This is a discussion on Thoughts/rant within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm placing this here because it stems from a Tactical Discussion I had someplace else. If I posted this in the wrong area, or it's ...
I'm placing this here because it stems from a Tactical Discussion I had someplace else. If I posted this in the wrong area, or it's "inappropriate" I ask that one of the Mods either move or delete it.
I recently saw a video of a woman being stabbed in the neck, repeatedly, by the spouse as he was straddling her. As I grow older, been carrying a gun legally for over twenty years, I find myself more and more aware of my own mortality. I also see the legal and financial implications to shooting in defense of a third party.
Bear in mind, I'm also an LEO, Federal. My Agency has said, "Any actions taken off duty will not be considered within the scope of employment." Since I carry a gun or two all the time I would be armed and able to resolve this situation, if I needed to use deadly force. I am looking at this from an off duty standpoint.
I generally believe that people are responsible for their own safety. Myself and my family take what steps we feel are necessary to try an ensure our safety. It seems that many CCW Holders would've intervened in this situation I'm describing. It was obviously a "Justified Shoot". I made a decision when I went to work for my Agency that the only person, besides myself and a loved one, that I would intervene for using deadly force was a uniformed LEO, when I am off duty.
My reasoning is manyfold. First, having to justify and defend your actions gets exspensive, been there twice already. I am responsible for my family's security, physical and financial. Being right is OK, but it doesn't do you any good if you can't buy the groceries or lose your home to pay your attorney bills.
Second, my Agency will not "cover" me off duty. Oh sure, we have LEOSA and all that crap, but if we use a firearm in defense of self or another we are "hung out to dry". If, after all the investigations, we are applauded by the media and other L.E. Agencies are commending us, we may be given an award and held up as a hero by my own employer, or we may simply be fired. Of course we most likely will win our job back, but at what cost?
Lots of people on forums spout off that they'ed rather be broke and living in a cardboard box than to not help someone in a situation as I've described. In my opinion, they've never seen a situation like I've described, nor been in an "Armed Encounter" or had to defend their actions. Heck, even LEO's think I'm "over the top" due to my stance of not helping someone by using deadly force on behalf of a non LEO.
That does not mean that I won't be a good witness, but what do I owe society? Is society going to pay my mortgage and buy groceries? Like I said before, I believe we are each responsible for our own safety and off duty I have no obligation to you. The reason I will help a fellow LEO is because I can "identify" who the players are in a situation. Make no mistake about it, identifying who is who is very important. Look at how many off duty LEO's have been shot when they decided to intervene off duty.
OK, here's my tactics part of it: Off Duty I will be a witness and nothing more unless the actions of the criminal aggressors are threatening me and mine.
What thoughts do you all have on this? I welcome feedback from CCW Holders and LEO's, but please leave the "Kill Them And Let God Sort Them Out" crap at the door.
Biker I feel very similar to what you described.
I took to heart the warnings in my concealed carry classes about where my legitimate use of deadly force is on firm legal ground, and where it gets thin.
I suspect that if I saw a person being straddled and stabbed in the head and neck, and I shot the attacker... around these parts I would not even be cuffed once police showed up.
Two people going at it with fists and feet, and I have no more information.... thin ice. I might well not get involved.
I think I would probably help a police officer.... AROUND HERE.
But When it comes to someplace like California or Illinois where 1) concealed carry is illegal, and 2) police chiefs and unions are quite in alignment with the local marxist governments in treating people like me as subjects to be lorded over.....
As you mentioned, I'll be a good witness. The police don't want a lowly peon like me to be involved at all, so the LEO is just SOL. Don't like it? Write a letter to Mayor Daley.
I have enough to contend with in dealing with a deadly threat, and a risk of civil litigation.... If the prevailing government policies and society are that hostile to doing the right thing, I'm just not that enthusiastic about setting myself against it.
Lots of guys like to beat their chests about how they would rush in and save the day regardless of personal cost.
Yeh. I wish them a heroic opportunity, soon.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when you tell the dead victim's family that 1) I had a gun but it would cost me too much money to have helped prevent their death and 2) I am LEO and am in no way responsible for preventing/stopping crime when I am off duty. The victim's family would probably feel twice violated. Just my opinion.
It is not the Bill of Privileges. It is not the Bill of Permits. It is the Bill of Rights.
People should not be afraid of the government; the government should be afraid of the people.
Protect me and my family and that is as far as it goes. I owe no one else their protection and safety.
Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff.--SHOOTER
Ya'll do what you want and justify your inaction however you see fit.
Someday, we will all be judged by the Creator. When its my turn to step up, one thing I wont be judged for is not acting to help my fellow man in time of need.
