Hypothetical Instant Life and Death Decisions :

This is a discussion on Hypothetical Instant Life and Death Decisions : within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; One danger we all face who Carry: we could choose to do the wrong thing when faced with the situation of a POSSIBLE Lethal Threat. ...

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Thread: Hypothetical Instant Life and Death Decisions :

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Hypothetical Instant Life and Death Decisions :

    One danger we all face who Carry: we could choose to do the wrong thing when faced with the situation of a POSSIBLE Lethal Threat. We have to decide though on our subjective sense of reality - that's all we've got.

    We could be wrong either way: taking lethal Self-Defense actions and not taking Self-Defense actions. Or, to extend that out to what the Law allows: we could take action with Lethal Means to save another person if that was the particular situation - or we could choose to not take action with Lethal Means. As regards the first: If we are wrong one way, we die at the hands of a felon. If we are wrong the other, we shoot when we legally can't and are charged with Murder. In the other situation, we die or the victim dies or we both die - or, on the other side, we are wrong shooting and are charged with Murder.

    So, as practice, here's one hypothetical situation requiring a quick life and death decision. There is no secret answer I have. It's just for examination on a forum when we do have some time to consider it carefully. Perhaps that will help if we need at sometime to exercise our brains in an instant of time in real life.

    Any other hypothetical situations you'd like to post feel free - but wait a bit until after one has been delved into by responders (if there are any).

    Here's my offering:

    Around 11:00 pm when you - or you and your family (your choice) - have just retired for the night, you suddenly hear the doorbell ringing over and over, also pounding on the door and a female voice screaming "HELP! HELP ME! HE'll KILL ME!!"

    You go downstairs near the door. Perhaps you have a gun (your choice). There are two very narrow windows on each side of the door that run from mid-height of the door to its top - the style seen in some houses for front doors. So you can see out but only through a narrow visual field. You do see a young girl in front of your door who is clearly distraught and looks like she could have been already beaten, hair and clothes in disarray.
    She's still screaming "Please Let Me In! Help! Help Me" etc. She can't see you from where she is and certainly does not look to you like she is acting.

    You then hear a male voice yelling quite close - swearing in a threatening way and it sounds like he is very quickly approaching up your driveway and nearer your front door - and the girl. You can't see him due to the narrow visual field through the windows, but by the time you could, he will be two steps and a leap away from the girl. If he has a gun or knife she will have had it. No matter what you do it will be too late. He will be on top of her in extremely short order.

    So, from the time you first hear the girl at the door while you are in bed to right now - and past it into the near future:

    WHAT DO YOU DO? Is this an about-to-be DISGUISED HOME-INVASION or an about-to-be ACTUAL MURDER OF A YOUNG GIRL?

    Last edited by detective; April 3rd, 2013 at 05:03 AM.

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    I let her in keeping a close eye to see if she is armed and have the armed wife keep an eye on her and deny entry to the male. In my state if the male forces or attempts to force entry the state made the decision for me already and considers him a threat to my life and subject to lethal force by that action alone. Im armed always so that is a given in any situation

    Here in about half an hour LE probably could be here to sort out the rest. I like KY.
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    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
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    Call me callus but I'm not risking the life of my family for the girl in that situation. I would call 911, police response times in my area are 2 to 3 minutes tops.

    I know many will say what if it was your daughter out there. Well my daughter is 5 y/o and I don't know if there are 5 armed males at the door waiting to get to my family. IF that was my adult daughter out there she would have most likely have been armed and ready to eliminate the threat herself.

