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Old June 10, 2014, 02:40 PM   #26
pax
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dayman,

I guess my real concern here is that when we start playing the coulda-woulda-shoulda game, it's usually because good people want guarantees of a good outcome. If only he'd done it our way, it would have ended well.

Two problems with that:

1) We don't know how it would have ended if he'd done it our way, and

2) We don't know if he could have lived with the choice we would have made in the same circumstances. Your choice to walk away may be a valid choice for you and still be an absolute, no way, I can't-live-with-that!, bad choice for someone else. His choice to get involved may be a valid choice for him, even in hindsight. Too bad we can't pull him out of his grave to ask if it was worth it... by his measure and meaning of "worth it." Because maybe it was.

The horrifying reality is... there really aren't any guarantees. To be really prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones means that you have accepted all possible outcomes of acting in self defense, including the awful ones, without glossing them over or shoving them aside in favor of a fantasy where it always only ends well.

If you can't save your family, if it's a no-win situation no matter what -- what do you want your family's last memory of you to be? Do you want them to remember you cowering under a table alongside them? Or do you want them to remember you bravely facing danger, running toward the sound of the guns, determined to save lives? (Alternately: do you want them to remember you holding them and comforting them and sheltering them with your own body? Or do you want them to remember you abandoning them to rush toward danger in a doomed, foolhardy attempt to stop the killer with whatever tools you have?)

Those choices, choices like those, are something we all have to look at an internalize for ourselves, but it's so much easier to retreat into a fantasy: "Well, if he'd done it this way, everything would have ended up good."

And that's ...not good at all.

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Old June 10, 2014, 06:30 PM   #27
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I think we're actually circling the same basic idea.
That is, that we don't know for sure how things are going to go.

And, I think we (as gun people) sometimes become so focused on the tactics of engaging that we ignore disengaging as a viable - and in some cases "best" - option.
Not at all dissimilar to what you were saying about tunnel vision, just directed in slightly different direction.
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Old June 10, 2014, 06:52 PM   #28
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I'm sorry it ended badly for Mr. Wilcox. From what I've read he had the best of intentions, and may have saved some lives. I don't know enough to say anything beyond that.

However a mass shooting in Seattle was recently ended by a brave kid with a can of pepper spray. If I had better tech skills I'd include a link, but the story is available via Google. In fairness he only had to deal with one shooter.
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Old June 10, 2014, 07:22 PM   #29
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Mainah ~

His name is Jon Meiss, and he is indeed a hero. Read his statement about what happened at http://www.seattlepi.com/local/artic...me-5539209.php

Quote from Jon Meiss: "... what I find most difficult about this situation is the devastating reality that a hero cannot come without tragedy. In the midst of this attention, we cannot ignore that a life was taken from us, ruthlessly and without justification or cause."

Amen and amen.

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Old June 10, 2014, 08:45 PM   #30
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A great sentiment, but heroes can and do come without tragedy in many cases, when they stop the tragedy before harm is done. His case was simply one that involved tragedy.

No doubt he is a hero. He brought pepper spray and smarts to a shotgun fight and was victorious, spraying and tackling during the reload. Good for him.
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:06 PM   #31
MT 73
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Just how did Mr. Wilcox approach the shooter?
Dis he issue a warning?
Did he first seek cover?

but I think it is ALWAYS a bad idea for a non-LEO citizen to engage a shooter, especially since the only known crime at the time was shooting into the ceiling and ordering people out.

I am inclined to agree.
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:13 PM   #32
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Heres a story that happened today in Tampa. A passer by saw a 53 yo man being beaten by a 30 to man in a petsmart parking lot. A CCW holder broke up the fight by pulling his weapon. I commend him the police and fox 13 for reporting the story.
Here's a link to story.
http://wtvt.m0bl.net/r/1x7a1g
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Old June 11, 2014, 12:56 AM   #33
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If we voluntarily enter into an armed confrontation we should ideally know that there is a clear danger of harm to others and that we are competent to act in that confrontation.

From what I've read it is unclear that the first condition was met.

Be that as it may, if we do intend to engage, it is important to make sure our flanks and rear are secure.
Without seeing the layout of the store we can't guess how to achieve that in this situation.

So I guess a question to ask is how does one train for this situation?
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Old June 11, 2014, 01:34 AM   #34
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I am plesantly surprised that this discussion has been very dilligently kept within it's initial scope.

I have to stand by my initial comment about engaging an active shooter. It is a bad idea. That said, it may still be the best option- the lesser of two evils. My job as a LTCH holder is to protect my loved ones. If the shooter has acquired me as a target, then my job is to do everything I can to end the threat. If my family and loved ones aren't in immediate danger, any decision I make to protect others must be carefully weighed out, and to be honest, I don't think I would have done what Mr. Wilcox did. I admire his courage, but I don't think I would have done it.
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Old June 11, 2014, 03:15 AM   #35
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The reason I carry a fully loaded Glock 19, is for protection. Me and mine.

The only perfect way to safely respond to a threat, is for you to be the person threatened.

IE Joe robber says "Give me your wallet" Knife/gun in hand, in parking lot, or wherever, you know who the bad guy is, respond the way you believe is the correct one.

