But, then, I'm the guy up front.
This is a discussion on Gunman walks down church aisle? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sitting in church today trying to focus on the sermon, I know this only happens to me, my mind starts to wander. Here's the scenario; ...
Sitting in church today trying to focus on the sermon, I know this only happens to me, my mind starts to wander.
Here's the scenario;
You are legally carrying concealed in church. Sitting towards the back of the full sanctuary in the aisle seat. During the sermon you hear someone enter through the closed double entry doors. You glance over your shoulder out of situation awareness habit. In walks a very shady looking dude carrying a shottie with a 1911 tucked in the front of his pants. His eyes are focused on the pulpit and his finger is on the trigger. He's making a bee-line down the aisle to the front of the church.
Your church has no security plan in place and is not known for any skits to make a point.
What would you do?
While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3
But, then, I'm the guy up front.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
I thought about the same scenario today as I was sitting in church, so you are not alone.
I'm pretty sure I could take him down by hitting him with a full-force body-smash from the rear. I played organized football for 5 years and I know how to take a man down by hitting him high. This potentially would be even easier since I'd be hitting him from behind without his knowledge I was coming. Then it would be a scramble to pin him before he could grab a weapon to fire.
Another option I would have would be to spray him in the eyes. I could do that from behind him, but that wouldn't be my first option. He could still fire while blinded, so I'd have to physically deal with him regardless.
I think overwhelming physically force, coupled with an urgent call for reinforcements, could lead to us disarming him quickly.
My instincts would be to take him down hard first, rather than with a gun, if there appeared to be enough time.
Edit: I reread the OP and I see his finger is on the trigger. I might still try to take him down, but if he raises his arm to fire, I might fire myself. I'd have to be pretty certain he meant evil before I'd fire, but I'm not opposed to firing.
To slightly paraphrase a quote from Kelly McCann: "final confirmation that an attack is imminent will be someone getting hurt/killed."
In the situation as presented, you really don't have the luxury of a lot of options. He's got a gun in his hands with his finger on the trigger so even an involuntary muscle contraction (such as might be caused by a startle reflex or by getting grabbed, tackled, etc.) might cause the gun to discharge. If you try to give verbal commands, he may just start shooting (and if he shoots you, who is going to stop him then). If you wait to see what happens, your confirmation that he is a threat is probably going to be in the form of him shooting someone with the shotgun.
So the way I see it, you only really have 3 options:
1) Do nothing/run away...I don't personally consider this to be an acceptable option.
2) Try to "ambush" him with an empty-hand response in the hopes of disarming him. (risky since he's armed and as I said above, if you lose there may be no one else to stop him).
3) Without worrying about verbal commands, shoot him in the head with the intention of putting him down before he can fire.
Given the totality of circumstances (his appearance, the fact that he's armed, your knowledge of previous church/public shootings, etc.), I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that he poses an imminent threat and that deadly force is a valid response.
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
Its the minister's brother in-law bringing him a message that Mrs Minister isn't feeling well. He'd been on his way to the range when the emergency occurred. Besides, the two of them were going hunting as soon as the minister lays the sermon on the assembled. In real life, this scruffy dude runs a successful tree and brush clearing business; and scruffy is all he wears, all he knows, but he's a good guy.
Now if he were looking weird and grinning, I'm with Grady. Or more likely, I'm outta there.
I dump the gun into his back as soon as he passes me (maybe a head shot if it was really close and he's not moving fast). If I have to I'll shoot him in the front but my odds of winning (and still breathing afterward) go way down if he is facing me...
"For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 16:15
I am on the aisle seat, near the back, I glance over my shoulder, see this miscreant come through the back door, walking briskly down the aisle which I'm on, carrying shottie and 1911, finger on trigger, heading to the front. IF I am able to confront him before he gets to me, I should have my weapon in hand, prepared to IMMEDIATELY take him out at the slightest movement of the shottie. IF he's walking as quickly as you indicate, chances are he will have passed me already, so IF I choose to tackle from behind, I may not make it to him before he turns and fires shottie. By choosing to tackle from behind, chances are my weapon will not be in my hand. I could POSSIBLY hit him from the side as he gets to me, knocking him off balance, and praying I will get assistance from others. IF I allow him to pass by me, step out in the aisle, CHALLENGE HIM "Gunman, STOP where you are", it gives me more time to see his reaction. If he Stops, proceed from there. If he begins to turn quickly, bringing the shottie around, game over, take him out as quickly as possible. Pray that any shot from the shottie does not harm innocents. It's a horrific situation and one that will happen so fast that unless you have thought out what you will do, the chance is you will not be able to get an opportunity to take him down based on the mayhem after he fires. IMHO, my 2 best choices would be hitting him from the side as he passes by me to knock him off balance or to the floor, or after he passes, CHALLENGE him. I hope I'm never involved in this type of situation, but I think I have the "stones" to do what would be necessary.
