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Old May 10, 2013, 03:04 PM   #76
pax
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As predicted in my first post, the thread seems to have neatly split into two camps, with each camp determined to insult the people in the other camp for their (im)morality and poor choices. Makes me sad, but I guess it's human nature.

Maybe we can advance the discussion a little by pointing out that some people seem to equate willingness to act with ability to act effectively. The two are not the same thing.

Firearms can be used defensively in one of three ways.

1) As a threat, unfired. This is by far the most common use of the defensive handgun. Bad guy approaches, good guy shows a gun, bad guy runs away, end of story. This level of use requires absolutely no training whatsoever in order to be effective.

2) As a close contact weapon. Bad guy comes so close you can smell the scum on his teeth. You draw and fire. Bad guy falls down or runs away, end of story. This requires a low level of shooting skill and a slightly higher level of gun-manipulation skill (eg being able to draw quickly enough to save your own life). A very small amount of training can get you to this point.

3) As a ranged weapon. Bad guy is across the room from you, or across a large public space such as a mall, perhaps as far as 75 yards from your position. He is surrounded by running, screaming, moving, yelling innocents. He is moving -- perhaps very quickly. Most likely, he is not facing you directly, but may be quartered away. The light may be poor (as in the Colorado theater). There may be other distractions, such as the sobbing of your own terrified, injured children. Using a defensive handgun as a ranged weapon under these circumstances takes a much higher level of skill than most untrained people realize.

As an aside, Nick Melli effectively used the lowest, "show a gun" level of response on the active shooter in the Clackamas Mall last December. Unusually, it worked. A more common outcome for a similar action would be the one experienced by Dan McKown, who lives in a wheelchair following his failed attempt to stop an attacker in the Tacoma Mall about a decade ago.

One final observation. Whenever a subject like this comes up, I see a lot of evidence of the Dunning-Kruger Effect at work. People without training often mistakenly believe they have a lot more ability to effectively respond to a mass murder event than they actually do. Unfortunately, the only way to remove their misconceptions is for them to go get the training they don't think they need. Talk about a Catch 22!

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Old May 10, 2013, 04:43 PM   #77
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The original poster said something that I understood one way, but it seems everyone else understood it a different way. He wrote, in part:

Quote:
"I was having a discussion about why I carry a handgun. I was asked "oh, so if some crazy person starts shooting in a mall, you can take him out?" My answer was no. My gun is there to protect me and my family, not the general public."
Now, I've failed to quote the balance of his post but it is still there at the head of this thread. The first sentence contains the important.point.

My understanding of the gambit, ""oh, so if some crazy person starts shooting in a mall, you can take him out?" was that the person asking the OP this was in reality belittling him, suggesting that carried a handgun in order to be a "hero" or Batman or some self-aggrandizing "wanna-be" savior with an inflated sense of his own ability and worth. It seems like an attack, not an honest question.

His answer that no, he carried the gun to protect himself and his family, not the general public, did not seem to me to entail the proposition that he would not intervene to save the general public if the chance presented itself - only that he did not carry specifically for that purpose. The OP can clarify this if he sees fit to do so.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm reading too literally, maybe I'm reacting to those who, in the past, have accused me of "wanting to save the world" - while they choose not to carry, but rather to depend on "the authorities" and on the odds against "it" happening when and where they happen to be.

"Responsibility" is circumstantial. My responsibility is to provide for my wife. If she is present, I'll do my best to keep her safe - whether that means shooting an attacker (given the opportunity, and a lot of luck) or inducing her to move to a safer place (like out the back door). She is a stubborn woman but will move to safety if the situation clearly warrants it.

If she is safe at home, my situation is quite different. I'm within 2 years of retirement and have life insurance through my employer. I pay a little extra (Supplemental Life) and she will get 5 years of my salary if I die before I retire. I'm literally worth more dead than alive.

If she is safe I see my responsibility as a Citizen to use whatever tools and skill I have to end a gratuitous attack on innocent people. Even people who are legally capable of having a CHL (i.e. adults, not prohibited persons) but have chosen not to.

Best case, I subdue the attacker and pay legal bills, am exonerated. Next best, I end the attack but loose my life. Worse if I fail to subdue the attacker and loose my life. Worst case, I'm crippled and a burden.

If she is safe at home and I bug out instead of engaging the attacker, allowing him to keep shooting until the cops arrive - I'd better not go home, she will be so disgusted with me that getting shot would be a better deal.

