A few days ago, RF posited this “shoot / don’t shoot” scenario: I’m in the back of a convenience store with my family. I see a man enter the store and walk directly to the cashier. He draws a gun, sticks it in the cashier’s face and demands money or he’ll shoot. She freezes. He’s going to pull the trigger. The bad guy doesn’t see me and it’s likely that he won’t. My family and I are safe where we are. I’m armed. What would I do?
My first and only responsibility, I replied, is to me and my family. I’d draw my firearm, train it on the BG, and then . . . I’d keep a defensive posture and make sure that my family was safe. I would not fire at the BG.
Why? First, maybe I’d knock him down with the first shot, or maybe he’d have time to turn and sling lead in the direction of my family. I can’t have that. Second, if I fire, even in the defense of the defenseless store cashier, I’m going to be treated like a suspect in the People’s Kommonwealth of Massachusetts, and I can’t have that either.
Sure, in the end the shooting would be deemed justified, but I’m not going to go through that agonizing process for a stranger. Finally, if the clerk or the state made a decision that the cashier could not or should not carry, that’s on them, not me. I am not my “brother’s keeper,” I’m my family’s keeper.
So I ask you: in the same exact circumstances, what would you do? Would you do anything different if the robber executed the cashier in front of you?