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Carl Grimes (courtesy

Reader Isaak writes:

As some of you might know Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead was the season three finale. SPOILER ALERT In the episode, an opposing force is attacking the main group’s shelter. The young boy, Carl Grimes, is off in the woods, helping guard the few weaker members of their party. As the attacking force retreats from some well laid traps, a single young man with a shotgun does not escape as quickly. He runs off into the forest. Carl comes out from behind a rock and catches the young man running, and immediately tells him to drop his firearm . . .

The young man does not immediately respond. Instead of dropping the weapon, he tries to hand it to Carl. After a tense moment, Carl shoots and kills the young man.

On The Talking Dead (the after-show), a poll asked “Did Carl go too far when he killed the boy?” As of 10:52 EST on April 1, 48 percent of respondents ticked “Yes, the boy was surrendering.” Fifty-one percent chose “No, it’s smart not to trust anybody.”

Ignoring all the drama and junk that goes on with fictional television shows, I believe that it brings up an important self-defense tip. If you tell an attacker or intruder to “drop their weapon” do NOT, under any circumstances, accept any offer for them to hand it to you, let them approach you or let them form any sort of physical contact of any kind.

If I was in a similar situation in my home and I told someone to “STOP!” and/or “DROP IT!”, and they moved forward, I might repeat the command before shooting or I might not. Either way, given the speed at which an aggressor can launch an attack, one step forward is one step too many.

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  1. The previous article that was posted with the Older man answered your question.

    …Take one more step and you are gonna get shot and then die.

    • Here’s some good advice. Take your TV out to your trash container & drop it. Then get a couple of books #1 Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback, #2 A History of the American People by Paul Johnson. Then learn what real men do when faced with the problems we are plagued with today.

  2. Totally need a spoiler alert at the top of this article. I haven’t watched The Walking Dead yet, but it’s next on my list of shows to catch. You can’t just blow a season finale without saying spoiler alert ha ha!

    • If it makes you feel better, this doesnt really play all that much into the main plot line of the episode.

    • GOT is back on.. who cares? Well I guess you guys but watch this later when GOT is off-air.

      • Unless you pay $20/mo for HBO, GoT is always off the air. 😉

        I’m reading the books right now, and I’m about halfway through Season 1. But I’ll probably wait to watch Season three until it’s available elsewhere, or maybe I’ll download them through iTunes.

        • I’ve just started the third book. There is nothing other than Game of Thrones that even remotely appeals to me on HBO. I bootlegged the first couple episodes of the first season, but decided that i preferred the books in both content and not having to wait for them to buffer.

        • HBO is $12 bucks a month… at least with my provider. I have read all the books, good times. I doubt it will be available anywhere but HBO for some time due to them using it as a jump off for their new HBO GO.

        • Ben, GoT is always on The Pirate Bay. There was actually an interview the other day where the cast and producers of GoT said that they’re proud it’s the most pirated show and that it causes people who don’t pay for HBO to go out and buy the show in DVD / Blu-ray.

      • 1) She’s not that hot.

        2) She has made stupid decisions all season and her stupid conversation with the dying dweeb contributed directly to her well deserved death at the end. She did 50 minutes of yammering and she ended up being about 5 seconds too late in getting her restraints off. All 4 of the family let out a simultaneous YahHooo! when she revealed she had been bit.

        • made stupid decisions all season?

          this describes every character in the entire show. seriously can you name one good decision made by any character?

        • @ Gabba

          Here’s one….. Daryl returning to the prison instead of roaming with his brother

        • I was jumping up and down with joy when I found out that the bitch was going to die. Ever since early season two she’s just been a moron who finds the most psychotic and homicidal person around and then blindly follows them.


          Carl popping that kid with the shotgun was a great decision.

    • The episode was terrible. Such a big build up, talking about how a war is coming, then… nothing. ****Spoiler alert**** Did anyone else notice when Rick gave Andrea his revolver, when you hear the shot, it sounded like a brass hit the floor? Thats as good as shooting the ARs with no rear sight. Can this show not afford someone with firearms knowledge to be on the set during filming?

      • And she also said she knew where the safety was. Maybe she meant between her ears?

        • I think that was more of a reference to last season when Shane and Rick were teaching her to shoot. They had an exchange about where the safety was on whatever she was learning to shoot with.

      • It sounded like the gun hitting the floor to me.

