To shoot, or not to shoot?

This is a discussion on To shoot, or not to shoot? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; fantastic video. He nailed every aspect of self defense and the mindset that has to be involved. You want to be a victim, or do ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    fantastic video. He nailed every aspect of self defense and the mindset that has to be involved. You want to be a victim, or do you want to live with knowing you did everything you could do to make sure you wrote the script for the rest of your life.

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I agree with "Bark'n" You can't second guess a situation like this, there isn't time. When they come in armed and pointing a gun at you, that is a serious a threat to your life, the only thing that would escalate the situation any more is for the BG to pull the trigger...at which point it is TOO LATE. This is not a video game, when you get shot, you can't re-start the game, you 're DEAD...game over!
    If they're pointing a firearm at me, that is the threat, I would draw and engage. I keep reading here on the forum, guys saying a "simple robbery" or "he was just pointing a gun at someone" WAKE UP! if they're pointing a gun at you it goes from pointing to shooting in 2/10th's of a second...it's too late to react then. If they point...I shoot
    "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it".
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  4. #18
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    How much is your employer (your Dad!) willing to do to ensure the safety of himself, you, etc.? How about a ballistic cage? Not cheap, but may be necessary.

    This may be an occasion where OC is an asset. It could deter the BGs entirely. How many employees on duty? Do all carry? Consider hiring uniformed armed security? Are there any environmental issues that can aid security, such as a clear view of the register from the street, limited or restricted access to the cashier's area?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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  5. #19
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    One has to realize, in some small enterprises, the margin between profit and overhead is very slim. Fortifying your business with ballistic cages, electronic locks, armed security guards would essentially drive the small time proprietor out of business.

    Just something to consider.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "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."

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    I know from your other post you carry a Glock 40S&W and that is a good choice, I think.

    Is it possible to rearrange the counter and merchandise so that only one person could easily be in the line of defensive fire at a time?

    May cut down on the two on one and help stop collateral damage to others.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida View Post
    I'm saying, they come in the door, masked with weapons in their hands. Obvious intentions to rob. - @ DaRedneck
    In this case it's pretty clear what's going on BUT do you have any kind of training regarding drawing against someone (or more than one someone) who already has a gun drawn? Believe me when I tell you it is VERY VERY VERY difficult not to get shot. It's not impossible if you can explode off of the X and you have one DARNED fast draw and some cover but in the Force-on-Force trainings I've been to and done and worked this, if you draw against someone who already has a gun out you are going to get shot (sometimes repeatedly) about 60% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    But...how sure is your aim, and your drawing speed, against already drawn guns?

    Have multiple plans for such situations, not just shooting. There are always variables (as G said). Nothing ever goes as planned.
    9MMare brings up the points of drawing speed and aim as well which are just as critical. If you are drawing against someone with a gun already out and aimed you are likely not going to get a full, extended grip and you WILL be relying on point shooting WHILE on the move.. add the dynamics of a store (countertop, goods for sale) and it might not be pretty.

    Do you know which way to move to lessen the likelihood of getting shot?
    Will that direction change if there are two of them? How will that direction change given your store layout and, yes, even by which hand the gunmen are holding their guns in.
    Are you carrying in a quality holster that will allow you to get your gun out fast and not snag up or have any retention devices to undo which will also slow you down?
    Have you practiced your draw getting out from under your concealment garment (if necessary) enough to make it smooth and quick?
    Do you know what to do in the event that you DO get shot while trying to respond? Can you provide self aide until help arrives?
    Do you know which distances you are most effective at evading being shot from an already drawn firearm? (Because, yes, distance does matter in this)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubborn View Post
    If they're pointing a firearm at me, that is the threat, I would draw and engage.
    Again, I'm not saying this is impossible but this kind of mentality NEEDS (DESPERATELY NEEDS) good, solid training and practice behind it. It's very easy to think in slow motion and that we will somehow be able to out draw a pulled gun but if you try it in Force on Force I guarantee you will have a HUGE wake up as to how difficult it really is and how much practice you really have to put in to doing this effectively and not getting shot every time. And even then you are still looking at a HIGH probability of getting shot.

