View Full Version : What to do?

Mark M33
April 4, 1999, 08:26 PM
You are in a restaurant with your weapon, you did not intend to carry your gun to a place that serves alcohol, illegal in most most states, but you were going to eat and then you are out of there. While waiting for your food, a perp enters and takes a gun out of his jacket, he announces a robbery. What do you do?M33

April 4, 1999, 09:13 PM
You pull out your knife.... ;)

As a good guy, the gun should have been left behind in the first place. Way too much legal hell to go through if the gun comes into play. Beyond that, how one responds really depends on the situation. An adequate reply is not possible without more information.

This thread reminds me of Pulp Fiction.... :D


[This message has been edited by SB (edited April 04, 1999).]

Rob Pincus
April 4, 1999, 09:28 PM
The fact that Alcohol is being served would be the last thing I would consider. It is not a tactical concern.. my objective as an off duty LEO and an armed citizen would be governed by the following:

#1. everyone's safety
#2. the stopping of the crime
#3. the stopping of the criminal (capture/other)

Far distant #4. Legal ramifications

(this is still valid for me to answer as an armed citizen as I spend a great deal of time out of my own jurisdiction to enforce the law)

April 4, 1999, 11:52 PM
2nd amendment protects my uninfringed right to have and carry weapons. I can define "infringe".

Personal safety of any friends/family is the top priority. Whether my pistola was produced and/or used would depend on many factors, including the apparent mental state of the robber, caliber and action style of PDF, distance, number of incidentals (friendlies) present, etc.

As I am not LEO, it is not my concern to hold criminals. Safeguarding my "circle of friends" (everyone :)) is. Elimation of threat will often be the best way to ensure that protection.

[This message has been edited by Spectre (edited April 05, 1999).]

Rob Pincus
April 5, 1999, 08:59 AM
Notice that "other" in item #3, Spectre ??


Jeff Thomas
April 5, 1999, 10:41 AM
Gentlemen, with all due respect, we're not making much progress on this. And, it is a question I have considered lately myself, so I am truly interested in experienced opinions here.

Let's add a few more assumptions to Mark's hypothetical. The restaurant is reasonably full, you're seated near the cashier, at the counter, and the BG has a gun pointed at the waitress behind the counter. She stands near the cash register. He seems nervous and his finger is on the trigger. He's glancing around the room as he tells her to hurry up and get the cash out of the drawer. There are customers either standing or seated on the side of the BG away from you - that is, any stray or penetrating rounds would present a clear danger to others.

Now what?

My ignorant guess (based upon my current, very limited training): if I can discreetly do it, I place my hand on my gun and prepare to draw and fire only if he makes a clear move to fire his gun. I realize that means the waitress may die before I can take action. However, under the circumstances it seems foolish to provoke him when there is so much danger of injuring or killing innocent bystanders. If he fired I would try to drop to my knees and fire in an angle upwards to minimize danger to the others. Of course, this is much easier to consider now, in safety and comfort, than it would be then.

I also don't see the logic of considering the legality (of being in the wrong place with my gun) at the time of the crime. If necessary, and if I felt confident with my skill and circumstances, I believe I would have a moral obligation to save life in such a circumstance.

We have many experienced TFL members, including a multitude of LEO's and former LEO's. What is a citizen's proper response in such a difficult situation?

April 5, 1999, 11:03 AM
let him walk out the door. the distance between you and him is to close to engage in any type of response w/out a fatal or serious gunshot to either you or an innocent bystander. in an instance where the bg is that nervous either from stress or the influence of some substance, any form of movement may seem to him to be antagonistic. and who know's if there is anyone else that is armed or an off duty or plainclothes cop in there either.

April 5, 1999, 11:05 AM
let him walk out the door. the distance between you and him is to close to engage in any type of response w/out a fatal or serious gunshot to either you or an innocent bystander. in an instance where the bg is that nervous either from stress or the influence of some substance, any form of movement may seem to him to be antagonistic. and who know's if there is anyone else that is armed or an off duty or plainclothes cop in there either.
onne other thing nothing personal however WEAPON has a negative connotation to all the anti's out there.i found calling it a firearm throw's them off balance

cornered rat
April 5, 1999, 11:18 AM
recguns.com used to have a feature called The Red Zone
Would anyone here care to revive the concept...it would make for an informative discussion of topics like this.

Cornered "but cheery" Rat
http://ddb.com/RKBA Updated March 20

James K
April 5, 1999, 01:09 PM
If you are not a LEO, your concern is not with stopping the crime or arresting the perp.

