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"Responsibility" to Intervene in Active Shooter Situation?

acmariner99

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
659
Location
Renton, Wa
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.
 
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davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,170
Location
earth's crust
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
 

Phoenix David

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
606
Location
Glendale, Arizona, USA
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.
 

nobama

New member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
756
Location
, ,
My biggest fear would be LEO thinking I was the bad guy, which could end badly for me.
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
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.
 

1245A Defender

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
4,364
Location
north mason county, Washington, USA
Wowwie!!!!

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...
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
8,676
Location
here nc
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
 
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stealthyeliminator

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
3,100
Location
Texas
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.
 

sudden valley gunner

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
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.....
 

MSG Laigaie

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
3,165
Location
Philipsburg, Montana
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.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
8,676
Location
here nc
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/active_shooter_pocket_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
 
B

Bikenut

Guest
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".
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
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.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
8,676
Location
here nc
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
 
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HPmatt

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
1,461
Location
Dallas
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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