Should You Act? - Get Involved Or Get Away?
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Thread: Should You Act? - Get Involved Or Get Away?

  1. #1

    Post Should You Act? - Get Involved Or Get Away?

    Not sure if this is the best place for this but here goes. There was a thread sometime back on if we should get involved. I got this news letter from Gabe Suarez today. With his years of experience not only in law enforcement but also firearms instructor I thought his insights woud be good. Hope he does not mind me sharing his wisdom.

    Should You Act? - Get Involved Or Get Away?

    Notice_no_guns_or_weapons Every so often we get a thread at Warrior Talk asking about what a CCW person should do if he sees a crime, or some apparent victimization. The implied question of course is the quest for justification of the desire to jump in with both feet to save the day. That inherent desire, while noble, may also be quite foolish and self-destructive.

    I am not saying to default to doing nothing, merely that you should think it through before taking action that could adversely affect you for the rest of your life. Your decision will be based on three factors – location, companions, and information. Let’s discuss it.

    Location. I have traveled in places that I refer to as Non-Permissive Environments. Those are areas where the legality of being armed may be questionable, yet where it is so dangerous that going unarmed would be stupid. In such places getting involved in anyone else’s problem is a bad decision no matter the situation.

    In some places saving the day will get you a medal of valor, while in others, even if you saved everyone, the political environment would still cause you to be arrested and likely prosecuted. If you are in an environment like the latter, I suggest not getting involved in anything that does not directly endanger you or yours.

    Look at it this way, will you trade your freedom, and finances to save strangers? That is what it boils down to. It is easy to be indignant at my suggestion from the safety of the internet in your living room, it is also quite easy to disagree when you carry the “Badge of America” card as an LEO with the full umbrella of protection your agency provides, but it is another matter altogether when you are sitting in the defendant’s chair, a civilian paying your own way, looking at a prison sentence because you decided to “do the right thing”.

    Sceneofcrime If you don't have a gun its a moot point. If its legal for you to carry its also a moot point.

    In a free area where you are legal to carry your pistol, again the choice is clear. Good guys can intervene in times of danger and victimization secure that if they act properly, they will probably be fine afterward. That is the reality of why places where gun laws are lax are far safer than places where gun laws are strict…because good guys are not afraid to be good guys.

    Companions will also have an effect on your decisions. I spoke to an LA County Deputy once whose daughter was shot and killed by two armed robbers when he elected to intervene at the store they were robbing. Listen people…if you have your family with you, everyone else is on their own. Unless the bad guys have targeted you and them specifically, go on your way. Whatever is happening is none of your business. Certainly, call 911, but leave and keep them safe. Sorry to sound “cowardly” but anyone who says they will risk their family to save someone else’s money is a fool.

    Whether you act or not also depends on how much information you have about what is going on. The information present and available to you may over ride the presence in an NPE, but rarely. The less Intel I have, the less likely I am to do anything but leave. The more Intel I have the better decision I can make. What you see may not give the total picture.

    Active shooter problems are easy. When you see a man with an assault rifle shooting into the Toys R Us, you can venture a guess that that is the bad guy and that he is the one that needs to be shot. But those are not the ones that cause us problem are they.

    Two guys fighting? None of my business.

    Two guys beating up a third guy? Do you act now? Honestly, for me it depends on what they look like. If they are two gang-type thugs beating up an old man, the choice is pretty clear. I would have to intervene. But if two gang-type thugs are beating up a third gang-type thug, its none of my business. I may make a 911 call, but I don’t plan to stick around. Is the fight you see two cops beating up a gang-thug? Cool, but still nothing to do with you. How about two homeys beating up a cop? Now we are back to helping out the good guys. All different stories, eliciting different responses aren't they. Here are a few more.