Yes, I will be a "Good Samaritan" because it is the right thing to do.
The world is full of people that refuse to act for one reason or another.I refuse to be counted among them.
BikerRN I believe I understand the mindset you are expressing. I am former military and I suppose that to defend self and our buddies was our creed. This sounds like the same for LEOs.
Until recently I had the same 'fight for right' belief leftover for my 6+ years of service, but after hearing a CCW instructor describe the aftermath of a shooting and the possible ramifications, I've taken the exact same be-a-good-witness reasoning on intervening.
"Will the family of the victim you decided to help, feed you and change your Depends, should you be injured. Will they support and defend your family while you are incapacitated, or dead?"
I also have the problem of whether to jump in the fray if a brother-in-arms is attacked. I know most soldiers, after a brother fell, felt the loss, but (maybe) hard-heartedly said to himself, "I'm glad it wasn't me."
I think your espri-de-corp for your fellow LEOs while off duty is laudable, but maybe a bit foolish.
In my state it is written into the code of law- the law supports use of deadly force in defense of a third party. To me, it doesn't matter who that third party is. I am not going to assume the position of judge and decide who is worthy of being saved and who is not, if I have the opportunity to help. At least this is what I hope I would do in the heat of the moment.
Well written. My Kentucky instructor made it very plain. If you are not absolutely sure the victim will stand up in court and say they feared for their lives, don't shoot.
It seems harsh but it's reality. With concealed carry comes risk. Decisions made in split seconds can alter your life forever.
There are clear situations in which you know the players and the score, and then there's everything else. Lack of regard and circumspection, if you end up being incorrect in your judgment, can get you killed, financially devastate your family, destroy your reputation.
With situations I've been involved with, as a bystander who's suddenly whisked into the whirlwind, it can be darned difficult to know for certain exactly who's the good guy and who's the bad. A situation brewing off to the side has beginnings I'm unaware of, then I'm in the middle of the "explosion" of violence. Who's to say who is being violated or who is the aggressor? Who's to say one of the players isn't an undercover LEO? Who's to say the responses and actions of the players are going to fit the mold I've been trained to recognize, such that I will accurately identify the aggressor and the victim?
Whatever else is true, I have a clear responsibility to my family. I'm here to protect and provide for them. If I am killed, debilitated or cause a situation that financially ruins my family, what good have I served? Will others' perception of me be sufficient to feed my family for a gereration, if I got it wrong?
Consider this: in a junkyard dog fight, which dog is in the right?
I don't give a damn about others' views of my actions, as it's not going to be their views being judged. I care about my actions and the impacts from them all around. I won't blindly refuse to consider the ramifications anymore than I would lightly disregard one's plea for help. Thus, it's important to keep sight of the fact that "saving" one life might well destroy six due to the aftermath. Is that a net good? By what standard, exactly? By others' perception of me and my actions? Not good enough.
My state also is one that, at least insofar as the statutes are concerned, legally supports people's defense of third parties from violent felonies. Of course, that's only legal backing. Nothing backs me financially or socially, if I get it wrong.
I will help if the situation is clear, is dire enough that someone's life is at risk, and if I believe I have a chance at making an immediate and positive difference in the outcome. But I will not, simply due to the tsk-tsk-tsk morality judgments of unknown third parties risk all that I and my family has for mere guesses, or for situations where my involvement may be laudable but ultimately ineffective. There's little point, to that.
I know what's right. I also appreciate what's likely, in cases that aren't clear. I understand that my actions will have impacts beyond the puny lens that views the immediate situation. My actions and others' legal take on them will have long-standing ramifications after the situation has passed. It's wisdom to consider that, before putting on the superhero cape in the naive belief that everything's good merely because the sun comes up in the morning.
In situations that are clear, though, I have helped in the past and I believe I will continue to help in the future:
- Car accident, where someone needs immediate assistance.
- Someone drowning -- I've got swimming ability, comfort under water, tools to assist.
- Rape in progress.
- Armed robbery in the store where I am standing, assuming my contribution will do more good than harm (ie, bystanders in the crossfire).
- A LEO in trouble, as it's reasonably likely this person is the GG.
- Other similar situations that are basically clear, as to GG/BG.
Last edited by ccw9mm; January 28th, 2008 at 10:37 AM.
i agree with the OP. theres no way i can tell if two civileans are fighting wich one i should intervene for. and will not resort to deadly force. but if a uniformed LEO is in trouble i'll help him out. why its alot easier to articulate why you did something.
"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."
Every well-bred petty crook knows: the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.
