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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thoughts/rant

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I'm placing this here because it stems from a Tactical Discussion I had someplace else. If I posted this in the wrong area, or it's "inappropriate" I ask that one of the Mods either move or delete it.

I recently saw a video of a woman being stabbed in the neck, repeatedly, by the spouse as he was straddling her. As I grow older, been carrying a gun legally for over twenty years, I find myself more and more aware of my own mortality. I also see the legal and financial implications to shooting in defense of a third party.

Bear in mind, I'm also an LEO, Federal. My Agency has said, "Any actions taken off duty will not be considered within the scope of employment." Since I carry a gun or two all the time I would be armed and able to resolve this situation, if I needed to use deadly force. I am looking at this from an off duty standpoint.

I generally believe that people are responsible for their own safety. Myself and my family take what steps we feel are necessary to try an ensure our safety. It seems that many CCW Holders would've intervened in this situation I'm describing. It was obviously a "Justified Shoot". I made a decision when I went to work for my Agency that the only person, besides myself and a loved one, that I would intervene for using deadly force was a uniformed LEO, when I am off duty.

My reasoning is manyfold. First, having to justify and defend your actions gets exspensive, been there twice already. I am responsible for my family's security, physical and financial. Being right is OK, but it doesn't do you any good if you can't buy the groceries or lose your home to pay your attorney bills.

Second, my Agency will not "cover" me off duty. Oh sure, we have LEOSA and all that crap, but if we use a firearm in defense of self or another we are "hung out to dry". If, after all the investigations, we are applauded by the media and other L.E. Agencies are commending us, we may be given an award and held up as a hero by my own employer, or we may simply be fired. Of course we most likely will win our job back, but at what cost?

Lots of people on forums spout off that they'ed rather be broke and living in a cardboard box than to not help someone in a situation as I've described. In my opinion, they've never seen a situation like I've described, nor been in an "Armed Encounter" or had to defend their actions. Heck, even LEO's think I'm "over the top" due to my stance of not helping someone by using deadly force on behalf of a non LEO.

That does not mean that I won't be a good witness, but what do I owe society? Is society going to pay my mortgage and buy groceries? Like I said before, I believe we are each responsible for our own safety and off duty I have no obligation to you. The reason I will help a fellow LEO is because I can "identify" who the players are in a situation. Make no mistake about it, identifying who is who is very important. Look at how many off duty LEO's have been shot when they decided to intervene off duty.

OK, here's my tactics part of it: Off Duty I will be a witness and nothing more unless the actions of the criminal aggressors are threatening me and mine.

What thoughts do you all have on this? I welcome feedback from CCW Holders and LEO's, but please leave the "Kill Them And Let God Sort Them Out" crap at the door.

Biker
 

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I responded to this elsewhere with a rather long-winded reply.
But basically, I agree.

If I, or my family is in immediate danger, I will do all I can to end it.
If I can get my family out of the area, I will, and leave others to their own devices. If they chose to not have any "devices"- sorry.

There are exceptions to not intervening, of course. Kids being attacked comes to mind.
 

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My answer to your question is a long, complex question.

IF you didn't intervene when an innocent is being attacked, and that innocent died or was severely disabled as a result, would you be able to sleep at night, look yourself in the mirror, or even your wife and children in the face knowing that you put 'finance' above doing what you knew was right and what you would want/expect someone else to do if it was your family member being attacked, raped or murdered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My answer to your question is a long, complex question.

IF you didn't intervene when an innocent is being attacked, and that innocent died or was severely disabled as a result, would you be able to sleep at night, look yourself in the mirror, or even your wife and children in the face knowing that you put 'finance' above doing what you knew was right and what you would want/expect someone else to do if it was your family member being attacked, raped or murdered?
I will sleep very well if I don't do anything.

Call me "jaded" cynical or even burnt toast, but I live with the reality of my situation. Just because I am not using deadly force doesn't mean I am doing nothing. Cell Phone Video, calling 911 (I think it's 000 down under) and yelling at the aggressor to stop are actions I'm willing to take off duty for a non loved one.

