View Full Version : Gun?Knife? Which One First?

August 30, 2000, 05:55 PM
Years back I was walking from the parking lot at the rear of the coffee shop to the front of the coffee shop. I was confronted by two burly men before I could get to the side of the building...no one else visible. From approximately 20 feet away, the one BG at my 11 o'clock pulled up his shirt to reveal a knife handle. He said, "Knife." BG #1 then pointed to BG #2 at my 10 o'clock and 5 feet behind BG #2 and said, "Gun."

Very verbous this BG...if either BG pulled his weapon further or made a threatening action what would you have done?
If you've decided it's a shooting situation, which one first?

Thanks for your comments,criticisms, suggestions...etc., etc..

Christopher II
August 30, 2000, 06:19 PM
You say that BG#2 has NOT shown a gun?

With the situation as you describe it, my first response would be to turn around and run. Maybe duck into the coffee shop (or another crowded store,) get my back to the wall, and let them come to me.

If flight is not an option, i'd draw my sidearm and give verbal warning. "I have a gun. Stay back or I'll shoot," or something to that effect.

If the two BGs just stop where they are, I'd back off while watching them, head back to my car, and drive away. Call the cops on the cell or at the first convinent pay phone.

If, on the other hand, the BGs go for their weapons, open fire. If only one made a move for his weapon, he'd be the first to get shot. If both did, i'd take care of the closest one first.

Discaimer - I'm not a lawyer nor a tactical genius, know the laws in your area, YMMV, etc, etc, etc...

Any other comments?


"TV what do I see, tell me who to believe, what's the use of autonomy when a button does it all??" - Incubus, Idiot Box

Zach Vonler
August 30, 2000, 06:33 PM
Since they are so close together, yet at a reasonable distance from yourself, I'd go ahead and draw to low ready and if I had the presence of mind say something like "Me too." At that distance and since they are close to each other you'd have the jump on them. If #2 starts to go for something, shoot him. If #1 comes for you, step to the right so that he is directly between you and #2 and drop #1, then evaluate what #2 is doing at that point. Might be slightly more pc to try running, but if #2 really does have a gun you may catch it in the back. I would expect though that it's a bluff and drawing your own weapon would cause them to reassess their desire to rob you.

You say this happened, what did you do and what was the result?

August 30, 2000, 07:29 PM
Chris II and Zach V.,
Thanks for such a quick response...I'm sorry...I forgot to mention that when BG #2 was introduced, He lifted his T-shirt up and showed the butt and cylinder of a revolver but he did not draw his weapon.
I relate these actual situations without writing the end because I feel that folks like you are constantly in training(preparing) and it sounds like you are seriously ready.
Sometimes, the worse thing we can do is waffle or be indecisive at that crucial moment and it usually means more preparation and forethought is needed...DocRocket kind of got me pumped up for this,
Doc? Here's another scenario...
If it wasn't so serious, I would have laughed...as I got out of the car, I had already drawn my handgun and kept it below the car door...it was just the way that whole scenario was going down...spotted the nervous looks, their scanning the area for witnesses, their "touching" themselves to make sure their weapons were at hand, tec., etc..
One of the things I fear is that if I tried to drive away immediately, some idiot might decide to shoot to stop me from getting away and that darn car glass isn't bullet proof...Sigh! it's on my wish list.
Anyway, that's why I got out of my car and drew my weapon under cover of the door. At least I had a chance this way.

Oh well, I'd like to hear some more comments, ideas, etc..

August 30, 2000, 07:35 PM
I'll post an after action report in a day or so after reading some of the other folks' replies.
Please bear with me. :); ;)

August 30, 2000, 08:24 PM

Ability - they have displayed the ability to kill you (as far as you can tell).
Opportunity - they have the opporunity to kill you.
Jeaopardy - they have made it clear that your life is at risk.

You do the math.

Zach Vonler
August 30, 2000, 09:30 PM
ctdonath: I was taught that it's ability, opportunity, and intent. I think in the original scenario, when we didn't know for sure there was a gun, opportunity was lacking because the guy with a knife was too far away. Intent and ability was there however, since given the opportunity the guy with the knife is lethal. That's why I didn't say shoot first. If the gun made an appearance (and I'd have to be sure that's what it was if he didn't actually draw it) I'd go ahead and shoot the guy with the gun and see what the one with the knife wanted to do at that point (no pun intended). My reasoning on which goes first is that they are not going to expect a quick, hard response and thus the guy with the knife is 2-2.5 seconds away from killing me, while the guy with the gun is maybe 1-1.5 depending on how good he is. I think after shooting the guy with the gun moving so that they are in a line relative to me is still a good idea so that if the guy with the gun is still dangerous he would have to shoot through or around his buddy.

August 30, 2000, 10:57 PM
I'm not sure that I like the "put #1 betwen you and #2" scenario ... There is a key assumption in the logic that counts on #2 actually giving a hoot about #1's hearing or health ... they are BG's afterall. What it guarantees is that you cannot see what #2 is doing ... drawing, etc. I think keeping the angle of separation between them small is obviously good, but not in a line. Just another opinion.

