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Old May 1, 2014, 09:50 AM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Good Sam Stops Purse Snatching

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/1341...t-even-better/

Neat story. I don't think I would have done this for various reasons, but a good sam saw a purse snatching, intervened and held the robbers at gunpoint until cops arrived, went through that process, bought candy for his kids, and left.

Why would I have not intervened with a gun? Too much to go wrong for what was going on. The intended victim could have simply relinguished her purse and the snatchers would have been gone, not that she should have to lose her purse, but that would have been the quickest way for her and her children to be out of danger in this situation.

Note that when the police arrived, they did order the Good Sam to the ground and undoubtedly disarmed and detained him for a short while until matters were settled sufficiently.
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Old May 1, 2014, 10:42 AM   #2
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I can't say whether the good guy did the smart thing. I believe he did a righteous thing but not necessarily the right thing. I certainly won't criticize his actions without knowing more about the situation. At least the bad folks are in jail now so the story ends well this time.
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Old May 1, 2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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So, is the article stating that the Good Samaritan bought candy for his own kids? If so that seems like a very good reason not to intervene. I’m not sure I would have taken a chance on my children being injured over a property crime. However, I wasn’t there and I’m glad everything worked out.
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Old May 1, 2014, 10:45 AM   #4
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I agree with all of you. I'm not entirely sure I would have done it but kudos just the same. Well done. I even note that the GG has his finger very well and clearly indexed off the trigger as he holds the BGs.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:00 AM   #5
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I just saw a story today about a man who intervened to protect a woman who had been stabbed .He ran after the BG who immediately stabbed the GG to death !!
These events are not games , they can be very dangerous .Don't try being a hero without thinking !
The story I saw -it would have been better if the man saw to the injured woman and let police find the perp.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:08 AM   #6
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The biggest thing that stood out to me was that he held the BGs at gunpoint until police arrived. But I see a big problem with that: If the BGs got up (unthreateningly) and ran away, I can't imagine the GG would have been justified in shooting them.

I know Texas has more liberal self-defense laws than most states, but does that mean the GG would have been justified to shoot if the BGs had attempted escape? If not, then holding them at gunpoint was a bad idea. Me, I would never shoot someone who tried escape after committing a petty crime like that, whether or not it's legal.

I suppose the GG was also holding them at gunpoint to make sure they didn't get up and try to attack him, but it still seems like a bad idea. What do you guys think?
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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Holding them at gunpoint is not illegal. Shooting an unarmed perp while attempting to leave is illegal. The perps either didn't know this... or they were afraid the GG didn't know. Had one of them attacked the GG then it would have been a more complicated matter unless he/she was also armed. In this case it doesn't matter. The perps are in jail and no one was hurt... this time.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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What do you guys think?
The way I see it, all your points are valid but as long as the BGs don't take the chance, it's no problem.

In other words, if they THINK you can and/or would shoot them, they are unlikely to run. So long as they don't run, no problem.

If they do run, you've pretty much got to let them go... if they don't, you caught 'em.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:55 AM   #9
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Excellent points.

"Holding" someone at gunpoint pretty much depends on their fear that you will (even if not justified) shoot.

Not only is Mr. Texas Samaritan not justified in shooting. Neither is (in pretty much any case) Mr. Texas LEO.

The idea of "holding" someone at gunpoint is pretty much always very iffy and a bad idea.

I seriously doubt that there are a significant number of LEOs who would try it.

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Old May 1, 2014, 01:10 PM   #10
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So, is the article stating that the Good Samaritan bought candy for his own kids? If so that seems like a very good reason not to intervene. I’m not sure I would have taken a chance on my children being injured over a property crime. However, I wasn’t there and I’m glad everything worked out.
Didn't say his kids were with him. I bought stuff at the store for my kids last week and they were in school at the time!

Quote:
The idea of "holding" someone at gunpoint is pretty much always very iffy and a bad idea.

I seriously doubt that there are a significant number of LEOs who would try it.
Better to hold both at gunpoint than to try to manhandle detain them until the cops arrive. Proximity equates with risk. If you are in contact with the bad guys, your risk is much higher. He can hold at gun point and if they don't run, things are fine. If they do, no harm to him.

Cops do hold people at gun point if they have no way to secure them or until backup arrives. What else are they going to do when outnumbered?

Funny how this is pretty much always iffy and a bad idea and yet the example above had it work just fine. Every circumstance is different.
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Old May 1, 2014, 03:30 PM   #11
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I can't say whether the good guy did the smart thing. I believe he did a righteous thing but not necessarily the right thing. I certainly won't criticize his actions without knowing more about the situation. At least the bad folks are in jail now so the story ends well this time.
He did the right thing. Often times, doing the right thing will cost you dearly ..... Doing the right thing despite your fears of the possible consequenses is the definiton of courage, in my book.