If you are carrying with a CCW license, you are limited by law to self-defense, which means that you may defend yourself and your family against an immediate threat of death or serious injury. (I would probably defend an innocent person regardless, and take my chances.) In doing so, I would not worry overmuch about the liquor issue.

Unless the perp fires, you sit tight and let him walk. If you cut loose you may turn a robbery into a massacre and then you will be responsible, and be held responsible, for the deaths or injuries that result.

A CCW does not give you police powers or allow you to take police action. Period.

James K
April 5, 1999, 01:15 PM
BTW, I wonder if LEOs responding on this kind of issue could identify themselves as such. Problem is that a poster who is an LEO will talk about apprehending a criminal or stopping a crime, and some folks with CCW licenses think they are authorized to do things like that. To avoid confusion, would be nice to know who is an LEO so we understand better where coming from.

Art Eatman
April 6, 1999, 12:36 AM
Rep. Susanna Gratia-Hupp of the Texas Legislature saw her parents killed in the cafeteria massacre at Killeen. In order to obey the law as it existed before we got a Concealed Handgun License system in Texas, she had left her pistol in her car.

Granted that the perp crashed his truck through the plate-glass window, and jumped out shooting, but I'd bet that CHL or no CHL, she will lose no more family members...

Unless it's quite obvious that our hypothetical perp is not going to shoot, or that my action could readily harm some Good Guy, I'd have to follow my own moral code about protecting others as well as myself, and damn the technicalities. "April Fool, Bleep-bleep."

It ain't easy...

David Wright
April 6, 1999, 10:30 AM
IMHO,let him have the money, and move on...
Money is always easier to replace than the alternatives. If your only tool is a hammer, all problems begin to appear to be nails.( :)
Sometimes doing nothing IS the right move.

After that, be an accurate witness for the LEO's.

Mark M33
April 6, 1999, 10:03 PM
I agree with doing nothing if the BG walks away, if he starts shooting, then the weapon is used to stop the threat. We also have to be aware if there is another BG, and a good cover. Thanks guys, good learning experience.:4M33

Byron Quick
April 7, 1999, 11:52 AM
I let a BG walk out of a situation where he had threatened my life. Allowing him to live caused no end of grief to his next victim. Something to think about.

James K
April 7, 1999, 02:26 PM
Let's put the shoe on the other foot. You are having dinner with your wife when a BG sticks up the cashier. Some one (LEO or not)at another table pulls out a gun and blasts away, putting a .40 Corbon through your wife's heart.

Anyone want to tell me how he was right and you will gladly help coach him to improve his marksmanship?

Art Eatman
April 7, 1999, 10:40 PM
Mr. Keenan, Sir, you're absolutely right. My understanding of Texas law is that were I to hit a good guy, I'm in deep doodoo. If I kill an innocent bystander, it's a murder charge on me.

I've always followed the rule that if you can't be sure of your hit, don't shoot. Doesn't matter if it's Bambi or Badguy...

April 7, 1999, 11:51 PM
Right on, Art! I don't think any of us would be so dumb as to start a firefight in a crowded restaurant. Let the BG take the money and flee.

Just get a good description of the BG so the police have something to work with; including (if it is safe to do so) a description of accomplices, vehicles, etc.

If he begins shooting people, a la Killeen, anyone has the right in Texas to use force or deadly force to prevent or stop the unlawful commission of deadly force. (OK, OK, don't start with the "what if the BG is a LEO?" arguments.)

But, "justified" does not mean "required" (to use force or deadly force).

It is usually best to stay out of the fray. What if the BG has unknown partners in the crowd? What if the off-duty 21 y/o deputy constable and/or a poorly trained, hypercop wannabe see you with a gun and think you are the BGs buddy?

The possibility of unwarranted death, injury, property damage, criminal charges, civil suits, etc. is just too great unless the BG starts shooting.

Frankly, even if BG shoots one person, the crowd is still there, your other problems still exist, etc. I probably would not open fire until my family, friends, or I were under the immediate threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death; to BG begins to assassinate people.

If he begins shooting a number of people, and I have a clear (safe) shot and those I am responsible for are safe, then I'll Mozambique him and BG will mean "Been Greased".

BTW, I'm only talking about non-LEOs. LEOs have their own rules, customs, policies, obligations, etc.

As y'all pointed out, if your use of force negligently injures an innocent party, immediately check both shoes -- you done stepped in it, big and bad.

