August 28th, 2009 11:43 AM
My Humble Observations (long rant, apologies in advance)
I would say I troll the forums here more than post, and I've made some particular observations within this particular section.
I don't know how anyone here was raised, or their life story. I am now a non-religious person, but was raised with the morals of the Catholic Church. Those morals carry into how I live my life, and the decisions I make along the journey.
The phrase, 'be a good witness,' is thrown around in nearly every single thread within this forum. Some individuals write this phrase so often, it's nearly pointless they post at all. The most vocal within the group have a consistent opinion that doing nothing at all is the best course of action, regardless of the scenario (real or hypothetical).
In some of the discussed scenarios, the only word that comes to mind is 'cowards.' One discussion involves a gal with a BG's gun pointed at her head. BG tells everyone he'll kill her, and even tries to kidnap her. I don't know how, especially those highly religious, users can worry more about themselves than a seemingly innocent young girl, who's obviously not interested in following said BG.
I have heard the, 'you don't know all the facts,' line, and it usually isn't going to matter. There are almost always going to be things you don't know. I can assure everyone, though, I will sleep better at night, even in prison, knowing I helped save someone's life doing the right thing. If being a good witness is all that's needed, so be it. If someone's life is in danger, I can't imagine living with myself for not acting to save them.
Not trying to be a vigilante, just trying to do what's right. I try hard to be the guy that's brutally honest. Many (most) people don't like me when we first meet. After they get to know me, and are able to look beyond my rough exterior, I'm just an honest guy that tells it how I see it. If I see someone doing something wrong, I tell them. When my son's friends are over, and they misbehave, they get punished just the same as my own son. I honestly feel they respect me for it. When a group of 20 guys walks past my house, throwing their empty pop cans, wrappers, etc, into my yard, I ask them to clean it up. With one exception, they apologize and do so.
Nobody wants to be the test case, especially me. I'm not going to worry about some poorly-written law when I can do the *right* thing. My whole life, I've learned karma carries, and if I live right, things will work out in the end.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying I'm going to pull my weapon at every and any sign of confrontation. I will evaluate and respond to every threat as appropriately as I'm able. I wrote this post is a hope to stave off the redundant 'be a good witness' posts that are so prevalent in every single thread in this sub-forum. I would suggest, share what you would do, and why. Offer a second opinion, that's why we're here, to open each-other's eyes. Deriving crazy, 'under-cover FBI sting operations involving multiple agents and sleepers with the mission to arrest a bank teller under the guise of a bank robbery' is hardly constructive, or realistic.
Hopefully not too many angry replies!
It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. - David Hume
August 28th, 2009 12:04 PM
No reason for anyone to respond with anger. Your opinion is valid, as is the witness opinion, were it not for a CCW that is all you could do in most encounters.
Since you asked my general position is to use any verbal effort to stop a third party attack if the attacker should then chose to involve me in a violent situation then I would respond in kind. Your Yamamoto quote describes my philosophy almost perfectly
"To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT
Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.
August 28th, 2009 12:18 PM
In the case that the BG already has a gun drawn, you will notice that many people on this forum would prefer to do nothing... This is not because they are cowards, but because drawing a gun in certain situations could endanger a persons life more-so than not.
Originally Posted by ecrist
If they pulled their fire-arms and aimed at the guy, he may have shot her and started squeezing rounds off at everybody else. In every situation there are many many choices. And it is not a fair position to be put into if you ever find yourself there, unfortunately in those situations there are major and immediate consequences to your actions. So the choice is hard...
I would definitely re-think that "coward" thought. Like you said there is more to the story, and a lot of stress put on an individual at that moment. And if you really think you would have pulled the gun at that moment then think about this... The goal in every situation is to have all the innocent people stay alive and preferably not have to fire your weapon. Now i know that doesn't happen all the time in real life, but in your example if you would have pulled the gun and the BG killed her, how would you feel about that? Vs. not pulling your gun and just talking/distracting the BG, until the authorities come, or you have a safe chance to take him out, and leaving the girl alive.
August 28th, 2009 12:25 PM
Sometimes doing the right thing means being the "good witness" or dialing 911.I don't think anyone on this forum, to my knowledge, has ever advocated standing by and doing nothing when what is happening is clear. A gang rape in progress, a homeless person being beaten to death by a group of punks, etc.
What we are, at times, suggesting, however, is that you may think that you are acting to save an innocent life, but may, in the stress of the moment, be reading the situation very wrong, and wind up taking unlawful action with all of the serious consequences that may follow.
So, what many of us stress in these scenarios is that you be reasonably certain that you have interpreted what is happening correctly before deciding to use lethal force.
