For the he should have known better files:

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Jeff White, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2021/03/17/unarmed-army-ranger-confronts-a-shotgun-wielding-robber-during-sunday-brunch/
    The headline makes you think you're going to read a story about a heroic act. In fact SSG Ruth started out pretty well:

    There would have been a happy ending if he had stopped right there. But what did he do?

    10 months recovering from a near fatal wound. Suspects arrested six months later.

    Here we have an example of a highly trained and combat experienced soldier acting on impulse, thankfully it didn't cost him his life.

    I don't know that what he did would have met the criteria for the Soldiers Medal. It's normally awarded for saving a life. Not sure you could prove he saved anyone's life.

    I'm sure he was confident he could handle the gunman he saw. But he didn't se the accomplice who shot him. He should have known better.
     
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  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Not sure of the moral of your story. Few hero’s escape unscathed.
     
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  3. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    The moral of the story is that he shouldn't never have tried to take out the gunman he saw. After 28 years in the Infantry and 25 years in LE I am well aware that people who set out to be heroes often get hurt or killed. People, especially someone with his experience need to be calm enough not to rush into a situation they don't know all the details of. This isn't the first time a would be hero was shot by an accomplice he didn't see. Unfortunately it won't be the last.
     
  4. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    That’s exactly what I read.

    “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

    And IMO, to lay down your life for one you don’t even know, is heroic. I don’t use the word lightly. Many, if not most hero’s die in the act
     
  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    He observed, he acted. The coward unseen tipped the balance of the outcome. It happens. One can only guess the chain of events his action may have prevented.
     
  6. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    What did he accomplish besides getting shot? It took six months for them to track down the armed robbers and no one else was injured. There is no way to know that anyone would have been injured had he stayed outside with the people he led to safety.

    What he did was stupid and tactically unsound. Someone with his experience should have known better.

    Statistically the robbery would have went down and no one would have been injured. You can guess all you want about what might have happened if he hadn’t acted, but the most likely outcome would have been the armed robbers would have gotten what they wanted and left with no one being hurt.
     
  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I suggest we agree to disagree.
    It will be interesting to see how the thread leans.
     
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  8. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    I agree with Jeff. Even as an armed citizen, I have no obligation to intervene. My job is to be a good witness and go home to my wife. The exception, obviously, is if there is an immediate deadly threat to myself or my family. Even that is subject to perception. My general rule is I will not fire the first shot in an armed encounter where the perpetrator is threatening others. But if he/she starts shooting, or herding myself and others to another location, I will look for an opportunity to use my firearm.
     
  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Opportunity arose to get the dining room cleared. Awesome, dude got them out. Robber is alone and away from all know people except for the store owner who he has a shotgun on... that’s game over, time to go. Most robbers are not murderers so taking action that increases the potential for shots to be fired is just dumb.
     
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  10. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    I don’t know, and neither do you. Possibly something extraordinary, possibly nothing at all. Speculation is pointless and silly.

    If things had been different their is no way to know if.....anything.


    You can guess all you want to as well, and if he’d been able to predict the future he may have done things differently, unfortunately we don’t have that luxury, ever. He saw someone obviously in need and tried to help, may God bless him for that.

    FWIW, I’m not necessarily saying he did the right thing, I just can’t say he did the wrong then either, to many unknowns and grey areas for me.

    I think it’s fairly obvious we will not be agreeing on this particular instance, so there’s not much point in me continuing, I’ll bow out rather than wreck a thread.
     
  11. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Even in a more typical SD situation there's always the possibility of the unknown, the unseen attacker/s. So there's always that and we do the best we can to be aware of it.

    In this particular scenario he went out of his way, and there ended up being the unseen that he was not aware of, but I still think what he did was "right".

    Would I have done it? Not likely. But then again I'm not going to get into anything that isn't directly presented as a threat to myself or immediate family. Even then though, there is always the chance of the unseen.


    And so I can't fault someone willing to go beyond there own personal welfare into the possible unknown in pursuit of the wellbeing of others.
     
  12. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    He actually did fine handling the gunman he saw. Who unfortunately was not the only BG in the story.

    Don't remember if it was here or a video from ASP (or maybe a discussion here of an ASP video) but not thinking there might be an accomplice seems to be a Really Bad Mistake that can be fatal, I think the wannabe Good Samaritan in the video sadly ended up dead as a result.
     
  13. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I wonder whether he would have behaved differently had he been carrying...
     
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  14. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I'll repeat something I've said here before... The actual outcome of conflict on the street -armed or un-armed can be so random that you can never predict the outcome... It should be avoided at all costs - except when you have no other choice...