For Texans, I recommend a careful reading of the Penal Code, especially chapter nine.

James K
April 8, 1999, 10:33 AM
Thanks, folks. I see too many people on this site who seem to have carried CCW to both absurdity and extreme danger. One guy says he carries two big Glocks, two little Glocks, two extra mags each, two bowie knives, etc., etc. (Don't ask me how he can walk, ask him.) This macho type would probably blast away with both hands at anything or anyone for any reason. He is the kind of person the anti CCW people just love to portray as being representative of us.

Any time deadly force is used, there is a threat to innocent persons, including the user of the force. It is best used, by LEOs or citizens, with extreme care. Even the killing of the bad guy in a clear case of self defense does not automatically result in the killer being cleared, even if a LEO.

April 9, 1999, 05:02 PM
There seems to be a bigger issue at work here, one that I am not adequately prepared to answer: What is the strategic role of the armed citizen? Whatever the exact answer the general perception is, I'm sure it would be proactive and pro-safety.

Narrowing down to just this one scenario, and assuming that the scenario details are all true, I agree that the best thing to do is to let it go. What ever the robber would take is only a drop in the bucket next to the human lives that would be at stake in such a volatile scenario.

Again, I still think that without knowing more details, this scenario would be hard to respond to. Just the same, there are a few constants that I would most likely do in such a situation. 1. I would take cover. 2. I would do everything I can to contact the police. 3. I would only fight if lives are clearly being endangered.

Red Zone scenarios. Combat Hangdun magazine has something very similar to that and it's actually quite a lot of fun playing it out. This is just me, but if anyone plans to revive such a thing, diagrams are a must. Straight text is a waste of time.

Art Eatman
April 9, 1999, 09:11 PM
SB: No great argument with your viewpoint, but a bit of a "Devil's Advocate" position with respect to your second paragraph: Letting him go means an armed bad guy still "out there". Texas law does not demand you be facing a perp if you shoot him, if you "have reason to believe he poses a further threat to the community", or words to that effect. (It's in Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes [V.A.C.S.] for Texas.)

Granted an anti-gun DA might rain on your parade, and the legal expenses might go outta sight, but I guess I'm talking about "The Law", here, not "reality"...

I agree with V.A.C.S. When you take up a weapon against society, you just declared "Open Season" on yourself.

Where I have no quibble with you whatsoever is your view that it is a very complex subject, requiring rational thought. And pro-safety is paramount.

Best regards, Art

James K
April 9, 1999, 09:43 PM
Yes, talking over various scenarios, and playing the games in the magazines is a lot of fun.


If you choose to carry and use deadly force, you are not in the playground any more! We are talking about killing people, maybe innocent people, and that is not a game. I love gun "nuts". You (we) are great people, but most of us are not killers. We practice a lot; we know our guns. But..

There is a lot of difference between punching holes in a target and watching blood spray out of a dying man's chest as he screams and screams.

There is a lot of difference between imagining the calm, cool way you will explain the situation to the cops and throwing up all over your new chinos.

There is a lot of difference between being hailed as a hero and being arrested for murder.

Guess what? A Glock or a SIG doesn't look so neat when a hard-faced cop is pointing it at you! It just looks dangerous!

If you fire at anyone, even the most bad of bad guys, as anything less than the last resort, you will be in lots of trouble, even if you hit no one.

Of course you have the right of self defense; you have that right whether you are armed legally or not, or not armed at all. But the key is SELF defense, not a general right to play Action Comics hero and defend the public in all situations.

Art Eatman
April 10, 1999, 11:01 AM
Jim Keenan: One of the better parts of your posts is "...you are not in the playground anymore!" Implicit in all your arguments is the fact that there is a very high degree of personal responsibility in the carrying of deadly force.

Some of us may well not have thought about it as much as others. Nor reviewed the pertinent laws, and maybe not even considered the issue of bystander-safety. I think you and others have done well in bringing these issues into the discussion.

That said, I don't believe that taking action of your own volition in protecting the community is by definition playing Action Comics hero. It seems to me, and I could well be misunderstanding you, you are saying that if some armed action (omitting defense of yourself/family) is not sanctioned by government, you should not take that action.

(I recall a deer-hunter who center-punched a cop-killer with his .243. He didn't know the officer was already dead, but the perp was no longer a problem to any community...)

I guess that my point (if any) is that there are no hard and fast "rules" beyond common sense and safety. Yes, it may well be the best decision to let the perp take the money and run. For me, depending on circumstance, I would be rationally (I hope) proactive.

