would you use you weapon to defend others?


March 22, 2004, 01:07 PM
i have thought about this question allot lately. 2 yrs ago i would have said yes, now im not so sure. my weapon is for my protection as well as my family and friends, why should i put my arse on the line for someone who probly hates guns and wouldn't hesatate to point a finger at me. now if their we're children or women involved i guess i would. in the end im still not sure if i would or wouldn't. i haven't been in a situation like that but if i find myself in one i hope and pray that i make the right decision.

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Kodiak AK
March 22, 2004, 01:13 PM
why should i put my arse on the line for someone who probly hates guns and wouldn't hesatate to point a finger at me. Because compassion seperates us from the animals.

I have never shot anyone , but I have used weapons to defend others in the past . Sometimes it was to my own detriment ,sometimes it wasn't . In the end I never asked for thanx from any one elese . I only cared about wheither I could live with my self if I looked the other way .

March 22, 2004, 01:20 PM
i don't think i could look the other way either and that is what pisses me off:fire: makes me feel like im pigeon holed. every good person should own a firearm so we wouldn't have to risk our freedom.

March 22, 2004, 01:31 PM
How often we read about people who witness crimes [/B]in progress[/B] (including muggings, rapes, robbery) and simply look away because they don't want to get involved.

I've never had to do it (and hope I never have to) but I don't know how I'd live with myself if I saw someone in jeopardy and thought I had a chance to do do something about it but elected not to.

The main consideration for me is that I'd give some quick-but-serious thought to whether I thought my intervention would (1) save the life of the person in question and (2) not sacrifice mine.

Obviously anything can happen, but I'd have to at least feel like I had a really good chance to meet those criteria. If so, I don't know how I could turn my back.


March 22, 2004, 01:35 PM
would you use you weapon to defend others?


March 22, 2004, 01:53 PM
Well we bloody well saved France from the Nazi buggers so I guess I would have to say I would go to bat for a fellow american..

March 22, 2004, 01:54 PM
As ever - every situation would be different. Let's say ''I'd rather not'' ... but that really is academic. That's just the ''I ain't lookin for trouble'' deal.

If I were in a stop and rob and a guy came in .. threatened the clerk or worse still took a shot ...... then what? You just watch? No - in that situation I would have no choice but to respond. Technically my life and that of anyone elses in the store is at risk ... even if I have not been directly threatened (yet!).

Bottom line ... any situation .. you play it as you see it ... and hope to heck you get it right.

March 22, 2004, 02:17 PM
As stupid as it might sound I think I would help out. Of course thier are situations where I would not such as two drunk guy fighting, or other situations where it is hard to tell who the victim is. When I did my training they told me over and over that "you are not a jr policemen" I would only step in if I was scared for their life.

Kodiak AK
March 22, 2004, 02:45 PM
sturmruger Of course thier are situations where I would not such as two drunk guy fighting
I had to do that so many times bouncing it doesn't realy phase me anymore.
I spent a lot of time scraping as a youth . I don't go looking for trouble anymore . People can talk crap to me left and right and I will just walk away from it .Sometimes realy don't have a choice , and when "it is on"it is on.

March 22, 2004, 03:08 PM
now im not so sure. my weapon is for my protection as well as my family and friends
Stopping some slimeball now may very well be protecting your friends and family in the future. If he gets away now he will look for another target very soon.

March 22, 2004, 03:25 PM
Yep, I couldn't watch someone else die or get seriously hurt when I had the power to stop it. Their veiws on guns, protection and gratitude are also irrelevant. Of course the drunk on drunk caveat goes for me as well, though I would keep it from goin' lethal perhaps...

March 22, 2004, 03:29 PM
I wouldn't know until I've been there.

Oh yeah, I might say something like "Sure, I'll get involved," but so many variables come into play that I cannot say with absolute certainty whether or not it will happen. I never imagined myself, for example, performing CPR on the victim of a massive heart attack; until a co-worker of mine had one. Everyone else in the office stood there -- petrified, glassy-eyed, stunned. There were two or three wonder-boys in the room. You know the type: "just do it" jocks that are always larger than life until SHTF. Well, they were conclusively "out to lunch". That's when I realized it was all up to me. But I'm not bragging in any way here. I still wish it had never happened. It was a very awkward, nerve-racking, and surreal experience. And I am sure that a situation such as you describe it is hardly any different; even when a stranger is involved.

