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Old December 12, 2000, 04:40 PM   #1
Mike CDP
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Join Date: December 12, 2000
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I've been lurking around here for quite a while, but a recent event where I live prompted me to post this to ask for opinions.

You are at a small discount store, at the checkout counter with your purchases. (Small = There is only one cash register, like a small store in a strip mall.) The checkout counter is close to the front door, and this door is the only obvious way in or out of the store, although there is a door in the back that is at least 50 feet away. Let's say you have a CCW license and are carrying your weapon along with anything else that you usually carry.

As you wait for the cashier to check out the people in front of you, the door slams open and seven men wearing ski masks burst in. Several of the men are armed. For our purposes, let's say 4 have handguns drawn and the others are unknown on weapons.

The leader demands that everyone lie on the floor and turn off their cell phones. The cashier does not move fast enough for the robbers, and one of them hits her on the head with his gun.


[Something you do not know - there is an eighth man outside the door acting as a lookout.]

I was not there, but there has been a terrible rash of armed robberies in our city and I could have been there. I saw video of the store on the news, and I saw no obvious avenue of escape (doors / windows). The store was fairly crowded, and any shooting by a good guy would likely have provoked shooting from the 7 (!) (actually 8) bad guys. Note that in the actual event, the robbers also took the personal property of the patrons... which in my case might have meant my CCW weapon. I play these "What if?" games all the time, and for this one I just could not come up with an answer other than comply, because neither flight nor fight seemed like much of an option.

FWIW, my response to the robbery spree has been to stay at home a lot more and avoid going to small businesses that handle lots of cash. In other words, Wal-Mart is OK, but the Dollar Store or Pizza Hut is not.
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Old December 12, 2000, 08:54 PM   #2
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I live in the Detroit area and a few weeks ago a McDonalds was hit with a large group as you mentioned. I believe the news said 6 guys (maybe a driver). Made mgr. open safe.
Bad trend.
May have to start carrying Israeli style; uzi or M-16 shorty along with handgun...
A robber on his own would be presueded to flee if fired at, but psychology of mobs (strenght in numbers or riot mindset) may prove different. They may stand and fight! If you think they will have everyone lay on floor and take personel items then they will find your gun. They may assume you're an off duty cop (you might be).
Is it better to just take cover and open fire on them before they can get their plan together and the customers to cooperate? If I see a group of guys with ski masks (and I'm not at a ski resort and it's July!) with "guns in hand" I'm going to open fire on the first guy, reload, make for back door. I knew I bought that Kevlar vest for something!

Co-worker was at computer store last week when woman purchases large amount of goods ($5000 worth) computers, games, etc. Porter takes goods out to curb while woman completes transaction...porter leaves goods at curb in front of store to get something else inside. All customers witness 2 guys pull up in Lexus with no plates, throw everything in car and drive off. Everyone just stood with mouths open. As a CCW carrier I would be tempted to intervene, but that is not the time or place...and it's only hardware. Just let it go...and blend with the sheep.
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Old December 12, 2000, 09:38 PM   #3
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7 robbers

If you're already proned out on the floor in plain sight of the robbers,then you're in position to....roll over and kiss you Heinie goodbye!

If you're upright and mobile and you decide to gamble...a bunch of people including you are going to the hospital with gunshot wounds or multiple gunshot wounds. Hopefully, you can survive yours.

At the scenario as described, you have no cover, you are outgunned, they already have the element of surprise on me...time to call the game.

But,let's say you become hear one of the BG's say they are going to "off" the victims, you watch from a prone position for the nearest hard cover which may or may not take you temporarily out of sight of most of the BG's. You want immediate hard cover betweeen the nearest armed BG. As you roll, you better be making the fastest draw of your life and your gun better not be in condition #3. Hopefully you make the hard cover in one roll...if you only know judo fall...sorry...You try to pop the first armed BG in two shots or less. (That's because you have PC magazine---10 shots;scenario called for 8 BG's.)
Quickly assess, if you run for it...end of aisle;large stack of canned goods, or shipping dock...or you stay in place and try to get BG's before they close in on you and surround you to take you out.
If they are still disorganized, confused, run for it. If you have a gimpy leg like I're SOL and fort try to take out the nearest and best armed of the BG's...try to pick up one of the weapons if situation allows.
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Old December 12, 2000, 09:50 PM   #4
Nevada Fitch
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Join Date: October 21, 2000
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If I was carrying my Wilson 45 auto with a couple of extra clips I think I would open the ball if I though I could get my gun out and firing before being noticed.However If I only had a 5 shot 38 special than I would avoid starting the ball rolling unless I was sure they intended to kill me.I would have a very hard time laying down for them.I think I would be more scared of what might happen after I layed down than if I just started shooting.I hope I never have to make a choice like this.
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Old December 13, 2000, 06:54 AM   #5
Join Date: November 28, 2000
Posts: 23
The answer is that you don't know. Nobody knows how they will handle any situation until after its all over.

