Would you shoot a pregnant woman?

This is a discussion on Would you shoot a pregnant woman? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by WHEC724 This is like asking "would you shoot your mom" or "would you shoot a baby seal that was pointing a gun ...

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Thread: Would you shoot a pregnant woman?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    This is like asking "would you shoot your mom" or "would you shoot a baby seal that was pointing a gun at you".

    "Shoot / No Shoot" scenarios are designed for one to be able to quickly assess whether a candidate target is a lethal threat or not. Not whether they are pregnant, how old they are, or how sincere they are.
    Agreed. I think we are meant to assume that we KNOW she is pregnant.

    Now, to play devil's advocate for a moment. What if the woman were holding her infant in one arm and pointing a gun at you with the other?

    Would you still take the shot, knowing it is entirely possible you may hit the infant?

    Now, can you tell me what the difference is?

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but I would like some help with my own thinking on this.
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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Depends on the shot I had I guess... if there were a good chance I could get a clean shot off, maybe.

    The difference is that now you're dealing with a known innocent human being. Would be no different than a bullet going through your attacker and hitting an innocent person, you're responsible = murder/manslaughter.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    I'll deal with the situation when it arises. I would say that my chances of getting in a shootout with a pregnant woman are probably about the same as getting hit by debris from a falling NASA satellite.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    Agreed. I think we are meant to assume that we KNOW she is pregnant.

    Now, to play devil's advocate for a moment. What if the woman were holding her infant in one arm and pointing a gun at you with the other?

    Would you still take the shot, knowing it is entirely possible you may hit the infant?

    Now, can you tell me what the difference is?

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but I would like some help with my own thinking on this.
    Point taken. I still look for the lethal threat. Letting the target rattle you could get you killed.

    I know there are some that are thinking "man, I'd rather risk getting shot than taking an innocent life". If I were not a parent, I might think that way too. But I have a responsibility to the innocent life that I brought into this world, and I will do my best to be a proper father, which includes coming home every night.
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  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    Just as quickly as I would shoot anyone pointing a gun at me.
    Last edited by Stubborn; September 26th, 2011 at 01:26 PM.
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  7. #21
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    Shoot Mama between the eyes in a diving barrel roll, and then perform an emergency Kershaw-Cesarean!

    I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV... as long as we're just making up steaming piles of crap!

    Real life: she's dead, and best of luck to Junior...
    tcon67 likes this.

  8. #22
    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Pregnant Aghani women carry AK's too.

    My M4 shoots "minute of Haji"

    Would I ?? In civillian life ? If she is truely a deadly threat to me or her child and herself or others I might take a leg shot, or not.
    Perhaps your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array Hot Wing's Avatar
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    Point a gun my way

    Done

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    This is like asking "would you shoot your mom" or "would you shoot a baby seal that was pointing a gun at you".

    "Shoot / No Shoot" scenarios are designed for one to be able to quickly assess whether a candidate target is a lethal threat or not. Not whether they are pregnant, how old they are, or how sincere they are.
    Granted, this is all Lima theory here but, to me, (personally) shoot/no shoot scenarios are a lot more involved than just "lethal threat or not."

    I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, I know there are people out there that I would more-than-likely let kill me before I killed them. My shock and horror at them lethally threatening me would be such a shock I would probably hesitate to the point of my demise OR I simply would not want to live with the weight of their death combined with the knowledge that something in our relationship or that individual deteriorated to the point where they were willing and trying to take my life.

    My mother, my husband, my children... I do not believe I could bring myself to use lethal force against them.

    I've read and listened to many accounts from combat veterans, police, civilians, etc, who have been forced to kill children, women, family and most say it takes a horrible toll. Some even admit that if they had to do it over again they would not repeat their actions.

    Assessing whether or not you are morally and/or emotionally prepared to shoot/kill a certain individual or "class" of individuals (pregnant women, included) is a very serious thing. There are hardened criminals who, once finding out their victims are pregnant or women or children or that children are present, abandon their attack and move on. Why is it then that child molesters, etc, are often violently attacked in prison? There IS something about violence against certain individuals that seems to be inherently harder than others and it's worth considering.

    Assuming this is a civilian encounter......

    First, is she really pregnant? There are pregnant "suits" that make a woman look very pregnant and they are reportedly GREAT for concealing things like firearms, etc. It would not be the first time a woman has used a fake pregnancy to commit a crime.

