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Thread: What would you do if caught in a bank robbery.

  1. #1
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    What would you do if caught in a bank robbery.

    Open carry or not. Scenario is simple..

    You are carrying, and 2 BGs enter the bank..

    Would you try to evade and escape or try to get position and stop the threat?

    This is missing a lot of details, but its a simple scenario. You know where you bank and how its laid out. Set it up and play it out in your head a few times.. What do you think you would be doing?

    This is in the forefront of my mind at the moment, because I understand that yesterday the credit union I bank at was robbed by 2 BGs and both were armed.

    I feel I am pretty firmly planted in the evade/escape mindset given the scenario. There is an area of the bank that if someone had access too it during the robbery I feel someone would have good position and perhaps opportunity (depending) to stop the threat. Given that 2 armed men are threatening other people with guns drawn, would you feel justified in stopping a threat such as this?

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    I assume that no one was hurt. That is typical. The BGs want the money, minimal hassle, and minimal danger to themselves. The cowardly and selfish nature of criminals means that they generally don't want to use their guns for anything more than intimidation.

    Unless something causes me to think that they intend to use their firearms, evasion is best. However, in the most likely scenario, evasion will not be possible. Like all the other customers, I will likely be caught up in the situation. If they have not already noticed my firearm, I will comply with their instructions while keeping my strong side from their view. Until something happens that makes me think that people need defending, I will merely take in as much information as I can so that, should I need to act, I will be fully aware of all threats and where the innocents are.

    If the BGs have noticed my pistol, I suspect that one of two things will happen. Most likely, if things have not gone too far, they will leave. Less likely, they will have the proverbial "drop on me," in which case compliance creates the greatest chance that no one will be shot.

    It's just money, and most bank robbers are caught rather quickly. Unless there is threat to life or limb, I won't try to use my gun.

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    I don't go inside banks. I can't walk more than a few feet before having to sit down and recover. I do what little banking I do (about once a month) is at the drive up window while on one of my mobility scooters.
    If I saw the bank being robbed I would call 911 and position myself to observe, from a safe distance, how they left and what direction they went so I could tell the police. Also I would try to get some pictures.
    Since I was not inside the bank and in danger I would have no legal reason to shoot them.

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    I'm not a cop and the bank has not hired me to protect their money.

    Like everyone else so far I'd be discrete and let the BGs take the bank's money, which is insured anyhow. Only if the BGs start making imminent threats of death or serious bodily injury towards me or other customers would I even consider the possibility of using my handgun - and then it would depend on if I could do so in a way that does not endanger anyone in the bank except the BG(s) making the threat. If I can't get a clean and safe shot I am going to have to either try to move to a position where I can get that shot (unknown if I would be able to move) or I'm going to have to witness someone getting hurt/killed.

    Life sometimes sucks. But I don't walk around in long underwear with a cape with a big red S on it.

    These "what-if" scenarios often seem to be looking for someone to validate the concept that because we walk around armed we ought to/should/could use our handgun(s) whenever we see "X" crime being committed. Like I stated in the beginning, I'm not a cop and nobody hired me to protect them/their property. Therefore I am going to consider using my handgun in self defense/defense of an innocent other in only the most extreme circumstance when there is no other way and it can be done with the least possibility of injuring a bystander.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 04-02-2011 at 01:56 PM. Reason: adding thoughts

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95
    Unless there is threat to life or limb, I won't try to use my gun.
    What would they have to do so you know they are threatening someone with their guns?
    IMHO just by having them in hand, & maybe pointed at people, they're threatening lives.
    (Ask an anti, & they'd say that by simply posessing a gun you're being threatening.) :P

    With one BG, he can't keep an eye on everyone, & if he's pointing a gun at someone he's threatening a life, so I'd try to stop him, shooting if necessary. I've seen video from here in MKE of a single bank robber so intent on the teller that another customer walked up behind & jumped him (even though the robber had a gun). They struggled, nobody was shot, the BG got away. And remember the FL school board meeting - if the gal had a gun instead of a purse, she could have ended the problem right then.