        Edit: And the safety thing was a joke from much earlier in the show.

        • It could have been, who knows. It just sounded more ‘hollow’ to me. I would go back on my DVR and watch it again, but I saw nothing in the episode to justify keeping it.

        • Right on both accounts.

          And Carl’s action was disturbing to me. The kid with the shotgun was clearly scared to death, and did the wrong thing without thinking. Plus, Herschel was backing Carl up.

          The kid is becoming the new Governor, I’m telling you. Rick needs a long talk with him, now that there’s some time.

        • @William… Rick deserved the b1tch slap that he got from Carl about all the crap decisions Rick has made.

        • In case anybody stumbles across this; there were two distinct sounds. One was a “ching” with a faint ringing echo followed by the clack of the gun hitting the ground. I guess they just messed up the audio on that scene. On a tangent.. I would not want to be sitting next to somebody who’s planning to blow their brains out with a .45

      • They make case drops sound like two cases hitting each other in midair in zero-g on tv. Perfect clink every time. This sounded more to me like a gun hand propelled away from the quickly limp body and smacking part of the cylinder into the ground. Sound was a little thud-ish for an empty case.

      • They also apparently have gun permits in Georgia. Remember the episode with Rick going back to town to acquire guns from the stores? He “signed off” on 3 permits for the bar, two handguns and a shotgun.

        • Yeah, I tried to figure that one out too. The best I could come up with was they were short barreled shotguns and Rick, assuming he was the Sheriff and not just a Deputy, signed off as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

      • No, Rick gave Andrea her pistol back, the one she had from the first season. It was given to her by her father, but before the zombies came she had never fired it. She did not commit suicide with Rick’s Colt Python.

        • Actually it was Ricks Python. Check the footage again. Why in the world would Rick happen to have Andreas pistol after all that time?
          I also thought it was the sound of the gun, not a casing hitting the floor.

      • I noticed that as well. After rewinding it, I think it was the sound of the revolver hitting the concrete floor. BTW, what kind of silencer was Carl using? Looked really odd to me.

  3. If anything, Carl waited too long to take the shot. The guy was acting sketchy, and was probably thinking he could overpower a kid and a one legged man.

    • That was my take too, don’t know why the other characters got upset he ‘murdered’ someone. If I were in his shoes I’d have assumed the reason the kid was taking so long was because he was trying to stall and think of a plan.

    • I’m handing over my shotgun, here, take it by the barrel while I hold it with my hand right on the trigger…. riiiiiiight.

  4. I’d have done the same thing. He was charged with protecting a baby, a 16 year old girl and a one-legged old man.

    In this situation, how does he even take a prisoner? In a general sense, he didn’t drop the gun and it was still pointed towards them. Right call.

  5. Out in public, with a non firearm I may give someone the chance to drop a knife/bat/whatever. If they have a gun and they are threatening/have threatened me I am going to draw and stop the threat. Why should I risk being the one who doesn’t go home when someone has shown clear agression by threatening me with a weapon?

    In my home on the other hand, I have no such duty. If I feel it is needed(believe it or not Illinois has some damn good laws about defending your home) to stop a forcible felony in my home I have the power to stop the threat with force that is likly to cause serious bodily injury or death. Someone has already taken the time and effort to break into my home, with a weapon, I don’t know what their intentions are and I dont care. I would rather shoot someone who “might” have been willing to surrender than to be disarmed and killed by an attacker in my own home because of hesitation.
    Identify the targer, engage the target if hostile, period.

    PS: The Walking Dead season Finale was anti-climactic and was probably the weakest season Finale of the whole series.

    • “PS: The Walking Dead season Finale was anti-climactic and was probably the weakest season Finale of the whole series.”

      ^ This. It was a serious disappointment.

      • As a big fan of the comics above all else…this series could be a lot darker…I mean…it was just a lame cop out…the way SPOILER that Lori died earlier in the season, the way everything went.

        The only person they are doing well from the Comics would be Carl, they are finally starting to show the slightly warped/bad ass Carl I loved in the comics….

        Then again you can’t really show kids killing other kids on TV, might be a bit too much for the public but still. Dragging this BS with SPOILER one eye out for another season is annoying.

  6. agree with the self defense tip, why they choose to air a kid killing another kid on national TV is beyond me. Remember most kids watching this will not have the skilled parent discussing the scene with them.

