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Old August 17, 2005, 07:43 AM   #1
HOKIEHUNTER
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a little different spin on the walmart scenario...

Ok, you and a bunch of buddies are heading to the gun range. you just stopped in at walmart (in a VERY busy part of town) and are carrying several bags of ammunition. you're gun is in the car b/c you don't yet have a CCW permit. as you're walking down to your car you notice that there is a group of about 20 guys standing about 10 cars down from where you're parked. they're broken up into 2 groups that are yelling and screaming at each other (in perfect ebonics). all of a sudden one guy whips out a 1911 and shoots 3 shots straight up in the air and puts the gun to the chest of the guy right in front of him. you don't have your cell phone on you, but can easily get to your gun without the group really noticing you b/c they are too preoccupied with each other. do you do anything or let it go?

I recently experienced this situation at my local wally world, and was tempted to at least pull out and load my .357. Since i'd just turned 21 and hand't taken any handgun classes (nor was i proficient with the gun at the time) i stood back and watched. now this was a very crowded parking lot, and frankly i didn't care if they shot each other, but a couple rows over was a mother getting out of her car with a baby, some young teens around, etc., and i just didn't want their bullets flying around the parking lot. i wanted to intervene, but like i said didn't. luckily the 3 of the friends of the guy with the gun to his chest tackled the guy with the gun and wrestled it away from him. the guy that originally held the gun got his tail kicked and they eventually all scattered. the guy with the gun got pulled into a car and we got the plate #, borrowed a cell phone, and the police grabbed him about a .25 mile down the road.
now i think i did the right thing in this situation, but if shots had started flying around the parking lot would i have been justified in dropping him? what would you do in this situation if the bullets had started to fly?
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Old August 17, 2005, 07:56 AM   #2
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If I was not carrying I would lay low, Get in my car and drive a few hundred feet away. Or to the nearest payphone or anyone I see with a cellphone.
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Old August 17, 2005, 08:18 AM   #3
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You did the right thing. In that case, even if you'd had your ccw, were fairly proficient with your sidearm, you were looking at a group of 20. There's no guarantee that all of them aren't carrying besides Mr. Hothead. You whip out your ubercustom pistol and whack a round off and suddenly you have 3, 8, 12 or 20 armed people flinging rounds in your general direction. This is known, in professional circles, as "bad luck".

It's good that you want to intervene to prevent a loss of life. However assessing the situation rationally, you're outnumbered. Even if they're unarmed, if they scatter but start approaching you from different directions your situation has deteriorated badly. Sometimes it's best to be a "good citizen" and call for the authorities to handle it.

I'd likely get into my car and depart the area as inconspiciously as possible, while also looking for a phone/cell-phone to call the PD.
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Last edited by BillCA; August 17, 2005 at 11:04 PM.
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Old August 17, 2005, 09:19 AM   #4
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Dude, you aren't a cop and you aren't the Lone Ranger, if you want to help yell "Police" as you are running away, but you have NO right to pull a weapon, even if you are CCW. If you were really smart you'd go back in the store and get a phone and call the police. Even police and soldiers have guidelines and can't just shoot when they perceive trouble, wake up or you'll end up in a lot of legal trouble.
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Old August 17, 2005, 09:26 AM   #5
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^^ For sure. Getting involved in that situation is a bad judgement call.
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Old August 17, 2005, 09:52 AM   #6
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I think what the others said pretty much sums it up. The only thing I'd do differently is make my way toward the mother and child you mentioned to get them out harm's way asap.
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Old August 17, 2005, 10:14 AM   #7
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Not enough info, and too many varibles to play Monday Morning Quarterback. I hate this anyway. I have to make split second decisions, while a group of non connected people get a few days to pass judgement on me. It sounds like you did the right thing. I might have done it differently, but I am a different person.

