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Thread: What would you do?

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    Regular Member Springfield45's Avatar
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    My curiosity got the best of me last night after a rather odd dream I had ... It led me to wonder what someone else would do in this situation. Here goes....

    You're carrying your everyday carry weapon.. OC or CC you choose.

    Setting the scene;

    It's late ... maybe 0100 ... you're coming home from work after a late night oddball shift... about halfway home, you realize that maybe you shouldn't have had that cup of "stay awake for the ride home" coffee. You gotta piss ... NOW. So, you pull into the first 24hr station you come across. You enter the store, greet the clerk, and go right to the head. While doing your business, you overhear some shouting out in the store.

    You exit the restroom quietly, and do a quick anyalasis of the situation.

    You find, about 20 feet from you, The clerk, a young woman, at your 10 o'clock, facing you, at your 12 o'clock, with his back to you a shitbag, of about the same age,
    holding a bowie knife, (I mean a croco-dundee bowie). He is still unaware of your presence. You have heard him shout "hurry up or I'm going to kill you" multiple times now. As the clerk nervously fumbles to open the drawer, he (the shitbag) is only getting less patient, and more hostile.

    What do you do?

    A) You draw your weapon and fire, shooting him in the back, until the threat is neutralized. (consider the legal rammifications for this)

    B) You draw your weapon and issue a verbal command for him to desist. (Hoping he realizes a kinfe @ a gunfight isn't in his favor.)

    C) You do nothing, The shitbag still hasn't noticed your presence, and you are in no immediate danger. Take cover, and ride it out until he leaves. Hoping for the best.

    D) OTHER


    Personally, I chose option A ... Forget the possible lawsuits and legal rammifications that might follow, an innocent life is at risk here, he doesn't know you're there, you've got ample time to make an accurate shot (considering the circumstance) If my carrygun leaves it's holster, it's going back in smoking ~ shoot the scumbucket in the back and save an innocent life ... Please tell me if you feel I'm wayy out of line on this ....

    ~~Springfield




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    I tthink that I would take B with something like a loud "drop the weapon". At that point, my actions would depend on his....non-compliance would get him shot.



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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Springfield45 wrote:
    B) You draw your weapon and issue a verbal command for him to desist. (Hoping he realizes a kinfe @ a gunfight isn't in his favor.)
    Just because I have the power to take a life doesn't mean I desire to.

    So do you feel that any violent crime should be immediately punished by death?
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    A dream scenario is a pretty weak topic for an hypothetical.

    Defense of an innocent third party is probably covered in your state's law. The common law principles are the same as self-defense; be innocent of instigation, be in reasonable fear of harm, attempt to withdraw, use sufficient force only to deliver from evil.

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    Thankfully I'm still young enough that I never "gotta piss ... NOW"

    That said I would probably choose B: I never want to find myself in the situation where I am forced to shoot someone, shooting someone in the back would be hard to defend legally, but I could never forgive myself if I hid and the clerk got hurt or killed.

    Assuming I am in NH I would be covered by RSA 627:4 II (a) ("A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person when he reasonably believes that such other person: (a) Is about to use unlawful, deadly force against the actor or a third person;").

    I would order the guy to drop the weapon, if he dropped it or ran for the door I would do nothing, if he moved towards me or the clerk I would have to shoot and deal with the inevitable conseqences (lawsuit from the grieving mother who is sure "Johnny was such a good boy and would never have done anything like that").



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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    I'd have to go with B, while A is 'all well and good', any time you don't have to fire is a good time, if the suspect surrenders willingly, then it's a good scenario. If the suspect did anything BUT put the knife down and lay on the floor, he'd be shot. Not that I wouldn't mind one less moron running around, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
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    B. He gets one warning. Just one. If I have to say it twice, it's because he's already made a decision to confront me, and I don't fight fair, sorry.

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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    Personally, I chose option A ... Forget the possible lawsuits and legal rammifications that might follow, an innocent life is at risk here, he doesn't know you're there, you've got ample time to make an accurate shot (considering the circumstance) If my carrygun leaves it's holster, it's going back in smoking ~ shoot the scumbucket in the back and save an innocent life ... Please tell me if you feel I'm wayy out of line on this ....

