Thoughts/rant
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  1. Thoughts/rant

    Thoughts/rant

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

  2.   
  3. Very Interesting,

    First off let me just say I am not a LEO, my son is though. I am just a dumb old Jar Head and I do not see myself as a pistolero of any kind. I will in the future be getting my CCL I do not have one now. That being said I can see your see your point. I as a private citizen would not feel obligated to do anything heroic. I would do as you suggest to be a witness to the situation. I might, MIGHT intervene if it was a LEO and my actions would save his life.

    I don't speak for my son but I have been on ride alongs with him and I raised him so I can see him getting involved. Which is correct? I don't think there is a right or wrong answer on this one. Everyone most let their own conscience be their guide.

    I know as far as myself I would follow your example. I will only engage in leathal force in defence of me and mine with the possible exception of a uniformed LEO caught in a deadly situation. Otherwise I am only going so far as to be a witness. Now should the subject turn and decide he wants to engage me, well then I am clear to engage but I would not make an attempt to provide him with a suitable target. As I say it is a personel choice one I would rather not have to make but there it is.
    ["Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
    - Ben Franklin
    FONT]

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Thoughts/rant

    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
    Jeez! I can't freaking imagine the scenario that you described! What a horror!

    The answers I find in my heart to your questions, however, are multifaceted.

    First off, I think you are correct in your assessment that most of us have never been in those shoes, of either having been in a gunfight or of having to draw our weapon in defense of a threat (combat vets notwithstanding). Consequently, I think that most of us don't know just what we'd do if ever put there. I think we think we do, and we run various scenarios through our heads and practice our responses, but when the SHTF people tend to revert to form, I believe.

    When I was in the Army, I submitted 4 Requests for Transfer to try to get to Viet Nam...not because I was Gung Ho or wanted to fight, especially, but for other reasons that had to do with my personality. That was in '66, '67 and '68. I also tried for some few years when I was younger and a civilian to get on the local Police Force. I was interviewed a few times but never made it.

    I bring these things up because they represent situations that had me considering what I might do in a 'dangerous' situation. In the end, I decided that you never know just what you're going to do...all you can do is follow your instincts and hope whatever training you've had takes over to keep your ass safe...or to haul it out of harms way fast enough to do you some good. In practically every interview I've read about True Heroes...Medal of Honor winners, for example...they invariably tell about their not having thought about their actions, they just did what they did, instinctively.

    Which brings me to your decision about limiting your intervention specifically to those people you mention. I understand the reasons for it, especially in light of the position your Agency has taken. I'm saddened to read of what appears to be a "chickenshit" position on their part, but I guess in light of the litigious nature of our society I can understand it. Be nice of they had bigger balls, though. Anyway, I believe that, decide what you will, when you're standing there with a situation unfolding in front of you that means life or death to someone, and you have the facility to end it...I believe your gut and training will decide for you and you'll just do what comes naturally.

    I live by certain philosophies that I refer to as "Ektarr's Laws", one of which is that People judge other people by themselves: for example if I think you're a lyin', cheatin' sonofabitch, it's likely because I'm a lyin', cheatin' sonofabitch, and I figure that that's pretty much just the way people are. I think you'll be fine.

    Of course, I could be wrong...wouldn't be the first time!...your experiences and self control might allow you to walk away from that scene and let everyone fend for themselves. I don't see that happening. Hopefully, you won't have to find out. Stay safe, Brother.
    Last edited by Ektarr; 01-28-2008 at 07:26 AM.
    NRA Life; GOA Life; CCRKBA Life; Trustee, NJCSD; F&AM: 32 & KT
    The Only Answer to a Bad Guy with a Gun - Is a Good Guy with a Gun!
    When Seconds Count...The Police are only MINUTES Away!

  5. #4
    As a whole I agree with you. The main reason is, as you put it, knowing who is who. I walk up on someone holding someone else at gun point. Do I know what is going on. Of course not. It could just as easily be an undercover LEO as a BG. There are exceptions to this though. There are several friends and some coworkers I have known for years that I certainly hope I would protect.
    Last edited by DrDavidM; 01-29-2008 at 09:58 AM.
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

  6. #5

    You never know

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDavidM View Post
    As a whole I agree with you. The main reason is, as you put it, knowing who is who. I walk up on someone holding someone else at gun point. Do I know what is going on. Of course not. I could just as easily be an undercover LEO as a BG. There are exceptions to this though. There are several friends and some coworkers I have known for years that I certainly hope I would protect.

    I have to agree. You do have to be careful when getting involved. Things are not always as they seem. Who the victom and who the BG is can be mistaken. One thing we learned in the academy when I was a deputy years ago was that one of the most dangerous things an officer could face is a domestic distrubance call because often the person you are there to help will turn on you.
    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

  7. #6
    If I were positive that an innocent person was about to be seriously harmed or killed, I think I would try to intervene. Having never seen the elephant myself, I pray that I would have the courage to do so. I definitely can't fault you for your position on the matter, though. Everything that you stated makes perfect sense.

  8. #7
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    A few years ago there was an incident in California where some nutcase was running around inside a supermarket with a sword hacking up people. If my wife or kids were in that store and were hurt, and I found out later that there was an armed off duty federal agent that ran for the exit because he was worried about the financial aspects of intervening I think I would be extremely upset. Even not knowing you, I'm fairly certain you wouldn't be able to run in the opposite direction while the wacko was cutting up soccer moms in the cereal section. I'm no hero, I just don't think I could live with myself if I had the means to end something like that and decided not to based on a possible civil suit later.
    Some things are more important than money.

