May 9th, 2007 11:20 AM
Being a good witness vs Helping out
Been thinking about this off and on for a couple of weeks and reading another thread on how nobody answered a call for help made me decide to go ahead and start a thread about it.
I've been reading a lot of threads here & on other forums where advise is given to stand by and be a witness when an "incident" doesn't directly involve ones self and/or a family member.
I've also been reading quite a few threads where the people in the vicinity of an "incident" are blasted for not stepping in when someone cries for help and/or obviously needs assistance. Everything from "What do you expect from sheeple" to "Those @#%@!#$, why didn't they do something?"
This seems like a double standard of sorts. CCW's shouldn't step up for various reasons: "Ain't my fight", "Legal problems", "escalating" etc. etc. But anyone else should because it's their duty.
IMO, in the absence of LE, who better to help? Most (if not all) folks who carry have better training than the everyday person and they definetely have better equipment than people who don't carry.
I certainly want to avoid confrontation as much or more than anyone else. But I could not stand by & let someone else get hurt either. And that includes financially hurt also. Even though I may get hurt and/or in trouble with the law, I've got to be able to look in the mirror the next day.
That's not to say that I wouldn't be making a note of license plates, description etc. and making a 911 call, but that'll be on my way to lend a hand, not while ducking behind the nearest cover. Well, it probably would be from cover if there're bullets flying, but that's not going to be the extent of my involvment if there's anything else that can be done.
And no, that's not just "armchair bravado". I have stepped in to assist a stranger on more than one occasion.
On the same note, I've also read more advise than I like to move out of a neighborhood just because one or two "bad" elements have moved in. When should a person take a stand and say "That's it, I've had enough. They started the trouble and it's my neighborhood - they can move or change their ways"? Keeping our neighborhoods safe may be LE's job, but they can not do it on their own.
Last edited by Cliffh; May 9th, 2007 at 02:27 PM.
Reason: for BBS code
May 9th, 2007 11:38 AM
So much depends - on the countless variables.
My somewhat boring thinking is - ''play it as you see it'' - in as much as, no two situations can be the same and ...... I don't think anyone can decide in advance that ''I will only be a witness'' - or - ''I will always intervene".
I would prefer to stay out of problems if possible but equally, if it was me being beaten to a pulp it sure would be nice to have some help! I am all too aware also that cell phones will not always have a good signal!
As for neighborhoods ......... once again circumstances alter events. It does seem like giving up easily, just to move out and away but then ... there must be some instances where things are so bad it may be an only option.
Other situations may well benefit from taking a stand - in particular if the concensus among the majority in an area feel same way. Then strength in numbers can help.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
May 9th, 2007 12:11 PM
P95 is right, of course. Each situation will be different and you must rapidly take stock of the situation and plan your actions before you commit. (I'm preaching to the choir, right?) Further, you should try to judge the response time of the police. I have become involved in a fracas only to have LE come up behind me (in my escape route) and assume that I was one of the BGs. I lost a P7 and got to ride in the back of a police car (released later that day without arrest but the pistol was retained for evidence). I thought that I was the only witness (other than the victim) but apparently there was someone else with a phone. In that particular case, I did everything tactically correct but did not consider other "friendlies".
"life is tough...life is tougher if you're stupid."
May 9th, 2007 12:25 PM
P95Carry speaks wise words.....the world is a difficult place and is even more difficult by being ignorant of self. Each situation must be decided by the person there in the SHTF. Some are bound by their job to react some bound by honor; but it is the individual that must make the tough decisions as to what actions to take.
Navy SEALs have a saying I really like: "the only easy day is yesterday". I am not a Navy SEAL; just admire them and am grateful for their service.
May 9th, 2007 12:35 PM
While I agree that every situation is different, having a gun is not a reason to get involved. The question is, would you get involved if you didn't have a gun. You mentioned that most people that carry have better training. They MIGHT have some training but again that would more then likely in how to use their firearm. My thinking is to not use my firearm in any way, including as a reason to get involved in someone else's affairs. I will tuck tail if I have to until it is time to defend myself. If a CCW gets involved and has to use their weapon I would be willing to guess they will have some major problems on their hands.
My 2 cents.
May 9th, 2007 12:49 PM
Here is my answer:
The drowning incident is no different from a shooting incident. Seeing two boys drowning = seeing someone being threatened by a criminal.
May 9th, 2007 01:44 PM
I agree with P95. I also think that if the situation warranted I would help no matter whether I was carrying or not. CCing just gives me the opportunity to defend myself if I ever needed it. It doesn't mean that I can't help a person in need. Lending assitance to anyone in need by your presence there, by using your cell phone to call a LEO or by throwing a shopping cart over the guys head is all situational dependant. Just cause we CC, doesnt mean we are John Wayning it and running in guns blazing. Be a good person.... be a good witness... be a good judge of your abilities and go from there.