    With 2 BGs, it'd be a lot harder. I'd try to keep out of sight, or at least out of their notice, which in the bank closest to my home would be hard - the tellers are behind thick glass, & doors except to the outside are locked. Leaves everyone in the lobby & the little fishbowl offices very exposed & vulnerable.
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    What would I do if caught in a bank robbery?

    I'm caught in a bank robbery every day--the Federal Reserve. I'm steadily robbed day in and day out by their dilution of the value of my money, caused by their steady printing of more money out of thin air. This is called inflation. As the volume of money increases, the value of pre-existing money goes down.

    By robbed, I do mean robbery. I am constantly exposed to the threat of violence--see the the little note on the government-decree, value-manipulated paper currency: "This Note Is Legal Tender For All Debts, Public and Private."

    It just occurred to me. The word note is a lie. I can no longer redeem them for gold or silver (real money). Formerly, the paper note stood in lieu of the gold or silver money and was redeemable in gold or silver.

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    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    What would they have to do so you know they are threatening someone with their guns?
    IMHO just by having them in hand, & maybe pointed at people, they're threatening lives.
    (Ask an anti, & they'd say that by simply posessing a gun you're being threatening.) :P
    That is partially my thoughts as well. Guns drawn and threatening people to get money.. It is common belief that really, a robber is only interested in getting money and not hurting people, however this is not always the case.

    Then again, my life is important to me. Not that I am more important than anyone else, but in my own eyes.. My loved ones and myself are the most important people I know and if I can keep ourselves out of danger I will. I personally like to see people in the same mindset.

    It is interesting to see peoples thoughts on this. As really. A gun drawn by a BG to even intimidate is a threat to life and/or limb. I am sure there are those who feel they should do something if they can and are able too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    SNIP I feel I am pretty firmly planted in the evade/escape mindset given the scenario. There is an area of the bank that if someone had access too it during the robbery I feel someone would have good position and perhaps opportunity (depending) to stop the threat. Given that 2 armed men are threatening other people with guns drawn, would you feel justified in stopping a threat such as this?
    Myself? Well, to answer your precise question, yes, I would feel both anyone else and myself justified. I say this because I do not want the law second guessing legitimate defenders' actions more than already possible.

    However, would I act to stop the threat? Probably not. I say probably because any given robbery develops in its own way. I think I would evaluate things as they progress.

    My thinking has evolved over time as I have learned more. Currently, I would give the robbers the chance to get their money and leave. I have no interest in starting a gun fight in an occupied room. If the robbers get their stuff and leave, fine.

    Just to give a example of where I might start shooting, lets say a robber hits a convenience store while I'm inside. If I can be unobserved, I might get low, draw to low-ready and wait. If the robber gets the money and leaves, fine, nobody hurt. Lets say that while I'm waiting, the robber shoots the first clerk. Now, he's maybe eliminating witnesses. Clearly it is murder vs robbery. I need to prevent him shooting the other clerk, shooting again the first clerk (who might survive the first shot), and maybe looking around for other witnesses (me) to kill. If a situation developed along these lines, I would probably apply lethal force to the robber.

    An important distinction here is that the person being robbed/being threatened is not the person with the defensive gun. The bank tellers and the convenience store clerks are directly threatened. I would support their immediate use of defensive lethal force.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claytron View Post
    if he was enough of a threat to pull your gun out then he should be enough of a threat to use force against. Even in your own scenario that you came up with, you drawing your firearm but not using it lead to a life not being saved..... why pull it out if you arent going to use it?
    (sigh)

    I would pull it for the same reason the police go to low-ready. If it needs to be used, it can be used faster than starting with it in the holster. Let us avoid applying too broadly a maxim that seems meant to dissuade people from brandishing.

    Lets go a little earlier. When you say my not using my gun lead to a life being saved, you are essentially claiming a certainty after the fact that cannot be known before the fact.

    Until the robber shoots the convenience store clerk, I cannot know he will shoot the clerk. He might take the money and leave. It happens. BUT! there is something else I cannot know. I cannot know whether my shot will trigger him to shoot the clerk, others, or myself. What happens if mine not a one-shot stop? What if the robber is on drugs? What if I don't have a great firing angle? What about the old adage: "If you have a great sight picture and a great stance, you are not using cover properly"?