At 78YOA, boxing is not an option, but being aware is not an age thing, young man outside our local Pancake house, standing, not going in or out, watching my Wife (of 25 years, today!) and I approach, "Can you spare a couple of dollars?"
He said, "No, move out of my way" I had swapped my Wife to the opposite side of this man, and let go of her hand, as we approached.

I have been in lots of physical confrontations in the past, and know the moves.

He took a step away. In we went. Told the Lady Manager this man was panhandling her customers, can the Police. "He is not doing anything wrong" she said.

I wandered what World she grew up in, and went on my merry way. Great Pancakes, First Watch.
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Old June 11, 2014, 03:59 AM   #36
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What Mr. Wilcox did was brave, and may have saved lives - I am sure we will have more information eventually.

However, his actions raise the question; how do you engage what you deem to be an active shooter, provided you've decided that engaging is necessary for whatever reason? From my admittedly ignorant point of view, it appears very difficult for one person to do it in a way that is tactically sound. At least if the engagement takes place at close range, which seems to be the norm during such incidents.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:10 AM   #37
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Quote:
I have to stand by my initial comment about engaging an active shooter. It is a bad idea - FOR ME.
There, fixed it for you. It may be a great idea for all those who you may save.

Quote:
However, his actions raise the question; how do you engage what you deem to be an active shooter, provided you've decided that engaging is necessary for whatever reason? From my admittedly ignorant point of view, it appears very difficult for one person to do it in a way that is tactically sound. At least if the engagement takes place at close range, which seems to be the norm during such incidents.
Training, training, and more training. Active shooter engagement is specifically what school resources officers train for. In many/most cases, their specific goal is to stop the shooter ASAP so as to preclude further injury of loss of life. They have the benefit of knowing that they are often well-armed (at least more ammo than most CCW carry), wearing ballistic protection, and that arriving law enforcement is not apt to confuse them for the bad guy as they are properly uniformed). They know that the faculty and students will recognize them for who they are as well - NOT the bad guy(s).

Beyond that, nobody hear can tell you how to engage an active shooter as every situation is different and your goals for engaging may be dependent on your situational parameters. Are you planning on running down the active shooter and engaging or are you planning on engaging if the shooter comes your way? Do you have cover or concealment? How many potential victims are present? What are the ballistic backstops in your situation? How many shooters are there?
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Old June 11, 2014, 08:00 AM   #38
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Exactly my point - the amount of training that would enable someone to assess and adapt to these variables with any degree of reliability would, imo, be too expensive and time-consuming for the average citizen.

I was primarily thinking about this particular incident, in which the ccw holder identified and engaged one threat, but was unaware of another one which proved fatal. Seeking cover/concealment and only engaging if it's unavoidable is another kettle of fish.
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Old June 11, 2014, 08:50 AM   #39
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I can not stand by and watch a violent crime . I train to watch for the right time to act . I'v always been the first to challenge the local bully or call out the one that don't treat his family right or is doing something that harms others . But still know one knows how they will act in such a sitiation lots of time I have my Kids or Grand Kids with me .I know they are not all active shooter situations but I am suprised that know one has mentioned the thousands of crimes being stopped by armed citizens that are reported in the American Rifelman bimonthly .
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Old June 11, 2014, 09:00 AM   #40
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Quote:
at some point, someone with a badge will show up, their job is to run toward danger. and they have training and equipment and buddies sufficient for such an activity.
Well, the training--yes. We hope that we don't have the EXPERIENCE.

And sometimes the buddies--fellow responding officers--are just not there yet.

First, addressing tactics and training: The problem with the response in this case is that Mr. Wilcox did not heed the "+1" rule--ALWAYS look for the second assailant.

There's an active shooter. OK, so you respond with your firearm ready; you are physically and mentally ready to engage. Slow down!

Assess the situation. We, as human beings, tend to "tunnel in" on what we perceive as a threat. That is why, in defensive shootings, you'll find a lot of wounds on or around the shooting arm. People will tend to channel in on the threat--the gun--to shoot at.

You MUST break the "tunnel". Physically LOOK around, and do so from a position of cover when possible. Remember the difference between cover and concealment. CONCEALMENT hides YOU, COVER stops bullets.

However--if at all possible, consider waiting--as the poster that I quoted above says--for us (the guys and girls with the body armor, carbines and other protective items) to get there. If you can give us (via phone call or even in person) directions and descriptions, we sure appreciate it.

