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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping this is the right forum because I see two or three that it could go in. If this isn't the right one please move it to the right one.

Okay, there has been an increase in crime in malls lately. Well, some might say it is going down or the same, but I believe it is going up. You are in the mall with your family or friends and you are carrying (CC or OC, either one) and gun fire opens up. What would you do?

I would think that you could pull and protect your family, hiding in a store or something like that, trying to get them out. Well, what about the rest of the people in the mall? Do you leave them to their fate or goto their aid? Do you risk getting shot from law enforcement for trying to take down the shooter yourself? Is it against the law to pull and go after the shooter yourself if you are not a peace officer? This question is kinda taring me.

There is a law that if you witness a car accident you are suppose to pull over and offer help. If you don't then you can be charged. Does this also apply for mall or school shootings? If you can help do you, even if you are not a peace officer?

Love to hear your thoughts.
 

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I would protect myself and other's with me. Make a call to PD/911, let them know who I am and what I'm wearing. I would go after the BG.
 

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Shaolin said:
I would protect myself and other's with me. I would go after the BG.
The two statements could well be mutually exclusive. How can you protect those you are with if you leave to go looking for the shooter? What if there are multiple shooters?

I think each situation would have to be evaluated on its merits. If my grand-daughter and I were at the mall and there was shooting, I highly doubt I would leave a 5 year old alone while I went hunting for the source of the shooting.

Outsider said:
There is a law that if you witness a car accident you are suppose to pull over and offer help. If you don't then you can be charged. Does this also apply for mall or school shootings? If you can help do you, even if you are not a peace officer?
The courts, including the USSC, have ruled repeatedly that the police have no duty to protect an individual, their duty is to the community as a a whole. It hardly seems likely that courts would hold a permit holder responsible for protecting strangers.
 

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(I am not a lawyer... yada yada yada)

You can use deadly force in protection of yourself or a third party against forcible felonies or serious bodily harm or death. You don't have an obligation to protect a third party -- that is up to you. This is all very situational.

Like I advise the students taking CFP courses, when you read or hear about stories (mall shootings, home invasions, car jackings, whatever), put yourself in the story and think about what you *might* do. You won't really know what you will do until you are in the situation, but after thinking though a couple of hundred "what if" exercises, you will be better prepared to take action if something does go bad.
 

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There are a lot of variables to that situation. My first duty would by to my family, to make sure that they are out of harms way, and to protect them, first and foremost. And yes I would have my weapon in hand.
But if alone I would call 911 state who I am, what part of the mall I'm in and that I am armed. Then and only then I would do a recon and try to find out where and how many shooters there are, at all times watching my back and looking for the police. Believe my I do not want to by mistaken for the shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
rdoggsilva said:
There are a lot of variables to that situation. My first duty would by to my family, to make sure that they are out of harms way, and to protect them, first and foremost. And yes I would have my weapon in hand.
But if alone I would call 911 state who I am, what part of the mall I'm in and that I am armed. Then and only then I would do a recon and try to find out where and how many shooters there are, at all times watching my back and looking for the police. Believe my I do not want to by mistaken for the shooter.
I like the "recon" part there. Maybe better to have someone on the inside that can relay the information, right? Might be better to recon the area, tell the cops what they need to hear and then get out of the way.
 

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First and fore most is the protection of myself and those around me. If I am in a store, I will hunker down weapon drawn with the people with me and wait for the cavalry. If I am caught in the open, same thing until I reach cover. I won't go after the BG automatically because it may be more dangerous or add aggravation to the situation. That would only depend on the situation at that moment and if I felt that intervening would help and not harm myself or others. Its really based on that moment at hand, I would do what was neccessary.

If that BG manages to wander into my sector or near me and the others, I will do what is neccessary to protect myself and those near me. If those around me are secure and I have others with me either CCW or undercover like trolley square, I will lend a hand in keeping the BG down until the cavalry arrives. Most importantly of all is getting the cavalry to the mall. AKA my cell phone will already be out with a description of the situation and myself. Rarely is a cop going to shoot before identifying and ordering. Now, if you happen to be in an active firefight when the police arrive that is a different story. Or if somehow it appears that you are shooting at the police, then your on your own. Previous incidents have shown, however, that the cowards killing people tend to suddenly take cover themselves when people shoot back. I remember the police coming up on the armed off duty officer in the video. He immediately identified himself it was quite clear who the BG was in the room at the time. We will follow the officers directions the BG will not. I like scenarios, but they are just that scenarios, who knows what would really happen in that situation. All we can do is mentally prepare ourselves for something like this to happen.
 

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Maybe I should have said that I would not hesitate to go after the BG.
 

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I carry a gun 1st to protect myself and my family. My first priority is to get myself, and those with me out of harms way whatever that is. I will NOT leave my family until I am 100% certain they are out of harms way. If others are getting shot while I protect and take care of my family, thats not my problem. They should have chosen to carry and defend themselves. I would never leave my family until I was 100% sure they were OK and completely out of harms way. Nothing else matters until that is taken care of. At that point...who knows. I think there are too many variables to give a definitive answer. If I was in a position to help others after my family or myself was safe, then I would not hesitate to help in any way possible. If that meant going to the aid of victims or actively engaging the BG I would help in whatever way seemed prudent at the time. I can also say that if you look at the situation from the view of your family, they would likely say that they wouldn't want you rushing into harms way. Your 1st responsibilty to protect them I think also includes keeping yourself alive. This is a tough question because it really depends on the situation. Everyone has a built in desire to help those around you but at the same time you shouldn't do something stupid....imagine if you get your family out safely then you rush back in and get killed. Is that fair to your family?
 

