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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the other day I was transiting from one class to another which requires I walk all the way across campus and half-way across I cut through or go around another building. Normally I do this every day without thinking much about it. Sometimes, however, I purposely take the "routes less traveled" b/c many of the commonly-taken routes are chock-full of people in funnel-type spaces and it just seems a little like barrel-fishing... call me paranoid... anyways, this particular day I was taking one of the more common routes and cutting through the building in the middle of campus when as I entered the building for some reason I started thinking and here is what I thought about:

In my life right now I am mobile a pretty high percentage of the time. Often I am not sitting in a cubicle or a single space for hours on end (except at home). It seems to me that my odds of "stumbling" or "walking into" trouble are higher than having trouble "stumble" into me... in other words, I think it's less likely that: I might be sitting in a single location for several minutes and be fully aware of the context of what is going on around me when suddenly a perp bounces on the scene and starts shooting, making it easy for me to know who MY target should be -- than it is that: I enter a building only to hear shooting but be unsure of where it is coming from exactly.

As I entered that building that day, those scenarios sort of flashed through my head. For some reason I envisioned myself coming around the corner and looking down the hallway and seeing someone with a gun taking aim down the hallway (not at me, but in the opposite direction) and I see a victim a little in front of them. At first glance, it might seem the perp is the guy with the gun... suddenly I see him fire off a few rounds into a room that I cannot see into and I draw a shoot him in the back. But what if *THAT* guy was a fellow CC'er that I just shot and he was shooting at the perp who was in the room out of my view???

Another question to consider about this scenario is what if *YOU* are the CC'er doing the shooting and you are out in the open targeting the perp -- are your prepared to be misidentified by other CC'ers, trigger-happy LE's that come on the scene without your being aware of it, etc???

I've never been in a real situation... but I'm willing to bet that they get pretty confusing pretty fast. Being "trigger happy", even in one's own home, will lead us to think and act EVERYWHERE in a trigger-happy fashion. Being willing to condition one's mind to stop and think prior to shooting, even in one's own home, will lead us to taking a more correct course of action in an emergency.
 

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Good question, great scenario.

This is one thing I learned from Clark Aposhian when I took my CFP course from him:

When you encounter a possible threat, use a commanding voice and force the suppposed threat to either identify themselves or cease their actions.

If it's a good guy, chances are that he is going to place his hands into the air and identify himself and/or stop what he is doing.

If he's a bad guy, it is more likely that he will turn the weapon upon you.

Just a thought and there may be better suggestions here shortly.
 

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Tough scenario.

I think my first responsibility is to protect myself. As you describe the situation, it is quite easy to protect yourself. Simply take cover and observe for a second. Or back out of the door. Hopefully you can determine quickly if the guy with the gun is a good guy or a bad guy. How you go about doing that is another story. I would think that through a few seconds of observation you could tell. If you couldn't tell quickly through simple observation, you may need to initiate some sort of contact with the individual to determine if they are a good guy or bad guy. I would want to be the one to initiate this contact though taking cover and any tactical advantage I could get. Thats a tough situation still though. Part of me thinks that I am really carrying a gun to protect myself. (Yes and others.) The best way to protect myself in that situation is to simply remove myself from the situation. However, I personally feel that I would have a moral responsibility to help those around me. Hopefully my instincts and good judgement would working and working correctly.....

If I did use my gun because it was a bad guy, I would think that I would want to immediately make the gun dissappear and turn myself into just part of the crowd so LE or another CC wouldn't mistakenly ID me as a bad guy. In other words, after I shot the bad guy, I would immediately conceal my gun and blend in.

-PW
 

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I asked my CC Instructor about the situation at Trolly Square, and what the best course of action would be if I found myself in a similar situation. i.e. should I take it upon myself and find the guy and shoot him or what? His response is exactly as has been stated. "If you are not in any immediate danger, leave the area. Don't go looking for it." For the simple reason that when the Law enforcement does arrive (or any other CCP holders) and they see you aiming a gun at someone the chances that they will mistake you for the perp are fairly high.

This said, I still am not sure I could live with myself knowing I left a situation where innocent people were being shot, and I did nothing about it... I guess it would depend on the situation and weather my family was with me or not.

Regarless, if you are unsure of your target, or just as importantly what is behind your target... don't even think about pulling the trigger.
 

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Bane has some good points to ponder.

When I was assaulted about 4 years ago I ended up with my hand on my weapon using a commanding voice, and posture, to indicate that not only was I armed, but if the perp did not leave the situation he would be tangling with more than the "unarmed" victim he felt he had found. It was this type of behavior on my part which forced him to rethink his actions & flee like the coward he was.

