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Old May 9, 2013, 07:05 PM   #51
Revolver1
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You are 100% right! You are not a sworn officer, and public safety is not your job, nor duty. In todays litigous culture it would be foolish on your part. That said, morally you have a duty to help your fellow man. Everything in life's a compromise. It's good to see responsible citizens pondering these questions before they arm themselves. Leave it to armed citizens to be responsible in todays day and age.
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:42 PM   #52
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"No good deed goes unpunished".

IMO the matter of whether or not armed civilians should intercede or not isn't merely one of tactics, ethics, morals, situational parameters, or civic responsibility.

In today's world, to not recognize the price that you may pay -- even in cases where you did the right thing, the right way, at the right time -- is naive.

You can do everything "right", (tactically, ethically, morally, etc.) and still pay a huge price.

As one example, some people need a security clearance to perform their jobs. Any arrests will result in that security clearance being, at least temporarily, suspended pending investigation. If you are involved in a shooting incident as an armed civilian, there's a better than average chance you'll be arrested. You'd be wise to hire a lawyer. You'll be needing some time off work. Expect to lose your security clearance, because one of the requirements for security clearances is that if you're arrested you have a very limited amount of time to call your agency and notify them of your arrest. After you lose your security clearance, you're potentially looking at months off work, while a re-investigation is launched - not by the police, but by the US Office of Personnel Management (and other agencies) who investigate and authorize federal security clearances.

So - you can do everything tactically and ethically correctly in what appears to be a righteous shooting, and you're still out nearly ten thousand dollars in lawyer's fees and you've effectively lost your job. (And that's if it doesn't go to trial.) And this is even before a decision has been made by the DA regarding whether you'll be charged or not.

Everything you did or failed to do during the few seconds of a gun battle will be scrutinized in both the calm, cold light of the DA's offices, and in the media - which might not proclaim you the guy who did the right thing.

And lets not forget that you've now potentially opened yourself up to civil suits as well, from the "victim" you shot if he survives, or from the deceased's estate if he didn't survive. Depending on the whim of fate, you could lose your savings, your home, and a whole lot more.

Oh, and of course the reputation you now have among your family, friends, and community, as the person who killed someone - right, wrong, or otherwise.

Moreover, there are good samaritans who did the ethically correct thing to aid those in need, who subsequently wound up in wheelchairs because they stopped bullets.


When you stop to consider all the ramifications of interceding in even a shooting that is morally or ethically justifiable, you might conclude that you're in fact not a sworn LEO, you are not held to a higher standard, and you are under NO obligation to ruin your life to respond to a situation you neither asked for nor are trained to respond to.

Morals and ethics are for philosophers.

Legally armed civilians would do well to ponder just exactly what they will intercede to protect, when the cost of interceding could be the loss of nearly everything they've worked for all their lives.

Just MHO. YMMV.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:09 PM   #53
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MLeake wrote:
Quote:
Don't mistake caution or assessment for lack of willingness; don't mistake willingness for ability; don't mistake willingness for common sense. Those things are not necessarily exclusive, but they are also not necessarily aligned.
Wise words.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:26 PM   #54
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Dragline the trust issue was in a previous post ( more than one). It relates to the post made about how inexperience can affect decisions and how the lack of trust of people cause them to assume people won't be able to make them if/or when the time comes. You would have to go back and read the last five or ten post starting with Constatines post to my last one.

When the time comes, decisions are made quickly and if your head is crammed with over-thoughts you are in trouble. I am sure we have some LE or military guys who would confirm that for me.

Basic training on when and when not to shoot covers the decisions that need to be made. Once you know when to and when not to engage and where to and where not to shoot, as well as if you can or if you can't, you can make a quick decision when or if the time comes.

When we question the basics, other peoples knowledge of the basics, their inability to follow the basics, their ability to follow through, their ability to remember them, their ability to not panic, their ability to aim, etc...etc...all to say it's complicated or not easy is taking away from what we should be doing....keeping it simple and confined so that god forbid they ever have to be in that scenario, they won't doubt or hesitate or make a mistake because their head was full of simple dos' and don't s.

