Still going, huh?
I see the wording of the offered options in this thread topic as obviously contrived and placed at extremes. Sometimes a situation may seem to offer only extreme choices to someone, someone overwhelmed by events and feeling unable to exert some control over the course of events, while another person may see an alternative.
Training and experience can help prevent someone from experiencing the adverse effects of perceptual lag in a chaotic situation and being overwhelmed by events, events which may seem to an unprepared person to be occurring faster than they can perceive and understand them. It can also help bring training to the forefront of someone's mind and perhaps help them from succumbing to allure of making poor snap judgments and choices.
Keeping the mind active in a crisis situation means keeping the mind's reasoning abilities in play, instead of being 'frozen' and 'unable to think'. Keeping the rational mind in action. Possibilities, and actions which can open up new possibilities, which may be apparent to a prepared and trained individual may remain beyond the grasp of another person who has never been trained to operate in such a situation.
Some of the more interesting training I've attended in recent years, albeit within the context of LE training venues, has not involved trigger time, per se, but has discussed and stressed the importance of newer training venues, including properly done FoF and discussed the importance of how training the mind
is just as important as training the gun hand
Seeing options and possibilities where they may not be apparent to others experiencing the debilitating effects of hormonally induced fear response and the virtual shut down of rational thought.
Seeing how to make possibilities for alternative courses of action where others overwhelmed by the situation may not be able to see them. Having the will and mind, as well as the 'tactical awareness', necessary to bring about a 'better choice' which doesn't present an unnecessary increased threat to the life of the innocents around us.
Simply put, a Pyrrhic Victory isn't
Especially not if the aftermath presents a devastating and tragic effect upon the subsequent future lives of the loved ones intended to be 'saved' in the first place, and definitely not upon the innocents (and their
families) who may suffer death or serious bodily injury in some sort of 'acceptable compromise'. Pyrrhic victory. Not.
If this is some random philosophical exercise about some contrived hypothetical situation and desired exchange of learned sounding discourse, then fine. People enjoy debating all sorts of things.
If this thread topic is something intended to suggest a course of action in an actual situation, though, then maybe some folks ought to reconsider why they're wanting to go about lawfully armed in the presence of their fellow citizens, and to what extent they're willing to endanger their fellows, and their fellow's families, in actions which might be considered at some future time as recklessly endangering others once a criminal and/or civil action is pursued.
If you're going to ask these questions, you might also consider that at some point it may be your family
who becomes the strangers
in the phrase "the lives of strangers". Does that affect your
answer? Do you want it affect the answer of someone else when it's your
As a working cop I always had an echoing thought that the lives upon which I might have an effect, for good or otherwise, could just as easily be the lives of my own family. Or that at some other time another cop might have occasion to be looking at my family in the same way during the course of his/her activities. I still feel the same way every time I wear a weapon in public as a retired cop.
Being lawfully armed means assuming and accepting responsibility for one's actions. I can't remember hearing "I just didn't have a choice in that situation!!" often being effectively & successfully used as a defense.
I don't pretend to have the definitive answers folks. Not even close. I'm also not intending to single anyone out who has participated in this (or the other) thread. It's just that the comments and discussion has evoked enough of a response in me that I thought I'd share my thoughts. That's all. Just share. I can't make the decisions for anyone else. I can barely presume to hope to make the right ones for myself.