  7. Big time spoiler alert required! Also, the poll ended up stabilizing 50/50. Thought that was an interesting twist.

    Interesting that scene is mentioned. I thought the kid was going to make a grab at Karl, just as this article warned against, and was hoping, praying, begging the kid not to do it, not to force Karl to defend himself.

    Yeah, that didn’t go so well.

    • Only until the release the special edition DVD where the guy with the shotgun shoots first and then Carl magically jerks to the side in a moment of poor editing, before Carl shoots him in the head.

      God I hate George Lucas…

      If there is a God, let Disney released the original Star Wars movies on Blu-ray….

  8. I hate zombies and all media associated with them, with the exception of the original “Night of the Living Dead”, “Return of the Living Dead” (if only because of the dancing punk girl in the grave yard) “Shaun of the Dead” and Max Brook’s books “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z.”

      • > I also liked 28 days later.

        Is that a sequel to “28 Days” starring Sandra Bullock?

        A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.

      • 28 Days Later is super good. Danny Boyle bowed out of the sequel, and it stunk.

        Technically, though, those are not zombies, but living, infected humans. That act unhuman, like your neighbors.

    • While this is ostensibly a zombie story, in reality the zombies have become an afterthought, a hook to keep us coming back. The real story is just a soap opera with guns.

        • I disagree. Without the zombies, the story would not be taking place.

          Thus it’s ALL about the zombies.

    • > I hate zombies and all media associated with them

      Don’t go to Illinois, then. The Walking Dead could be the title for a documentary about municipal elections in Chicago.

      I live through the zombie apocalypse every Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Perhaps I should make a TV show about that; The Working Dead.

  9. Like most of us in the comments, I’m completely in agreement that Carl did the right thing. The only question is if he hesitated too long.

  10. ” Either way, given the speed at which an aggressor can launch an attack, one step forward is one step too many.”

    Posted this before, following shows how quickly untrained folks can draw and fire compared to how quickly someone can react. Action beats reaction. OODA loop.

  11. man, am i glad to see this post. this is EXACTLY the way i interpreted this scene, if Hershel is such an expert, he should of said to put the weapon on the group, back away and lay flat on his face.

  12. If Obama, from his mother’s genes, had a son he might look like Carl. Better call in the FBI to investigate if Carl has made any kill-happy comments in the past.

  13. Pretty Simple:”Drop It or you shall have the right to be dead”!! If only till you become undead!!
    Season Finale really the worst episode I have seen yet!! Really like the zombie movie genre, ZombieLand was great!
    @Gloomhound: best part of return of the liong dead, besides the punk girls dance was the zombie yellin the dispatcher to send mee paramedics and police!!

  14. It’s important to note that Hershel also had his guns pointed at the boy. That detail was what put doubt in my head as to whether it was a ‘good shoot’.
    That should provide a small measure of insurance to let the situation play out a little longer to determine if the boy was handing over his weapon or making a move for Carl.

    • That’s got no bearing on why he did it. He shot the kid because he thought about all the times that they’ve shown mercy and it came back to bite them in the ass. This kid just came from an attack meant to kill them and there was only 1 way to make sure it never happened again.

      • Yes. See: Dialogue between Rick and Carl at the end where Carl explains to Rick how his decisions to let men like the Governor walk away and take them at their word has nearly gotten them all killed several times.

        This is a cruel world and men can no longer be given the benefit of the doubt.

  15. The guy was in no hurry to drop his weapon. I agree, he hesitated. Maybe he would have lunged at Carl, maybe he would have dropped his weapon, but he waited to long and spooked Carl. But Hershel has to be the overly sensitive grandpa type because that’s how he’s type cast.

    • Agree with Mike. He waited far to long to drop the weapon. Hershel still has not learned it appears.

  16. I thought Carl did the right thing. I was actually disappointed in the ‘trap’. They had the Governor’s whole group penned in. Personally, I thought it was a great episode.

      • It wasn’t great, but at least sh!t happened for once. The storyline and character development are too weak to compensate for a lack of gunfire.

        Peter Jackson hurt LOTR by turning Frodo into such a little whiny hobbit, and Rick’s prolonged battle with menopause is killing TWD.

    • No one I was watching with believe me when I predicted they had the prison booby-trapped. HA!

      My daughter’s known me… well, all her life. She should have known I was right.

