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Thread: Any shame in running away???

  1. #1
    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    Any shame in running away???

    I got into a debate with a co-worker the other day about engaging an active shooter. My comment was that if my family and I were on one side of Wal-Mart and a shooter came in on the other side of the store, my priority would be getting my family out of the store, to the car and getting the hell out of the area as fast as we could. He felt that wasn't a responsible thing to do (leaving the store when I could have fought back for the others) and said it was my obligation to at least attempt to stop the shooter. I explained to him that if the threat was in my face I without a doubt would shoot back.

    Or if I were by myself I may attempt to advance to the other side of the store to attempt to stop the shooter. But my priority about protecting life is "we"(my family) "me"(of course meaning myself) then "them"(others), and in that exact order. What are your thoughts?
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
    n.
    1. Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

  2. #2
    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    There is no shame not risking your health if you have as much to lose as the person you are thinking about helping.

    If you could safely grab a man off of the subway tracks without risking life or limb then do it. If you have to jump down there, risking your life, to save another then that is just a personal choice.
    No man alive can beat me in a fair fight: It's not fair to chase a man down and beat him.

  3. #3
    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    There is no shame not risking your health if you have as much to lose as the person you are thinking about helping.

    If you could safely grab a man off of the subway tracks without risking life or limb then do it. If you have to jump down there, risking your life, to save another then that is just a personal choice.
    My thing is if it's just me, that's one story. If my wife and 7 year old are with me, my priorities change.
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
    n.
    1. Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran ATM's Avatar
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    Duty and obligation end with your "we" and "me". To act further, IMO, would be above and beyond reasonable standards of duty or obligation.
    One's personal moral compass may direct them to act further (even against great odds) based upon their convictions, abilities and the sum of the dynamic circumstances as they are unfolding in that moment (rather than from the luxury of hindsight).

    Interestingly, the conversation seems to beg a more obvious question: What of the folks on the side of the store who are directly engaged by the murderous active shooter? What of their individual duty and obligation to provide for their own defense? If they abdicate their own duty to possess the means and/or will to secure their own life and liberty, how on earth could such be reasonably, rationally or morally transferred upon another? Those who would suggest such are worthy of contempt.

    All that being said, good people will always find it difficult to do nothing in the face of evil and the liberties of many will always be secured by the heroic sacrifices of a few.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    I would have to refrain from engaging an active shooter if I can avoid it. The reason for that is that, if no one else cares enough to defend themselves then I don't feel like putting my life on the line for them.

    Besides, I would not want to offend the senses of some anti-gun idiot. I would engage if the shooter was a direct threat to me (eg, seems to be shooting AT me or too close to safely escape).
    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 01-20-2013 at 06:19 PM.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    My Sweet Baboo and I, both, have a tendency to run to gunfire, run into a burning building or reach for those who are falling. Jus sayin.......thats us.

    We are both retired Military, both VFW members, may have something to do with it. Take cover, Get the weak to safety, end the threat.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Brave Sir Robin !


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    I'm not looking for trouble and I have a family to protect. As such I would be getting myself and my family out of the store. Not to mention that the last thing I want is to go to neutralize a threat, only to have the cops show up and take me as the threat.

    That being said, this is simply assuming what I would do in a situation where I can't see the shooter and simply hear it. I can't say what I would "actually" do unless placed in the situation. But simply put, I don't carry a gun for strangers around me; it's to protect myself and my friends/family around me.

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    Regular Member motoxmann's Avatar
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    I would have say I'd ensure I get my family to safety first and foremost, where they have zero chance of being harmed, and do anything necessary to do just that. Strictly because as long as my family is still present, they have a chance of getting shot, by the shooter, or by any citizen with a gun, or by a cop, or anyone else who could have poor aim or unintentionally fire while pointing in the wrong direction.
    Then AFTER completing the above task, IF the shooter was still actively shooting and harming people, I would probably re-enter and attempt to save a few more lives. It would be siutation-dependent though, based on many variables.

  10. #10
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    My Sweet Baboo and I, both, have a tendency to run to gunfire, run into a burning building or reach for those who are falling. Jus sayin.......thats us.

    We are both retired Military, both VFW members, may have something to do with it. Take cover, Get the weak to safety, end the threat.
    I seem to have that same tendency, I would probably make sure my kids and other half were safe first though.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  11. #11
    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I seem to have that same tendency, I would probably make sure my kids and other half were safe first though.
    I have made a career out of putting my life in danger for people that I have never met. So I have no problem doing so. But like you say, I have to make sure the wife and kid are OK first and foremost in such a described situation.
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
    n.
    1. Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

  12. #12
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Ones own personal and family well being come first. I am no longer a cop, it is not my job, not my responsibility. If I am in immediate danger and reacting makes more sense then not, they yes. More people need to take responsibility for their own safety, not depend on police or the kindness of strangers.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    He felt that wasn't a responsible thing to do (leaving the store when I could have fought back for the others) and said it was my obligation to at least attempt to stop the shooter.
    I hire people to do that. They are called police officers (unless I am upset with/about them, in which case they are called other things.)

