You’re not a cop. You have no legal obligation to defend innocent life. Come to think of it, neither do cops. Anyway, whether or not you have a moral obligation to defend the defenseless is up to you.
Needless to say, that decision is situational. If you’re in a store when an armed robber enters and holds up the cashier, you may want to hang fire. Or leave (if you can). If the thief starts beating the sh*t out of the cashier, you might change your mind.
Your life. Your call. But it’s certainly true that some situations cry out for non-intervention, save a 911 call. Top of that list: domestic abuse. Check this from fox13.com:
A young father and Air Force veteran was the man shot and killed outside an IHOP restaurant Sunday morning. Police said he was murdered while breaking up a domestic violence incident.
Family confirmed that 27-year old Devin Wilson (above) was killed.
Devin Wilson died while defending a woman who was a complete stranger. She was allegedly being choked and beaten by her ex-boyfriend.
Wilson stopped that attack, but he was shot by the ex-boyfriend.
The Air Force veteran died a hero.
“He had a big heart, and it was his big heart that unfortunately led him to his death bed,” Katina Rounds, Devin’s mother, said. “I wasn’t surprised when they said just trying to help somebody. A woman being attacked.”
Our condolences to Ms. Rounds and the rest of Mr. Wilson’s family and friends.
Please note: I am not saying Mr. Wilson made a mistake. I’m saying that stepping into a domestic dispute is one the highest risk interventions you can possibly make.
I recommend you don’t get between fighting partners (it’s a tip not a command). But again, it’s your choice. In any case, add this cautionary tale to your lethal threat calculus, keep calm and carry on.