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View Poll Results: How much risk to others is acceptable?
My life and the lives of those I love are more important to me than the lives of strangers [shoot] 42 85.71%
It would be immoral to risk the lives of others to save myself or those I love [don't shoot] 7 14.29%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 28, 2010, 03:11 PM   #26
Vanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildtoughonehuhAlaska
Scenario: Bad guy has your wife with a knife at her throat and tells you he will slit it if you dont fire into the crowd of schoolchildren. You have no shot at attacker.
The wife gets a say in this, too. If she wants you to fire at the schoolchildren, you probably married the wrong person.

Each of these scenarios stipulates that you are faced with a choice of which "innocent" life to protect, that of a family member or a stranger. But, Wild, your responses to the initial scenario ignore the phrase "or a loved one." If you're not only defending yourself, but another (presumably defenseless) person, then:
Quote:
Originally Posted by shafter
An innocent WILL die if I hold my fire.

An innocent MIGHT die if I shoot.

The choice seems rather obvious
Just so. But this is a completely different calculus from the choice to shoot and risk killing an innocent in order to save oneself alone. If that's the choice, then you're quite right:
Quote:
The alternate question could have been phrased: "are you willing to commit homicide to save yourself?"
No, absolutely not. What gives me the right to decide that my life is more valuable than that of a stranger who is, ummm...
Quote:
from Rule Four
...behind the target along the trajectory of the bullet.
Speaking of "religious texts" that one might interpret to mean "Don't shoot"...
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Last edited by Vanya; July 28, 2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old July 28, 2010, 03:15 PM   #27
TylerD45ACP
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Things are not that simple and clear cut. Id go after him, its the only option, my wife is already in serious trouble if this were the case. You can choose for yourself, I'm not speculating on that one anymore.
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Old July 28, 2010, 03:34 PM   #28
Wildalaska
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Quote:
Things are not that simple and clear cut.
No sir, you and other made it clear cut....

"My life and the lives of those I love are more important to me than the lives of strangers"

Good. That was on the scenario set forth. Im giving you a different one.

Kill the innocent or your wife dies. Choose.

Cant choose? Then maybe reconsider your vote?

WildandvanyaireadstaugustinelastnightshoulditosshiminAlaska ™
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Old July 28, 2010, 04:01 PM   #29
markj
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Scenario: Bad guy has your wife with a knife at her throat and tells you he will slit it if you dont fire into the crowd of schoolchildren. You have no shot at attacker.
Simple wild, shoot her in a spot that will allow the bullet to reach him.... saw it on tv


Stop and think about what is going on and you may get killed. No time to think you must react fast. Get training or try to stay away from known bad areas. Go camping at a nice lake, go see a movie, whatever but stay out of bad areas and try to reduce the ideas running thru your head.

Shoot a school kid? No, I would shoot the wife........as described. What the heck it is a fantasy anyway...
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Old July 28, 2010, 04:14 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
andvanyaireadstaugustinelastnightshoulditosshimin
Heck yes. Go for it.

-- Vanbutinnocenceassuchisabitoverratedya*


* ™ Wildalaska, used without permission.
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Old July 28, 2010, 04:24 PM   #31
TylerD45ACP
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Maybe I did make them seem a little more clear cut then they are. I was just trying to make the point that I would defend my family to the best possible ability. If that mean taking an acceptable risk I would, however your scenario gives one something to think about. That situation you describe my wife would probably die, unfortuantley. It seems to me though she would die anyway thats why Im saying I would go for him because at that point its the best option.
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Old July 28, 2010, 04:32 PM   #32
Glenn E. Meyer
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This thread reminds me why it is such a good thing to take FOF training with well planned scenarios.

It's easy to take about such but when a BG surfaces in a mixed group of uknowns makes you think. Such practice also aids in quicker evaluation of the situation and chosing action.

The first step in FOF is FIT (flee in terror )

I remember an Insights class, where my groups was outside playing with cars but another was in house. Suddenly, we here a shot and the door of the house flies open and a herd of big guys come lumbering out. The Instructor laughed and said - Well, that's a major hauling of tush ().

Cracked me up.

In another, an altercation in a bar broke about and I as an innocent was shot - bah. The sims rounds hurt. In the inner thigh.
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Old July 28, 2010, 05:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
The first step in FOF is FIT (flee in terror )
I used that before myself, it's what I call the "Sir Robin" tactic:

Quote:
"When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin"
It saved the day on several occasions.
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Old July 28, 2010, 06:20 PM   #34
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Wild, Now your scenario is absurd. Its so far down the ladder of possibility that the devil himself could be your neighbor.


