Hypothetical Situation- Advice needed... When to shoot?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Giveth, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    Hello, due to my father's occupation we are under constant threat- as in, literal death threats. I have often pondered how to react in a given situation. I haven't had any training or anything, and I do not have my concealed carry permit (I am underage). My dad, also, refuses to keep his handgun (a taurus Judge) loaded. I have tried to convince him to have it loaded, because it will be useless if it isn't.

    Anyways, I currently live at home, and I always thought "if someone breaks into our home and has a weapon or is an obvious threat to me or my family, I will not hesitate to shoot" (I keep all my guns in my room, although usually unloaded, although I might start keeping my shotgun loaded, it certainly doesn't do any good unloaded, however I figured I might have time to go into my closet and load it while the perpetrator is distracted with my parents)

    So this is completely hypothetical, but I would like to contemplate the scenario before it actually happens, so that I don't have any regrets due to spur of the moment thinking.

    Here is the scenario that I am recently troubled with-

    Let's say I wake up in the middle of the night to some commotion, and I grab my weapon. I exit my room and make my way through my house to find my parents being held at gun point. The perpetrator is occupied with my parents and doesn't notice me sneaking up on him in the dark (If he were to see me and move the gun in my direction, considering my parents were well out of the way, obviously I would blast him) Should I shoot or try to negotiate? Someone brought to my attention that in a scenario like that, pulling out a gun or shooting an individual may cause them to start opening fire and killing people. The last thing I want to do is have my parents killed, if it could have been avoided by cooperating and not trying to fight back. I never gave it any thought. My thought is, I didn't cause the man to pull the trigger, that is on him. Also, there is no way of knowing if I would have not opened fire or came at the perp. with a gun, whether or not he would have killed us.

    The question is, given this situation- me finding my parents at gunpoint in the middle of the night (or day, whenever), do I open fire? Do I try to negotiate? Or do I just "cooperate", hoping the man doesn't kill me or my family? The last option seems stupid to me, but like I said I wouldn't want to bring out a gun if it triggers the ******* into going into full on attack mode. But how the hell would I know how he will react? My thought is, if he doesn't want to get killed, don't come into my house waving a gun at my family.

    Also, let's say I cannot get a clear shot- my parents are behind the target (the perp) and I don't want to risk any collateral damage. What the hell do I do?

    I want to be prepared for this ****, I mean, most likely it will never happen, and I sure as hell hope it doesn't, but if it does I want to know what the hell I am doing. All I have is a .22 pistol, a .22 rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun (with bird shot), and a .30-.30. That's all I got to work with, I mean I could get some buck shot (but if it happened tonight, I would only have birdshot, so I'd havta make due) but I'm pretty sure getting blasted with some bird shot in the torso from 5 feet away would screw a man up.

    I am banking on the shotgun, I have it in a fairly easily accessible position.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    By the way- this goes for anything- not just my parents. Let's say someone has a gun pointed at someone who isn't me- (obviously an attacker pointing a gun at an innocent person, no confusion about that). When should I pull a weapon (if I had a carry permit) and when should I shoot? When should you NOT draw your weapon?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. ShagNasty1001

    ShagNasty1001 New Member

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    My dads job causes us to have the same sort of situation although his past is way behind our family and we have moved cities although he is still a police officer. He does though, keep is .38 special loaded and next to his bed and I also keep my shotgun loaded with turkey load next to my bed so I would load yours if you are this worried about it happening. As for shooting or not, it depends on if you can sneak up behind him and just press the barrel of your shotgun against his back or something. That sure would scare the sh*t out of me. If you don't have a clear shot, I'd also bring your .22 pistol with you so you wont have just a scattergun to use. But that's just me
     

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    First, get to know the state statutes.
    Second, get some training. Even the NRA course of Don't Be a Victim may help.
     
  4. dmp

    dmp New Member

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    Here's one thing to consider. You are 'hoping' the perp is distracted. Hoping you have time to load. Hoping you can sneak up, etc. Hope isn't a strategy. Be careful and purposeful in your decisions.

