Sometimes, it's not your fight.


Just because you carry a gun dos not mean you have to pull it out and charge into every situation you see. Well, let me rephrase that. As a civilian, you don't need to charge in. Uniformed officers have a duty to get involved, so that becomes a whole new can of worms… but civilians not directly involved in a violent incident might be better off preparing for action, but remaining outside the fray, gathering information to be a good witness.There are a million possible scenarios and sometimes the best choice is to simply move to a position of tactical advantage and observe. Get on your cell phone and call 911… take time to roll the possibilities through your head, perhaps even maintain the element of surprise. Just remember, the best fight is one you can avoid. Sometimes it pays to play it cool.


  1. I think one thing to consider here is you level of expertise. Although the civilians today are more well trained in firearms handling and shooting that is not all the expertise required to take on say a robbery in progress. If the situation deteriorates into a shooting situation and there is no way out or you have attempted to get out of the drama unsuccessfully, then you might be called on to do what you are best trained for.nnChances are good this might be your first time pointing a gun at a human target. Not a good time for hesitation and that hesitation could be the cause of a bunch of undesireable reactions to your actions. If the threat is imminent and in progress it is easier to react to than if inappropriate action gets you in a Mexican Standoff with the bad guy. No ethnic offense intended.nnIf the situation deteriorates to the position of a hostage situation this is something that the civilian has little opportunity to practice at. Are you ready to handle that? When you throw down your hand to early in a bad situation there is the chance of hostage situation or civilians hurt and this should play into the decision to act. If he doesn’t comply to the verbal warnings and decides to take you on you better be as good as you think you are as far as tactical position, shooting ability, back stop and civilians in the way or whatever else that could unfold because of your actions.nnSometimes their actions make your decision to get into the game easy. They come in shooting and the best thing is to secure the threat quickly before more are hurt. This is a no brainer and by all means do the best you can with the training you have to keep innocents from getting hurt or yourself, but you still are responsible for every round you send and realize that until there is absolutely no choice but to react, make your decision to act or witness on on reasonable evaluation of your abilities and training. Even if the right thing to do is shoot, it might not be if you do not have the training or skill to make the shot you are presented with. (Example a bad guy holding a hostage.) You better be confident in your expertise and skill.nnUsually the person that has enough training and experience to handle the situation will use that training to opt to the better choice of being a good witness. Highly trained policemen are advised not to confront crimes in progress unless there is no choice because of the turn of events that could cause injury to civilians or themselves and that would seem good advise for civilians with less trainig. Sometimes it is safer to catch them later.nnI knew a policeman that was off duty in a bank and a robbery went down. He was in a position to watch and learn as much as he could about the suspect and ascertained the suspect was alone. Instead of taking action in the bank and endangering civilians, he followed the suspect out the door and took him down in a safe area of the parking lot. As no violence was occuring to anyone in the bank it was his opinion that by not reacting in the bank it would keep it that way. As a civilian, after he is gone it’s the banks money, let him go and give good description to police. For the policeman above he felt a duty to take him down but only after the situation wasn’t a threat to civilians. GOOD CALLnnJust a thought from my corner of the world.


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