    It's difficult to know how you will react in situations like this but what always motivates my thought process is my ability to protect my children and hopefully see my grandchildren one day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost1958 View Post
    I let her in keeping a close eye to see if she is armed and have the armed wife keep an eye on her and deny entry to the male. In my state if the male forces or attempts to force entry the state made the decision for me already and considers him a threat to my life and subject to lethal force by that action alone. Im armed always so that is a given in any situation

    Here in about half an hour LE probably could be here to sort out the rest. I like KY.
    Well your law certainly sounds like good common sense: once someone is trying to force his way into your house we don't need Sherlock Homes to determine if he's a threat. He IS a threat just by his actions and he's on your property illegally to begin with. I'd shout: "the police are moments away. If in the meantime if you force your way into my house you will be instantly shot by several people already sighted on the doorway. We are all war veterans. You won't survive. Back off, drop the weapon, then back off more and lie face down with hands on head, fingers interlaced and elbows straight out and at the same time cross your ankles. That's your best chance of continuing to live. NOW, DO IT!"

    At that point he's either headed for the hills or will do what I told him to do. If the latter I'd also shout out :"I can see you clearly. If you move your hands or move an ankle we fire. Stay still and you'll make it through this alive and unhurt!"

    I like your whole overall solution, keeps the girl under watch but safe and denies entry to the guy. It will soon be the police's job to figure it all out.

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetSmith View Post
    Call me callus but I'm not risking the life of my family for the girl in that situation. I would call 911, police response times in my area are 2 to 3 minutes tops.

    I know many will say what if it was your daughter out there. Well my daughter is 5 y/o and I don't know if there are 5 armed males at the door waiting to get to my family. IF that was my adult daughter out there she would have most likely have been armed and ready to eliminate the threat herself.

    It's difficult to know how you will react in situations like this but what always motivates my thought process is my ability to protect my children and hopefully see my grandchildren one day.
    I think you know yourself and your priorities well - and you are not a policeman, just a man defending his family. Given that and if I had those very worthy priorities, I would yell one thing out to help the girl if he was really after her that I don't think would risk anything to you or your family: "Police are converging on you and will arrive on mass in seconds. You have time to escape but nothing else or you will be caught in the act. Use your head; run immediately!" He may actually do it, leaving the girl (and you all) alone and sprint away.


    Most attempting home-invasions hope to find old people who know zero about self-defense. They don't want to meet sophisticated, armed householders who have the police less than a minute way (and from one experience I had as an about-to-be victim, cops going to a call like this hit their sirens very soon after the dispatch call, hoping to make the felon stop any act of violence is is engaging in but quick. 5 or 6 approaching sirens from all over the place tend to concentrate the BGs mind but quick. Unless he is crazy, the BG will head for the hills when he hears that. The one all set to pulverize me did exactly that soon as he heard all the sirens. Second later, squad cars from all over flew right to me, asked if I was OK (I was) and then roared off in the direction I told them the guy was running.

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    If I thought about it, before I got up and ran to the door, I'd call 911 so they could be on their way.
    I'd probably let the girl in and hopefully have time to shut and lock the door before the guy got there. That might be the wrong thing to do, but I couldn't stand there and watch a girl be killed right before my eyes and do nothing. I would be so eaten up with guilt that I couldn't live with myself.

    I hope I would grab the gun before I ran downstairs. I think I would because I'm much more aware of doing that since joining this site. If the guy broke in, I would shoot him...wouldn't even think twice about it. Even so, I know I'd feel guilty about that and probably need a year or two of therapy.

    It's interesting to consider these scenerios and hear what others have to say because I obviously need some pointers.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    You guys sure plan to yell some complicated things in the heat of the moment. Personally... I'm not honestly sure. If I'm going to the door I'm going with a handgun in my hand and a shotgun slung on my shoulder. Maybe if I thought she was really in danger I'd let her in, keeping a close eye on her, and put the "known" BG at the end of a 12 gauge. Like I said, you guys yell complicated things. The girl gets a "Get on the ground and stay there" and the assailant gets "You come through that door and I'll shoot you." Short and simple.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanlouise View Post
    If I thought about it, before I got up and ran to the door, I'd call 911 so they could be on their way.
    I'd probably let the girl in and hopefully have time to shut and lock the door before the guy got there. That might be the wrong thing to do, but I couldn't stand there and watch a girl be killed right before my eyes and do nothing. I would be so eaten up with guilt that I couldn't live with myself.