Okay? Best regards, Art

James K
April 10, 1999, 12:59 PM
Art, you are right, there are no hard and fast rules. The point I am trying to make is that a CCW license allows the legal carry of a concealed weapon. Period. No police powers. No defending the community from runaway skateboarders. No patrolling the streets looking for bad guys.

Let's say a CCW guy sees a big man hitting and wrestling to the ground a much smaller man. Defending the helpless, he shoots the big mugger. Small detail - he just killed an FBI agent and let a serial murderer get away to kill again. Anyone think he's a hero?

You are right that I don't see my job as protecting the community. I would defend myself and my family against an immediate, real threat without much concern about possible accidental danger to others. Under similar circumstances, I would also defend a person I know to be innocent.

Anything else, I will/must leave to the cops, either as a practical matter or as a matter of law.

April 10, 1999, 01:41 PM

"There is no Spoon"

April 11, 1999, 06:48 AM

Your Devil's Advocacy is appreciated. When I say, "let go", I didn't mean "forget about it". Surely, afterwards, the police would arrive. You would give them your best detailed description possible. Then, I say, let the professionals handle it.

Otherwise, I think we agree as your quote from Texas law(?) coincides from my third point in my second post.


Of course having fun with scenarios in magazines is not the real thing. That's why they're fun games. It would be wrong to lump it with the real thing. And I never said that, did I?

That being said, it is extremely difficult to train with the real thing. Not FOR the real thing. WITH the real thing. Do you train with real people holding real guns with real bullets in them? I hope not. That's why we tone down the reality level somewhat, and use less-than-lethal methods of training. Even something as laughable as Red Gun can be useful. Just gotta see it for what it's worth; take what's useful, dispense with the rest. And to that effect, playing out scenarios can be enlightening in terms of learning more about strategy and tactics. It may be a game, but it doesn't have to be a waste of time.

I agree with the rest of your points. It's a sad fact that many who still walk around out there thinking they're the Punisher.

Tim Burke
April 11, 1999, 10:34 AM
If I should happen to be inadvertantly carrying in a forbidden location, then I am not drawing my weapon for anything short of a direct threat to me or my family. If society wants to limit my ability to protect myself, I am certainly not going out on a limb, legally, to protect society.
I agree with Spartacus that if you let the guy go someone else will have to deal with him. However, society has made it so expensive, in a variety of ways, for me to address it, that I feel justified in letting someone else deal with it.
This particular scenario is probably a no shoot scenario, even if you are carrying legally, unless it evolves.


James K
April 11, 1999, 11:19 AM
Tim Burke and Ar,
One fellow suggested to me that people with a CCW license pretend their gun is illegal. That way, they will use it only if they have to.

I have played lots of games, on the range and off. But a gunfight is not a game. In a real gunfight, people get killed. Or paralyzed for life. Or get just enough brain shot away to be a vegetable. Or go to prison. Or are bankrupted by lawsuits.

Learning to shoot is not enough. You have to learn to engage the brain before putting the pistol into action.

Jeff Thomas
April 11, 1999, 11:57 PM
Jim, you make a lot of good points. However, let me take a little issue with a couple:

1. "If you are carrying with a CCW license, you are limited by law to self-defense, which means that you may defend yourself and your family against an immediate threat of death or serious injury." Actually, at least in Arizona, you can certainly use deadly force to prevent an unrelated third party from suffering mortal injury or death. This is crystal clear.

2. "If you choose to carry and use deadly force, you are not in the playground any more! We are talking about killing people, maybe innocent people, and that is not a game." Well, of course that is true. And folks that make too much light of these 'games' are perhaps not taking the situations seriously enough. OTOH, people, including me, often joke about extremely serious subjects in order to relieve some of the pressure. That is human nature.

And, this is my most important point, these 'games' are very, very helpful to reacting properly in an actual violent encounter. Our CCW instructor stressed, and our written exam even included the idea that we consider possible violent scenarios and how we would react. This wasn't discussed as simply a good idea - it was mentioned as one of the most critical things we would do. Makes sense to me - learn everything I can about my firearm(s), practice with them until I could safely use them in my sleep, know the pertinent laws, and consider and practice potential scenarios. Now, I'm a lot newer to this than many of my fellow TFL members, and maybe I've got it wrong, but this makes sense to me. As it stands, I plan to live fire at least once each week, dry-fire practice every few days, and use the F.A.T.S. simulator (computerized firearms training simulator) once each month. I take the responsibility of a CCW very seriously.

