View Full Version : would you use your handgun to save someone you didn't know?

August 28, 2002, 10:12 AM
I have a question, would any of you use your firearm to save someone you didn't know? Imagine this scenario, you are walking down the street and you see a man harassing a female, he starts brutally beating her with an umbrella and kicking her. Would you try and stop him even if he is no threat to you?


August 28, 2002, 10:21 AM
Why I carry a cell phone and pepper spray. The gun is a LAST resort. Hopefully just telling you have called police will make him rethink what he's doing. Now if he pulls a knife or gun on her he may find himself in deep doo-doo.:mad: No REAL man should ever hit a woman.

August 28, 2002, 10:24 AM
Of course.

- Gabe

August 28, 2002, 10:24 AM
Absolutely. No question about it.

August 28, 2002, 10:27 AM

August 28, 2002, 10:30 AM
You betcha!

August 28, 2002, 10:35 AM
An umbrella...? Kicking her...?

HE may be the one who needs help...! :D

Yeah, I'd break it up, but I wouldn't use or even display a firearm, because there's no justification for it.

However, if he's threatening her with imminent death or grievous injury with a deadly weapon, that's a different story, but it still depends. It could be an undercover cop bagging a criminal....

That's one reason why it's always safer to rescue your own loved ones -- you've got a pretty good idea about who's attacking whom.

I guess what you're asking is, "Would I get involved to save a stranger?" Yes, I would.

Kitty Genovese's murder should be an object lesson for all of us....

Christopher II
August 28, 2002, 12:32 PM
Probably not.

I'd be a very good witness, though.

- Chris

August 28, 2002, 01:39 PM
Christopher II,

Why not? Not being confrontational on this, just really curious what your reasoning is.



David Scott
August 28, 2002, 01:46 PM
Like a lot of things, it depends on the circumstances. I would have to KNOW that they were an innocent party under immediate threat of harm. We had a local case where a guy jumped in to "rescue" someone being "mugged" -- turns out the "mugging victim" was a domestic violence offender resisting arrest.

The law here in Florida is very clear about intervention. A CCW permit does not make you a cop, but you do have the right (not obligation) to intervene to stop a violent felony in progress, or to preserve others from death or serious injury.

A hypothetical example: If Joe CCW is in the convenience store when armed robbers come in, he may legally choose to draw on them to prevent a felony in progress, or he may decide that the $18 in the cash register isn't worth it. If he holds off, but instead of taking the cash and leaving the robbers try to abduct the young female clerk, threatening rape, he may then decide it's time to draw. I would.


August 28, 2002, 02:02 PM
It depends. Is she wearing an HCI T-shirt?

David Scott
August 28, 2002, 02:18 PM
Ben W said:

It depends. Is she wearing an HCI T-shirt?

That makes no difference. Absolutely none.

August 28, 2002, 02:26 PM
Judgement call.
Not enough information in the scenario description for me to make an informed decision.

But, if I was sure in my mind, probably intervene.


Christopher II
August 28, 2002, 02:40 PM

This is a topic that has come up before, and I've taken some flack on it in the past. But hey, since you asked, my reasoning is two-fold.

- First, jumping into a situation that you don't fully understand is an excellent way to get killed, injured, or imprisoned. That fight that has been described could be a mugging. It could be a violent felon being taken into custody. It could a mugging victim who has just turned the tables on his attacker. It could be a setup designed to draw you into an ambush. You don't know for sure, and in not knowing it's safer to call the cops and let them sort things out.

- Second, and I know this is going to sound a bit harsh, but why should I risk my life and my freedom to defend someone who was too irresponsible to do it themselves? Leaving out the obvious cases of people who are genuinely unable to see to their own defense, the phrase, "There are no victims, only voluenteers." is very much true. If an able-bodied person is not willing to take a few basic measures for their own security, I have little sympathy for them.

In general, I see to myself, my family, and my friends in roughly that order. I'll call for help, I'll be a good witness, but that's it. That's all I would ask from others.

- Chris

August 28, 2002, 03:16 PM


August 28, 2002, 04:34 PM
Absolutely. Blackhawk brought up Kitty Genovese, which is also my favorite example of an easily preventable homicide committed in plain view of a bunch of selfish bastards.

