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Old November 9, 2012, 07:56 AM   #51
Double Naught Spy
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You're at the zoo. Read the signs - you know, situational awareness. Apply some simple logic and look at the type of barricade using to keep you safe. Note that the animal is a pack hunting carnivore. It isn't rocket science and when you see the dogs mauling the child, you gotta understand, even at the most basic level, that these are not bunny rabbits licking melted snowcone off the child.

Not kept hungry? Not hunting because they need to hunt? I am fairly certain you have misunderstood the situation. No, the dogs would not be kept starving, but unlike your pet poodle, they aren't going to have a dish out where they have African Painted Dog chow out for on-demand eating. Like the other carnivores, they are likely fed on a schedule that matches their schedule in nature as is most reasonably possible by the zoo. The dogs probably hunt, attack, and kill once a day or when hungry. So unless the dogs have just recently eaten, they may be VERY HUNGRY. For all you know, it is just before feeding time when the animals are their most dangerous. The child falling in may be just like when the zookeepers toss in large carcass chunks.

To make such naive assumptions that the animals are somehow specifically timidly around adult humans would be one of those gross underestimations of one's opposition, especially when dealing with packs.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:57 PM   #52
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DNS, do you personally feel that you couldn't have saved this child if you were front and center as this transpired andor that it wasn't worth a shot? I'm not trying to be funny here. As for the last part about underestimating the dogs. I believe only one post said that via markj. The pack mentality is the main issue here which is a definite, valid point.
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:20 PM   #53
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I think it would take a moment for you to realize what is happening and in that moment's hesitation the kid is dead.
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:44 PM   #54
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Go back and read my posts. No, I would not have jumped in the dog pit. That would have been a blatantly bad thing to do. That is the very reason the zookeepers didn't rush in themselves or anybody else. His own mother didn't either.

As I pointed out, the shooting distance was less than 10 yards. I think this would have been an exceptionally good time to use a firearm. What is the benefit of carrying a projected force weapon if you don't use it to project force at a time when projected force is needed?

Does this mean that I would be Joe Sharpshooter and shoot the brains out of each dog without hitting the child? Not hardly. As in the Steve Stevenson case, it is stupid to kill the victim when you are trying to kill the animal(s) instead. So you don't shoot where you are likely to hit the victim.

As noted, this is one of the few cases where warning shots may have been most appropriate. The African Painted Dog pit is covered in dirt. So you have your backstop from the elevated position where the child fell into the pit.

All 11 dogs were not biting on the child at once. No, I wasn't there, but there isn't room for them to do that and that would not be normal behaivor. Some attempt to attack or feed as others circle. So if you don't don't like warning shots and don't feel you can shoot a dog directly with the child (the child too close or in the line of fire), then you shoot one that is far enough away that you feel safe to try to shoot it. If and when dogs break off from the child in response to the noise, you attempt to shoot them.

So could I have saved the child? That would depend on my shooting skills and how well or poorly the dogs reacted to the noise and being struck.

Is 5 shots enough? This is a question often asked. In this case, that would depend on the dogs. Obviously, you aren't going to kill/incapacitate 11 moving dogs with 5 shots, so your only hope (for 5 shot revolver carriers) is that the reports (warnings or attempted hits) and the yelps (for those dogs hit, if any) are sufficient to keep them at bay. I don't carry a revolver. I carry a 1911 and 1 spare mag. That gives me 17 shots...still maybe not enough to kill/incapacitate that many dogs given the dynamics of the situation.
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:48 PM   #55
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no, all that means is you would watch andor be in shock and someone else would instinctively and immediately act without a second's delay. That is what I spoke of earlier...it is a natural reaction to freeze andor at least hesitate. There are some that would not do this. It is one thing if you are looking at a zoo map 5 feet away or doing something else, but the bottom line if you are there you have time to do something. It is a cop-out to say otherwise. Nobody said you would be be successful or not but when one has an immediate crisis, and immediate response can be an equalizer. the saddest stories(though this one is trying to 'take the cake') are the ones when the two yr old falls in the rushing river. Almost without exception, there is no time for even an instinctive, immediate response in that situation. In this one just watching and hesitating takes time(a short time), but a trained individual andor an individual with the 'gene' or a specific character can automatically go into emergency mode. I for one think the dogs were very quick(as I mentioned earlier: probably already at the gate so-to-speak while the child was at the net part), but honestly it is possible there was a tad more time than you perceive or assume. One might have run over and assessed the situation and smelled before biting. this is all speculation, but something could've been done either way. It is possible nobody had a firearm.
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Old November 9, 2012, 04:02 PM   #56
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DNS, I hear you. Thx for your post and yes as long as you act immediately I believe your range of thought is matching my posts. I would've had less than half the shots as you, and there is no way I am going to shoot the child. Of course that is always 'the risk you take', but there are ways to avoid that as I mentioned earlier(and as you did as well).

