I think I got it right but not sure...

This is a discussion on I think I got it right but not sure... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I understand that if a life isn't in danger you keep your gun in the holster and be a good witness. What is hard is ...

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Thread: I think I got it right but not sure...

  1. #1
    Member Array Maverick7340's Avatar
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    I think I got it right but not sure...

    I understand that if a life isn't in danger you keep your gun in the holster and be a good witness.
    What is hard is to know you could stop a crime and you don't. I think the guilt of thinking if I only got my gun out I could have stopped that.
    Here is the scenario I have in mind. I'm in line at a fast food place and the guy in front of me tells the casher to give him all the money. The guy has no weapon visible and doesn't in any way make a theat to anyone. His hands are on the counter and all he is doing is staring at the casher and asking for money.
    It is late at night and him and I are the only customers.
    I feel no life is in danger and I have the desciption of the man pictured in my head since he is only 3 feet away.
    Is this a good time to just let him take the money or do I pull out my gun to try to make him get on the ground? If he sees my gun and runs out the door isn't that better then just standing there letting him commit this crime?
    This is what is confusing for me. Should I ONLY pull out my gun when I intend to use it or is this a time to pull it also?
    Another thing comes to mind. What if the guy sees my gun and ignores my commands and continues to try to rob the place? If you don't feel like anyones life is in danger and he has made no threats then all you can do is stand there with your gun pointed at him and that's it. Right? You have no cause to shoot.

    Did I just answer my own question? Pulling a gun to try to stop a crime might not stop the crime. You just end up being a witness anyway. I think I just might feel less guilty that way though if I did SOMETHING instead of nothing.

    But like I said in the title. I'm not sure.

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  3. #2
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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    Here's my $0.02, for what it is worth.

    The subject does not have a weapon in evidence, and is not a lethal threat.

    Introducing deadly force into this situation is not warranted, IMHO, and is not a good idea either. And if you draw on him, you are bringing deadly force onto the field of play. Once you do that, there is no going back.

    IMHO, so long as this is a property crime, and nobody is at risk, take an advantaged position (i.e. move away from him) and call 911. It's not your money, and it's not worth killing someone over.

    If he sees your gun and flees, maybe that does make things better. But what if he sees your gun and goes for his own?

    Don't get me wrong - if I believe the guy is an imminent lethal threat to me or anyone else, I'll consider intervening. But not for property.

    We're not law enforcement officers, and we're not charged with any duty to stop crime. We are charged with a duty to act in a reasonable and prudent manner when carrying a firearm.

    Turning this into a deadly force encounter isn't, IMHO, reasonable or prudent.

    And the guilt you feel about not stopping a petty strong arm robbery is nothing compared to living with the aftermath of having to shoot someone. And as soon as you draw the firearm, that becomes a very real possibility.

    For the sake of argument, let's go with the probabilities and say our robber here is a previously convicted felon, and could be looking at hard time for this crime. He figures he has nothing to lose, and decides to try and take your gun from you. You're now in a kill or be killed struggle - all over McBurger King's $100 or so in the register.

    If you really want to have nightmares about this scenario, add a bad twist - while struggling over your gun, you discharge a round. The robber then loses his grip, you get control and shoot him.

    And then you find out where that first round went.....

    My philosophy is that I will not be the person who brings deadly force to the table. If the bad guy poses an imminent deadly threat, then I will respond with deadly force (either threatened or applied).

    Your milage may vary.

    Matt
    Last edited by MattInFla; September 27th, 2006 at 11:47 AM.
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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    The store is insured are you?

    So say you pull your gun and the guy fails to comply with your commands, what then? Are you going to follow through and shoot him? What happens when the bullet goes through him and strikes the child in the baby seat in back of the SUV at the drive through. How about the clerk? Maybe the kid mopping the floor behind the partition you thought was a good back stop.

    Until the BG actually threatens serious bodily harm or death to someone my gun stays put. Do I make ready? You bet. Create some distance. Move to hopefully provide a back stop for errant shots or pass throughs. But try to detain him? Nope. Not me.

    Does it piss me off to do nothing? You bet. What I really want to do is put my muzzle on the back of the idiots head and decorate the area with the miniscule contents of his cranial cavity. Well ok actually I want to secure him to my trailer hitch and do hot laps around the parking lot dragging him behind. However, society takes a dim view of such actions.

