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When do you get involved?

knitepoetknitepoet Senior MemberPosts: 22,627 Senior Member
Joseph's thread, and my response to it got me to thinking.
In what circumstances will you get involved in someone else's "situation"??

I can't say I'd stand by and watch an obvious rape, but if you walk up and someone's getting the snot knocked out of them by let's say 2 people, do you get involved?

How do you know the one being beaten didn't start something illegal, to be met with overwhelming force by the potential victims?

I can see getting involved if someone comes into an establishment armed and announces a stick-up, but if the situation is already in progress when you become aware of it, how do you know for sure who's in the right?

There are so many scenarios where it would be possible to come in "late" and it look like the instigator is the victim and the intended "victim" looks like the perp that, IMO, it isn't as cut and dried as some people seem to think.

So how do you decide when/if/where to get involved??
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,655 Senior Member
    Call the cops, observe the goings on from a distance to make a good witness, if someones life looks like it is jeapordy or they are taking some potentially severe damage, I would get involved from there.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Call the cops, observe the goings on from a distance to make a good witness, if someones life looks like it is jeapordy or they are taking some potentially severe damage, I would get involved from there.

    I agree. On the second half of your post I'd go with a general "break it up!" kind of responce and just assume both partys are at fault. The LEOs can sort it out when they take charge of the situation but for the time being, no one's getting beat on any more.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    My main concern is the safety of me and mine. Anything else is secondary.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    My main concern is the safety of me and mine. Anything else is secondary.

    :agree:

    Some situations are just too hairy or uncertain to be able to justify your action. It sounds overly simple, but I would like to think I would know it when I see it. Hard to quantify, but as has been said, a rape in progress or imminent, a deadly threat to someone I know already, or a violent crime begun in my presence would qualify - however, safety of me and mine comes FIRST. If I can assure that, then I would take whatever other steps at my disposal to intervene.

    Any threat leveled at those I am bound to protect will, however, trump that decision.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,722 Senior Member
    I read an article about some similar instances the other day....

    You see a guy fighting two guys in an alley? Do you intervene? On whose side? Maybe it's an undercover bust where the one suspect is resisting arrest.

    A guy runs out of a convenience store, followed by a man with a gun. "Unarmed" man's yelling "Help! He's robbed the store!" Who do you stop? The first guy coming out could be a robber who's hidden his gun, while the second coming out is a licensed CCW holder acting somewhat foolishly. The yelling? Diversionary tactic.

    I worry about my loved ones. Other than that...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    I'd only get involved if two criteria are fulfilled:

    1) I feel comfortable that I know exactly what is really happening, and there is no supposition involved. (ie. An obvious robbery, shooting, etc. where I'm on the scene and see everything right from the start)

    2) Someone is at risk of losing their life, or sustaining permanent bodily damage (ie. someone being stabbed, shot, badly maimed, stomped to death, etc.)

    I'm not afraid to involve myself in something *IF* those two criteria are met, but I wouldn't in ANY case involve myself in something where I'd have to guess who is the victim and who is the criminal.

    Like BP said, every situation will require a different response.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Very good topic. I generally agree with Jeeper's assessment but I think we all agree it's an event-by-event scenario, no hard fast rules.

    I've intervened a couple times in my life, and thankfully it turned out okay. I'll share a couple of actual events and feel free to pick apart my actions -- it's what makes us all better informed. Sorry if this becomes a long post but I'm trying to give genuine accounts here...

    1- about a year ago a huge crash right outside my apartment, maybe 2am. I grabbed my XD (as usual), stuck it into my jeans and went to the door. I could see someone had run into the parked cars outside. All my neighbors were out there, so I went out onto the patio, we saw this young guy who had apparently run his pickup into the rear of the parked cars on the street. His truck was all bent up and so was the new SUV of the neighbor gal. The driver looked more drunk than injured. Cops had already been called. We yelled at the guy to wait but he got back in his damaged truck and rattled off. Didn't make it far, about a block, till the cops grabbed him. He was, surprise!!, illegal with no license or insurance. Anyway, I could have gone out to the street and prevented him from driving off but did not. Nobody had been in the parked cars so damage was just material not human. I therefore put my pistol back inside and made a statement to the cops like the other neighbors. In case #1 I chose to not become involved, firearm-wise.

    2- Approx 2003 I lived on a quiet, small side street in neartown Houston, near where I do now. 2am-3am my girlfriend and I were awakened by terrific female screams for help. Just outside and across the street, bright streetlight view, 2 guys were stomping the hell out of a woman. They were taking turns jumping on her stomach and abdomen, really vicious kicks to her head, too. I pulled on some clothes, asked GF to call 911, and I went outside on the walkway of my duplex, a Maglite in one hand, 1911 in the other. The beating was still going on, no letup. They were about 60 feet away. I yelled at the guys and kept the light into their eyes. The 1911 was down at my side, safety now off. They stopped the attack, the woman still rolling around, she then staggered to her feet, face all bloody, ran toward me crying help help. I told her the cops were on the way and to stay to my side. The 2 guys began to walk toward me, I raised the pistol and aimed center-mass at the first guy. I'm guessing it was then they saw the gun. One guy pulled at his pal, they both ran off, cops arrived a minute later. Gal was very banged up, broken ribs probably, internal injuries as she was bleeding out the mouth, she went to ER. Cops figured it was a prostitution/drug deal gone bad. In #2 I intervened, armed, thinking this woman would be beaten to death or badly injured. I didn't rush to the scene but stayed near my front door, on my walkway, and by yelling and bright flashlight got the attackers to stop. Had they come for me I would have fired but luckily that didn't happen.

