There is no shortage of concealed-carry chest thumping going on when people start talking about how heroic they would be in an active shooter situation or during some type of robbery. And, may I add, bless the patriots who are willing to answer the call, by deciding to carry concealed. However, having the ability and willingness is different than the responsibility or understanding of knowing whether or not getting involved is actually going to help the situation or potentially cause confusion that could get innocent people killed, including you.
It was just such a patriot who intervened in the Texas church shooting a few months ago, turning the shooter away, and saving lives. Then, at some personal risk, the good guy with a gun and a passerby gave chase that ended up in the bad guy finishing the job by taking his own life. However, what if the police was quicker? Law enforcement pulls up and sees a man with an AR-15 shooting another man standing in the door of a church. What then? What if the police merely saw a pickup truck speeding off with with armed men after the shooting, unaware they were the good guys giving chase, and not the shooter?
I am not in any way pointing out the potential downsides or dangers in an attempt to convince you to not get involved. These questions are simply fodder to get you thinking. Before you get involved. you need to understand the ramifications, have a plan, and a good understanding of whether you are helping the situation or hindering the resolution. What happens if you get in a gunfight, but hit the wrong person. What if another good samaritan confused you for the bad guy?
The courts have been pretty clear about a lack of obligation to retreat from within the home, but what about at a grocery store, gas station, church, workplace, or a restaurant. If you were armed and caught in an active shooter scenario at one of those places, would you draw your weapon? At what point would you get involved to help a stranger? What would the legal ramifications be after the fact if you did get involved. Hopefully, most reading this have thought through a variety of scenarios and already formulated a general operating plan as well as a few detailed plans for scenarios that are more common.
U.S. Law Shield‘s Sam Malone, recently asked Independent Program Attorney Doug Richards, “What should you do as a gun owner when faced with an active shooter situation?” The following video covers some of the legalities in Colorado, but it is good advice and a great starting point to predetermining or revising your own strategy.
Would you get involved? What is your red line? Share your answers in the comment section.
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