As far as finances, I can tell you from personal expirience, been there twice already, lawyers are costly even when you do everything right. Since I'm not covered by my Agency off duty, will probably be sued by the criminal actor and his/her victim and face loss of employment and possible prison time, good luck getting me involved. The risk are very high, make sure the reward is worth it.
 

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My answer to your question is a long, complex question.

IF you didn't intervene when an innocent is being attacked, and that innocent died or was severely disabled as a result, would you be able to sleep at night, look yourself in the mirror, or even your wife and children in the face knowing that you put 'finance' above doing what you knew was right and what you would want/expect someone else to do if it was your family member being attacked, raped or murdered?
Some of what I posted elsewhere addressed this, but maybe it bears repeating here.

A lot of what I would do naturally depends on the situation.

-If I see a guy with an RPG run into a school bus full of kids at a bus stop, I will try to do something.

-If I see one person draw a gun on another, and that's all the information I have, I will probably not do anything more than call 911. It may be a robbery or even just cold blooded murder for the heck of it...but it could also be that the "victim" had a kinife on the "agressor" that I could not see, or maybe the one with the gun is an off-duty or undercover officer arresting the most wanted fugitive in the country.

-Using the (sadly) standard mall shooting as an example: If I'm there with my family and can get them out, that is what I will do. I will (probably) not stop to engage, or send my family on so I can "help". I might, but it would depend on many things.
I suppose anything is possible, but I'd say it's a 99% chance that I would not go back in.

Could I live with myself for not going back to help?
Maybe the key word is "live". I'm sure I would have doubts/regrets later- it's only human. But I'd rather be able to look at myself in the mirror and wonder than not be there at all.
My duty is to my family, just like everyone else who might be there. I chose to make some efforts to enable me to defend mine IF I need to.
They chose not to.

And they might very well condemn me for my choice.
What if I miss and hit a store worker 300 feet behind the scene who would have been safe otherwise?
What if I shoot through the agressor and hit a child who was behind him and who I couldn't see?
I would be made to look like a more evil figure than the agressor. I will take this risk to save my family or myself, but not to be a "hero" for those that chose to go through life with their heads in the sand, and who would also hang me out to dry in a second.

Any local or county LEO I've talked to has stories of going to a domestic disturbance call, and finding either the husband or wife beating the snot out of each other or worse. When they are about to be led away, the "better half" begs for their release, or in some cases attacks the officers.
If people who actually asked for help will turn on that help so quickly, what will become of one of us if we jump into a shooting situation we were not originally involved in and then don't do every tiny little thing 100% right?
Even if we had no choice and had to shoot an attacker, the "victim's" family will probably find some way to go after us. I hate to think what it would be like if we did not have to get involved, but did, and something goes wrong.
And it's a lot easier for things to go wrong than to go right.
 

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It's a grey area but an armed intervention by a licensed civilian is most likely illegal. Your risking everything you own including your liberty. Ask yourself, is your families well being worth the risk involved?

I'ld have a hard time explaining to my wife why she's living under the bridge and I'm writing her from prison.

call 911 and get the paid professionals involved
 

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You know, I had a long, drawn out reply drafted for this, but I think each situation is too unique and each decision too personal to make a blanket statement on this.

Would I personally do something if someone was in trouble? Probably but not definitely.

I look at it sort of like CPR and first aid:

If someone goes down with a heart attack right there in front of me, and I have no latex or face guard with me, do I help?

I never thought so.

Less than a year ago I went into town for coffee and gas late at night. As I sat down to drink my coffee, a woman in one of the booths began seizing.

I stated "first responder" (though I've not been one in several years - dunno why I said that) and proceeded to help her, keeping her airway open (which included clearing vomit by turning her head - wasn't going to lose any fingers), monitoring her pulse, you know the drill.

So there I was kneeling in a puddle of puke, helping this woman who was seizing, giving orders to call paramedics, for a good 10 minutes, WITHOUT latex or protection of any sort except for my clothing.

I went to the doctor a month later to be tested for HIV. Thankfully it was negative.

I found out later that same night why she seized: She couldn't get a fix. I was irate... and as much as I hate to say it, I probably wouldn't have helped if I had known the reason behind the seizure.

So what happened was that training from 10 years ago kicked in. That's really the long and short of it.

