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So Rule #4 is "Know your target and what is beyond."

So as an offshoot of the discussion in the Training area on the three "Fundamental Rules" the NRA uses, how do you apply Rule #4 to a self defense shooting?

If you have say 1.75 seconds to defend yourself or become a victim are you going to assess what is beyond your target? Are you even capable of an assessment in that situation?

An officer with a local PD was telling me about a "no-win" training scenario they have to do. You and your simulated "partner" are in a diner. The BG comes in gun out. As uniformed officers, you and your "partner" are immediately targeted.

The officers who shot the BG also hit a patron. The officers who waited to long or didn't shoot the BG were "dead". The officer I was talking to shot the BG fatally and also killed a patron. He said he only saw the BG, he never saw the patron. On video review he said it was obvious the patron was there, but he couldn't remember seeing the patron.

Since we are talking about combat or defensive carry/shooting, and not target shooting or hunting, does Rule #4 apply?
 

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Good question and I look forward to other people's opinions. In my opinion, you would probably see the same thing that the officer saw, the BG. I believe rule 4 would apply but you may not have the luxury of time to do much assessment. It's been a while since I went through the academy, but I think I would probably take the shot. If you didn't take the shot and the BG killed both you and your partner, there would be no reason to not shoot others. I know if I made that decision for real and then killed an innocent I couldn't live with myself....
 

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Scott, I would imagine Rule #4 would apply during target shooting and hunting. Combat situations are a whole different ballgame and then those NRA rules get tossed out the window.
To your defensive carry/shooting senario, it would all depend on the situation. People tend to get adrenaline rushes and tunnel vision during firefights and don't see anything other than the BG. With repeated force on force training (obviously with Simmunitions or Airsoft) this can be lessened a bit but its human nature your fighting against. We can only do our best in a bad situation.
 

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I'd rather live.

I practice a ton so i'm hoping i do my job and all my rounds hit the target. Then i hope the hollowpoints do their job.

Then i deal with the legal ramifications.
 

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I have played the restaurant scenario in my mind at least as many times as I have been out to eat. In the previous post, the practitioner is a uniformed officer. For us non leos, things are different. But, as far a rule 4, yes time is fleeting once you have been forced to take action. I have worked out a 'plan'to slide out of my booth into a kneeling position, thus angling my line of fire hopefully far enough upward that if the bullet passed thru, it wont enter another person. Now, I am a realist and I know things dont ever work out the way we plan, but we must plan nonetheless. I also tote a .45acp w quality hollow points in the hopes that the round does not pass thru. And in all honesty, I dont find a lot of documented ccw shootings where a round (especially .45acp) has passed thru. Again, believing in Murphy's Law, I know I can do everything right and stuff can still go bad. But, it beats not having a plan.
Looking foreward to better opinions than mine,

Dan
 
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Originally posted by jdsumner
I have played the restaurant scenario in my mind at least as many times as I have been out to eat. In the previous post, the practitioner is a uniformed officer. For us non leos, things are different. But, as far a rule 4, yes time is fleeting once you have been forced to take action. I have worked out a \'plan'to slide out of my booth into a kneeling position, thus angling my line of fire hopefully far enough upward that if the bullet passed thru, it wont enter another person. Now, I am a realist and I know things dont ever work out the way we plan, but we must plan nonetheless. I also tote a .45acp w quality hollow points in the hopes that the round does not pass thru. And in all honesty, I dont find a lot of documented ccw shootings where a round (especially .45acp) has passed thru. Again, believing in Murphy\'s Law, I know I can do everything right and stuff can still go bad. But, it beats not having a plan.
Looking foreward to better opinions than mine,

Dan
I believe this is a logical tactic. I also believe that you reacted as quickly as you would probably need to, you would probably not see much more than the threat when reacting. Having a plan to get low would probably reduce your chance to shoot an innocent. I would take the shot, too.
 

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Rule 4 is always a valid concern, particularly since there is a good chance you will miss the target. Most CCW gunfights do not occur suddenly out of nowhere. Being aware of the environment is jsut part of the game. How aware you are and how much time you can devote to assessment is going to be somewhat situational. but it isn't that difficult to incorporate into your tactical considerations.
 

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This is exactly what my questions would be for said scenario. For hunting and target shooting legal liability and culpability seem pretty moot.

However turn the situation into a life and death situation and what would be the legal culpability for indeed shooting the Bg and yet hitting an innocent bystander???

In law school we did touch base on this but our Crim Professor would not give an answer. Basically it boils down to what a reasonable prudent person would do in the same circumstances.

He did add one question. Could me as the shooter be liable to the innocent bystander (IB) if they contract HIV from a through & through bullet that goes through BG and then enters into IB???

I applied the same test of me being a Reasonable prudent person and I would not have any rhyme or reason to think such a thought.

I would shoot the bad guy.

~A

Originally posted by clubsoda22
I'd rather live.

I practice a ton so i'm hoping i do my job and all my rounds hit the target. Then i hope the hollowpoints do their job.

Then i deal with the legal ramifications.
Additionally, doesn't the felony murder rule come in to play against the BG??? Would this abscond a shooter???
 

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good point, if an innocent was killed in the course of you defending yourself, in many states the attacker would be charged with the homicide. You are still civilly liable however.
 

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1.75 seconds can be a very long time when in acelerated mode during a tatictical situation, Beleve me the mind works very fast under these situations. You will think of a great many things in that period of time.
 

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Club Soda, and with the Felony Murder rule applying, civily wouldn\'t a Cross-Claim be a mechanism to remove civil culpability???