Depending on distance, and cover, I might have moved the woman and child, had someone call 911, and then turned his lights out. Again too many variables. What was his position relative to mine? Where was his trigger finger? Does this seem like a person that would follow through, or is someone using a big gun to make up for little parts. Even if they are carrying chances are greater that they are going to bust and run. Especially if they hear a bang, everyone is wearing blood spatter, and the guy drops like a sack of potatos. No yelling, no proclamation to "drop the weapon", no confrontaton. Turn off his switch, and take cover. Remember for the most part these people are cowards. That is why they have to do everything in large groups.

I know, here comes the flames! But for everyone that feels like firing up the blow torch the same thing applies. This is MMQ time. And of course I am the type of personality that tends to be more protective of others than myself. Don't follow my advice on this. I am sure you did the right thing now that we can all look back. But what if that little bit of waiting caused several others to get shot?
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:30 AM   #8
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With a group of 20......

lay low and call 911.

did the right thing by observing and getting the info.
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Old August 17, 2005, 11:39 AM   #9
Glenn E. Meyer
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i stood back and watched.

Going to watch a potential gun fight where bullets can fly through the air?

I will go for the cover my butt tactic and FLEE! Quickly!!

Yes, there are innocents and it is noble to worry about them. Life is complex. I save them and die/serious injury and my wife and kid's life go to hell.

I've seen 'innocents' shot plenty in FOF scenario. I shot one (oh, dear). I've been shot as an innocent bystander.
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Old August 17, 2005, 12:56 PM   #10
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Shooting someone that's in a argument with another person will put you in prison. Especially in a wal mart parking lot, where you have a infinite amount of chances to escape un-harmed-and you aren't even the one being harmed in the first place. You're not a police officer, your job ISN'T to protect innocent people-if you do so in this situation and kill someone you're screwed.
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Old August 17, 2005, 01:12 PM   #11
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hell, for all we know the guy was an undercover cop
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Old August 17, 2005, 01:20 PM   #12
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Check your state's laws

In some states you would be justified in shooting. Some states allow an individual with a CCW to uphold other citizens rights and safety. If your state is that way, then when the fellow with the gun threatened the other guys life, you would have been justified to shoot (just as if you were the one being threatened). Me personally, I would have just called the police and made sure the mother and kid were protected.
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Old August 17, 2005, 02:45 PM   #13
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Smart reaction

Quote:
i wanted to intervene, but like i said didn't.
If this was a gang-thing you could easily have had all 20 against you because they don't accept intervention from "outside" even if it were to help 10 or 1 of them. Also, you can't control 20 people with one firearm (especially not a revolver). Even the best SWAT-Officers couldn't.

I am allowed to carry, shoot well and practice a lot. But I would still have used my handgun(s) only to guard my quick withdrawl. In your case: drive away as cool and quick as you can, slow enough not to turn attention onto you. If the situation allows for it, load your gun, and holster it (or tuck it into your jeans) as a last resort option in case only your gun can safe your life.

Well done. Don't become a hero 1 against 20. You'd get great appreciation here on the forum, like the man who returned fire on the steps of a court against an armoured guy with an AR a few months ago. But you most likely would get killed as he did. Just think about whom you would watch when you intervene. 20 to 1. Firearmes involved on each side. No chance.
Quote:
what would you do in this situation if the bullets had started to fly?
try to find cover (behind an engine block, etc) and try not to attract any shooters attention. Speed away if possible.
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Old August 17, 2005, 02:48 PM   #14
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Saber, no offense, but you're wrong. The only people that have the right to protect total strangers by shooting and killing someone are officers of the law.

What are you going to say to the police? "oh hey, these two guys were having a argument and one pulled out a gun so I walked up and shot him in the head". At that point you're going away in the back of a squad car for a long time.
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Old August 17, 2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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PT111

Sorry, but YOU are wrong. In PA

ยง 506. Use of force for the protection of other persons.
(a) General rule.--The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable to protect a third person when:

the actor would be justified under section 505 of this title (relating to use of force in self-protection) in using such force to protect himself against the injury he believes to be threatened to the person whom he seeks to protect;
under the circumstances as the actor believes them to be, the person whom he seeks to protect would be justified in using such protective force; and
the actor believes that his intervention is necessary for the protection of such other person.