If your mom was getting the crap kicked out of her on the street, wouldn't you want some samaritan to intervene?

August 28, 2002, 04:41 PM
Christopher II,

Fair enough. Thanks for answering.


August 28, 2002, 04:42 PM
why should I risk my life and my freedom to defend someone who was too irresponsible to do it themselves?

Christopher II- can all your relatives defend themselves against a younger, stronger thug? The average man can beat the crap out of the average woman, and even a woman with a gun in her purse can be blindsided easily enough.

August 28, 2002, 06:04 PM
Based on the original scenerio I'm hanging back, calling the Cavalry on the cell and standing by if the situation goes south.
I was in a training scenerio using simmunitions that was simmillar. Lady runs in to the place where I'm having lunch screaming a man is trying to kill her. A big guy comes in starts roughing her up. Up jumps tommy the hero, draw, issue verbal commands, move off the line of force. Big guy now produces a big Knife. Long story short I shoot the guy, multiple COM hits, guy goes down and I promptly get arrested (like 5 seconds after the last shot). The damsle in distress just as promptly decides I just killed the love of her life now she tells the cop how I killed her husband for no reason( bad). The pizza guy starts in how I just jumped up and started shooting up the place and how I'm crazy and how I killed his buddy ( worse ). Durring the patdown the cop finds OC spray and a spare mag, he now brands me as some psycho viggilante ( worse yet). Ok simulation over they un cuff me and we do an immediate debrief. I did OK, sound tactics if not necessarily sound judgement. A few weeks later the local ADA gets a chance to watch the tape, He says looks like a righteous shoot on tape but the eye wittnesses jam me up real bad and I'm probably looking at criminal charges and a major civil suit.:eek: :eek: :barf: . Lesson learned, me and mine only. You will not know the Good guy from the bad guys untill it is too late.

August 28, 2002, 06:30 PM
"When I see 4 weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy to death in the park, I'm gonna shoot the bastards."

"You idiot, those were actors!"

August 28, 2002, 08:41 PM
It depends. Is she wearing an HCI T-shirt?
That makes no difference. Absolutely none.
Okay, for the humor impaired:

:D ;) :D ;) :D ;) It depends. Is she wearing an HCI T-shirt?:D ;) :D ;) :D ;)

Oleg Volk
August 28, 2002, 08:56 PM
What's funny about this? Anyone wearing HCI or Hilterjugend or any other uniform of evil gets no help. I wouldn't go so far as to assist in the stomping but I might take pictures for rotten.com

Christopher II
August 28, 2002, 09:09 PM
hlmcfa - No prob.

wingnutx - What exactly was the point of your question?

- Chris

Col. Mustard
August 28, 2002, 09:54 PM
Second, and I know this is going to sound a bit harsh, but why should I risk my life and my freedom to defend someone who was too irresponsible to do it themselves? Leaving out the obvious cases of people who are genuinely unable to see to their own defense, the phrase, "There are no victims, only voluenteers." is very much true. If an able-bodied person is not willing to take a few basic measures for their own security, I have little sympathy for them.

"Irresponsibility" is not the only reason a person may have for being unprepared for self-defense. There are any number of medical, physical, psychological, or economic impairments from which a person may suffer which prevents them from carrying a gun. These cannot be discerned as the crime is being committed; yet they surely should not condemn the victim to his fate.

Me, I'd rather take my chances doing the "right thing" as I saw it, than have to live with myself for having done nothing.

August 28, 2002, 11:20 PM
Definitely would, and not just handguns.
"Men and women for others" was my high school slogan. I would do it in a second. The laws of my state say a private citizen can use deadly force to prevent grievous bodily injury or any violent felony such as robbery, rape, etc., and the same private citizen can use deadly force in arresting an offender who has in fact committed a violent felony. I'm ready and willing, and careful to boot.

August 29, 2002, 12:24 AM
I had a real similar incident a couple weekends ago.

