musing about civic duties
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Thread: musing about civic duties

  1. #1

    musing about civic duties

    As I was watching the TV coverage from Boston tonight, I heard of numerous cases of average citizens stepping up to aid victims of the bombing there. Given that the 1-2 bombing , where the second bomb is set to kill the first responders, has been a known tactic of cowards with bombs for years, these courageous people risked life and limb to help their fellow humans.

    Some months ago, there were a number of threads about how to respond to an "active shooter" situation in a workplace or store. Several people championed the position that they would leave the area without assisting others or incurring any risk, and stating that their weapons and training are there to protect themselves and family and that everyone else is on their own. And that anyone who gets involved is either a Rambo wannabe or stupid.

    This position seemed small minded then. In the light of recent events it seems even more so. I wonder if they think that these civic heroes are stupid, or Rambo wannabe's? I think that those who help their fellow citizens in the middle of a potentially hazardous situations are heroic, not stupid or attention wh****.
    War to the Knife, Knife to the hilt.
    If we don't want to live in a trashy area, we all have to be willing to help pick up the trash.

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  3. #2

    musing about civic duties

    I was just making this point the other day in the deadly force section. Even though secondary IEDs are and have been a common tactic I'm skeptical of how many of those runners and citizens knew that. However, that doesn't degrade their heroism at all. It's in situations like this where American values truly shine through. Look at China. I'm sure everyone has seen the video of the 3 year old girl who was run over by a car and then had over 30 people walk right by her lying in the middle of the street dying before somebody came to help.

  4. #3

    musing about civic duties

    There is a huge difference in assisting the victims of a bomb blast and engaging an active shooter. We have the luxury of time typing on a keyboard to develop our response, however, real world any action is a reaction to what is happening.

    Correct, that delayed devices targeting first responders is a danger. Probably one that every good citizen didn't even fathom. Their response is heroic in the face of great danger, and like all heroic people they will all tell you, I'm no hero I was just doing what anyone would have done. But a response to a mass casualty situation does not elicit the same response as the response to a singular threat.

    I would like to believe that a good majority of people will think not of themselves and help out as was evidenced in Boston, and NY and to the people rushing to aid the perceived threat is over. In an active shooter situation unless looking down the barrel of the gun; all the info that is known is that there is 1 person, unknown whereabouts, and they are shooting, to assume at what or that there is a tactical advantage is contrary most people's instinct of self preservation. A heroic response to that situation would be more to secure and evacuate as many people as possible, removing them from the danger. Then if confronted, and with means to counter attack, to defend oneself. Going looking for the shooter is foolish and imprudent. The other side of the coin is that, in an active shooter scenario, you have the police element to deal with they don't know who is good or bad and they will not hesitate to shoot someone holding a gun in their response to a shooting.

    Yes the people who put themselves behind the wounded, and went rushing in were heros. But so were the teachers who locked their doors and huddled the kids in cabinets and corners not visible to the shooter. So was the janitor who went running up and down the halls screaming to get kids out. Point is different scenarios different hero's whether they stopped the shooter or not their actions were still heroic.
    Guns.??? What Guns???

  5. #4
    Very, very big difference between running to render aid to the victims of a bomb blast, an accident, a fire, etc., and drawing your firearm and wading into a situation that otherwise did not involve you.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fudo View Post
    Some months ago, there were a number of threads about how to respond to an "active shooter" situation in a workplace or store. Several people championed the position that they would leave the area without assisting others or incurring any risk, and stating that their weapons and training are there to protect themselves and family and that everyone else is on their own. And that anyone who gets involved is either a Rambo wannabe or stupid.

    This position seemed small minded then. In the light of recent events it seems even more so. I wonder if they think that these civic heroes are stupid, or Rambo wannabe's? I think that those who help their fellow citizens in the middle of a potentially hazardous situations are heroic, not stupid or attention wh****.
    I'm not positive, but I perceive that most of the banter fudo refers to here was from a thread about a CWP holder that shot an armed robber at a Waffle House in SC in January of 2012. Fudo might also be thinking about one or more of the threads about the Zimmerman/Martin case in FL around the same time-frame. The opposed viewpoints were gone through ad nauseum on both subjects.