    I carry a gun for SELF defense. I did, when I had a family, extend that out to include them. I do not carry a gun to protect or defend strangers.

    If they do not want to carry a gun for self defense they can either rely on the same folks I have hired to protect the rest of the community, or they can hire folks called personal protection agents (bodyguards).

    If someone tells me/suggests that I have some duty or obligation to do something for someone who is not paying me to do that thing, they will receive a rant that will take them well into next week,, and then I will start in on describing the flaws in their thinking process and ability to reason their way out of wet tisue paper.

    All that being said, IF I am in the right position and IF I can do so in safety to myself and innocent third parties and IF I am so inclined, I might consider trying to take out the BG shooter. But only because I chose to do so - not because someone says I have a duty or obligation.

    stay safe.
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    I am not going to go looking for trouble. If it finds me, I will deal with it. However, if I can get me and mine to safety, that is priority.

    There is a lot more than physical danger involved in moving toward the trouble. There is legal danger. My advice: Do not move towards the trouble. Folks who are then left in trouble, with no recourse to protect themselves, have made that choice. I believe in Liberty. We all have the freedom to rely on others (who may exercise the freedom not to be relied upon) to save us. Personally, I think anyone who makes that choice is a fool and is not worth risking my life or Liberty for unless I am protecting me or mine in the process.
    Last edited by eye95; 01-20-2013 at 09:25 PM.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    My Sweet Baboo and I, both, have a tendency to run to gunfire, run into a burning building or reach for those who are falling. Jus sayin.......thats us.

    We are both retired Military, both VFW members, may have something to do with it. Take cover, Get the weak to safety, end the threat.
    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I seem to have that same tendency, I would probably make sure my kids and other half were safe first though.
    We shall have to discuss this in person if you're willing. While I disagree with you logically I do agree emotionally. I understand the need and want to help people emotionally. Logically I stand firm on the, if they don't want to save themselves, then why should I risk my life to do it for them?

    If I loose a gun battle then that's that. But, if I win I might still lose legally and/or publicly.

    There are 'gun fights' that I am more than happy to fight. A shooter in a store/mall/etc would cause me to pause and think if my life was not in danger. If I was standing the 15' away and someone started shooting, damned straight I will end it. If they are on the other end of the store/mall/... then I would respect any anti-gun policy and not use mine to save others.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I am not going to go looking for trouble. If it finds me, I will deal with it. However, if I can get me and mine to safety, that is priority.

    There is a lot more than physical danger involved in moving toward the trouble. There is legal danger. My advice: Do not move towards the trouble. Folks who are then left in trouble, with no recourse to protect themselves, have made that choice. I believe in Liberty. We all have the freedom to rely on others (who may exercise the freedom not to be relied upon) to save us. Personally, I think anyone who makes that choice is a fool and is not worth risking my life or Liberty for unless I am protecting me or mine in the process.
    Wow, we agreed on something else.

    I need to double check my inter-dimensional charts and make sure I didn't skip dimensions.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Re: Any shame in running away???

    You only have an obligation to those you have promised to protect, no one else. Carrying a gun isn't a promise to anyone except maybe potential attackers that you will use any means necessary to defend yourself in an attack.

    There's no shame is doing precisely what you carry that gun to do, protect yourself and/or your family.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    My natural reaction would be to stop the shooter - but then I would hope that I would remember, "hey, all of these unarmed people made the conscious decision to leave the house unarmed in 2013." It's kind of like this friend I had in high school, she would always ask to wear my jacket in the winter. At first my brain tells me, "hey, a girl! let her wear your jacket" but then I'd have to stop and say no. You knew it was January and you still left the house without a jacket? Not my problem. (btw I know this was some form of flirting, but I'm not impressed with stupidity)
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
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    As was told to me (us?) during our carry course (by the attorney), you, as a normal LAC (who happens to be legally carrying a firearm) have NO duty to anyone. Period. You have the ability and are protected if you so choose to step into the shoes of the person facing the active shooter, but not the DUTY. As has been said, my only "duty" is to protect me wife and children (and, by extension, any other person that is with us, such as friends and other family that we arrived with), be that by simply getting them out of the area or firing at the shooter, then to myself. That's it. I have no duty to protect or "save" any third party. I would like to step away from what others have said on one point though. If I am alone, and the shooter is on the other side of the store, and an exit is on my side, and I feel I can get to it safely, I also have the duty, to my wife and kids, to make it home from the store, not go looking for the bad guy. I'm ot saying that others have to see it my way. I am simply saying that the above is MY take on it.

    <more stuff here that I couldn't quite get to sound right, so I took it out.>

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    I've simulated a similar situation in my mind.

