Something to think about...

Something to think about...

This is a discussion on Something to think about... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This article was posted on the SigForum and I thought that it contained some great points and was worthy of discussion, so I lifted it ...

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Thread: Something to think about...

  1. #1
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Something to think about...

    This article was posted on the SigForum and I thought that it contained some great points and was worthy of discussion, so I lifted it and here it is...

    Written by "federali",

    A Tragic Case of Intervention

    On Nov 19, 1992, retired NYPD sergeant Jim O'Sullivan visited a Radio Shack on lower Broadway in the heart of New York's financial district, maybe five or so blocks south of Ground Zero. As fate would have it, the retail outlet had been targeted for a broad daylight robbery. While many details that we might want to know about were never disclosed, it appears that the robbery team consisted of four armed individuals together with at least one getaway driver, a vehicle, and possibly an additional accomplice outside the store.

    I strongly suspect that two of the robbery team moved to the rear of the store, of approximately 800 square feet to serve as lookouts and insurance. The cash registers were near the front entrance. Once the robbery was announced, O'Sullivan, with a police officer's mindset, intervened. He was armed with a five-shot revolver with a 2" barrel. He suddenly found himself in a gunbattle with four gunmen. He fired all five rounds in his revolver, missing with all five. According to eyewitnesses, O'Sullivan was then executed by one or more of the robbers, who then fled to the waiting getaway car.

    I had been invited to write a summery of the incident for a security newsletter that went out to hundreds of various retired law enforcement officers now working in private security. In the interest of keeping this short and readable, following are some of the tactical considerations that a retired police officer or CCW holder should think of in order to avoid O'Sullivan's fate.
    1. Always scan any retail/convenience store before entering. Be especially careful with stores that clutter up their windows with sale signs as robbers tend to target establishments where a street view of the cash register area is obscured.
    2. Remember the "plus one" rule. If you see one robber, expect a second. If you see two robbers, expect a third, etc. The same applies to weapons. Always assume the bad guy has one more weapon on him than those visible.
    3. Avoid taking action when there are unknown individuals behind you that you cannot control.
    4. When visiting small eateries, try to maintain a view of the front entrance and cash register area. Sit as far away from the register as possible. Whenever possible, keep your back to the wall.
    5. While most robbers are content to flee with the cash, on occasion, others may decide not to leave any witnesses. A warning sign that a massacre may be in the offing is when the robbers order everyone into a back room and are then made to lie on the floor, face down. This is not a common occurance but it has happened. In the big cities, police officers have been summarily executed when robbers searched their victims and found either a gun or police ID. While I may not want to intervene, I feel that I may have no choice but to go for it once a robbery moves beyond the few seconds it takes to grab the register contents and warning signs of impending violence are present.

    6. Carry a handgun with offensive capability. Now, before you guys break out the flame throwers and remind me that a handgun is a defensive weapon, I'd lake to make a distinction: in the legal sense, a handgun is always a defensive weapon. In the tactical sense, the particular circumstances may be such that you have decided for yourself that you have no choice but to act offensively and fire the first shot (the best defense is a good offense). If I must take on two or more robbers, I want holes in at least two of them before they know they're in a gunbattle.

    Most handguns of .380 CAP caliber or smaller, together with 2" barreled revolvers are best suited for pure one-on-one ecounters. They have little or no offensive capability. While I often carry my S&W Mod. 37, I don't rely on it when I know I must visit a convenience store. Instead, I'll take my Glock 19 or 26 with a spare mag. Using a handgun offensively requires accuracy and firepower. I'd like to add that a substantial number of retail establishments near me have suffered robberies--and I live in an upper middle-class area. Two robberies resulted in a total of four fatalities: the execution of a shoe store manager and the slaying of three employees at a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    I could continue but instead, I'll invite you, the reader, to add your own tactical considerations.

    Disclaimer: The views I've expressed here are my own. You or other innocent people may be injured or killed if you take action. However, in some instances, you or other innocent people may be injured or killed if you do nothing.Only you are in a position to decide on the best course of action based upon your knowledge and training and the situation you find yourself in.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Your Plus one senario should also appy to the officer. Not only shoud they have a spare magizine but a spare gun as well. There have been cases where the officer lost their primary and was able to resolve the incident with a BUG.

    This incident is a perfect example as to why I carry 2 backup magazines and a BUG with 1 backup magazine. One never needs a fire extingusher untill there is a fire. It is far better to have to much firepower then not enough.

  3. #3
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    One Could Study 100 Scenarios...

    and the one that goes down could be unlike the 100 studied. I read and think about everthing people post. What I have found is a refreshing alertness...I scan everything and everybody. Even my wife, who carried a P-3AT, IWB, for the first time (thank God she's coming around) today is becoming very cautious.

