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I live in a relatively safe area, but one potential scenario keeps bugging me because I'm unsure what I should do in the situation. I have carry permit.

Scenario: I'm in a fast food joint with the family. BG walks in, brandishing a gun at the cashier(s) demanding money (does not verbally threaten to shoot cashier). His back is to me and most other patrons. Patrons all dive for cover. Let's assume he thinks patrons are not a threat, and he's focused on getting money and running.

Am I within my rights to shoot him?

(variation A) What if he DOES verbally threaten to shoot cashier?

(variation B) What if he swings gun around toward patrons to threaten (but does not directly verbally threaten to shoot)?

In any of these cases, does it make a difference if he is shot in the back?

Replies greatly appreciated, as I think this may be the most likely scenario I'd ever see.
 

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Providing you and your loved ones are not threatened and he's not acting like he's going to shoot anyone else, stay calm have your hand on your weapon and be the best witness possible.

If it changes to a robbery-murder then do what you have to do to protect yourself and loved ones. Your statement to the police should be, "I was in fear for my life."
 

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It is probably a scenario many folks consider as very possible.

It is because of that, also a subject we have discussed a good few times but I have no link immediately to hand.

Views will always vary plus - as I have come to realize considering scenarios - circumstances alter events - variables are in plentiful supply. Hard to make any hard and fast rules of engagement.

I would not myself be wanting to get into any firefight as a default action - much better to be a good observer. That said and depending on my other family member numbers and location etc - I would have to play it as I saw it - that is my ''get out'' statement but truly is how it would have to be.
 

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I agree with the above. per mojos statement of "hand on yer gun" i'd personally have mine out and trained on him. wouldn't shoot unless i deemed immediate grave danger but you wouldnt have time to draw if all went bad. thats really the only change i'd add.
i would NOT recommend shooting him in the back as criminally you may get out of it (maybe) but civilly i'd say "YER SCREWED". as his lawyer would briang thru the whole family in court saying how he/she was a model citizen, that you, as a vigilante, shot cold-blooded in the back.
 

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I wouldn't want to be the person who started shooting in a crowded restaurant...just be ready to take action if things go south in a hurry...:yup:
 

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Team American said:
I wouldn't want to be the person who started shooting in a crowded restaurant...just be ready to take action if things go south in a hurry...:yup:
Agreed, and yet -- what of the story that appears in "More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott in which not one but 2 CCW people "started" shooting in a crowded restaurant and the crook ran off. One opened fire (with a .22 pistol!) and I believe the other also. They shot first, but I wonder what became of them (I think they were not charged?). Took place in Jacksonville, FL as I recall.
 

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Good point, Freedom Doc...of course, each scenario is different and it's hard (if not impossible) to sit at our keyboards and know what we will do when the time comes.

A week or so ago, we had a thread by a member of this forum who pulled his CCW during a restaurant robbery and scared the thief away, so it is always a possibility to intervene successfully.

But what if it all goes wrong? What if the robber was going to leave with the money and not shoot anyone, but you decided to initiate a gunfight that left one or more innocent bystanders wounded or dead...
 

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Man that's a toughie. If he isn't pointing that gun at me or mine, I just kind of sit there like a good bump on a log (with my right hand clutching that .45 under my shirt). That is, unless I can skedaddle without him shooting me or mine in the back. If I can safely exit stage left, that's what I'm doing.

If he starts shooting, though, or tying people up, then that changes the whole deal. I'd shoot him in the back or the front or the side or the up or the down or the left or the right, early and often, until lockback.

I read a post concerning a similar hypothetical on another forum a while back. A longtime LEO answered by saying he had told his wife early in their marriage that in such a situation if the BG starting shooting or tying people up that "she had better be prepared, because he was getting ready to be the center of attention".

If he swings that friggin' piece such that it is muzzling me or mine, the BG may get to get shot, too. Even if he hasn't issued any threats or shot anyone (yet) I have no intention of just sitting there while me or one of my children become the first to die when some screw or other finally pops loose in what passes for his "mind".
 

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Each situation is diffrent, but personally I would 1. look for hard cover or escape for my family. 2. be ready,gun out yet out of sight or not visible to the BG. 3. Not start a fight , but be ready if shooting starts.
 

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I suppose like P95Carry said, there are just too many variables, and no one formula for just what to do. Still if something goes down, I always think of "Evil succeeds only when good men do nothing". If nothing else, I would try to dial 911 and get the cavalry coming while keeping my hand on my gun in case the guy notices and takes issue with it. This might be easier if some of the sheeple are screaming and making other noise.

Overall however, I think a great deal of our overall problem with crime is the fact that the crooks know that we are about 98% sheeple. If everywhere crooks would strike they would find about 10 guns pointing at them, don't ya think that would take the crime rate down?
 

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Freedom Doc said:
If everywhere crooks would strike they would find about 10 guns pointing at them, don't ya think that would take the crime rate down?
No doubt! Crooks hate the thought that sheep might fight back :rofl:

Fear of getting shot might make some of them look for honest work :yup:
 

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I think I'm with P95

bryce26 said:
I live in a relatively safe area, but one potential scenario keeps bugging me because I'm unsure what I should do in the situation. I have carry permit.

Scenario: I'm in a fast food joint with the family. BG walks in, brandishing a gun at the cashier(s) demanding money (does not verbally threaten to shoot cashier). His back is to me and most other patrons. Patrons all dive for cover. Let's assume he thinks patrons are not a threat, and he's focused on getting money and running.