BTW, cornered rat, the Red Zone in rec.guns was very helpful and interesting. Thanks.

Jim, to be honest, it sounds like you have unfortunately run into many of the poorer examples of firearms owners. Guess I've been lucky enough to avoid more of them so far. Most of the folks I've 'met' on TFL seem much, much more responsible than your concerns would indicate.

And, carrying 2 big Glocks, 2 little Glocks, 2 Bowie knives, etc. may be a bit much, but I personally always make sure I've got an extra Diet Pepsi. ;) 'Course it can get pretty warm in AZ.

cornered rat
April 12, 1999, 08:09 AM
On carrying two of everything: if a single Oerlicon 20mm and a plain-jain 4" recoilless derringer for backup don't do it, I don't think anything will. Besides, would you want to hear the prosecutor say: "A single 16" gun was not enough for this man, he had to have three (!) and had even installed a turrent on his car to that end."


Cornered Rat
ddb.com/RKBA (http://ddb.com/RKBA) Updated March 20
"Turn in your guns, get a a free tattoo on your arm"

April 18, 1999, 09:45 AM
I guess it comes down to how your State laws are written for your CCW. In Kentucky, you will be justified (not required legally. Morally?) shooting a BG if the third person is justified in shooting a BG. In a restaurant with a lot of people, I'd let the BG take the money and run. Unless he starts shooting. Money can be replaced. Lives cannot...

Join the NRA!!!

April 19, 1999, 10:07 PM
IMHO, Jeff Thomas said it all on his first post to this thread! Your mind has to be in gear, that's an absolute. I think Luby's would have turned out better if Jeff had been there.

Rain on me about the legality of everything if you must. Hank

April 27, 1999, 06:21 PM
Jim Keenan:

From whence do the police get their police powers?

It's this abandonment of citizen responsibility for the community's safety, relying solely upon those to whom we have delegated our powers, which has led to our dangerous society of do-nothing sheeple.

Unless you're in some mandatory retreat state like Massachusetts, lethal force is okay for defense of self and others. Not just family. Not just blood kin, excluding in-laws.

The key to this scenario is how imminent the danger is. Legal repercussions pale in light of a greater moral responsibility to the community. Once the first shot is fired, letting that person continue unchallenged is almost inexcusable.

I do not advocate trying to draw when the perp is already pointed at you. But preparing to act, planning the positioning to minimize hazards to bystanders, and thinking these things through can be quite helpful.

Not so long ago, a crazy with a gun walked down the center of a busy street, trying (halfheartedly?) to hijack a car. He fled when one citizen displayed his own gun. Later than night, a cab driver was found shot dead. Surveillance tapes from a nearby business showed that the shooter was exactly the same crazy.

So, although the decision whether to engage in a losing scenario is a rather personal one (we may have no moral obligation to die trying, though that is an honorable way to go), there seems to be a bit of justifiable defense of others possible.

Yes, sometimes the best decision is to not engage. But I find your knee-jerk LEO vs. common citizen distinctions and family-only mentality to be a bit disturbing.

Who's never had to even display a weapon defensively, and tries to live so he won't, either.

James K
April 27, 1999, 09:32 PM
Good evening, Cheapo,

I have been a LEO, am now a "common" (not sure I like that word) citizen. In some CCW states (VA is one), licensee is permitted only to defend himself or family. As I said earlier, I would violate that restriction if I had to defend an innocent person.

I make a distinction between LEO and citizen because the laws do. I cannot flag down speeders, for example, or stop and frisk a person I suspect of having committed a crime.

My concern is not with someone like you who carries with discretion and control. But some posters seem to be ready to shoot at the slightest excuse, and that could present a problem. Not only could this turn a robbery into worse, but the armed citizen may not have adequate information on which to judge a situation. I cited the example of an armed citizen shooting an FBI agent whose arrest of a suspect may look like an assault.

Those who have read some of my other postings know that I am not in "knee-jerk" defense of LEOs. But citizens who carry guns need to know the law and the limits imposed on their actions. And display the kind of common sense you are discussing.

In the case you mentioned, the citizen had no legal right to kill the would-be hijacker after the BG left. He could not legally shoot the man in the back. That might have made for the best outcome in the long run, but the citizen would have been arrested for murder and would probably have been convicted.

Sorry, Cheapo, that's reality.


