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I read an article in "HANDGUNS" magazine today that really caught my attention. It talked about the Tacoma, WA mall shootings. Apparently there were at least 2 people who were carrying in the mall(not exactly legal) and they had both drawn on the shooter but had reholstered. Not sure why the first man did that, but the second man stated that he only had a headshot on the shooter and " wasn't sure if he was ready to kill someone." Why carry if you aren't willing to use deadly force, especially in a setting where there are innocent people, shots have already been fired, and you could save someone from being hurt or killed? Anyone have any thoughts on this topic?
 

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I believe it is dealing with the magnitude of taking a human life. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have to kill another human, and hopefully I will never find out. However, if it comes down to me or them.....or some other loved one or pedestrian, I know which one I want to hit the ground. I believe it's all got to do with mindset. I know of a few individuals who carry very seldom, and it seems to be for more of a cool factor than anything else. I'm not so sure that these people have thought about what they might need to do with their weapon one day.

Jake
 

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The willingness to use deadly force is absolutely the first decision you have to make when you consider carrying a firearm... for any reason; as a Soldier, a law enforcement officer or as a private citizen.

It's true that nobody knows how they will react until the unfortunate moment arrives but honest self-examination should reveal whether it's even a possibility for you, and good training should help develop that instinct as well as your skills.

If someone honestly doesn't think they can pull the trigger, they're better off saving their money and developing their "flight" instinct.
 

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I read a similar report of the Tacoma action. Seems like one of the CCWers drew on the perpetrator, reholstered, and received several rifle bullets.

When in a high-stress situation, some people are able to think clearly, some are not. Media reports of gunfights are typically erroneous and quite slanted, but if what I read was true, this guy should not have been carrying, and should have run away instead of hanging around and getting shot.

Like everyone who survives to middle age, I have been in a few such situations, though none of mine were violent combat-style confrontations. I think I can both control my fear well enough to function and pull the trigger if required; otherwise I wouldn't carry. Like tanksoldier wrote, it's something we should all consider; probably most of us have done so.
 

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I sincerely believe that if you stop and think you will not fire.

Case in point: As a teenager I once drew on a man trying to enter our house. My dog had alerted. I grabbed my Single Six that was officially unloaded and followed. The door slammed shut. I opened it (ok, stupid, and green, but I was a kid) and there was the man just standing there. I shot over his head. I cocked, leveled it at his chest, and had three pounds on the five pound trigger when he turned and ran. The reason I didn't fire? I thought. I delayed long enough to get the jitters, the what-ifs, the second guesses.

Fast forward to a couple years ago. I found myself in a much scarier situation -- a dog attack. Two canines came in low and fast. In one smooth motion I drew, sighted, and fired. Recovered, fired. Recovered, fired. I shot three times, counting my shots as I had trained.

I didn't hit them. Too low, too fast, and I hadn't trained for that. The training has since been remedied but that's not the point here. I didn't think; I just did.

It's like I tell my seven year old when I'm being Sensei Dad: Don't think, just do. If you have to think you'll be slow, and if you're slow you'll lose. He stopped thinking, got past my defense, and split my lower eyelid. I simply was not prepared for that explosion of speed, especially compared to what he had been doing, all because of thought.

The way I figure it, if your instincts are going to take over, let them. But, train yourself to draw and mentally remove yourself from the situation.

In other words, there is no room for emotion, thought, or anything which might interfere with efficiency. Done right, your conscious mind will remove itself from the situation and become a disinterested observer who is cool and calm enough to count shots.

Save the shakes for afterward. If you have the shakes during, that's adrenaline that could be better utilized in the fight.

I'm sorry if I sound arrogant; this is something I have come to truly believe. I have more experience than most private citizens and way less experience than others. And, this is what my experience tells me.

Josh <><
 

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Sometimes or most its hard to be brave when your scared out of your mind. whether we like it or not we have to admit to ourselves
that were not all cut out to be heroes, to rise to the occasion.
 

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I would agree and disagree with JS above. In "A Book of Five Rings" Musashi writes that it is natural for a human to hesitate to kill another human. Even someone with black murder on their mind hesitates before striking.

This is borne out in modern forensics. Amost always the victim of multiple knife wounds will have several which are very shallow. These are the initial strikes, when the attacker was warming up and getting over his fear of stabbing someone.

Musashi goes on to say that a warrior who is aware of this hesitation can conciously overcome it. He recommends this as being vital to success as a warrior.

I myself would suggest not hesitating, I would _not_ recommend not thinking in a firefight. Ideally your mind is making tactcial and stratiegic decisions, while your body is doing the fighting without detailed oversight from the brain. The brain is handling target selection, identifying cover, making movement decisions, etc while the body is actually doing the moving, engaging the targets selected, reloading, etc.
 

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I think nobody wants to take a human life except the low life on this earth. And face the repurcusions. But if its down to me and mine and the bad guy itll be a fight. Again I consider my firearms an insurance policy. There if I need it but hope to never use it. My .02 cents worth. Have a great day Sixgun:comeandgetsome:
 

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I wonder since this was in a mall, it could have been fairly crowded and this is why he didnt pull the trigger. He might have seen people running for cover in the background and reholstered in fear of where his bullet might go if he missed. Just a thought.
 

