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To shoot or to warn...?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Gaiudo, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Gaiudo

    Gaiudo Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    A quick question on which I have thought often in the past week: say you are frequenting your local convenience store/location of choice, say with your family, and someone pulls a gun. Being a good responsible citizen, and honoring your God-given role to protect and care for the welfare of your family, you have a concealed carry permit. The situation escalates to the point where you are concerned for your safety and those you love, so you quietly drawn unnoticed, from concealment, and unnoticed by the BG. Now, question:

    Do you a) say something along the lines of "drop it or I'm gonna splatter your graymatter on the wall, you %$*@#$; or b) drop him with a shot from behind with no warning? I know there are a variety of issues in play, such as legalities, self-preservation, general ethics, etc. Any and all may be discussed, though I would prefer we didn't ONLY stick on the "you're gonna get sued" response.

  2. Ditchtiger

    Ditchtiger Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    Junction City,OR
    Act on what will get the least amount of people hurt,( bad guy not included)
  3. FTF

    FTF member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Who knows.

    If he's pointing a gun at the clerk, I doubt I would say something agressive to him.

    If I had a shot, I would take it. If, as your scenario says, I managed to get my gun drawn and be in the position to give a warning... I wouldn't bother. If my family were there I would take the shot and worry about the law later.

    I certainly wouldn't trust the perp to finish his robbery, safely holster his weapon and move away from my family as he left the premises. I would certainly shoot before waiting for that outcome.

    By myself, or with the clerk in danger I probably wouldn't be as gung-ho.
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    You shoot to defend the life of another or yourself. If that is the case you don't have to opportunity to act like you're on a bad TV movie.
  5. EatBugs

    EatBugs Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Here and There in Indiana and now in Maryland too
    I'd warn him. If I shoot from behind it violates the old cowboy code of ethics. Don't shoot em in the back. Besides I would go through life thinking, if I warned him, he might of droped it and I might not have had to killed him. Unless, he was some drunk/high stark raving mad lunitic and I thought he would probably shot as soon as he turned around. Then I might snipe from the back if I didn't think I could pull the trigger faster than than I could see his intention to pull the trigger...

    ehh... I'm a cronic fence sitter.
  6. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Senior Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Each situation is unique, thus there are no hard fast rules.

    There is no legal burden placed on the lawful citizen defending his or another's life to give warning.

    There have been ample examples of warning shouts and shots resulting in the lawful CCW holder as well as other innocents being shot.

    I will not give up any advantage in a life or death situation. Do not expect me to be fair or nice. Expect me to live.
  7. RNB65

    RNB65 Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    I think most folks would recommend not trying to be a hero in such a situation. Retreat and try to find cover and a defensible position. Draw your weapon and be prepared to defend yourself but only if necessary.

    If the threat escalates to the point you feel you need to use your weapon to defend yourself, don't give away the element of suprise. Take the time to hit your target and fire with no warning. Most BG's are counting on their victims being scared and passive so the element of suprise should give you a chance to get off a well placed first shot.

    p.s. Never assume that the BG is a bad shot. He just may not be and you don't want to find out.
  8. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Call the Federales the second you see it happening. Point the gun. Before you warn the guy, if you decide on doing that, draw a bead on him. If he points the gun at you, fire.
  9. Cueball

    Cueball Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    SW OH
    In a situation like that, there is no time for debate, fence sitting, or waffling on the issue. Nor is it the time to give up any advantages you may have(cover/concealment, element of surprise, etc). If the situation has escalated to the point that I feel the need to draw my weapon I absolutely would not give any sort of warning. We have no legal requirement to do so, and it puts you and your family in this example, in further danger than already present. I would take careful aim and drop the BG without hesitation.
  10. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    I know this is the generally accepted course of action but when I took my CCW class the officer teaching it said you are obligated to protect your life and the life of others in such a situation. Although it is probably not likely, he said you might even be asked by cops afterwards why you didn't intervene if you were armed. I'd feel pretty horrible if after cleaning the register he shot some poor clerk in the head then ran out of the store while I cowered in the back of the store with my pistol in hand. Just a thought.
  11. thexrayboy

    thexrayboy Senior Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    northern nevada
    The comment by an officer during a CCW class that you are obligated to defend yourself and others may be noble but is not true. You have no legal obligation to defend the life of another person. You may have a moral and ethical one but that is a personal question for you to answer. The Supreme Court has already held on many occasions that the police cannot be held liable if they fail to protect a citizen. One can hardly believe that citizens can be held legally accountable for failing to act to protect someone else in danger when the police cannot be legally held accountable to the same standard.