So to the OP - No you are not wrong! You seem to have a good handle on why you have chosen to carry a handgun. May you never have to use it for real.
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:58 PM   #78
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and I thought CCW was about taking responsibility for your own safety, who purchased a CCW solely or in part for protecting the public?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbmaing
My gun is there to protect me and my family, not the general public. That is the job of police officers, which I am not. My first goal would be to get out unharmed and only use my weapon if absolutely necessary. I was told this is a selfish attitude...........It's a complicated situation but at the end of the day the goal is survival, not being a hero. Maybe I'm not getting it.
No, you are not wrong and you do get it. I wish more folks understood this too. Your gun is your choice to protect yourself or your family.... get it. The ability to help others is not the same as the opportunity to help others. I have no doubt that if the opportunity to help others arrived most anyone would, but to make that a demand just because you have the ability is pure foolishness bravado. I have no problem with those who make the choice to risk their lives for others, but don't mentally train yourself to do something automatically without the opportunity to do it right. I don't think its selfish to take that into consideration. Examples cited by Pax above...
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:58 PM   #79
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Quote:
Again with the straw man argument...

I don't think anybody has said, "Hey, YOU! You over there! Don't even think about helping, you will only muck things up!"
Did I directly accuse someone of that? I hope i didn't. If you find that in my post let me know so that i may apologize

My statements were a response to the post here:
Quote:
Just because you want to help doesn't mean you're qualified to. How much force-on-force training have you had? Have you attended courses on active shooter response? If you haven't trained for this kind of encounter, and practiced to keep your skills up, the chance that you'll be able to do something useful isn't all that great, and the chance you'll be shot is bigger than you think. Hero fantasies, moralizing, and chest-thumping will not compensate for lack of training. (And one thing training may teach you is that intervening isn't necessarily a good idea..
I know we have differing opinions but if someone asks if one is qualified or had training and give the opinion it as a bad idea and the and i draw a conclusion that they would prefer someone with training do so, because it was stated, would that be a bad assumption?

You made cautionary statements that suggest you wonder yourself here:
Quote:
A CCW type who chooses to engage an active shooter can easily put others at risk.

1) He could misinterpret a situation, and engage a victim who was already engaged in lawful self-defense;

2) She could misinterpret the situation, and engage another armed Samaritan or a plainclothes cop;

3) He could engage a valid target, but miss and end up shooting innocents;
Why would someone do that? Because they were not experienced? Trained ? Qualified? My point being made was as to who is judging the qualifications of another? Furthermore why is it being often referred to if someone was not questioning the ability of some?

I agreed in an earlier post with the assumption that some shouldn't and could cause more harm than good. Then I pointed out that the "Newbie's every where" mentality exist and that in reality it is exaggerated as to the numbers. Also that the likelihood of the scenario, was even less likely than most due to the location.

When you have a very unlikely scenario with very little newbies among ccw the likelihood for one of them to be the person there reaches big lottery proportions.

Then I made my point that I would rather a stranger be there for protection rather than no one. You saw why in my response. I take it you disagree. I respect your point as to why.

Even though you didn't know Grizz223 was a deputy sherriff at the time did you assume he was someone he's not remember?
Quote:
Could you live with yourself if you shot the wrong person, grizz?
The point I was making was assuming someones abilities . It's not that i was making it up about how the trust of others is lacking. If you didn't trust grizz223's response as a deputy sheriff, before you knew he was a deputy do you trust it now?

Would it be fair if i presumed by your term "LEAN FORWARD" that somehow you were a supporter of Rachel Maddow ? That you where here to disrupt our beliefs?

That would be very unfair, even a little passed uncalled for and assumptive. Go's back to my problem with assumptions as to who can do what and when we go there we stretch a scenario past the point it was intended if we assume that they may not be making the best choice for reasons for lack of what? Presumed possible ability in a scenario with very little odds a ccw will be ther to begin with because most malls don't allow CCW?

Straw Man arguement definition: (A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally,[1][2] is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[3] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[3][4] This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issue)

..did I follow a position in a statement and debate it or was I simply trying to divert the argument with the false claim that someone did make a statement that i never proved?
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:59 PM   #80
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I agree that there will very likely be circumstances and complications that you had not foreseen, or that were not foreseeable.

Just for starters, as pax said...what if he is 75 feet...or 75 yards away?
What if he is firing an AK and you have your trusty LCP?

No matter how badly you want to do what you consider "the right thing", circumstance may intervene.

That's why we "never say never or always".
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:41 PM   #81
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Very simply put,
I must evaluate the situation.
I must base my actions on that evaluation
I must be accountable for my actions.

