The hostage situation
This is a discussion on The hostage situation within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One thing I've often wondered about is what would I do in the situation that the bad guy takes my wife or daughter hostage. I ...
May 19th, 2011 10:27 AM
The hostage situation
One thing I've often wondered about is what would I do in the situation that the bad guy takes my wife or daughter hostage. I have the opportunity to shoot them, but the risk is that I might hit my loved-one. On the range, especially with my Glock 19, I can hit a fly on the target. But in that case, the target isn't moving and I'm not nervous in any way. In a real situation, I'm not sure if I could do it. But then again, if I let the BG get away with one of my loved ones, there is a 50% chace they will wind up dead anyway after he is done with them. So that means I have to choose between trying to shoot the bad guy in the head and possibly missing which could lead to me shooting my loved one, or the bad guy retaliating by killing the hostage..... Or him getting away with the hostage and me never seeing them alive again.
What would you do?
May 19th, 2011 10:37 AM
"Dirty Bird" makes targets that are a silhouette in red (center) and a black silhouette on each side, only exposing about 2/3 of the head (as if someone is holding a hostage). I practice with at least one of these every time I go to the range, with both my carry revolver and my home defense auto. EVERY TIME! You'll be surprised how reliable you can become after just a few training sessions.
"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it".
May 19th, 2011 10:47 AM
You could place one target behind the other slightly off center and pratice hitting the off center one only.
May 19th, 2011 11:01 AM
This is a real tricky situation that goes above and beyond what most non-LEO/Military can and should try to handle. There are a LOT of issues to consider.
Personally, I have no idea. You could try to hold the target in place. If at all possible, I would wait for the pros to show up and take care of business (where I live I honestly think they would take a good shot on the BG). Most experts always say to never get into a car with a kidnapper/BG as you will likely be killed. I suppose this logic extends to shooting a BG trying to put a family member in a car against their will. Something else is how much of a shield is your loved one? If the BG is 6'5" and using a baby as a hostage, you may have options. If they are 6' even and are using your 6'1" son as a hostage, things change.
This kind of thing is why the Marine MEU/SOC units use 1911s chambered in .45 ACP. They need one-shot-stops with head shots in hostage situations and don't feel the 9mm can do it. Of course they are probably carrying hardball so expanding ammo changes things. Also, those 1911s have a parts list that will make a 1911-aficionado drool to the point of dehydration (Nowlin barrel, King's Gun Works bushing, custom-fitted slide to frame, aftermarket sights, etc). I'm not trying to start a caliber war here - I carry either a .357 mag or 9mm.
I will say that in my untrained opinion, if you shoot and miss, shoot again if there is a shot. At that point you have commited yourself to your actions and need to put the BG down before he can react.
May 19th, 2011 11:33 AM
I would never allow them to take a loved one. My wife would prefer I take the shoot than allow her to be taken.
In a gun fight, you can not miss fast enough, to catch up.
May 19th, 2011 11:58 AM
Interesting. I think a lot of folks watch too many movies and spend too much time figuring out what is going to happen if they are suddenly thrust into a wild situation which is highly unlikely.
I just don't see myself in a situation where one of my loved ones are going to end up being some malevolent bad guys hostage and I just happen to be there with a gun, and posed with the question of "what to do?"
I can say that most people have absolutely no realistic idea of just how much intense stress one would actually be under trying to take a split second precision shot inches away from a loved ones head. The thought of me being the one to turn my wife's head into a canoe with an errant round just does not appeal to me in the least.
I'm a moderate to fairly decent shot depending on the day... I am under no illusions I'm a SEAL Team Six operator.
Being a great shot at the range and can shoot a fly off a gnat's ass at 10 paces is one thing, shooting under stress is another thing altogether.
I would recommend taking the opportunity to go to an outdoor range on some private land somewhere and then before shooting, sprint a 1/4 mile, do 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, and then immediately see how many rounds you can put inside a target the size of a 3x5 card. That will put some physical stress on you and get you out of your comfort zone. And that is only adding some physical stress... It is not even close to putting the psychological stress on your mind that will be present in a real situation with your wife or 12 year old daughter's life on the line.
As a swat medic for nearly 10 years, we would train like that occasionally. But not on a weekly basis and certainly not enough where I would really consider taking a shot like that. But you never know unless you're in that situation and you've had the opportunity to take in the totality of the circumstance.
For one thing... It's highly unlikely that one of my family members are going to be taken hostage and I'd be there at the time it happens and end up facing a guy with his arm around my wife's throat and a gun to her head. I mean, come on... really? You think that's a plausible situation?
