what I would be fine with is nothign but a wild guess on your part.
The fact is, I don't think you would do that. I think you'd intervene. If you saw someone being robbed or assualted you'd step in.
I spent a fair chunk of my life intervening as it was my job, or the potential for loss was relatively minor in comparison to the gain. Nowadays, don't count on it. I'll intervene on my terms and how I feel minimizes my loss. Nothing personal, but if the choice is you get robbed or my daughter doesn't get to have Daddy at her wedding, let's just say I plan on being in that tux.
By your statement, we should never risk ourselves to help people we dont know. To be a hero would be too risky.
Again, don't make stuff up and attribute it to me. I have not said that. In fact, I risked myself to help someone I don't know today coming home. I helped a lady change a flat on the shoulder of the interstate. She offered me $5 after it was done, but I told not to worry about it.

KingEdward
May 6, 2009, 04:44 PM
I've thought about it and David's one comment hit home with me.

If I stop a kidnapping or rape or worse, but I die, how does that help
my girls who are at home and need a father.

I lost my father to natural causes at the mere age of 6.

My girls losing me to unnatural causes would be a lot for me to
think about on such short notice (to act or not act for others)

which one is more morally correct?

Glenn E. Meyer
May 6, 2009, 05:38 PM
KingEdward - you hit the nail on the head. It is easy on the Internet to preach total sacrifice for others but the reality is that we consider consequences to ourselves and those who are close to us. We consider the outcomes and the worthiness of the person to be saved.

Which is morally correct? That will never be agreed upon. But is easy to posture.

Even in the rape scenario, our posters consider outcomes. You might take on a single rapist. Would you make a suicide charge at a gang of 15 armed terrorists if you were unarmed? Easy game to play to short circuit the absolutists.

Xrayeyes
May 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
To BikerRN,
I understand and concur with your belief to analyze every situation and act accordingly, but to put women and men on an equal level in an "assault" situation, just because of equal pay, doesn't make sense to me.

If I were being assaulted by a 250 pound man outside a bar, I can understand you would think long and hard about intervening, not knowing the situation. But, I guess I would like to hear you say that you would at least THINK about it.

On the other hand, I bet most people in your situation that saw two 250 pound men having it out outside that very bar, wouldn't take a SECOND look and walk away...

BikerRN
May 7, 2009, 01:51 AM
Xrayeyes,

The point I was trying to make, poorly I might add, is that I treat everyone the same, or at least try to.

Women are already given significant latitude and legal advantages in the judicial system when it comes to the standard of "reasonable fear" in my opinion. I base part of my beliefs on a 70+ y/o lady trying to stab me with an 8" blade and having to use my BUG to diffuse the situation.

Male, female or martian, I care not. I'm an Ahole to everyone until you prove you're not. Just like I treat everyone as a threat, because you are. I will be as nice as you let me be, but don't be suprised if you don't feel all warm and fuzzy when we are done.

Biker

Creature
May 7, 2009, 01:50 PM
Now change the circumstances to a pregnant woman. Or how about a pre-teen or teenage girl...does that change anything for you?

BikerRN
May 7, 2009, 01:54 PM
Nope. :)

I try to treat everybody equally.

Biker

beasley
May 11, 2009, 01:12 PM
Guys, this issue is one of morality. You guys are towing the line for a utilitarian ethic as opposed to an absolute sense of right and wrong. Work out your thinking to its logical conclusion. By the standard being set, no one helps anyone if there is any risk to themselves. Again, our country was not set up to be a police state. If we had enough LEO to stop every crime we would end up giving up much of the bill of rights and end up in a 1984 situation. We are supposed to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. Our founding fathers got this from a story in an old book referred to as the parable of the good samaritan. LEOs military sacrifice to help others everyday. Why do we believe that the average citizen shouldn't do the same? I think we should. I agree with you guys that we should be careful and know whats happening in the situation (undercover cops etc). But to not intervene (in whatever way we can, different people have different abilities) when we do know is wrong.

beasley
May 11, 2009, 01:19 PM
1. I think you missed my point about the "rhetorical question". My point is, you don't know what I give so it cannot make your point.

