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Old July 12, 2019, 08:18 AM   #1
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Example of restraint

The story in the attached post is local to me. A woman was in a pharmacy when an armed robbery occurred. She was armed, but refrained from taking a shot. At different times in the narrative, she says that she had a clear shot, and that she did not fire because of the consequences of a miss, which would seem to be at least somewhat contradictory. She made some comments that are beneficial to the firearm community, about being trained and about not being eager to put her firearm into action.

A discussion of her response might be of benefit, I thought, so:

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/cr...re/1677808001/
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Old July 12, 2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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Women. They listen when you teach 'em and do what you tell 'em. Not a single "I'm a natural shot." among 'em either.
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Old July 12, 2019, 01:21 PM   #3
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Good to see this. Unfortunately, common sense is really not that common any more.
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Old July 12, 2019, 01:22 PM   #4
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Women. They listen when you teach 'em and do what you tell 'em. Not a single "I'm a natural shot." among 'em either.
Clearly, you don't know the some of the women I know.

As a topic for discussion of tactics, its fine, but I wonder why someone NOT shooting someone is NEWS???
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Old July 12, 2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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As a topic for discussion of tactics, its fine, but I wonder why someone NOT shooting someone is NEWS???
(1) There was still an armed robbery of a pharmacy and an arrest.

(2) It's a small town.
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Old July 12, 2019, 08:55 PM   #6
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She does not really articulate clearly why she decided not to shoot.

::He just wanted pills and to leave:: .. that determination is based on what exactly?


::if she missed, it would be bad:: .. is that not the case in any defensive shooting?

Certainly the decision to use or [not] use force should be a thoughtful one. Not engaging in a gunfight may have been the correct call but just because he didn't start shooting people does not necessarily validate the decision. I want to believe that her decision was not based on denial or lack of confidence in herself but it will simply remain an unknown until more insight into her thought process is revealed. A person can choose the passive course in every conflict and it will probably turn out favorably at least some of the time.
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Old July 12, 2019, 11:26 PM   #7
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Not engaging in a gunfight may have been the correct call but just because he didn't start shooting people does not necessarily validate the decision.
Nor does it invalidate her decision. We weren't there, she was. No short news story can give us all the details needed for an accurate analysis.

Based on the what we're told, what do we know ??
People were threatened with a gun.
No one was shot. No shots were fired.

The rest is opinion. Consider what might have been going through her mind. ALL kinds of different things. Consider she might have thought "he hasn't shot anyone, yet, he might not, if I shoot so will he...." things like that.

Also there is the after the fact thoughts that probably didn't clearly occur to her during the short time, but are worthy of consideration when discussing this kind of situation.

Like other people, later on, deciding you weren't justified shooting. Possibly the personal horror of lifelong doubt afterwards that your action triggered harm to others that wouldn't have happened if you hadn't opened fire.

There are many, many possible things to consider, literally no time to do so, and I am of the opinion that if you aren't convinced you have to shoot, you shouldn't shoot.

I make a distinction between being legally justified shooting and "having" to shoot. In this case we have someone armed and in a situation where they would have been legally justified, but didn't feel they HAD to shoot, and so they chose not to. In this case it worked out no one was injured. Had that changed, she might have changed her mind and shot.

Its a judgement call, what you or I think she did right or wrong, we need to remember that just because you can (and be in the right) doesn't always mean you should.
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Old July 13, 2019, 12:18 AM   #8
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For her the outcome was very good. And that equals success.
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Old July 13, 2019, 09:49 AM   #9
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While I agree that she got a good result and is fortunate not to be dealing with the aftermath of a shooting, I was struck by her statement that the BG put the gun right in her face and her son's face. She took a chance, IMO, by not responding with force at that point. I'm not sure if I would have taken the same chance if a gun was in the face of my wife, one of my daughters, or my granddaughter. If that isn't a time to respond, does one wait until a shot is fired? An innocent is down?
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Old July 13, 2019, 10:07 AM   #10
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the BG put the gun right in her face and her son's face. She took a chance, IMO, by not responding with force at that point.
I disagree. To attempt to “out draw”a drawn gun pointed at your face is unlikely to yield good results.