    Even headshots are not guaranteed to prevent the bad guy from reflexively pulling the trigger. Read how the body of an enemy sniper reacted to being shot in the head by Carlos Hathcock in Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills.

    Too many uncertainties for me. I could initiate a sequence that results in a gravely injured or dead clerk where the clerk might have survive uninjured. I have no moral authority to make a decision that threatens the life of the clerk on behalf of the clerk.
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-02-2011 at 05:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    Open carry or not. Scenario is simple..

    You are carrying, and 2 BGs enter the bank..

    Would you try to evade and escape or try to get position and stop the threat?

    This is missing a lot of details, but its a simple scenario. You know where you bank and how its laid out. Set it up and play it out in your head a few times.. What do you think you would be doing?

    This is in the forefront of my mind at the moment, because I understand that yesterday the credit union I bank at was robbed by 2 BGs and both were armed.

    I feel I am pretty firmly planted in the evade/escape mindset given the scenario. There is an area of the bank that if someone had access too it during the robbery I feel someone would have good position and perhaps opportunity (depending) to stop the threat. Given that 2 armed men are threatening other people with guns drawn, would you feel justified in stopping a threat such as this?
    IN my state of Residence, I would be 100% JUSTIFIED in taking action with whatever force was neccessary up to and including Lethal force for this FELONY with a BG or 2 threatening others with a firearm.

    Now, 100% JUSTIFIED does not mean that I have to do it. I will have to be in the situation to make the final decision to ACT, but know this.... LETHAL force IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION, Nor is withdrawing from the situation if able.

    True story, I was IN my bank talking with the Manager getting my CCP renewal application Notarized while OPEN CARRYING and I told him... I open carry. IF some dirt-bag comes in intent upon robbing your bank and sees me with my firearm AND LEAVES, Three good things have happened. First, the BG didn't commit the bank robbery, Second, YOU didn't get robbed. And Third, I didn't have to make the decision about whether to shoot the Bastard or not.!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    What would they have to do so you know they are threatening someone with their guns?
    IMHO just by having them in hand, & maybe pointed at people, they're threatening lives...
    Considering that, in the overwhelming majority of armed bank robberies, the BG does not shoot, they'd have to do something to convince me that my opening fire won't increase the probability that innocents will be injured or killed.

    This ain't TV. Bank robbers hardly ever shoot. Why on Earth would anyone want to motivate them to shoot?? It's only money.

    The loss of stolen money can be fixed. You can't fix dead.

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    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
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    Although your scenario may seem simple i feel its complexity is almost overwhelming. If 2 bgs walked into the bank guns drawn then they dont really fit your typical bank robber IMO. Their actions IMO show no reserve, and thus pose an immenant threat. Most bank robberies I have ever heard/read about the BGs walk up to the teller and then draw. In this case I would most likely be at their aft and the confrontation would be over quite soon.

    However if they stormed in and I was OC then I suspect unless they are caught up in the moment I would be the most likely to be shot right off the get go. Leaving witnesses is one thing, trusting that an armed witness will let you go without confrontation is stupid at best. I would also like to add it would be important to me to observe them for atleast a moment, to survey whether or not I believe they pose significant threat(thus requiring my intervention). Like others here if I think they will just get their money and go I would like to think I would let them(since 2v1 in an enclosed room full of innocent is not a good place for a gunfight).
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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    Open carry or not. Scenario is simple..

    You are carrying, and 2 BGs enter the bank..

    Would you try to evade and escape or try to get position and stop the threat?

    This is missing a lot of details, but its a simple scenario. You know where you bank and how its laid out. Set it up and play it out in your head a few times.. What do you think you would be doing?

    This is in the forefront of my mind at the moment, because I understand that yesterday the credit union I bank at was robbed by 2 BGs and both were armed.

    I feel I am pretty firmly planted in the evade/escape mindset given the scenario. There is an area of the bank that if someone had access too it during the robbery I feel someone would have good position and perhaps opportunity (depending) to stop the threat. Given that 2 armed men are threatening other people with guns drawn, would you feel justified in stopping a threat such as this?
    I would EXPOSE my OC BADGE and show them criminals who is boss. By HECK no one is doing a felony when I am around. That there is my money in that bank and no you cannot have it. NO one will get hurt, I will shoot them in the madula and have a "NO REFLEX" drop.

