A scenario I run through my head constantly

This is a discussion on A scenario I run through my head constantly within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by MattLarson I don't think this is a fair assessment of what Serenity is saying. This is one of those "play it as ...

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Thread: A scenario I run through my head constantly

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Wink I see what you're saying...sort of...

    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    I don't think this is a fair assessment of what Serenity is saying.
    This is one of those "play it as you see it" situations. Each of us in that situation would have to make a judgment as to whether or not they believed robber intended to kill.

    In my area, we have had a string of robberies where the victim did exactly what the criminal demanded, and then were shot anyway. To me, this is a factor in considering whether or not to intervene in a witnessed robbery.

    But to call someone a sheep because they express the entirely reasonable view that one must carefully weigh the decision to escalate such a situation is pretty unfair, IMHO.


    Besides, a true sheep wouldn't have to consider it because they would have no options anyway.....Matt
    I agree fully. BUT he made a comment that could be considered somewhat -like: "turning a robbery into a gunfight isn't self defense." I have to take issue with that. The crucial element of lethal force has already been raised by the fact that the BG is using a firearm to pull off his robbery and who knows to what extent a person in that hyper excited and hyper nervous state of mind will do when he has a gun in his hands and a bunch of victims before him?

    I submit that the BG has already employed such force and that in such a situation, it is almost incumbent on a sheepdog to be prepared to act.

    His attitude suggests just the opposite. I'm not saying open fire in every confrontation. Not at all! As you said it must be a case by case scheme of resolution. I certainly would not enjoy raising the stakes to that level.

    But I'd have to have a plan and a series of options in my mind on where to aim, where to move and what to do. I'm already down on the survival potential because the BG has a gun out and I don't. I'd be perfectly happy to let him have what he wants and go, but I have to be prepped to go to condition RED at any second.

    Serenity said: My thought is that most robberies are exactly that: robberies not murders. There are very very few situations like this where I'd consider firing.

    To me that screams "condition WHITE" and that my friend, is the arena where the dwell. This seems to indicate a rather casual and a somewhat nonchalant attitude to carrying a firearm for defense which would of course include defense of a third (customer). I'm not saying Serenity is wrong in any way, this is just my perception of what he said.

    Very likely his attitude is.... well....SERENE. But it was a pretty judgmental comment to say that turning a robbery into a gunfight constitutes escalation. That sounds exactly like the standard comment. JMO.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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  3. #32
    Member Array nicolasrichards's Avatar
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    The reason one carries a firearm is to protect yourself and your family; not a store, bank, or any other institution that doesn't really care about you and would most likely prosecute for escalating a situation in which innocents were/may be harmed by your actions. One should really only fire to "stop an assailants felonious attack upon me or my family"; i'm guessing "mcdonalds" is not your "family"

  4. #33
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    Wink Actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by nicolasrichards View Post
    The reason one carries a firearm is to protect yourself and your family; not a store, bank, or any other institution that doesn't really care about you and would most likely prosecute for escalating a situation in which innocents were/may be harmed by your actions. One should really only fire to "stop an assailants felonious attack upon me or my family"; i'm guessing "mcdonalds" is not your "family"
    Actually to the extent that a building isn't worth dying for or killing over...you're correct. But the folks who work in that building all have families, a mom and a dad and perhaps siblings. Maybe a wife and kids.

    If somebody I didn't know or had never seen prior to that moment got killed because of my inaction, I think I'd find it pretty tough to live with myself afterward. You ever read the Sheepdog essay? It's stickied somewhere on this forum. If you're not familiar with it, I think you should go read it...carefully.

    A whole lot of my students work as "Whopper Floppers" and they're great kids. Hard working, diligent and caring. I sort of think of them as an "extended family." I don't go to fast food places for reasons of my health (my VA Doc would SHOOT me) but if something happened at the workplace of one of my students and I found out an armed civilian had been present and did NOTHING because it wasn't HIS kid....I think I'd be pretty darn upset. Given that there are only three types of people in the world: Sheep Wolves and Sheepdogs you've got to ask yourself a hard question. What group do you fall into? Once decided, ask yourself what are your responsibilities as a societal member of that group?

    Ever hear of a woman named Kitty Genovese? She was a hard working woman who lived in New York (IIRC) during the 1960's. She was walking home from work in broad daylight one sunny afternoon. The birds were singing and it was a pretty day. A lot of windows were open in the surrounding apartments. As she crossed a street she was attacked and brutally stabbed repeatedly. She screamed and begged for help from anybody. Her attacker strolled away only to return in about 20 minutes. She was still on the street, still bleeding. He attacked again. Broke an arm and stabbed repeatedly. Again he strolled away. Mind you perhaps thousands of people were witnesses to the brutal attack. Over a four hour period, she was alternatively stabbed or beaten until she finally died in a pool of blood and pain. NOBODY did a thing. Nobody even picked up a phone. It was later determined that a squad car could have been on the scene inside of four minutes. She was a sheep. And she was slaughtered by a wolf and it is very clear that there were no sheepdogs to guard the flock on that day.