With that said, ideally I would handle it like this:

Considering that one should ALWAYS first attempt to remove themselves from danger (flight) I would look for a possible way out. If there is none, I would defend myself. In the process of defending myself I would still make for an exit in an effort to escape. Maybe fire once and make for the back door. They had the element of surprise but when I pull out a sig and send some .45 rounds their way I now have the element of surprise. Take advantage of that and run like hell.

If I were with family it all changes. I would lay down and hope for the best. In this given situation there is no way to guarantee anything. I would not be willing to take the risk of hurting family to save my butt.
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Old December 13, 2000, 12:51 PM   #6
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Some guys in a Lexus drive off nonviolently with computers and you are going to draw on them?

Nah - cowboy syndrome, here. Might not even be legal in your state.

Get some training and you will see that a 1 to 7 gunfight unless you really think it is a last ditch stand is a losing proposition.
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Old December 13, 2000, 06:14 PM   #7
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CAN YOU SAY COOPERATE!!. If 7 BG's have the drop on you, then you are a fool to start fireworks. If you lay down and play it cool chances are all that will be lost today is money. If they begin to execute hostages or you REALLY think your life is in danger then pick your targets well. Chances are you are going to get bloody on this one or die. Remember when you start shooting you are the target now!! My goal would be to prevent as much loss of innocent life as possible and/or to die fighting rather than take a bullet in the back or head as i lie cringing.
To those that think you can pull it off i suggest trying it with 7 friends and some paintball guns.
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Old December 13, 2000, 08:45 PM   #8
Nevada Fitch
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One problem I see with laying down is if they start shooting people it will be hard to take the offensive from that position.Also yes it will be hard to take 7 BGs out at the same time, however I bet when the lead starts to fly most of them will be getting out fast instead of staying and fighting.They are not in there to win any medals.However I might be wrong on this, since I am not an athority on gang mentality. But if I was in on a holdup and things went south, I do believe that just getting out of there would be high on my list of options.
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Old December 14, 2000, 07:19 AM   #9
Join Date: October 20, 2000
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lose/lose situation

guys like that will be somewhat organized....might not be a good idea to stand up, and play john wayne....unless they're shooting others, be a good little sheeple, and turn over your shiny trinkets and heavy wallet....if they do start shooting, jump up, return fire (over your shoulder) as you run for the door-hopefully the door is marked push, cause we ain't stopping to pull....remember, a good run beats a bad stand anyday of the week...
speak now, or forever hold your peace
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Old December 14, 2000, 01:23 PM   #10
Mike CDP
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Join Date: December 12, 2000
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Good responses all. I am not strictly of the school that one should protect one's own and let the rest go, but here the overwhelming potential level of force of the bad guys means that no way no how am I going to _start_ the shooting, whereas if it were one bad guy, maybe if I thought he were really a threat. One shot fired by the bad guys (or a command to "Get in the freezer" (a prelude to execution-style murder), though, and all bets are off even in the multiple scenario. No sense giving up without a fight.

In my job I occasionally have the opportunity to see surveillance video of robbery / shootings. In a multiple bad guy situation like this, what I have seen echoes Nevada Fitch's comment that "when the lead starts to fly most of them will be getting out fast instead of staying and fighting." Just so. These things have leaders and followers, and the followers generally bail out the nearest door when the lead flies. So long as the bad guys do not know you are armed, there is often the opportunity for escape in the midst of the chaos, as upon the first shot the patrons will scatter. If you are a shopkeeper who wears a gun openly visible, expect no warning at all before you are shot, likely in the head, at the opening of the robbery.

All this makes me want to wear a vest 24/7, and it does make me WATCH THE DOOR.
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