April 28, 1999, 06:30 AM
I agree! Having a CCW and/or all the tactical training in the world does not relieve you of your first responsibility , which is to avoid trouble when possible. Most of the good self-defense instructors define defensive pistolcraft as your LAST line of defense, which comes somewhere after running away (sorry Rambo!)If someone starts shooting, that changes the rules. Just don't you be the one to escalate violence.

James K
April 28, 1999, 08:14 AM
One serious problem with CCW is that there is usually no means of escalation. Police officers are usually in good physical shape and are trained to suit their actions to the situation.

The mere presence of a uniformed police officer can defuse many situations. The cop has training in unarmed combat (maybe not black belt, but some training). He or she is trained to use the baton, Mace, blackjack, and handcuffs (as a weapon), before or instead of resorting to deadly force. An armed citizen has a gun. Period. It is like a nation with no army or navy, only nuclear missiles.

The armed citizen can respond only with deadly force and can do so only in defending himself or herself, family members, and other known innocent people. The CCW licensee may not shoot those involved in a barroom brawl, may not blow away the creep who rams his car in a parking lot and takes off, may not put a bullet into the purse snatcher.

I support CCW, but recognize its limits. The license carries no special privileges or rights except one - it provides an exemption to the law against concealed weapons carry.

Jim Keenan

April 28, 1999, 04:48 PM

Sir, I must respectfully disagree. I got into an extensive argument with Jack Fuselier on this basic idea several months ago. I stated that having some hand-to-hand training is an advantage, because one has the ability to escalalate the situation. If one has a firearm, you have (essentially- I do believe in striking with firearms, as well!) only a shoot/no shoot option. I am personally of the opinion that I will never draw my gun unless I plan on using it, and I will not point my gun at any target I do not intend to perforate immediately.

I believe that "less lethal" tools such as chemical agent (carried by many CCL/CHL holders) and canes can often resolve a situation without resorting to gunplay. If they cannot resolve the situation, perhaps they can give the time to make a clean presentation and take the shot.

Because of the nature of our current legal system, I am willing to assume more risk than most would be happy with. I would rather risk dying tonight than dying a lingering death after meeting "Bubba and the boys" in the big house. This means that I will attempt to use every means besides lethal force if I have any choice-unless other lives are at stake. I have a moral obligation, law be damned, to protect innocents in my circle of influence (bubble).

James K
April 29, 1999, 10:21 AM

I think we are saying the same thing, but I am not making my point too well. I, too, would use deadly force to protect innocent people and worry about the law later. I would probably do that even if I were armed illegally. I agree with not drawing unless necessary; threats and pointed guns always work on TV; in real life, the punk might give you the finger and walk away, knowing you don't dare shoot him. Just don't get so grooved into "draw and fire" that you fire reflexively without thinking. Always engage brain before putting trigger finger in action.

My point is that the CCW license does not confer police powers. A licensee is not responsible for the general keeping of the peace in his area. I gave examples of a barroom brawl and a hit and run as cases where an armed citizen cannot use deadly force. Tempted to kill some SOB who knocks you down, grabs your wallet and runs? You bet! Allowed to do that? No! When a direct threat to your (or other innocent?) life ends, so does the right of self-defense.

Sorry, folks, that is the way it is.

I have repeatedly stated that the CCW license does not give the licensee any privileges or rights he doesn't have without it, except to carry the gun legally. Some folks seem to have a hard time grasping that simple idea.

I have the right of self defense, whether I am armed legally or illegally or not armed at all.

I will go back to one of my original themes: If you are going to carry a gun, talk first to an attorney about the law and put him/her on retainer in case you do have to use the gun. All the shooting techniques in the world won't help if you are in a cell and your gun is in the police property room.


Michael Carlin
April 29, 1999, 10:52 AM
Though I have fairly extensive training in a grappling system and Tae Kwon Do, I should personally uncomfortable in engaging in a physical "tussle" while armed. The techniques of weapon retention are necessary prerequisites for that action.

Other alternatives, chemical, impact weapon, may be a better choice than grappling.

My concern here is that once you are in contact with the individual you are in grave danger!

Regardless of your level of training once you are striking range, very bad things can happen in very short order. One could get a thumb in the eye, discover that the perpetrator is vey adept, get stabbed fatally, in under a 1/2 second!

If this is not an immediate deadly force intervention, I would be inclined to stand back and verbally challenge the individual.

Especially were he to have a weapon in hand.

Confonting a non-lethal situation physically for a citizen is in my personal estimation foolish.

If no one is about to be maimed or killed, there is nothing but property involved, I would not come into contact with the prepetrator physically.

