Would you intervene, as a private citizen (active duty LEO is excluded, sorry) in any of the following situations.
The scenario parameters:
Assume for the sake of argument that in all situations the bad guys are clear, the good guys are obvious, you’re carrying your regular carry gun, and lethal force is clearly justified.
You’re eating at a restaurant with your family and a group of shooters burst in to the restaurant and light it up, Mumbai-style.
As I pointed out in the comments, I'm all in. An ideoligist hit squad that's there to inflict maximum casualties? You fight or you die. The human eye is attracted to movement, running causes the Tango to focus on you (and if he's been trained at all) the muzzle of his weapon will follow. Try outrunning a 9mm, lemme know how that works out for you.
Nope, better fight or to hunker down and let the fighters get on with it. Besides I kinda have an edge in this department, not having a family, but I eat with friends often enough that the same logic applies. Besides it ain't in me to run from a fight. More on this point later.
Given this scenario, I would have a member of my party call for backup, while moving away from the table and keeping low. Every action from this point on has only two purposes; kill my targets and keep the Tango's attention focused on me and away from my party.
You see a 3rd party being violently attacked and in clear threat of death or grievous bodily harm.
Again, I'm in, but rather than just pop the baddie, I'm looking for a capture, not a kill. If it is possible to obtain the perp's attention and use threat of overwhelming force to cause him to desist in his violent actions, them I'm all for it. Otherwise he gets two in the chest and one in the dome, just like everyone else. Less paperwork for me if he submits. And if he dosen't, he'll probably transfer his murderous rage to me, and that's another kettle of fish altogether.
You see a young mother having her child forcibly ripped away from her by an obvious bad man.
Never let the Tango get the upper hand if you can at all help it. Having a torso sized human target in hand is an advantage, I think. So he gets the mayhem then and there, make no mistake. You go for the kill and your only concern should be to keep the mother and child out of the line of fire.
Supplimental information relavent to these scenarios and the blogger:
I noticed that a lot of the commenters semed to have missed the scenario parameters section of the post. Many commenters kept falling back to "it sounds domestic" on scenario #3. I'm not sure if it's just that they missed it, or if they simply shy from violence in the presence of children. Either way that's not the scenario, "obvious bad guy...the bad guys are clear" was the parameters and so if I see Osama Bin Laden trying to kidnap my neighbor's infant it's a no brainer.
I also see a lot of monetary concerns from people regarding the fallout of a shoot. I feel blessed that I live in Alaska. All three of these scenarios fall under the "may" section of the law here. I hear the law is a bit less tolerant of helpful people in other states. I wonder how the neighbors of Kitty Genovese feel, knowing that they could have prevented her death? Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six? Better to be judged by twelve than be one of the six carriers, if you could have stopped it, whatever the fiscal cost to you.
Not that I'm advocating wandering around like Paladin righting wrongs and saving damsels in distress (no matter how nifty it looks on TV). In fact, I'm against general involvement in the affairs of random strangers if at all possible. In general, unless you're one of mine you're nothing. That being said, I include all children under 16 as "one of mine", and to a limited extent my entire state fall inside that circle. It's not like I'm going to lend 'em my rifle, but I'd prevent an violent death without a killing if possible. I'm not going to get involved in a seminar on frið right now, just accept that I can do this and be done with it.
Speaking of frið, that leads me to the reasons I don't run from a fight. It is expected of me. It is expected that I will stand up to danger. It is expected that I will not back down from a challenge. It is expexted that I will protect me and mine. It is expected that I will do what is right and be damned to the consequences. If it is reasonably possible for me to win, I must take the chance that I will lose. My gods expect it of me. My father expected it of me. I expect it of me.
"He either fears his fate too much,
Or else his desserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch,
To win or lose it all!"
James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose
1612 to 1650
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!
All quoted material is used without permission and may have been modified for clarity. If you don't like it let me know and I'll remove it or fix it.
Caleb in today's post over at GNM asks:
If you are willing to use your firearm in public with innocent bystanders present, are you confident enough in your ability with your carry gun to say that you would be an asset in that situation that you said you’d intervene?
Or would you be a liability because you’ve never fired your gun under
And I have to answer; yes.
I understand that firearms (along with every other tool I choose to use) are capable of ending a life unintentionaly if used poorly. I accept that and strive to practice so that I am as proficient as possible with them. I also strive to maintain my ability to think rationally in emergency situations, so that I will be able to do better than a deer-in-the-headlights when the shit-hits-the-fan. I do so because when Gjallarhorn sounds I will not be found wanting.
So I go to the range, and I practice with my piece. I study how best to employ my bowie, and I practice. I practice with my walking stick, axe, sword, shotgun and rifle. I also consider how best to employ the tools that I use. And while I'm not shooting sub-MOA at 100 yards yet (I stress yet), I can manage minute-of-troll at 25.