    Both cases present specific facts and/or assumptions that people were evaluating to determine whether or not they would take similar actions as the shooter did. In the case of the Waffle House incident, the shooter actually joined this site just to enter that thread and disspell the many myths and inaccuracies he found there. His user name is "snipingshadow" for any of the newcomers who would like a first-hand accounting of a legal use of force by a CC'er.

    "Wading into a situation that otherwise" does not involve you is a relative concept. The Waffle House shooter was not being shot at, was not being confronted by the robber at the moment he decided to draw, and took the actions he did based on what he determined to be something akin to his "civic duty." He was supported by his local Sheriff. Because it was deemed a legitimate use of force by LE, he was protected by state law as being immune from civil penalties (the family of the dead robber could not sue him). You can read the whole thread (it's a long one) to fully understand the scenario, and the contentious nature of some of the exchanges aside, there's a lot of good analysis of when it is or is not appropriate to involve one's self in a defense-of-others shooting.

    I don't call it "civic duty" myself. I hope and pray that I will have the wherewithal to involve myself if/when my involvement can save innocent lives, and have the appropriate amount of self-restraint if/when getting involved is inappropriate for the situation. I will say this about that though. The legalities are not what I will suss out in the nano-seconds I might have to make that decision. The criteria for me is simply will I be a help or a hindrance? Will I possibly save a life, or do I not have enough information to know whether the target I perceive to be the "bad guy" is indeed the bad guy? If I can't answer those two questions (at least), I hope and pray that I have the presence of mind and self-restraint not to involve myself. If the answers to those two questions are clear in my mind though, I don't care what the law says, I intend to save innocent lives if/when I can. The same criteria would go into making a decision to go towards any other scenario where lives are at stake, whether it be a fire, a bombing, a weather-related disaster or whatever. If I can help, I will. If I'm going to be in the way or exacerbate the danger, I'll refrain. "Civics" has nothing to do with it for me. Only considerations of the right and wrong (for me) decisions would be included in my criteria.

    Blues

  7. #6
    Well stated Blue, and from the heart, Thank you.
    I'd rather be a Conservative Nutjob. Than a Liberal with NO Nuts & NO Job

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesStringer View Post
    I'm not positive, but I perceive that most of the banter fudo refers to here was from a thread about a CWP holder that shot an armed robber at a Waffle House in SC in January of 2012. Fudo might also be thinking about one or more of the threads about the Zimmerman/Martin case in FL around the same time-frame. The opposed viewpoints were gone through ad nauseum on both subjects.

    Both cases present specific facts and/or assumptions that people were evaluating to determine whether or not they would take similar actions as the shooter did. In the case of the Waffle House incident, the shooter actually joined this site just to enter that thread and disspell the many myths and inaccuracies he found there. His user name is "snipingshadow" for any of the newcomers who would like a first-hand accounting of a legal use of force by a CC'er.

    "Wading into a situation that otherwise" does not involve you is a relative concept. The Waffle House shooter was not being shot at, was not being confronted by the robber at the moment he decided to draw, and took the actions he did based on what he determined to be something akin to his "civic duty." He was supported by his local Sheriff. Because it was deemed a legitimate use of force by LE, he was protected by state law as being immune from civil penalties (the family of the dead robber could not sue him). You can read the whole thread (it's a long one) to fully understand the scenario, and the contentious nature of some of the exchanges aside, there's a lot of good analysis of when it is or is not appropriate to involve one's self in a defense-of-others shooting.

    I don't call it "civic duty" myself. I hope and pray that I will have the wherewithal to involve myself if/when my involvement can save innocent lives, and have the appropriate amount of self-restraint if/when getting involved is inappropriate for the situation. I will say this about that though. The legalities are not what I will suss out in the nano-seconds I might have to make that decision. The criteria for me is simply will I be a help or a hindrance? Will I possibly save a life, or do I not have enough information to know whether the target I perceive to be the "bad guy" is indeed the bad guy? If I can't answer those two questions (at least), I hope and pray that I have the presence of mind and self-restraint not to involve myself. If the answers to those two questions are clear in my mind though, I don't care what the law says, I intend to save innocent lives if/when I can. The same criteria would go into making a decision to go towards any other scenario where lives are at stake, whether it be a fire, a bombing, a weather-related disaster or whatever. If I can help, I will. If I'm going to be in the way or exacerbate the danger, I'll refrain. "Civics" has nothing to do with it for me. Only considerations of the right and wrong (for me) decisions would be included in my criteria.