2. If you think my "sinking boat" analogy isn't good then point out where you disagree with it.

3. I can understand your view when it comes to a non-violent robbery. I'm talking more about violent crimes where people lives may be threatened.

OldMarksman
May 11, 2009, 03:28 PM
Guys, this issue is one of morality. You guys are towing the line for a utilitarian ethic as opposed to an absolute sense of right and wrong.

I'm talking more about violent crimes where people lives may be threatened.

Beasley, you are still assuming that you are omniscient enough to know what is happening when you see people interacting.

If you interfere with a person aiding someone having a medical emergency--say a grand map seizure or choking--is that an act of morality or a bumbling act that results in an a very undesirable outcome, morally and otherwise?

If you prevent an undercover agent from preventing a suspect from destroying vital evidence, is that an act of morality or a bumbling act that results in an a very undesirable outcome, morally and otherwise?

If you cause the escape of someone whose immediate sequestration may have been vital to saving the life of a kidnap victim, is that an act of morality or a bumbling act that results in an a very undesirable outcome, morally and otherwise?

If your intervention in any situation results in a death or serious injury (to either one of the persons into whose affair you were entering or to an innocent third party) that would not have occurred but for you actions, what great morality have you brought about?

If what you have come upon is really a domestic disturbance, no matter how violent it appears, and both parties sue you, are you than a moral hero?

No, it's not just your safety, health, life, record, fortune, and personal freedom that you risk by intervening.

But: if you have family to support and you are unable to do so because of injury, loss of fortune, or loss of personal freedom, is that a moral outcome?

I agree with you guys that we should be careful and know whats happening in the situation (undercover cops etc).

And just how would you propose to know that, unless the victim is someone you know extremely well? Has it occurred to you that the LEOs and former LEOs who advise extreme caution may not be as "immoral" as you seem to think, but simply a whole lot more experienced, more knowledgeable, wiser, and more mature than you are?

And how about the attorneys? I've known too many people who have chosen to ignore the advice of attorneys and have rued the day for a long time afterwards.

However, if you do believe that it is your God-given duty to try to do risky things that may be quite moral, but that may prove harmful to others (including your family) or to yourself if you muck them up, might I suggest joining the police academy? That will provide you with the training, department procedures, tools, dispatcher network, and back-up to better enable you to carry out the deed correctly and without causing undue harm, along with indemnification, should it prove necessary.

beasley
May 11, 2009, 06:09 PM
I understand your caution. The situations where it's hard to tell what's happening (undercover cops etc) are not so common as actual crime. Joining the police doesn't solve the problem because (as Mas Ayoob says) police aren't there (primarily) for crime prevention. The constitution leaves that in the hands of the people.

BikerRN
May 11, 2009, 06:23 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I understand your caution. The situations where it's hard to tell what's happening (undercover cops etc) are not so common as actual crime. Joining the police doesn't solve the problem because (as Mas Ayoob says) police aren't there (primarily) for crime prevention. The constitution leaves that in the hands of the people.

So if the Police aren't there why should you assume responsibility for someone that chose not to assume that responsibility for themselves?

Aren't you being a bit presumptuous by assuming risk for them that they themselves were unwilling to assume?

Biker

pax
May 11, 2009, 07:32 PM
Again, the moral question is whether or not to intervene, and as far as I can tell, we are ALL agreed on that point. We all intervene, because we're all That Kind of Person. We don't walk away.

The practical question is how to intervene, and that's all we're really discussing. Do we intervene by calling for professional assistance with problems too large or too confused for a single person to solve (just as those very professionals do themselves when they come upon such a situation)? Or do we intervene by jumping in headlong, and thus risk becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution?

Neither of these two choices -- which are both intervening to help solve the problem -- is "more moral" than the other. But one of them is decidedly more realistic and more practical than the other.

pax

BikerRN
May 11, 2009, 07:59 PM
Thanks for clarrifying that Pax. :)

Yes, I do intervene, but the question is how.