    3- about 1985 in El Paso, I was living in a big townhouse/apt complex with many units, landscaped and upscale. Saturday afternoon I was on the upstairs balcony, BBQing w. a girlfriend. We heard this terrific crashing and yelling, male and female, and looked across the lawn to see a guy breaking thru the front door of an apartment, door hanging from broken hinges, he ran inside, heard him yelling and a woman screaming, furniture and stuff smashing. GF and I went inside my place, she called 911 and I grabbed my Ruger .357 and went back onto our upstairs patio to look. Lots of screaming and yelling and smashing, and then this woman ran out the door, blood across her face, hollering for help, he's gonna kill me. By then my GF had joined me outside and she yelled to the woman, come up here, cops are on their way. So the woman ran up the stairs and the 2 women were consoling, etc. and immediately this big guy ran out of the apartment looking for the woman, saw us on the balcony, started toward us. I went to the top of the stairs, cocked the gun, told the guy not to come up or I'd shoot him. He was pretty angry but also saw the big revolver and hesitated, foot on the bottom rung, when the cops showed and it was a pretty good fight but they won. Turned out they'd just separated and the gal had moved in 2 days prior. He was a Sgt. from Ft. Bliss. Would it have been smarter for us to try to get back inside my apartment? Maybe and maybe we didn't quite have the time but either way I would have still been the rear guard. Would I have fired? Absolutely if he'd run up the stairs. Thankfully he didn't. Gal went to the ER, minor injuries, she moved out of town a couple days after.

    These 3 incidents are genuine and fairly recent. In 2 of 3 I decided to cross the line and intervene. The cases are borderline and each of us may have reacted differently. But each is an example of a yes/no intervention.
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Call the cops, observe the goings on from a distance to make a good witness, if someones life looks like it is jeapordy or they are taking some potentially severe damage, I would get involved from there.


    Yep
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    I don't know.

    I think I might intervene in some circumstances, but it would have to be very clear-cut as to who the bad guy was and what his intentions were. I suspect that most such events are very confusing to anybody that just happens along, and I would try very hard not to become a participant.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    My main concern is the safety of me and mine. Anything else is secondary.

    :that:

    'em are wise words.

    Dead hero or live witness?
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,463 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Every different situation will determine a different response.

    This.

    It is hard to give a blanket response as to how I would react. There are a LOT of different factors. In SC you have the option to act under the alter ego clause, but you need to know what exactly is going on before you intervene. Generally speaking, I would try 911 before intervening unless it was rape or an immediate danger to life.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I don't know.

    I think I might intervene in some circumstances, but it would have to be very clear-cut as to who the bad guy was and what his intentions were. I suspect that most such events are very confusing to anybody that just happens along, and I would try very hard not to become a participant.

    Very good advice. You just happen along and see two guys fighting, who's to know which is the perp and which the undercover cop? To get involved, especially if you're armed, you better have a very clear picture of the situation. You may end up letting the bad guy get away, in the least. And at worst, you might end up in jail, charged with interfering with LEOs.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,735 Senior Member
    In general, I'm content to call the cops and be a good witness....about the only exception to that rule would be if a small child or an obviously defenseless person were being assaulted/victimized...
    However, as has been noted...every incident has it's own idiosyncrasies and drivers...got to take them as they come....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,573 Senior Member
    This.

    It is hard to give a blanket response as to how I would react. There are a LOT of different factors. In SC you have the option to act under the alter ego clause, but you need to know what exactly is going on before you intervene. Generally speaking, I would try 911 before intervening unless it was rape or an immediate danger to life.

    That's about where I draw the line, too. As has been said, each situation is different, and since my first concern is me and mine, I would avoid involvement if possible.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,891 Senior Member
    As has already been said, every situation is different, but generally, I have zero desire to risk my butt for a total stranger, who, if experience is any guide, I wouldn't like much anyway, in a situation I don't have all the information on.

    As you say, it's someone else's situation. As Clint Eastwood would say, "Well, he shoulda armed himself"
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Every situation different, each persons ability is different, each needs to act according to their ability.

    If a person does not have experience intervening, it may be better to simply observe and note plate numbers and descriptions etc....capture some video with a pocket device.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Every situation different, each persons ability is different, each needs to act according to their ability.

    If a person does not have experience intervening, it may be better to simply observe and note plate numbers and descriptions etc....capture some video with a pocket device.

    Completely agree, Doc. The 3 incidents I listed aren't a total list -- for some weird reason in my life, not being either a LEO or military, I've had several firearm-involved incidents. But as has been said here, the only way I'd get directly involved was if someone was in imminent danger of being murdered or seriously injured. And it would have to be pretty clear-cut, too.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "As you say, it's someone else's situation. As Clint Eastwood would say, "Well, he shoulda armed himself""

    One of My favorite Clint Eastwood quotes is: "A mans gotta know his limitations...."
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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