In FoF scenarios, this type of situation results in BOTH parties getting shot. Tactically, thats a loss, not a tie. If you MUST counter-ambush the BG, you need to be calm and patient. The term “wait your turn” is used often in this type of training.

Each person needs to establish their own “line in the sand”. When do you go? Only you can decide. That requires you to do a serious gut check and attempt to read the intent of the BG. A simple robbery and you think he is going to run once he gets the cash/pills (as in this case), i think she did great.

Gun fights are not what most pepple think they ae like. To think you are going to draw/fire and STOP the BG before he can shoot you, with his gun already on you is silly
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Old July 13, 2019, 10:19 AM   #11
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Good points, Sharkbite. It was a tough situation for her.
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Old July 13, 2019, 03:53 PM   #12
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Nor does it invalidate her decision. We weren't there, she was. No short news story can give us all the details needed for an accurate analysis.
I made no claim that it invalidated her decision. I also suggested that more information was needed to fairly judge the potential merits of her decision. It should probably go without saying but if you want to throw some sort of ying-yang element into the mix... sure, her decision may have been right or it may have been wrong. I doubt I would have just stood there with someone pointing a gun in my kids face, but that's just me. I am simply interested to know a little more about how she qualified her decision. I remain skeptical about a few things


Quote:
Based on the what we're told, what do we know ??
People were threatened with a gun.
No one was shot. No shots were fired.

The rest is opinion.
of course, .. opinions make for well rounded and often fruitful discussion. If we simply submit facts and fail to opine, we wouldn't have much of a discussion forum.

Quote:
Also there is the after the fact thoughts that probably didn't clearly occur to her during the short time, but are worthy of consideration when discussing this kind of situation.
I am not so sure that issues which may impact you well on down the road should really be a part of qualifying or disqualifying the need of extreme force during an active robbery.

Quote:
Like other people, later on, deciding you weren't justified shooting. Possibly the personal horror of lifelong doubt afterwards that your action triggered harm to others that wouldn't have happened if you hadn't opened fire.

exactly.. none of which is going to factor into my decision to take action against a criminal who is actively threatening my life in the moment. What should probably be foremost on my mind is survival and the limits of legal action.

Quote:
I make a distinction between being legally justified shooting and "having" to shoot. In this case we have someone armed and in a situation where they would have been legally justified, but didn't feel they HAD to shoot, and so they chose not to. In this case it worked out no one was injured. Had that changed, she might have changed her mind and shot.

failing to make a distinction between those two things would be troubling in my humble opinion.

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Its a judgement call, what you or I think she did right or wrong, we need to remember that just because you can (and be in the right) doesn't always mean you should.
that is an interesting quip but I am not sure that anyone in this thread has suggestion that you should-simply because you can.
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Old July 13, 2019, 04:12 PM   #13
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I disagree. To attempt to “out draw”a drawn gun pointed at your face is unlikely to yield good results.
it may yield good result for the person you are trying to save or for others in danger. Sure.. you might invite harm upon yourself but if you feel that you can in fact [put the threat down], your goal might actually be met. I really just depends on what you goal actually is and how badly you are willing to accomplish it. I decided long ago that I am not going to allow someone with a gun to my head to act with impunity. Sitting here in my easy chair, I would say that in this is type of dire circumstance there is probably a 99.3% that I will either [go for his gun] or [bring my own weapon into action]. I concede that there is always a chance that I do nothing.

Quote:
In FoF scenarios, this type of situation results in BOTH parties getting shot.

depending on what hangs in the balance, that might be acceptable if you are able to put down the threat.


