Self-Defense Tip: Do NOT Get Involved


If you’re concerned about an actual or potential crime, call 911. If you can, make a note of the suspected perp or perps’ height, weight and/or dress and any vehicle they use. But in all cases, do NOT get in the middle of a violent confrontation. You risk backing the wrong horse, escalating the situation and losing everything you hold dear. Including but not limited to your life. Do not let the fact that you carry a gun cloud your judgement. And at the risk of being hoodie-ist, the white guy wasn’t dressed like a gang-banger. So the fact that more stupid people intervened to help a white couple tells you exactly nothing—except that ABC’s producers are racists and there are a lot of stupid people. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.


  1. avatar Buuurr says:

    As a human being what I do is keep me and my family safe. These people have good intentions but live in a false world.

  2. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I saw this show and while the people had good intentions, they could have been shot, stabbed or beaten. One of my buddies is a police officer who responded to woman’s call that her husband had just hit her. The man refused to be handcuffed and put up a struggle, at which time the wife choked my friend as he tried to arrest the guy that had just beaten her. This police officer had learned that this may happen during his training, and he’d heard about this happening to other officers. He’s lucky that his fellow officers arrived in time to save his butt. Now if this were happening to a stranger I’d most likely call the police, but if it were to happen to someone I know I’d take out the bad guy.

  3. avatar Rob says:

    Evan Marshall of Handgun Stopping Power fame (infamy?) wrote an article entitled the “Dangers of Intervention”. He talks specifically about domestic violence situations. You can find it here:

    Regardless of your opinion on Mr. Marshall, I believe the advice given in the article is sound.


  4. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    Two things come to mind watching the report-1) the male’s baggy clothes could easily be concealing weapons and 2) how many real 911 calls were interfered with by the citizens calling for the staged fight?

    1. avatar Habeas says:

      None. It was done with the cooperation of the Police who had made prior arrangements. They explained that during the program (What Would You Do?) this was taken from. I watched it that night. I do agree that those who intervened did so without a thought in the world about how the aggressor would react. A prime example of “things like that don’t happen here” mentality. “Things like that” happen everywhere, none of us get to choose.

  5. avatar Magoo says:

    I may or may not involve myself in such a situation, depending on the circumstances. Actually, this is one of the reasons I don’t carry a firearm. It greatly limits one’s options in acting as a responsible and engaged citizen.

    Gun loons don’t want to be part of society. They wish to stand apart from it, passing through it but never being a part of it. They have a great fear of society because everyone in it is a potential threat. As gun loons like to say, “Be polite and professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” The gun serves as the armor and differentiator, allowing the carrier to feel separate, above, and out of reach from society. The gun gives him an edge on the rest of the population; he’s afraid that without his edge, he can’t survive.

    1. avatar Habeas says:

      I’ve carried a gun, both as a law enforcement officer and a civilian. I train both in the use of firearms, and I represent those who do in self-defense, who are later hauled into court. Calling me or any other citizen who chooses to accept this responsibility a “gun loon” does nothing to further discussion of the issue and is merely an expression of bias and immaturity. Having a gun neither expands, nor diminishes one’s options. Circumstances alter cases. Seeing an individual assaulted by another, I may choose to intervene, or I may choose to call 911. My firearm is not going to be part of that equation unless I perceive a deadly threat being imposed upon myself or another. I’ve been there, I want that option. What you choose to do is your decision.

      1. avatar Blake says:

        You used a key word there: responsibility.

        The Magoo’s of the world refuse to believe people can be and are responsible while carrying a handgun.

    2. avatar A Critic says:

      Actually, this is one of the reasons I don’t carry a firearm. It greatly limits one’s options in acting as a responsible and engaged citizen.

      How does adding an option limit your options?

      1. avatar Magoo says:

        The McDonald’s video posted here recently with the two “ladies” and the transgender/transvestite/whoever is a good example. I may have intervened there, but I couldn’t have waded into the scuffle wearing a firearm. Too great a risk of having it taken away.

        Meanwhile, drawing the weapon is totally unjustified in that instance. A firearm has no business in that confrontation. And if you draw anyway, you might just have your bluff called by one of the attackers. Then what? You guys tend to way overestimate the usefulness of a firearm.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    If I saw and heard this kind of verbal abuse unfolding in front of me, I’d quickly reach for my . . . phone. I’m not going to escalate a domestic argument into a potential life or death situation. Physical abuse might call for emergency intervention, but the situation and the response would need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  7. avatar glenux says:

    I saw part of this program. White person or Black person, I don’t care, I would have
    atleast just listened to the tone of words to find out what the argument is all about. Couples argue all the time. I mind my own business when it just goes that far. But if it gets physical, you have an obligation to do something about it.
    Maybe the guy is just pissed off that no one will listen to him. I’ll listen.
    If the guy is getting physical and hurting her only “a little”, I would then call the police, but if it was “life-threatening”, I see a moral obligation to stop it right then.
    Wouldn’t you?
    If he is attacking her and she can’t even defend herself and asking for help, I would stop it right then and have another witness call the police. But I won’t just stand there and let a man beat a woman. A good strategy is to say something out loud so other people can help you so that it does not appear to be just a confrontation between you and him. I’d first try not to use physical force because that may just escalate the hostility. I’d much rather say something to deflect the tension. It’s called Verbal Judo.

    Mr Magoo, just because a person carries a firearm because they are concerned about their self-defense does not make them a “gun loon”. Our own respected Law Enforcement Officers carry firearms partly for their own self-defense. Are they “gun loons”? What about a woman who has been beaten and raped and now carries a gun so that it does not happen again? Is she a “gun loon”? You know she’s not. So what’s with the blanket desparaging term?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I know of an take down where two plains clothes policemen were trying to arrest a woman. She was shouting rape. An armed citizen intervened. He was lucky to escape with his life.

  8. avatar Magoo says:

    Habeas says: “Calling me or any other citizen who chooses to accept this responsibility a “gun loon” does nothing to further discussion of the issue and is merely an expression of bias and immaturity.”

    Oh, I don’t know about that. In my short time here I’ve been called a troll, coward, sheep, sheeple, etc, and so forth. At one point the web master suggested I lacked male reproductive organs.

    Did I run away crying like a little girl? Nope, still here. While I am no big fan of labels, they can help to clarify an argument.

    I use the term “gun loon” to differentiate these folks from the majority of mainstream gun owners, who are sensible and responsible people. You guys at TTAG are the fringe element: range commandos, mall ninjas, 2A kooks, moon landing deniers, etc.

    Here are two things I’ve learned about gun loons at TTAG:

    1. You guys can dish it out but you can’t take it.
    2. You can’t hear yourselves, not even a little.

    These are, of course, two of the classic symptoms of extremism.

  9. avatar Mac Mallison says:

    To paraphrase the great Barry Farber, never intervene unless the woman clearly calls out for help. His sad tale of intervention and what it can cost you makes it very clear that in this sort of situation, a cell phone is the best answer.

  10. avatar Magoo says:

    glenux says: ‘Mr Magoo, just because a person carries a firearm because they are concerned about their self-defense does not make them a “gun loon.”‘

    I never said they were. You know, you might not be taking this personally enough. I’m not talking about all gun owners or even all CC’ers. I’m talking about the prevailing attitudes as displayed at TTAG.

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