At my friends place helping him work on his truck out by the street. A women comes fast walking up and says can you help me this guy wont leave me alone. A scruffy refugee from the 60's, long hair & beard, tye died, bare feet closing fast behind her. They were both drunk. Hey says stay the F*** out of it, she's my wife. (I dont like being mediator in man-wife spats and he wasn't assaulting her so I kept silent while continuing to assess the situation). She took of walking and he followed. I watched them for 1/2 block when he trots up to her and grabs her by the hair and starts slinging her around, then starts to drag her by the hair up a side street with screaming, yelling, all that.

Well, I figured if he drug her up the street and bashed in her head with a rock, I should have done something. So I chase them down and tell him to let her go. "Stay out of it A**hole, thats my wife" So I say "You cant start assaulting her in public no matter who she is" and "Why dont you go sleep it off" and "let her go"

He cusses me out and slings her around some for emphasis. I say "Do you want him to leave you alone, or do you want me to mind my own business?" She said "Please help me"

So I grab him by the throat and draw back my fist and tell him to let her go and there wont be any trouble. He responds with more slinging her around by the hair and cussing me out. So I hit him two times in the face and am pretty sure I broke his nose. Plenty of blood at this time. He still wont let her go. I grab him by the throat again and twist him around till he goes down and he still wont let loose of her and she goes down too.

I'm still holding him down and attempting to get him to let loose and finally my friend hears the commotion and comes over and while I hold him down he prys his fingers loose from her hair so she can get up and she starts walking away. I held him down for a minute or so more then let him up. He started after her again but not so fast this time. I let them go and it was over. Feedback from neighbors later said the boys in blue arrested him for assault and took him in.

I was packed but the weapon never played a part in it in the least. I was very uncomfortable about the whole thing because they were married and it was likely NOMB. But I felt compelled to do something so just kept it to a minumum to separate them. This drunk guy was oblivious to reason and it was very frustrating.

My hats off to all you LEO's who have to deal with this type of individual on a daily basis.

I still feel kinda bad about hitting him, not my business and all, but also feel that I probably did the right thing.

So to answer your question, yes. As the situation dictates of course.

August 29, 2002, 01:06 AM
It was a rhetorical meant to point out that many people are simply incapable of adequately defending themselves from a serious threat., for one reason or another. Sure, some are volunteers, but many are just victims.

Christopher II
August 29, 2002, 08:33 AM
Sad to say it, but those people (and I suspect they are pretty rare; most folks are lazy and want to farm out their protection to others) are not my problem. Try to help one in the wrong situation, and they might become a big problem.

I'm willing to undertake the protection of my family and friends, but I won't be responsible for the whole world. Sorry.

- Chris

August 29, 2002, 09:47 AM
Yes, if, given the situation, it appears to me to be the right thing to do. "Appears" being the operative word.

[Corallary note: In Texas, you're not strictly obliged by law to assist another person being assaulted. There go all the good samaritans!]

August 29, 2002, 10:28 AM
The infamous Domestic Restraining Order and the Lautenberg(sp?) Amendment? In that a woman (or man) is disarmed by the state as part of an otherwise "routine" divorce proceeding?
And is then jumped by a thug (NOT their spouse)? Is it his or her fault that they are disarmed?

What about someone who carries a gun or knife or pepper spray or a taser but is disarmed in the act of being bum-rushed or rolling around on the ground (and you didn't see it slide under a car)?

Interject verbally while maintaining distance, call 911, act as a witness - this I would expect to do. Intervene physically? Hmm, depends on the situation I guess (I'm NOT physically capable of a knock-down, drag-out fight). Cover with a drawn weapon until the police show up to sort it out only IF the need justifies it (intent or threat of intent, capability of carrying intent).

Edward429451's incident seems pretty clear, it doesn't (or SHOULDN'T) matter that the guy and his wife were drunk. Did the wife press charges or did the guy assault the police?

Neal in GA
August 29, 2002, 11:36 AM
About the woman in the HCI shirt earlier. I realize it was a joke, but if it actually happened, can you imagine a better way to gain a strong and most likely outspoken convert to "our" side?

Oleg Volk
August 29, 2002, 11:46 AM
Intervention may be in order (probably best done by dousing both participants with pepper stray and ordering them to lie down), but I wouldn't claim to be doing it to help the poor dear HCI member. Plenty of better reasons to prevent a murder.