    I keep reading here on the forum, guys saying a "simple robbery" or "he was just pointing a gun at someone" WAKE UP! if they're pointing a gun at you it goes from pointing to shooting in 2/10th's of a second...it's too late to react then. If they point...I shoot
    I agree that there is no "simple robbery" and one must realize that someone pointing a gun at someone else is one of the most aggressive gestures known to man. It is lethal and it is not something to take lightly or think is no big deal.

    HOWEVER, I must reiterate (again) that drawing against an already drawn and pointed gun is a very serious and equally life-threatening thing.

    Florida, I challenge you to have a friend simply point his finger at you and you, with a dummy gun or your finger, try to draw and "shoot" before he can even say "bang" because that's about how much effort it will take for a bad guy to shoot you.

    I would only draw against a drawn gun if a) they were trying to move me somewhere else, b) they had already showed they were likely to kill me anyway (in your situation, had they killed other clerks they had robbed), c) if I saw an opportunity wherein they were distracted and not paying attention to me (ETA: You could create such a distraction by dropping the money on the floor, knocking over a rack, etc) or d) I gave them what they asked for and they were still there indicating to me that they intended to stick around and kill me. There might be a few more variables that would induce me to go for it but IF I choose to draw against an already drawn and aimed gun I would be doing so with the knowledge that I'm more than likely going to take a bullet or at least get skimmed by a bullet. I might get lucky but the math is not on my side.

    This is why avoidance and awareness are far more paramount. If you can see someone in the parking lot putting on a mask or approaching with a mask on (especially in summer months) THAT is the time to act by at least seeking cover because once they get inside, if they have guns drawn, your chances of a successful gun fight go WAAAY down.

    Again, not impossible, but it's not good and your chances of survival go even further down if you haven't trained for this.

  8. #22
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Situational awareness is tough to maintain at a high level day in and day out, if you are working long hours in a retail establishment. In an ideal scenario, you will have a clear shot at the bg's with sufficient backstop, no customers in the line of sight, and enough advance warning of two guys with masks/stockings over their heads coming across your parking lot. If any of those variables fail you, it is very likely that you will be forced to just hand over cash and hope that they don't kill you, rather than risking the life of a customer or losing a drawing match against a BG who already has his gun out.

    Think through the scenario repeatedly given your environment, sleep on it, and think it through carefully one step at a time each day. Depending on the way your mind learns, it may benefit you to either dictate it into a voice recorder and play it back, or write it down by hand, and read it. Your subconscious mind will build a checklist by doing this, and when the rubber finally meets the road, your mind won't need to build a checklist from scratch, process the variables and conclude the course of action all from the word go. By preconditioning your mind to think about the variables ahead of time, you save yourself many precious seconds of potentially life saving time.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Another thought: If you had something on the counter that you could easily push off onto the floor that would make a lots of noise as a distraction it might give you an edge.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
    I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    A number of good points made by others re draw seed, movement, etc, to which I will add a couple.

    A fast draw with accurate fire, even at close range (<5yds) is not easy. It requires training, enormous practice, time and a rig conducive to it. Do not rely on what you think is fast, get someone with a timer and see how fast you are. IMO your first shot must be under a second to be viable.

    A distraction is imperative to success in such a situation. The type of distraction will depend on circumstances and what is available.

    This might be of some use to you.

    Drawing Against The Drop (DATD)
    limatunes, Bark'n, TVJ and 1 others like this.
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  11. #25
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    There is one thing to consider which force on force training doesn't always emulate. A determined win-at-all-cost mindset, and the element of surprise. These thugs who rob and murder store clerks are not expecting a violent counter-attack.

    You must know, and must accept the fact that responding with deadly force may cost you your life. There are no guarantees in life. And life isn't fair.

    And in my case, it will be me who determines my own fate, not the whim of my attacker. There are many things you can do to tip the odds in your favor, if you keep your wits about you. But like I said before, "You're either all-in, or you're not!" There are no half measures. You have to know in your mind when you walk into work each day where you stand.