I've already decided the "how", as you may sumise.

Biker

br1dge
May 11, 2009, 08:10 PM
I don't think this has been pointed out, but in the case where you saw a situation that provoked you to draw your weapon... If you do NOT fire, I would be afraid of the potential risks to me and my family by the BG. What if they see my work badge or company logo on shirt, or otherwise make a determination to who I am or where I live.. Did I just put my whole family at risk down the road when they come to get revenge? Similar to how I would feel if I experienced a home invasion, and shot, but did not kill the intruder. While I can't begin to think like a felonious BG, I have to think that maiming (or even threatening to,) would create the basis for a major grudge..

I am with those who have suggested to only draw if you are "about to die," then make sure the perp meets that fate instead.

glock06
May 11, 2009, 09:46 PM
Great thread-
Curious to know what others think about exactly when to intervene if you are armed with a concealed weapon are watching and at exactly what step you would intervene--

1)You see a suspicious character at the mall and watch him--
What are your actions?
2)He moves or turns and you see a real, not fake gun--
What are your actions?
3)He takes the gun out and displays the gun--
What are your actions?
4)He points the gun at someone--
What are your actions?
5)You see him shoot!!
What are your actions?
6)You see him shoot a person--
What are your actions?
7) You see many persons injured by gunfire--
What are your actions?
8)You see him turning and aiming at you--
What are your actions?

At what exact step would others propose a level of threat great enough to draw, and shoot to neutralize this threat?? Anyone, please clarify when legally justified vs morally justified.

OldMarksman
May 12, 2009, 10:01 AM
Curious to know what others think about exactly when to intervene if you are armed with a concealed weapon are watching and at exactly what step you would intervene--

1)You see a suspicious character at the mall and watch him--
What are your actions?
2)He moves or turns and you see a real, not fake gun--
What are your actions?
3)He takes the gun out and displays the gun--
What are your actions?
4)He points the gun at someone--
What are your actions?
5)You see him shoot!!
What are your actions?
6)You see him shoot a person--
What are your actions?
7) You see many persons injured by gunfire--
What are your actions?
8)You see him turning and aiming at you--
What are your actions?

At what exact step would others propose a level of threat great enough to draw, and shoot to neutralize this threat??

My first action would be to try to get away, fast, by the time the gun has been produced.

I will point out that in items one through six, one would likely not be able to determine with even the slightest degree of certainty that the alleged "suspicious person" is not an undercover sworn officer or armed security guard who is himself engaged in "neutralizing a threat." And no, you cannot tell by garb, hair style, or belt line.

Should I still be in the line of sight upon the occurrence of item 7 and reasonably sure of a clean shot that would not have the likelihood of making things worse, I might fire at the subject. For item 8, I would only fire if escape were impossible--which, by the way, is required by law in my state.

Anyone, please clarify when legally justified vs morally justified.


I presume that you expect everyone to have first answered Marty Hayes' question in Post 94:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3471396&postcount=94

For all of you pontificating on this subject, answer this question please.

Are you in a jurisdiction where you "stand in the shoes" of the 3rd party you are purportingly defending, or are you in a jurisdiction where you must simply "act like a reasonable person" when coming to the defense of another?

If you cannot answer this question, then I submit you had better spend some time researching this topic, because to get the answer wrong, means perhaps a long time in prison.

Your question is a good one.

Here's one to consider that's a little different: You see a person walking toward an occupied out door eating place or into the foyer of a hotel lobby. He stops, takes out a 750ML bottle containing fluid, pours some of the fluid onto a rag, stuffs the rag into the bottle, and ignites the rag. There's no chance that he is engaged in lawful conduct, right? What would you do?

markj
May 12, 2009, 02:56 PM
Action depends on all the circumstances, not just what the BG is doing. My first reaction is to ensure the safety of my family and to not get shot again. It hurts bad and death does no one any good.

