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Old December 17, 2012, 04:55 PM   #20
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,810
Originally Posted by Mobuck
It seems there's quite a difference in how members of the various gun forums view their role as CCW licensees in the cruel world. At least a couple of the forums I peruse are adamant about "hiding, calling 911, and only using a firearms as a last resort to save yourself". ....Is it that some folks are just so self centered that they can intentionally allow others to be hurt or killed simply because they don't feel they should get involved?...
You're being far too simplistic. There are multiple factors in multiple situations.
  • A Suspected Intruder in Your Home

    • This has been extensively discussed on this board, including here, here, here, here, and here.

    • Some folks will want to go looking for the suspected intruder, and some will want to arm themselves, get their family to a defensible place of relative safety and call the police.

    • The generally recommended course the latter, unless it's absolutely necessary, for example to round up family members or guest to move them to safety.

    • The reason is that going looking puts one at a significant tactical disadvantage. This is discussed more fully in the threads I've linked to. So if one sees his mission as primarily protecting his family and guests, that mission is best served by gathering them together and defending in a place of relative safety while calling and waiting for the police.

    • It might be necessary, as mentioned, to go looking, but that doesn't change the fact that doing so put one at a significant disadvantage. As pax put it here:
      Originally Posted by pax

      One thing that always fascinates me about this stuff is that those who have a higher level of training have much more robust understanding of how to do it safely... and also of how & when not to do it.

  • Third Party Defense

    • This has also been discussed at length on this board, including here, here, here, and here.

    • You may be legally justified in using lethal force in defense of others, but in doing so, you step into the shoes of the person you are defending. If that person would have been justified to use lethal force to defend himself, you would be justified in using lethal force in his defense. But if not, your act of violence would be a criminal act subjecting you to prosecution, conviction and jail.

    • So if you are considering using force in defense of someone, are you sure you know what happened? Are you sure you know who the original aggressor was? Are you sure that the person you intend to help is the innocent good guy? If you think you know, but are wrong, you are risking jail and your family's future.

    • And if you think you know, but are wrong, you will be shooting the innocent good guy.

  • The Rampage in a Crowd

    • We've had a few discussions on that topic as well, including here, here, here, here, and here.

    • How you might be able to effectively deal with such a situation will depend on exactly what is happening and how, what tools you have available and what your skill level is.

    • A confined area crowded with panicking people presents a difficult situation for even a very well trained and skilled person. Michael Bane in a recent article described the results of modeling the Aurora Theater incident. In the Gabrielle Giffords, bystanders were able to physically subdue the gunman.

    • The point for the armed private citizen would be to exercise good judgment so as to not do more harm than good.

Originally Posted by wayneinFL
...Instructors tell people to stand back and be a good witness, because they don't want to ...held liable...
Do you have any actual evidence to support that preposterous conjecture?

In fact, in the classes I've taken the possibility of needing to go looking, that it might be necessary, and how to go about it if necessary, was always acknowledged and discussed. A simulator exercise during my most recent class at Gunsite was premised upon a family member in imminent jeopardy and requiring immediate rescue.

The point is to distinguish between circumstance in which immediate action is necessary and circumstances in which waiting is better calculated to produce a good result.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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