Is a stray round/casualty ever acceptable?

This is a discussion on Is a stray round/casualty ever acceptable? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Brad426 Well, nobody said that, although in the Colorado deal that is actually what eventually happened, ironically. Unfortunately we can never know ...

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Thread: Is a stray round/casualty ever acceptable?

  1. #76
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    Well, nobody said that, although in the Colorado deal that is actually what eventually happened, ironically.
    Unfortunately we can never know with certainty what the future holds. The bad guy could continue in his behavior or he could possibly walk away. All we know is what we have observed. So not taking the shot ( I am assuming here) we are hoping that he is going to stop. I don't think anyone would wish for him to continue shooting.

    So as I see it we have the following choices and potential outcomes:
    1) We engage and take a shot we are not confident in.
    (a) We strike an innocent.
    (b) We get lucky and strike only the bad guy
    2) We do not engage.
    (a) He stops shooting and walks away
    (b) He continues to shoot people until he runs out of ammo or targets.

    It seems to me that the high favorability does not coincide with the high probability. So it comes down to personal morality in the risk assessment.
    If we engage there is no doubt as to our responsibility for outcomes 1) (a) and (b). Historically actively shooters have been known to surrender or to kill themselves when first confronted with effective resistance. So if we choose not to engage does that necessarily mean we are not responsible in any way for outcome 2) (b)?
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  3. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    Uh-oh, they are going to make you turn in your guns.
    No way man!!! I know how to shoot and I practice although not as much as I would like to! This is sort of inline with a discussion I have been having with a few people. I am friends with Cops and CHL's that couldn't hit the ground if you pointed the gun down for them and told them to pull the trigger. A stray round hitting someone is a terrible mistake and is never acceptable. My point being you should know what you are capable of and you should never exceed thoses capabilities.

  4. #78
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aj373ku View Post
    No way man!!! I know how to shoot and I practice although not as much as I would like to! This is sort of inline with a discussion I have been having with a few people. I am friends with Cops and CHL's that couldn't hit the ground if you pointed the gun down for them and told them to pull the trigger. A stray round hitting someone is a terrible mistake and is never acceptable. My point being you should know what you are capable of and you should never exceed thoses capabilities.
    And you do this with real bullets flying around and real people on the sides and behind your target while moving or taking other measures to avoid being hit or killed yourself?

    Freaking awesome.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  5. #79
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    Law of Relative Harms.

  6. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    And you do this with real bullets flying around and real people on the sides and behind your target while moving or taking other measures to avoid being hit or killed yourself?

    Freaking awesome.
    Nope....Don't recall saying I did. If I was ever in a situation as you describe I certainly would not take a shot that I could not make under range conditions. Reading comprehesion, its freaking awesome! Give it a try!

  7. #81
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    aj373... You said that you have a responsibility to ensure that "every round goes exactly where intended" (emphasis mine). This implies that, if you canNOT guarantee that every round will go EXACTLY where you want it (and not through the BG, assuming your superhuman aim, calmness, and clarity allow you to, in fact, strike dead center with every round), then you should not shoot. I submit that you will NEVER be able to guarantee such things. Ever. EVER. So, you will never shoot. Which brings us, again, to: turn in your guns. You will never fire them, because the world is imperfect and nothing is guaranteed.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  8. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    aj373... You said that you have a responsibility to ensure that "every round goes exactly where intended" (emphasis mine). This implies that, if you canNOT guarantee that every round will go EXACTLY where you want it (and not through the BG, assuming your superhuman aim, calmness, and clarity allow you to, in fact, strike dead center with every round), then you should not shoot. I submit that you will NEVER be able to guarantee such things. Ever. EVER. So, you will never shoot. Which brings us, again, to: turn in your guns. You will never fire them, because the world is imperfect and nothing is guaranteed.
    You are correct. Nothing is certain nor can anything be guaranteed. That is why the decision to use your gun should be taken very seriously. You cannot guarantee where every round will go but you are damn sure responsible for every one that leaves the muzzle of your gun. The OP's question was "Is a stray/round casualty ever acceptable". My answer is no, it is never acceptable. Is a stray round or casualty possible if you use your gun to defend yourself? Absouluty but that was not the original question and what many of you are confusing.