So nobody knows what will happen until it happens. All you can do is prepare yourself to the best of your ability. And prepare you must.

We'll see what happens when the time comes.


~ Heraclitus

March 22, 2004, 03:31 PM
I have been TOO involved in armed robberies/smash and grabs, more than once. In one the BG was pistol whipping the manager. What did I do? I got the customers and employees out of the store. I was watching out for more than one BG. The manager got some bruises and his ego bent. I acted in the defense of others by evacuating the store. I recently engaged a smash and grab BG. I was not out to pay Wyatt Earp. He was interfering in my warning and herding people to safer positions.

Jim March
March 22, 2004, 05:27 PM
Been there, done that, good conclusion. Probably saved the life of what turned out to be an innocent party.


1) "Never get between two parties who still want a piece of each other." Also known as the "don't fight a war on two fronts" rule. In these cases, be a good witness, get bystanders under cover/away where feasable...and in SOME cases, you'll be able to wait until there IS a conclusion and then step in and save a downed party from being "finished off".

This is all about the difference between a "fight" and an "assault in progress". Be aware of the huge difference!

2) Make DAMNED SURE you know who is who before using deadly force!!!

Example: you walk onto a train and there's four guys pounding the crap out of a downed party. Guess what? The downed party may have "had it coming" - for all you know, he's a mass murderer they just jumped and took a machete away from! But he's down, he's bleeding from the head and unable to even cover up, and clearly has no more fight left in him.

My solution was to avoid drawing a weapon, push the four off the guy then retreat with him, and then verbally challenge. The downed party passed out behind me, and the four made it 100% clear they were the aggressors. (Trust me on this! The bloody hammers were a big clue, their words and attitudes even moreso.) THAT is when they got to see my hand clearly on a "megafolder" class knife...and thankfully, they backed down.

Look, you see a basic beat-down and shout out "hey, what the hell is going on here?" you're going to get one of two answers:

1) "This guy tried to steal my wife's purse" or similar - your answer is "hey cool, you caught 'em, I'll call 911, hold the barsterd!" or similar. Get 'em calmed down a bit.

2) If the guys on top are the baddies, they'll turn on you. Verbally at a minimum but if they're screaming at YOU they're not pounding somebody into the pavement. If they turn on you physically, it's self defense and we're prepped for that - right?

(Another thing: if you see people kick, stomp or gang-pound a downed party, THAT IS DEADLY FORCE in all 50 states. Know what that means? If they verbally threaten you, you KNOW they're willing to use deadly force on people because you just saw them do it to somebody else. So my admittedly legally-untrained-opinion is, pull your gun (or in my case, knife). You're dealing with known attempted murderers.

This sort of verbal challenge to ongoing crime is NOT ILLEGAL - not anywhere in the US as far as I know, certainly not in California. In the incident I ran into, cops took a full statement (happened near a transit PD substation) and not only let me go with no charges, they gave me my knife back on the way out of the station. (They thanked me for not using it, I explained that I was very glad it wasn't necessary.)

Remember those two rules, you'll be fine.

March 22, 2004, 05:44 PM
Well put, Jim March. I couldn't have said it better myself when I made the observation that "so many variables come into play [that getting involved is not necessarily something one is apt to label with the name of reflex]". One cannot just dive in -- or run away -- without first gleaning a bit of critical information from the scene. And then your take on it might be affected by any number of unpredictables.

Training is our only recourse. We must prepare for the unexpected and learn to embrace it. That doesn't guarantee that we'll make the right decision when the time comes, but... we can't afford not to decide.

March 22, 2004, 05:47 PM
Only when deadly physical force was being used or about to be used against somebody. If my family is with me I will get them to safety first.

March 22, 2004, 06:23 PM
If I'm in a store and that happens to a clerk, I'll pull my .45 and start shooting up the joint, killing anyone in the way. People be damned! One of those shots are bound to hit the bad guy.

Just kidding. :neener: Good advice Mr. March.

Standing Wolf
March 22, 2004, 06:58 PM
I did. I'd rather not do so again, but the right thing to do remains the right thing to do whether I like it or not.

Jim March
March 22, 2004, 07:07 PM
Another point: be aware of the concept of "continuum of force"...which in police tactics goes something like:

1) Verbal challenge. This IS force and if done for the PURPOSE of picking a fight makes you the 'bad guy" if things escalate. In other words: insults/threats bad, asking what the heck is going on good.