    You may consider asking your Dad the same question: "What if my life is at stake while you are looking for ammo?"
     
  5. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    Well I added the perp being distracted in there because if the guy saw me and started to move the gun in my direction, considering my parents were out of the way, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot, there would be no question about it.

    And of course, in real life I'm sure these things never go 'as planned'. I just need some idea of when to shoot and when to pull out a gun. Just because I was told that there are situations where it is "safer" for those around you to not be a hero. If it comes down to my own life, I'm gonna go out with a fight. But if it comes to the lives of others, I want to make the best decision. Also, in a scenario like this, the last thing on my mind will be the damn laws and statutes. Obviously I take those in to consideration on a daily basis but if I have to break a law or two in self defense then so be it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    If I peek around the corner and see mom and dad held at gunpoint with a clear fire arrangement, I'm going to shoot.
     
  7. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    I guess to simplify the question- if there is an armed perpetrator holding my parents at gun point, and is unaware of my presence, what do I do?

    Do I announce my presence and hope he cooperates?

    Do I go ahead and just shoot, although he has a gun pointed at my parents?

    Do I wait until he takes the gun off of them and then shoot?
     
  8. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    That was always my plan. However it was recently brought to my attention the person may shoot and kill once I shoot him. In a dying breathe sort of way. I don't know. I never considered it. I would rather shoot and kill him than take the chance of not shooting and then he kill my parents. But if I shot him and then he shot my parents (if that's possible) I would always be wondering in my mind if I should have shot... But then again it is all the perps fault
     
  9. ArizonaLawman

    ArizonaLawman New Member

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    Okay here are a few things to consider...

    1. Are your parents or ANYONE in your house in danger of IMMEDIATE AND OTHERWISE UNAVOIDABLE DEATH OR GRAVE BODILY HARM? The answer to this question if, as you claim, your family is "under constant threat of death" can ONLY be an emphatic YES.

    In MOST jurisdictions you are under NO obligation to retreat or warn in your home. Giving warning, especially in the presense of a susbject's weapon is foolish. Why give THEM any more advantage than they already have?

    A 12 gauge loaded, even with a light birdshot load at the 5-foot distance you are speaking of will spread VERY VERY little, and be VERY VERY lethal. Is it the ideal? No it isn't...BUT...given the alternative .22lr...it is a viable self defense tool. The .30-30 is also one helluva self defense weapon. Shot placement with ALL firearms is critical, and the .30-30 WILL penetrate walls. The birdshot in the shotgun will be the LEAST LIKELY to penetrate into another room or another dwelling, but the possibility is there and VERY REAL. So....be damned sure you don't miss. If you hit your target with the birdshot...and there's no reason to expect you wouldn't if you do your job...the probability of it penetrating a torso and then a wall is extremely remote.

    In the situation you describe....AIM DEAD CENTER TORSO. That will be your most effective stopping shot.

    2. An unloaded firearm is a paperweight if it is one that may be called upon for self defense or to "repel boarders" as they say.

    My advice....buy some #1 or #4 buck...in 2 3/4" shells. The magnum loads are heavier recoiling and the 1 or 4 will still be as the fist of an angry god at in-home ranges without AS MUCH danger of overpenetration if you hit your target. It IS a decisive stopper.

    3. I would also keep the .22 pistol loaded and close to heand. If you have a down subject...the .22 can serve as immediate backup that will allow the use of a hand for first aid (if your family members have been injured) or to call 911 which should be done immediately. You also didn't mention what platform your shotgun is in....single shot, double barrel, pump, etc. In ANY case, you should have spare shells on a shell carrier ON the gun. Much more easily accessible than a pocketful of loose shells....remember you MAY be fighting in your pj's or tighty whiteys...and thus you will be fighting with what is IN or ON the gun.