More people also know them more then what one might think. That's how we got to the trust issue.

Ask yourself how do you think the anti gun people came to the conclusion that guns should be banned or heavily regulated? Lack of trust

Keep it clean, have fun and don't over think it guys I'm checking out on this thread...>>>>>Poof!>>>>>>>>>>
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:49 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreck-n-Crew
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreck-n-Crew
It should not take you that long to make a decision so i am wondering if you are over thinking it. When you chose to carry, those decisions and scenarios should have been covered within yourself before you first strapped it on you. As i believe you did.
When the time comes, decisions are made quickly and if your head is crammed with over-thoughts you are in trouble. I am sure we have some LE or military guys who would confirm that for me.

I am going to disagree and say acting without thinking is what gets you killed. Take cover, assess the situation, and act accordingly. Those few seconds you take to assess the situation and come up with a sound plan can be what saves your life. Sure decisions must be made quickly, but I don't think anyones planning on hunkering down over a cup of tea and crumpets while they think about what to do. Like I said before, the human mind is pretty remarkable in that you can run the scenario through your head in a matter of seconds while making a decision to act or not.

Quote:
Basic training on when and when not to shoot covers the decisions that need to be made.
That would be under the assumption that all scenarios play out the same, they do not.

Last edited by Dragline45; May 9, 2013 at 09:01 PM.
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Old May 9, 2013, 10:08 PM   #56
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1. Could you live with yourself if you shot and innocent or you didn't save someone?

Excuse me but this is a meaningless cliche. Do you mean that you couldn't handle the psychological consequences?

a. We have folks going through significantly more horror and with support and therapy - they get through it.

b. Are you just afraid of public opinion? Suck it up on that and do what's right in your mind.

2. If I act to save your wife and get killed, do you pledge to support mine for the rest of her life? I always ask that.

I've studied the literature on this and there is NO correct answer. Do you live a life of poverty to give your salary to the deserving poor?

Or is it the idea of being a gun toting hero that is attractive as compared to the other altruistic things you could be doing now.

My point is that the motivations (emotional) and rational analyses are very complex and there is no simple moral clarity.
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:22 PM   #57
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Sometimes I'm glad that I'm an old man (73) and don't have many more years left.

As I posted earlier, this is a complex situation, and there is no "right" answer for all situations.

However, after reading this thread all the way through, the idea that a man would refuse to act when his Creator (or fate if you prefer) places him in a position to save innocent lives, just goes against everything that I was taught and have believed throughout my life about Americanism and about manhood.

I have had the honor and privilege of serving with and leading brave men. I have tried to live my life as a brave and honorable man. A life befitting an officer and a gentleman. That has caused me problems from time to time. Nevertheless, my firm belief is that when I stand before the Judgement Seat, I will be judged on my actions. And I will be accountavble for my sins of omission as well as commission.

I do not envy the young people of today, but I do pray for them. In all probability, thery will never have the opportunity, and the joy, of knowing the America that I knew.
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:36 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dover
...the idea that a man would refuse to act when his Creator (or fate if you prefer) places him in a position to save innocent lives,...
But that still raises a number of issues --
  1. Are you really in a position to do that? What is happening? Do you know what is happening? How well do you really understand the situation? A decision needs to start with an assessment of what is going on.

  2. What would you need to do? Do you have the necessary skills to carry out your plan? Can you avoid making things worse?

  3. The best plan under your particular circumstances might not involve engaging the threat. The best idea under the particular circumstances might be to collect innocents and help get them to a place of safety. Or maybe something else would be the best idea. Saving lives doesn't necessarily involve shooting the threat (although it might). The Gifford situation was resolved by citizens without the use of guns.

  4. And as Glenn has alluded to, what are your responsibilities to your family?
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:04 AM   #59
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The ethics of discussion are fascination. OP, you opened a can of worms, and I think I like it.