Here in Omaha at Von Maur, one man stood up to the shooter, the shooter shot him then turned the weapon on himself ending the spree. I do not see this as a "I am a hero" type of thing, he was unarmed but still tried to intervene.

Another way to look at it, everyone can and should get a CCW and the training needed to protect themselves. Never rely on another for your own safety. Then everyone is responsible for themselves, if not then sorry charlie.?

David Armstrong
May 12, 2009, 06:36 PM
. I think you missed my point about the "rhetorical question". My point is, you don't know what I give so it cannot make your point.

Sure it can, and I think I did.
If you think my "sinking boat" analogy isn't good then point out where you disagree with it.
Actually, somebody else argued the analogy wasn't good, but I tend to agree with them. I disagree with it because it causes you to actively place someone else in harms way (probable death) for your own well-being. You will have been the instigator of the harm.
I can understand your view when it comes to a non-violent robbery. I'm talking more about violent crimes where people lives may be threatened.
OK. I don't see any real difference for purposes of intervention.

By the standard being set, no one helps anyone if there is any risk to themselves.
Nope. By the standard being set, one gets to determine the potential cost versus the potential gain, and then make a determination as to what they feel is best. Sometimes the risk may be worthwhile, sometimes it may not. I did things when I was carefree and single that I will not do not that others depend on me. I simply reject any arbitrary morality that says I should risk the well-being of my loved ones and thier future for the well-being of someone else and their future.

raimius
May 12, 2009, 06:58 PM
Great thread-
Curious to know what others think about exactly when to intervene if you are armed with a concealed weapon are watching and at exactly what step you would intervene--

1)You see a suspicious character at the mall and watch him--
What are your actions?
2)He moves or turns and you see a real, not fake gun--
What are your actions?
3)He takes the gun out and displays the gun--
What are your actions?
4)He points the gun at someone--
What are your actions?
5)You see him shoot!!
What are your actions?
6)You see him shoot a person--
What are your actions?
7) You see many persons injured by gunfire--
What are your actions?
8)You see him turning and aiming at you--
What are your actions?
1. I would watch, and depending on how suspicious the character looked and the duration of time I might
A. Leave
B. Notify security
C. Move to a more "tactical position" and continue to watch.
D. Decide they are not a threat and continue my business.

2. Again, time dependent
A. Leave and notify security
B. Try to find ANY exit
C. If unable to leave, try to find cover/better position.
(Also pre-positioning my cover garments for easier access to my pistol)

3. (Hand moves to gun, if they are not watching me)
A. LEAVE NOW
B. Find Cover
C. Find a better position
D. Don't attract attention!
E. Try to notify security/PD
If the gun has not been pointed at anyone/no threats made, I would likely NOT escalate by confronting them.

4. (Gun leaves the holster)
A. I get VERY loud and command them to stop, with gun aimed at them.
B. (I'm in their line of sight, but my gun is not) I wait.
C. ??? Situationally dependent...

5. (Assuming they have not Identified themselves as PD/told someone to stop being agressive, etc)
All bets are off! They have used lethal force without IDing themselves, and I already thought they were suspicious. I draw and fire, move to a position to fire, or DIVE to cover/exit. Same for the rest.
My priorities are to either escape or stop the threat, notify help (LEOs/Paramedics), and provide any assistance I can (first aid, coordination, etc).

David Armstrong
May 12, 2009, 11:40 PM
1)You see a suspicious character at the mall and watch him--
What are your actions?
Stop watching him and look for something more attractive or interesting.
2)He moves or turns and you see a real, not fake gun--
What are your actions?
Go someplace else.
3)He takes the gun out and displays the gun--
What are your actions?
Go someplace else.
4)He points the gun at someone--
What are your actions?
Yell "Hey, you might want to go someplace else before you get shot!"
5)You see him shoot!!
What are your actions?
Go someplace else quickly.
6)You see him shoot a person--
What are your actions?
Go someplace else and get a medic.
7) You see many persons injured by gunfire--
What are your actions?
Go someplace else and get a bunch of medics.
8)You see him turning and aiming at you--
What are your actions?
Kill him.

glock06
May 12, 2009, 11:42 PM
What are others beliefs of commensurate levels of force when dealing with such a threat??