    ~~Springfield


    Given the situation you present, I must use Commonwealth of Virginia laws as guideline as it would be (for me) where this incident would take place.



    IfI went with option A and shot him in the back; I’d be arrested and charged with manslaughter or 2nd degree homicide. Under VA laws, you must be in fear of imminent grievous bodily injury and/or death to employ deadly force. As I’m in the doorway of a lockable room, as the knife wielding man has not noticed me, and as I have not been engaged. . .neither of the two prerequisites have been met.

    If I went with option B and issued a verbal order to drop the knife and get on the floor, I would be protected under Virginia law. The law does allow for you to introduce a firearm to stop and control a situation in which a 3rd party is under threat of imminent grievous bodily injury and/or death. However, if said badguy then proceeds to advance upon me. . .I still would be on questionable grounds were I to shoot as there is a lockable room behind me I could retreat to and secure to protect my life. Unfortunately Virginia does not have a castle doctrine nor a stand your ground type exemption.

    If I went with option C and stayed out of the activity, I would be sure to observe the badguy, getting his description and mentally recording what was happening while I took out my cellphone and dialed 911. *IF* however he commenced to attack the woman behind the counter, other patrons or myself, I would switch to option B.

    Shooting a person in the back under some macho rambo fantasy is going to get you into a world of hurt. I suggest you read the applicable laws for your state/commonwealth and make sure you know when the law is. . .and is not on your side during such situations. The last thing you want is to have your life ruined over what was a good intention, and the last thing WE want, is to have that incident turned into another talking point for the antis to use against us.
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    So now to proceed with the hypothetical...first call out to the BG to distract him from his innocent victim. He turns and presents his weapon to the actor.

    The actor is still innocent of instigation. He may or may not be 'in fear', 'withdrawal' is not in the interest of the innocent third party, and 'deadly force' has not yet been put in play.

    It's the BG's move...

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    So now to proceed with the hypothetical...first call out to the BG to distract him from his innocent victim. He turns and presents his weapon to the actor.

    The actor is still innocent of instigation. He may or may not be 'in fear', 'withdrawal' is not in the interest of the innocent third party, and 'deadly force' has not yet been put in play.

    It's the BG's move...
    That's rediculous. It's not the BG's move. You have him at gunpoint and he has a choice to surrender or die, I hardly see that as a "move". If you see it as the BG's move, then you are suggesting that you will ask him to stop a second time. Them's bad tactics. You give him the option to surrender once, or you keep your mouth shut and hope he doesn't notice you.

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    Campaign Veteran Freeflight's Avatar
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    In this instance, Option B.

    If the guy has a GUN.. then what... I think I would draw, get sight pic. Safety off and then give the order to drop the weapon, get on the floor. His willingness to comply will save his life.unless one of the OR's below are true.

    OR #1 change the scenario a bit--BG has a GUN, said scumbag is high off his gourd.. or has finger on the trigger, or has accomplice who is armed...will get him just shot.

    or #2 BGgun held on the clerk, with his finger in the trigger guard, high off his gourdand me having a clean sight...will get him shot.

    or #3 BGgun held on the clerk, with a finger NOT in the trigger, high off his gourdand meNOT having aclean sight (IE Clerk in very close proximity)...Back to OPT B

    OR #4 back to a RBK (Really BIG knife)...my weapon will be drawn, and SP acquired, scan for accomplices, give the orders. If Charges me, shoot... if the BGcharges the clerk, shoot...if he charges another customer, shoot, If he FLEES the store and makes it out the front door...now the cops problem.

    I suppose I could go on like this all day... so many variables.... so little time...











    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

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    Regular Member Springfield45's Avatar
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    Freeflight wrote:
    In this instance, Option B.

    If the guy has a GUN.. then what... I think I would draw, get sight pic. Safety off and then give the order to drop the weapon, get on the floor. His willingness to comply will save his life.unless one of the OR's below are true.