August 31, 2000, 03:43 AM
So you have a gun in hand. The safe thing is to just shoot them.

Book/school thing is to go to ready or aim [you ARE willing to shoot them] and challenge.

Myself, if I felt real threat at this point I would probably just shoot them. They have displayed weapons in a threatening manner. You are facing two goblins if you challenge you give up the initive and also allow them to play mind games. One can pretend to go along and the other can refuse. Or they can put up their hands and flank you [then what do you do?]

Real self defense is about surving first. Anything else is second. The odds are already stacked against you [ie 2 to 1] you don't want to do anything to help the goblins out. If you take the initive and just shoot them you have a real chance of winning. And I do mean chance, the real world is not the range...even if you can hit both of them twice before they get their weapons into play that doesn't mean the fight is over or even won. But from what I have experianced and seen most people have to luck thru "seeing the elephant" to develope that attitude.

I am guessing you probably issued some type of threat or challenge backed up with the muzzle of your pistol? And then waited to see what they would do? If these two goblins had the same attitude and teamwork as those two kids you mention in the other thread you would be dead if you did anything but shoot IMHO.

August 31, 2000, 08:06 AM

Have you ever done a Tueller drill? A person from a dead stop can close 21 feet in 1-2 seconds. Which is just about the same amount of time as it would take to draw and fire 2 rounds. At 20 feet, the guy with the knife definitely has opportunity. I know a fellow who did the Tueller drill shortly after having leg surgery. On the second step, he broke his leg. But he kept going and completed the 21 feet in about 2 seconds. At the end, of course, he collapsed. Several surgeries later, he still has hardware in his leg. Oh yea, the guy with a knife has opportunity.

At LFI-1, I was taught Ability, Opportunity, Jeapordy. They both have the ability (gun, knife, plus force of numbers), opportunity, and they've clearly put you in jeapordy.

If there was cover, I would have drawn while moving to cover, and start shooting. Knife boy gets a pelvis shot. Gun boy gets center of mass shots.

If I was very lucky, they both would have taken off when I drew. In that case, I would not have fired at a fleeing felon.


August 31, 2000, 08:21 AM
Hmm... I'm surprised they decided to initiate a confrontation from so far away.

In any case... they initiated the confrontation. #1 has already displayed a deadly weapon, and whether #2 has displayed a deadly weapon or not, he is accomplice to #1, who has indicated that #2 is likewise armed.

After I get over the initial shock, and then berate myself for being stupid -- feign acquiesence, then drop #2, then #1.

The value of my life, my Rights, and those of my family are incalculable;
your life and your Rights, should you choose to threaten mine, are worth exactly $1.79 --
delivered 230gr at a time.

Zach Vonler
August 31, 2000, 10:12 AM
M1911: Yes, I took that into account. But add to that time the fact that he does not have the knife in hand, and will be reacting to your drawing (and might possibly be surprised). That's where I got 2-2.5 seconds. The guy with the gun has only to draw, making him faster. If the knife guy had it in his hand, I'd probably answer differently.

Para Bellum
January 8, 2005, 04:24 PM
If I had a knive and a gun and I wanted to scare someone, why only showing the knife? I assume the two had no gun.

Anyway I'd fight the one who surely is armed first, then the other one. if the other one were armed, he'd need time to grab his arm. The displayed one can be grabbed faster I assume.

January 8, 2005, 06:52 PM
Judging by the dates, aren't we due an account of what actually happened?

January 9, 2005, 09:06 PM
In that situation I would feign total submission to get them off guard, then draw and fire to stop both of them as fast and as well as I could. I refuse to take a chance with my life. Its the only one I have.....

January 9, 2005, 09:20 PM
Hey Guys. This original post by LASur5r was done 4 1/2 years ago. I'm not so sure waiting around for a reply to what he did in this situation is necessarily a good idea.


Arc Angel
January 20, 2005, 12:34 PM
:) OK, but for the sake of, 'academia' I'd have pointed back and replied; 'Two dead guys!' :D

January 20, 2005, 07:55 PM
LASur5r, . . . how fast can you run?

Your description of "burley" conjures images of overweight, overdrinking, oversmoking, out of shape bg's looking for an easy mark.

I am 60, . . . do have a bit of physical limitations, . . . but I can get 10 yards on both of them before they can figure out that I am gone. That puts me in position to put a car, truck, trash can, LEO :D ? :D , between them and me. It also allows me the time to turn, draw, and find out which of them wants it first (he'll be out in front).

There is no CCW rule that says you gotta stand your ground in every situation. A wise man once said something to the effect of "He who fights and runs away, . . . lives to fight another day".

I'm basically a runner if there is an opening, . . . and of course IF I am alone, . . . when you get to my page in your coloring book, . . . color me gone. I can let them brag to their drinking budds that they scared the old man silly, . . . they can guffaw, hooraw, hoot and toot all they want. I am still alive and didn't have to call the lawyer.

May God bless,