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Old December 30, 2005, 09:23 PM   #1
Ronny
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Would you take the shot?

Here's a tickler for all you married men who love your wives; though this could be applied to anyone family or not. Also, the reverse is true for married women who love their husbands. Just replace "wife" with "husband" or "significant other".

Scenario: BG has your wife and is using her for cover as he backs toward the front door. Classic hostage position: he's got his left arm crooked around your wife's neck dragging her backwards, he's pointing a nondescript handgun at her head with his right hand. You can see about 4 inches of his head craning behind your wife's head. Right shoulder and right leg are exposed but moving unpredictably in response to your wife's struggles. Assume good lighting and no other bystanders. Range to BG is under 10 feet.

Would you take the shot or let him go, for fear of hitting your wife by accident? Or would you shoot your wife in the leg to remove her from the equation (reference to the movie "Speed"). Again totally hypothetical, but a possible scenario one may face. Also, let's limit the discussion to this moment only. None of "well, my house alarm would prevent that" or such. If you were in this scenario right now, how would you respond?
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Old December 30, 2005, 09:30 PM   #2
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I think I'd go for it. If I don't he's going to shoot her anyway. He may try to shoot me first. If he thinks I'm going to shoot him and he sees me aiming, I think he might react by trying to shoot me, which will take the gun off her in order to do so. I have to think he's planning on killing us both, so I'm shooting.
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Old December 30, 2005, 09:46 PM   #3
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She drops, then I shoot...

Springmom and I have already discussed this kind of thing. If either of us is in a dangerous spot and the other one is armed, on command, the one in trouble drops to the floor and the other one shoots.

Even if his left arm is around her, by dropping suddenly, going limp into pure deadweight, we figure that will distract the BG and clear up a few more inches of head and chest as target area.

At the kind of range you're proposing, either she or I could hit him in whichever eye blinked at the sudden movement.
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Old December 30, 2005, 09:54 PM   #4
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Yes.

Wayne
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Old December 30, 2005, 09:55 PM   #5
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If he was holding my ex-wife, I would not have to even think about my answer to this one. He would definitely die!
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Old December 30, 2005, 09:56 PM   #6
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Didn't notice at first...

Welcome ArcherAndShooter.

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Old December 30, 2005, 10:03 PM   #7
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I would first ask her if her life insurance premiums are current. The I'd take the shot.
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Old December 30, 2005, 10:10 PM   #8
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Sure why not.
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Old December 30, 2005, 10:52 PM   #9
springmom
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of course this presumes I stand there like spaghetti...

...which is, um, unlikely.

How in the name of Pete did this bozo ever get ahold of me in the first place? Was I in a coma or something??? Where was MY gun before he got HIS gun to my head? For that matter, where was my HEAD before he got his gun there??? I had no chance to fight back, kick him in the youknowwhats or stomp on his foot or put a thumb in his eye or run before I got into this???

All of which is not to denigrate the thread idea (really it isn't) but it is to say that your loved ones need to know what to do BEFORE things get to such a dire situation, so that they don't ever find themselves in that spot.

There's been a lot of good information written on this forum about what to do when the SHTF and all of the really good stuff includes the word "MOVE". If somebody comes toward you with that sort of intent, the last thing to do is stand there and let him take you hostage. Run, move, duck, roll, whatever; throw something, scream, but DON'T JUST STAND THERE.

YOU be the one to take the shot; don't wait for your spouse or whoever.

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Old December 30, 2005, 11:03 PM   #10
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lol! Ya'll are cruel, but I love the enthusiasm! "Honey, I'm feelin lucky today!!! *BANG*"

Seriously, 10 feet isn't that far. I'm sure anyone decently practiced could hit a penny at that range. Still, it's the concept of the bullet whizzing passed your loved one that makes it interesting.