IMO, that is not being a coward, but simply acting in a responsible manner.
"It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."
J. R. R. Tolkien
August 28th, 2009 12:26 PM
Your dammed if you do and dammed if you dont. Imagine the BG runs off and kills someone and the news finds out, you had a gun and could of stopped the BG. That alone is enough for me. My thoughts on this.....Protect yourself, then your family, then anyone else. If you and your family are safe, and other innocents are safe, take the shot. If not wait...
August 28th, 2009 01:25 PM
ecrist, I can understand how you feel. Elsewhere, I've read pro-gun defenders write things like "If there were responsible armed citizens on the scene, then someone could have stopped the bad guy before he killed anyone". Then I come over here and read many people recite "Be a good witness" no matter the circumstances, as if it's the boy scout motto.
I don't condemn anyone for acting purely out of self-interest, but I wonder where we are headed as a society when we let wolves run in our midst without fighting back, as long as the wolf is going after the next guy and not us. Isn't it good for people to look out for each other?
August 28th, 2009 01:28 PM
For me, its easy to play Monday morning quarter back on some forum with lots of what ifs. I read these situations on here, and all of the responses. The truth is, not one of us, or should I say 99% of us does not know what we would do until faced with the situation, but can only say what we think we would do.
What I hope I would do is make the right decision, if the decision called for use of force, I hope I have the courage to do it. If the situation does not call for it, I hope that is even better. Either way, we have to make choices.
The fact that you may take action when I wont does not make me a coward though. Training, timing and alot of other variables are there.
We could post a situation where your in a bank and and the guy takes the girl hostage, you maybe willing to take the shot, but I may not. It may not be due to me being a coward, what if I did not have an angle to get a safe, clear shot due to my training, but your in a position to do so.
These are not ment as attacks on the OP, just stating my view of his post.
Gen 4 Glock 32 .357sig and SW M&P 15/22
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Those who trade liberty for security have neither. ~John Adams
August 28th, 2009 01:32 PM
Originally Posted by Ron
I certainly don't want a vigilante, wannabe hero type throwing rounds around when innocent people around, especially when my family's on the scene. A violent felony in progress, probably. But discharging a firearm and possibly killing or causing serious bodily injury to innocents over a misdemeanor? No. Sometimes the correct thing to do is be a good witness.
August 28th, 2009 01:39 PM
Let us keep in mind that a CCW is a state granted privilege to carry a concealed weapon. It bears no requirement to protect anyone. Every situation is unique and must be evaluated as it is in a fleeting moment. Let us not forget the Burger King incident where a CCWer did intervene with no way of telling what the armed man would do. Well, he killed the armed BG, but not before the BG could seriously wound him and he will pay for that for the rest of his life.
When we say, "...you don't know the facts...", that's not intended to apply to every situation. When I was a Gunsite, they gave us an example of a CCWer shooting an armed BG that was threatening to shoot a older woman that was on her knees. The BG, turned out to be an undercover cop making an arrest.
Actually, that didn't happen, they were emphasizing how mistaken we can be about things. Some think they will have no problems knowing what will happen, others realize that shooting someone does not necessarily end the fight. That may just start it.
Another scenario that can happen is the BG you are focused on has a buddy that looks like any other person in the area. You shoot the BG, or perhaps just pull your gun and bang - his 'rear guard' gets you.
Another scenario a CCWer could fall victim to is being shot by another CCWer arriving late on the scene and seeing you aiming a gun and shooting people.
So it's not that we're opposed to helping people or that we're cold or cowards, but we do realize how many things can go wrong not just for ourselves but for everyone in the area.
I'm too young to be this old!
Getting old isn't good for you!
August 28th, 2009 01:41 PM
I hear ya, but I believe there's always caveats. Most of the 'be a good witness' responses I've seen (or advocated) involve the likelihood of making a bad situation even worse. Pulling a firearm with police around (how do they know you're trying to help them?), escalating a situation that might otherwise have not been a shooting into a shootout, etc.
These situations are almost always involving a static situation where, if a person draws a firearm, THEY would be escalating. Everyone asks, 'A guy is robbing a bank with his back to you...do you shoot him?'. They guys not shooting yet, there's a good chance he won't...but if you do draw and only injure or miss, he's going to be shooting back at who knows where. My area's become a hotbed for armed robberies, and never once has anyone fired a shot.
People rarely ask for responses to 'Two guys bust in and start shooting up the place', because the answer is typically obvious, assumed...and doesn't involve cowardice: take cover is available, and return fire.