There is a big difference between "could" and "will". Firing at the attacker "could" result in someones death vs willfully shooting and killing someone to save your significant other as dictated by your scenario.

While everyone wants to insure that every round fired in SD is done so in a way that only the bad guy is injured, it is simply not possible to predict this in the nano second available prior to firing. In the urban environment with hard building materials (ricochet), congested streets and stores, and even moving vehicles it is certainly possible to injury or kill an innocent who isn't or wasn't in the direct line of fire at the moment of discharge. Using your logic you simply cannot fire if there is a chance of injuring an innocent. No need to carry it seems.
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Old July 28, 2010, 07:00 PM   #35
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Wild, Now your scenario is absurd.
Does that mean you are troubled by it's ramifications?


Wildthatparticularscenariohasonlytroubledthegreatphilosophersforletssay2000yearsAlaska TM
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Old July 28, 2010, 07:19 PM   #36
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Troubled yes but my wife is a goner LOL. The bad guy is gonna get it though.
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Old July 28, 2010, 07:19 PM   #37
Glenn E. Meyer
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Posting scenarios such as WA did is an old scholarly, religious, philosophical technique to test the extremes and limits of some blanket statement.

Thus, it's legit. Is it likely probably not but it does cut through some of the things we see here.

It is common in the research and discussion of morality. Then, sometimes whacky things happen.

A less extreme example is the famous ticking bomb. You are against torture and then there is a guy who knows where the ticking bomb is located.

That's the idea.
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Old July 28, 2010, 07:21 PM   #38
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A less extreme example is the famous ticking bomb. You are against torture and then there is a guy who knows where the ticking bomb is located.

That's the idea.
Water boarding anyone?
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Old July 28, 2010, 07:47 PM   #39
TylerD45ACP
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I did make a blanket statement yes, I should have elaborated more. I mean in a reasonable scenario. Yes my wife would probably be dead but like threegun said the BG is gonna get it. Although, I think WildAlaska's comment is something to think about. You have to watch your background and I plan on taking many more courses in SD, and pratical application of those "reflexes".

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Old July 28, 2010, 09:30 PM   #40
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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 and will 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 a victory.

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 family?

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.

Stay well.

Best regards.
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Last edited by fastbolt; July 29, 2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old July 28, 2010, 10:10 PM   #41
Mr. James
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Well, shoot, I had a flip response to WildAlaska's silly scenario all prepared, but then read fastbolt's thoughtful and sober response. Killjoy.

From this post, sir, you don't come across like one of the good guys. No, sir, you come across like one of the excellent guys.

God bless, all.

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Old July 29, 2010, 12:16 AM   #42
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Quote:
loved one are being attacked by an assailant who has shown beyond a doubt that Intent, Opportunity and Ability to cause grievous harm or death.
are being attacked is exigent circumstances and while I certainly hope and pray that no innocents are struck, I would act without regard to my enviroment and take the shot.

Your poll choices are poorly worded and full of bias, so I could not vote. I would shoot, but for the reason you stated!
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Old July 29, 2010, 12:53 AM   #43
sakeneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildtoughonehuhAlaska
Scenario: Bad guy has your wife with a knife at her throat and tells you he will slit it if you dont fire into the crowd of schoolchildren. You have no shot at attacker.
The wife gets a say in this, too. If she wants you to fire at the schoolchildren, you probably married the wrong person.
If she wants you to fire at the schoolchildren, you married the wrong person.

There, I fixed it for you.

My first concern is going to be the people I love, in any case. However, under the law you *cannot* shoot an innocent third party even if somebody has a gun to your head or the head of somebody you love and threatens to kill you if you don't. You can shoot *them* to stop them, but you cannot shoot a third party who is not threatening you or anybody else just to stop the perpetrator from killing you or somebody you love.

I don't mistake "legal" for "right"; something can be the law and not be right. (Although that's rare in this country, fortunately.) In this case, however, I think that the law is right. There really are things that you simply can't do, even to save your own life or that of another innocent person. This would be one of those things.

Around the time we got engaged, my now husband and I had one of... those... conversations -- about the ticking bomb scenario and torture. :/ Nobody here who has been paying attention will be surprised to know that I don't believe that there is any circumstance in which torture is justified. Even when the person whom you are torturing (or threatening to torture) is a complete loss as a human being, as would be a person who refused to tell you where a ticking nuclear bomb was located, I don't believe that it is possible to torture that person and not loose or risk losing your own humanity. (I'd say "soul", but not everybody here is a believer in God.) My husband wasn't sure of this, and said so.