It really is that simple.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:07 PM   #82
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Wreck-n-Crew said:
Quote:
Why would someone do that? Because they were not experienced? Trained ? Qualified? My point being made was as to who is judging the qualifications of another? Furthermore why is it being often referred to if someone was not questioning the ability of some?
This was in reference to something he had quoted from me:
Quote:
A CCW type who chooses to engage an active shooter can easily put others at risk.

1) He could misinterpret a situation, and engage a victim who was already engaged in lawful self-defense;

2) She could misinterpret the situation, and engage another armed Samaritan or a plainclothes cop;

3) He could engage a valid target, but miss and end up shooting innocents
The thing is, the first two scenarios have happened any number of times. Do a search sometime for "plain clothes officer shot by police" and see how this scenario is not nearly as rare as we would like for it to be.

As far as the third scenario, look at what happened in NYC last year, with ricochets hitting several bystanders.

And those are just shootings involving cops (as the good guy shooters).

Similarly, as to the third scenario, go to an IDPA match sometime, and see how many people manage to hit the no-shoot targets over the course of an event.

The overall point being, people who see the situations under discussion as cut and dried have probably never tried to perform the types of shooting they might have to do in such a scenario.

If you think you might find yourself in such an encounter, and that you would want to try to take down the shooter, then it might be a good idea to try such training drills as:

Shoot a head shot on a target that is partially obscured by multiple no-shoot targets. Increase distances, or decrease allotted times, as you get better at it;

Shoot center mass on a target while you move behind cover;

Set up a moving target; try to score A zone hits; change target direction of movement between lateral, fore and aft, etc as able;

Shoot a target from around a barrier, exposing as little of yourself as possible.

Do these two-handed, then strong hand only, then weak hand only.

Add other drills as you like.

The point is, it's a good idea to know YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS. Bear in mind that performance when under fire will probably be degraded as compared to performance on a sterile range.

Complex decisions should not be made on minimal information; the more you know beforehand, the less you have to think about when things happen.
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Old May 11, 2013, 08:51 AM   #83
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Quote:
Similarly, as to the third scenario, go to an IDPA match sometime, and see how many people manage to hit the no-shoot targets over the course of an event.
And you need to take into consideration the fact that no one is actually firing back at you.

To change the subject slightly, last I checked, there wasn't anything on my CCW application or an oath I took that said, "I promise to protect the public now that I will be carrying a gun." or something to that effect. I'm not carrying a gun to be a hero. I'm not carrying a gun to make society safer. I'm carrying a gun to protect myself, and my family. If that makes me a coward, then so be it. The first thing any respectable defensive handgun training will teach you is to stay away from bad situations, and try to get out of bad situations you find yourself in.

I'm not saying I wouldn't do something altruistic in an active mass murder situation...as a matter of fact, my very nature would compel me to do something. It would require willpower for me to think about my family (whether they are there or not) and add that into the equation of what I would do. Pax made a great point. It's why I get training, so that I can respond to the greatest number of threats possible. But I'm under no illusion to believe I'll be able to outshoot a murderer with an AR, 40 yards away, with my Glock 19. That would be near suicide.

That's why this is such a complex problem. There is no simple, "Yes I will do something," or "No, I won't do anything." Many people might lean one way or another, but when the balloon goes up, the situation will likely be something you've never considered, and you'll have to take about a dozen things into consideration in about a second to make your decision. Calling people a coward for inaction is incredibly low, and insulting. Having a CCW does not give you an obligation to act. We are not police. We are not sworn law enforcement. We are citizens, who for one reason or another have decided to not let muggers, rapists, violent robbers, murderers and crazy people decide our fates.

And adding to what MLeake has said. If you haven't done an IDPA match...go do one. If you've never done that kind of shooting before, you'll likely be amazed at how bad at it you are. We're talking things that you thought you were good at, like shooting a targets a mere 7 yards away. Things get much different when you have multiple targets, multiple no-shoots, required movement, required reloads (and make sure not to leave any partially filled mags on the ground!), shooting from awkward positions, and of course, the ever present pressure of the clock.

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Old May 11, 2013, 09:37 AM   #84
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Quote:
That's why this is such a complex problem. There is no simple, "Yes I will do something," or "No, I won't do anything." Many people might lean one way or another, but when the balloon goes up, the situation will likely be something you've never considered, and you'll have to take about a dozen things into consideration in about a second to make your decision. Calling people a coward for inaction is incredibly low, and insulting.
Excellent point, Gaerek. I would add this:
  • Being a good and willing witness is NOT "doing nothing."

  • Calling the authorities is NOT "doing nothing."