    Let's say I'm seated in a restaurant; and the cash register is 40 feet away from me. One or two guys armed with shotguns come in to rob the place. If they stay over there and leave me alone, I leave them alone (I'll have my gun drawn and pointed at the ground, ready to use if needed, though; I believe this condition is referred to as "low ready"). If they start waving the gun in my direction or come toward me or someone I care about (which would qualify as posing an immediate threat to me or someone I care about), I start shooting.

    Now, as to your situation. If the shooter was close by, I would attempt to return fire. If not (as you describe), it would depend on whether or not other people were with me. If I had people with me, I would probably just get them and myself to safety. If I were by myself, I MIGHT consider finding some cover, surveying the situation, and if reasonably safe for me to do so, attempt to act. I wouldn't be doing this out of any sense of "duty", however. It would be because I personally believe in the principle of "doing unto others as I would have them do unto me." Also, this may sound cold and callous. But, if I have not seen the shooter yet, I would probably wait until I personally witness the shooter shoot an unarmed person or point the gun at me. I would do this to ensure that I don't shoot a cop or fellow carrier.
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by self preservation View Post
    I got into a debate with a co-worker the other day about engaging an active shooter. My comment was that if my family and I were on one side of Wal-Mart and a shooter came in on the other side of the store, my priority would be getting my family out of the store, to the car and getting the hell out of the area as fast as we could. He felt that wasn't a responsible thing to do (leaving the store when I could have fought back for the others) and said it was my obligation to at least attempt to stop the shooter. I explained to him that if the threat was in my face I without a doubt would shoot back.

    Or if I were by myself I may attempt to advance to the other side of the store to attempt to stop the shooter. But my priority about protecting life is "we"(my family) "me"(of course meaning myself) then "them"(others), and in that exact order. What are your thoughts?

    self preservation, my wife and I had this discussion on Saturday while in the mall watching all the trouble making teens. We watched 3 groups of about 10-15 being escorted out of the building by security with most of them making sure to draw attention from other patrons. She even took notice of what looked like a couple of gang members in the mall.

    There is absolutely no shame in running away from an active shooter. My defensive option is there to protect my family and me. If I have the ability to guide others to a nearby exit then by all means I'm doing just that. I have ZERO obligation to stop a shooter, however if I find myself face-to-face that perceived obligation now becomes relevant as survival (self preservation as it were). We do what we must and each situation is different.

    When one makes the effort to go across a store to address gunfire then others in the store that might be carrying, off duty LEOs, or uniformed LEOs may not know if you are actually party to the crime. That is what we want to avoid at all costs. I look at it this way. If I help get several out of the store then that's several fewer targets the shooter will have. If someone wants to call that irresponsible then my mind will continue to be at ease because I managed to keep those people alive and out of harm's way....and I'm alive to tell the tale.

  22. #22
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAp9sFVdERQ

    Always my first choice. It sucks to have to be forced to go with my only other choice.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

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  23. #23
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I think it's one of those questions you don't know the answer to until you are put in that situation. I wouldn't say there is any shame in "running away" from a madman with a rifle, call it a tactical retreat. I figured long ago that if I were at the time and place to do some good and prevent other people from being killed, even if I was in harm's way myself, I'd do what it took to save lives. But if I could get people out of harm's way and save lives that way, while covering the public's retreat, there is no shame in doing so either. A person with body armor and a rifle is going to be more than a match for the average daily carrier with a pistol. In the end, it's up to every person to decide what they will do. And obviously, someone with a family to worry about should take care of them first and foremost.

  24. #24
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Your first responsibility is the safety of your loved ones. That is your true responsibility, and that is why you have chosen to carry a weapon to defend them with. So the first thing is to make sure they get out of harms way, even if it means you need to create a diversion so they have that opportuniity.

    BUT, you also have a responsibility to your fellow human. It is not as high a level of responsibility as you have to your loved ones, but it does exist, and when you are sure that your loved ones are safely out of immeadiate danger, you should analyze the situation to see if there is a way to neutralize the danger to everyone, without putting yourself in undue danger. You do no-one any good bleeding out on the floor.

    No theatrics, just common sense...no frontal charge into a full auto with a darringer. Another thing, if the person is activelty shooting, he is not going to listen to "drop it or I'll shoot" unless you are in a hidden and very defensible position. If you have a fairly high percentage shot, take it, always being mindful what is behind the shooter.

    The Clackamus Mall shooter committed suicide as soon as he was challanged, even if the person that challenged him was hidden and had not shot because of the people that were behind the shooter. If you can make a difference, you need to do so, or you will be kicking yourself for the rest of your life.

    You can never guess what an active shooter is thinking, but you can be sure he does not want to be challenged, or shot by someone else. That is not in his plan. He is counting on fear and panic to allow him to do maximum damage to his intended targets, with the minimum risk to himself. (at least until he has done what he came to do)

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