    I had to study this case in college for my Criminal Justice degree. I also had to study it for my minor in Psychology. The folks in those apartments were all interviewed by the police. What did they say? I DON'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED. That's what everybody said at the time. I don't know how anybody could live with themselves after that. Not even to pick a phone and make an anonymous phone call. Good thing the folks on FLT 93 didn't have that attitude. They went from sheep to sheepdogs in a moment. They didn't falter; they didn't waiver and they didn't fail. If it ever comes to that, I pray I don't either. That's why I train.

    The last thing on my mind is getting sued or prosecuted. Thinking about that will get you killed. In his book, reviewed on this site American Thinking, author Frank Borelli addresses this pretty clearly. Although he was primarily addressing his comments to police officers they hold true in equal measure for the lawfully armed civilian. I highly recommend the book. There's a link thru the thread on books and training video reviews.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  5. #34
    Member Array Serenity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    I agree fully. BUT he made a comment that could be considered somewhat -like: "turning a robbery into a gunfight isn't self defense." I have to take issue with that. ....blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda....
    Ok, I’ve been called out, this time by something more intelligent than sheep cartoons, so I guess I need to say something. (Though, frankly had the poster actually read the rest of what I said in my original post and my follow up posting on this topic I wouldn’t have to say this again but I’ll try to clarify.)

    As I consider ExSoldier’s response to what I said I think I see what has his knickers in a twist. Taken all by itself, without any further explanation, the comment:
    “Turning a robbery into a gunfight is called "escalation" not self defense.”
    could be seen as the kind of thing that anti-gunners say about CCW. However, the statement I made was not made in a vacuum. It was qualified by further explanation that if your observation gives you further danger signals that this situation was not going to end without violence then direct intervention on behalf of another has then become an option.

    There was an excellent post made on this topic in another thread that, I think, emphasizes the considerations in this type of situation. A quick search didn’t locate it but the gist of it was an analysis of the “stock advice” that many LEO administration officials and other “security experts” give the public all the time and that advice is summed up in one word: “compliance”.

    It’s a dirty word around here. So much as suggest that your best chance of surviving some situations is to comply and you inevitably get all kinds of “Chuck Norris” responses about how some cowboy would turn the tables on the BG by pulling a gun, knife or just using some of their amazing kung-fu moves to disarm and kill their attacker.

    However, the posting that I’m referring to made the wise point that what would be much better for these so called “experts” to say is to qualify this advice. The point, in short, was “When things escalate in any way….violence, erratic behavior, emotional instability, requesting that you assume a position or go into a enclosed space that further increases your vulnerability or restricts you options to react….then compliance ends and active resistance begins.

    There is nothing in my posts that make it a reasonable assumption that I’m constantly in “condition white” or that I wouldn’t be “prepared” to act in the posited situation. Most likely, especially if I’m not in the BG’s line of vision, I’d be doing my best “Han Solo-under-the-table-draw” move and assessing my options.

    Let me make another point as well: In a situation like this there is obvious risk involved. If I’m the guy behind the counter with the gun or knife pointed at me then obviously I have decisions to make. Do I comply or do I resist. Do I open the register and hand him the money and ask him “Do you want fries with that” or do I react in some other way (if the clown tries to hold me up with a knife then I’m strongly considering making a move to give him a basket full of fry grease in the face.) I have to weigh the risks and rewards of both choices. I don’t necessarily want somebody else to take that choice out of my hands in a reckless fashion.

    That’s what I have to consider (ahead of time obviously) if I’m in the situation suggested by the OP. If I act by pulling my weapon and demanding compliance on the part of the BG or take a shot at the BG then I’m taking the possible rewards of compliance off of the table. Do they need me to shoot? Do they want me to shoot? (especially in this situation where your field of fire possibly encompasses more “good guys” than “bad guys”.) This ain’t no simple “miss” at the range or a “flyer” outside of your target group. That bullet could easily injure or kill the wrong person and anybody who doesn’t take that into account shouldn’t be let near a gun.

    All I’m saying now, and all I’ve said in past posts, is that I need a cue, I need a feeling, I need some reason to make that decision for somebody else before I act. Until that happens, my default response is "wait and see".