That said, during the whole encounter I was aware of Everything around me. It was like the world went into slow motion & I was able to perceive all around me to the extent that I was able to take in what was down the road from me, a house straight ahead at the T-intersection, the cars driving by on my left, the apartment complex on my right, the woman in the passenger seat of the vehicle which the perp had exited to assault me from...everything, even the stance, where his hands were, where & what he was looking at. Knowing all these things in what felt to be a few seconds at best helped me to decide exactly how to proceed.

Yes I was prepared to do more however, fortunately for the fleeing coward, I knew my surroundings and made the correct call when the time came to do so. Hopefully no one here ever has to do so, but it is good to know that you are able to defend yourself, when necessary. Keeping your cool and taking a commanding stance can be all that is needed. Situational awareness is a must.
 

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PW said:
If I did use my gun because it was a bad guy, I would think that I would want to immediately make the gun dissappear and turn myself into just part of the crowd so LE or another CC wouldn't mistakenly ID me as a bad guy. In other words, after I shot the bad guy, I would immediately conceal my gun and blend in.
If you did have to use deadly force, I'm not sure what the best course of action would be, but I don't think this would be it for several reasons.

First, the cops are going to show up and wonder who shot the bad guy, or if the bad guy shot the CC'er. Sooner or later, through all sorts of high-tech CSI-type stuff, they are going to figure out it was you. Better to admit it up front so they know you aren't the perp.

Second, they will be wondering if there is an accomplice and will probably search everyone present. They will find your gun, and they will find GSR on your hands, and they will arrest you. Again, better to admit it up front.

My thinking is that CCW is kind of like First Aid. Do whatever you can to help the situation until the professionals arrive. Then you let them know you are on their side and let them take over.

Again, I don't know exactly what would be the best thing to do after such an encounter. Maybe we can get some more input from the forum. And don't take this as a personal attack. We are all here to help each other, not to bash. I just think that walking away from a shooting situation with your weapon concealed makes you smell like a bad guy.
 

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I would hope PW means blend in until the cavalry arrives, not try to slip away unnoticed altogether - just not be standing there with a drawn weapon when they show up.

Everybody's making good points here -

I was taught that should I have to engage a bad guy, to identify myself as an armed citizen, to yell for somebody to call 911, tell them where I am, and tell them what I look like.

This is great for after the event. DURING the event, yes, things could get hairy I suspect. i believe most of us will recognize cues about who are the good guys -

In the example- you see a guy in the hallway using cover, with good shooting form. Is he going to look the same as a thug with his gun sideways one handed?

Now, there are active shooter nutjobs who break the mold - I don't know what the kook in VA shot like, but he was dressed like a wannabe SWAT guy. The sad reality is you might have to see them being an active shooter before you engage to be sure.
 

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Maladjusted said:
I would hope PW means blend in until the cavalry arrives, not try to slip away unnoticed altogether - just not be standing there with a drawn weapon when they show up.
That is what I mean.

And to T-man. I am not advocating trying to HIDE or deny involvement in any way. I simply would not be standing there with my gun drawn. Remember LE has been known to be trigger happy also. I never said I would "walk away." I said I would blend in. I would immediately let LE know of my involvement. I'm just not going to be standing there with my gun drawn down on someone....I don't want to be mistaken as the bad guy!

-PW
 

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The one major component that everyone is failing to mention, is that one of the first things you want to do anytime that you have to present deadly force is make a phone call......to 911, informing them that you are the good guy, you are armed, and you are "6'3" wearing brown jacket, blue jeans and a red hat". This one key step will inform the officers that are responding that you are on their side, and they will be looking for you when they arrive. Many people miss this step and that is where a lot of the problem arrise. B
 

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Sorry, PW, I seem to have read too much into your post. It's early and the caffeine has yet to fully kick in. I was hoping that nobody was dumb enough to sneak away from an encounter, and I don't think anybody here is that stupid. Sorry about that. Re-concealing after the encounter would serve to make you less of a target for a possible Perp 2.0, or a trigger-happy good guy. But I don't like the idea of putting it away until 100% sure there is no more threat. I would remain in a covered position, drawn and ready to defend myself in case the threat level increases again. As long as you aren't posing a threat to anyone, and you have identified yourself as a good guy by yelling and calling 911, you shouldn't (hopefully) be misidentified as a BG. I guess you just have to trust that your fellow good guys are sane enough to recognize you as a non-villain.

So, here's a question for the group: What exactly should you yell to the crowd to let them know you are not a threat?
 