    Secondly and thankfully (if she really is pregnant) MOST pregnant women--especially when they reach the stage of pregnancy where it is noticeable to the public--have a very strong, internal drive to protect their children. They default to not get involved in dangerous situations, stop smoking, doing drugs, etc. The basic instinct to protect your developing child is very strong and it is often times the thing that drives many women to "go straight" (as it were). That makes having to make this choice exceptionally rare (thank God!!).

    However, being a pregnant woman myself in addition to the mother of a toddler, my mothering instinct to live to protect my children is just as strong, if not stronger than hers because she's willing to risk her child to commit a crime. I would give her the same consideration I would give anyone else threatening my life. My shots would be center mass and that means there is a good likelihood the child may suffer and/or die due to his mother's actions. Not to mention, even if I DID accomplish a head shot or something away from the abdomen it must be remembered that if that mother dies, unless the baby is removed immediately and given life-saving measures, the child dies as well. But we all know the risks involved (or at least we should) of attempting anything like a wounding shot.

    I can say, however, that I would probably be much more apt to at least try to render medical aid to her.... especially if she suffered a wound to her abdomen.

    What one can almost certainly expect, however, is a FAR greater social and legal stigma. Violence against pregnant women is exceptionally taboo in our society and you can bet your right arm that even if you were 100% justified and had no legal repercussions for our actions the media attention and social pressure would be enormous. Even people who might be sympathetic to your having to shoot some gang-banger might viciously turn against you for having to shoot a pregnant woman.... especially other mothers (to include your wives, mothers, and wives/mothers or friends and colleagues). Employers might see the "need" to fire such an individual. Wives might feel inclined to leave (especially if they weren't super happy about the whole "carry" thing to begin with) and if you have children a lawyer may try to use your willingness to fire upon a pregnant woman as evidence that you are an unfit parent to try to take your children away. Neighbors may become hateful, vengeful or even violent...

    Some might be strong enough to withstand the social stigma but I fear many might not be especially as it goes viral (which it is likely to do).. violent cases involving pregnancy and children go viral quickly and even on this very forum the venomous reaction is hugely exaggerated vs your average case.

    It would be, in my opinion, far harder to live down (and with) than your average self defense shooting.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExactlyMyPoint View Post
    Was speaking with a fellow shooter at the gun club the other day. He did a training scenario where, for quickness of description, he was in a "bad situation" when he was confronted with a pregnant woman pointing a gun at him. It was a shoot/don't shoot scenario. What do you do?
    shoot her. if you need to think about it maybe you need to reassess your carrying a gun
    sigmanluke and JDE101 like this.

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    There is only one rule on using your firearm--imminent threat of death or great bodily injury---I could not care less if the "threatener" is a woman, a pregnant woman, a priest, Mahatma Ghandi himself, the Dalai Lama--yada yada yada--get my point?
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExactlyMyPoint View Post
    Was speaking with a fellow shooter at the gun club the other day. He did a training scenario where, for quickness of description, he was in a "bad situation" when he was confronted with a pregnant woman pointing a gun at him. It was a shoot/don't shoot scenario. What do you do?
    I'd do the subjectively/objectively reasonable thing.

    If that was to use deadly force against a deadly force threat, life sucks for everyone and I'll feel kinda bad about it...

    After.

  14. #28
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    Nothing to debate. She's got a gun in hand, then she is a threat. The fact that it is a female and pregnant doesn't come into play, just like her age wouldn't either. If I feel my life is in danger, I'm shooting.
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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    Agreed. I think we are meant to assume that we KNOW she is pregnant.

    Now, to play devil's advocate for a moment. What if the woman were holding her infant in one arm and pointing a gun at you with the other?

    Would you still take the shot, knowing it is entirely possible you may hit the infant?

    Now, can you tell me what the difference is?

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but I would like some help with my own thinking on this.
    To answer your question, No. I would not take the shot. I would not be able to live with myself if I killed the baby. I would try everything to calm the situation down and give her what she wants or needs. This is one, and probably the only one scenario, were I couldnt do it...
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  16. #30
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    To answer your question, No. I would not take the shot. I would not be able to live with myself if I killed the baby. I would try everything to calm the situation down and give her what she wants or needs. This is one, and probably the only one scenario, were I couldnt do it...
    you're a statistic in waiting! if you are unable to use your gun when facing a threat why carry it?

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