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Thread: "Responsibility" to Intervene in Active Shooter Situation?

  1. #1
    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    "Responsibility" to Intervene in Active Shooter Situation?

    In recent weeks, I have thought somewhat about the concept of a "sheepdog" that we who carry are sometimes called ... the entity with the capacity to scare predators away from the mass of sheep. Some think that if we have the training, we have a "responsibility" to intervene on behalf of others if they come under fire from a violent individual in order to save lives.

    In the recent past, I would have given more thought to possibly intervening in such a situation provided I could do so without making things worse; proximity to other innocents, field of fire, and I'm certain that such intervention will stop the threat (no additional shooters or other variables I discern in the heat of the moment). I had this frame of mind because of simple empathy. People are in danger and in fear for their lives, shouldn't I stop the threat if I have the capacity to? Could I live with not responding and seeing other innocents killed by my inaction?

    I realized I was running on sentiment and not logic. Empathy is all well and good until you run into a situation you don't understand or have the skills to resolve and wind up dead - didn't see another shooter, running into responding LEOs, hurting an innocent, etc. I also realized my priority is simply getting home safe and sound - not to mention those at home that depend on me and need me home at the end of the day. I am confident in my ability to respond to a threat that is directed AT me or my immediate vicinity since those are the scenarios I typically think of or train for. Such situations involve simple variables that are easy (relatively) to evaluate and respond to: (Threat pulling or using a weapon + moving in my direction + nothing in my line of fire = stop the threat.) If I am in a convenience or grocery store and I hear shots nearby, my first action is to get to cover and wait for more info. If I am in a larger public area (park, mall, or lots of people around) my instinct is to withdraw assuming I don't come under fire. Unless the threat is directed directly at me (or a loved one) or in my immediate vicinity, I simply see no reason or responsibility to respond. In summary:

    1) I control what I know I have the capacity to control by responding to a direct threat only
    2) I limit my liability in intervening on others behalf (legally)
    3) I am more likely to accomplish what I intend to accomplish - get home to my family safely
    4) It is not my problem that the sheep won't take responsibility for themselves

    I carry a firearm to protect me and mine, not to be a hero, and not out of some duty to the rest of mankind - if I happen to be a target then you may reap the benefit from my actions. Otherwise, while the potential loss of life from my inaction is tragic, it is simply not my responsibility. The police aren't there to protect you ... neither am I.
    Last edited by acmariner99; 08-27-2015 at 02:23 PM.

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    You could be saving a new Hitler's mother, father, or grandparent.... or worse yet, an Obummer supporter

    <7 ... sorry for breach of interweb etiquette

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    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    My active shooter plan is simple.

    Assess the situation - where is the shooting coming from
    Go the the other way.
    Escape and evade.

    we had this staff meeting last month were corporate security had a little talk about workplace violence and what to do in a active shooter situation. The usual run, hide, fight.

    I only asked two questions during the presentation (of which I already knew the answer).

    What was the average response time of PD to the area, they didn't know. Priority 1 calls were 7 minutes 33 seconds.
    Where were the rooms with solid core doors in the building not surrounded with glass? suitable to ensconce yourself in? There are two of them. The section leaders door near the front entrance and the door to the security office again at the front of the building.

    Afterwards a couple of folks that I work with that knew some of my background (military and police) asked I what I was going to do if something happened, the seemed shocked by my answer which was "chair through the window and run the other way"

    Sorry but that's the way I feel, you need to depend on yourself and take care of yourself.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

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    It's called self defense for a reason. If someone else gets saved, that's just a coincidence.

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    My biggest fear would be LEO thinking I was the bad guy, which could end badly for me.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blahpony View Post
    It's called self defense for a reason. If someone else gets saved, that's just a coincidence.
    Bravo. Saved me from my copyrighted and patented rant #28,739 V.2.5

    This notion has been discussed and kicked around several times. It warms the remaining cockle of my cold, dead, unfeeling heart when another sees the light. Sort of like seeing a new shooter after the second pull of the trigger.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    I can see the report now.

    "Bad guy with a gun could have been stopped by a good guy with the gun, but good guy went home instead"
    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)

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Wowwie!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I can see the report now.

    "Bad guy with a gun could have been stopped by a good guy with the gun, but good guy went home instead"

    My reply to the Other thread about this Murder!!! What would you do???


    Im sorry,,, but I just cant help myself..

