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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

What Would You Do?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This video has been making the rounds.
The story, according to the MSM isn't that a defenseless man was beaten by a car jacker, it's that 5 people stood and watched while it happened. And most people I've talked to have had the reaction that they would have stopped the attack.

I'd like to think that I would have stopped it, and that I wouldn't have done something stupid.

This story strikes a chord with me because twice in the last three months I've been approached in parking lots with what sound like scams, similar to the car jacker that asked the old man if he had a match. Both times I've looked right at them as they approached and put my hand on my hip (even though I was unarmed) and said firmly "No!", and they both stopped about 10 ft away and left me alone. Go figure. But it sounds like this guy really came out of nowhere and caught the old guy unaware. It was broad daylight.

So what would you do? Draw your weapon and yell at him to back off? Fire a warning shot? Shoot the car jacker without warning?

As satisfying as it would be to just terminate the goblin, that decision could haunt you. With five onlookers, there could be five different stories for a jury to sift through. If you go in guns-a-blazin the security camera might tell a story that didn't reflect what was really happening. And what was really happening? For all you know as a bystander, the old man attacked the guy with knife and he was just defending himself. Sure, it doesn't look like that, but do you want to take a chance on spending your life in PMITA prison?

The other problem is that you don't know who else is with the car jacker. Let's say you step forward from the crowd, draw your weapon, and shout at the car jacker to stop. And then the lights go out as the woman that was with him cracks you over the head and then steals your weapon. Or perhaps she just shoots you.

Or you yell a warning and the guy can't hear you because he's engaged in beating the snot out of the old man. You move closer, and he grabs your gun or you end up in a struggle for your life.

Assuming I was armed (not a good assumption because this attack could very well have taken place in the parking lot of an unarmed victim zone), I'd like to think that I would have looked around and moved to a position where the car jacker had his back to me and the crowd was in front of me. That includes a quick look underneath the surrounding cars to know there isn't a goblin hiding out.

I'd have then fired a warning shot (into the air, we've covered that) and demanded that he move away, put his hands on his head, and sit down with his legs crossed. I suspect that the kind of guy that attacks 90-year old men would wet his pants when he hears a .45 ACP go off. We'd have then just stayed there while we waited for the cops.

And if he just decided to run away, I'd let him go. A shot in the back, no matter how satisfying, isn't worth prison time. If he came at me he'd get two center of mass and one in the head if he doesn't go down, then I'd be back at the safe ready covering the crowd.

When the cops finally arrive, safe the weapon, hold your arms out and slowly put the weapon on the ground. No use scratching it up by dropping it, and having an accidental discharge as the cops arrive is a bad situation. With my hands over my head I'd start calmly explaining the situation. And I'd tell them that I want to press charges against the goblin for attempted murder if he survives.

In some places the south, you might get a high-five from the cops. Up north you'll get a trip to jail until your can prove your innocence. In Durham, NC the DA will claim your attack was a hate crime and the papers will flog the story.

If I didn't have a firearm available, then I hope I would have pulled a hockey stick out of my truck and yelled at him to stop. If he didn't, I would have gone McSorley on him. I'd get the old man into the store and call the cops. Meet non-lethal force with non-lethal force. And leave that goblin with a new found knowledge about the great sport of ice hockey. Yes, there's the risk that he has a buddy with a gun, but I think I'd risk that rather than watch. If he has a gun he won't get a chance to engage because the last thing he'll hear is the blade of the stick is making a thumping sound on his skull.

For the last point, I wonder if the old man was thinking "Wow, I'm really glad I don't have a gun. This might have gotten out of hand!"


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