Quote:
Gun fights are not what most pepple think they are like. To think you are going to draw/fire and STOP the BG before he can shoot you, with his gun already on you is silly
I didn't see anyone make such a claim or stand in support of any such idea


The bottom line is that I am not really critical of the fact that someone decided to do nothing. Doing nothing might be the most practical decision in some circumstances. What I am naturally critical of is the process by which a person makes such a decision and what they base that decision on.

Whether or not her decision had merit remains to be seen. I consider this young lady and everyone else involved to be exceedingly lucky.
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Old July 13, 2019, 05:34 PM   #14
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What I am naturally critical of is the process by which a person makes such a decision and what they base that decision on.
It seems to me no more evidence along those lines is available other than what we already have.

Quote:
Whether or not her decision had merit remains to be seen.
Well, she is alive. She may well have been alive had she chosen to use force as well.

I think there's value in bringing up and discussing alternatives (as I've said in the past). At some point, however, these threads always seem to get to the point of people repeating themselves, and then the thread gets locked. I'm not saying that is what you are doing here, but I think we're on the cusp of that happening.

Quote:
I consider this young lady and everyone else involved to be exceedingly lucky.
In most of these cases luck seems to be an element.

I could understand the argument for going for the assailant's gun to drive it off line and/or move yourself off line, delivering blows, drawing your own firearm in the process, etc. I've done training for some of those things. Putting them into action under stress of the level of loss of your own life isn't something most people have experience with.

At some level you have to consider your own competency and decide when/if doing those actions is appropriate. I would agree that there is no ideal situation (ideally a person wouldn't be in this situation) and a willingness to act needs to be an element as well as a willingness to wait.
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Old July 13, 2019, 06:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat
Quote:
What I am naturally critical of is the process by which a person makes such a decision and what they base that decision on.
It seems to me no more evidence along those lines is available other than what we already have.

Quote:
Whether or not her decision had merit remains to be seen.
Well, she is alive. She may well have been alive had she chosen to use force as well.
According to the article, the robber at one point had his gun aimed at her, and at another point he had the gun aimed at her son. So, we know she is alive and so is her son. They might both be alive if she had chosen to use her gun. She or her son could just as easily have been shot -- possibly killed -- if she didn't use her gun, or if she did use her gun.

From reading the article, I don't feel that I have enough information to decide whether or not I think her decision not to shoot was a good one. I don't regard the fact that the robber chose not to shoot as any sort of validation of her course of (in)action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat
I think there's value in bringing up and discussing alternatives (as I've said in the past). At some point, however, these threads always seem to get to the point of people repeating themselves, and then the thread gets locked. I'm not saying that is what you are doing here, but I think we're on the cusp of that happening.

Quote:
I consider this young lady and everyone else involved to be exceedingly lucky.
In most of these cases luck seems to be an element.

I could understand the argument for going for the assailant's gun to drive it off line and/or move yourself off line, delivering blows, drawing your own firearm in the process, etc. I've done training for some of those things. Putting them into action under stress of the level of loss of your own life isn't something most people have experience with.

At some level you have to consider your own competency and decide when/if doing those actions is appropriate. I would agree that there is no ideal situation (ideally a person wouldn't be in this situation) and a willingness to act needs to be an element as well as a willingness to wait.
I don't understand the argument for going mano a mano with the armed robber at all. Even if you have had some training. The setting was inside a pharmacy, with other customers and store staff in close proximity. So you knock the robber's gun off line with you -- suppose that leaves it lined up an another customer when it goes off?
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Old July 13, 2019, 07:00 PM   #16
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And suppose instead of just pointing a gun at people he used it on people. There absolutely is a danger that in pushing the pistol off line that it ends up pointed at someone else. Just as there is absolutely a danger that in not doing so you get shot in the head or elsewhere and have no ability to respond further. Rare are the situations that I read where it was absolutely clear what to do and that what was done was the only option and that the decision was such that there were no potential negative consequences.

I fully admit that when drawing dead in a group of people where my movement is limited and my chances for collateral damage high my tendency would be to wait for a better opportunity before acting. But to play devil's advocate, maybe in waiting I get shot and don't get that opportunity? I don't see a definitive right or wrong answer, personally.