  • Helping the wounded until first responders arrive is NOT "doing nothing."

  • Helping others escape the killing field is NOT "doing nothing."

There are a lot of actions a good and moral person can take that are NOT "doing nothing" -- and that also do not involve shooting the bad guy. Only doing nothing is doing nothing.

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Old May 11, 2013, 09:43 AM   #85
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Quote:
Excellent point, Gaerek. I would add this:
Being a good and willing witness is NOT "doing nothing."

Calling the authorities is NOT "doing nothing."

Helping the wounded until first responders arrive is NOT "doing nothing."

Helping others escape the killing field is NOT "doing nothing."

There are a lot of actions a good and moral person can take that are NOT "doing nothing" -- and that also do not involve shooting the bad guy. Only doing nothing is doing nothing.
You're absolutely right. I think I was trying to make this point in a round about way. When you're a hammer, all your problems look like nails. There are people who believe that since they are carrying, the only thing they can do in a situation like this is engage. It's certainly one thing you can do, but it's not always the best thing to do.
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:20 PM   #86
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Am I wrong??

Here's my take on 3rd party scenarios...

Stay out of it.

In all likelihood, you do NOT know what's happening or even who the good/bad guy(s) might be. An undercover plainclothes officer could look like a scumbag. Or a scumbag could be dressed in a uniform. In my CCW class, it was made very clear to all in attendance that you're very likely to screw up and misidentify the parties involved or be considered a hostile by LEOs.

Stay out of it.
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Old May 11, 2013, 11:43 PM   #87
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no one can say if your wrong or not, some might like or dislike your choice but its your choice, you dont have a responsibility or duty to protect the public

but at the same time if i had a gun on me, and someone started shooting in a mall, if i could safely take the shot i would
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:05 PM   #88
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Am I wrong??

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoro View Post
Here's my take on 3rd party scenarios...

Stay out of it.

In all likelihood, you do NOT know what's happening or even who the good/bad guy(s) might be. An undercover plainclothes officer could look like a scumbag. Or a scumbag could be dressed in a uniform. In my CCW class, it was made very clear to all in attendance that you're very likely to screw up and misidentify the parties involved or be considered a hostile by LEOs.

Stay out of it.
There are several reasons you CCW course might have taught it this way, and it's possible your instructor disagreed with it.

1) the curriculum might have been designed by the state. There could be specific language that basically says they are required to teach that your first course of action should always be to attempt to get yourself out if the situation, regardless.

2) If 1) isn't the case, then the instructor might be trying to limit his liability. Lets say you decided to confront the shooter. But one of your bullets struck a bystander. You can bet your CCW instructor or someone familiar with the curriculum will be called to the stand in court. Teaching to always retreat means they can say, "I don't know why he confronted the shooter, but we didn't teach him that. We taught them to always remove themselves from the situation if at all possible.

I'm not saying that confrontation is the right option (as my above posts indicate), but its likely your CCW class was required to teach it that way regardless of what the instructor believed.
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Old May 13, 2013, 03:05 PM   #89
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Quote:
I was having a discussion about why I carry a handgun. I was asked "oh, so if some crazy person starts shooting in a mall, you can take him out?" My answer was no. My gun is there to protect me and my family, not the general public. That is the job of police officers, which I am not. My first goal would be to get out unharmed and only use my weapon if absolutely necessary. I was told this is a selfish attitude, but with chaos going on in an active shooter situation, I could be ID'ed as another attacker and taken out by another CCW holder or the police. It's a complicated situation but at the end of the day the goal is survival, not being a hero. Maybe I'm not getting it.
This is the exact policy put to me in two CC classes and drummed into us. You are not the Lone Ranger.
Your CC is for you and your family.
Obey the law regarding real self defense.
Be a good witness.
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Old May 13, 2013, 04:17 PM   #90
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Quote:
I'm not saying that confrontation is the right option (as my above posts indicate), but its likely your CCW class was required to teach it that way regardless of what the instructor believed.
I've since renewed my Texas CHL and this wasn't part of the presentation, so I kinda doubt that it was a requirement back in 2008. The instructor was a retired SEAL and a bit of a hard core. He was citing cases from other states where a civilian intervened and either took a shot at an officer or was shot by officers assuming the good samaritan was another bad guy. Misidentifying the participants goes both ways in a 3rd party scenario.