    I hope I would grab the gun before I ran downstairs. I think I would because I'm much more aware of doing that since joining this site. If the guy broke in, I would shoot him...wouldn't even think twice about it. Even so, I know I'd feel guilty about that and probably need a year or two of therapy.

    It's interesting to consider these scenerios and hear what others have to say because I obviously need some pointers.
    A very honest reply - we often are sure we'd do something by the book, call 911, bring the gun down etc. - but your response is probably closer to reality: under that kind of stress, we can forget even a crucial element. I too think these kind of "practice" situations can be helpful - may lessen the chance of a real boo-boo if it ever happens (and I hope to God it doesn't).

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    I normally don't like participating in what-if's. Too many variables.

    I'll offer a solution that I might provide, even though it is not pretty;

    Honestly, my initial thought is that she might be an accomplice and armed. I never go to the door unarmed, so that's not an issue. Given this situation is happening so quickly (he's just a few steps behind her as I approach the door) - This is where it gets ugly... I wait to see what happens when he gets there. If he stands next to her screaming, I'm on the phone with police. As long as he's not attacking her, they stay outside and my door stays closed while I monitor the situation until the cops get there. If he attacks her, well... He forces my hand. Depending on the level of violence that he's applying, he may get one warning to back up, or he may get smoke checked right there.
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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't let some girl get murdered on my porch.
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    First off, I never answer the door promptly for anyone, so she picked the wrong door. It's not like she's trapped at my front door, she can keep running. I would rather not be involved in this, and it's my right not to be. There are so many mystery/circumstantial decisions in this scenario it's hard to even tell what a reasonable man would do. What if she just comes in an claims I raped her…it would certainly look like a possibility based on her clothing condition and mental state. I would however, call 911 and report the incident as a domestic in progress. 911 would tell me to keep my doors locked and stay on the line, so they can give the police updates as they arrive on scene.
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    I have a locked gate at the road. My house is not visible from the road. If I am alerted to someone not belonging here, the first thing I will do is turn on the whoop whoop siren. With phone & gun, come stealthily to assess the situation. Sorry but if she picked my place for instant help after dark, it wouldn't happen. There is no backup out here. If I was outside & she came running up, I would handle the situation as best I could.

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    As a father of two daughters and someone that is disgusted by women beaters, I would get involved. If time allowed I would let her in and lock the door. If there wasn't time, I would use what ever force was needed. I sure as hell couldn't just watch a lady get beat or killed. 2 or 3 minutes is a long time to wait for cops while someone is getting beat/victimized.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novaX522 View Post
    As a father of two daughters and someone that is disgusted by women beaters, I would get involved. If time allowed I would let her in and lock the door. If there wasn't time, I would use what ever force was needed. I sure as hell couldn't just watch a lady get beat or killed. 2 or 3 minutes is a long time to wait for cops while someone is getting beat/victimized.
    The thing to keep in mind Nova, and probably this only thing keeping others from being right there with you, is that there have been numerous stories in the last few years of women beating on doors claiming they're being chased by an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband who wants to kill them. The person behind the door hears their plight and opens the door wanting to do "the right thing" and gets a face-full of gun, held by the guy who was hiding beside the door. Then they get robbed by the man-and-woman team.
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    Leave her outside and call the police.

    I'm not going to risk my family by letting her in, whether she's truely in danger or possibly in cahoots with the guy and trying to act their way into my home.

    I call the police and keep my shotgun pointed at the door. I didn't ask to get involved in their "dispute" (if that's really what it is) and want nothing to do with it. If I'm not in direct danger, I'll let the police handle it. That's their job, not mine.

    If I were to get involved and she truely was in danger, then I'm unnecessarily putting my life and the life of my wife in danger. That danger could be immediate, or may play out over time if the guy and his buddies decide to harrass me for harboring the girl. I don't want that problem in my life and certainly don't want my wife to be sitting at home in fear while I'm gone because of what happened.

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