    Then again, you can always play it safe and comply, and hope for the best. The odds are clearly in your favor by complying. But it really sucks to be on the losing end of an execution.

    Not everyone is up to the task of fighting back or can accept the fact that their actions may result in death of yourself. Most people just choke at the thought.

    However, if you choose to fight, you better be up to the task. Trying to do it with someone who has not trained for gunfighting is really kidding themself.
    GaryB and Stubborn like this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "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."

  12. #26
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    >>The following video may give you some perspective. Lance Thomas is a man who decided he was not going to negotiate for his life with bloodthirsty killers.

    Thanks very much for posting the video and this hero's compelling story. I had not heard of Mr. Thomas, nor seen the video before. I don't throw around the term "hero" but this guy certainly meets that description. His story also is instructive. Prepare, exercise, train, and be sober about life and death decisions. We never know when, what, or who. It is a dangerous time and as you point out we only have one life.

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    "limatunes" I generally agree with most of your posts, and I very much respect your level of training and experience, but this time you and I are on different sides of the fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post

    Again, I'm not saying this is impossible but this kind of mentality NEEDS (DESPERATELY NEEDS) good, solid training and practice behind it. It's very easy to think in slow motion and that we will somehow be able to out draw a pulled gun but if you try it in Force on Force I guarantee you will have a HUGE wake up as to how difficult it really is and how much practice you really have to put in to doing this effectively and not getting shot every time. And even then you are still looking at a HIGH probability of getting shot.

    Understood, odds are I would be shot, but I prefer my chances trying to fight rather than standing there with a dumb look on my face waiting to see a muzzle flash and depending upon the "moral character" of an armed robber to spare my life. Anything could provoke him to pull the trigger at anytime, I have no control. It is a chance I'm willing to take, I would rather die trying than do die not trying.
    Not sure I like the reference to "mentality" and the term "DESPERATELY NEEDS" in the same sentence, lol, and respectfully Ma'am you have no idea of my level of training.

    I agree that there is no "simple robbery" and one must realize that someone pointing a gun at someone else is one of the most aggressive gestures known to man. It is lethal and it is not something to take lightly or think is no big deal.

    HOWEVER, I must reiterate (again) that drawing against an already drawn and pointed gun is a very serious and equally life-threatening thing.

    Florida, I challenge you to have a friend simply point his finger at you and you, with a dummy gun or your finger, try to draw and "shoot" before he can even say "bang" because that's about how much effort it will take for a bad guy to shoot you.

    I would only draw against a drawn gun if a) they were trying to move me somewhere else, b) they had already showed they were likely to kill me anyway (in your situation, had they killed other clerks they had robbed), c) if I saw an opportunity wherein they were distracted and not paying attention to me (ETA: You could create such a distraction by dropping the money on the floor, knocking over a rack, etc) or d) I gave them what they asked for and they were still there indicating to me that they intended to stick around and kill me. There might be a few more variables that would induce me to go for it but IF I choose to draw against an already drawn and aimed gun I would be doing so with the knowledge that I'm more than likely going to take a bullet or at least get skimmed by a bullet. I might get lucky but the math is not on my side.
    Please understand I'm not telling "Florida" or you or anyone else what to do, or how to react, I'm merely stating what I would do. I am not going to rely on the "good nature" of scum to not kill me. I may go down, but I'll go down fighting. My choice. I have no death wish nor do I want to die, quite the contrary, thats why I will not place the decision of my life or death in the hands of an armed robber.

    This is why avoidance and awareness are far more paramount. If you can see someone in the parking lot putting on a mask or approaching with a mask on (especially in summer months) THAT is the time to act by at least seeking cover because once they get inside, if they have guns drawn, your chances of a successful gun fight go WAAAY down.