    The point I was trying to make above was the proper training and practice will better prepare you for a situation and will decrese the chances you will send wild shots down range to kill innocent bystanders. To respond to farronwolf's comment above no one except for special operations forces train that way. LEO's do not even get that realistic of training. Most qualify once or twice a year and never shoot other than that. CHL's are even worse with most never shooting the gun they carry other than when they qualified to get theri license.

  9. #83
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    There are many CHL holders that shoot alot and are represented at local gun club matches every month. Even Spec Ops personel have stray rounds, which is why it was brought up that in almost every situation there are going to be stray rounds. So if knowing that there is going to be one isn't acceptable under any circumstances, then guns need to stay home.

    Unless you can gaurantee you (not any specific person) are going to be the exception to the rule then you accepting some risk of a stray round if you ever need to use the gun which you carry for personal protection.

    aj373ku, you say you should know your capabilities. Well if you have never been in a real gun fight, and I hope you never are, how do you know what your capabilities are? We are all guessing till that time comes.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  10. #84
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    A stray round is NEVER acceptable. I tend to shy away from words like NEVER and ALWAYS because such certainties are extremely rare. So, let's take it a step further (into another impossibly improbable scenario):

    BG has a bomb planted under the stadium where the Superbowl is being played. You go to the john, and stumble upon him. He grabs a hostage as you draw. He is reaching for the detonator. Shoot, and you may hit/kill the hostage. Don't shoot, and 70,000 or so people, including the hostage you are so bent on protecting, might die. (I say might, because perhaps the bomb is a dud, but to the best of your ability to determine, there is a real and immediate danger to 70,000 people.) Yes, this is a silly scenario, but it illustrates the concept that, at SOME point, the risk to the many simply outweighs the risk to the one.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #85
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    A stray round is NEVER acceptable. I tend to shy away from words like NEVER and ALWAYS because such certainties are extremely rare. So, let's take it a step further (into another impossibly improbable scenario):

    BG has a bomb planted under the stadium where the Superbowl is being played. You go to the john, and stumble upon him. He grabs a hostage as you draw. He is reaching for the detonator. Shoot, and you may hit/kill the hostage. Don't shoot, and 70,000 or so people, including the hostage you are so bent on protecting, might die. (I say might, because perhaps the bomb is a dud, but to the best of your ability to determine, there is a real and immediate danger to 70,000 people.) Yes, this is a silly scenario, but it illustrates the concept that, at SOME point, the risk to the many simply outweighs the risk to the one.
    I think I saw this... was Dennis Hopper the bad guy?
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  12. #86
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    He may have been and, if he wasn't, he SHOULD have been. Though I could NEVER shoot Dennis Hopper, so I guess everyone is going to die.
    Brad426 likes this.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  13. #87
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigStick View Post
    I think you've got me wrong Ramrod. I am trying to put out the thoughts that are most persuasive in a discussion to bring up internal conflict. I do not think I could, nor should sacrifice any other persons life, period. And if I was a hostage, and the only option for you to stop a massacre was to shoot through me, I would tell you to take the shot (preferably to a non-vital zone if possible).
    Well, since you've narrowed things down a bit, I might have it wrong. I'm just looking from the shooter perspective. If I was a hostage in that situation, and you could take the shot and save many at my expense, then by all means....take the shot. However......we may not be able to have a verbal exchange at the time.....you'll just have to read my eyes I guess, and I'll have to read yours to know I wouldn't be dying in vain. Just make sure the gun held to my head isn't an AirSoft or pellet gun. I trust not many, and then even those I trust for certain reasons, I might have reservations about their abilities pertaining to other things. But if you need to take the shot, and have the opportunity, and you can live with your decision, then you've got the green light. I'd rather not be shot by the BG in the first place, and hope to never be in that situation. I reckon we're on the same page now....just you and me. You and the hostages make it through, but I won't likely be able to tell the investigators that it was a mutual understanding between you and me for the sake of others. You might have to live with a manslaughter charge rather than a front page hero story. If you can live with that, I reckon I could die with that. If we were able to make verbal transactions, the survivors would be witnesses that might save you as you saved them. It's just not possible to know how things will go down.