August 29, 2002, 02:45 PM
I would help anyone, including a HCI bumper sticker person. What better way to show that self defense works?

August 29, 2002, 07:39 PM
The wife pressed charges. He didn't resist the police. He didn't make any moves towards me either, he just spouted off at the mouth.

August 29, 2002, 08:14 PM
I've done it in the past. Just would not draw my gun unless it was me who became threatened. CCP is for self defense - not being a vigilante.

September 24, 2002, 03:31 PM
I would never intervene in any kind of altercation unless it involved members of my family (most of them anyway) or friends.
I would never risk my life and the destruction of my family for a stranger who probably (in my area) believes I have no business having a gun. Me and my family come first. Just as I don't want these types to infringe on my right to keep and BEAR arms, I don't want to infringe on other peoples right to choose to be a victim.

September 24, 2002, 04:17 PM
As has been said, time and time again it depends on the situation, each one different.

Like was given in an earlier example with the simmunitions training. Have the pizza shop owner and 5 eye witnesses say he came at you with a knife and the whole situation is different from a court aspect.

I for one could not live with myself if I saw someone getting attacked, did nothing and find out later that they are dead because all I might have had to do was "spook" the aggressor by making my presence known or interveining.

Good example happened right here in Columbus, OH in the downtown area. It was arounf 7am and a guy was walking past the corner of a building. He hears a lady screaming for help. He looks down the alley and sees a guy trying to force a woman into a car. He yells at the guy to stop and heads down the alley. When the BG sees him, he lets the girl go and takes off down the street. A few days later, the cops catch the guy and he has been the suspect they were looking for in some high profile rape/murder cases.

The lady that was saved by the passerby had 2 kids that got to see there mom that night. Can you imagine if you had been the person that heard her cry for help and kept walking? Later on you might have reported "something suspicious" to the police. In the trial, you get called as a witness, where they are trying to prosecute the guy, you have to look at that ladies family. When your leaving the courtroom, one of her children ask you "why didn't you help my mommy". That part didn't really happen, but could.

I couldn't live with that, could any of you?

We can be way too selfish sometimes.

But even with all that said. Situations like that ARE sometimes traps for unsuspecting passerbys.

As has been said, time and time again it depends on the situation, each one different.

September 25, 2002, 10:54 AM
"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good
men to do nothing"--Edmund Burke

A cell phone and pepper spray would seem to be a workable solution to this problem.

September 25, 2002, 03:43 PM
I'd dial 911, and describe what's happening. I'd stay on the line.

I'd yell to the folks that I've called the police, and that they should cease their behavior.

If one of 'em runs, fine. If both of 'em run, fine. If one of 'em pulls a weapon and threatens either myself or the other one, without benefit of identifying themselves as a victim/officer, all bets are off.

Ben Shepherd
September 30, 2002, 07:50 AM

If everyone would stand up for others weaker than them, the police would have an easier job.

Imagine this:

Mr. BG sees victim A. However, he sees a bystander that is most likely an even match or better for him.

Result 1: BG knows the law won't allow interference from the bystander. Victim A gets the worst of it.

Result 2: BG knows that not only does the law allow interference, but as a general rule people in this town are of the disposition of taking action in defense of others not capable. Mr BG will most likely choose a different target.

(See my post in thread: Senario: What would you do?)

September 30, 2002, 08:34 AM
Referring to the original scenario:

Is there imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent? A reasonable person would say yes.

Does the aggressor have the ability and opportunity to place the innocent person in jeopardy of her life? Looks that way.

Is a rolled up umbrella a deadly weapon? Yes. It constitutes a clubbed weapon or bludgeon which is fully capable of dealing lethal blows (the metal/polymer core may be shrouded in flimsy plastic while furled but the entire object can be as effective as some cheaper version of batons).

If necessary, deadly force is authorized. An attempt to subdue the aggressor through nonlethal means is preferable.

Fred Hansen
September 30, 2002, 04:47 PM
I would only use my gun if it became necessary. Generally a sound beating will do the trick.

If some of us didn't volunteer to balance out the selfishness in the world, the whole planet would go straight to hell overnight.