I hate to throw speculation out there because I for one believe the response from the animals was immediate especially when it is obvious people have thrown food from there before(common-sense even though it is against the rules....weird how there is no fence or anything):

but how much time is a normal delay(for thos of you who think you had no time to do anything)?

it is dang a possibility a dog ran up to him and someone decided to yell 'shu' doggy and 'good' he isn't gonna do anything(probably the dog that ended up being shot and was the first to bite). I guess emergency mode for some people is when the dog latched its jaws on the child?? emergency mode is before that boy hits the net! like I posted earlier, ermergency mode for my daughter was when the employee put her on the counter and turned her back(she thought it was no big deal and I guess others would've had emergency mode when the child hit the floor falling off the counter going by some posts).

Everytime a child falls off a waterfall in yosemite and I read the articles there are witnesses who claimed they said something to the parents yada yada yada. that child had no business sitting on that ledge but I don't know the circumstances. I'll take a tongue lashing to voice my opinion...I can't control a parent, but after I am tonguelashed he/she will probably decide against doing what I voiced I was against or leave the setting. rant off(ps- TFL taught me that line lol)
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:30 AM   #57
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DNS, you're at the zoo, read the signs. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Of course, I'd have been standing around with plenty of time beforehand to read signs, we can just assume that...

But, if we are assuming that, we should also assume I'd have pulled the child off the fence before he had a chance to fall, and thoroughly chewed out the mother. So maybe we should not assume time in advance to read signs, eh?

Feeding the animals in such a way that they can "hunt" and "kill"? Really?

I've been to the Central Park Zoo when the polar bears were fed. True, the keepers want to keep the animals from getting too bored. At the same time, they don't seem interested in setting up potential fights amongst the bears, and I doubt most New Yorkers would be thrilled with the keepers tossing in a seal pup or similar.

What they actually did was place fish in polyurethane balls that had the tops cut out, kind of like pumpkins to jack-o-lanterns. They poured water in around the fish, and froze the balls. The bears had to bat and paw the balls around enough to break the ice sufficiently that the ice and fish could fall out of the ball. This was their simulated hunting and killing.

If you've seen a public zoo that actually conducts feeding in a way that would emulate prey activity, and force predators to battle over their food, please cite the zoo, the critters, and the method.

I've only been to the Central Park, National (DC), San Diego zoos, and Busch Gardens (Tampa) preserve and Lion Country Safari. I've never witnessed the type of feeding methods you suggest.
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:32 AM   #58
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DNS, you're at the zoo, read the signs. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?
I was cracking up bigtime after that one...
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:35 AM   #59
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some odd days later...

http://news.msn.com/us/thousands-of-...-mauled-at-zoo
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Old November 10, 2012, 08:15 AM   #60
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DNS, you're at the zoo, read the signs. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?
I am sorry. I didn't realize you don't pay attention to things like safety signs. My bad. Of course, you don't have to read any signs to see the high fencing around the enclosure, or to look into the enclosure and to see that it contains pack dogs.

Quote:
Feeding the animals in such a way that they can "hunt" and "kill"? Really?
I never said the dogs were fed in such a way as to be hunting. That the dogs hunt, attack, and kill once a day is what they do in the wild. So the zoo isn't going to be feeding them their puppy chow in on-demand feeders all day long. They are going to feed them once a day as they would feed in the wild.

So a child dropping in would be like feeding time.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:41 AM   #61
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DNS, again you assume a person has been standing around long enough to read signs. Again, I say a person that observant, who is there at the start of this scenario, should have interceded as soon as the mother started placing the child on the rail. So, either your theoretical observer is not that observant, or else your theoretical observer did not arrive early enough for the luxury of time to read signs.