By your implied definition of "the smart thing", the smart thing is to surrender the streets to the cops and robbers .... it is unadulterated selfishness, and the cops are totally gonna lose if we all just flee everytime evil rears it's ugly head, for all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing ..... doing nothing is a losing strategy for protecting you and yours in the long run.
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Old May 1, 2014, 04:07 PM   #12
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Here's a situation where it didn't go well: http://news.yahoo.com/hero-dies-from...5787.html?vp=1
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Old May 1, 2014, 04:17 PM   #13
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By your implied definition of "the smart thing", the smart thing is to surrender the streets to the cops and robbers
LOL, he didn't imply that at all. Sometimes it is best to lose the possession of a material item than to end up in a shoot out (robbers could have been armed) whereby the Good Sam, the purse-snatched woman, or her kids could have been wounded or killed, not to mention (but will) the potential legal costs that might be endured by the Good Sam for his actions if things did not go well.

As noted, he did a righteous thing, legal thing, but maybe not the smart thing in this case. The woman's safety could have been achieved had she let go of her purse.
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Old May 1, 2014, 04:20 PM   #14
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jimbob86... That wasn't my point at all. Had that situation escalated to a gun fight then many folks could have been injured or killed. I completely agree that we must stand up and defend what is right... but to do so despite putting others in danger... that is a selfish act to satisfy our own personal ideals. If others were in imminent danger then that's another ball-o'-wax.
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Old May 1, 2014, 04:20 PM   #15
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Just to be clear: I wasn't advocating doing nothing.

I would have done the best I could to stop the attack, at least to the point of stopping the dragging of the victim.

I would have stopped there.

If the two perps decided to beat feat and go over the hill, I would have let the LEOs do the chasing.

After reading here, however, perhaps it wouldn't have done any harm to try "holding" (verbally, anyway).

But no way am I chasing them down to do so.

W.
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Old May 1, 2014, 05:30 PM   #16
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The woman's safety could have been achieved had she let go of her purse.
So you are advocating "giving it up" in every case?

To do so in every case subsidizes the behavior by positive reinforcement. There will be more of it. In the long run, it's a losing proposition, because the only thing keeping the idea of property rights alive is the threat of force fo violating it- if nobody enforces the idea, unless they are a policeman, then whenever there is not a cop around, it's the law of the jungle on one side and a give in mentality on the other.

"If you want more of a thing, make it cheaper, safer and more convenient. If you want less of a thing, make it more expensive, hazardous and difficult."

Do the right thing, as you see it at the time.
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Old May 1, 2014, 06:03 PM   #17
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Any time you carry a handgun on your person and go out in public, you are under-taking a huge responsibility. Chances are for the vast majority, they'll never have the chance to use it.

If you use a firearm in public to protect yourself or your loved ones, that's one thing, vs. interjecting yourself into a situation involving others and using it.

Using a firearm and having the outcome turn out to be a positive one, can be a real crap shoot. It can and has completely destroyed the lives of some with good intent.
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Old May 1, 2014, 06:18 PM   #18
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jimbob86... Had it been me and my wallet snatched I'd have held on too. A lot of us would have. You seem to think some folks are recommending a cowardly or lazy reaction. That's not true at all. What others here are saying is it's better to lose some property than to endanger your children or other people. Thieves enrage me too but I'll not selfishly risk others' lives to defend my personal manhood. Again, yes, we must stand up against abusive/bad/dishonest behavior... but sometimes it's not the wisest option to take drastic action that could end in disaster for others. Common sense, man. Common sense and concern/respect for others' lives.

How would you feel if a well-meaning person pulled a firearm to detain some thieves and that resulted in a gunfight during which your child was shot and killed by a stray bullet?
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Old May 1, 2014, 06:21 PM   #19
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When I was a kid my Grandmother had two fingers broken because she held her purse after a snatch. She was dragged for several yards. She won in the sense that she kept her purse, but she never left the house alone again.

That having been said I'd rather diffuse a bad situation and provide responding police with great perp descriptions than hold anyone at gunpoint. There is just too much that could go wrong.
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Old May 1, 2014, 10:34 PM   #20
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Amazing... It seems like there are maybe one or two people with the courage to get involved and do the right thing. That does not automatically translate into a firearm being displayed. What would it take before you would say enough is enough?

Did the badguys know this gentleman was just a good neighbor, or could he have been off duty? The badguys could have fled on foot, but that would mean leaving their car behind. Then, be a good witness, and give the responding officers what they need. But don't stand by and engage in meaningful hand wringing. Do something.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DoubleDeuce 1
Amazing... It seems like there are maybe one or two people with the courage to get involved and do the right thing.
Wow. If I replied to this the way I want to reply, my post would be deleted and I'd get a forum infraction. Instead I'll say this: Don't sit behind your computer and question someone else's courage; not until you actually know why they wouldn't intervene.

I spent four years in the Marine Corps infantry; I've never been one who lacked the courage for a confrontation. In fact, in my early and mid 20s I had the opposite problem. And yet now I might decide not to intervene in a situation like this. Would you look me in the eye and call me a coward?

I have a wife and a baby kid. If I mis-judge a situation and end up being sued, or going to jail -- or both -- I directly hurt my family. So for me to get involved in a situation between strangers there has to be an immediate threat of bodily harm. Otherwise, I might decide not to get involved.

