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Old March 21, 2001, 04:51 PM   #1
ERRainman
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So here's the scenario: You are away taking a much needed vacation away at the beach. You're out to dinner at a nice "Japanese" steak house. A person walks in and seats himself at your table close to the chef. You think the guy looks a little suspicious initially, and go on with dinner, keeping an eye on him.

When the chef walks away for a minute, SUS GUY slips one of the chef's knives under his jacket. You're getting really ancy now and slowly slide your hand to your CCW. You just know something is about to go down here, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

The chef walks back in, SUS GUY pulls the knife about the same time you draw down on him - yelling "DROP THE KNIFE!!!"

The chef starts wigging out in a huge way, yelling in Japanese at you while SUS GUY is still standing there holding the knife. Lots of screaming & yelling from you - "DROP THE KNIFE!" - and in Japanese by the chef.

I wanna know how you think you would react. There are lots of possibilities here, and lots to critique so far. I know, it's been discussed for a long while, re-thinking what can go wrong and what should go right. It's not just another scenario, but an opportunity to consider the right and wrong moves. Mental simunitions if you will.

i.e.: would you have told him to drop the knife or just dropped him?

Yes, this did happen. With a pleasant ending and lots of lessons learned by everyone.

I promise I won't leave you hanging.

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Old March 21, 2001, 05:53 PM   #2
Doc Hudson
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How did the person act when he drew the knife? If he behaved in an aggressive manner, I'd have drawn my revolver.

If the knife wielder had not dropped the knife fairly promptly, somehting very unfortunate would have occured. I am presuming the knife wielder was a friend of the cook and simply yanking his chain.

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Old March 21, 2001, 07:52 PM   #3
heisenberg
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rainman, if you think that a deadly force situation might go down, then leave ASAP. Why stick around, when you obviously have the time to walk away? Got a hammer and see too many nails?

If you couldn't leave, then at least put some distance/barriers between you and the guy with the knife. Pretend to go to the head. Find a position that gives you good SA. Drawing a gun within possible contact distance (not totally clear from your description) of a skilled knife fighter is not a good idea. Also, maybe the SUS guy has buddies also in the restaurant who you haven't spotted, ready to stick some "hero". At least don't hang around the apparent kill zone.

WH
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Old March 22, 2001, 07:49 AM   #4
jadams951
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Gotta agree with heisenberg. If you see the guy take a knife and stick it under his coat then the first thing you need to do is get up from that table and get some distance. Get the police called(you never can be too careful). He might be fixing to make some sushi out of the chef.
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Old March 22, 2001, 09:49 AM   #5
RH
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I think he was messing around.

Most people with a clear, premeditated intent would have come armed, not relied on a slieght of hand trick at a crowded table.
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Old March 22, 2001, 08:32 PM   #6
heisenberg
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I agree, Mr. SUS Guy is probably playing some kind of dumb joke. But if you aren't sure (maybe you can't tell from Mr. SUS Guy's body language if he's serious or not), with the possible consequence of being wrong costing you your life, then the EASY and LOW COST thing to do is DISENGAGE ASAP. Pretend you are going to your car because you forgot to turn off the headlights. Or you are going to the bathroom to leave a deposit. Evaluate from relative safety. If all is well, you simply return to your seat, with no one else the wiser. If TSHTF, you are already outta there. Let the sheep and gawkers hang around.

IMO, this is not a shooting situation. This is a "don't be there" situation.

WH
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Old March 23, 2001, 03:12 AM   #7
Coronach
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In many (all?) states you CAN use deadly force to protect the life of another. This is certainly a scenario with POTENTIAL to be a deadly-force situation, but you don't know yet. And you gotta know before you draw down on someone.

I would sit tight, weapon holstered (or at least DAMNED well concealed), try to position myself surreptitiously (if possible) in such a way that I have an angle on the BG and the backstop is sufficient, and wait and see.

More info needed.

Mike
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old March 23, 2001, 09:22 AM   #8
David Scott
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Count me among those who would get up from the table, notify the management, and wait out of knife range to see what develops. I would at least try to position myself so that I had him between me and a safe backstop, if possible. No way I would touch my weapon before an overt aggressive move was made.

My question is, do you tell the restaurant management that you have a permit and are armed? If the cops are called, it may be important for them to be told that you are not one of the bad guys.

I asked a co-worker about this and he said he'd pull the fire alarm. What do you think?
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Old March 23, 2001, 09:46 AM   #9
Coronach
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Thinking outside the box

Interesting. I dunno what the penalties for doing that would be, but its probably better than drawing down on the yahoo.

Mike

PS I'm a LEO, but I answered this question from the POV of a CCW permit holder. The main thing that would prevent me from drawing down on him as a cop would be the likelihood of my action making the situation worse- either as a hostage situation or a backstop formed of scattering people. If it came down to that, I would hope the (supposed) prankster soiled his undies.
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:48 AM   #10
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Several points.

Leaving or creating space is good idea if possible. If that isn't there is also what I call the Han Solo draw [from the first Star Wars movie] when sitting at a table you can, with many carry styles, draw & point [if needed], handgun without anyone being the wiser.