    The bad guys will be so stunned at the luster of my highly polished vigalate badge that they wont see my left had getting my Kimber out of my holster and finishing the job god sent me to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flicker View Post
    I would EXPOSE my OC BADGE and show them criminals who is boss. By HECK no one is doing a felony when I am around. That there is my money in that bank and no you cannot have it. NO one will get hurt, I will shoot them in the madula and have a "NO REFLEX" drop.

    The bad guys will be so stunned at the luster of my highly polished vigalate badge that they wont see my left had getting my Kimber out of my holster and finishing the job god sent me to do.


    Just be sure to practice your draw sufficiently. Can't have your gun hanging up in your cape, Crusader.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I assume that no one was hurt. That is typical. The BGs want the money, minimal hassle, and minimal danger to themselves. The cowardly and selfish nature of criminals means that they generally don't want to use their guns for anything more than intimidation.

    Unless something causes me to think that they intend to use their firearms, evasion is best. However, in the most likely scenario, evasion will not be possible. Like all the other customers, I will likely be caught up in the situation. If they have not already noticed my firearm, I will comply with their instructions while keeping my strong side from their view. Until something happens that makes me think that people need defending, I will merely take in as much information as I can so that, should I need to act, I will be fully aware of all threats and where the innocents are.

    If the BGs have noticed my pistol, I suspect that one of two things will happen. Most likely, if things have not gone too far, they will leave. Less likely, they will have the proverbial "drop on me," in which case compliance creates the greatest chance that no one will be shot.

    It's just money, and most bank robbers are caught rather quickly. Unless there is threat to life or limb, I won't try to use my gun.
    Pretty much the same as Eye95, except I carry out of sight. No stupid moves. No going for my weapon unless NOT doing so will put someone (including me) in greater danger.

    Mostly try (not easy, I am too large in size) to stay Inconspicuous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    What would I do if caught in a bank robbery?

    I'm caught in a bank robbery every day--the Federal Reserve. I'm steadily robbed day in and day out by their dilution of the value of my money, caused by their steady printing of more money out of thin air. This is called inflation. As the volume of money increases, the value of pre-existing money goes down.

    By robbed, I do mean robbery. I am constantly exposed to the threat of violence--see the the little note on the government-decree, value-manipulated paper currency: "This Note Is Legal Tender For All Debts, Public and Private."

    It just occurred to me. The word note is a lie. I can no longer redeem them for gold or silver (real money). Formerly, the paper note stood in lieu of the gold or silver money and was redeemable in gold or silver.
    LOL.

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    Several years ago there was a rash of bank robberies in Manassas, three within an hour as I recall, and I met and spoke with a man who was in one of the banks went it was hit. He was not armed.

    He was made to lay on the floor with a shotgun pointed at his head until the BG's left. He swore "never again" and got his CHP. But as this particular series of robberies went down, they were fast and furious, leaving little time for an armed citizen to sort things out and find an opportune moment to react. Laying on the floor under a firearm is not the best position to be in when trying to get to your sidearm.

    I lean towards those who have answered that they would not use deadly force unless things really started to get ugly. Let the perps take the money and get the heck out of Dodge. We don't normally see mass shootings during bank robberies though any given event can turn on a dime at any moment when emotions and excitement are sky high. You just don't know what is going to set off gunfire in a robbery. Perhaps a teller is so scared she quickly messes things up for the BG's and they shoot her. Or a bank manager goes to jelly and is no help in their attempts to get to the serious money. Or maybe a customer is staring at them big time and one of the BG's takes offense to this. Who knows? The thing is you have bad people, doing something extremely desperate while armed, and a business with employees and customers going nuts, screaming and crying. A very volatile situation just waiting to explode.