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+1 I like scenarios because they get the brain going. I don't like them because its all based on things we don't know. I think my options and motives would be different if there are loved ones involved. A lot of depending I guess. I'm with Shaolin though, given the right situation and elements, I would not be afraid to go after or suppress the BG. But I'm single without a family right now too. That makes a big difference I think. my decisions would be different if loved ones or friends were with me.
 

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I also agree that thinking through these types of things is very helpful. While you don't want to lock yourself into one way of thinking, having an inclination of what you would do ahead of time could save your life. I often think through situations like this - what is the target, how many bullets do I have, what is behind the target, should I engage or withdraw, etc.

I'd get my family to safety first. As PW noted, the protection of my family is priority #1 and I'm not going to risk their lives in an attempt to save someone that did not take their safety seriously enough to arm themselves. Once my family and perhaps other that are with me are 100% absolutely safe, I *might* attempt an engagement or 'recon' if I had a pretty clear tactical advantage. If it's me and my pistol vs. 2 shooters with semi-auto rifles, I'm gunna get outta Dodge. If I can maintain a very clear tactical advantage and am fairly certain that my actions might save lives, then I'd probably do what I could.
 

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Not only that but if you can take a shoot with out endangering others or exposing yourself, you must make up your mind. But be sure of your target and remember you can not call the bullet back. And you must live with the choices you make. Real life is not like the movies, so choose wisely.
 

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Outsider said:
Anyone know what Utah Law is on this?
On what? Defending yourself or others. There certainly is no law that makes it illegal to use lethal force in the defense of yourself or others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
apollosmith said:
Outsider said:
Anyone know what Utah Law is on this?
On what? Defending yourself or others. There certainly is no law that makes it illegal to use lethal force in the defense of yourself or others.
Yeah, defending others other then myself and family, like patrons around me.
 

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Outsider said:
Anyone know what Utah Law is on this?
Your CFP class should have covered this (or maybe you haven't taken it yet? Sorry, I don't recall if you've already got your permit).

I suggest that you go read the law yourself, but here's how it works in a nutshell, per my understanding (IANAL, this is not legal advice, etc.):

You are justified in using deadly force to defend yourself or others when you have a reasonable fear that you or someone else is about to be seriously injured (broken bones, severe cuts, etc.) or killed. You are also justified in using deadly force to prevent a "forcible felony", which is a class of felonies defined in Utah law. Basically, forcible felonies are those that involve force against a person, including rape, assault, robbery, kidnapping, etc.

In your residence, you are further authorized to use deadly force if unlawful entry into your home is made violently, surreptitiously or stealthily and you reasonably believe that the invader will hurt people inside. Also, you can use deadly force if you reasonably believe the invader intends to commit a felony, regardless of whether or not they broke in or snuck in, as long as their entry was unlawful. Burglary is a felony.

The law that authorizes deadly force in these cases also shields you from civil liability. The invader's family can sue you, but you are presumed to have acted reasonably. Note that this law only applies when someone has unlawfully entered or attacked your habitation. If you invite someone in and then they start trying to break your wife's legs, you can shoot and you'll be justified, but you don't have the protection against civil liability.

Another important point of Utah law regarding use of force is that you have no duty to retreat from any place you have entered or remained legally, and certainly not in your home. Some other states require you to try to get away if that will end the threat, Utah does not. However, if you shoot when you could have gotten away you might be setting yourself up for a civil suit. Other than in your home, of course.

Finally, everyone carrying a gun should know that Utah law does NOT generally authorize the use of deadly force in defense of property. It authorizes "other than deadly force". So if you see someone breaking into your unoccupied car, you can't legally shoot him. You can walk up and punch him in the face, but that requires getting close. I carry OC spray, so I think I'd approach with my strong hand on my gun and my OC spray in my weak hand, just close enough to spray him.
 

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I'm in basic agreement with what seems to be the basic consensus - secure your family and those you are responsible for first, then proceed cautiously as the situation dictates, all after gettin 911 on the phone, of course.

Personally, I would have a hard time living with myself knowing that many people died when I could have done something to stop a killer and chose to let someone else handle it. While I certainly agree that it is others' responsibility to protect themselves, I couldn't walk past a stranger on the street with a gun to his head and say "Shoulda protected yourself" and keep walking away as the trigger gets pulled. I would have to do something.

For me, the key is "All I can reasonably do."

As has been brought out, if I go running out there shooting in a blaze of glory and die trying to be a hero, that's no consolation for my surviving family.

If I were in that situation, it would go something like this:

Pull my gun and find cover for myself (and family if present).
Call 911 from cell phone, and keep them on the line.
Secure my family (if present) in a safe location, or make sure they get out safely.
Move from cover to cover carefully watching and listening to Bad Guy, reporting to 911, while trying to get in position to get a clear shot, and trying not to attract B.G.'s attention.
If I get a shot, take him out.

Of course, my own personal safety is paramount once my family is safe and secure. My duty is to them first and foremost.

The element of surprise would be imperative. I wouldn't want to get into a gunfight with someone likely much better armed than I am, so I wouldn't shoot until I'm sure it's going to count.
 
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