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Armed robbery

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by readingbill, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. readingbill


    Aug 2, 2011
    Good morning Mas,

    This happened locally where four men, at least one with a handgun, entered a diner, ordered three workers and five patrons to the floor and robbed them all of money and personal effects.

    Other news reports indicate that one patron was struck.

    As it played out, the robbers left after taking the valuables.

    I've been to that diner- which is just outside a rural, college town- although not that early in the morning, and have always legally pocket carried either a Kahr PM9 or a S&W 642.

    I am truly conflicted about what I would have done in that situation, particularly with that many robbers and patrons involved.

    Starting a gunfight in such a physically tight situation could have resulted in an innocent person being injured or killed by one of my rounds or one of the robber's.

    On the other hand, by my not acting the robbers then would have stolen my handgun and perhaps out of anger that I was armed may have started shooting. If not that, they at least would have another weapon - mine.

    Use it or lose it comes to mind.

    I know scenarios are tough calls, but I can't help but think that my possession of a handgun in this situation could have escalated the event to the point where an innocent person could have been killed.

    I've always believed that I'm mentally prepared for the responsibilty involved with carrying a weapon.

    But this case has raised some uncomfortable questions for myself.

    I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Bill, I'm afraid the short-answer format of GATE doesn't lend itself to a question like this. Too many issues, too much conditional branching for short and simple answers.

    Lots of folks associate "everyone on the floor" robberies with a certainty of mass execution, but as seen in the case you mention, often no one is harmed. However, rare exceptions do occur.

    What are the robbers saying? What is their tone of voice? Do they sound out of control or calm?

    In the report you linked, only one of the four perps had a visible gun. On him, you'd likely have the advantage of surprise...but if the other three drew guns, you'd be up against four men. You mention you carry a 5-shot .38 or a 7-shot 9mm. Given typical hit ratio in the swirl of a gunfight, the chances of one man neutralizing four with five to seven shots is not promising.

    We have to consider other tactical options: are we close enough to the back door or the door to the kitchen to slip out unnoticed, for example?

    And then we get to the ethical question: do we have a right to trigger a gunfight in a place occupied by several innocent bystanders, when we know that most robbers depart without violence if they are not opposed?

    Might want to post it in Carry Issues and get a bunch of different viewpoints. Don't be surprised if it becomes a bit...spirited. :supergrin:

  3. readingbill


    Aug 2, 2011
    Thank you, Mas, for your insights.

    I think I'd rather face a group of robbers than a spirited GT exchange!

    All the best,
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012