Personally, I think my reaction is based on a series of priorities:

1) Is my family safe? This has to be my top priority, and any action I take must be to help achieve this goal.

2) Am I safe? Once my loved ones are reasonably safe, I have to decide if i think I have a reasonable expectation of surviving unharmed. Do I have cover? Do I have a shot where I can remain out of the shooters line of fire? Do I have sufficient firepower and ammunition to reasonably expect success?

3) Will I help more than hurt? Will my engaging in the situation will do more harm than good? Do I have a clear shot, and do I know what my target is and what is beyond it?

If I can't address all three satisfactorily, then my best option is to escape the situation if I am able.

Actual results may vary.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:48 AM   #60
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Am I wrong??

Well believe it or not, this is simple to me, I am 77 YOA, carry a Glock 19 every day, and can use it!

If I am in a mall, I will be with my lovely Wife of 20 years, my job, looking after her, I do it every day.

If looking after Pauline corresponds to shooting some one dead? So be it.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:19 AM   #61
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Quote:
You are 100% right! You are not a sworn officer, and public safety is not your job, nor duty. In todays litigous culture it would be foolish on your part. That said, morally you have a duty to help your fellow man. Everything in life's a compromise. It's good to see responsible citizens pondering these questions before they arm themselves. Leave it to armed citizens to be responsible in todays day and age.
No, morally I have no duty whatsoever to help my fellow man. I have a moral duty to protect my family. I have a legal duty to obey applicable laws and pay taxes.

Quote:
The ethics of discussion are fascination. OP, you opened a can of worms, and I think I like it.

Personally, I think my reaction is based on a series of priorities:

1) Is my family safe? This has to be my top priority, and any action I take must be to help achieve this goal.

2) Am I safe? Once my loved ones are reasonably safe, I have to decide if i think I have a reasonable expectation of surviving unharmed. Do I have cover? Do I have a shot where I can remain out of the shooters line of fire? Do I have sufficient firepower and ammunition to reasonably expect success?

3) Will I help more than hurt? Will my engaging in the situation will do more harm than good? Do I have a clear shot, and do I know what my target is and what is beyond it?

If I can't address all three satisfactorily, then my best option is to escape the situation if I am able.

Actual results may vary.
Agreed. In the instance of a mall shooting (which has been addressed here I believe) a smart alternative is getting into a store, which should have a back exit, or if not, get into a defensible position. You can protect others who are with you and you are still protecting others.

Obviously if crazed nutjob just opens up in front of you then there is an option, but everything else truly depends on the situation no?
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:42 AM   #62
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Quote:
How do you think police officers and military personnel are thinking of this type of question before they become police officers or military personnel?
If I understand correctly, the basic question is "Would I save someone's life even if by doing so it endangered my own?" Yes. Did I think about that before I enlisted? Yes.

That being said, I still have to agree with what JimmyR said:
Quote:
1) Is my family safe? This has to be my top priority, and any action I take must be to help achieve this goal.

2) Am I safe? Once my loved ones are reasonably safe, I have to decide if i think I have a reasonable expectation of surviving unharmed. Do I have cover? Do I have a shot where I can remain out of the shooters line of fire? Do I have sufficient firepower and ammunition to reasonably expect success?

3) Will I help more than hurt? Will my engaging in the situation will do more harm than good? Do I have a clear shot, and do I know what my target is and what is beyond it?
I think he hit the nail on the head with that.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:45 AM   #63
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If you have a chance to. Take it.

Good examples of what "if" means. I'm seeing a lot of good things. It's basically a dismissive no, unless this or that happens first. Which is progress.

But automatically dismissing it with a "hell no" is a little weak.
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:27 AM   #64
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Seems to be a lot of second-guessing about intervening in a active shooter event, for some reason. Safeguard yourself, your family, and as many others as you can, before deciding to engage. You're going to have your pistol drawn and visible, no matter what you decide to do, so the danger of being mistaken by the cops for a shooter is just about the same.