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Old July 13, 2019, 07:37 PM   #17
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Tunnelrat.. some people understand that dire times sometimes require dire measures and they understand what that means. In reading your posts in this thread, I think you understand that a Robber pointing a gun in a persons face is one of those "dire times". One man allowing another man to threaten him with impunity is not a natural condition. It is more common to find that a person would be inclined to act against it spite of potentially dire consequences. Preservation of self and preservation of offspring are some of the most powerful emotion known to man. Still, there will always be alpha and beta personalities.

It is certainly fair to say that discretion is the better part of valor but when we become overly analytical and overly cautious to the point of being "timid" we begin to extinguish the concept of valor all together. I am not sure that Valor can even exist without action in spite of substantial risk. I don't think that discretion mean to recoil from risk, I think discretion is being thoughtful in regards to when to take the risk to begin with.
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Old July 13, 2019, 09:24 PM   #18
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I do get your point and to an extent I agree, and it's something that applies not just in this particular situation. Any time you use a firearm in defense there is the risk of collateral damage, to both people and property. There's always the concern of what could go wrong. However, if you allow the concern of what might happen to keep you from stopping something that is happening that could have serious consequences.

When I generally comment on these threads it's more to advocate for avoidance than anything else. That's not really applicable here. This situation was pressed onto this woman. I'm not sure if her decision was more in line with reasonable restraint or an inability to act, which I believe was one of your original questions.

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Old July 13, 2019, 09:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TunnelRat
I don't see a definitive right or wrong answer, personally.
I agree completely. I don't think there is any right or wrong answer.

I also recognize the possibility that the woman's "restraint" could as easily have been cowardice or freezing up rather than carefully considered, judicious restraint. Yes, whatever her motives, it worked out. But at one time the guy pointed a gun at her. If he had pulled the trigger, that would have removed possibly the only other armed person in the store from the equation.

In short, I don't fault her action, but I'm also not prepared to praise it.
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Old July 14, 2019, 11:12 AM   #20
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I hope I'm never in that situation, but my feelings are mixed. On one hand, if the dirtbag doesn't start a shootout in a crowded place (defined as any place with even one innocent present), should I start one? On the other hand, as long as he is pointing a gun at an innocent, that person's life is in imminent peril and deadly force is justified. If I have the ability to eliminate the threat, I have a moral obligation to do so. There is no easy answer.
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Old July 16, 2019, 06:45 AM   #21
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When talking about human nature and "the mind", there certainly should be plenty of room for beliefs, truths and opinions. The idea that FACT should dominate is seemingly misplaced regarding this subject matter. FACT as it relates to human nature and mental processes can be very subjective.

If someone says that the Earth is 4.5 billions years old, is that fact, truth or opinion? I would say that its an opinion based on objective facts as we know them. This is much the same principal as our discussion here which is largely based on the known nature of people as well as mental processes.
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Old July 16, 2019, 11:31 AM   #22
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This discussion is in the "Tactics and Training" discussion area. Pretty much by definition, tactics represent what someone thinks is the best way to approach a certain situation, in order to obtain a beneficial (to the proponent) result. Tactics very much represent opinion, not fact.

Likewise, training represents what the instructor thinks is the best way to accomplish ___. Different instructors emphasize different things, and what's taught as gospel today might be heresy tomorrow. One example is how to hold a handgun when shooting with two hands. We've gone from the "teacup" grip to the "revolver" grip to high thumbs or parallel thumbs. Each way of holding the firearm had its proponents. Even today, although I think it's safe to say that there aren't many adherents of the teacup grip any more, the prevailing high thumbs or parallel thumbs is widespread but definitely not universal.

When I was in high school and college, pretending to be an athlete, we did the high jump the way the Russian, Valery Brummel, did it -- approach the bar face on, outside leg swings up toward the bar, and the body (hopefully) rolls over the bar with your chest down. This style was called the "western roll." And then along came a non-conformist by the name of Dick Fosbury in the 1968 Olympics, and today I think the Fosbury Flop (back to the bar as you go over) is pretty much universal among competitive high jumpers.