Final thoughts about Mr. Wilcox? Muy hombre, compadre. He stepped up in the face of evil to confront it. Prayers for the family he left behind. As someone once said of good men, he'll do to ride the river with.
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Old June 11, 2014, 10:42 AM   #41
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You don't know how it is going to go. This is true in many ways. You don't know how far away the police are. You don't know how long it will take them to enter the building to confront the shooter. You don't know if anyone has called the police. You don't know how many bad guys there might be in an active shooter situation.
Tactically, the correct response is to wait for backup to cover rear/flanks as the police do. Can't fault them for this.
Strategically, allowing the opposition to consolidate their position unopposed would be a mistake.
Is acting solo in an active shooter scenario tactically sound? No, it definitely violates the first of the two rules above. It would be wiser to secure your position (and family members/others) and effect an escape using your limited resources.
That said, before 9/11, pretty much all airline hijackings ended after several days/weeks on a lonely strip of tarmac and some long negotiations. Since 9/11, some attacks are aimed indiscriminately at citizens b/c they are citizens; the latest example would be the attack on the Nigerian mall.
If I saw the shooter and he was a guy in a polo shirt and a revolver, I might step away.
If the shooter was in a tac vest with zip ties and multiple drum magazines, it might be stoopider (yes, that is doofus spell check approved) to confront the shooter, but it might ultimately save lives. Maybe other peoples lives, but that's a question that the "good guy with a gun" will have to answer for him/herself. I think Pax already gave great examples of possible questions one might ask oneself, hopefully before one found oneself in a real scenario.
I don't know the full details about how the Nevada shooters were kitted up. I would assume that at least the wife was looking like a citizen as Mr. Wilcox overlooked her as a threat (maybe he never saw her?), but maybe the shooter was looking like he was there for the long term and to do big damage, so Mr. Wilcox decided to press on and follow the strategic goal of rule 2.
I can't say. He did his best to stop unlawful shooting and terrorism in a public space.
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Old June 11, 2014, 01:24 PM   #42
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Don't know what I'd do.
Hope to never find out.
I'm trained to respond to situations as such being ret'd l.e.o. but a lot would depend upon the circumstance.
Were I with a loved one the first prioity would be to get them safe.
Were I alone, not with family, I think I'd take out the shooters, even, perhaps best, whack them in the back of the head.
Still there is much to be gained by not killing but whack one in the head, the other, if possiblem at the base of the spine near the belt line.
A shot there would drop someone immediately yet they would likely survive the wound.
It would be important to learn from the survivor, motives, other players involved, etc.
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Old June 11, 2014, 01:28 PM   #43
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If you have to think about it.

If you have to think about shooting, then you probably shouldn't. That means you have other options. Take cover, look around 360 degrees. Are there choices other than shooting, take them!

Random thoughts:
  • Highly trained professionals get shot all the time.
  • Fight or flight?
  • Avoid situations where you can.
  • Don't be a victim
  • Don't let someone get you in a car. At least your loved ones will know where you are.
  • Control your thinking/control your actions.
  • Check your background
  • Is that an undercover cop about to shoot a bad gal/guy?
  • Women are bad guys too
  • Not much bullet proof cover in Wallmart or any where else for that matter
  • I hope I never have to ?
  • It is really impossible to know all that went on. I don't want to even be on a jury for a CCW shooting, much less be in front of it.

Please let my gun stay holstered, but if it comes out, be firm in mind and deed. "don't be afraid to drive on the lawn"
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Old June 11, 2014, 01:38 PM   #44
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What Mr. Wilcox did was brave, and may have saved lives - I am sure we will have more information eventually.
If Mr. Wilcox did land a shot on Mr Miller and Mrs. Miller shot Mr. Wilcox causing the two to finish their suicide pact, I'm doubtful those facts will be well publicized by those in the mainstream media.
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Old June 11, 2014, 02:17 PM   #45
Glenn E. Meyer
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The police say the man was killed by a police 223 and the woman killed herself.

Until we have second by second breakdown - it's speculative.
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Old June 11, 2014, 04:50 PM   #46
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I wonder what role his death played in the gun women's subsequent actions?

After she killed the ccw, the next significant action was to kill her partner and then herself. Could it be that killing a non identified enemy upset her sense of values and mission?
I don't know and we will probably never know, but I'd like to think the murdered man's actions resulted in some benefit.
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Old June 11, 2014, 05:00 PM   #47
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She didn't kill her partner.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/la...d-jerad-miller
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Old June 11, 2014, 05:08 PM   #48
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It could be that seeing they had more to worry about than the police and that other citizens were going to fight them rather than join them they knew thier Revoltion was over .
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Old June 11, 2014, 05:16 PM   #49
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From Glenn's link...

Quote:
Neighbors told police the couple left their apartment at 4:30 a.m. Sunday and said would murder cops. It seems that few people took their threats seriously; both had rambled about right-wing extremist conspiracy theories in online videos and on social media sites for years.
So yet again we have 'crazy' people with bizarre or extremist views not being taken seriously, with a long history of such views and apparent long history of not being taken serious, finally taking action and causing harm.

At what point do we, as folks who might know some common rambler about revolutions and killing decide, know when the person is just still spouting nonsense or is spouting actual threats and basically saying they are going to take action?
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Old June 12, 2014, 06:23 PM   #50
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depends

I grieve for the officers and the citizen as do most others. Whether or not to get involved is a complicated decision. In mere seconds, a person is called on to make a decision that could mean life or death for themselves or someone else. We can all sit at the computer and say ' I think this is what should be done ', however, until we are in that situation, we really do not know what we would do. Those split-second decisions have ramifications and we must be ready to live or die with the decision we make. As for myself, in the same situation I can honestly say I do not know what I would do.
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