(Also: avoid anger, it clouds judgement and will "emotionally load" your words - it will turn your proper challenge into a threat just by tone of voice, and ensure a fight where there might otherwise not be one. Your verbal challenge should be determined, but not angry - too many cops screw this point up. If you're acting to help somebody else OR defend your own life, you're acting out of concern for human life, NOT anger. If you have even a trace of bigotry in your soul, you're not ready to get involved in a thing like this, OK? And that includes homophobia. I didn't mention it above, but the four guys pounding away on the downed party were transvestites. It made things strange, but I can honestly say it didn't "enrage me" or similar.)

2) Physical control without use of pain/infliction of damage. Pushing somebody, pulling them away from a downed party are both examples of this "light physical force". When I pushed the four nutcases off the downed party, I was operating at this level - they weren't harmed and weren't knocked off their feet. It MUST be justifiable after the fact, not something you do on a whim even though it's low-level force - done for improper reasons, it'll start a fight and now YOU are the aggressor and in deep doodoo if things go all the way to deadly force.

3) Hard physical force (punches, kicks, serious arm-locks, throws/tripping). Pepper spray is also considered to be at this level, and Air Tasers. You don't do this without SERIOUS justification. When I entered the train, although I saw the guy down and getting stomped, I didn't go straight to this level. Whether I could have or not legally speaking is...well, a bit of an open question but probably - BUT it wouldn't have been smart. And I think you can make a strong case that if the prior level was adequate, that's what you go with. (NOTE: cops and trained security guards can use batons at this level so long as they avoid overhead blows to the head and all spine hits. Beanbag shotguns also work at this level but again, only in trained uniformed hands.)

4) Deadly force.


This "spectrum of force" is designed to help make decisions and establish the legal and moral basis for going further up the scale.

In the situation on the train I've been talking about, I started at #2 due to the high violence levels already being committed, then backed it down to verbal, then they scaled it all the way to coming REAL close to deadly force (pulled out hammers and waved 'em around). This sort of thing happens. There ARE situations where due to the aggressor's action, you START with deadly force...like where some guy walks into a public place and starts laying down fire.

In other words: understand these principles in detail, but be flexible too - the REAL point is: use as little force as is necessary to rationally protect human life.

March 22, 2004, 08:10 PM
"Example: you walk onto a train and there's four guys pounding the crap out of a downed party. Guess what? The downed party may have "had it coming" - for all you know, he's a mass murderer they just jumped and took a machete away from! But he's down, he's bleeding from the head and unable to even cover up, and clearly has no more fight left in him."

Good point Jim.

I witnessed a real life example of this. I was grocery shopping (Florida- 1984) when a very bloodied man ran down the aisle toward me, with two shirtless, long-haired, tattooed, bikers in pursuit. As the guy ran past me two more bikers came from the other direction and the guy was trapped. They proceeded to beat him into unconsciousness. They did stop when he hit the floor, and then they asked the store employees to call the cops. It turned out that the guy was a nutcase or real drunk or both. He had been sitting at the bar next door and had suddenly pulled a knife and started stabbing folks. The "fight" in the store happened so fast that I would not have reacted even if I had been packing. That experience proved to me that circumstances may be far different from how they appear...and that these events can unfold VERY VERY quickly.

March 22, 2004, 08:16 PM
these events can unfold VERY VERY quickly. And it is just that which concerns me greatly. Time for thought and decision-making is or can be VERY limited.

Not sure if there is any way to ever know it all quick enough. In one case you could stand by and watch a homicide go down ... in another you could see a perp get his just deserts. Makes you think .... just how long do or can you wait? Obviously as long as possible, but when blood is already flowing .. geez ..... pray for divine intervention?! :p

No wonder I want to stay clear of trouble!:p

March 22, 2004, 08:41 PM

I believe that, in some places at least, kicking someone in the head (ANYWHERE on the head) is considered deadly force.

March 22, 2004, 08:55 PM
Yes. No. Maybe. It depends....

That is as straight an answer as I can honestly give until put in a specific situation. WHo or the "others"? What is my risk? What is the risk of the "others"?

Can't say. Ask me in 40 years and hopefully I still won't have an answer for you.