Does this mean that all high jumpers before Dick Fosbury in 1968 were "wrong"? No. There were some practical reasons why that style wasn't even tried before about 1968. I competed in the high jump for four years between high school and college. I was never quite "world class." In the span of four years I changed my style of jumping three times -- twice as a result of different coaches, and once for one meet, at which the landing zone would have crippled me if I had jumped using the western roll. None of the changes got me above my highest jump height, which didn't change between my senior year in high school and my senior year in college.

Consequently, I don't think it's improper to be discussing opinions with respect to tactics and training. The whole point is to look at how tactics and training have worked in the real world, assess the results, and see if there are lessons to be learned.
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Old July 16, 2019, 02:46 PM   #23
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Each situation can provide unique circumstances and influences that each individual must take into consideration when making a decision.

Just because a decision to use deadly force might be defended as being justified, excusable and lawful, that doesn't automatically mean it was necessary for the situation. Nor does it mean it was the right thing to do in that situation.

I remember as a young cop learning of a couple instances in which other off-duty cops decided to intervene and take action in on-view robberies where they were present, with their families (or just another family member).

In both of them the off-duty cops decided to draw and use their weapons when the armed suspects had other people at gun point, but hadn't actually fired any shots at their victims during their attempted robberies.

In both instances the suspects started shooting once the cops started shooting. When the smoke finally cleared, the cops had survived without being shot or injured, and the suspects were down ... but a family member of each of the cops involved had been shot (by the suspects) and killed. It might just as easily have been other innocent bystanders killed, too.

That left an indelible impression on me. You think those other cops in those incidents aren't going to forever be asking themselves whether their lost family members might still be alive if they hadn't started shooting?

That was the point in my early career when I decided that if I witnessed an armed robbery off-duty, unless I reasonably really believed that some particular armed suspect was actually going to shoot/kill some victim(s), and not just take their property and flee, I was going to remain a trained witness and not needlessly start a gun fight that might otherwise not have happened. The innocent family members of everyone else are just as important to them, as mine are to me.

I won't second guess the decision of the lawfully armed woman in the linked article, nor her reason(s) for deciding not to start shooting.

I carry my retirement weapon not to save property, or to intervene if I witness some on-view crime to try and apprehend criminals anymore (being retired), but only to save innocent lives. That may mean being willing to recognize when starting a gun fight, which might not otherwise occur, may present more of a risk to everyone than refraining from shooting if shots being fired by a suspect don't actually appear imminent.

It's always important to remember that innocent lives may always be at risk, and sometimes the consequences of our decisions and actions in this regard may last (or end) a lifetime.

Just my thoughts.
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Old July 16, 2019, 05:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
This discussion is in the "Tactics and Training" discussion area. Pretty much by definition, tactics represent what someone thinks is the best way to approach a certain situation, in order to obtain a beneficial (to the proponent) result. Tactics very much represent opinion, not fact.

Agreed


You could have left the comment I was responding to in post 21 so that I don't look like I am talking all out of my head. LOL
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Old July 16, 2019, 05:44 PM   #25
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Acting against the drop is a terrible situation but most people have run these things through their head once or twice. I will mention a few conditions that would likely cause me to move against a armed robber with the drop on me ( or others).

any attempt to take a hostage with him
any attempt to isolate witnesses away from the group
being ordered to lay down on the ground
attempt at restraint
discovering my weapon
a manic out of control offender
offender obviously under the influence of narcotic
offender obviously experiencing psychotic episode
few witnesses and the offender is not masked
if I am the only witness
if offenders avenue of escape is denied
if others make a move on the offender
offender onset of panic

When I wouldn't move against the drop:

if the armed robber is in control, keeps his distance, has a easy avenue of escape and in the presence of numerous witnesses.
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