Oh, and Springmom, +1 on your strategy!
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Old December 30, 2005, 11:14 PM   #11
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I don't know about the rest of you but for me 4" (about the size of a 100's cig pack) wouldn't be enough for me to take the shot.. That's only about 1/2 the width of a humans face. May not take him out, no solid CNS hit. Shooting her in the knee/leg, may cause an involentary reaction by him, of splashing her brains on the wall.. If it was full face by him, I think I would. Tuff situation to deal with at the time and after, no matter what the result.
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Old December 30, 2005, 11:34 PM   #12
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It depends, with a handgun I wouldn't have enough confidence in my marksmanship to try it. But I would find cover so as to make it as difficult as possible for him to shoot me. If he shot her, I'd be all over him like white on rice. He wouldn't leave my property alive. I am willing to go to jail for a loved one so not to condone this sort of activity but just having watched him "x" a loved one, I'd probably shoot him in the head again when he was down. That's how it works. I ain't going to give the justice system a chance to let him get out on good behavior or let Jonny Donut Muncher forget to read him his rights and watch him walk. I'm not even going to give him a chance to experience cable TV and warm meals at the expense of the state. You kill my family, two to the head is the best you can expect. Bottom line. In fact, I'd probably tell him that. My tactic provide I had my WASR or another rifle, would be to antagonize him until he removed the gun from my loved one's head and pointed it at me. Then I would take the shot. If my shot isn't placed perfectly and he gets a shot off, I may get hit, but my family member is safe.
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Old December 30, 2005, 11:50 PM   #13
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Welcome ArcherAndShooter, to TFL! That's one fine lady you have there, and I'm glad she talked you into joining us!

This one's a tough call. The type of handgun IS important! Revolver or semi-auto? If revolver, is it cocked? Is the auto a DA? Hammer visible? If the revolver's cocked, or the hammer's back on the auto, too risky!! As I've told Springmom before, I've seen a number of head shots from a handgun, & none of 'em died instantly. I think you'd be wise to take it second-by-second; bait & wait for the muzzle to leave her head. Then take the shot. Unless you get a perfect medula shot, a twitch will most likely occur, with the result of a very bad ending.

The idea that you folks have discussed this beforehand is absolutely outstanding! I wish more folks would pre-plan for emergencies.
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Old December 31, 2005, 01:42 AM   #14
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I dont think I'd go for it. Even if I was a better shot (I could probably take him out given those circumstances) its still not worth the risk. Anything can go wrong. Id wait for a clear shot, and if one didnt arise, then theres nothing that can be done
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Old December 31, 2005, 02:27 AM   #15
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The BG is likely going to kill her anyway...
Unless he can take her with him in his car...
In which case she is most assuredly dead...

My wife knows how to "faint" on que...
Did you ever try to hold up about 145 pounds of dead weight with one hand?

The BG would hesitate at that moment... I wouldn't...
I'm good enough that I would hit him thrice before he hits the ground.

Reflex might cause him to shoot anyway... but I'd rather he dies right there rather than lives on after killing my wife or child or me.

And, I think having at least some control of the situtation is the best chance for my loved one to survive...
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Old January 8, 2006, 12:51 AM   #16
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Absolutely

Duplicate post.
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Old January 8, 2006, 02:15 AM   #17
jcims
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Timing is everything

I think in the specific instance described, the BG has a great deal of control over the situation. it's easy to presume the movie/video game bad guy that stands there while you shoot at him, so i always try to put myself in his position. Me vs. me.

Do you think you could take a hostage without eating lead? Even with little training, i think i could successfully keep the hostage under control in the specific situation described (assuming i'm not at a great physical disadvantage). A crushing headlock, knees into backs of knees, muzzle smashed into those tender lymph nodes just inside the jaw bone...i'm already supporting a lot of your weight, so the drop won't be as much of a shock...i'll just ride down with you and jam that muzzle in a little harder for some negative reinforcement.

However, whether I'm standing or I'm down on the floor, the one thing i can't really find a good solution for is getting out of there. How do i get out of the house, to my car, into my car (how do you start a car with a hostage?), and out of there without opening myself to a good shot? The only thing i can think of is kill the good me first. I could kill the hostage, but a live hostage is much better cover than a dead one. I don't care about these losers, i just want OUT!!!