Am I within my rights to shoot him?

(variation A) What if he DOES verbally threaten to shoot cashier?

(variation B) What if he swings gun around toward patrons to threaten (but does not directly verbally threaten to shoot)?

In any of these cases, does it make a difference if he is shot in the back?

Replies greatly appreciated, as I think this may be the most likely scenario I'd ever see.
I think I'm with P95 on the ever changing variables and having to play it as it plays out. Although, so what if he/she hasn't VERBALLY threatened to shoot? Once that gun was pulled as far as I'm concerned, they've already threatened to shoot whether they said it out loud or not. Don't make your plans based on whether or not you think they MIGHT or Might not shoot.
 

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I have a coupla ? concerning this thread.Are we only carrying to protect us and ours .Now i know we are not leos.Do we sit idly by while a B.G. dose as he pleases because he isnt pointing a gun at us.Hasnt he shown violent behavior by brandishing a gun.He is pointing it at the casher. Are we not taught over and over that if you point a gun you intend to shoot that object. Depending on the abilaty to get my loved ones to safty and the angle I have on the bad guy I would pull my gun and demand his surender.If he turned towards me I would shoot.If mr goodson is dead and his famalie sues me then so be it im not sitting still while this scumbag terorizes and robs folks at will.Im sure I will get blasted for this but I belive that I carry to insure a safer place for me and mine to live. Not to hunker down and allow thease evil men to do what ever they want to whom ever they want.You might put this reaction of mine down to the fact that Im new to carry but Iv been in combat and Iv particapated in many full contact matches so its not battal lust.just my 02
 

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rocky said:
Each situation is diffrent, but personally I would 1. look for hard cover or escape for my family. 2. be ready,gun out yet out of sight or not visible to the BG. 3. Not start a fight , but be ready if shooting starts.
I'm with Rocky on this one. Getting my family out of danger is the top priority. If I can't get them out, then I'd stand my ground to protect them. I don't want to sound completly self-centered or shallow, but my reason for carrying is for the protection of my family and myself if we are directly threatened, not to stop crackheads from holding up the local McDonald's for a few hundred bucks. If I'm sitting in the corner eating my Double Quarter Pounder with cheese (arteries be damned!), and a guy starts waiving his gun at the counter, my gun will be drawn and kept under the table, but I am not getting up to go engage him.

If it did come to shooting, I would definitely not be the one who fired the first shot in this scenerio. If he fired first (which would probably be at the clerk), then I would return the favor, but there is no way I'm the one starting a gun fight in a crowded restaurant that is probably loaded with kids. Odds are the guy is a small time BG and has the gun for show and intimidation anyway. If he was going to fire at the clerk, he probably would have done so first thing.

Just my $.02
 

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I think once the guys draws or even shows a weaponm if you have a chance to shoot him without placing anyone else at risk (i.e. the guy is facing a lone clerk with a clean background and paying you no notion), I'd probably shoot him in the back a few times.

I've heard to many horror stories abou these robbers killing innocent people. Why wait and see if he decides to let you and your family live? Once he turns around and starts aiming at other people you have lost your advantage.

So, again my angle is: if the guy is locked onto the clerk (showing the pistol but not aiming it at him) and you a chance at a point-blank easy, shot to the back, why risk passing that up?
 

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packinnova said:
I think I'm with P95 on the ever changing variables and having to play it as it plays out. Although, so what if he/she hasn't VERBALLY threatened to shoot? Once that gun was pulled as far as I'm concerned, they've already threatened to shoot whether they said it out loud or not. Don't make your plans based on whether or not you think they MIGHT or Might not shoot.
Ditto. If you pull a gun on the cashier and announce a robbery, guess what, you're a threat to the cashier at the very least. So long as rule #4 isn't being violated by me, I'd let loose on the BG's back, in a heartbeat.

Who knows, that 16 year old cashier could be my daughter, or your son....

In Ohio, I may use my firearm to defend myself, or another from a clear immediate threat of serious injury.....

(Heck, in florida, if you do it, you're protected from civil action, too! :) Lucky retire-ees! :urlaub2: )
 

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WHEW! This is a tough one... I think I would draw my weapon if possible while still keeping it concealed from the BG. I'd be watching the muzzle of his gun and listening to his threats all the while getting my family to cover.

I would not engage unless threat to life was imminent. ARGH! Here come the BG's family with a whole bunch of lawyers! But if I can articulate the threat, the BG get's stopped right now!

Well, that’s my plan while sitting safely at my PC… who knows what I’d actually do! :gah:
 

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lets give the next what if...

what if he has a buddy in the restaurant that you don't see, aren't you suddenly endangering your family and other diners?? You shoot the BG at the counter in the back and he goes down and his partner caps you....who's protecting your family then???? :embarassed:

sometimes you need to just be a really good witness....:hand10:

(just want to get you all thinkin...)

I am NOT a LEO, I will protect my own... everyone else may have to start taking responsibility for protecting their own too....
 

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To many variables as stated before. Every fast food restaurant in my neighborhood is always crowed (like no one cooks but hey that's another story). With that said I'd just have my .357 in hand standing by for deployment if the BG got froggy. Other than that I'd just be good witness. But if it happened in my favorite mom and pop pizzaria(?) Then good bye low-life.
 
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