    In a situation like that you have to decide what to do based on the immediate circumstances. However pondering the what if scenarios beforehand may make it easier to deal with the situation if it ever arises in
    the future.
  12. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Apr 15, 2005
    Greeley, CO
    It really does depend on the situation. Obviously, as a Marine, we were taught to scream "UNITED STATES MARINE!! DROP THE WEAPON!!" at every available opportunity, but we were also trained to take well-aimed shots with no warning if the situation warranted it.

    Not that you mentioned it, but my only hard and fast rule is that I will not fire a warning shot. If I have to pull the trigger, it's for keeps. That is a direct result of my Marine training, and I think its darn good advice.

    Now, with all that being said, who knows how I would really react? I would love to say with 100% certainty that I could shout a warning and deliver a bullet or bullets directly into the kill zone if need be. I have trained (in as much as I can train with a limited budget and average skills) to ensure that I am a responsible gun owner and a skilled pistoleer, in addition to having had some combat experience in the Marines. Unfortunately, I think it is also possible that if that happens, my adrenaline and fears and all the rest will result in me screaming "I LIKE CHEESE! DROP YOUR HAT!" and then forgetting to flick the safety off, resulting in me throwing my gun at the bad guy superman style. I think that's extremely unlikely, but who really knows until they have been put into that situation? Thats why training, even on a limited budget, is so important. If you have trained well, in a crisis you will revert to training. You might not revert to it in perfect classroom form, but you will still revert back to it, and thats good.
  13. razorburn

    razorburn member

    May 16, 2006
    If he's facing towards the clerk, does not see me while I draw on him, I'd warn. If he's facing towards me and I somehow managed to draw unseen, or I otherwise don't have the jump on him to be able to know I have the reaction time advantage over him, or the situation otherwise giving me that time to safely issue a warning, then I'd just shoot.
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    If I saw a cockroach in my house, I wouldn't warn it, either.
  15. critter

    critter Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
  16. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Senior Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"

    Even cops don't have an obligation to protect, as the courts have ruled. Do you think that the burden is higher for you?

    Each situation will be different, but you have no legal obligation to protect the lives of others. Moral? Yes, but not legal.
  17. ilbob

    ilbob Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Pointing a gun at a violent criminal is no guarantee he will comply with your demands that he surrender. He may just start shooting, and you will have made a bad situation worse.

    If you shoot, remember that head shots are a better choice for one shot kills than COM.

    Best bet is just hide in a corner somewhere and let him rob the place. Money is replaceable. Only take action if you have no other options open to you.

    I might find as safe a place as I can and draw with the gun pointed down, so it is readily available, but not pointed at anyone.

    I do not believe it is a good idea to point a gun at anyone unless you are going to shoot him.

  18. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Columbia, SC
    Kind of like when you see a deer in the woods. A quiet whistle to get him to look your way, then BOOM

    Actually, you cannot predict how these things are going to work out. Life is not a Hollywood script.
  19. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Democratic Peoples Republic of Illinois
    LMAO ^ :D

    Anyhow I think I would just sit there and be a good witness so long as it looked like the cashier was cooperating, and nobody was going to get hurt. I have no intentions of dying nor killing to protect somebody elses money. If it looked like things were gonna get ugly then fire away. I have no problem with the idea of shooting a bad guy in the back, I fight to live, not count coup.
  20. SJG26

    SJG26 member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Eastern PA - Berks/Lehigh Valley
    He is showing a weapon................

    of any kind?

    " I do not believe it is a good idea to point a gun at anyone unless you are going to shoot him."

    I AM pointing at them BECAUSE I AM going to stop them!
    Immediate head shot------------------no warning!

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