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Being a 'Good Samaritan'

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by gerhard1, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    This is a hot topic on the Kansas board and has been for a little while.

    The question is, just how far should you go with your firearm to help a stranger out? Should you intervene in a mass shooting, for example? One poster was sharply critical of the man who intervened in the recent Texas shooting, saying that by the time the man acted the incident was over and there was no reason to shoot. Another has said in the event of a shooting at a shopping mall for example, that rather than take the shooter out he will go home. Interacting with the court system is his concern, and he doesn't carry to be a hero.

    These are two of those on the Kansas board There are others who say they will intervene of they have to but I haven't seen anyone with a hero complex

    My old gunsmith in Seattle had a good way of thinking. He told me that if he were caught in an armed robbery of a retail store and the bad guy had not started shooting, that he would not intervene. If the bad guy took the money out of the till and left, he would do nothing. About the only way he would have started shooting is if the bad guy started first, or the customers were being herded into the back room. Otherwise, his sole response would be to be as good a witness as he could.

    This lesson has always stayed with me.

    If I am someplace where a mass shooting event takes place then I'd probably intervene, as my limited mobility would hamper my ability to flee. Besides, can I ethically turn my back if an obviously innocent party is in mortal danger?

    What do the fine folks on this forum think? When would you intervene?
     
  2. Hawkman

    Hawkman Sharpshooter

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    If caught in an armed robbery as you mentioned, assuming for simplicity's sake there is only one bad guy, I would draw my pistol, move to where I had a clear shot, and instruct the perp to drop the weapon. If he complies, great, hold him (assuming a male) at gun point until law enforcement arrives. If he doesn't, and appears to make a move to shoot *me*, I will take the shot.

    Here's how I rationalize, if I take the above action and the perp drops the weapon, awesome--just saved some work for LEOs and a big headache for the bank/convenience store, etc. If the perp wants to fight, than hopefully I got behind some cover and can shoot him quicker than he can shoot me--by telling him to put his weapon down with my weapon drawn, I am ahead of the power curve and he is forced to rethink his plan. If I don't draw my firearm and thinks go south, firstly I am at a power disadvantage (no pistol drawn, probably need to move to cover), and secondly people might have died as a result.

    Personally, I believe I would sleep more soundly at night (aka, could cope better) if I had killed a perp who wanted to fight and threatened the lives of innocent people, than to sleep knowing I killed a perp and because I waited to draw my pistol, innocent lives were lost. I like to be proactive ;)

    I'd be interested to hear the opinions of other OSAers!
     
  3. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    This is my thought, essentially. Response would be highly variable depending on situation, but the guiding principle is there.
     
  4. caojyn

    caojyn Sharpshooter

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    It all depends on the situation, but I can pretty safely say that 99.9% of the time I’m not getting involved.
     
  5. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    The approach of the gunsmith is the better one I believe. The bad guy could see your movement and start shooting then, putting not only you, but the other people in more danger than they were at first. Be very careful in those cases where other innocents are involved. Also what happens if he doesn't comply. Another thing: what about if he shoots someone else in trying to get away from you? What if you shoot a bystander?

    No; by far, the best thing to do under those circumstances is to do nothing, UNLESS he starts to do something else.
     
  6. SPDguns

    SPDguns Sharpshooter

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    I've spent 32 years (so far) protecting those who can't protect themselves.

    Godfrey of Ibelin- "Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath."
     
  7. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    Lots of folks in our society today "don't want to get involved".... and criminals know this.

    What's the saying about evil triumphing because good men do nothing?
     
    jakeman and okierider like this.
  8. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Sharpshooter

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    I'm not saying to do nothing to protect life (property is another matter) but just don't do anything that puts anyone else in greater danger.

    If someone was to start shooting up my local grocer or druggist, I'd likely act to protect their lives. If no shots have been fired, I'll likely not shoot. There are many ways to help the authorities out apart from shooting the BG.
     
  9. chuter

    chuter Sharpshooter

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    I can't say for sure, but I have thought about bank robberies; there are usually no shots fired, the guy gets the money and goes away, so I would probably just keep quiet.
    Bottom line is that my first duty is to myself and my family; I can't take care of those two if I'm dead, wounded, or have to spend all my assets on court costs, so I'll stay out of it if I can.
     
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  10. Hawkman

    Hawkman Sharpshooter

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    I suppose a relevant question is how frequently do bad guys who have a firearm while committing a crime (let's say larceny or burglary) actually shoot people? Doubtless, the majority of criminals who possess firearms during a crime don't use them. I'd be curious to see a meta analysis (correct phrase?) of crimes where the bad guy was confronted (forced to make a decision to fight or give up) and what the probability of each outcome was. Also would be curious to see if an armed citizen or LEO would be more likely to illicit a "give up" response.

    IMO, if I see someone committing a crime with a firearm, I assume they intent to use it as more than a prop shall we say. Obviously, the more information you can gather quickly in such a situation, the higher chance you'll have of seeing the big picture and making the correct choice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017

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