    The things I saw or was involved in on the street over 22 years were so bizarre at times that they'd be rejected by anyone writing a script for an action movie... A minor wound that killed the victim... "fatal wounds" that weren't fatal soon enough... puny middle aged men that acted like tigers in robbery situations (and actually survived), then could hardly explain why they acted the way they did... One bank robbery that began by someone walking up behind a uniform officer standing outside the bank in the drive-up area and executing him with a single head shot from the rear in broad daylight... without the slightest warning. One young armed robbery suspect that was found at a nearby hospital emergency room since as he placed his cheap pistol in his waist band after the robbery it discharged wounding him in the groin area..

    For anyone tempted to be the hero... Make a point of looking at the recent videos coming out of Chicago showing actual shooting incidents on the street. Mostly you can rarely even tell who (or how many of those taking part) were actually armed - and figuring out who the good guy in the situation was - impossible without repeated viewings of the actual video evidence - and all of it over in seconds. The best I'd be able to do in any of these scenarios (even when I was young and ready...) would be to duck and move to cover (if available..).
     
  15. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    If your end goal is to survive, running away is nearly always the best option. This can include being a good witness and calling the police as well.....or being a flat out coward.

    I find that often what is considered prudent is always a course that maximizes the likelihood of survival. This is not always the case but it seems to be the overlying theme of much domestic based self defense rhetoric. This is generally good advice to follow but it is not the only viewpoint.

    There are a few things to consider beyond what is commonly construed as prudent or common sense. A combat experienced soldier is a survivor of some sort. To be in combat and come out alive instills a sense of invincibility that magnifies the more times you are in harms way and come out alive.

    This can lead to recklessness and looking upon dangerous situations with a survivors bias. It would be thought that looking upon those who did not live or got wounded in combat would mollify this mindset but I have not found that to be the case. Combat specialized military men are doers and sometimes they wear blinders. Not bei by in a combat zone can also magnify the sense of invincibility. The “I didn’t die in (insert war zone) then I won’t die here” mindset.

    The soldier was not displaying sound judgement but I would cut a bit of slack to the guy. I don’t think he was trying to be a hero. I think he was trying to help where he could.
     
  16. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Out nation could use a few more citizens willing to step forward in these scenarios. Have we become a nation of cowards more willing to hide behind a cell phone videoing our fellow citizens being bullied and terrorized.
     
  17. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Or he just simply misjudged the situation.

    +100%.
     
  18. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Selfless. Tactically sound? Not quite enough. But a good man who did more than most would have. No one will ever call him a coward.

    At the end of the day, we all die. And all we leave behind is our legacy. How people remember us. It may mean more to some and less to others. But that’s all we have. Ruth’s legacy would have been that of a hero. Instead, he will continue in to hopefully solidify and improve his legacy. And my hat’s off to him.
     
  19. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    You might have a point there. Remember the unarmed young soldiers on the train in France who rushed the AK-wielding terrorist? (Granted, they didn't actually have an escape choice, they said they did it because they figured doing nothing would mean certain death.) Or the unarmed veteran in the Poway synagogue who chased out the terrorist who had already shot several people with his AR? When interviewed he said he first was going to escape and then changed his mind and decided instead to pursue the terrorist. Thinking back over the interviews I saw, all of them had more confidence of surviving than I think a person without combat experience would have.
     
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  20. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    SSG Ruth acted on his own accord throughout the incident (Sua Sponte- the Ranger motto). He exploited available opportunities to complete his mission, though it required him to assume risk. Rangers also get very annoyed when something interferes with their chow. Seriously, they do. SSG Ruth conducted himself according to the Ranger Creed. For those who have never read it:

    Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high espirit de corps of the Rangers.

    Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger, my country expects me to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other Soldier.

    Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight, and I will always shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.

    Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained Soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress, and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

    Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle, for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

    Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor'

    RANGERS LEAD THE WAY.
     
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  21. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Ruth's presence of mind immediately after being shot was remarkable. His over all courage - even more remarkable.
    As to the decisions he made ... Given Ruth's commitment to service and sheer grit , I will not presume to judge. I just wish we had a lot more like him.
     
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  22. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    AGREED = there are things in life that will not come out in the wash.

    The " happy ending " does not always happen,in fact it seldom happens.

    Unless your "faster than a speeding bullet" and have X ray vision,there is a VERY good chance you will be harmed during a LETHAL FORCE INCIDENT.

    No one will fault you for trying ,and only your loved ones might curse you for losing your life when it was avoidable.

    Make your decisions from those facts of life.
     
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  23. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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  24. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
     
  25. shafter

    shafter Member

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    In a world full of people afraid to act I'm not willing to criticize this man for trying to stop an armed criminal. As a Ranger I'm sure he's had his life on the line many times during his career and probably wasn't afraid to risk it again. I agree that trying to intervene is most often the wrong decision and tactically unsound, but he made a calculated risk and lost. Every heroic decision is tactically unsound when you think about it.
     
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