    I’ll try this one last time, though I’m sure it will be ignored or misunderstood by a certain contingent around here, but there is a time and place for compliance. It has risks and it’s sure as hell not going to make you feel really proud afterwards but the fact is that sometimes it brings you home safe. There is also a time for compliance to end and action, even dangerous action that may well not be successful, to take place.
    "Friend, I would not harm thee for all the world, but thou art standing where I am about to shoot."--Unknown Quaker

  6. #35
    Member Array Serenity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Ever hear of a woman named Kitty Genovese?
    Yes and this isn't even remotely the same kind of situation. As described in the OP nobody is being beaten, knifed, murdered, raped or physically assaulted in any way. It's a dicey situation but action, espeically bringing one's firearm into the mix, is just as likely, if not more likely, to make things worse than to make things better.

    The last thing on my mind is getting sued or prosecuted.
    The first thing on my mind is not destroying my life, my family's life or an innocent bystander's life by acting recklessly and unnecessarily.

    There is a point at which I'm willing to take risk and damage in order to do the right thing. This situation, as described without additional information, isn't over that line yet.

    I also have thoughts on, what to me at least has become, the wearrying and overused metaphor about sheepdogs, sheep and wolves but I think I'll save that for another thread.
    "Friend, I would not harm thee for all the world, but thou art standing where I am about to shoot."--Unknown Quaker

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Wink A measure of clarification and a needed concession on agreeing to disagree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity View Post
    Ok, I’ve been called out, this time by something more intelligent than sheep cartoons, so I guess I need to say something. (Though, frankly had the poster actually read the rest of what I said in my original post and my follow up posting on this topic I wouldn’t have to say this again but I’ll try to clarify.)

    As I consider ExSoldier’s response to what I said I think I see what has his knickers in a twist. Taken all by itself, without any further explanation, the comment:


    could be seen as the kind of thing that anti-gunners say about CCW. However, the statement I made was not made in a vacuum. It was qualified by further explanation that if your observation gives you further danger signals that this situation was not going to end without violence then direct intervention on behalf of another has then become an option.

    There was an excellent post made on this topic in another thread that, I think, emphasizes the considerations in this type of situation. A quick search didn’t locate it but the gist of it was an analysis of the “stock advice” that many LEO administration officials and other “security experts” give the public all the time and that advice is summed up in one word: “compliance”.

    It’s a dirty word around here. So much as suggest that your best chance of surviving some situations is to comply and you inevitably get all kinds of “Chuck Norris” responses about how some cowboy would turn the tables on the BG by pulling a gun, knife or just using some of their amazing kung-fu moves to disarm and kill their attacker.

    However, the posting that I’m referring to made the wise point that what would be much better for these so called “experts” to say is to qualify this advice. The point, in short, was “When things escalate in any way….violence, erratic behavior, emotional instability, requesting that you assume a position or go into a enclosed space that further increases your vulnerability or restricts you options to react….then compliance ends and active resistance begins.

    There is nothing in my posts that make it a reasonable assumption that I’m constantly in “condition white” or that I wouldn’t be “prepared” to act in the posited situation. Most likely, especially if I’m not in the BG’s line of vision, I’d be doing my best “Han Solo-under-the-table-draw” move and assessing my options.

    Let me make another point as well: In a situation like this there is obvious risk involved. If I’m the guy behind the counter with the gun or knife pointed at me then obviously I have decisions to make. Do I comply or do I resist. Do I open the register and hand him the money and ask him “Do you want fries with that” or do I react in some other way (if the clown tries to hold me up with a knife then I’m strongly considering making a move to give him a basket full of fry grease in the face.) I have to weigh the risks and rewards of both choices. I don’t necessarily want somebody else to take that choice out of my hands in a reckless fashion.

    That’s what I have to consider (ahead of time obviously) if I’m in the situation suggested by the OP. If I act by pulling my weapon and demanding compliance on the part of the BG or take a shot at the BG then I’m taking the possible rewards of compliance off of the table. Do they need me to shoot? Do they want me to shoot? (especially in this situation where your field of fire possibly encompasses more “good guys” than “bad guys”.) This ain’t no simple “miss” at the range or a “flyer” outside of your target group. That bullet could easily injure or kill the wrong person and anybody who doesn’t take that into account shouldn’t be let near a gun.

    All I’m saying now, and all I’ve said in past posts, is that I need a cue, I need a feeling, I need some reason to make that decision for somebody else before I act. Until that happens, my default response is "wait and see".

    I’ll try this one last time, though I’m sure it will be ignored or misunderstood by a certain contingent around here, but there is a time and place for compliance. It has risks and it’s sure as hell not going to make you feel really proud afterwards but the fact is that sometimes it brings you home safe. There is also a time for compliance to end and action, even dangerous action that may well not be successful, to take place.
    My knickers aren't in a twist as you put it. Your explanation is well reasoned and cogent from your standpoint and your circumstances. Fine, more power to you.