  14. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    There are many CHL holders that shoot alot and are represented at local gun club matches every month. Even Spec Ops personel have stray rounds, which is why it was brought up that in almost every situation there are going to be stray rounds. So if knowing that there is going to be one isn't acceptable under any circumstances, then guns need to stay home.

    Unless you can gaurantee you (not any specific person) are going to be the exception to the rule then you accepting some risk of a stray round if you ever need to use the gun which you carry for personal protection.

    aj373ku, you say you should know your capabilities. Well if you have never been in a real gun fight, and I hope you never are, how do you know what your capabilities are? We are all guessing till that time comes.
    farronwolf...When I wrote know your capabilities I was not referring to your capabilities in a real gun fight. There are very few of us that will ever be in enough guns fights to be confident we know our capabilities and how we will react. Again select members of the spec ops community are exceptions. I challenge you to find one experienced operator that will agree with you that stray rounds are inevitable and acceptable. They train as hard as they do to insure every round goes exactly where they intended it to go.

    Back to my original statement of knowing your capabilities. As a CHL holder you have a responsibility to be proficient with your weapon and know what you are capable of doing with it. This comes from going to the range and practicing. Every CHL holder should be able to immediately answer two questions when asked. 1.) What is the maximum distance you are comfortable shooting with a reasonable degree of accuracy? 2.) What is the distance you are 100% confident you can place every single shot center mass in a tight group? This is what I mean when I wrote know your capabilities. How many CHL holders couldn't tell you the last time they went to the range let alone the answer to the above questions?

    I have never been in a gun fight nor do I ever wish to. However, I have trained and practiced enough that I know what my capabilities are on the range. If I ever have the misfortune to be in a situation like Colorado I am not going to take a shot I know I couldn't make at the range and has a better chance hitting a bystander than the BG. That's what I mean by knowing your capabilities before you go squeezing off an entire magazine in a crowded theater, street or where ever.

    So I agree with you. Your guns need to stay home if you do not know your capabilities and are not proficient with your carry weapon.

  15. #89
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Expat View Post
    "standing beside the shooter" tells me I have a clear shot and a .45 hp will be heading down range. If the innocent was standing between us, then I'd hold fire.
    But!

    What if said shooter has a bead on your child or your spouse and they are sure to be the next victims if you don't shoot?

    Situations like this are never cut & dry! There are exceptions to every rule and sometimes what is 100% UNACCEPTABLE is not 100% "avoidable".

    --------------------------------------------

    BTW;
    I would yell to draw the attention of the BG & hopefully the "innocent" in the way; in hopes that I would have that fraction of a second to take a clear shot & protect my wife & child. However, if it is within my power to do so, the BG is going down!

    -

  16. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    The OP is NOT "about" the Colorado incident, per se. It inspired his line of thought, but the question isn't limited to that scenario. Likewise, it is not limited to MY scenario. It covers all possible scenarios. That is why the never ever never crowd is...myopic, and dramatically limited in forethought.

    And no, I would never be "good" with harming any innocent. But yes, under certain circumstances, I would risk potentially harming one loved one to save (for example) 10 loved ones who would otherwise certainly die. That anyone would NOT do so is mind boggling to me.
    My wife & I have had this discussion before. Both of us agree to take the shot even if we risk harming each other.

    -
    Last edited by tcox4freedom; July 30th, 2012 at 02:56 PM.

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