I guess it really comes down to what state you live in, how the local authorities feel about gun ownership, and how you were brought up. I wouldn't get involved in most situations, but there are some, where I could not 'be a good witness'...I recall the man throwing kids off the bridge, or the woman getting severely beaten on the subway, or bus, or whatever it was while 15 people sat around and watched. No, I would not jump into a fight where I didn't know the circumstances, but I fear that the 'What if he's an undercover LEO?' question is playing through too many people's minds. I don't know where you guys live, but I am highly unlikely to be anywhere near an undercover police sting. And even if I was, if that undercover LEO is repeately stabbing a woman in the neck, than the undercover LEO is just as wrong as a typical scumbag, and I am still going to act.
To me it is a moral thing. While, I don't believe a firearm 'empowers' me to be a hero, my upbringing does. Whether I am armed or not, somebody is not going to beat up a woman while I am around...or at least, not until he incapacitates me first. A BG is not going to repeatedly stab a woman in the neck, at least, not until he incapacitates me first. I guess you can just call me a stubborn Texan whose not smart enough to know better.
on further reflection...
Congratulations. You have exactly the same protection as any other citizen that carrys a gun. So you wont have the agency supplied lawyers complete with crew working on your case,or the many layers of support that comes from working as an LEO. Welcome to the world.Second, my Agency will not "cover" me off duty. Oh sure, we have LEOSA and all that crap, but if we use a firearm in defense of self or another we are "hung out to dry".
I have. Got the court record to prove it. Now that we got that out of the way, you can count me in with the LEO's that think you're a bit "over the top".In my opinion, they've never seen a situation like I've described, nor been in an "Armed Encounter" or had to defend their actions.
Heck, even LEO's think I'm "over the top" due to my stance of not helping someone by using deadly force on behalf of a non LEO.
I am having a hard time believing that you would just stand there and let someone get stabbed by their spouse and not do anything about it. Sure we can get into the many protracted situations where Identification becomes a problem, but in a case like described in your first paragraph, I.D. is pretty easy. Its the one sticking someone else with a knife. That means the one on top with the knife doing the sticking is the bad guy and the one bleeding on the ground trying to get away is the victim.OK, here's my tactics part of it: Off Duty I will be a witness and nothing more unless the actions of the criminal aggressors are threatening me and mine.
You are also telling me that if you witnessed a felony with deadly force being used, you wouldn't act. I don't know how it works in Federal Agencies, but where I am at if my Sheriff found out that I witnessed a heinous crime like that, was armed, could have stopped it, but refused to act, he would have my tail and my badge over it. Not only we he have to try to explain away my inaction, but it would not look good for the dept. either. What about Joe Citizen? What are they going to think when they find out a an armed cop was there but let someone die because he wasn't "working". It could take years for a loss of confidence like that to be overcome...and its not like the Federal Agencies have a lot spare anyway.
Not a danged thing. The only problem with that is, is if am down and getting stabbed repeatedly, I could care less about society. The other people standing around in horror wouldn't be of much use to me either. In my way of thinking,any LEO's in the background scurrying away refusing to act because they might get hung out to dry or they might get hurt are or they might not be able to pay their bills are of even LESS use to me.That does not mean that I won't be a good witness, but what do I owe society?
Now the one man that would offer help, the one that might save my life without regard for his own, HE might actually make a difference.
That would be fine by me. If you think that you are doing the right thing by be a "good witness" and refusing to act any further, then thats just the way it is. Nothing I can say here will change your mind, so I wont bother.OK, here's my tactics part of it: Off Duty I will be a witness and nothing more unless the actions of the criminal aggressors are threatening me and mine.
I'm sure that my surviving kin folk would pat you on the back and tell you what a fine witness you were.Or maybe not.
No "kill em all" doctrine here. Just my random thoughts...which don't seem to be very popular here.What thoughts do you all have on this? I welcome feedback from CCW Holders and LEO's, but please leave the "Kill Them And Let God Sort Them Out" crap at the door
Its really kindof simple. I try to live by the Golden Rule...which bascially states "treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated".
Its not hard. You just imagine how you would feel if you were in that situation.
The bottom line is this...
Would you want someone to help if it were YOU in the scenario above?
How would you feel if you knew that there was an armed LEO watching you die that refused to act ?
In that case, BG's should swing by their local costume shop, buy a police uniform, and start mugging and killing people with no worries of interference, because they are in uniform, right? Not to mention the rash of BG's doing armed invasions yelling police and wearing uniforms.
I remember a few years back, 2 on-duty LEO's did a home invasion, and robbed an old woman...It's okay, they were easy to identify. She just gave the police their badge numbers.
Last edited by Kerbouchard; January 28th, 2008 at 10:27 AM. Reason: content: to be less inflamatory