    This thread is full of Spys,, A bunch of whiny Bi**hes!!!

    I wouldnt do anything,, cause I wouldnt be in a GFZ...
    I wouldnt do anything,, cause he didnt point the gun at me...
    I wouldnt do anything,, cause I fear getting in trouble for shooting my gun..
    I wouldnt do anything,, cause I might miss my shot and injure someone a mile away...
    I wouldnt do anything,, cause I would be running away and hiding from the scary man with a gun..

    Well from vidios Ive seen,, If I was up at that ungodly hour, and I was hanging out at that place,
    and I was standing off to the left side of a reporter and a lady and a camera man,, watching them..
    And some random guy,,, pulls a gun and threatens to shoot those folks....

    I will,,, I would,,, immediately,, Draw,, point shoot.. repeatedly,, until the threat was eliminated!

    Tell me why I am wrong...
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  9. #9
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    1245a, nawllll, you ain't wrong ~ for following your personal perceptions of how to deal with this particular situation as you have changed by elegantly described and played out in such as an ideal containment of the BG while you, you rise to the occasion as the hero of the moment for all of mankind to adore for the remaining time you have left!!!

    where i do take extreme exception is your biased, narrow & short sided, condescending ****** statement about the values everyone else has expressed based on the reality of the situation as, how did you put it....oh right: quote: A bunch of --Mod edited--

    now that is why you are wrong...

    ipse
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 08-28-2015 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Must refrain from making personal remarks/attacks
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    It might be morally wrong to turn your back on innocents being harmed when you have the power to stop the harm. I think regardless, it isn't something where law should require or prohibit one choice or another, and perhaps the right choice is different for different individuals and different circumstances. I'm not going to judge you.
    Advocate freedom please

  11. #11
    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    This is what the DHS says:

    "3) TAKE ACTION

    As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
    Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
    Act with physical aggression and throw- items at the active shooter"

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/a...ocket_card.pdf
    Be active.

  12. #12
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    It might be morally wrong to turn your back on innocents being harmed when you have the power to stop the harm. I think regardless, it isn't something where law should require or prohibit one choice or another, and perhaps the right choice is different for different individuals and different circumstances. I'm not going to judge you.
    +1 Although I do feel we all tend to make judgments.....
    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)

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Just because I wade in when I hear gunfire(or its equivalent) that does not mean I will shoot someone. There are a large number of ways to assist/defuse a situation.
    Now I do like shooting people as much as the next guy, but only when really, really necessary.
    "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

  14. #14
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty-or-Death View Post
    This is what the DHS says:

    "3) TAKE ACTION

    As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
    Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
    Act with physical aggression and throw- items at the active shooter"

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/a...ocket_card.pdf
    hummmm, liberty...seems DHS' guidance doesn't really seem to apply since our lives were not in imminent danger...

    interestingly, DHS' concept of an active shooter:
    An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.

    from news reports this shooting doesn't seem to fit DHS' perception of an active shooting situations which they define as:
    characteristics of an active shooter situation
    Victims are selected at random
    • The event is unpredictable and evolves quickly


    this shooting was premeditated as the shooter knew his victims!

    finally, you left out DHS' key points 1. evacuate & 2. hide out

    otherwise good advice if i am stuck in a GFZ federal building and need to deal with an active shooter situation...

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    Yeah, I left out 1 & 2 because I was focusing on the "Responsibility" aspect of the OP.
    Be active.

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    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    I am not a sheep for I do not mill around with the flock with my attention on fitting in with the flock.

    I am not a wolf for I do not prey on the sheep.

    I am not a sheepdog for I do not have the responsibility or desire to control or protect the sheep... nor do I have any wish to fight the wolf.

    I am a stray dog... I am warily friendly to the sheep and I avoid the wolf as I fend for myself yet I will fiercely fight to protect those I love... from both wolf and sheep.

    My job is to maintain control of my own ability to protect myself and those I care about... and in order to do that I carry a gun. I might come to the aid of an innocent person because my morals and ethics require helping those in danger but carrying a gun does not make it my job to help others... therefor as a private citizen I am not now, never have been, and never will be a "sheepdog".
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    But where and to whom does responsibility lie?

    That's a loaded question and it can be answered differently based on differing circumstances. "First they came for ...." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_... is by no means the cut and dried answer. Each person has their own point where responsibility for self stops and responsibility for others begins. That point cannot be legislated and it cannot be found passed down from on high.

