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; This question was triggered by my thoughts on the CO incident in another thread. If you could have stopped the shooter in CO right after ...

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Thread: Is a stray round/casualty ever acceptable?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Is a stray round/casualty ever acceptable?

    This question was triggered by my thoughts on the CO incident in another thread. If you could have stopped the shooter in CO right after he started shooting, but there was an innocent person right next to him that you might hit, what is the right thing to do?

    I am not 100% sure how I feel and am looking for honest evaluation, not platitudes about the basic firearm rules. What is the right thing to do, and what should you do legally?

    We know he shot 70 people. If you could have stopped it at 1 or 2, would it be worth it? Could you shoot knowing that you might sacrifice 1 person to save 11 more, or 50 more. Could you emotionally handle the one death by your hand to prevent more deaths by his?

    The family of the person you might hit would probably say don't do it, but how do you know that he won't just turn and gun her down next anyway? But they would ask who you are that you should play God and decide who lives or dies. Is it better for me to make that decision about 1 person, or let the madman continue to exercise that decision about many many more.

    Could you handle being villanized by the anti's and the hindsight is 20-20 people who would then not know how many lives you had saved, because you did not allow the madman to continue. There would surely be jail time for you if they figured out that it was your gun that killed this person, especially if the media got wind of it.

    I understand that as a random citizen we do not have the "responsibility" to intervene, we are not police, and many will say that my responsibility is to my family and myself, but even so, I feel at least some responsibility as a human to not let bad things happen if I am in a position to stop them. I guess this is part of my cost/benefit analysis on this type of sittuation. From the LEO or military in the crowd, how are you guys trained on this topic, and do they explain how that training might apply to average citizens?

    What do you all think?
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    NO. never. if you don't have the shot, you don't take it. we are not cops, they get paid to deal with that. and i doubt any leo would answer yes either.
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    I would have to weigh the risks as best I could and, if I truly believed that putting one person at risk would lead to saving the lives of a dozen...well... We used to have a saying, which sort of applies here (though it sounds incredibly callous, it really isn't): "Being a hostage is a dangerous job."
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    No, I don't think committing aggravated assault or murder is acceptable.

    Hence, why I push myself in training.
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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Your bullets are your responsibility. Whether you injured/killed someone accidently for the greater good or not, you will be found guilty and responsible.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    I would have to weigh the risks as best I could and, if I truly believed that putting one person at risk would lead to saving the lives of a dozen...well... We used to have a saying, which sort of applies here (though it sounds incredibly callous, it really isn't): "Being a hostage is a dangerous job."
    I normally agree with you but on this I totally disagree. If you are a member of an HRT, SWAT team, ST6, SFOD, sure. But you as a civilian should not be making that decision on who lives and who dies based on your moral comfort.

    If you are in imminent danger yourself that is different.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    I normally agree with you but on this I totally disagree. If you are a member of an HRT, SWAT team, ST6, SFOD, sure. But you as a civilian should not be making that decision on who lives and who dies based on your moral comfort.

    If you are in imminent danger yourself that is different.
    Have to disagree here. I would hold those that I highlighted more responsible. Contrary to how some like to think they are not military and not in a war. There is no way that the killing if innocents by the police should ever be considered acceptable. Now soldiers in wartime. Yes there are many times where innocents lives lost are acceptable.

    Michael
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    I do not think so. I do not think it would be worth it. If I didnt have the shot hopefully I was running with my family to safety trying to cover our 6.
    BigJon


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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    I normally agree with you but on this I totally disagree. If you are a member of an HRT, SWAT team, ST6, SFOD, sure. But you as a civilian should not be making that decision on who lives and who dies based on your moral comfort.

    If you are in imminent danger yourself that is different.
    Define imminent danger. If you are in his field of fire, but not a specific target, is that imminent enough? Or do you have to wait until he is targeting you specifically before you can risk it? Morally or legally?

    Legally, you will probably never get off, but to each of us, our lives and protecting our family would be more important than the other person, right? And it is not like you are trying to kill them, it is just a possibility that they might be hit.


    Edit: I'm not saying I feel either way, just asking questions.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    As I said in the other thread, it is easy in hindsight to say "I would SAVE lives if I hit an innocent person (or three) if I took the shooter out" but the reality is you don't have that luxury in the moment. If I killed an innocent bystander that is all I would be able to remember about the event, not the lives I MAYBE saved.
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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    As I said in the other thread, it is easy in hindsight to say "I would SAVE lives if I hit an innocent person (or three) if I took the shooter out" but the reality is you don't have that luxury in the moment. If I killed an innocent bystander that is all I would be able to remember about the event, not the lives I MAYBE saved.
    I can totaly feel you on that. I would tear myself up after if it were to happen.

    But I would also tear myself up if I was there and could have done something to save many people lives, and didn't.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigStick View Post
    I can totaly feel you on that. I would tear myself up after if it were to happen.

    But I would also tear myself up if I was there and could have done something to save many people lives, and didn't.
    Yep, I feel that too. I hope I never have to decide.
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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    I feel that it is 100% unacceptable. I also dont think there is much to say as to why I feel this way. Could it be worth the life of one to save many? MAYBE. But that is not a choice I will make. If I go to jail but succesfully stopped the threat, I may feel it was a worthy sacrafice but not at the cost of someone other than the gunmans life.
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    Well, I'm not exactly a "civilian." And I totally understand, and for the most part agree with, all the arguments against taking the shot. I am certainly not saying that I WOULD. I am saying that, based on the totality of the circumstances, I won't write off any possibility of taking the shot. That's all.
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    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.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    That is a decision that only you can make. Under Texas law the only bullets you send down range that you are not liable for are the ones that hit nothing but the bad guy.
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