One of the more interesting debates on that issue was between U.S. conservative movement founder/icon William F. Buckley and liberal civil rights defender/eminence Alan Dershowitz in 2002. Dershowitz supported (supports?) requiring a warrant in "ticking bomb" scenarios, but allowing torture. Buckley recognizes that he would support torture in extreme specific cases, but opposes making an exemption to the laws forbidding torture on the grounds that, for the spiritual health of the country, anybody contemplating torture should know that they were operating in violation of the law and could not seek its protection.

Unfortunately my position wasn't represented. :/ I wish somebody had been present to do so. It would have taken a brilliant man or woman to match Buckley and Dershowitz, but I can think of a few who could do it. (Not widely known names, yet anyway.)

Last edited by sakeneko; July 29, 2010 at 12:58 AM.
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Old July 29, 2010, 01:53 AM   #44
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De nada, Mr James.

Like I said, though, I don't presume to have the answers for anyone else.

Matters such as this ought to be horrific by nature to rational human beings.

They're deserving of some careful, sober and contemplative thought before we arm ourselves and consider ourselves prepared to face the potential eventuality of taking a human life.

I spent shy of 3 decades in LE and have pursued an interest and involvement in the martial arts for just shy of 4 decades, so I've had opportunity to give these matters some thought. Being a parent, and now a grand parent, lends another perspective, as well.
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Old July 29, 2010, 02:02 AM   #45
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If the choice presented is unacceptable, take the third option!

My family dying and taking a shot that I believe has a greater chance of hitting an innocent than the attacker are both poor options. Given the scenario (only poor options available, and the realization of the choice), I would not want to fire. In real life, I don't know what I would do. The intricacies of the real world complicate things...

On the other hand, the complex world provides more choices! Certain injury of loved ones/self versus probable injury of innocents are not the only options. This is why a firearm isn't your only weapon. If I cannot fire, I'm going to plan B (or C or D or E etc...) I usually carry several things that could be used as weapons, if need be. I also bring me along quite frequently. Sure, my chances of protecting a loved one are not as good as using a firearm, in the hypothetical, but the risk of harming an innocent is also lower. I'll take the 30% chance of success and 10% risk to innocents over the 80% chance of success and 80% risk to innocents or the 0% chance of success. It's still a poor option, but I think it is better than the others.

This is T&T, how can we exclude options other than "all or nothing with a firearm?"
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Old July 29, 2010, 06:20 AM   #46
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Figure of speech, I presume...
Don't presume, I usually say what I mean and don't mince words, and I don't have to defend myself to anyone but me. HOWEVER...

OK, I edited it so all you PC-types won't get your panties in a bunch. In this fantasy scene, I will shoot and continue to shoot until I'm SURE he can no longer harm my wife, family, or me. This is my wife and family. Compared to that nothing, and I DO mean NOTHING else matters. If I thought less, then she married the wrong guy. We shoot to stop...fine, but dead is a SURE stop. Let's at least be honest with ourselves and not hypocritical. One of you stand up and state, in public, that you'd do less for your family...

I don't have a blood lust, all you psychologists out there, just a survival lust.
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Old July 29, 2010, 07:25 AM   #47
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Matters such as this ought to be horrific by nature to rational human beings.
They're deserving of some careful, sober and contemplative thought before we arm ourselves and consider ourselves prepared to face the potential eventuality of taking a human life.
Fastbolt, Who says they aren't? The thought of accidentally causing harm to an innocent is up there right below allowing my family to be harmed.

Not only does it deserve careful thought and contemplation but also as much training and education as one can afford.
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Old July 29, 2010, 07:36 AM   #48
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I'll take the 30% chance of success and 10% risk to innocents over the 80% chance of success and 80% risk to innocents or the 0% chance of success. It's still a poor option, but I think it is better than the others.
The OP asked that the numbers not be changed. He stated that the firing was the only option that could prevent death or serious injury to your family.......
Quote:
The choice not to fire will most likely result in the grievous injury or death of yourself or a loved one
........Under most conditions the gun is the last resort anyway. Once you get to it your other plans have probably failed. Once you get to it you will likely have no time or desire to rationally calculate statistics.
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Old July 29, 2010, 11:33 AM   #49
TylerD45ACP
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^+1. You don't want to use it, thats the last resort. No one in there right mind wants to hurt another person (and if you do seek help). There would have to be NO other options than for me to go to for the sidearm. And Field of Fire is very important.
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Old July 29, 2010, 11:47 AM   #50
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I usually say what I mean and don't mince words, and I don't have to defend myself to anyone but me.
Maybe, maybe not. You might have to defend yourself against criminal and/or civil charges, and anything that may pertain to mens rea that may be readily discovered among postings could become important if, for example, any question is raised regarding whether excessive force had been used.
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