I learned working security that fire departments often have much faster response time than LE. Plus they normally have a legal need to respond to alarms. Point to remember with alarms is that many of them will prevent conversation due the volume level of the alarm.
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:51 AM   #11
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oh one other point I was going to mention, you can use table/chair as weapon or device to buy time if needed. Sitting with your back to the wall when possible is always a good idea. Failing that try to position yourself so that new arrivals have to approach you from the front [ie they have to walk past you to sneak up behind you].
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Old March 23, 2001, 07:43 PM   #12
Ken Cook
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I have to say, just getting up and walking out strikes me as dead wrong and it has nothing to do with seeing "too many nails." (But I like the expression!)

As CIVILIZED human beings, we have a responsibility to our fellow civilized human beings. If I see a befuddled little old lady about to walk into traffic, I'm going to STOP her.
Why? Because I want to be a hero? Absolutely not, because I feel that allowing her to come to harm by inaction on my part is tantamount to pushing her into traffic myself! (IF I could have stopped her, I don't feel responsibile for the human race as a whole.)

The same ethics apply here. I have the ABILITY to do something to prevent harm, therefore I must ACT to prevent that harm.
How?
As someone above said, discreetly call a waiter over, inform him to quietly inform the manager of the situation and keep the chef from returning to his table until he KNOWS the situation is safe. Whether Management calls the police or not is THEIR call and their responsibility, not mine.

From that point on, I would enjoy my meal and keep and eye on the situation. If the man with the knife displayed it in a life threatening manner, you bet I'd act on it.
But NOT until he acted in a hostile manner.
The way "the rules" work, you've gotta let the BG make the first move. It puts us at a disadvantage, but that's the price of being a moral creature.

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Old March 23, 2001, 09:58 PM   #13
heisenberg
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Ken Cook, I think you are answering a different question than the rest of us, or at least me. The question I'm answering deals with what tactics would I use to keep ME alive. I didn't see any mention of some feeble grandma that I have to save.

If you want to insert morality into this play, then of course the answer may change.

Even so, I believe that your answer is dangerous. You have a handgun, also known as a long distance, "remote control" weapon. You can engage equally effectively from outside of the immediate kill zone or inside of it. When facing a contact distance weapon like a knife, I'd say that it is far safer to remove yourself from contact distance. Instead, observe and potentially engage from distance and cover. You can still rescue grandma.

If you want to talk to the restaurant manager, also talk to him away from the knifer.

As for the civilized humans part, that is a value judgment and one you won't find consensus from me.

Where do you draw the line? Even without a gun, you have the "ability" to perhaps save grandma by going hand to hand with the knifer. The delay can allow grandma to escape. Sure, you may die of multiple stab wounds in the process, but after all, since you have the ability to save grandma, it would be like pushing her into traffic if you didn't try.

I think you are trying to construct a clean scenario where you know you will win and save the day for everyone. Well, the reality is that you don't know that.

And when the power goes out, it's amazing how "civilized humans" turn into stealing, violent animals. Mob mentality is everywhere, from Seattle Mardi Gras violence to neoNazism to gay bashing to war around the world. IMO, society has a very thin veneer that easily peels away when the modern comforts go away or if you have something that someone else wants or you simply don't have the right appearance.

I think you are dreaming. I'd wager that most of the TFL readers here stocked up on ammo for Y2K. Why, if man is so civilized? Why do we need a military, police, locks on the door, etc etc if man is so civilized?

Do you think that these same "civilized" people care about your right to bear arms? Will they support your family financially for the next 50 years if you die or become crippled? If life were so precious, why aren't THEY doing something to protect it?

WH
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Old March 23, 2001, 10:35 PM   #14
Romulus
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How can you keep morality out of it? Calling the cops, informing management, keeping an eye on the suspicious character, are all choices based on a moral perpective, that life, either mine or yours, is worth defending...

Just my $US 0.02



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Old March 23, 2001, 11:58 PM   #15
Coronach
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It is inherently a moral question...otherwise the automatic answer is a simple "check please" and exeunt left...if he stabs someone to death it doesn't matter- you got your meal and you didn't have to bother yourself with the tedious details of saving a life.

Mike
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old March 24, 2001, 08:11 AM   #16
heisenberg
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Your morals are not my morals. I bristle at implications that a "moral" man will come to the aid of the sheeple, suggesting that if you don't you are not a moral man and any tactics that involve leaving are somehow wrong or perhaps immoral.

Do you live in anti-gun area, where a shooting can easily get you tied up in the justice system to the tune of $20K before you even get to trial, with no guarantee of acquital? A moral man also takes care of HIS family by staying alive and free. And that includes feeding, housing, and clothing them with that $20K that would have gone to a defense attorney.

If you are so moral, why don't you live in poverty, donating everything you earn to the needy? Would you volunteer to serve out someone's sentence in prison if some anti-gun DA railroaded him in court? Take care of his family? Pay for the elderly care for his parents?

Spare me forcing YOUR values on ME. That's like the anti-gunners forcing their values on everyone else by trying to ban guns. More power to you if you want to save the sheeple. But those who choose otherwise are no less moral than you.