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
How interesting that you mention this today. I was having a mind wander situation in church today about the same thing.
Towards the end of the service our Pastor makes mention of the IL church shooting and then he makes mention of the security team in the church, not singling anyone out, in fact he asked that everyone stand so that it would be almost impossible to tell who was who. He then explained that they are there not only to protect him but to protect us all and that they don't ask for it but deserve to be thanked.
Back on topic, many of our church's security team know who I am. They don't know I carry, but they know my name and face. If the BG in the OP scenario passes me I will most likely drop him and then make sure my hands are in plain sight in a manner to show I am not a threat.
"Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt
Good answer.Given the totality of circumstances (his appearance, the fact that he's armed, your knowledge of previous church/public shootings, etc.), I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that he poses an imminent threat and that deadly force is a valid response.
No one is going to walk in the middle of a church sermon with a gun unless there is ill intent...ecspecially in todays age.
You dont challenge someone that may be hell bent on destruction with a gun unless you are looking at him over your gun sights with your finger on the trigger.
You dont wait until he kills someone, you take immediate action.
1) During sermons, the lights are usually not as bright (and in many churches, the lighting is horrible...hence, doubt you would be able to see the particular (1911 tucked, with finger on the trigger, or even if shady).
2) Hummm...who really looks over their shoulder during the sermon. Everytime???
3) How does one know if their church has a security plan or not?
4) Wait until he passes??? Double huh. Oh, that's right, I'm going to tap him in the back then the head, then the back for insurance. And when they roll him over, he has nothing (hummm, reminds me of Grand Tarino)
5) Lastly, one must also consider the collateral damage...
6) Does a BG have to dress and look like scum bag to take notice? Would you have even batted an eye if he/she was dressed more formal or even an average Joe?
Gee...so many ifs. More than likely, one would notice someone approaching the pulpit after they already passed. Whatcha going to do then...since, it maybe someone from the church. The IL shooting was such a case. That is the real question, what are you going to do when panic and chaos sets in on the first shots? People screaming, kids crying, everybody running ever which way. The reality is we more than likely will not be able to stop the start in most scenarios (even the CO had some deaths before stopped), but the how you going to act after the shooting starts...that's the scenario one should play out.
These kind of scenarios remind me of "I want to be a hero"...the truth is, it is never how we dream it might be.
I guess with the Illinois pastor shooting this past Sunday it was on a lot of our minds.
Generally I sit on the right hand side at the inside end of a pew. This protects my gun side and allows easy access to center aisle. I tend to sit towards the rear.
If a gunman were to walk down the center aisle, he would probably be past me by the time I could get up. I would quickly go to center aisle, and may or may not issue a command to stop before firing. I will not wait for him to fire first.
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I dont think anyone wants to be a hero.These kind of scenarios remind me of "I want to be a hero"...the truth is, it is never how we dream it might be.
I do think that talking about options and discussing things that may not have been thought of is a good thing, especially on this forum.
It's something that no one really wants to have to think about, but the reality of it is that its happening with increasing frequency. With things in this country going the way they are, more and more people will become frustrated.The more people that become frustrated, the more events that will take place.
My Sheriff spoke specifically to all of his Deputies about this very thing. He said that he expected them to go to church armed, and that they needed to be prepared to have to kill someone, and if they werent prepared to do that, then they needed to find other jobs.
Since he goes to church with me, as well as several other Deputies there, he specifically mentioned that if an event did occur, that he expected us to act without instruction and do whatever needed to be done.
It sucks to have to be thinking about that in a church, but not thinking about it isnt going to solve anything.
"carrying a shottie with a 1911 tucked in the front of his pants"
The only thing is he has a shotgun. If you get nervous and
miss your shot..you got a 12 gauge aiming at you
No easy way out of this...going to be casualties. I think
the preacher needs a back up plan...maybe somewhere
he could escape to quick etc?
We are talking about shooting preachers? What has this
World come too??