    OR #1 change the scenario a bit--BG has a GUN, said scumbag is high off his gourd.. or has finger on the trigger, or has accomplice who is armed...will get him just shot.

    or #2 BGgun held on the clerk, with his finger in the trigger guard, high off his gourdand me having a clean sight...will get him shot.

    or #3 BGgun held on the clerk, with a finger NOT in the trigger, high off his gourdand meNOT having aclean sight (IE Clerk in very close proximity)...Back to OPT B

    OR #4 back to a RBK (Really BIG knife)...my weapon will be drawn, and SP acquired, scan for accomplices, give the orders. If Charges me, shoot... if the BGcharges the clerk, shoot...if he charges another customer, shoot, If he FLEES the store and makes it out the front door...now the cops problem.

    I suppose I could go on like this all day... so many variables.... so little time...










    This is the fact I was considering .. Though, none of us here actually want to be in the posisiton to have to use our weapon, I was thinking along the lines of what would happpen if, say you yell, and he seriously injures the clerk instead of following your commands ... I do agree that I would sooner have him piss his pants and leave the store, without a shot being fired.

    ~~Springfield

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    BGs may be dumb, but I don't think they are stupid. I pick B and go from there.

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    Campaign Veteran Freeflight's Avatar
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    never NEVER NEVER make the mistake of under-estimating your enemy.




    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

    Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939

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    expvideo wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    So now to proceed with the hypothetical...first call out to the BG to distract him from his innocent victim. He turns and presents his weapon to the actor.

    The actor is still innocent of instigation. He may or may not be 'in fear', 'withdrawal' is not in the interest of the innocent third party, and 'deadly force' has not yet been put in play.

    It's the BG's move...
    That's rediculous. It's not the BG's move. You have him at gunpoint and he has a choice to surrender or die, I hardly see that as a "move".
    I have not drawn. Read. I have called out to a distant man with a knife.

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    Regular Member Springfield45's Avatar
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    Freeflight wrote:
    never NEVER NEVER make the mistake of under-estimating your enemy.



    ++1

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    Springfield45 wrote:
    SNIP What do you do?
    My answer:

    Take cover and prepare to defend theclerk if Mr. Big Knife getsphysical.

    Rationale, in no particular order,

    • I'm not going to try to "catch" a criminal.
    • He may well just leave with the money.
    • Shooting somebody opens the door to huge potential legal liabilities.
    • Somebody on drugs may decide to fight--see Massad Ayoob's files on people who took multiple hits and kept coming.
    • Bad Guy can turn and react faster than you can shoot. Action beats reaction. By announcing yourself, you are now literally waiting for his reaction. What if he sidesteps or jumps the counter at your announcement. Are you going to shoot him when he naturally whirls at the sound of your voice? No. Now your're waiting again to see what he is going to do after he whirls.
    • What if he has a partner you didn't notice.
    • It just doesn't make sense to me to set in motion a whole number of unpredictablefactors when I can let theexisting non-violent encounter continue.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    B.

    I would expect immediate compliance. Without it, he gets shot. Honestly, because of my stature and age, I doubt I would get it. Seeing me with a gun probably wouldn't be that threatening as I'm not a big guy by any means.I wouldn't shoot him in the back though. He is already within the suggested 21 foot radius though, so when he turns around, if he takes ONE STEP toward me, he goes down.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    So now to proceed with the hypothetical...first call out to the BG to distract him from his innocent victim. He turns and presents his weapon to the actor.

    The actor is still innocent of instigation. He may or may not be 'in fear', 'withdrawal' is not in the interest of the innocent third party, and 'deadly force' has not yet been put in play.

    It's the BG's move...
    That's rediculous. It's not the BG's move. You have him at gunpoint and he has a choice to surrender or die, I hardly see that as a "move".
    I have not drawn. Read. I have called out to a distant man with a knife.
    Then it looks like I have misunderstood you. I appologize.




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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    So now to proceed with the hypothetical...first call out to the BG to distract him from his innocent victim. He turns and presents his weapon to the actor.

    The actor is still innocent of instigation. He may or may not be 'in fear', 'withdrawal' is not in the interest of the innocent third party, and 'deadly force' has not yet been put in play.

    It's the BG's move...
    That's rediculous. It's not the BG's move. You have him at gunpoint and he has a choice to surrender or die, I hardly see that as a "move".
    I have not drawn. Read. I have called out to a distant man with a knife.
    Why have you provoked an armed man with a holstered gun? If he were to turn and immediately run to you, would you have time to draw and shoot him to the ground? Just a thought. Obviously you trust your abilities far more than I trust my own.