    So a witness I am and that is how it is until he shows the means and makes the threat. A cop in my jurisdiction ended a hostage stand off by shooting the BG in the head. Perfect ending you would think. Basically the hostage and several other people sued him becuase he didn't try to de-escalate the situation and they were traumatized. The worst part is they got paid and he got screwed.
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    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    If the guy is not threatening to hurt and/or kill anyone, but just demanding money they usually have something "up their sleeve" so-to-speak. Whether they show a weapon or not, you should assume they have one of some kind if for nothing else for awareness purposes.

    Now as far as intervening goes, that's a personal choice you have to make and from your question that's something you're trying to decide should the event ever come about. I will say, however, that no one ever said that you have to use your gun to settle it. In my state you cannot threaten or use a gun against strong arm robberies in many cases. A loud and authorative "get out" (or something similar) will get their attention. Just be aware of what I said (above) and the guy may be armed with something.

    As far as legality goes, I'm not sure of your state but in Arizona armed robbery is one of the "special crimes" that allows full legal backing for a "measured" use of force to stop the crime. I should make it clear that just because the guy doesn't actually show a gun (e.g. finger pointed in jacket pocket, etc.) but threatens use of one, it's considered armed robbery. The law recognizes that it's not the actual display of a weapon but the threatened use of one that constitutes them being "armed". I'm pretty sure this distinction is pretty universal no matter what state it is.

    Also allowed in Arizona is arrest of the individual by a non-LEO citizen for felonies. Strong arm robbery (no implied, threatened or displayed weapon) in my state is a class 4 felony. Therefore you literally have the same rights as a LEO when it comes to robbery in my state if you choose to exercise them. If your state laws are the same or similar, so do you. I'd check them out if you are deciding you want to intervene.

    Cheers.

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    "The guy has no weapon visible and doesn't in any way make a theat to anyone"

    Like soundwave and others already said that this is really a personal decision that must be based on moral and legal grounds. You have to live with the results and/or consequences of your decision. As to the threat...There should automatically be a presumed threat of harm once someone has demanded money (whether from another patron or a cashier). To assume that there is no threat just because you don't see a weapon is, in my opinion, foolish.

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    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    If you are not in fear for your life gun stays put. It is not your money what do care if he walks off with all the cash in the every register so long as no one gets hurt.

    You are not a LEO leave the get on the ground stuff to them, if you try it you may escalate things to where now you have to shoot and you can become the agressor and you go to jail.

    As far as guilt goes for not helping think how guilty will you feel if something happens to you because you tried to help someone in a situation where you don't have all the information and you are no longer there for your loved ones.
    Protect yourself and leave the rest for the LEOs.

    If all he says is give me the cash they can always say no, no weapon = no action

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    +1 to MattLarson. Perfect response.

    Though, as Soundwave mentioned, it's excellent to live in AZ. If the perp is talking in low tones and you're not sure if you heard "Give me the money and I'm outta here" or "Give me the money or I'm outtin' you." God Bless measured response.
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    Member Array ppcpilot's Avatar
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    What if he does pull out a weapon at the clerk, bnt not you, cause he knows you are prolly not armed...do you bang bang in his back, or do you order him to stop and drop, or just exit out the back door?

  10. #9
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    When the weapon comes into play, the whole thing changes.

    I know this is sort of a "cop out", but it depends on my read of the guy. Does he look nervous and edgy, or is he relatively composed? If I think he's just going to take the cash and leave, I am not going to call down a firefight.

    On the other hand, if this guy looks like he's ready to go over the edge, and I think he's going to hurt someone, then it's go time. Move off axis to his rear weak side, draw and order him to drop it. If he starts to turn, shoot him to the ground. My reasoning here is if he shoots the cashier, he's likely to want to eliminate the witnesses.

    If somehow the scenario got to the point where had a gun out and starts to order people to the back of the restaurant, my personal inclination is to draw and fire without warning. I will not be herded into the fridge and executed. He's got an advantage since his gun is already out, and he might well shoot me, but by God I'll be found right there in the lobby, in a pile of brass. Hopefully, next to my assailant's bullet riddled body.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Careful...

    you ARE NOT a cop. No weapon? No threat? Let him take the cash and go. Just be a GOOD witness. Forget the gun and just keep it handy.
    Unless you SEE him pull a weapon, keep your mouth closed and your eyes open.