Most of us are not police, and our obligation is to protect our family first...for many more, that means making it home safely as well. One of the most heart-wrenching things I've gone through recently was going into a situation where I was nervous I wouldn't be coming back...odds were really in favor for me, but looking into my 6-month-old's face and thinking about that, I realized coming back for her was really one of my top priorities.
August 28th, 2009 02:04 PM
I guess I understand the OP's point of view and opinions. Everyone sees things a little different. But I am getting tired of people equating "being a good witness" to doing nothing or cowardess. In some cases being a good witness is extremely time consuming and difficult. I know there are a few witnesses out there that probably think shooting the perp would have been taking the easy way out.
Some witnesses end up spending many hours in the police stations answering questions, talking to sketch artists or looking through mug shots. They also have to spend time testifying at a trial. The defendant and all of his buddies will get a good look at you as you state your full name for the public record. The witness may have to put up with death threats, slashed tires, vandalism or who knows what. And while the Federal Witness Protection Program might make for good TV, most of us can't stand the thought of disappearing and never seeing your friends and family again.
A few years ago in Denver a "good witness" and his fiancé were gunned down so he couldn't testify. I seriously doubt that's the only time that has happened.
Sometimes being a witness is nothing more than writing down what you saw. But sometimes it requires a lot more sacrifice.
August 28th, 2009 02:09 PM
While I understand your opinion, I don't necessarily agree with it, but that may be because of a difference in our respective ages and what we have expirienced in our lives.
I will state that off duty I am an advocate for being a good witness unless you are hurting me and mine, or an identified LEO. I didn't take you to raise, therefore I'm not responsible for you. To be blunt, I don't much care about you, or any stranger when it comes to lethal encounters beyond being the cause of their injury or demise. I will do everything I can to avoid shooting until certain lines are crossed by the badguy.
I am not arrogant enough to believe that I can make any shot put before me, and have missed head-shots at close range when practicing. If I can miss at the Range, what guarantee do I have that I won't miss when I am P***ing myself, shaking like a junkie needing a herion fix and ready to vomit. I will probably vomit after the encounter.
So, go forth and save the world if you must. Just don't try to save my little corner of it please. As far as the prison comment, if you do end up going to one please remember what you wrote here when Mongo wants you to be his wife.
Originally Posted by ecrist
Last edited by BikerRN; August 28th, 2009 at 02:12 PM.
August 28th, 2009 02:34 PM
personally if i found someone's life to be in immediate danger i'm going to respond with deadly force unless it's clear it will do more harm than good.
Honestly I believe in the situation posted that if I draw my gun and he sees me do so then the girl is not his target anymore. He is going to engage me immediately because i'm the bigger threat. There is no way he's going to waste time trying to take her out knowing i'm lining up on him. Of course there is always an exception but that would have to be evaluated per situation. On the other hand if i draw and he doesn't see me then there is no need for him to feel threatened and i can eliminate the problem without being noticed until it's too late
that's just my $0.02
August 28th, 2009 02:40 PM
Excellent point here. I agree and believe this scenario plays out more often than not. Most news reports I see involve more than one assailant.
Originally Posted by Tangle
IMO, when and if the poop hits the fan, the cool head will in most cases prevail. Like most of the others have said here, or in other post. To pull your weapon will most certainly change the status of current one. If your actions escalates the altercation to the level of deadly force being used by either yourself, or the BG resulting in Innocent folks being injured or even killed. That IMO, sends the wrong message to the anti gun folks and will most definitely result in some ridiculous and unnecessary legislation placing a choke hold on our 2nd amendment rights. We're not Police officers. Actions that can cause harm to innocent bystanders will do more harm than good.
If I'm involved in close proximity to a BG that has pulled a weapon and I strongly feel he's going to shoot someone, I have no problem pullin the trigger and will, given the opportunity. But, if I feel my actions will prove to be unsuccessful and others may be injured by my actions, it behooves me to play the role of a good witness, so the BG can be pursued and captured by the authorities with minimal danger to the public. For what it's worth. My first rule, if the BG has his weapon pulled, you're already behind in the count. Your next move is critical and needs to be the right one. Just my two cents.
Last edited by gottabkiddin; August 28th, 2009 at 03:45 PM.
"He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson
August 28th, 2009 03:11 PM
I think your problem is worrying about what we think. Only one of the members here will be on site when the event takes place and only one of the members here has your perception of morality and only one member here can deal with your conundrum. If, as you stated, you have a solid set of personal values and you take the time and spend the money to be very sure of your ability and are ready to accept the consequences of your actions I see no reason for any of us to presuppose what your action should be in any given situation. Honestly.....sounds to me like, sans law enforcement, you'd be one of the first people I'd want to see in a life threatening situation.
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