So, the other me now realizes that cover is essential. (Wow, i was just standing in the hall before, gun drawn, watching that pistol on my wife's neck.) I'm not sure if it's his or not, but i like the first rule of a gun fight oft repeated by XavierBreath:

Quote:
Rule #1 in a gunfight is Do Not Get Shot.
Part of me (well, part of the good me anyway) wants to be able to take the shot and get it over with, but the reality is it's a difficult shot to make, and could have some ugly consequences if you miss the BG, whether or not the round hits someone (and by ugly i mean either hit your SO or provoke the guy to shoot your SO..i'm not thinking about hitting the neighbor's cat). I think the answer is to give the guy a way out....start talking to the guy 'she dies you die'...'i'll shoot her myself before she leaves with you'...etc. He's backed into a corner, so he could do anything, but if you work on his brain a little, he may open himself up a bit more to a good shot, or just decide to bolt.

Another option? 10' is two steps away from arms reach...you can close that in probably less than a half a second...get close and get ugly.

Of course if this wasn't a knee jerk reaction to getting busted on a break in, and the dude is actually intent on performing bodily harm to SO, then i think you have to shoot.

I don't think there are many rules to this one (other than 'Dont Get Shot'), it's got to be a gut feel thing. Circumstances can vary too much. To answer the original question, however, i'd have to say yes.
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Old January 8, 2006, 02:19 AM   #18
miconoakisland
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Shoot!

First off,
ArcherAndShooter, welcome! You have been truly blessed! Can't believe you got keyboard time though!

I'd calmly (fantasy maybe, but still), aim at the head, block out all else, and just aim and take the shot.

If anyone puts a gun to my wife's (I'm not married) head, he's already dead.
He releases her and no matter the situation (drops the gun, raises hands, surrenders, etc.) I'm still taking the head shot.

Having the hostage drop as dead weight presents too many unexpected results. Movement is too random and quick.

Springmom and ArcherAndShooter, consider the hostage just tilting the head to the opposite side of the BG's face. Work out a blinking/timing deal. Facial tics during crisis are normal, pre-plan them and work out signals.

We've all hit an index card from at least the 10 ft range (the given scenario), just let the tunnel vision do it's job, focus on the target, exhale, and shoot that MF!

I know I'd die happier knowing I died because "my wife" tried her best than knowing she didn't even try. I'd rather die at the hand of my loved one trying to save me than at the hand of a BG.

Shoot the guy!
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Old January 8, 2006, 02:26 AM   #19
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At the range I can make this sight aimed shot quickly virtually all day with the 38 snub carry gun -- but with the pressure..who knows. If I was fairly sure she would be killed eventually ...take the shot, assuming I can probably get the shot off.

With either the 4 inch 44 mag or 44 special house guns...easier. I practice at 10 ft every range trip.
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Old January 8, 2006, 05:25 AM   #20
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practice with a photo... and be surprised

My wife kows what to do in this situation. Drop. The moment she drops, I'll open fire. If I get a good shot, I might even do so if she forgets to drop due to stress. But that can't be predicted without being there.

Once I dashed through a training scenrario without much of briefing and took a 25m shot of a target partly covered by two pepper-poppers. I didn't think much, aim fire and hit.

The instructor later told me, he forgot to inform me that these two poppers were symbolizing my wife and kid. In the next run I shot my kid. Why? because I looked at what i should avoid in fear of hitting it - and: you hit what you're looking at.

If this scenario seems likely in your personal situation I recommend to take a good and nice color-print of a photo of your wife to the range and use it as a non-shoot target. You will be stunned how this coloured piece of paper will irritate you...Just focus on the front sight and the BG and don't even think about where your wife is, this way it might work...

Quote:
Rule #1 in a gunfight is Do Not Get Shot.
Not in my book, Rule #1 is don't get your family shot. I can be replaced more easily than a mother of two. (that's not heroism, just instinct and a law of nature)
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Old January 8, 2006, 11:54 AM   #21
Glenn E. Meyer
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Depends on the distance. There are techniques taught for the close ones. OPS, Insights, KRtraining have them in advanced classes. I might use them.