As others have noted, in most states one may use force in defense of another if a reasonable person would conclude it necessary. Generally this means threat to life or limb.

If there use of such a force does not appear reasonably imminent to the ordinary observer you are not "authorized" to intervene with any sort of force.

The decision to use less than lethal force implies that you are outside of the exception for intervention on another's behalf. Just my humble opinion. (Having been in the role of an interventionist who was subsequently afoul of a carrying without a permit charge).

(resolved by dismissal when the DA determined that we had legal precedent in the jurisdiction for arming and intervening, and willingness and capability ( both financial and representation) to go to trail)

this is a little long, sorry

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship
www.1bigred.com/distinguished (http://www.1bigred.com/distinguished)


[This message has been edited by Michael Carlin (edited April 29, 1999).]

May 1, 1999, 04:21 AM
Jim K:

I'm in less of a rant mode tonight. Had a great discourse 80% written yesterday, then lost it when I was called away from the computer.

True, common citizens (I, too, hate that term. It fails to honor the position.) do not have police powers. But the law makes the distinctions between police and citizens only because the people through representatives have made it so. The power to use force to protect self, others, order, and public property rested originally with the citizen, and can be reclaimed by just changing the statute.

I cite the community duty roster of all able-bodied males who used to patrol Wall Street in New Amsterdam. We hired others to take our duty shift, and thus created the modern Police professional. The older tradition of Kingly enforcement of stuff like anti-hunting decrees (King owns all wildlife, Sir Robin Hood!) by political appointees has less bearing on U.S. "police powers" of the gov'mint.

What to do? Depends on the level of danger. No shots fired by the BG means as unobtrusively as possible get your firearm in hand if at all possible. Observe closely for accomplices. Plot body position and movement, to include cover if possible, for if the BG starts to do A B or C, moving himself N, S, E, or W. Include danger to bystanders in your calculations.

Once a shot is fired, it's probably a personal decision whether to attempt to stop it at the risk of getting killed yourself. Being in near-contact distance makes the shot easier but the danger to you greater. But I say that once a shot is fired, the BG is proven to be a dangerous killer and anyone is justified using lethal force, even as the BG retreats. When the BG is so highly dangerous, defense of non-family members, like society at large or the cop who is about to round the corner to get a load of lead in the face, is okay and fully justified. The right-to-defense-ends-when-BG-starts-to-leave rule for fleeing felons does not apply in many jurisdictions to those who just killed and still have the ability to kill again.

If he drops the gun, he's no longer fair game.

Despite all of our training and planning and thinking things through, sometimes the best course is to not engage the BG. An element of flexibility must be part of our bag of tools.

For the driver who did not shoot through the window at the would-be carjacker, that was probably the best decision for him, though disastrous for the cabbie. The driver correctly surmised that his life was *not* in imminent danger, and both parties lived. But under the circumstances, another person could have had a reasonable belief of imminent danger and been in the right to shoot.

However, most good guys are not eager to see blood, and puke over the unpleasantness that follows the sheer terror of a near-lethal (for you) encounter. Ultimately, it comes down to being a personal decision based on what prices you are willing to pay.

Try in vain in a tactically losing situation and lose your life trying? No dishonor there, especially compared to letting carnage continue unchallenged while you wait for backup. Defer to the odds and let the BG go even after only one person is killed? No dishonor there because of the risk of harm to others from starting a gunfight in a crowded room. But save your own skin by becoming invisible as the killer wanders through the place shooting/stabbing/stomping anyone who moves? Inexcusable!

Exactly where you will draw the line between
1. the first victim and

2. the number of deaths which convinces you that the body count cannot be made worse by turning it into a gunfight...

well, that's probably a personal decision too, but it falls into the undefinable term "reasonable." It will depend on the circumstances and maybe even on the "vibes" you get. Unseen powers can give us the insights we need in such dire settings, if we remain flexible and listen.

And since it's a restaurant, let's not forget the utility of grabbing a knife and slashing the gun hand tendons while immobilizing the gun. Assess your chances and count on heavy resistance, more than you get even in full-speed practice at the Dojo.

The point about all problems looking like nails when all you have is a hammer...well, it's VERY well said.

Sorry this is so long, but I discovered a personal stake in this type of scenario last October. Turns out that one of my college buds, whom I was trying to look up, was killed by a wacko who wanted to make a point at Ft. Bragg in 1995. My friend was unarmed and died trying. And he wasn't the only one storming the BG's position.