Or else your theoretical observer is the type to read signs while toddlers are under attack...

Now, I am in Afghanistan at the moment, and MWR bandwidth does not support video that well, so I did not see 11 dogs because I did not see the video, and the articles I read did not mention numbers.

With 11, I would shoot a few first, assuming one can carry at the zoo, and drop in after they started to scatter and retreat. Take them out of feeding mode, and into flight / retreat mode as it were. As others noted, gunshots plus yelps and fear pheromones would probably create more panic than gunshots alone. But, ultimately, somebody has to get in there and see if the kid is alive.

In my mind, based on both crowd studies and past experience with crowd reactions to dangerous events, if I do not take the lead - the odds are we will wait for official first responders. Ergo, I am in the habit of taking the lead.

I get that others look for reasons not to act, instead of means and methods by which to act. Really, I do.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:45 AM   #62
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DNS, regular feedings do not emulate "kill and eat, or die." Really, they don't.

Check Aesop's "The Hound and the Hare."

When the man chastises the hound for letting the hare escape, the hound says,

"You must understand, I was only running for my dinner. The hare was running for his life."

The willingness of regularly fed, healthy zoo animals to face a threat rather than flee is not likely to be the same willingness a pack in the wild, that must kill or die, is likely to have.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:13 PM   #63
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Jump in and shoot? Oh really?

Let's see - eleven wild dogs in a feeding frenzy. Joe Q. Public decides to jump down 11-14 feet and take 'em on with a 9mm, or similar.

Hmmm. Well - I've been to Africa four times on Safari (I'm a gun writer), seen my share of wild dogs. They go in a feeding, killing frenzy, you get within 10 yards, you become the center of attention. They aren't real scared of a gun; they don't have an off switch, and I've seen the results/remains of a 300 lb wildebeest that ran across them. Plus, they're very fast. By the time you hit the ground ...

You fall heavily to the ground, breaking a bone. You take 10 seconds to recover. Ummm, bye for now. Dog chow!

Ok, I know all you super shooters can leap tall buildings and come up shooting, but I've seen the dogs in Zimbabwe and Botswana - stick to your daydreams and shoot with your keyboards.

BTW: I carry a Ruger .375 in Africa. A 9mm will mostly get you in trouble in very short order.
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:07 PM   #64
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So we have another one who opts to leave the toddler with the dogs.

Do you have kids, poprivit? How would your answer change if it were your child?

Do you think a .375 is needed for animals in the 37 to 80 pound range? That is pretty close to the description for coyotes, which are often as not hunted with .22's and varmint rifles. Maybe these painted dogs are more wolverine than dog? People are sure making them out to be tougher than Rottweilers and Argentine dogos.

By the way, what's the difference in ground impact velocity between an 11' drop and a typical landing from static line with a 24' canopy? I suspect not much, but maybe one of our airborne types can answer that one. (Edit: Just looked it up; a paratrooper under a round chute hits the ground with an impact equivalent to that from a 9 foot drop. He does that with equipment on his person, too, so...)

Also, having not seen the video, as noted, were all 11 dogs in a "feeding frenzy?" Or were some of them attacking while others were on the outer periphery? Somebody who's seen the video, please describe the actual activity amongst the 11 dogs.

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Old November 10, 2012, 06:11 PM   #65
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MLeake, there might or might not be another video. The one I saw just showsa good view of the viewing area and dog area. There is a net, unfortunately the child didn't get saved from it for whatever reason.

poprivit, my post(s) do not advocate jumping in. With that in mind, MLeake didn't say he would blindly jump in during a feeding frenzy when their 'on button' is running. He was saying if he was able to send them in flight mode. First off, one can get in that area without breaking a bone....some of the older folks obviously have more of a concern, but one does WHAT HE CAN). Obviously people on this forum have experience with ankles and such. I am being serious, as I have the same experience from my youth when I wasn't worried about it. It's a small price to pay to save a child in my opinion though. The bottom line is if someone had broken the "mentality" this pack was in the boy could've been saved. Eventually personnel did just that and only had to shoot the one remaining aggressive dog.Nobody was able to think quick enough(AKA: they sat there in horror and shock while this boy was pretty much eaten alive or at least ripped to shreds). I have seen this happen to cats. This was an unfair situation.

the first order of business is DOING SOMETHING! I know women who would've jumped in to their deaths trying to save their baby. I bet if a different mother did this, men might have followed. Speculation and other unnecessary deaths don't help. I am just making a point.