Just a few hours ago I was getting into my car in a parking lot and I saw a guy in a motorcycle helmet yelling and pounding on the window of a young woman in an SUV. Well, no matter what traffic infraction she might have committed against him, that's not OK. But I didn't get involved, I just stopped what I was doing and watched. I was about 15 yards away, and I wasn't going to get involved unless he crossed a line. He pounded on her window once more, then walked to her open passenger window, pointed his finger at her and yelled at her again, and stalked away.

I'm a strong guy, I'm pretty good at fighting, and I carry a gun. But that doesn't mean it's always a good idea to get involved in every altercation between strangers, even if a crime is being committed. And if I choose not to get involved, I can promise you that a lack of courage isn't the reason.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:37 PM   #22
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So you are advocating "giving it up" in every case?
This is a strawman. Clearly saying what could have been done is not the same as advocating that course of action in every case.

Second, one has to decide what is important in a situation.

In the situation at hand, a person who decides their purse or wallet is important enough to risk falling down and getting run over, or getting crushed between two cars, or possibly being injured by the thieves should they be armed and choose to inflict harm should hold onto the purse/wallet. A person who thinks differently would likely be well served to let go of the purse/wallet rather than be dragged around by a car and risk staying in close proximity to criminals.

In reality, I suspect that the woman acted, not as the result of careful thought, but instinctively. In this case it worked out well for her. The result could easily have been very different.
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To do so in every case subsidizes the behavior by positive reinforcement.
I'll go you one further and state that even doing it in most, or even many, cases subsidizes the behavior. That doesn't really change the facts of the situation, in terms of what is a wise course of action for the persons involved.

The situation is very similar to cutting in line (although with very different consequences). It makes perfect sense for people to want to cut in line (or to take other people's possessions) and if those of us in line (or with possessions) allow those with more antisocial tendencies to have their way, then we reinforce their negative behavior.

Now that we've clearly established the situation, a little analysis is in order. So we've established that it's desirable to prevent people from cutting in line or taking other's possessions. We haven't established that doing so is worth the risk entailed, and while it's simple to say that we should always do the right thing (implying that the right thing is to always stand up against anti-social behavior) it's less simple when we realize that not all anti-social persons are willing to simply back down when confronted. Doing "the right thing" could potential result in the death of the person doing the confronting, or even the deaths of bystanders.

It's one thing to decide that stopping a purse snatcher is so important to you that you're willing to risk your life and financial well-being to make it happen. It's another thing entirely to put the life of others nearby at risk in the interest of doing what you have personally defined as "the right thing".

Finally, this is a complicated topic, and it's a disservice to those who approach it rationally to try to boil it down to a false dichotomy as inane as doing it the "right way" or encouraging the criminals through inaction. Even if we were to focus exclusively on the cost/benefit to society, it's more complicated than that. Saving a purse and standing up to criminals is good, but risking innocent lives to accomplish that goal raises some serious questions about what, exactly, constitutes doing "the right thing."
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:38 PM   #23
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Theo,

As has been said, "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". If you choose to do nothing... what else can be said. Banging on some windshield is far different from dragging a woman holding onto her purse. You have to understand the bad guys also had a weapon... the car.

There could be plenty for someone to do to assist the victim without having to go hands on with the bad guys. Every situation does not require the use of deadly force.

Lastly, I am not calling into question anyone in particular's courage or lack thereof. That is for each to do themselves.

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Old May 1, 2014, 11:44 PM   #24
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As has been said, "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
Who is advocating "doing nothing"? There is a huge range of options for involvement between the extremes of "doing nothing" and pulling a gun out.
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Old May 1, 2014, 11:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DoubleDeuce 1
As has been said, "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". If you choose to do nothing... what else can be said.
I would love to have the freedom to get involved in every situation like this, whether it's a purse snatching or a man pounding on a woman's car. I'd love to be able to punish bullies and to help people being victimized by every kind of criminal. But this is the real world and I have real responsibilities, and vigilantism isn't one of them. And yes, your quote above seems to come pretty close to promoting vigilantism.

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Originally Posted by DoubleDeuce 1
Banging on some windshield is far different from dragging a woman holding onto her purse. You have to understand the bad guys also had a weapon... the car.
The video was bad enough that it wasn't immediately clear if the woman's life was in danger or if she was just running after the car. Regardless, my decision whether or not to get involved would be made in the heat of the moment, not watching a grainy video on my iPad.

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Originally Posted by DoubleDeuce 1
There could be plenty for someone to do to assist the victim without having to go hands on with the bad guys. Every situation does not require the use of deadly force.
I agree. My primary issue is that you questioned the courage of anyone who would choose not to get involved. And I have a problem with that.

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Originally Posted by DoubleDeuce 1
Lastly, I am not calling into question anyone in particular's courage or lack thereof.
No, you didn't call anyone out in particular, you just questioned the courage of anyone who said they wouldn't get involved.
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