~A

Originally posted by clubsoda22
good point, if an innocent was killed in the course of you defending yourself, in many states the attacker would be charged with the homicide. You are still civilly liable however.
 

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jdsumner, and Rickman have valid points. Last Firearms course I took, had a large portion devoted to the various methods of \"kneeling\" shots.

Hopefully any shoot-thrus will go high into a wall or ceiling.
 

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Rule #4

Unless I have a good angle, where I can be pretty sure I\'ll get a good solid hit, I won\'t fire. Also, I use ammo that is unlikely to cause a thru-n-thru gunshot wound that may continue through a body and hurt somebody on the other side. This is one valid argument for the use of prefrangible ammo. I think that at least here in my location of South Florida it bears some examination. I keep my primary mag full of either RBCD or MagSafe. My backup mag is always 230gr JHP.
 

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I would also take the shot. Who\'s to say the gunman wouldn\'t kill numerous people anyway. The BG came in armed with intent to rob , kill etc.
 

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************with the Felony Murder rule applying, civily wouldn\'t a Cross-Claim be a mechanism to remove civil culpability???***************

I don\'t think so. If \"A\" is a felon and you shoot at him in lawful self defense and MISS only to KILL innocent bystander \"B\" the specific intent you used to shoot would be transferred criminally to \"A\" and he\'d go for felony murder. But civilly I think a general intent would attach and \"B\'s\" NOK would attach both you and \"A\" in a wrongful death suit. \"A\" has a bit more liability (negligence per se) because he was committing a crime at the time, but YOU might...I SAY AGAIN might.....be liable for a reckless disregard or heat of passion manslaughter......I\'m no lawyer...but I\'ve been to law school......and I sometimes teach \"Law Studies.\" I do know that the criminal and civil systems are separate for a number of reasons. In the civil system the standard of liability is lower AND a no true bill in one won\'t guarantee a NOT GUILTY in the other as well as the reverse.
 

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Seems like the original description of \"no win scenario\" is very accurate here.

Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch offered a similar scenario (lecture not a drill) where you are sitting in a restaurant and someone comes in and starts shooting people. You have a handgun, what do you do? After most of us opined to shoot the guy, his emphatic solution was to not shoot unless the BG was an immediate threat to you or yours.

I thought that was about as cold as it could get, but he followed with, what\'s wrong with letting those being threatened defend themselves? Then, suppose you shoot and kill the BG and save 20 lives but one of your bullets put an innocent\'s eye out or worse. Then he pointed out that we are responsible for every bullet. The fact that we saved 20 doesn\'t mean anything; in fact, he suggested that they could even testify against you, arguing that you made the situation worse by shooting.

According to Clint, as a result of the civil suit (if an innocent was hit/killed), life as you know it would be over. You would lose your property, savings, and salary.

It\'s something to think about.
 

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Well, clint is wrong. I\'d gladly give up my livelyhood to do the right thing. I wouldn\'t be able to live with the shame and guilt of allowing people to die. Listening to clint\'s advice makes you a pretty crappy sheepdog.
 

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Originally posted by clubsoda22
Well, clint is wrong. I\'d gladly give up my livelyhood to do the right thing. I wouldn\'t be able to live with the shame and guilt of allowing people to die. Listening to clint\'s advice makes you a pretty crappy sheepdog.
I know, it sounds cold; does to me too, but if you have a family to raise and all your savings, house and car and much of your future earnings are going to support another family, what kind of provider are you going to be for your family?

Who does a good sheepdog put first, his flock or another flock?

What if the BG\'s buddy shoots you for shooting his buddy? Who provides for your family?

All I\'m saying is, it can be very complex and we need to understand the ramifications of entering a gunfight on someone elses'behalf.

Do you carry to protect you and yours or everybody you perceive as good guys? It makes a difference.

I too would have a hard time living, knowing I let innocents die without doing something, but how would I feel about interceding on someone else\'s behalf and wound up unable to provide for or protect my own family.

Clint\'s not alone; most trainers I know strongly warn against interceding. It is just simply dangerous. I have done it in FOF scenarios at Gunsite and it\'s never what you think it is.
 

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Tangle,
fully understand your points, but in re reading the original scenario, the shooter makes a direct path for you, gun drawn and seemingly telegraphing his intent. If you are in his direct path and are not seated at the back door, ya gonna hafta do somethin\'. I know it also states that you are uniformed and therefore quickly made his first target, but I believe the info given is to lead us to give our reactions as if it were shoot or get shot. So, yes, if you can escape, haul. But, if you\'ve got nowhere to go and the muzzle is coming to bear on your pretty little pumpkin...is there really a choice?
Scott, correct me if I am misunderstanding the gist of your post, Sir.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally posted by jdsumner
Tangle,
fully understand your points, but in re reading the original scenario, the shooter makes a direct path for you, gun drawn and seemingly telegraphing his intent. If you are in his direct path and are not seated at the back door, ya gonna hafta do somethin\'. I know it also states that you are uniformed and therefore quickly made his first target, but I believe the info given is to lead us to give our reactions as if it were shoot or get shot. So, yes, if you can escape, haul. But, if you\'ve got nowhere to go and the muzzle is coming to bear on your pretty little pumpkin...is there really a choice?
Scott, correct me if I am misunderstanding the gist of your post, Sir.

Dan
Dan you have it right. This is a \"no win\" that a local PD uses in their training. You shoot or you get shot, that is the deal. No other way out.

What motivated my posting this anyway was that Bumper took some criticism for only posting the first three NRA safety rules, versus the first four. So I was curious how people believed they could or would apply rule #4 in a self defense scenario.

I already know I didn\'t apply rule #4, so I wouldn\'t expect that I would in the future.
 
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