    Blues
    Very well put! Blindly going into a situation would and could be very bad. I totally agree with your two question criteria. I also do not know what I will do if and when a situation arises. It will depend on a number of things. I do hope and pray that I will make the right decision and act in the proper way.

  9. #8
    Well said, Blues. You are correct about my reference to the other thread. I agree with you 99%. I include that a civic or societal duty is, or should also be, a component in right action for individual or public welfare.
    War to the Knife, Knife to the hilt.
    If we don't want to live in a trashy area, we all have to be willing to help pick up the trash.

  10. #9
    I hope I am not addressing this part of your post out of context.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesStringer View Post
    ...I don't call it "civic duty" myself. I hope and pray that I will have the wherewithal to involve myself if/when my involvement can save innocent lives, and have the appropriate amount of self-restraint if/when getting involved is inappropriate for the situation. I will say this about that though. The legalities are not what I will suss out in the nano-seconds I might have to make that decision. The criteria for me is simply will I be a help or a hindrance? Will I possibly save a life, or do I not have enough information to know whether the target I perceive to be the "bad guy" is indeed the bad guy? If I can't answer those two questions (at least), I hope and pray that I have the presence of mind and self-restraint not to involve myself. If the answers to those two questions are clear in my mind though, I don't care what the law says, I intend to save innocent lives if/when I can. The same criteria would go into making a decision to go towards any other scenario where lives are at stake, whether it be a fire, a bombing, a weather-related disaster or whatever. If I can help, I will. If I'm going to be in the way or exacerbate the danger, I'll refrain. "Civics" has nothing to do with it for me. Only considerations of the right and wrong (for me) decisions would be included in my criteria.

    Blues
    .
    You’re absolutely right, in that I, you, anyone else will not have the time to think out all the legal angles of a situation when confronted with it. Nor by any means should that be the only criteria as to whether you will act or not. Best to do most of your thinking beforehand; it needs to be informed thinking and it needs to be backed up by a lot of training.
    .
    In many states (but not all…New Jersey for example), a lawful shooting in self defense or defense of others provides immunity from civil liability filed on behalf of the criminal or his family. What about an innocent bystander in this situation? In many states you could still be criminally liable if you shot them accidentally, and I don’t know of any where you could not be held liable in a civil suit if you shoot an innocent or they show that your actions directly lead to an innocent being shot, bad guy or no.
    .
    Bottom line: You’re going to have a split second, or at most a very few seconds, to decide whether to intervene in defense of another. The potential for error is high. You’d better be right, and your execution had better be flawless. The risks are higher for you than if you are defending yourself or your family. That needs to be fully understood.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fudo View Post
    Well said, Blues. You are correct about my reference to the other thread. I agree with you 99%. I include that a civic or societal duty is, or should also be, a component in right action for individual or public welfare.
    Hey fudo . This isn't intended to argue with you or anything. I'm perfectly fine with 99% agreement, thrilled to death in fact. I just want to clarify why I put it that way.

    I'm a little uncomfortable with the words "civic duty" only because I tried to account for the possibility that my actions in some hypothetical scenario could be counter to the law. I don't know, maybe I ignore a gun-free zone sign or something and the right thing to do is engage someone who also ignored it for nefarious reasons, so I go ahead and engage them. I think a valid argument can be made that my "civic duty" at that time would have been to disarm, and it's almost a certainty that the civic authorities would consider such action as a violation of my "civic duty" to abide by the law. I would agree with that assessment about 99% of the time too. But in this hypothetical, I just saw it as the *right* thing to do to be prepared to face a violent victimizer even though I may have to answer to authorities for violating what they consider my civic duty to obey an idiotic and unreasonable law.

    In short, there can be irreconcilable conflicts between a legal exercise of one's civic duty, and just the morally *right* exercise of same. That's the only reason I made the distinction, but I'm still happy with the 99% agreement and understand why you would see it the way you do.

    Blues

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