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Josh,
You have some very good points there. The only problem that I see is in the timeing. Countering a roundhouse kick, a leg sweep etc. is a right now, don't think, react, sort of happening. Listening to gun shots, people screaming, seeing people running, it gives you TOO MUCH time to think. Many people can't maintain the mind set your talking about for that amount of time.. In self defence with a weapon, you have to decide BEFORE it's time to act/react, that your choice to use deadly force is in fact the correct choice. Then like you say its time to DO IT!
Take care, be safe.

CraigJS
 

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if you were in this situation of BG's actively shooting people and you were there and armed and didn't shoot I have a suggestion for you.
Go home and tear up your CCW and sell every gun you have.

AFS
 

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Security Blanket Syndrome.
Many people carry just because it makes them feel secure.


I guess a lot of it might also have a great deal to do with their true lack of "real world confidence" in their own ability to hit what they are aiming at.

They really were not mentally qualified to carry a firearm in the first place.
 

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...isn't there a saying that goes, "he who hesistates is lost"?

I also agree with Joshua....instinct many a time will save the day when the attack is pressed home and you have to poop or get off the pot NOW.
 

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My guess is that the shot wasnt taken because he was very aware of the legal ramifications which would surely follow. While he might be exonerated from criminal aspects, a civil trial would surely follow .. and he would have been torn a new one.
 

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Late to the thread but some excellent points raised and covered.

Threat identification and its level is paramount but mindset will determine what follows.
 

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AirForceShooter said:
if you were in this situation of BG's actively shooting people and you were there and armed and didn't shoot I have a suggestion for you.
Go home and tear up your CCW and sell every gun you have.

AFS
I couldn't have said it any better myself!!
 

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AirForceShooter said:
if you were in this situation of BG's actively shooting people and you were there and armed and didn't shoot I have a suggestion for you.
Go home and tear up your CCW and sell every gun you have.

AFS
I think can agree somewhat with the sentiment, but not completely :image035: ...I can't say that I would have shot in that instance...as others have point out in other threads, my firearm is there to protect myself, my wife, and my son...everyone else comes in (very distantly) after them...my number one priority would be to grab my son and get out of there...if I had to put down a threat on the way out then so be it but if the gunman was not between myself and an exit (and wasn’t aiming a gun in my direction) then I would make sure my family was getting to safety...but this all depends on the circumstances too...depending on how many people were in the mall, where the people were located in relation to the shooter, whether or not I was alone, etc, etc, etc. I think it's too easy for to say with 100% certainty what one would or would not do in a situation as extreme as that one and I think there are too many factors that contribute to a shoot/no shoot decision. Sure good training helps, as does being prepared mentally, but I think there’s just more to it than that. All in all I just don’t know that we can fault someone after the fact for not shooting without knowing all of the facts.

As an aside, I am aware that a lot of facts came out about one of the people that was armed (and was wounded) and he stated his reasons for not pulling the trigger in a media report. Can’t say that I agree with his decision but I respect that it was his decision not to shoot even if his decision could have saved himself from being shot.
 

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Wow!
Ya know, when I first started reading the original post here, I was thinking about what I might have done. First of all, I just don’t do malls but that isn’t the issue. (It could be anywhere.) If I am at the mall I am probably out with my wife on some errand. My first thought would be for her protection, getting her to a safe place while keeping tabs on the BG’s location and actions. Part of that protection would be to pull my gun and be prepared to fire while getting her to safety. I just can’t (personally) comprehend pulling your gun in a situation like that and then re-holstering.
Now what I am thinking about the whole time is this; how many guys like me (or you) are also there at the mall, and maybe have not yet located the BG in all the confusion. If I am standing there holding a pistol, will one of you highly trained instinct driven people shoot me, mistaking me for the real BG?
As I think this I will probably not be drawing a lot of attention to myself, and if I do take a shot, it will be from a more defensive place (like from behind one of those concrete planters.) This is the hunter in me talking, and reacting more from my hunting training than anything else. Stay concealed, don’t let the “target” spot you. You get the idea.

I’m hoping your tactical training will prevent you mistaking me for the BG. And my hunting training will keep me from shooting one of you, if I at first mistake you for the BG.
Know what I mean?

Reading this, I really want to get some proper tactical training as you have spoken of here. Until then, I gotta think about what my instincts might lead me to do in a situation like this.

Anyway, it’s a great conversation.
 

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Elkhunter,

Maybe we should look at this using the OODA loop:

Observe: Here's where we figure out who the heck is shooting at us, who's running, and who's taking active defensive action. If you get shot then it's by someone who has not properly observed. But, friendly fire happens with some of the best trained men on earth. Why would it be any different here?

Orient: Get in a position to shoot.

Decide: This is where it gets dicey. I can't imagine deciding to reholster in the face of danger, but hey, that's me.

Act: This is where you go to autopilot, letting your body move while your brain works as the disinterested observer.

As for your concern however, reference that tower shooting in Texas years back. Texans returned fire but I've not been able to find a source stating that any were harmed by friendly fire, only by the sniper's bullets.

Josh <><
 
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