I hope others would agree about the concept of escalation to similar levels of action and finally to lethal action when no alternatives exists.Yes, we are talking theory here when the real world can go warp speed in a blink.

If the threat produces a gun and you might be endangered, you should logically have the right to equal his level of force given no better alternatives.
Granted you may need to observe and "disguise" your firearm somewhat by drawing it and holding it down at a low ready position if he is waiving his gun around unless he points his gun at someone. It would seem logical that you could bring your firearm to some type of ready position from being holstered for number 3&4.

If he obviously suddenly shoots an obvious innocent(unarmed female, etc)ie, #6), then lethal intervention may be indicated by a MORAL, not legal standard. Hopefully your perception is reality.Agree or disagree??

As I understand it a wacko can shoot everyone in sight and you have no legal requirement to intervene even if you are armed.Only when you feel personally endangered (#8), can you act with lethal force and be in true compliance of the law.

Is this right or totally off base, guys?

supergas452M
May 13, 2009, 12:03 AM
If I find myself in a situation where I can save lives by immediate, aggressive and violent response to a BG, I'm going to do everything in my power to take the BG out. I'm not going to run, hide (well I probably would take cover), call medics or hope the BG runs out of ammo by the time he gets to my turn to be shot.

I will take appropriate actions to not be shot but running while innocent people are being shot and I have a chance to stop the shooter is not in my makeup.

YMMV

David Armstrong
May 13, 2009, 12:24 AM
As I understand it a wacko can shoot everyone in sight and you have no legal requirement to intervene even if you are armed.Only when you feel personally endangered (#8), can you act with lethal force and be in true compliance of the law.
Is this right or totally off base, guys?
It depends. Certainly there is no legal requirement to intervene. However, there are a number of states, perhaps even a majority, that allow what is commonly called "3rd party intervention" which does allow you to use force, including deadly force, to save another person.

supergas452M
May 13, 2009, 12:31 AM
Even though, by your own admission, if it endangered your own life and your ability to return to take care of your family, you would run away and call the ambulances.

Brit
May 13, 2009, 12:39 AM
1)You see a suspicious character at the mall and watch him--
What are your actions?


My local Publix has a great customer base, these customers just shop, quite a while ago three not your normal type of customer hove into view.

No basket, no cart, walking around the produce area, looking at people, I was on my own, stepped away from my cart, and took notice. They stopped and looked at me, and at two other men who had more or less mirrored my actions, they turned and walked right out. Do rags on head, pants falling off, one with a hood on?

First and last time I saw that. That was in the afternoon.

What would I have done, what if? No idea, they just did not fit in, thought watching them was better than not.

David Armstrong
May 13, 2009, 01:02 AM
Even though, by your own admission, if it endangered your own life and your ability to return to take care of your family, you would run away and call the ambulances.
I have admitted no such thing! Nowhere will you find that I have said I would run away from anything! A nice brisk walk is usually quite sufficient and minimizes the loss of your resources.

OldMarksman
May 13, 2009, 09:01 AM
As I understand it a wacko can shoot everyone in sight and you have no legal requirement to intervene even if you are armed.

I believe that's true.

And I think that's a good thing. How would you like to be liable for damages to each person struck before you were able to stop the killing? I understand that the courts have held that the state would not be liable, so why should you?

Only when you feel personally endangered (#8), can you act with lethal force and be in true compliance of the law.

I do not believe that's true in most places. But--one more time--you need to do some checking:

Originally posted by Marty Hayes:For all of you pontificating on this subject, answer this question please.

Are you in a jurisdiction where you "stand in the shoes" of the 3rd party you are purportingly defending, or are you in a jurisdiction where you must simply "act like a reasonable person" when coming to the defense of another?

If you cannot answer this question, then I submit you had better spend some time researching this topic, because to get the answer wrong, means perhaps a long time in prison.