By A. Reeder
The question came up after reviewing several shooting episodes posted on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter (also some news station videos). In a number of shooting situations, the “good guy” was dealing with bystanders in range and proximity to the “bad guy”. We all know about several incidents where police generated collateral casualties during armed confrontations. This isn’t about cop-bashing, but about attacks, crowds and The Four Rules.
For this exercise, consider that breaking one of The Four Rules means failure to follow all four. In the matter at hand, specifically Rule #3 (which is actually tightly related to Rule #2).
Scenario 1: Mall scene. Crowded common passageway. Crowd begins to wildly disperse, while some consolidate at a single location twenty feet ahead. You approach, and find one person on the ground being threatened by another person on top who is holding a knife to the throat of the person on the ground, who is already showing blood running down the face.
You are now ten feet away. The crowd around the people on the floor is loose, but not moving away. With people everywhere, do you draw and shoot? Even though you can see there are bystanders behind your intended target? Do you spend time trying to get closer? Do you shoot, even though Rule Number 4 cannot be maintained?
Scenario 2: Crowded venue. Public concert in multi-tier arena. Gunfire breaks out thirty feet away. Mad gunman, or terrorist. People runing all directions, some behind the shooter. Do you take the shot, or wait until there are no bystanders beyond the intended target?
We could create a zillion scenarios posing a challenge to Rule Number 4, but the question remains: is it ever advisable to shoot if you cannot be sure of what is behind your target?
What’s in your scenario packet?