This is really off the tactic thrust but I always thought it would make a neat Law and Order episode where a couple in marital strife fell into this situation. The shooter spouse was master level and double tapped quickly into the head of both. Cried at the death of the wife.

The DA team had to prove that at that level of skill it was deliberate.

I thought of this at an IDPA match where a guy squarely shot the hostage with his HK 45 and then opined - Well, I didn't like her anyway.

Also at shotgun class and matches, the hostage shot were you had to match your pattern to the target was sometimes called - Saving the EX-wife. Oops.

Sorry for the morbid diversion.

Springmom - how could this happen? I'll tell you from the Cracker Barrel scenario on the old tactics list. I made it up.

Wife and I were in Cracker Barrel. As I was paying the bill, she was looking at the junk in the store. I see two cops come in and start to talk to the manager - whom I'm near. They are looking for a guy. Having heard this, I get wife and say we are out of here. She say we - I say Cops and we vamoose at deliberate speed. Then a slew of cars arrive and as we watch from our car (no use driving into the melee) - they enter and drag out a screaming dude.

Later, I find out they were chasing him, and he ran into the store. They had to find him admist the crowded store.

It would be very easy for said dude to enter the store - you have no knowledge of him being a bad guy, he sees the cops pull up and grabs you or someone else. Without spidersense, Cooper conditions be damned, you would probably be grabbed.
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Old January 8, 2006, 10:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
t would be very easy for said dude to enter the store - you have no knowledge of him being a bad guy, he sees the cops pull up and grabs you or someone else. Without spidersense, Cooper conditions be damned, you would probably be grabbed.
Well....wouldn't HE be in for a nasty little surprise, eh?
Sorry, I know it was a serious scenario...I just couldn't help the thought that the 'grabee' might be carrying. Merry Christmas, BG!
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Old January 8, 2006, 10:38 PM   #23
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"Scenario: BG has your wife and is using her for cover as he backs toward the front door. Classic hostage position: he's got his left arm crooked around your wife's neck dragging her backwards, he's pointing a nondescript handgun at her head with his right hand. You can see about 4 inches of his head craning behind your wife's head. Right shoulder and right leg are exposed but moving unpredictably in response to your wife's struggles. Assume good lighting and no other bystanders. Range to BG is under 10 feet.

Would you take the shot or let him go, for fear of hitting your wife by accident?"

Neither. Letting him go to me means letting him walk out and not follow. Negative.

Take the shot? Not unless I am forced to based on his actions. Hostage situations are negotiated first, good negotiating skills, and a cool head can produce solutions that are acceptbale to both.

Give him a way out, to get away without being shot. You bargain his freedom for your wifes freedom. Poeple in tight places look for ways out. Give him one that all three involved can live with first.

Taking the shot is not the first option for me. It may be the final option but not the first one.

jcims:

Well thought out post IMO. I like your thought process and conclusions.

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Old January 8, 2006, 11:02 PM   #24
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There is no way a loved one of mine is ever going to be taken to the second crime scene, if I have something to say about it.

If negotiations do not work, I trust my skills over the mercy of a crimminal.
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Old January 8, 2006, 11:03 PM   #25
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I wonder how many of us married guys would take the shot and 'accidentally miss' Alright--just kidding!

But seriously, inside of room ranges (10 -15') you'd have him the moment he paused for a tenth of a second. Who here is gonna miss a 4" target inside of 10'? Somehow i'm thinking is most of you folks could probably centerpunch it inside of a 1.5 seconds counting time to draw! The problem with that shot is the possibility of his fingers contracting with a brain injury. One thing typical of head trauma is that the hands tend to make the same kind of fist we all used to when we were 4 and 5 years old--thumb tucks under and all the finger close. Couple that with a b.g. holding a weapon with finger on the trigger and you might fulfill your 'till death do us part' obligation a lot sooner that you wanted. Now what about hitting him in the carpel tunnel or shoulder socket--smaller target, but that might do the trick...
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