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T-Man said:
Sorry, PW, I seem to have read too much into your post. It's early and the caffeine has yet to fully kick in. I was hoping that nobody was dumb enough to sneak away from an encounter, and I don't think anybody here is that stupid. Sorry about that. Re-concealing after the encounter would serve to make you less of a target for a possible Perp 2.0, or a trigger-happy good guy. But I don't like the idea of putting it away until 100% sure there is no more threat. I would remain in a covered position, drawn and ready to defend myself in case the threat level increases again. As long as you aren't posing a threat to anyone, and you have identified yourself as a good guy by yelling and calling 911, you shouldn't (hopefully) be misidentified as a BG. I guess you just have to trust that your fellow good guys are sane enough to recognize you as a non-villain.

So, here's a question for the group: What exactly should you yell to the crowd to let them know you are not a threat?
NP. I agree with your post. I agree completely that it would be a bad idea to reconceal your gun until you were 100% sure that your target had been nuetralized. But once I was 100% sure, I personally would conceal my gun.

I would probably yell something like,

"Hasta LaVista Baby" or
"Do you fell lucky...do ya?" or
"Keep the change ya filthy animal" or
"I'm a CRAZY man with a gun...rrrrhahahahahah"

JUST KIDDING!!!!

Probably something along the lines of
"I'm a good guy, I'm a good guy, I'm a good guy. Can anyone help me?"

I really like the idea of yelling to call 911! That would obviously identify your intent to those around you.

-PW
 

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Another very good point is that we must be most vigilant at the times of most risk. The chances of a home invasion are relatively slim, but this can also be the most devastating form of assault as it violates the most sacred of places we are likely to be. On the other hand, while on the street, in the mall, etc., we are in contact with more people and are more likely to find trouble.

For me, I'm fairly stationary through my work day. The times in my life when I'm most likely to be involved in an incident are driving to/from work, traveling out of state via airplane, and at church - all of which, interestingly, have the strictest restrictions upon my ability to carry a defensive weapon. :?
 

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Tacomatose said:
The one major component that everyone is failing to mention, is that one of the first things you want to do anytime that you have to present deadly force is make a phone call......to 911, informing them that you are the good guy, you are armed, and you are "6'3" wearing brown jacket, blue jeans and a red hat". This one key step will inform the officers that are responding that you are on their side, and they will be looking for you when they arrive. Many people miss this step and that is where a lot of the problem arrise. B
I agree. Making the 911 call could save you a lot of grief.

Another thing is that I'm sure that after you shoot the "bad guy" the police are going to detain you to make sure you are not an accomplice or until the very least they get your story.

I think I would set my weapon on the ground and put my foot on it with my hands in the air yelling "police". One thing for sure though... Either way, I believe it would be a life changing experience
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow... some great feedback to this post!

I like the idea of calling 911 -- I actually had failed to think of that (even after how many hours of Navy training telling me to do so, you ask??? More than I care to admit, sadly.)

Personally, I don't think such a situation would allow you to call 911 yourself. To sit there on the phone for 20-30 seconds while the phone connects with the service, rings, the operator answers, and you explain the situation, is waaaaay too long. Plus, it would attract the perp's attention to yourself more than a simple "Call 911" as you shoot him.

But I do like the idea of charging someone else to call 911. I agree with the position that most perps will probably look like perps. In the Navy we always had that group of new Recruits fresh out of boot-camp and there were always a few who up to just a few months ago were gang-bangers from the projects who simply hadn't been caught being thugs yet. It was always funny to watch them participating in one of the weapons familiarization sessions b/c of how gangster they always handled the weapon. Thinking they could shoot with the gun rotated on it's side, with both eyes opened, etc. It always was a good laugh.

So I do think most perps would be obviously untrained shooters -- and that's good for us, should we ever find ourselves in that situation b/c most likely they won't be able to hit back at us!!! :)
 

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I have coached my wife that if "somthing" ever happens on what she is to do. I tell her she is to take the kids (if pressent) and run. She is also to call 911 and give them my discription. If she isn't pressent then I guess I would recrute somone else to make the call. If I was alone I guess I would have to juggle the responcibility or a bluetooth earpeice would aid the situation being the hands are free.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Whewe do classes I instruct everyone that if they have time and can...CALL 911. The nice thing about this is that when dispatch answers the phone, YOUR CALL IS RECORDED. Plus dispatch is listening and SUPPOSED to relay all the information that you tell them. Give your description and as much detail as you can. When the Police arrive, DO WHAT THEY SAY.
 
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