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FedEx Shooting in Indy, what would you have done?

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by Glocktogo, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Glocktogo

    Glocktogo Sharpshooter

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    With credit to trekrock for posting this in the Indianapolis FedEx facility shooting news thread, I felt it was once again an important time to discuss our individual and collective thoughts on engaging an active shooter while carrying concealed.

    With all due respect and prayers for the victims and their families, this brings to mind a very apropos quote from Inspector Harry Callahan: "A man's gotta know his limitations"

    I say this without an ounce of sarcasm or flippancy, this is deadly serious and it's something everyone should consider when going forth into the world strapped for trouble. What you CAN'T do is far more important to know than what you can do.

    If this eyewitness report bears out, this is a double tragedy because a good guy with a gun lost his life without any appreciable impact on the threat. That’s beyond awful and I have nothing but respect for that person who gave their life in an attempt to end a deadly rampage. I wonder what went through his mind when he decided to engage?

    Did he feel prepared to stop an active threat with a rifle, when he was armed only with a concealed handgun? Had he ever trained on shooting from cover? Did he know the difference between cover and concealment? Did he have any training on tactics and movement? Did he have any training on shooting at a moving target? Did he have any training on shooting on the move? Did he have any training on engaging a hardened target and taking critical shots of opportunity?

    We may never know in this case, and that’s OK. We may never know if he’d have survived the rampage, had he not engaged or moved away/taken cover either. What’s important going forward is the conversation. This is going to be used against the pro-carry crowd as “proof” that a good guy with a gun makes things more dangerous, not less”. That’s completely false and we should be prepared to refute it.

    Simply put, you don’t have to be SFOD-D or FBI HRT to carry for defense. If a little old lady with a .25acp in her pocket can deter a yute from strongarm robbing her, that’s a win. If an old fat guy with his trusty snubbie or Ruger can prevail over an armed robber at close range, that’s a win. IF, you’re armed with a .357 SIG and can confidently engage a shotgun wielding killer with a headshot in a church, that’s a win.

    Going up against an active shooter armed with an AR and possibly armor in a busy parking lot, using your G-19? That might be another matter. You’re going to need some serious skills and a very tactical mindset to gain the upper hand, because you’re already at a significant disadvantage. Unless you can take a kill shot from his blindside while he’s static and within your effective range, you’d be better off gaining hard cover and waiting. Better yet, take hard cover first and THEN take a shot. If it looks like he’s wearing armor, try to break down his mobility with a shot to the pelvic girdle. Once he’s immobile use fire and maneuver to further degrade his capability, until you can make a confident head shot.

    Or simply wait for him to bleed out, which is probably a much better option. Better to be a live and intact partial hero than getting yourself shot or killed trying to finish him off. Do what you can and then stay behind hard cover or exfiltrate the threat area. And quite frankly, if you can’t reliably make that shot or shots under the circumstances you’re faced with, don’t engage. Be a good witness and vector in the cavalry, who will have rifles of their own.

    Tl;DR: Think about what you’re capable of on your worst day and game out the scenarios you might be faced with in public places. Once you’re used to doing it, it literally takes no more than a few seconds of your time. As you do this you’ll condition yourself to select the optimal places to be and where to orient your attention, so as to be best prepared to fight, flee or take cover before anything ever happens.

    Most crucially, use your range time and precious ammo stash to stretch your capabilities and further establish your limitations. Even competition shooters tend to focus on drills they do very well, because everyone likes to feel good about their results. But doing the hard things you fail to do successfully most of the time? That’s where you expand your skillset.

    As an old friend from my competitive shooting days and early OSA contributor was fond of saying, is your gun a weapon or a talisman? Think about it…
     
    druryj, trbii, HFS and 7 others like this.
  2. BobbyV

    BobbyV Uh huh . . . sure

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    I haven't heard the details about exactly how this guy was killed while trying to get firearm . . . was he killed before, during or after getting it?

    Did he expose himself unnecessarily in order to get it? Heck, did he even know where the shooter was located?

    So many unknowns for me at this point.
     
    chuter and OKNewshawk like this.
  3. trekrok

    trekrok Sharpshooter

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    I try to keep these kind of events in my mind when carrying. Occasionally, I get lazy and just stick a Ruger LCP or something in my front pocket. Then I think about what situations I might be prepared for when carrying it. I still think something is better than nothing, but for active shooter type scenarios I would hope to be better equipped. The frequency of these things has definitely made me more aware of my carrying choices.
     
  4. Snattlerake

    Snattlerake Sharpshooter

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    You can only perform to the highest level you have been trained to. And I'm not talking watching a youtube video as training. I'm talking getting down and dirty and sweating with skinned elbows and knees and in the mud.
     
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  5. chuter

    chuter Sharpshooter

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    I figure my first obligation is to my family; to get home safe and not put all our assets at risk from legal fees due to a bad shoot, so there's that.
    So I'm going to be pretty conservative in deciding to engage or not, or just be a good witness.

    I think I'm also conservative in evaluating my abilities; I'm no super hero, but in the moment, hopefully with some divine guidance, I will engage if it seems right, and I really can't predict what that will be.

    Past life and death events have shown me I'm not prone to panic or freezing up, so that should help.
     
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  6. Glocktogo

    Glocktogo Sharpshooter

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    Well put and this is something you can't really quantify unless or until you've been put in a critical situation and can honestly evaluate your performance after the fact. That being said, you will tend to default to your level of training. So if you really don't have any to fall back on... :(
     
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  7. HFS

    HFS Sharpshooter

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    OP - thank you for your post.
    It's much better worded that anything I could have written; it's also something anybody who considers using force for self defense should think about before they actually get to that point.
     
    Glocktogo likes this.

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