The Real Hawkeye
March 22, 2004, 10:05 PM
If I felt I could handle the situation, I would. Otherwise, I'd try to make my way to safety. Family and friends are another issue. Never know what you will do, though.

March 22, 2004, 10:16 PM
Besides the *** reaction

What could I have done? Nothing before the act, :uhoh: nothing during the act, "what" and nothing after the act. :cuss:

I probably related this story here already, but here it is again:

I'm in traffic, stopped at a red light. A tiny lanky kid walks up to my open window and ambushes me with his cap gun. The only reaction I could think of in that split second was to "shoot" back with my fingers and yelling "gotcha first"

No I wasn't armed at the time. This was in Los Angeles.

I couldn't have shot him if I were armed anyways. He didn't look threatening. In fact, he may have zoomed in on me because i was condition orange. Saw him walk over and made eye contact early.

I only hope that alarms would have gone off in my head if this kid had a real .22 pistol. Otherwise I'd let an armed person into my safety zone. It would have been a successful ambush. (this argues for getting a surplus body armor)

I couldn't scold him properly anyways because he just walked off while I was sitting in traffic.

What could I have done? What should I have done? What would *you* do?

ps I felt too inhibited to stop traffic, leave my car, go after the kid, and chew him out for playing this game.

March 22, 2004, 10:39 PM
It would depend greatly on the situation, but it general, yes. Say I could stop a violent crime, and looked the other way. How could I look at myself in the mirror if someone were seriosly injured or killed in a situation that I might have been able to stop?


Jim March
March 22, 2004, 11:35 PM
The situation that Atticus mentions is EXACTLY the type where a verbal challenge is called for. The bikers weren't crazy, and they KNEW what this looked like.

Had Atticus said "hey, what's going on?" in a firm, clear but NOT "emotionally loaded" tone of voice, what would they have done or said?

"This dude tried to kill a buncha people with a knife!" or similar.

"Whoa! OK, I'll call the cops - HOLD him!"

Would it have made anything worse? Of course not.

But if the bikers HAD been the bad guys? How would they have acted then to the same words?

Now granted, it wouldn't be safe to make this challenge unless you're adequately armed. That's a given. But done right, the challenge never makes things worse and rapidly sorts out who's who.


One more thing: remember what I said about bigotry? Applies to anti-biker bigotry as well. I've known a number of cops who would have *instantly* been 100% convinced the bikers were killers, and might have reacted accordingly - held the bikers at gunpoint while telling 'em to shut up and let the lunatic run free.

March 22, 2004, 11:46 PM
remember what I said about bigotry? Applies to anti-biker bigotry as well

Thanks for mentioning that as it does exist, and for the most part unfairly. (although I am of the belief that if you look/dress/act like a thug you should expect to be treated as such, at least initially)

Dave (semi-mellowed biker-type dude)

March 23, 2004, 12:32 AM
Here's an interesting take on getting involved. Back in 1998 I'd just come back from seeing the X-Files movie and stopped for gas. It was around 1am. As I step out of my vehicle two guys fighting each other came around the side of the gas station. For a couple of seconds I did nothing - it looked like a mutual disagreement - until one of the guys cried out "help!"

So I stepped in and broke it up. The presumed aggressor was flabbergasted that I got in his way and for a moment considered adding me to his list of targets. Then he realized that he was now outnumbered and the new guy had about fifty pounds on him. So he beat feet to his Suzuki Tracker and took off. As I'm memorizing the plates the other guy thanked me for helping him and told me the story. He was sitting in his parked car waiting for his girlfriend to come out of the store when the other guy (a complete stranger to him) tossed a lit cigarette butt through his open window. When he got out to confront him, he was attacked.

So the guy's girlfriend comes out of the store and sees his ripped t-shirt and bloody lip and starts freaking out. As he's trying to calm her down I suggest filing a police report. Meanwhile a guy in a biker jacket comes out of the store and starts listening in on this conversation. He had nothing to do with anything but decides to interject, "don't call the cops." When I asked him why not he said, "never call the f'ing cops, solve your own f'ing problems you wimp." He was obviously a bit tipsy. I told him that the incident was none of his business and to let the victim decide whether or not to call the cops.