You shoot the bad guy, then put your piece away or point it down and wait for the cops to turn up.
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:43 AM   #65
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"My own safety" was never a consideration for the brave men that I served with, nor is it for me.

My one question is:

"Am I doing the right thing" In reality, little else actually matters.

When I look at the man in the mirror tomorrow, will I be proud of him? Will my wife and children, and grand children be proud of him? Will my teen age daughter (actually, a grand-neice that my wife and I adopted) be able to hold her head high in front of her friends?

Certainly, one must decide if his actions will endanger others, if they will be effective, and many other questions. But in the final analysis, we will know what is right. Will we act accordingly?
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:15 AM   #66
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For all of those who would engage, Thank You! For all of those who would not engage, let us say you are not with your family or anyone you know and you do not engage when you see people being murdered because you might be injured or killed and what it might do to yourself or your family.

Now let us say your family or your loved ones are at the mall or a restaurant or a movie theater without you and they are being slaughtered by a mad gunman and there are all kinds of concealed carrying law abiding citizens there who like you choose not to become involved and let your family be murdered.

After you visit your murdered family at the morgue, do you then confront all those concealed carrying law abiding citizens who let your family be slaughtered and shake their hands and tell them what a good job they did, because you would have done the same thing and let their families be slaughtered in the same circumstances.

Insult edited - GEM

I would not engage where two or more armed parties are shooting at each other, if I did not know the parties and who the bad guys were. I would not engage if an armed person entered a mall or restaurant or movie theater and simply robbed everyone and left without hurting or killing anyone, but as soon as the first innocent fell, I would engage and would regret I did not engage sooner. It is not hard to tell who the bad guy is, he is the one with the firearm murdering unarmed civilians, last time I checked uniformed law enforcement, plainclothes policemen and undercover cops and law abiding concealed carrying citizens don’t do that.

Sure you might miss or shoot through the bad guy and wound or kill an innocent. But if you do not take the shot, how many more innocents will the bad guy wound or kill, probably a lot more than you would by taking the shot as he will probably kill and kill and kill and kill until someone stops him.

Insult Edited
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:26 AM   #67
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I think the issue here is that it's probably a bad idea to say definitively "I will do something" or "I will not do something." No situation is Black and White. There is no way to prepare for every possible scenario. For me, if I am alone and my family is not with me, it comes down to, "Can I reasonably do something?" If the answer is yes, well, then I'll do something. If the answer is no, well, then that's the answer. If my family is with me, my #1 priority is them. I'm sorry, it sucks that the other people in the mall (in the stated scenario) aren't prepared, but if helping them means putting my family in danger, sorry, I'm saving my family, and I will be able to sleep at night because I was prepared, and my family is alive. Afterall, the reason I carry isn't to protect the public in general, it's to protect myself and my family. If I can help protect the public reasonably, I'll do so. But if I can't? Well, it's a shame that current society demonizes guns, and the idea of self defense so much that very few people prepare for it. That's not my problem.

Quote:
After you visit your murdered family at the morgue, do you then confront all those concealed carrying law abiding citizens who let your family be slaughtered and shake their hands and tell them what a good job they did, because you would have done the same thing and let their families be slaughtered in the same circumstances.
This is a straw man, and you're making an appeal to emotion. As a responsible CCW holder, I am well aware of the responsibilities of carrying a firearm. I'm well aware of all the decisions that have to be made. Will I be sad in this circumstance? Of course I will. Will I tell the people who could have done something they did a good job? No, of course not. Chances are, I probably won't even know who they are. Will I blame them for what happened? Hell no. It was a crazy person who decided they wanted to commit mass murder.

You're trying to guilt people into acting when it might not be the best thing to do. If I am alone, I also have to think about the impact MY death might have on my family. That will be one less income, my kids won't have a father anymore, and my wife won't have a husband. Chances are, if I could, I would take a personal risk to help others...within reason. But I'm not going on a suicide mission to save the sheeple who think guns are evil, and that the police and mall cops will protect them.

