You are 100% right! You are not a sworn officer, and public safety is not your job, nor duty. In todays litigous culture it would be foolish on your part. That said, morally you have a duty to help your fellow man. Everything in life's a compromise. It's good to see responsible citizens pondering these questions before they arm themselves. Leave it to armed citizens to be responsible in todays day and age.
No, morally I have no duty whatsoever to help my fellow man. I have a moral duty to protect my family. I have a legal duty to obey applicable laws and pay taxes.
The ethics of discussion are fascination. OP, you opened a can of worms, and I think I like it.
Personally, I think my reaction is based on a series of priorities:
1) Is my family safe? This has to be my top priority, and any action I take must be to help achieve this goal.
2) Am I safe? Once my loved ones are reasonably safe, I have to decide if i think I have a reasonable expectation of surviving unharmed. Do I have cover? Do I have a shot where I can remain out of the shooters line of fire? Do I have sufficient firepower and ammunition to reasonably expect success?
3) Will I help more than hurt? Will my engaging in the situation will do more harm than good? Do I have a clear shot, and do I know what my target is and what is beyond it?
If I can't address all three satisfactorily, then my best option is to escape the situation if I am able.
Actual results may vary.
Agreed. In the instance of a mall shooting (which has been addressed here I believe) a smart alternative is getting into a store, which should have a back exit, or if not, get into a defensible position. You can protect others who are with you and you are still protecting others.
Obviously if crazed nutjob just opens up in front of you then there is an option, but everything else truly depends on the situation no?