Besides all of that though, immediate emergency dictates immediate response. This thread started off with people worrying about shooting a dog or zoo animal. That stuff is worried about later...a child is about to be killed and you have the means to possibly save a life. I do believe this boy could've been saved; I also believe the 'window' for this was very small...
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:38 AM   #66
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I would not advocate jumping in with the dogs. The fall is likely to kill or seriously injure you, making it impossible to help the child and leaving yourself vulnerable to attack from the dogs. The question for me is: If I had been there, legally carrying a firearm, would I have fired shots in defense of the child. I don't know that any of us can really answer such a question unless we were actually there.

I would hope that I would have fired at the dogs farthest from the child. But it is quite possible that I would have stood there and yelled for help, just like the the rest of the folks who were there.

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Old November 11, 2012, 11:36 PM   #67
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Ok, I know all you super shooters can leap tall buildings and come up shooting, but I've seen the dogs in Zimbabwe and Botswana - stick to your daydreams and shoot with your keyboards.

Translation: do nothing while a small child is mauled to death. Nice.

Stick to the guided hunts.
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:37 AM   #68
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poprivit, a question for you: You say the wild dogs weren't afraid of guns, when you were on your safaris - but was anybody shooting at the dogs?

My guess is the dogs in the area where you had your guided tours associate the noise of a gunshot with soon-to-be-available carrion leavings after the hunter field dresses the kill and departs. (Kind of like how, in some areas where bears are not hunted, bears associate gunshots with a buffet to come investigate.) Gun shots in such scenarios aren't scary - they mean their will be wildebeest or kudu parts for the taking.

My guess is the dogs would respond differently if they associated gunshots with the smell of wild dog blood, urine, and scat, and the sounds of yelping, whining, and screaming.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:24 AM   #69
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MLeake; great points. Wild dogs (and pigs for that matter) learn to associate sights, sounds and smells with danger very quickly.
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Old November 12, 2012, 12:34 PM   #70
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Having offered my understanding of the legal aspects of the question (really no problem with shooting the dogs in this case) I'll confess that I wouldn't have jumbed in the pit. I'm not 18 any more, weigh considerably more than I did then and a 14 foot drop would more than likely leave me unable to do anything useful.

Opening fire with a legally owned and carried pistol seems much more useful. Modern warfare is all about fire and movement. I'd fire. Someone else can move.

As to what I would do if it were my child, well that's different. I'd jump in and die gloriously. Hopefully I'd think to hand the pistol to someone who could use it before I jumped.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:03 PM   #71
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As to what I would do if it were my child, well that's different. I'd jump in and die gloriously. Hopefully I'd think to hand the pistol to someone who could use it before I jumped.
Best quote here. And one I agree with.

But I'll take it a step further, I happen to agree with MLeak on this one. Even to the point of jumping in and dying like a gallant fool. I studied psychology quite a bit in college and you never really get over traumatizing events, you merely learn to live with them. Psychologists equate it to learning to live without an amputated limb. Arms and legs I can part ways with, but learning to live with yourself after sitting on your hands while a child is eaten before your eyes?!

Hopefully I'd think to smear myself with barbeque sauce before I jumped...
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:48 PM   #72
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Being a psychologist, I have to once again argue with the layperson view of trauma.

We can debate the tactics involved but you can deal with the trauma.

I suggest you ask all the soldiers and police who have had critical incidents because something went awry. Give them the choice of death covered in sauce and eaten by dogs vs. living and seeing their families again.

This is why we have programs for stress disorders for police, fire and soldiers. We help them deal with it and avoid suicide. We help rape victims.

Please spare us from the psychobabble. You don't know of what you speak. A person can recover from horrendous psychological trauma - it is preferred over death.

You will need the strength to deal with having to make the choice to deal with your trauma and having made the rational choice.

Amazing about the self-proclaimed trauma experts here.