    If you'll look around some of the older threads on this forum you'll see more than one post that refers to the idea of being a good witness instead of a dead hero. That is, I believe, the overwhelming majority view and I think it dovetails with your wait and see mindset.

    I would submit that the very act of armed robbery is in itself inherently and intrinsically the act of an unstable, irrational and violent borderline personality type. That puts the perp squarely in your parameters for taking action. I used to argue with the State Attorney on violating probation or parole based on technical violations of minor material violations and I'd always say: "Counselor, you know the law...but I know the guy! If we let him slide here, the next violation is going to be a dead citizen." Judges usually sided with me.

    What I mean by that comment is that I have interacted with violent felons in places outside the courtroom. As a parole officer I had to visit them at work and in their home. That gave me lots of insight into their thought processes. I also learned how to actively listen to their chatter out there "on the block." I also used to let them tell me about their family, personal history and current buddies. I also asked a lot of very polite questions. I always called them "SIR." You can go a long way on some social graces and respect. A lot of these guys are so used to having some cop call them "Dirt Bag" that use of the sobreiquet "SIR" can have them walking on air for a good long time. Makes 'em magnanimous, it does. You'd be amazed at the insight you can get. I used to ask my armed robbers what they'd do if they though a potential victim was armed. Here is the reply I got so often that it has become memorized:

    "Look, man. A cop has got to bust you. He can't just open up and shoot. We all know that and that's fine. I get busted and it's "3 HOTS and a cot" on the county's dime. Cost of doin' BIDNESS. But a citizen with a frickin gun? Afraid for his life or that the life of his wife and kids? Dude that guy will blow you outta your socks and none of us in this BIDNESS to get killed! If I think some DUDE has a piece, I'll go someplace else. Plenty of easy hits out there without getting buried over some scratch!" Direct quote.

    However, my point is that waiting for some kind of "signal" puts you behind the power curve and lets the opposition determine your actions. That is called REACTION and it rarely works out very well. If you have legal justification to engage then waiting only puts you and bystanders at greater risk. The longer a perp remains at the scene the greater his chances of arrest. He knows this. Every second that ticks by and he's messin' around with victims instead of putting miles between the crime scene and his body raises the odds against him and therefore exponentially raises the risk.

    I think that if you're unseen by the BG then you do have more options that include wait and see. This would be the opportune time to get on the cell and call 911 or just be a good witness for physical description, plate number etc. If you think he's going to kill or rape you can line up your shot with great care. In effect snipe him from inside if you're in a covered and concealed position. That should minimize the risk to friendlies.

    If you're in the pack and after handing over your valuables he shows no sign of splitting in a great hurry I think your signal has been sent. But this signal may well be missed if you wait that long, due to the effects of tachypsychia the passage of time is perceptively slowed so once again you're behind the power curve of lethal force decisions and your armed edge is shrinking. The longer he's holding victims the more risk he runs of encountering a cop. That raises his anxiety level off the chart. That makes him twitchy with a finger on the trigger. But with any luck at all, he'll be holding it sideways....gangsta style.

    Have you ever been a victim of a violent crime? I have. A couple of times. That "compliance brings you home safe" is pure BS that sounds just like the PIO at the PD saying give them what they want, your wallet is not worth your life. What a load of crap. IMO.

    That attitude is what makes the sheep what they are. I realize you think that's a simplistic way of at looking at life and hostile threats, but I have seen the reality of that essay by LTC Grossman in my life repeatedly over the decades and all over the world. I have exchanged correspondence with him and others on this subject. I think I'm in pretty good and solid company here and I'm so comfortable with my mindset, it has become second nature. I'll bet there are a lot of folks here who would agree.

    I completely understand, now, what you were talking about. You're correct, it did put my knickers in a twist for a moment as it WAS the exact rhetoric used by anti-gun folks. So you've explained your views and I've expressed mine. Now it's time to simply agree to disagree because neither of us is going to change the other's mind. You go your way and I'll go mine. No hard feelings.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  8. #37
    Member Array snyder's Avatar
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    Shoot him.

    I couldn't stand by and watch, anything could happen.

  9. #38
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    Thumbs up Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwsnydes View Post
    Shoot him. I couldn't stand by and watch, anything could happen.
    Welcome to the forum. Cogent response. Brief, while still covering the variables. You're quite correct: Anything could happen, so be proactive instead of reactive. Bravo!
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #39
    Member Array Serenity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    So you've explained your views and I've expressed mine. Now it's time to simply agree to disagree because neither of us is going to change the other's mind. You go your way and I'll go mine. No hard feelings.
    Agreed. Some good food for thought in your post. I appreciate your response.
    "Friend, I would not harm thee for all the world, but thou art standing where I am about to shoot."--Unknown Quaker

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