Active Killer Response Options for Armed Citizens

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about active killer events. I’m convinced that it is getting incrementally more and more dangerous to intervene in such an attack. A study came out last week stating that 8% of Americans have a CCW permit/license. Unlicensed concealed carry is also completely legal in 16 states. Those residents can carry without getting a permit.

The bottom line is that a lot of Americans are carrying guns. We’ve seen yearly increases in carry permits averaging more than a million new permits each year for several years now. That’s great news. But it also might make an active killer intervention more dangerous. At every large public crime scene, there is a good chance that there will be several armed people. You may not be the only player on the game board.

When someone starts killing people and you whip your pistol out to engage, there are likely to be other armed people in the crowd. Have you thought about how those folks will perceive your actions? Will they mistake you for the killer? The cops are coming quickly as well. Have you considered that they might shoot you by mistake?

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16 Responses to Active Killer Response Options for Armed Citizens

  1. arc says:

    Bad guy is the one shooting at people, if he ain’t shootin, he ain’t bad.
    If he has his pistol at the low ready or administrative carry, he ain’t bad.

    • LowKey says:

      Plus if you do it right you’ll be holstered by the time Johnny Law shows up.

      • Bad_Brad says:

        That’s one scenario. I’ve taken a couple classes where they instruct you to scream CCW at the top of your lungs in the middle of an entire firing line blasting little hole in paper. Shit I couldn’t even hear what I was screaming. And that was with some pretty expensive hearing protection on that’s suppose to filter out gun fire. Just imagine being amped and no hearing protection. In a shopping mall situation I’m a number one type of guy unless I see a clear path to number three. Number two your just looking to get shot by the cops. Your gun needs to be back in the holster within five minutes before the Key Stone Cops get there. I think it’s going to be a comfort level call. Funny the author did’t mention Inayat Kassam. That guy was in both gun fights in Kenya. He’s a national hero and a bad ass guy.

  2. ChuckN says:

    My goodness, even if I’m on the ground 30 feet away, I’d still be worried about the police shooting me.

  3. Sarhturk says:

    It’s a tough situation to be in. Pretty hard to do something valorous, in a situation where the cops may see you as the perp. Take note, and be careful.

  4. FaCubeItches says:

    After a mass shooting (albeit a fairly small one) near where I live, the police had a meeting with the public on that issue, and some folks raised the issue about “what if we try to stop it ourselves”. The police answer was pretty much “Hey, if you can, great, but in a confused situation, you probably don’t want to roaming around with a gun out, because anyone else looking to stop it will have to make a quick decision if they see you, and they may not guess correctly.”

    Which is actually pretty fair, I suppose. But then again, sometimes you have to be willing to take a risk.

  5. Bob from Accounting says:

    In a multi-gunman terrorist attack the first people selected as targets are simply going to die. Most will never know what hit them. If you are not in that first group, your best chance is to run away from the sound of gunfire as fast as you can. Your weapons , if you have any, are irrelevant.

    You might have as much as 10 seconds.

    Most of the people in the second target selection group are going to die as well. If you are in that group, your best chance is to attack the nearest shooter with whatever weapon you have. You have nothing to lose at that point.

    “Going Hunting”, unless you are an experienced professional, is suicidal. Forget that story.

    For the single “lone-wolf” gunman, the play may be a little different.

    If you are in sight of the shooter, your best chance is to immediately draw your weapon and fire on him (yes, it will be a “him”) until he is down. Make sure he is separated from his weapon, then holster your own weapon and leave the area. You may have about 30 seconds to get out of sight. Go find someplace quiet and safe. Call your lawyer. Don’t talk to the police without your lawyer.

    When the police arrive, they will probably arrest any civilians carrying visible weapons, if they don’t just shoot them on sight. It has happened more than once. Let other bystanders detain the wounded prisoner. You should be gone. Let the police find you. They will. Remember that bit about calling your lawyer.

    “Going Hunting”, unless you are an experienced professional, is a really bad idea in this circumstance. Even professionals might want to pass on such a trip. Every second you are hunting increases the chance of being shot by another “White Hat”, or by the police. If you did not see the shooter at the start of the incident, you had best be gone.

  6. CCW says:

    I used to give a copy of this commentary on “Should I get involved?” by Gab Suarez to each person in my CCW classes back when I was still teaching them.

  7. brent says:

    I really don’t give a fuck who it is- fucker shoots at me, he’s getting more accurate return fire for his dumbassery.

    LowKey nails it tho- be holstered when the popo show if possible.

  8. Butch says:

    Hell, most shootings are done by battle-trained mercs hired by the fbi or cia and they are trained killers. Just get away from them.
    lone shooters may be just a crazy, but times when multiple shooters were reported, it was mercs.

  9. Why not just fire all the police? I can’t see that most of the time they contribute anything useful to the situation.
    And their apparent shooting skills suck.

  10. Sanders says:

    Just depends on the situation.

    In nearly every instance, in the case of a lone lunatic shooter, as soon as he sees someone else with a gun, he suck-starts his own. In one instance, the CCW guy’s gun was so badly rusted, it didn’t function properly. The lunatic could have killed the dude, but decided to off himself, instead. I think that took place in Seattle or Tacoma a few years back.

    I won’t commit myself to one action or the other until I’m there and can assess the situation.

    That fellow in Kenya, he knew what to do when the time came for him to do it. I can also say a combat arms Veteran will behave differently than a non-combat arms Vet or someone who never served, even if they did go to training classes. After being out for all these years, I find I react to the sound of gunfire differently than most folks. I work in a bad part of town – gunfire is a weekly reality around my shop. Cartel presence is growing around here, and they don’t give a shit about shooting someone or something. Outlaw biker groups have been run out of the area by them, that’s how bad it is. Two of them shut down their clubhouses. One of them is a major west coast club, and the other was a small local club. Even the dominant club has taken a low profile.

    A group of trained terrs? I’ll do what I need to do, I’m sure of that. Be it scenario 1, 2, or 3.

    I’d be more worried about the cops shooting me than a CCW carrier. Even though there are so many permits issued, most folks still don’t carry. It is as if they are ashamed to carry, or even admit they own a firearm.

    If you do carry, do you carry enough ammo? Do you at least have one reload on you? Maybe more? How about a flashlight? A flashlight might be more valuable should you be trying to escape a situation. A good flashlight will temporarily blind/disorient an opponent and perhaps allow you to get your firearm in to play. It will also allow you to identify your target before you shoot.

    Sheep, Sheepdog, or Wolf? Not a sheep. Not a sheepdog – the sheepdog is just a stooge for the Man. Not all wolves have a taste for mutton.

  11. nonncom says:

    If you can see the gunman, you may be next….get small, stay calm, and aim to kill….squeeze, don’t pull….immediately put in the second clip, if you are still alive….”The successful gunfighter is not necessarily the best shot, but the one who remains calm and makes the shot count”….Wyatt Earp…

  12. Sabre22 says:

    The Israeli’s have a lot of experience in this type of thing their solution is to carry a hat in their pocket that say police or Sheriff or CCW here is the link The website explains it better than I can. It will also make you a target but if you only put it on when the shit hits the fan you are already a target anyway so it cause 1st responders to pause or call 911 yourself and say I am dressed how and I have a CCW hat on.. It is up to the individual to take the shooter on or not. Personally i am going to find cover get the people i am responsible for into it and be ready to engage when they come to me.

  13. Ohio Guy says:

    Wise words there.

Play nice.