After all this typing... I really still don't know. I personally don't expect anyone to help me, but I suspect they would. We're social animals and we're just wired that way. I suppose I would help another, not because I thought it would be a good idea, but because instinct and training would kick in.

But, I can't say for sure.

Josh <><
 

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Barry, you know my background.

Like you, I know that the circumstances will usually dictate the response, and that there is usually more than one (force) option - the last being use of deadly force. Even then, the correct response may well be 'run and hide - let the big dogs deal with it'.

I put out the question for its 'food for thought' value. It's always easier to come to terms with something if one has thought it out from all angles beforehand, isn't it?
 

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Hello,

In SC, we have the "alter ego", i.e. defense of others law that would hold a CWP holder harmless if he caps a perp while defending someone else who is in immeniant danger or death.

That being said, shooting and maiming/killing someone does not mean someone, i.e. the victims family will not sue you for civil damages.

I put each of us in this scenerio: "you walk into a bank/convenience store that is in the process of being robbed--now you are a hostage or potential victim, albeit perhaps temporily--
how would you react?"

Most of us that encounter real life deadly threats do so when we are least prepared or expecting it.

That being said, it is a deeply significant moral and legal decision to make that most of us cannot fathom from the "arm chair" so to speak, because no one knows how we'd react in real life circumstances.

Train for the worst and then plan for the worst (the aftermath).

Great topic bikern,

Chris
 

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Barry, you know my background.

Like you, I know that the circumstances will usually dictate the response, and that there is usually more than one (force) option - the last being use of deadly force. Even then, the correct response may well be 'run and hide - let the big dogs deal with it'.

I put out the question for its 'food for thought' value. It's always easier to come to terms with something if one has thought it out from all angles beforehand, isn't it?
Yes it is.
And I think Josh said what I was trying to say...he just did it without writing a book- Each situation is different. We won't know until we know.

In general, a situation must convince me it's worth it before I'm risking everything my family has or will have by getting involved in many situations.
But there are plenty of exceptions.
 

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Hello,

In SC, we have the "alter ego", i.e. defense of others law that would hold a CWP holder harmless if he caps a perp while defending someone else who is in immeniant danger or death.

That being said, shooting and maiming/killing someone does not mean someone, i.e. the victims family will not sue you for civil damages.

I put each of us in this scenerio: "you walk into a bank/convenience store that is in the process of being robbed--now you are a hostage or potential victim, albeit perhaps temporily--
how would you react?"

Most of us that encounter real life deadly threats do so when we are least prepared or expecting it.

That being said, it is a deeply significant moral and legal decision to make that most of us cannot fathom from the "arm chair" so to speak, because no one knows how we'd react in real life circumstances.

Train for the worst and then plan for the worst (the aftermath).

Great topic bikern,

Chris
Chris,

In a situation like a bank being robbed, if I'm a hostage, I will just assume that I won't come out alive without action on my part.

Josh <><
 

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This is too hard a question to answer hypothetically. Your response is always going to be governed by the specifics of the situation. If the threat to you or your own is immediate, you're going to react instinctively, and training and muscle memory will kick in. If the threat is second-hand, however (and this is the way the question is being phrased), you'll probably have time to second-guess yourself. If you have the habit or mindset of taking the initiative away from an attacker, which most current and former LEO's do, you might step into something you'd be better advised to avoid. Generally speaking, it seems to me that if you have time to think about the choice, your choice would be retreat. (Unless, and this a big unless, your inaction will result in innocent people being hurt.)

However, a recent example: I was in the parking lot of the Albertson's, walking my groceries to the car. Middle of the day. Shouting and pounding footsteps close behind me. I turn around, and a guy is running like crazy, with a couple of supermarket employees chasing him. He drops his bag of shoplifted stuff and puts the pedal to the metal, but he's looking over his shoulder, and when he runs past me, close enough to touch, I swing my leg out and hook his feet, and he goes down. Okay, why did I do this? It doesn't mean anything to me that Albertson's loses a bag of oranges, so I don't know. But one of the guys chasing him was the produce guy, that I shoot the breeze with when I shop, who happens to have been career military? Maybe. I didn't think about the possible scenario that the guy gets up off the pavement and pulls a box-cutter on me and I draw a gun, which would then result in my arrest, whether or not I shoot him. Point being, everything depends. I have to say that I pretty much agree with BikerN. It's not cold-blooded to consider that the consequences of your socially responsible action might wind up with you in jail, the object of contempt in the local media, and your wife and kids on the street.