Then the biker guy flips out on me. He says something along the lines of "you want know how to handle it? 'Cause I've got a knife and I'll cut your f'ing heart out." Now I have to decide whether or not I can draw my Beretta faster than he can draw his yet-unseen knife. I tell the first guy and his girlfriend to go inside, then I backed off slowly to the store myself. Oddly I couldn't think of anything else to say except to stare this guy down as I retreated for the interior. Memories of practicing a speed-rock floated through my head. Fortunately, he did not follow us inside, and took off in his station wagon when he saw me ask the clerk for the phone.

I had quite a story to tell the cops when I got there. The officer's take? "You shouldn't have gotten involved."

Jim March
March 23, 2004, 01:27 AM
Devonai: this is what is known as "having a bad day" :D.

Jeez, to encounter two complete lunatics within a span of minutes. Sigh.

Still, you did right BOTH times, and the net outcomes were fine. The cop may have been a grumpy moron but all he COULD do was grumble.

When the one guy in the fight yelled "help", that meant that the "both parties want a piece of each other" went out the window.

Kodiak AK
March 23, 2004, 07:59 AM
One more thing: remember what I said about bigotry? Applies to anti-biker bigotry as well. Jim March

Been there done that .

I was into my goth phase of figureing out life . I had just got done clubing with a bunch of friends in Ybor (Under age and wasn't drinking so I played DD.) I looked like I just walked out of the Crow , and a few of my friends didn't look much better . We went to a Denny's back in Bradenton and got the big table right by the door .I am sitting there waiting for my Grand Slam ,and these three preppy guys get up and run for the door . Dine and Dash in progres. I didn't care at all until the last one going for the door sluged the waitress trying to stop them as he ran past the counter .The Dine and Dash just turned into a strong arm robbery as far as I was concerned. Besideds I have a thing for punks hitting women.
In a flash I was up and at the door .You would be surprised how fast you can move in a black skirt.(At least I was tacticle.:o) One o the guys was at the car already , One was running for a strip mall , and the last guy stumbled a bit and it was just enough for me to pull a flying tackle on him. I have him down right in front of the door , and the manager is on the phone with the cops .His buddys ditched him and the sheriff's roll up and grab me off the guy and cuff and stuff , why getting ready to let the guy go , when the manager starts screaming "What are you doing?""That guy caught him." It took a few minuets for the employes to confirm I was the good guy here even though I didn't look like it , and everything got straightened out . I got free Breakfast and a phone number out of the deal so it wasn't all bad .:D

Zach S
March 23, 2004, 09:03 AM
I have in the past, however I have kept walking too.

Depends on what my gut says. Last time I ignored it, I found myself fighting my then-GF's ex and five of his buddies.

Jim March
March 23, 2004, 11:19 AM
One thing I remember from High School REAL well: the people that "looked weird" were NOT the dangerous ones. It was the ones that all looked the same as a buncha others you had to keep an eye on.


March 23, 2004, 11:42 AM
It was the ones that all looked the same as a buncha others you had to keep an eye on. Good point Jim .... as exemplified by the best ''Con man'' .... why is he good? Because he seems ..so ...... so ...... well, nice and - ''normal'' !!:eek:

Sam Adams
March 23, 2004, 02:02 PM
Rule #1: Anyone's first duty is to protect themselves.

Rule #2: Anyone with family who depends on them (i.e. spouse and/or kid(s)) has a duty to remain alive and in a sufficiently good condition (physically, mentally, emotionally and legally) to be able to get up in the morning and go to work.

Rule #3: Anyone who has the slightest bit of decency has, IMHO, the duty to save the life of another person (or prevent serious bodily injury from occuring to them) if possible - i.e. if you don't violate rules 1 & 2. If I can reasonably, and with ample legal justification, stop an assault that is either deadly or obviously about to become so, I sincerely hope that I will do so - as long as the risk of making my wife and kids a widow and orphans is not too high. Of course, one can always take the view that you could be the next target of the goblin in question, so that acting on behalf of another person is an indirect means of self-defense.

I prefer to act in such a way as to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not be ashamed of the person I'm looking at. I would be very ashamed if I had the ability to save the life of an innocent person without undue risk to myself and, instead, didn't lift a finger (or a .45).

Regarding the politics of the victim - this is irrelevant to me. If it is a moral issue (in addition to a practical one), the only thing that matters is whether you can do something about saving the life of an innocent person. Besides, saving the life of an anti with a gun may turn that person into a pro-gunner (or at least make them neutral). That's no reason to save someone, but it would be cream on the cake.

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