    This afternoon we went to a 'farmer's market' type store that had an early evening armed robbery (they caught the 3 juvenile dirtbags) only days ago...we both found ourselves scanning and watching.

    It was the idea of a daytime robbery that helped her decide to try the IWB...she said it was very comfortable...I'm pleased with how she has progressed in just 35 years...better slow than being a

    Stay armed...stay alert...stay safe!

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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    A though provoking piece - containing much we should already be aware of - but perhaps too a few things that may not come to mind for some.

    I am glad as ever to not be domiciled in a city environment.
    Chris - P95
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  6. #5
    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    More good advice...

    You never know what is going to happen, or when, or how much effort it is going to take to stop the threat. Boy scout motto, "Be prepared"
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

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    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I can sum it all up very quickly... Most heros are dead. Know your limitations, both in skills and equipment.

  8. #7
    Member Array riversdaddy's Avatar
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    I wonder how that whole scenario would have ended if the officer had more"offensive" capability. Also, given the same situation to include the gun he used, would you guys/gals choose to engage? All great advise and information HotGuns, thank you.

  9. #8
    Member Array walther1's Avatar
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    I am with Sixto.

    Very good post.

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  10. #9
    Member Array mpitcock's Avatar
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    I also agree with sixto and riversdaddy.
    At what point do you engage...and to what extent.

    Did the retired LEO realize there were "extra" people in the store? Did he consider "not" getting involved in a shoot out and instead following the BG's while calling for help?

    I know we cannot answer these questions...but I would make sure that my list included knowing your surroundings and if possible seek help before charging in.

    There is definately a difference in mindset of LEO and Concealed Carrry.

    Thanks for the topic...

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array older gunner's Avatar
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    A very interesting situation. The PO apparently did not scope out the situation very well before intervening. Bad for him and a good lesson for us. Know what you are getting into and be aware of your limitations.

  12. #11
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    4 against 1 are lousy odds, no matter what gun you are using. A good examlpe for us to learn for , rather than make the same tacical errors.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  13. #12
    Lew is offline
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    Thinking on what was stated in the gunfight, the leo fired 5 rounds and missed 5 times. I believe that this same leo, on a firing range doing a police qualifing session, would do just fine. I am going to guess (assume?) that he never really trained in a situation that resemblemed a real fire fight. The adrenaline, the noise, the chaos, the fear, it all adds up and leads to poor performance. It is a reminder that one should at least to try to train as you really would fight. I can remember going thru a course in Basic Training that really emphaized the need to have "a cool head" under fire. The noise alone is enough to cause disorientation. I remember the first 30 seconds it seemed like all hell broke loose and was very confusing. It was not untill I closed my eyes for a few seconds and focused my center that I was able to preform as I thought I should. A cool head is extreamly important and to make it easy to find and keep, you should train in its use, (some of us more than others...heheh)
    There are 2 types of people, victims and the prepared. I choose to be prepared....

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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Four versus one

    I don't think the officer would have survived a four on one gunfight, even with a Glock 19 in each hand. His decision to intervene was a poor one, and I have to assume that he was not aware of the two additional armed robbers in the back of the store - he probably focused on the two near the cash register, underestimating his odds.

    Only in a movie starring Chuck Norris or Clint Eastwood do we see a lone individual winning a gunfight against such odds.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Very good information and very true. Situational awareness is the most important and understanding where the line is for you to act. Moving people to a back room would be one of those over the line moments or starting to shoot people would be the other.

    I carry at least two handguns and usually an extra mag for the primary and the BUG in the pocket so you can get your hand on it without anyone knowing.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with POGO, The LEO probably never realized there were two in the rear of the store until it was to late. It is very doubtful that a LEO would reveal his weapon knowing it was 4 to 1 odds, especially not a retired seasoned cop. I think when you are out gunned and out numbered like this it is better to let the robbery go down, only if you expect to be executed would I react. Although it is hard to say, we weren't there!!
    This bit about practicing for this sort of event is a bit strange to me. I can't see how you can get the adrenaline going in a practice session because your mind is telling your body this isn't real. Although I do believe that type of practice is beneficial, but you can't practice what happens when that natural speed kicks in. My best friend was a LA Deputy and was involved in a shooting where is fataly wounded the BG. He had extensive training, both in the dept and out, but he said nothing simulated what he went through right before he drew and fired the weapon. He explains it as everything went into slow motion and he was hyper sensative to every movement and sound, to this day he can't remember hearing his 686 firing all 6 rounds. I do agree this man was a hereo.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!

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