If you want to talk about tactics, go ahead. Armchair psychology will cease.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:29 PM   #73
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Glenn, academics are not everything, unless one lives in an ivory tower.

You can own the psychology arguments. You can refer to case studies about large samples of average Joes from a given profession. You could refer to conditioning painted dogs to fear gunfire, or little Albert to fear stuffed elephants and other plushy toys, if you want.

But, telling any given one of us how we would or would not feel, without your having thorough knowledge of how we were raised as children, what core beliefs we hold, what our families' values were or are, what our professional training or ethics have been and are - that is psychobabble.
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Old November 13, 2012, 12:58 AM   #74
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I beg to differ at least slightly mleake

MLeake, I am not gonna take sides either way on that plus I'm gonna steer away from the pyschobabble as noted, but I wanted to respond when I saw the last two posts before I saw your and Glenn's posts...I wasn't able to:

basically I got to call BS here, agree with Glenn, whatever you want to call it if I am incorrect in how I am labeling it. All I wanted to say when I read those two posts is that I can't conclusively say what you woody or you tickling would do but, that being said, I can hazard a guess that you wouldn't have done anything. First of all, you are both 'romanticizing' the event...AKA BBQ sauce, handing off the handgun, and so-on. Chances are its just romance and wouldn't have compe to pass.. just my two cents. again, I can't conclusively say what you would or would not do. Of course one romance was started with common sense and truth - I wouldn't jump in. the other enjoys the convo and agrees with the best qoute ever(one I disagree with), and I think you would think about your family when it came time to pass and then well you wouldn't have jumped in anywhere tickling...

only a small percentage of people would have had an immediate response to this calamity(at least one that was calm enough, not just based on emotional drama and so-on).
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:40 AM   #75
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younggunz4life, you make a valid point with regard to some posts being over the top.

Glenn, I respect you, and don't wish to start a flame war, but sometimes strong words merit strong responses.

With regard to the various problems and risks posed in the incident under discussion, some feel their points are "end of discussion" show-stoppers. They may be, for them...

Again, I haven't seen the video, but whether the wall is 14' or 11', it has a fence on top of it. Based on that description, I am not suggesting a flying leap over the top. I am suggesting climbing over the rail, using the rail and its uprights to lower ones body down the wall until one's hands are at bottom of uprights, top of wall, and dropping from there. If the wall is 14', and I do that properly, my hands above my head, my feet are nearly 8' below the top of the wall. Is a 6' drop unsurvivable?

Of course, if I screw that up, I could fall 14', but the plan would not be to screw it up.

(Edit: Realized that, since I haven't seen the video, the fence could be solid plexi-glass. If so, hanging by hands from a 4' fence, with a 14' wall - what I assume to be worst case - the drop is now 10-11', so we are in PLF territory; not fun, probably hurt later if not injured then, but still survivable.)

I have gone over tougher obstacles than that. I can still do a fair number of pull-ups, and sometimes climb ropes. I have good grip strength.

So what is so impossible about that?

Next challenge: the dogs.

As noted, I had thought the numbers were smaller. So, it's 11 dogs. As modified, I'd shoot at the outer ones, assuming a safe angle; this would hopefully scatter them, and get the pack in general moving toward their den before I climbed over, clambered down the fence, and dropped off the wall.

Given that the other option would be watching a toddler get eaten alive, the risk does not seem unreasonable.

Then again, I am the type who believes in intervening, if there is a reasonable chance of success. Others believe in being good witnesses. It is a basic but major philosophical difference.

As to whether my family could get along without me, I'd hope they would not have to. But, due to the nature of my job, I already have life insurance policies for over $1M, and my wife is an RN with a job that pays well, so I am not quite as concerned about this as others might be. If I were really worried about it, I would not be in my current line of work, or in my present work location (Afghanistan; my insurance is valid in combat zones, too).

Now, if a situation were truly one where I had no chance of success - say a 20 foot or greater drop; or crocodiles instead of a dog pack; or a house already fully engulfed in flames - then, no, I would not charge in. I don't believe in dramatic, romantic, but pointless gestures.

I do believe in taking direct action where it has a decent chance of working.

I do not believe in letting a child die, horribly, while I do nothing, if there is something I could do that has any reasonable chance of success.

Last edited by MLeake; November 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM.
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