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    The dream-hypothetical - waay up at the OP top of this thread- is of a robber armed with a knife threatening a clerk. The actor is defending an innocent third party and trying to keep it legal.

    My actor has entered the room, evaluated the situation, kept his gun holstered and called out to the BadGuy. It's the BadGuy's move...

    My actor's intentions are: if the BG flees then the scenario is over; if the BG turns and presents his weapon then actor draws, if the BG ignores the call and continues to threaten the innocent then call again and announce "gun!"

    Come on, if we're gonna play hypotheticals, great thinking tools, then lets keep it on track and impersonal.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    The dream-hypothetical - waay up at the OP top of this thread- is of a robber armed with a knife threatening a clerk. The actor is defending an innocent third party and trying to keep it legal.

    My actor has entered the room, evaluated the situation, kept his gun holstered and called out to the BadGuy. It's the BadGuy's move...

    My actor's intentions are: if the BG flees then the scenario is over; if the BG turns and presents his weapon then actor draws, if the BG ignores the call and continues to threaten the innocent then call again and announce "gun!"

    Come on, if we're gonna play hypotheticals, great thinking tools, then lets keep it on track and impersonal.
    I see where you are coming from, as far as trying to stay legal, but I don't think that it is a very good idea. It is never wise to under-estimate your opponent. He may be faster with that knife than you expected. He may even be an expert knife-thrower. Your gun may FTF at the wrong moment, and because you gave him that moment to start coming at you, you no longer have time to tap and rack.

    However, where I do agree with you is if you are not sure of what you are seeing. If it is not clear to you that the guy has a knife, or that it is a robbery, calling out to the cashier or the robber before drawing may be a good move. If you have misunderstood the situation, pointing a gun at somebody may get you in trouble. I'd advise making sure that you have good cover if you don't know what is in the guy's hand though, because it may not just be a knife.

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    Beau wrote:
    Springfield45 wrote:
    B) You draw your weapon and issue a verbal command for him to desist. (Hoping he realizes a kinfe @ a gunfight isn't in his favor.)
    Just because I have the power to take a life doesn't mean I desire to.

    So do you feel that any violent crime should be immediately punished by death?
    Yeah... that clerk's life isn't worth much, anyways.

    Just watch her throat get slit, and be happy that you didn't have to do anything. I'm sure you won't mind if someone else had the same mentality as you while watching your daughter being robbed at knife-point...

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    expvideo wrote:
    I see where you are coming from, as far as trying to stay legal, but I don't think that it is a very good idea. It is never wise to under-estimate your opponent. He may be faster with that knife than you expected. He may even be an expert knife-thrower. Your gun may FTF at the wrong moment, and because you gave him that moment to start coming at you, you no longer have time to tap and rack.

    However, where I do agree with you is if you are not sure of what you are seeing. If it is not clear to you that the guy has a knife, or that it is a robbery, calling out to the cashier or the robber before drawing may be a good move. If you have misunderstood the situation, pointing a gun at somebody may get you in trouble. I'd advise making sure that you have good cover if you don't know what is in the guy's hand though, because it may not just be a knife.
    Well, he can't throw his knife yet since he hasn't turned and the posture to throw is not the same as the position to threaten.

    Neither my carry gun or house gun has FTF in my lifetime. I will bet my life that either will fire when the trigger is pulled.

    The road to hell is paved with 'what-ifs' - for him as well as me and thee. Pay your money, make your choice, take your chance. I have a lifetime of good decisions to depend upon and I am expert-ish with low number probabilities.

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    Beau wrote:
    So do you feel that any violent crime should be immediately punished by death?
    I do.

    ETA: I guess I'll pipe in on the OP...

    Take the shot. Most of us here know that even a heart shot doesn't always instantly drop your target. One training course I took said the average person can function normally for about 8 seconds with a .45" hole in their heart, if they're not instantly overcome by shock. I bet the guy could get a lot of stabbing done in 8 seconds. Maybe enough to kill you or the clerk.

    I don't think there will be any legal ramifications for shooting the guy in the back. Even here in CA you have the right to defend youself and others from immediate, grave danger. Is there a state where this isn't the case? (I really want to know so I can avoid such a place.)
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