In essence, I have to look at it the other way. What about my wife and kids looking over MY body at the morgue? Will they think I'm a hero? Possibly. But being a hero doesn't pay the bills. It doesn't give my wife and kids a husband and father. My wife has to figure out how to pay for the house payment without my income. My wife is going to have to try to teach my son how to throw and catch a baseball. My daughter won't have a father to dance with at her wedding. My son won't have a father to cheer for him at the homecoming game. That's the other side of this coin. There, I made your same argument from the other side. It goes both ways. That's why this is such a complicated issue, and bringing emotion into just doesn't work.

Last edited by Gaerek; May 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:34 AM   #68
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OK, fans - we do not insult others by calling names. You can make you point without such.

I will edit such out to keep the thread going and some attaboys.

But be circumspect in your language.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:36 AM   #69
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Quote:
For all of those who would engage, Thank You! For all of those who would not engage, let us say you are not with your family or anyone you know and you do not engage when you see people being murdered because you might be injured or killed and what it might do to yourself or your family.
OK. At that point, as a poster noted above, I’m trying to get into a defensible situation with those around me also in the defensible situation (but not in my LOF). This I have thought about several times actually, or if I have an immediate clear shot and realize whats going on.

Quote:
Now let us say your family or your loved ones are at the mall or a restaurant or a movie theater without you
Dude that means my wife. She’s armed with a cannon in her purse and is lethal at 15 yards. Tahts assuming she’s not in her minivan death machine. Wo to anyone if she’s in her death machine. She’ll run you over and not even realize (or care).

Quote:
I think the issue here is that it's probably a bad idea to say definitively "I will do something" or "I will not do something." No situation is Black and White. There is no way to prepare for every possible scenario. For me, if I am alone and my family is not with me, it comes down to, "Can I reasonably do something?" If the answer is yes, well, then I'll do something. If the answer is no, well, then that's the answer. If my family is with me, my #1 priority is them. I'm sorry, it sucks that the other people in the mall (in the stated scenario) aren't prepared, but if helping them means putting my family in danger, sorry, I'm saving my family, and I will be able to sleep at night because I was prepared, and my family is alive. Afterall, the reason I carry isn't to protect the public in general, it's to protect myself and my family. If I can help protect the public reasonably, I'll do so. But if I can't? Well, it's a shame that current society demonizes guns, and the idea of self defense so much that very few people prepare for it. That's not my problem
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:01 PM   #70
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A subject that is very relevant to all of us. There have been many great points made for both caution and action, which as has been said are not mutually exclusive.

Quote:
Morals and ethics are for philosophers.
There is plenty of room for discussion on the issue of our responsibility as a good Samaritans. There is no defense of the this statement though in my opinion. Morals and ethics are the foundation on which our society is built. The law of the jungle is is a brutal way of living that is at odds with any civilization.
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:55 PM   #71
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Quote:
After you visit your murdered family at the morgue, do you then confront all those concealed carrying law abiding citizens who let your family be slaughtered and shake their hands and tell them what a good job they did, because you would have done the same thing and let their families be slaughtered in the same circumstances.
Sounds to me like you are convinced that in every situation involving an active shooter, a law abiding armed citizen will win each and every time. I am not that naive.
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:55 PM   #72
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I do not desire to engage in an argument, but one statement must be challenged.

Morals and ethics are for philosophers??

That disturbs me greatly. While it is true that we, as ordinary people look to philosophers and religious leaders for moral and ethical guidance from time to time, we individually bear the responsibility for conducting our lives in a moral and ethical manner.

All who reside in a civilized society have an inner moral compass, or conscience, if you will, that tells us when we have acted in an ethical and moral manner, or failed to do so.

Whether you refer to it is as a conscience, "gut level feeling," or another term, it's always there. It is lacking only in sociopathic personality disorder.

Even non-sociopathic criminals who have been studied realized that their actions were "wrong" morally as well as legally.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:07 PM   #73
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Unfortunately, the actual basis for one judging what actions are moral is quite complex. There is no set moral compass.