    On the flip side.....if I were in a bank and it was being held up..and nobody was hurt yet, I could kind of rationalize that the robber would likely just take the money and leave so I would be ok with running out the door.
    To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last--but eat you he will.
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #8

    Maybe it is just the way you describe it

    so, I'll elaborate a little more to be sure I am clear.

    IF I was in a "facility" (mall, church, store, etc.) and located within what I perceived to be the attacked area or zone, I would secure my family/self, determine whether there was a way "out," check general security of others/victims nearby and then decide what my chances were if I engaged. If there are 5 guys, wearing body armor and carrying automatic weapons then I suspect I am going to focus on withdrawal and immediate security. If it is one guy with an assault rifle, in reasonable proximity/range who is actively engaged in shooting, then my inclination would be to engage if I had cover and enough ammunition for the circumstances. The Tacoma Mall shooting was similar although the civilian shooter recovered from multiple wounds when he discoveered he couldn't bring himself to shoot the killer.

    If the bank down the street was being robbed and people were being killed would I grab my gun and rush down there? Probably not. Then again, I recall the situation in Tyler, TX a couple of years ago when the guy was shooting in front of the courthouse and a civilian went to get a gun, returned and engaged him with a .45 only to discover the guy had armor. The civilian was killed but distracted the shooter and probably saved the man's son and a deputy, both of whom were wounded and in the open. The Trolley Mall shooting last year in Salt Lake also provides a model to consider of an off-duty (in fact, he was out-of-jurisdiction) LEO who engaged to secure an active shooter.

    Last thought. Several years ago, about a mile and a half from my house a guy walked ino an Albertson's supermarket, killed his wife, the manager and the first responding officer. He was attacked/knocked down by a construction worker armed with a chunk of concrete and secured by an armed, off-duty IRS agent. I would like to think this sets the model scenario. You look at your chances, make your decision and take appropriate action. A sworn officer who is supposed to protect the citizens would seem to have an obligation to actually intervene when they can do so according to their rules of engagement in order to uphold whatever oath they took. I sure hope no one is ever killed because I failed to have the courage to take responsibility for others' safety. I would have trouble looking you in the eye if your wife or child was dead and I had been "right there" (in the zone) with a gun on my hip but decided not to intervene because I was afraid of being sued.
    Reality, DEAL with IT!

  10. #9
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    I have been in both situations where I assisted a civilian and a LEO. Each situation was in a different state. Both times I was fortunate to have been away from my family. The incident with the civilian happened in GA. I was heading to meet my crew to do some bail enforcement work when I observed a large group of youths robbing an elderly lady who was using a walker. They were all armed with hand held weapons, I did not observe any firearms. I called 911 and advised the operator of the situation. While using my hands free headset and keeping the operator advised of my actions, I approached the group, and yelled something like "Hey, what are you guys doing?" After yelling a bunch of obscene words, the group dropped the old lady and began to head towards me. As I headed back towards my vehicle, the group continued to approach me. While in my vehicle, I drew my firearm as I was unable to drive off at this point without running a few of the thugs over. Just as I was about to advise them of my "armed" status, several police cruisers arrived. The group immediately scattered. I was able to grab two of the thugs got them on the ground. The officers arriving on scene were advised by 911 of my clothing and "armed" status. After checking my permit, identification and a few questions, the responding officers thanked me for my assistance and advised me that I was "free to go". The elderly woman couldn't thank me enough for helping her out and saving her from getting a serious beating. Apparently she had just cashed her monthly social security check. One of the thugs watched the transaction and followed her from the check cashing place. After a quick check up by paramedics, the lady was found to be in good health. The police gave her a ride to the police station, and I was off to work.

    The second situation happened in TN. There were 3 of us in our vehicle along with a bail jumper that we had recently recovered. We were on our way to the sheriff's office heading down the interstate when we saw what appeared to be a police cruiser doing a traffic stop. There were two vehicles on the side of the road, lights flashing on the cruiser, but no people in sight. We thought that it looked odd that the passenger doors of both cars were open. We decided to pull over and check it out. One of the other guys guarded our bail jumper, while two of us got out and investigated. The guy who stayed back called the situation in to 911, and kept in contact with us by 2-way radio. About a hundred yards off the road out of sight of traffic, we observed a guy sexually assaulting a female officer. We immediately took cover and advised out partner what we saw. He relayed the info to 911 as well as confirmed that the guy was a perp and the female officer was in need of assistance. We formed our "game plan" and took action. Seeing that the perp had the officers service pistol, we figured that it be best that we get the guy as far away from the officer as possible. My partner managed to lure the guy into the woods, and I released the officer from her restraints. At this point, several units responded and a K-9 was dispatched. The K-9 did her thing and was able to quickly locate the perp in the woods. Apparently the guy couldn't figure out how to disengage the safety on the firearm! He was pretty much dog food by the time the officers placed him under arrest.

    I understand Biker's concerns about getting involved. I agree about being a "good witness" whenever possible. The situations I'll assist in are those where I feel that it's very unlikely that I'll have to shoot anyone. Otherwise like Biker, I'll stick to being a "good witness". So far I've been very lucky and feel fortunate that I was able to help out folks and possibly saved a couple of lives.


    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  11. #10
    Well done Glockfan. I am sure you went home after each situation with a very good feeling inside.
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

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