Drive By

Drive By

This is a discussion on Drive By within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This question has probably been asked here before, but if it has, I can't find it. I know that laws vary from state to state, ...

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Thread: Drive By

  1. #1
    Member Array Alaskan454's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Drive By

    This question has probably been asked here before, but if it has, I can't find it. I know that laws vary from state to state, but I would like to know what you would do in the event of a drive-by shooting.

    Assume for this scenario that you have done nothing to provoke such an attack, but for whatever reason (wrong house, random gang initiation, whatever) a group of individuals in a vehicle drive by your home, slow down and start firing towards you and your home. There are multiple shooters, but no way to know if everyone in the vehicle is an active participant. You are in a position to return fire if you so choose. What would you do, and why?

    Aside from "better tried by 12 than carried by 6" and the civil litigation that would likely result from any defensive shooting (unless prohibited by state law), what legal concerns come to mind?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Prescott, AZ
    If I can see those guns come up, even if I happen to be in a good position to return fire, I'm going to run for cover!!!! I'm going to try to put as many walls and objects between myself and that car as I can. They got the drop on me and I doubt I'll be able to do anything productive except unaimed return fire.
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    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Well I just stay inside and call the police, A drive by is just that, they drive by and shoot as they go, then they are gone. Get the police looking for them and if no one was hurt, make the report and then the repairs. Just be more alert and hope it doesn't happen again.

  4. #4
    Member Array Vermicious_Canid's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Yep, I'd take cover. If it's a drive-by shooting they'll drive by. If they stop, and I thought I could engage them effectively from my cover, I would shoot.

    The only legal concerns I would have are the usual (eg. ricochets, over-penetration). It would be a justified shooting and if an "innocent" person in the car was injured or killed by one of my bullets, one or all of the shooters in the car would be held responsible for it, dead or alive.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    I would most certainly take cover. To engage at the moment would be suicidal. They most likely will drive by. If for some reason they chose to stop and continued to engage me, I would continue to retreat under cover and choose my individual battles to defend myself where I will have the advantage. If this were at my house, I would try to plan my retreat route in such a way as to safeguard my family and gain access to my long guns if possible. Granted that is speaking very optimistic in a horrible situation. I would have no legal concerns at that moment. Survival is primary, attorneys are for afterwards.

    Retreat is never a bad option. A retired trooper once imparted this piece of wisdom to me: "Better to retreat and stay alive. You can always bring the army back with you tomorrow."
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North Dakota
    If no immediate cover I'm dropping to the ground and crawling towards the closest cover/and concealment I can find. Hitting a moving target is tough enough with out the adrenaline dump I may draw but shooting at a target that's fleeing the scene would violate the must attempt to flee law here.
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

    Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Central Florida
    I would take cover. If you shoot back you will give them a reason to come back. This might have been a random act. Theres also the chance of hitting another house or person in your neighborhood.
    Call 911 and get the police involved.Do your best to get a description of the car involved. I know what you really want to do, but throwing a handgernade is illegal

  8. #8
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    May 2006
    cover, call 911.
    EVERYONE in the vehicle is an active participant, in a drive by unless they are strapped in a car seat they are active participants.
    Returning fire is pointless unless they stop in front of your house or you have a rifle in your pocket, they would be fleeing at that point and the threat has pasted.

  9. #9
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    As everyone else has said already, drop and go for cover. I came from a neighborhood in a major city that had this stuff happen all the time (thank God never specifically at my house). You tend to get accustomed to getting ready to hit the floor the second any vehicle drops to 15 mph or slower on your street. There's really no use in calling 9-1-1, either. I can guarantee you that there are plenty of people up to a mile away that are calling it in... All at the same time.


  10. #10
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Mt Airy, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by gotammo View Post
    they would be fleeing at that point and the threat has pasted.
    I disagree, as long as rounds are coming in my direction the threat is still very real. However the idea of standing there and returning fire is suicidal!! There are 100's of variables here, location being a huge one. I agree with others take cover as best you can and try and get a good description, most of the time the car will be stolen anyway. Returning fire is usually not a possibility, by the time you realize what is going on and jump for cover it is probably about over. Usually Gang Bangers aren't a very good shot, they use the spray and pray type of tactics. This is why so many innocent people get killed in these types of shootings. Opening yourself up to AK47 rounds is usually not a good idea. Again 100's of variables that would change my reaction one way or the other. Glad I moved from LA to NC years ago. A drive by shooting here in the country, involves a bright light and a 30-06 and a large field in the fall.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Take cover unless they stop.

    If they stop, we're going to have a gunfight, and I'm not pulling a damn pistol to duel with their nines.

    I'm getting inside, to one of my (kept loaded) long guns (Mosin, probably).

    If they stay long enough for me to bust out a window or get back outside, if they live through it, they're going to regret hanging around.

    "Ivan" oughtta take care of the situation, whether it be by bullet hitting the cretins, by muzzle blast incinerating the cretins, by muzzle blast melting down their car, by muzzle blast spraying them with fragments of glass, by bayonet impaling the cretins, by rifle butt cracking cretin skull, or by any combination thereof.

  12. #12
    Member Array My73LT's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Orlando, Fla
    In my 'hood' ... I live down a half mile, private, dirt road. The house is 200 feet from the road. Nearest house is a good 400+ feet away, on the other side of the hill.

    Anyone coming down that road would have to turn around at the end of my property and come back. If I have time I'm running for the house, and getting one of my long guns in preparation for the return trip or support of my neighbors at the end of the road. If I don't feel I can return fire with a reasonable chance of hitting one or two of them, I'm using the cell phone to call the neighbors at the head of the road.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array gwhall57's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Midlothian, VA
    I'd do the ol' "fire drill" - stop, drop and roll. I'd be trying to put as much cover as possible between myself and the bullets coming my way...
    "Bad spellers of the world - untie!"

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  14. #14
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Here's a variant scenario to up the stakes a little bit:

    Say that there's an SUV full of whomever, and they open fire at your house. You manage to dive in time, and are unscathed. but even when you no longer hear shattering and bullets wizzing past you, you hear gunfire continue down your street, and shattering sounds of glass being hit from your neighbors' homes. You look outside and the SUV is slowly creeping down the street, lighting up every house on the block (maybe they just knew the general area of their target's residence?). Your neighborhood at large is in peril. What do you do?
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Ooh...nice, devilish twist. What a dilemma: Fear of the law vs. ability to prevent harm.

    My answer is partly influenced by location. If it's in my town, where I presently live, I grab the Mosin and start blasting at those cretins.

    Neither the local PD, DA or any jury around here would convict me of squat if I could prove they were shooting every house on the block, including mine.

    If I live in San Francisco or some other Shullbit location, I obediently dial 9-1-1 and go smoke pot or whatever they do out there...
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."

    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

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