One might think so - but that is because you are assuming your value set is universal. Or should be. That usually leads to simplistic analyses of what one should do when this debate comes up.

You decide if saving someone is worth your life. Is saving that life worth the disruption to your family? Is feeling sorry for yourself if you don't act, a good enough reason to act?

People make decisions on two levels. Quick and emotional, slower and rational.

If you want to discuss this seriously and without cliches - a good starting read is:

The Social Psychology of Prosocial Behavior by John F. Dovidio, Jane Allyn Piliavin, David A. Schroeder and Louis A. Penner (Apr 25, 2006)

If you say that you don't need to study up because you know what is moral and right and wrong from your gut - you make my point about simplistic views.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:27 PM   #74
Wreck-n-Crew
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As it always seems to be in threads of this nature, previous post get lost, translations or context can be missed, previous statements in post get missed, etc. It's the nature of the beast!

Keep in mind that we are human and some good points were made and good ones are often missed. When the thread reaches multiple post's, the beast comes out.

The big "GUN_RUN" has left many believing that the majority of buyers and ccw people getting new permits in some states, are a large number of new people with little to no experience carrying guns. Not True. I hear all of the long-timers talk about it and many of them believe the same.

There are some TFL members here who teach classes and they can probably give you similar numbers as i get from someone that i know that is a CCW class instructor. He is seeing an average of %5 or less new to guns people.

He also has a harder time filling the class and the number of new to guns people are dropping in percentage. In the last 3 classes of 25 people he had 2.

The reason for me bringing this up and how it relates is that the small number of newbies and the combination of the highly unlikely odds that one of the newbies will be the person in the scenario is a real big what if.

Also those low percentage of newbies have to be added to the already experienced ccw holders

Play with it, talk about it and throw it in if you want just because it is possible no matter how very unlikely.

Add to it that most malls ban CCW from the premisses and you have an even unlikelier scenario than you thought you started with.

Even if it were to happen the odds are it won't be a newbie to guns though that doesn't make them "unqualified" it doesn't mean they can't be as effective, if they choose to. Still a big what if.

I would like to add that experience adds to one's ability. But most people seem to be wanting that experience to come from LE or Military training before they would consider them to be able to perform in the scenario if they chose to or had to do so.

Just because someone is professionally trained, does not mean that you have to be as well before engaging someone in a mall shooting up people or that you can't do so with great effectiveness.

I don't know where it comes from exactly, but i can see why from my own experience why i could have doubt in someone Else's abilities without knowing what they are capable of.

I own a business and people question my abilities as a professional all the time. Not that they think I am a rip off, just if there is not a better way, or could i be wrong in my assessment. Usually the fear is replaced with trust or a "here's your chance" mentality. They don't trust a professional...to know how to do his job...Why? It's the mentality of most people.

If you gave me a choice between me with my CCW and the "madman" in a mall waiting for police...I know I have what they don't, Someone with a gun, that knows how to use it in that scenario. That's all...nothing more.

I would also prefer a stranger with a CCW there than no one at all. Just about the odds versus outcome with long awaited support possibility from LE.

You may differ and would rather that no one interfere and that's one side of the coin. Others would rather see the other side and take the chance that an armed CCW person can save lives.

Either way, I don't sell people short and i believe that people will prevail in the long run and for me personally, I hope that if the scenario ever happens, it ends in no loss of innocent life from any gun.
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If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!

Last edited by Vanya; May 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM. Reason: language.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:36 PM   #75
MLeake
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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!"

What some of us have said is that before we will act, there are some things we will probably consider. (Of course, some situations will not allow much time for reflection, but what are the odds the scenario will start immediately under our noses?)

Those considerations include likelihood of success; likelihood of harms to others; likelihood of harms to our own.

I mentioned that I have pretty good abilities, but would still have to consider some factors. This was not to say that less trained people should do nothing, but to say that I could easily see why they would be hesitant.

This whole issue of trusting others to be able to do stuff is something you have made up, IE a StrawMan.
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