WH
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Old March 24, 2001, 10:24 AM   #17
Doc Hudson
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Lighten up heisenberg!

No one is insulting you. And no one is trying to force their morality on you.

Those of us who feel that a citizen has a responsibility to defend other citizens have as much right to their opinion as you.

Make your own moral decisions. It is you who must look at your face in the mornings. if you can live with those decisions, they were right for you. While I don't give away all my possessions, thought the Bible says I should, and I won't volunteer to serve a prison term for just anyone, I disagree with you.

I could not live with myself if I cause another death by inaction. I've had to live with that on my conscious for twenty years. I could have saved a man's life just by taking an extra twenty minutes to give him a lift to the nearest town. I didn't and the man was beaten to death on the side of the road.

As the Bible says: Greater love hath not man than he lay down his life for another.

So Mr. Heisenberg, I'd appreciate it if you refrain form attacking people who do see their responsibilities as citizens in a different light.


Doc Hudson

P.S. There is no need for any of us who see things differently from Mr. Heisenberg to jump on his case either. LMH



[Edited by Doc Hudson on 03-24-2001 at 06:09 PM]
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Old March 24, 2001, 10:31 PM   #18
Coronach
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Huh. I was about to reply, but Doc did it for me. Much obliged, sir.

One thing, Heisenberg: consider my career in light of your comments about 'doing something' with morality. I could be richer and safer with less effort, but I'm not.

Hey Doc, don't let your 'inaction' drag on your conscience too terribly much. A great author once wrote 'even the wise cannot see all ends.' No way you could have known.

Mike
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old March 25, 2001, 12:10 AM   #19
Doc Hudson
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re: No way you could have known

Right you are Mike. No way I could have known in advance.

But if I can help it, it will not happen again. I will not knowingly allow anyone to be hurt by my inaction.

Doc Hudson
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Old March 25, 2001, 08:36 AM   #20
Ken Cook
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heisenberg,
You put great weight in the assertion that civilization disappears when the lights go out and that's why we all stocked ammo for Y2K. (Yes, I did.) However the point you miss is that <b>I</b> will not join in the de-evolution. I will not be a looter. I recognize that my NEED is not a claim on my neighbor, no matter what the circumstance.

Where do I draw the line at helping my fellow man?
Somewhere around "Certain Death." If there is a "reasonable chance" of survival, then I must act. In other words, I would not jump into a raging river to save someone if I didn't know how to swim. Doing so would only create TWO victims for someone ELSE to save, this is not ethical behavior, only foolishness on my part if I were dumb enough to do so.
However, in the given scenario, we CLEARLY have the means at hand to successfully deal with the situation.

As to your closing comment,
<b>Do you think that these same "civilized" people care about your right to bear arms? Will they support your family financially for the next 50 years if you die or become crippled? If life were so precious, why aren't THEY doing something to protect it?</b>

It matters not what others may or may not care about, nor what they choose to do. I am the captain of but only one destiny, and that is my own.

A pretty way of saying, just because the rest of the world may choose to bugger their brother doesn't mean I will do the same.

My thanks to Doc Hudson for stating things so eloquently, I hope I have added to that statement, rather than detracted from it.


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Old March 26, 2001, 04:28 PM   #21
The Plainsman
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So.... ERRainman

What happened? You said you wouldn't leave us hanging. Now that we've all spouted off, one way or another, what's the punch line (no pun intended)?
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Old March 26, 2001, 04:33 PM   #22
bj426
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ya.... we've all been sweating long enough.... let us in on it
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Old March 26, 2001, 06:27 PM   #23
ERRainman
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As stated in my original post. Pleasant endings for all.

Doc hit it right in his first post. The SUS GUY was just playing a joke. Probably gonna be a mock knife fight for the added value entertainment value. I wasn't there. It was an LEO buddy of mine who was on vacation, with his wife, who thought things were gonna get dicey

SUS GUY only spoke Japanese, and the chef only thought in Japanese. Anybody here bi-lingual? What language do you think in when TSHTF?! It's kinda like training. You train to react a certain way so that it becomes automatic when you have to act.

The only suggestions any of us had for our buddy was to draw, but not aim at SUS GUY initially. Now we weren't there, but he agreed that he could be ready for a snap shot to COM considering the distance. Besides, he's an MD and has a lot more to lose than the average LEO when it comes to standards of living. And no, he doesn't have deep pockets for the legal defense if the whole thing went bad.

Lucky stiff, now he's got a great place to eat for free anytime he goes to the beach because the manager came out and quelled the entire episode by confirming that SUS GUY did work there (which is what the chef was so vehemently exclaiming in Japanese) and it was just a joke.

Someone called the local precinct, so by the time the uniforms showed up, my buddy had his badge out and, of course, now is in good with them. That really helps when he drives his little red sports car around at the beach


Morality?! Now this is interesting. I like the way topics bring up issues that are central to all of us and who we are, how we live, why we think about the things we do, etc.

I would be hard pressed to walk away if I had a superior weapon, but then it could have been the real thing with more thugs waiting in the wings. Sphincter tightening, eh?

ERRainman
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