    I have heard that if the BG's linger longer than what might seem "normal", if they start ushering people into a room or a walk-in safe, if they make everyone lay down on the floor face down, then another much more ominous situation may be at hand. All bets could then be off and the first opportunity you have to take them out might be your best action. In 1976, a Roy Rogers on 236 just west of I-395 was robbed late at night. The employees who were there, six of them, were herded into to a walk-in refrigerator, made to lay on the floor, and shot execution style. One of the women survived. I well remember when this happened because I used to live in Arlington at the time and shopped at the Shopper's Food Warehouse next to and behind this Roy Rogers.
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    Two badguys?

    **** myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    Although your scenario may seem simple i feel its complexity is almost overwhelming. If 2 bgs walked into the bank guns drawn then they dont really fit your typical bank robber IMO. Their actions IMO show no reserve, and thus pose an immenant threat. Most bank robberies I have ever heard/read about the BGs walk up to the teller and then draw. In this case I would most likely be at their aft and the confrontation would be over quite soon.

    However if they stormed in and I was OC then I suspect unless they are caught up in the moment I would be the most likely to be shot right off the get go. Leaving witnesses is one thing, trusting that an armed witness will let you go without confrontation is stupid at best. I would also like to add it would be important to me to observe them for atleast a moment, to survey whether or not I believe they pose significant threat(thus requiring my intervention). Like others here if I think they will just get their money and go I would like to think I would let them(since 2v1 in an enclosed room full of innocent is not a good place for a gunfight).
    What I bolded is actually highly unlikely, not "most likely." BGs just don't preemptively shoot the OCers. How many cases can you point to where BGs come into their intended crime scene, see an OCer, and shoot him "right off"?

  20. #20
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    I only drive thru....does not apply. Although, if a robbery was going on while I was at he drive thru I would get a wee bit peeved that my transaction took way too long or not completed at all.

    ....post #2....ditto....IF I have to go inside the bank.
    Last edited by OC for ME; 04-03-2011 at 02:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    SNIP I only drive thru....does not apply. Although, if a robbery was going on while I was at he drive thru I would get a wee bit peeved that my transaction took way too long or not completed at all.
    Damm straight. A demand deposit is a demand deposit, and I'm betting there is nothing in the rules or regulations that lets them withhold a demanded deposit during an armed robbery.

    If fractional reserve bankers can rob many customers as part of their daily operations, there should be no problem conducting a little ol' drive through transaction during a robbery.


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Considering that, in the overwhelming majority of armed bank robberies, the BG does not shoot, they'd have to do something to convince me that my opening fire won't increase the probability that innocents will be injured or killed.

    This ain't TV. Bank robbers hardly ever shoot. Why on Earth would anyone want to motivate them to shoot?? It's only money.

    The loss of stolen money can be fixed. You can't fix dead.
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    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    What I bolded is actually highly unlikely, not "most likely." BGs just don't preemptively shoot the OCers. How many cases can you point to where BGs come into their intended crime scene, see an OCer, and shoot him "right off"?
    Hmm perphaps you have a point, but then again besides rent a cops I have never heard ofbank robbers having knowledge someone was armed either. I was merely trying to place myself into the minds of the bankrobber. Nobody likes getting shot in the back
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    Hmm perphaps you have a point, but then again besides rent a cops I have never heard ofbank robbers having knowledge someone was armed either. I was merely trying to place myself into the minds of the bankrobber. Nobody likes getting shot in the back
    If you want to put yourself into the mind of a bank robber (or a criminal in general), think like a selfish coward, not like a seasoned commando.

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    VW,

    You're truly asking a question that cannot be answered until you're actually in the moment. One might follow Zombieland rules and not be a hero (until something puts you in a position to believe there's no other option).

    The best thing is to always be calm and collected, spacial awareness is key. Just because you see those 2 doesn't mean there isn't a 3rd or 4th somewhere nearby. IF you've not been discovered as carrying, it gives you the ambush ability. Once any life loss or injury begins, more is sure to follow.

    Something taught in the Violent Encounters for LE course is that the offender will make attempts to eliminate or remove anyone or anything that stands in the way of their escape. They won't target any specific individual, just those who may prevent or slow their escape.

    Realize that those around you who are victims at the time will be fully willing to rat you out to the BG's for having a firearm if it gives them the piece of mind that they might then live through the scenario. Trust NO ONE when in the moment!

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