    One guy slapping a girl? None of my business. “Hey wait a minute!”, I can hear the chivalrous crowd yelling from across the nation. Chivalry demands the presence of a lady. Is the apparent victim a lady? Are you willing to risk your life for her? Think with your brain and not your sword. Just on the face of the description I do not have enough to get involved, sorry. Make the guy a gang-thug and the girl a typical soccer mom? Things just changed because of the Intel. Make the guy a gang-thug and the girl a meth-mouth whore? Sorry…not my fight. My Glock will stay in the holster and my phone will be used for 911 instead.

    Picture at range 011110 041 Its 2010 and your CCW stands for Cary (of) Concealed Weapons, not for Captain America. The only time I will get involved in someone else's fight is when I have enough info on what I am seeing to determine who is who and what is happening, I am alone or with other combatants, and then only if not doing something would shock my personal conscience.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  3. #2
    Insightful info Thanks for sharing

  4. #3
    Good read. Thanks, HK.
    Prov. 27:3 - "Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both"

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    North Carolina
    All of my weapons say Sig Sauer Ruger or Smith and Wesson, not one says superman. Unless the threat is directed toward me I retreat to cover, communicate to 911, defend my cover. If the threat is directed to me or my family I try to retreat to cover communicate to 911 and then defend that cover. Steps two and three may be exchanged if necessary.

  6. #5
    Yes, a good read HK,
    Two guys, Maybe a quick 911, One or Two Guys and hurting a woman, Certainly a 911 and leave line open. But it is not my job to get involved with my sidearm...
    Semper Fi

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Leaving aside the "alter ego" rule in SC, it is the presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury that justifies deadly force--period/end of story. The "alter ego" rule allows you to substitute someone else instead of yourself in the above assumption--ie: you can intervene if someone else is, in your estimation, in that same reasonable fear--the problem here is that you had better be sure you know all the facts before you intervene, which, in the scheme of things and the chaos of the event, may not be so black and white and could get you in trouble. Castle Doctrine is also a possibility in SC---you can be presumed to have the "reasonable fear" mentioned above, if someone forcibly enters your home or occupied vehicle. Always comes down to imminent fear of death or great bodily injury---it starts and ends there--at least in South Carolina. As said in the thread intro, knowing the law in each state is a first step before you "get involved"--there are many variables including the "state culture" and that of the justice system to consider.

  8. #7
    wolfhunter Guest
    Good read, HK. I truly like the perspective Gabe puts on situations.

  9. #8
    JSDinTexas Guest
    I have considered the points HK4U raises, and good points they are. My take is:
    If taking of life or serious bodily harm is immediate, apparent, or occuring - I will unholster
    If it is most anything else - 911
    That's the best I can offer since I feel each event has its own elements and requires serious decision-making prior to action - if possible.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Hey jsdinTexas: You are absolutely right in your comment/reply. It amazes me when I put the brakes on "what ifs" in some of my replies when I use a cautionary approach to deadly defense, particularly when it involves someone breaking into my home. In my case my wife and I are the only people in the house (it is wholly different if someone has children or others living in other areas of the home), I lock and secure my bedroom and will do everything sensible (activate car alarm, call 911 etc), but WILL NOT leave my bedroom as someone is rummaging thru my "stuff"---stuff is insured and stuff is not imminent danger of loss of life or great bodily injury. The perp or perps may be better armed and better shots than me and I do not intend to lose my life over stuff, but the responses from some of our fellow forum members (and I do understand where they are coming from--"hard work for me to get my stuff and I ain't letting anyone take it") is confront and shoot. In SC, a home breakin is sufficient cause for me to do whatever I want in my home, including confront and shoot-no questions asked, on the presumption that it is a reasonable assumption of death or great bodily injury but in my book, it is not worth the possible loss of my life because someone, who may be bigger and badder and more armd than me, is taking stuff. My hope is that the LEOs arrive in appropriate time, that the stuff will be recovered at a pawn shop (many times that is what happens) ,and the stuff is replaceable with insurance money, but my life is not recoverable. Iif they force their way into my bedroom,however, all bets are off and I am very well prepared with the arms and the strategy to deal with them in a very convincing manner.

  11. #10
    Good read & thought provoking.

    Thanks for sharing!

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