505 including deadly force


So in my state, you may have been legal to interviene, but not necesarrily wise in my opinion. If those same kids were picking on the mother and child, it would be different. but they dont sound like exemplery citizens, so Im not risking my but for them.
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Old August 17, 2005, 03:04 PM   #16
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If you honestly think you're going to walk away from shooting someone in the head because he was in a argument with another peson and he was armed you're insane and need a reality check.

That law is entirely too broad. It really doesn't say much that is set in stone. If you want to rely on a technicality versus 25 years in prison be my guest.
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Old August 17, 2005, 03:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
That law is entirely too broad. It really doesn't say much that is set in stone.
But yet you have his squad car ride to the prison carved in stone.

I don't know of any state that requires a citizen to stand by helplessly and watch a violent crime in progress when they have the means to intervene.
That would be as ridiculous as requiring them to intervene.

The news papers are full of stories of armed citizens coming to the rescue of others without repercussions.

And where did Saber say that he would walk up and shoot anyone one in the head or even shoot them in the head from any distance.

I normally hate to yell troll but that is very often the exact phraseology used by antis
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Old August 17, 2005, 04:31 PM   #18
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As he describes, It wasnt just an argument. It was three shots fired into the air and a gun jabed in a chest.

And again, I said that I would not intervein in this situation.
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Old August 17, 2005, 04:56 PM   #19
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For the most part HH, all I can see is that you did the right and understandable thing. I can't imagine that I would have acted differently. It was an unexpected and quite wild situation. Not clear cut at all. Maybe, if you had a cell phone, you could have ducked for cover and called the police right away. Maybe, if the lady and kid were closer to you than the "hoods" you could have warned them to get to safety. Maybe, maybe, maybe.... Except for the lady and kid, all I can really see myself doing under those circumstances that would be appropriate is calling LE and getting the heck out of the way.
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Old August 17, 2005, 05:02 PM   #20
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They have 1911's now!!?? What happened to the 9mm G-Lock????


Okay, which one of you guys posted the last .45 vs 9mm thread. You may be responsible for the bad guys upgrading their weaponry.

I'm going to have to get a .50ae now just to stay one step ahead.


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Old August 17, 2005, 06:53 PM   #21
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I wouldn't intervene either unless directly threatened but in my state (FL) the law states if I or another person is in grave bodily harm or death I have the right to use my weapon.
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Old August 17, 2005, 07:12 PM   #22
joab
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I discussed this with BIL the Cop

His answer
As far as he understands the law with the basic info given of the scenario.
As soon as he started shooting you could have dropped him.
But why would you. The thugs would end up killing each other sooner or later anyway.
If you involve yourself you are asking for at least some trouble if only a ruined afternoon and possibly the threat of retribution from fellow gang members.
Call him he gets paid to have ruined afternoons and his gang's bigger than their's

I agree
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Old August 17, 2005, 07:37 PM   #23
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The Legal Thing To Do: You could have dropped the guy.
The Moral Thing To Do: you could drop the guy if innocents are threatened.
The Prudent Thing To Do: Get yr butt outta Dodge, calling the PD if you can.

No one ever went to jail for being prudent.
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Old August 17, 2005, 07:41 PM   #24
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i would have been very selective of my involvement. if they were indeed thugs i would have let them have each other i've have been giddy with glee. i doubt if i would have risked anything to help unknown bystanders. i will protect myself, family and friends. not going to risk my hide for strangers.

go ahead and hate me
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Old August 17, 2005, 08:00 PM   #25
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as I said once before on the topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
Everyone around me in my state can get thier permit as easily as I did. If they will not take it upon them selves to defend themselves, why should I risk anything of mine to do it for them?

I will protect those close to me, no doubt, but a stranger, frankly, is not my problem.

Please do not take this the wrong way. I am not a completely incompasionate person. I jsut do not see the need for me to be a hero for all around me. I bought my pistol and got my permit for personal protection. I will protect my person.
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