    Remember...you have ONE CHANCE not to **** this up. Do NOT give an attacker one extra bit of advantage. If you are presented with a shot, you better damned well take it RIGHT THE **** NOW, and you better damned well better SHOOT TO STOP. Forget all the "tacticool mall ninja horsehit"...you aren't trained for it...you are NOT tactical. I am a retired SWAT officer and instructor, and I don't consider MYSELF "tactical" I leave that to the self-labeled badasses and wannabe slick-smooth operators who learned all they know about self defense from magazines and ignorance pooling at the local gun shop. You are simply a person trying to defend your family in the face of immediate death or grave bodily harm.

    GET TRAINING. The NRA offers a pretty good self defense in the home course. Though they don't take the place of real training and practice...there are videos online from Mas Ayoob, Clint Smith, and Rob Pincus that can get you started.

    Finally...make sure you know the law regarding self defense in your area. You didn't mention where you're from...but let's assume it is not Commiefornia, Massachussucks, or The Big Rotten Apple...the rest of the country pretty well understands the castle doctrine and home defense. BUT...it is YOUR responsibility to know the law.

    Finally finally....good luck, and I hope you never have to be in that situation.

    Oh yeah....if you're a troll...forget all I just told you and buy a squirt gun.
     
  10. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Gotta love it.
     
  11. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    I couldnt agree more with the above statement, if you do not have issues with little kids being around keep your weapons loaded , DO NOT give yourself away , stay as calm as possible and do not be afraid .
    and as stated if ur trolling be sure to keep ur squirt gun fully loaded and ready for action :D
     
  12. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    Thanks. I'm from south Carolina and my shotgun is a winchester 1300 pump action (only holds 5 rounds with one chambered)... And no I am not 'trolling'... I like to think I have more of a life than that. The point is I don't want to do something that will only cause further harm. Pulling a trigger is about as tacticoool as I get.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  13. AZL

    AZL New Member

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    Good...I am glad to know that, and even more glad to know you're not a knuckle dragger.

    Good luck, be safe, and take care.

    P.S. Your Winchester is a damned fine shotgun, and "ONLY" five rounds of 12 guage is NO HANDICAP. If you think about it...your shotgun is a bottom feeder...you can continuously feed it while it is at your shoulder if your spare ammo is properly carried. No one would want to come down a hallway in your house if that particular shoulder howitzer was spitting lead at them.
     
  14. Alpha1Victor

    Alpha1Victor New Member

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    Ok first of all lets break this down.
    1. If you do wake up in the middle of the night to a commotion, by the time you get to your gun and get it loaded, your parents are dead.

    2. If you peek around the corner and see your parents are held at gun point, trying to sneak up on the perp is a terrible idea. You dont know how many perps are in the house. Sneaking around can get you dead real quick. I would suggest you call the police first. Then take action. The amount of training required to clear a house and take a hostage shot is extensive. Im not saying dont do anything, im saying be smart about it. The last thing you want is you or your parents dead.

    3. You need to be very proficient with your defensive firearms. Your skill during night time shooting is drastically decreased.

    4. Are you mentally prepared to take a persons life? Most people say yes, but few actually are. If your not, dont try.

    Signing out, Alpha1victor.
     
  15. RangeRat234

    RangeRat234 New Member

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    Like lawman said, get some training. Even something as simple as practicing moving throughout your home with each weapon system will help. You know how to maneuver through your home, but how about moving through hallways, etc with a rifle/shotgun? Also, remember that shooting is a parishable skill...you should be COMPETENT and CONFIDENT with any weapon systems available to you in these scenarios. I applaud you for playing the "What If..." game. God willing, this will never happen, but if something does...you will be prepared.
     
  16. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    But what if... by the time I call the cops my parents are dead?