S&W M&P .45
Virginia Beach, Va.
Senior Chief Petty Officer, RETIRED, USN
Certified NRA Pistol Instructor
NRA Range Officer
May 9th, 2007 02:06 PM
Bottom line is that you don't really know what your response (or lack of it) will be until the incident unfolds.I think in general we all would try to be as helpful as possible but we all also have a certain limit to which we will act.Not everybody is wired to lay their life or personal assets on the line for a stranger, nor should you be expected to.The only reason I got a ccw is for personal protection. I was a cop in my younger days. I'm over that now.At least cops have some protection if they act on an incident that goes wrong or isn't what it appeared to be. Chuck.
May 9th, 2007 02:25 PM
I will agree that it depends on the situation, so none of us really know until they are there at the time.
However we do develope a mindset when we go through these scenarios, either in our heads, training or on this or other forums.
Most people that have read my posts probably don't agree with me on this, but there are some out there that do, (wish it was more), but I am not going to stand by and let someone that is innocent get hurt, raped, robbed or whatever if I can do something about it. I look at it this way, if it were my mother, my wife, my kid, or even me, would I want someone else to help, hell yes I would. Well everyone else is someones mom, daughter, brother, dad, kid, whatever and if I can help them out I will.
I am not going around looking to be John Wayne or whatever, and I don't think that others that take a similar possition to me think they are either. But if you equate it to the wolf, the sheep and the sheepdog as so may people here like to use. The wolf is going to look for the weak, the sheep may be clueless at times, but a sheepdog will not stand by and watch the wolf. Usually a wolf will run when confronted by a person that is not easy to overpower, sometimes not, but my experience is that they are much less wolfish when they are confronted by an even modest threat.
If the criminals are used to people standing by and watching as they commit their crimes that is what makes them bolder. I am not suggesting pulling a weapon because someone got a purse snatched, or an altercation starts. Weapons are the last resort, but we all choose to have that resort. It should not be an all or none situation. We can intervene without deadly force. I have in the past and will continue to in the future when it is warranted. One day me or someone I know may need help and I damn sure hope someone like me is around then.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
May 9th, 2007 02:46 PM
Lawyers have made us afraid to help our fellow man, plain and simple but that is no reason not to. You evaluate the situation and help if appropriate. This does not mean you need die for someone else. Having a carry permit does not make us junior G-Men but a good upbringing I think tells me to help. I think, "if that were my daughter or my wife under attack what would I hope a stranger would do for them?" Once again plain and simple, HELP.
DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.
Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
Utah Permit Certified Instructor
May 9th, 2007 05:05 PM
I elect to carry to defend myself and my family. I am not a LEO, and would not use deadly force to help others except under the most compelling circumstances where there could be no legitimate question that my use of deadly force was justified. If I could help without using deadly force, then I would not hesitate to do so. But, the consequences of using deadly force and being wrong are far too onerous, jail and financial ruin for my family.
If others feel that that is a cowardly position and would act differently so be it, and more power to you. However, I even feel that it would be morally irresponsible for me to risk my families future by intervening, except under the circumstances I stated above.
"It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."
J. R. R. Tolkien
May 9th, 2007 05:22 PM
It appears that you and I sing out of the same book quite often. My tendency is to help if I think I can whether armed or not. Can't see changing this attitude anytime soon.
Originally Posted by farronwolf
P95 said it though: ''play it as you see it''. Until you have had a chance to Observe and Orient, you can't apply the rest of the loop. I can't see rushing into anything without waiting long enough to make a "reasonable" determination of the situation.
Sometimes that might mean innocent people get hurt before you act, but life isn't fair.
Ron - I personally would never call your position cowardly. You just have a different solution to the problem.
Remember: we are the good guys.
We are just good people trying to make the best decision we can to deal with a bad situation.
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).
May 9th, 2007 06:11 PM
"You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.
<----My LT was unhappy that I did not have my PASS-Tag at that fire. But I found the body so he said he would overlook it. :)
May 9th, 2007 06:20 PM
And that's what would keep me from stepping in the overwhelming majority of the time.
Originally Posted by crankshop1000
If things are not like they appear and I end up severely hurting or killing a person whom I was not legally allowed to, MY family is now the one who will suffer when I end up in prison and in bankruptcy.
No. Thank. You.
My first responsibility is not to self, is to my wife and daughter. My second responsibility is to myself. Everyone else comes a DISTANT third.
May 9th, 2007 08:13 PM
'My family and myself' is a darn good rule, but there are situations where I doubt if I could live with myself if I didn't go to the aid of some one in danger.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
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