There's self-defense, and there's self-defense. And anybody's free to disagree with me.
 
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When I made the switch from LE to legally armed civilian, it took a while for my mindset to change from intervention and arrest to witness and protect self and family. Defense of self and others may often be best accomplished by avoiding the threat or evading the threat, and de-escalation of the potential for confrontation. Intervening in someone else's domestic dispute or interpersonal squabble is a sure way to buy a bag of trouble. Whenever it's some stranger's issue, creating distance and using the cell phone to call 911 is most likely the best tool.
 

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Thoughts not only a LEO, but civilians that own guns must make themselves.
Difficult topic.
As a citizen, I feel I have some social duties that might be not avoided. In this case, avoiding my social duty would be call 911 (110 in my country) and then act as a witness. This might be legally appropriate. But is this fair?
If the victim is life threated, and killed, and I would have a gun, and instead of defending the victim I just call 110, at least here, in trial, they might ask me why I acted just as a wittiness and not saved the victims life.
I would also ask myself for a long long time if not my whole life about my moral feelings.
I can just say, I hope never be involved in such a situation. I do not want to go to jail for defending someone, but I also do not want to see someone being killed because I did nothing.
But what I will do now, is to inform myself about legal implications for playing the hero or not to react.
 

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I've already been in this situation, and I don't feel one bit bad about my response, which was further validated by the officers who responded to the incident.

My current job involves protecting the public, but I can't afford to lose my humanity once I'm off duty. There are times when what is best for me is not necessarily best for others, and I don't think I'd like myself very much if I stopped caring about the innocent. (Look up John Donne's "Meditation XVII.")
 

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"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Very tough topic. I've already had my say, but I'd add another quote. I'm not sure where this comes from---maybe Bonhoffer? I believe some churchman in Germany after the Nazis were in power, and I may not have this right. "They came for the Jews, and I didn't protest, because I wasn't a Jew. They came for the Communists, and I didn't protest, because I wasn't a Communist. They came for the homosexuals, and I didn't protest, because I wasn't a homosexual. And when they came for me, there was nobody left to protest." This is not a political post, although I'm probably skirting the edge, and maybe the thread should be locked, at the webmaster's discretion, but I think it should left open. We're talking about personal decisions, and I happen to agree with Biker, but I also agree with other posters, that it's a matter of conscience, or habit (for former or current LEO's), or muscle memory, or just honest outrage. We have a responsibility. Do we exercise it?

With all due respect, maybe this discussion has no place on this board.
 

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Hello abninftr and Lelandray,

Gentlemen, I have a profound and genuine respect for your both your life experience and intellectual proclivity, which if the truth be know--far exceeds mine!

However, I also agee with Mr. Camp and want to get back on the subject at hand.

bikerns situation seems to be simply this.

If he shows up to convenience store to fill up his personal vehicle and winds up walking in on a robbery in progress--draws, fires and kills the perp--his job is in jeoprady! He get's zero support from the agency he works for and if he uses his duty weapon--he goes in front of a panel of inquiry and faces losing his job.

However, if he goes to the bank in his G-ride, goes to make a deposit, encounters 2 felons during a hold-up, shoots and kills both--he may get clear for preventing a Federal crime. He will still have to face a shooting investigation, possible suspension/desk duty, and will probably not enjoy life too much.

However, in the first instance, he's on his own. In the second, he may get the support of his agency. After all, they may just report that he's "on the job".

Believe or not folks, there are some Federal Agencies that do not approve/support off-duty carry of firearms. I have talked at length with at least one Federal LEO who has told me as such.

Regardless, I would support bikern's position and suggest that he get a State-Issued CWP in the event he has the desire/need to carry off duty. He has suggested already that he knows the consequences behind deadly encounters and the legal perils that most of us would face in the "aftermath".

Best and thanks to all,

Chris
 
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