Secondly, there are almost always, dynamics of the situation, tactics, and power of negotiation to where, you can manipulate the situation where you can separate the hostage from the bad guy and at least open up the distance a little bit.
One thing I know for sure... I have yet to be able to get my wife to go out to the range with me and play William Tell to see just how good I am. YMMV.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
May 19th, 2011 12:09 PM
you should have some code words/prhases with the mrs.
one such phrase...honey, dont'worry ( means do what i tell you next-- immediatly), everything will be ok ( means go limp).and than you snap shot him to the head.
say what, you are not confidant you can fast put a bullet in a tea cup at 15 feet in a flash??....practce, practice, practice.
You plug 'em, I plant 'em
...kid can't read at 17 (Garcia/Hunter 1985)
Lack of preparation on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on mine
May 19th, 2011 12:09 PM
This is a complex question.
I personally would not let an aggressor leave with a loved one, the percentages are too great of very bad outcome.
There are a great many factors involved in a situation like this. To name a few, proficiency with the weapon you are carrying, the power of that round, experience in high stress situations, negotiation skills, ability to talk and shoot accurately at the same time, just to name a few.
Some family units have gone so far as to have prearranged signals for such an event.
I believe that the biggest factor is having the confidence and the mental strength to do what you think is necessary. This includes accepting responsibility for ending the life of your loved one if you fail vs accepting that same responsibility should you do nothing and it ends bad. Both are heavy burdens.
"I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".
May 19th, 2011 12:37 PM
Talk crap. Shoot the hostage first. Let him know he's dealing with crazy!
May 19th, 2011 12:44 PM
In the SD situation I was in I was completely relaxed. The adrenaline dump did not occur until the situation was over. My resting heart rate felt like it actually declined and the situation was more matter of fact. Of course, I had trained for many years at this point and part of that training was mental and included the necessity to stay relaxed.
That being said. Unless you train you will not know how you will react. I'm certain though that my loved one is not going with anyone if I can help it and I'm pretty sure that there will be an opening as they try to get away.
May 19th, 2011 12:49 PM
As far out as this sounds, there is some twisted logic to it. Letting them leave with a loved one is a no win situation. But, as already stated, the psycological, and emotional stress will be overwhelming. You have to keep in mind that the hostage is a tool of manipulation preying upon your emotions for the victim.
Originally Posted by Hkchris
The only way to win this is by making it clear that even if he does kill the hostage, he will die, and it will be a slow and painful death. You have got to psychological remove his leverage so that it is he who feels it's a losing proposition for him.
If you can't do this, by far leave it to professionals.
Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.
May 19th, 2011 12:52 PM
We practiced taking a head shot in a hostage situation in an advanced pistol class I took a year ago. I also always practice head shots and double taps when I go to the range. However, the stress shooting paper targets and shooting past a loved one to hit the BG are two entirely different animals! I have to agree with Bark'n that the scenario of my wife being held hostage and me being there is highly unlikely. However, I do honestly think I would take the shot rather than let her be taken away. I'd rather gamble on my skill than the BGs good intentions. Just sayin.
Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King
And keep a .45 handy
Kimber Custom TLE II
May 19th, 2011 01:05 PM
My .02!!! have a ling talk with your loved one! If and I would emphasis the if you find yourself in such a situation have the person taken hostage faint!! I mean go completely limp and start falling to the ground!! Ever tried to hold dead weight with one arm! One of two things will happen, 1) you loved one will hit the floor, at which time three center mass, 2) the bg will attempt to hold 100lbs plus of dead weight which will take two hands! Meaning his weapon will no longer be a threat!! No signal, just go completely limp!! This has worked in the past! Still a tough call to make, shooting in the immediate direction of a loved one!! Best practice, stay out of places and situations that could even remotely result in anyone becoming a hostage!!
May 19th, 2011 03:11 PM
+1 to this. I think a very important part of your defense/recovery plan needs to be some level of participation from the hostage(s). "Fainting" or otherwise forcing the BG to either carry you or drop you can work, depending on the circumstances (obviously, if there's a blade under my jaw, I wouldn't want to "faint"). Some basic self-defense moves can be useful - even if your wife/daughter can't get away, she may be able to shift herself (or the BG) to allow a clearer shot, or to distract her abductor long enough for you to move in.
Originally Posted by Wetsuit
A while back, there was a bank robbery / hostage situation at a bank in MD. The BG grabbed a hostage and was using her a a shield as he left the building. Unable to pull away from him, she just stopped walking - he had to drag her. He ended up dropping her, she took off, and the police officers took care of business.
May 19th, 2011 03:17 PM
Keanu even got a medal for that in the movie.
Originally Posted by Hkchris
But I agree with G-man, in a twisted way, its actually a viable option.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
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