I agree with the instructor. Unless I know for dead certain, I'll stay out of it. I'll try to be a good witness who can give a decent description of what I saw unfolding.
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Old May 13, 2013, 04:50 PM   #91
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I'm with you too, I'm not saying I won't not take a shot, but my first inclination is to get away. Like I said, it might not be a state requirement either, but there is still very much a liability issue. And of course, he could be teaching it because he believes it. But he likely would have taught it that way even if he didn't believe it. My CCW instructor taught the class to always retreat first. When I asked him about this very issue during a break, he told me he was required to teach it that way, but wishes he could have told people to intervene if they had the opportunity to, in an effort to save lives.
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Old May 14, 2013, 01:41 AM   #92
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In the distant past when I was young and stupid I have fired upon people I didn't know to protect other's that I didn't know. I was taught to run toward the fight, not away. And that an honorable man doesn't start fights, they finish them. If that is no longer politically correct in America, then it's probably a good thing that I'm old and won't be around much longer to cause embarrassment.

My above comment notwithstanding, there is a time and place to enter the fray, and each situation needs to be assessed on it's merits or lack thereof. In an active shooter situation or confrontation between two unknown parties I would probably not take action unless the players were clearly identified to me. There is right and wrong, and there is stupidity.

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Old May 14, 2013, 08:11 AM   #93
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I'll say this again. The biggest danger you're going to have as an armed citizen in an Active Shooting Situation is not from the shooter, but from another CCW carrier or responding police.

It's going to be chaotic at best. Anyone brandishing a gun is going to be suspect.

Rob Pincus covers this very well in his DVD so I wont step on toes and mention it here.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:19 AM   #94
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Quote:
My above comment notwithstanding, there is a time and place to enter the fray, and each situation needs to be assessed on it's merits or lack thereof. In an active shooter situation or confrontation between two unknown parties I would probably not take action unless the players were clearly identified to me. There is right and wrong, and there is stupidity.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing with this. The point is that we don't know what the situation will entail ahead of time. We have people saying, "Oh yeah, if shots are fired, I'm heading in that direction to stop the shooting!" But that's not always going to be the best, or even the decision that saves the most lives. One only needs to look at the confusion following the Gabby Giffords shooting to see what I mean. The one guy with a CCW who went towards the directions of the shots almost shot a bystander (who happened to be holding the shooters gun). It's easy for us to say, "Well, he shouldn't have been holding the gun!!" and I'd agree with that. But that's not the point. The point is that we don't know who's a good guy or a bad guy unless we were there to see initially what happened.

Besides, there's a ton of things that can be done in these situations that don't require using your gun that can save lives. Unfortunately, we as shooters tend to look at all of these kind of situations in the context of "how can I use my gun to fix this problem" sort of like the hammer, to whom every problem looks like a nail. In one of Pax's posts, she gave a good list of things that can be done that will save lives, and don't require the gun. All of which are honorable, heroic, but don't require you to run towards the gunfire.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:34 AM   #95
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Back in the 80s, when William Cruse decided to shoot up the Publix and Winn Dixie grocery stores in Palm Bay, Florida, one of the big heroes of the day never fired a shot. That Samaritan drove his pickup truck through the shooting area, picking up some wounded and letting others move along beside his truck, using it as shelter against Cruse 's fire.
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:56 PM   #96
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Am I wrong?

Wow, what a thread! I think we have gotten away from the OP's original question.... "Am I wrong?"

No, you are not. I'm with you in that I don't carry to protect the general public. It's not my job or responsibility. That doesn't mean I wouldn't given the right circumstances.

I think Doc back on post #52 has the most realistic view. That is the world we live in folks, like it or not. I would suggest that if you haven't read his post that you go back and do so.

I'm a child of the '50s and love to be the hero. I'm a bit older and wiser(I hope) now and tend to agree...."No good deed goes unpunished". This is no longer the country I was raised in. You can get sued into bankrupcy for trying to help. Or worse, go to jail.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:00 PM   #97
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I don't know how to edit my original post (sorry new here) but if the situation presented itself to end an active shooter situation I would end it. If I was with my family, their safety is #1 priority. I've trained quite a bit and am comfortable with my carry gun. I was talking to someone who is very skeptical of firearms in general and I didn't want the gun community to get any more bad press. Gotta be careful what you say to these people or right away you're a vigilante or some such. I hope this clears up the issue, and I have greatly enjoyed reading the debate on this thread. Both sides have hit some great points!
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Old May 14, 2013, 11:28 PM   #98
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nhbmaing, it would be sorta confusing if you went back and edited it now, after over three pages of discussion, but... check your inbox.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:45 PM   #99
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This has been an interesting discussion, but I think there's not much else that can usefully be said. Thanks to all who have stayed polite and on-topic.
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