    And as far as being mentally prepared... I mean, how the hell would I know? I have never been in that situation. However, I feel very strongly and confident that if I felt my life or my family's lives were being threatened and I had the ability to save them, I have faith that I will be capable of killing someone. But no, I certainly don't have the ability to kill someone in cold blood. Even in a self defense situation, it is possible I will be overwhelmed with emotion and be overcome with "oh **** what have I done", but only after the fact. In a spur of the moment, life or death kind of thing, I doubt I will consider any of that until after I have shot the perp dead. And even then, I would blame the man for killing himself. Because he was obviously asking for it. HE made the choice to break into my home and threaten mine and my family's lives. I made the choice to defend that. Of course, there is no way of knowing until I am actually in that situation (and I hope to God I never am).
    There is no way of testing this. If there is, let me know, because I would like to know if I am capable of it. I feel confident that I am.

    The hardest thing for me would be knowing I could have saved my parent's lives by reacting in a different way.

    Anyways thanks for the answer, this kind of thing is what I was looking for- like I said, the last thing I want to do is make a situation worse. That is why I am on here asking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    The first time I shot a man I crapped my pants and puked my guts out.

    There is a huge difference between being willing and being prepared. You cannot prepare for killing a man; if you can, then IMO, you're not safe for the general population. You can only be willing survive, through a greater desire to live.

    In the hypothetical situation your speaking of, if a perp hasn't already killed your parents, I don't think he is in any hurry. I would hide in a place where I could keep an eye on them all, call the cops, and report everything I see, such as any more intruders I may have missed at first sight, exact location within the house, what the perps are armed with, what they're wearing, and things of that nature.

    Would you feel like crap if they offed your parents while your are on the phone with the cops? Heck, that'd be the understatement of the year. But I think it would be the better option with the higher chance of survival.

    Remember this, your more likely to be invaded by thugs wanting money and nothing else, than to be invaded by hardcore terrorists looking for a hostage and ransom situation.
     
  18. Giveth

    Giveth New Member

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    This is exactly the reaction I would expect, and possibly fainting. I don't doubt I can kill someone if I need to, but I know I will probably need some counseling or something after that, but hell, counseling and nightmares beats the hell out of death, and death of my loved ones

    Well due to my pop's occupation, we have been under constant threat as long as I can remember. Such as "I'm gonna kill you and your family". So yeah, I doubt anything will ever happen, or anyone will find us (it never has)- but if someone breaks into our house, I will assume they are trying to kill us off in cold blood; unlucky for the thugs and gangsters and whatnot, looking for something to steal. I doubt anyone would hold us for ransom though, we ain't worth any money.

    But yeah, I guess the cops thing is a good idea. I really do need to take some classes I guess, there is a lot I need to learn. Like, when to shoot an attacker... I would assume that they go over all kinds of scenarios with you so you don't do anything idiotic when you do get your carry permit. From what I have heard, in some situations drawing a weapon only makes **** worse. But I don't know ****, that's why I am asking questions. thanks for all the input.

    I still can't figure out why the hell my dad keeps his pistol unloaded. He has always hated handguns. He loves to hunt and has hunting rifles and shotguns and crap but he only shoots a gun when he's aiming at an animal. He doesn't have any fun "just shooting". He has to get certified and **** with a handgun.... hes got his carry permit too... but IDK it blows my mind why the hell he keeps a gun around if it's just gonna be unloaded. Looks like I am going to have to be the one around here to keep my weapons action ready. It's not like we have small kids around.

    My mom and my dad both have carry permits, are aware of constant threats on their lives... and they both have two handguns that I have shot more than both of them, I clean and take care of them. And I am the one trying to convince them to keep the damn things action ready. I feel like I am the only person in the house that has any common sense.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  19. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I forgot about his occupational concerns. I think my reasoning still holds though. If they are out to kill and not to rob, they won't be holding them at gunpoint.
     
  20. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    I keep most of my guns in my safe but my two pistols (ria .45 and bersa .380) are kept outside the safe and loaded at all times. My bersa usually stays in the overhead bin in my f150 and my .45 in my blackhawk serpa on my hip but when i go in the house they both go in with me and into the bedroom when i hit the sack. I also have a 12 gauge in the closet with 00 loaded and ready. Youve always got to have something ready you can get to in seconds. You dont want to be standing in front of your safe fumbling with the combo dial while someone is in your home.