Let us never forget that the only legitimate source of government power is the citizens. If WE cannot exercise a certain power, we cannot grant it to the state.

Larry P.
May 19, 1999, 12:03 PM
I just so enjoyed reading this topic I had to join up just to stick my two cents worth in. First off, at least in Texas, you certainly CAN shoot the guy who stole your wallet at knifepoint and is now walking away. Or snatched your purse. In the back. I realize most locales are not in that status, but let's not assume that our rules apply in others' situations.

I find Texas unique in many ways regarding armed citizens; a previous post here recalled the deer hunter who took out a man who was in the process of murdering a police officer. That post did not mention that 1) the police refused (under a good deal of pressure from a press which adored him) to even identify that man, since he did not want them to, wished to remain anonymous, 2)at a private ceremony a while later, the police presented him with an engraved plaque expressing their gratitude for his actions, along with a presentation cased custom Colt .45 Gold Cup with gold engraving, while still not releasing his name, and 3)the next time a DPS trooper was murdered in the line of duty was more than 5 YEARS later (actually, seems like it was 15 years, but I don't have the precise figures). If the police departments in your states force CHL holders to ignore crime which does not immediately threaten their own lives (regardless of what the law says), I betcha they're suffering much higher rates of murdered police officers than that, not to mention other crimes!

Possibly even more instructive of why I am a "transplant" to this lovely state, some years after that hunter popped that BG, but still prior to passage of our CC law, here in Austin a citizen in his car came upon a gunfight between a police officer and a perp, completely ignorant of the causes therefore, just as the officer went down. When he observed the shooter proceed TOWARD the wounded officer rather than running away, he decided (as has been advocated here) the devil with the law, he was NOT going to watch this happen, and pulled his weapon, stepped out of his car and dispatched the perp forthwith, my recollection says it was with several shots in the back. The officer survived.

Now, the interesting part; turns out, according to the police report, this gent was in possession of that concealed, loaded firearm in a state without a CHL law because he just coincidentally happened to be on his way to a gun store to purchase ammunition for it, which under the TX Constitution gave him the right to legally carry that pistola as he was doing (our Constitution has a bunch of little hidden stuff like that). I read that article in the paper and laughed until I cried. See, I knew about that provision, but I really wondered whether that citizen knew about it or whether the police had to explain it to him in great detail before he decided he was on his way to purchase ammunition! At any rate, he was applauded, not charged with a crime, and that is how it should be. If it is not in your area, perhaps you should get active and address why not.

I have carried whenever I thought I had a need to for over 30 years, sometimes legally and sometimes not, and so has my wife, and we are just now considering CHLs for the first time. On several occasions LEOs have discovered that fact, one way or another (I've never much hidden it if asked), and none has been interested in pursuing it beyond checking my ID, wants and warrants, etc. I have never had cause to even consider using the firearm I've carried, nor have I ever regretted NOT having it along. But the two cases I've cited here have one thing in common-the two citizens involved had absolutely zero problem deciding "what to do". See, I got to the topic, finally.

I submit, while agreeing totally with the concept of pretending you are carrying illegally to help make your decisions, that if any of us ever really need to actually USE that firearm, there aren't going to be any questions in our minds. If I had illegally carried my weapon into that Luby's in Killeen, not unheard of for me, the second shot fired that day would have been mine. If I was unsuccessful and went down, I have no doubt at all that if she was along, my wife would then have taken up my weapon and continued. If she went down, I have no doubt at all that Suzanna Gratia (now -Hupp) and/or her father would have come for that weapon very quickly. Her father charged the lunatic bare-handed, for goodness sake! Every person in the place knew within seconds that it was time to draw and fire, the entire problem was that the BG had the ONLY firearms present.

So my answer to the question at hand is that if you have to think about it, don't even think about it. Should the need arise, you will know.

In passing, btw, anybody who "displays" a weapon to a perp with a firearm drawn and pointed at him is a suicidal idiot, IMHO. And anyone who gets physical with ANYBODY while himself packin' heat should be locked away for his own protection as well as the protection of society. Your level of courtesy should jump by a huge leap whenever you strap on a deadly weapon. "Excuse me, kind sir, if you would please wait until I go to my car and deposit my firearm in the trunk, I will then gladly return and kick your ass till your hat flies off." If you conclude that this response will get you killed, then SHOOT him! Don't fight him. If it seems he would be inclined to agree, say it, then get in your car and leave. That is my own (untrained) version of "conflict avoidance".

Too long, I know, but I had a lot of catching up to do!