    Again, not impossible, but it's not good and your chances of survival go even further down if you haven't trained for this.
    Just my opinion, and we're all entitled to our own.
    Last edited by Stubborn; June 30th, 2011 at 02:09 PM.
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Now the scary part. There has been, and I believe will continue to be, a rising trend in the viciousness of criminal. The likelihood of a robbers executing their victims in the face of total compliance is on the rise. I say execution because that's exactly what it is. The video tells the truth. Time and time again you see video surveillance tape showing a complete and total cooperation on the part of the store clerk in offering no resistance and handing over the cash only to get shot in the face and murdered before the gunman leaves.
    Yep - This has happened twice this year in Ft.Worth. One of the incidents was at a gas station just a mile from where I live. In this case, the clerk even took them in the back and gave them money out of the safe, then they shot him in the head as they were leaving. Then a Mrs. Baird's driver was walking in with his delivery and they shot him too just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Both died. THen there was the incident a week or two ago where the BG just walked right into the gas station and shot the clerk without even talking to him.

    However, you still have to weight the circumstances. What is the likelihood they will shoot you before they leave, vs. what is the likelihood you can shoot them both and not get shot back? Unfortunately, if there are two of them, I'm probably just going to give them money and cooperate. That is, unless one of them goes outside or in a back room or something where I'd have a chance to take them out one at a time.

    I like the other advice given. Get security cameras, make sure they guys know they are installed. Also, have a security camera that can see the parking lot and get license plates. That is the #1 mistake homeowners and business owners make with their security camera setups. I've talked to numerous police officers over the years and they say it really doesn't matter if you have video camera footage of the crooks. Unless they kill somebody, they aren't going to bother posting their faces on the 6:00 news and they will never be identified. But if you have a license plate number, then that changes everything.

    Oh - and just in case they are smart criminals it doesn't hurt to have a "real" DVR and a "fake" DVR.

  15. #29
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    Bark'n, and others:

    I've often linked to the Lance Thomas video.. He is indeed a hero... But, there's another "takeaway" from that vid.

    In the end, Lance became a loner, sequestered his business out of town, and works by appointment only. He paid a physical price (shot several times), he paid an emotional price and you can see that in the end of the video. The last group of thugs to rob him were part of the prevalent gang culture in LA. They threatened him and his customer base after the last shootout.

    He had to close up shop, or risk the death of his customers. And, while that in itself is a shame, you can also see a sort of despondence in Lance himself towards the end of the video, indicating the heavy emotional toll of his heroism.

    In today's world, I'm sure he would be diagnosed with PTSD. He "refuses to be a victim." And yet, if you cannot see his victimization, you are not paying attention.

    I too "refuse to be a victim." In Iowa we have seen that compliance doesn't work all the time. Any encounter you have with an armed gunman could be the one where he decides to escalate to murder even if you comply, even though he has never done so in the past.

    The problem with Florida's scenario is the possibility of up to 10 innocent customers getting caught in the crossfire. Any good attorney suing for the estate of an innocent bystander would likely own the business where the shooting occurred.

    My sense is that Florida (in fact, that many of us here) have not had the training, practice, and experience in live fire action that would GUARANTEE the safety of the patrons and the dispatch of the thugs in an incident at the same time. (Note the training that Lance goes through to retain his ability.)

    So, Guantes' first reply regarding the circumstances is the simple truth... all I've done is point out specifically why.

    We can't all be Lance Thomas, or >>>Jelly Bryce<<< another of my favorites (introduced to that story by Guantes).

    If you are willing to risk your life to defend yourself or your loved ones, as I am, and most of us here are, that's one thing, and I applaud it. But, I draw the line at "collateral damage." So, if I'm not certain of the shot, it won't be made unless others are already at risk in any case.
    It could be worse.
    "A law that burdens the exercise of an enumerated constitutional right by simply making that right more difficult to exercise cannot be considered “reasonably adapted” to a government interest, no matter how substantial that interest may be."
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    A couple other points I would make.

    While I will be one of the first to say that I will not rest my well being on the benevolence of an armed criminal, it is not that simple. You best have your mind right. Understand that you are betting your life on your ability as a gun hand. There is no do over if you flub the draw, miss the shot, etc. Even then, fortune may smile on you and allow you to prevail, then again it may not.

    Do everything you can to prepare your mind so it does not falter at the moment of need. This is in addition to the physical preparations, training and practice.

    This is not conjecture, I speak from experience.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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