  17. Carl could have shot the ‘kid’ without warning. Instead he gave him the option of peaceful surrender.

    Noncompliance gets what noncompliance deserves.

  18. Absolutely a ‘good shoot.’ I’ll give you about a second to drop that weapon. Failure to comply along with advancing is a caradinal sign of an impending attack. OTOH the kid was just a kid, not a warrior, and probably just made a stupid decision. Oh well, stupid games … stupid prizes.

    • I agree the kid was more than likely just frozen in fear, but you can’t blame Carl for not taking that chance. Grandpa shouldn’t be giving him such crap for acting decisive when it’s needed.

      • Frozen in such a manner that his shotgun muzzle slowly drifted toward the person telling him to drop the weapon whilst his finger remained firmly ready to pull the trigger and his feet slowly shuffled towards his captor.

        Genius of him.

      • I said Carl did the wrong thing. He did, but I don’t blame him for what he did. It’s understandable. But I’m worried about what he might be becoming.

        Rick needs to have that talk. Find out what’s going on with Carl. In that situation, fewer humans does not exactly give them chance to repopulate to a sustainable level

  19. If my gun comes out of its holster, the person in my sights is going to die.

    There is no negotiation in combat.

    As to Hollywood , there ain’t much story or character development available in a 10 second exhange of gunfire .

    • The real issue is, by the time you start saying something they can draw/bring their weapon to bear and fire. You can’t observe their movenment, orient yourself in determining what it means, decide an a response, and act out that response before they can shoot.

      • But the kid was holding the shotgun IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BARREL, which was pointing at the sky. That’s not a threatening gesture, in my book.

        If he hesitates before dropping it, a pistol-whipping might be in order, but not a shooting.

  20. Everyone who voted “yes too far” should read up on the Tueller Drill and then vote again. People are ignorant.

  21. I believe repeated yelling of the command “drop the knife/gun/assault hammer or I will shoot you” should give enough warning to a normal idividual so that if they refuse to comply your commands, you would be justified in your actions.

  22. I hate to say it, but if you’re watching this poorly written….show, then you’ve bought in to the self-serving media marketing campaign they’ve created for you. A morality play, in a world that has devolved into kill or
    be killed? Then….AND then, discussing a shoot don’t shoot scenario afterwards, and then bothering to take a poll about it like it’s the Dr. Phil Show? Sorry, but I can hardly restrain my laughter. In this scenario, we only need to recall those 4 cynical words from the movie Full Metal Jacket. “Better him than me.” Damned straight Skippy!

    • **Spoiler Alert**

      I don’t know if he qualifies as a psychopath. The referenced scene was one of the most telling in the show’s history. Herschel is horrified by Carl’s actions and tells Rick about it. When told, Rick goes into denial mode. When Rick asks Carl what happened, Carl explains his reasons well. It’s then that Rick realizes that the he grew up in a much different world than Carl. Guys like Rick and Herschel were raised in a civilized society (which is why Carl killing the boy is horrifying to them), whereas Carl is growing up in a Lord of the Flies Darwinistic world. Kill or be killed.

      • No fear, no empathy (he’s pissed about the new arrivals), cold-hearted, guilt-trips his “father” (Rick) and has no remorse? He’s well on his way to being Baby Face Nelson.

        • I’m not sure yet, but it’s on my radar for next season. Remember the Woodbury group the psycho Governor killed because they realize killing other human beings might not bode well for the future of the human race?

  23. They really need to kill him off. He’s that character that has no real purpose and is nothing but an issue. You want him to die and it bugs you because he doesn’t. Also correct me if im wrong but shouldn’t that “suppressor” of his have broken by now since its worth two shots at best?

    • Are you sure? I was thinking it was police property that the police no longer needed… because THERE AREN’T ANY. Not that they’re missed.

  24. Oh wow! Thanks for much for putting my letter up!
    I do see that you guys changed some wording a little. Ha ha! Not that I mind. 🙂

    Overall I was disappointed with how Hershel portrayed what Carl did when he spoke to Rick later, it was pretty damn obvious the kid didn’t drop the stupid shotgun.

    When I was watching the episode, the first thing that came to my mind was Carl taking hold of the shotgun and the kid tugging on it or something, to pull Carl off-balance or make an attempt to grab him.

  25. i think the scene was meant to show that Carl is an extremely conflicted young man. personally i think the plotline is that he will eventually turn bandit and Rick will eventually have to face down his own son.

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