    Stay alert...stay safe!

    ret
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    ..... if you draw on him, you are bringing deadly force onto the field of play. Once you do that, there is no going back.

    .... I will not be the person who brings deadly force to the table.... If the bad guy poses an imminent deadly threat, then I will respond with deadly force (either threatened or applied). Matt


    Well stated Sir!
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Member Array xsquidgator's Avatar
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    Everything I've read hear seems to make sense... let me stir the pot though.

    What if the BG tries to collect the wallets of you and everyone else in the restaurant? Otherwise same details, he's not showing a gun or knife where you can see it... how do you react?

    I've been thinking about this, and I need to go back to my FL gun law book and re-read what "forcible felony" is. I am NOT inclined to give my wallet to a bad guy, but I can see where that might be the thing to do (perhaps he has the drop on you). My instincts are to try to get to a more favorable postition, while not giving away that I'm armed. And my gun comes out and will probably be used if I'm starting to fear for my life.

    So, what are the cues or breakpoints in the BG's behavior that ratchet it up to where you'd draw and maybe fire? Is him showing a gun enough? Does he have to point it at you? I don't know. If in the situation you describe he draws a gun and points it at the clerk and other people, I like my survival chances much more if I just draw and open up on him without warning him or attempting to command him to drop his (especially since I usually only carry an 8-round 380).

  14. #13
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    If the guy starts demanding wallets and still no gun or threat is made, I'm ready to use force if necessary. I'm not going to draw because this is not a deadly force encounter but I am going to prepare myself as it may lead to it if you resist. He doesn't know I'm armed and I already assume he is. At the point he starts deciding he's going to stay there awhile (rather than the usual grab-and-run) and start demanding wallets from everyone he's either really stupid or a psychopath.

    Whether it's stupid or psychopath I'm not taking my chances, both are really dangerous and I'm not going to try to speculate as to his next moves. I'm resisting giving up my wallet and I'm using that "measured force" to back it up. I have a right to be there, I have a right to custody of my own property. You can't be the aggressor in a situation if he's pushing the levels on your established and recognized rights. As long as he doesn't show a weapon I'm resisting as far as I'm legally allowed to. If or when he pulls a weapon he's just escalated it and (unlike him) I'm already prepared for his use of deadly force.

    As for if he pulls a weapon on the cashier and his back is to me, I'm not using the cashier as my backstop. When he pulled the weapon I can count on human nature that everyone else in the area just hauled a** away from possible fire. If I can get a signal to the cashier to get down I'm taking the shot. I can count on the velocity of the bullet being dramatically slowed-down (if not stopped) by his body with a hollowpoint and no one immediately on the other side of him.

    Self defense of another works like this: If you were the cashier, would you be legally able to justify a shot... Yes. But if the cashier was not able to get down or for whatever reason they stayed behind him I would either move to a better shot or start issuing commands to (if nothing else) distract his attention to the unarmed cashier.

    Cheers.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsquidgator View Post
    What if the BG tries to collect the wallets of you and everyone else in the restaurant? Otherwise same details, he's not showing a gun or knife where you can see it... how do you react?
    Given the previous scenario, when I saw the robbery happening I would have moved as far from the action as possible and out the door if I could have, with my hand on my weapon the whole time, but it would still be in concealment.

    If I couldn't get to the exit and he told me personally to give him my wallet; no way. I am no longer a bystander and he is threatening me now. Who in the he** does he think he is? He's gonna have to take it.

    If there were enough time and distance (cover your kids ears) I would untactfully suggest that he stay away from me. All the while paying extreme attention to his hand position. From this point on, his actions determine mine. The posibilities are too many to explore, but speed of approach and his demeanor would help me decide what to do next.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    This is getting complicated

    Not trying to hijack the thread here, but seeking opinion, upon further reflection.

    You warn BG and tell him in a not nice way that he's not taking your wallet, yet he insists on coming toward you intent to take it. You are within your rights to defend yourself, and if I was unarmed and he is too, I'm wanting to WHA at this point because I' m POed now.

    The problem is, if you engage H2H, you could risk loosing weapon retention. So is it better to just give him the wallet (which I would have an awful hard time doing) and not risk elevating a non-Deadly Force situation to a Deadly Force by loosing weapon retention.

    I think this potential situation has just convined me to carry pepper spray w/ my weapon so that I can disable the BG with little risk of loosing my weapon in a fight.

    What do you think????
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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