    Let me ask you this: being there and seeing that the only three other people had been shot, what does your shooting the shooter accomplish - other than becoming judge and jury in handing down and carrying out a death sentence?

    Or supposing you had noticed, three seconds into the 23 that passed between when the murderer first appeared and when the first shot was fired. Would be shooting him be the only,or even best, response at that moment? What if yelling out, getting his attention as well as the attention of those three who ended up being shot, would have been sufficient to cause him to turn and run? Remember, as soon as he was eventually confronted he did shoot himself. What's to say he would not have done that when you confront him?

    These are things that I believe should be going on in your head at the moment as well as in discussion boards or courtrooms after the fact. And if you can mostly safely drive to work from home and back again you demonstrate the ability to process vast amounts of known and hypothetical information in a split second and to then select one course of action out of all the possibilities available.

    Sadly, those that see themselves as sheepdogs rather than members of the flock who have learned to kick and bite as well as run tend to have but one answer to the question "What would you do?"

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty-or-Death View Post
    Yeah, I left out 1 & 2 because I was focusing on the "Responsibility" aspect of the OP.
    then IMHO, you did a tremendous disservice to this site's membership, those who would not even toddle over to read your cite to get the full breath of information DHS presented...

    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 08-28-2015 at 08:25 AM.
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  19. #19
    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    Which is why I provided the cite for users to review for themselves.
    Be active.

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    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikenut View Post
    I am not a sheep for I do not mill around with the flock with my attention on fitting in with the flock.

    I am not a wolf for I do not prey on the sheep.

    I am not a sheepdog for I do not have the responsibility or desire to control or protect the sheep... nor do I have any wish to fight the wolf.

    I am a stray dog... I am warily friendly to the sheep and I avoid the wolf as I fend for myself yet I will fiercely fight to protect those I love... from both wolf and sheep.
    +1


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  21. #21
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    Best way to survive a gun fight is to not get into one. If the stars were aligned and I had a perfect safe opportunity to take him out, maybe. But generally, I'm going straight to a door and only shooting threats in my path. There was a Walmart shooter a couple years back who almost got taken down by a CCW holder, only to have the shooter's GF take the CCWer out from behind.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Lord Sega's Avatar
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    This is just me, also all defensive shooting situations are different and have multiple variables.

    In general: 1) If safe to do so, get clear of the area, 2) If not #1, shelter in place and prepare, 3) If not #1 or #2, strong offense in defense of myself or others.

    Within this, my priority is protecting: 1) my kids / family, 2) myself (not so much for me but for the impact of loosing me would have on my kids), and 3) others if possible (again this really depends on the situation and the variables).

    The biggest problem is that the bad guy has already decided what they are doing, in reacting we don't have much (if any) time to analyze the situation fully, which brings us around to running scenarios in our heads, situational awareness, and practice-practice-practice.
    "Guns are not the problem … crazy is the problem” ... “We cannot legislate our society to the craziest amongst us.” - Jon Stewart
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    It would really hard to predict what the response to a situation should be, because each one is different,

    For me having been trained in active shooter response and having trained others in active shooter response.

    I would evaluate the situation and react appropriately now that I am retired that could be any where from leaving, sheltering in place or attacking.

    Or maybe a combination of them all or a couple of them.

    I well defend myself and mine with the what ever force would be reasonable.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    It would really hard to predict what the response to a situation should be, because each one is different,

    For me having been trained in active shooter response and having trained others in active shooter response.

    I would evaluate the situation and react appropriately now that I am retired that could be any where from leaving, sheltering in place or attacking.

    Or maybe a combination of them all or a couple of them.

    I well defend myself and mine with the what ever force would be reasonable.
    +1

    Also every situation is different too, even if they share similarities.
    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)

  25. #25
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    There really is no way to say what one would do unless they were actually in that situation. When GFZ's don't carry the weight of law I still carry if I have a need to go there. Flame me if you will. I am more concerned for my safety than I am for obeying a rule that is not a law. I would like to think that I would have shot this bastard as soon as I knew he was intent on executing innocents. I cannot say for sure if I would have known whether or not it was a prank until after his first shot was fired. Once the first shot was fired I just can't see not doing something. Once you become aware that it is real and not a prank how do you sleep at night just standing by watching people be executed?

    Obviously if you are unarmed and do not have a tactical advantage you may have to watch and do nothing for self preservation.

    There are no easy choices here.


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