Let’s suppose you are a good guy with a gun. You go to a movie, or a concert, or a restaurant. Or maybe you’re just walking down the street in a lightly crowded area. Suddenly you hear gunshots. You try to identify where the shots are coming from and who is doing the shooting. So far, although the situation is far from normal, you haven’t had to make any decisions that would affect how things proceed. People are panicking, ducking for cover, running in all directions, standing frozen in place, and just studying the situation, as are you. To use your gun you need information. Here are a few things you need to know.
- Is that person off to your left holding a gun the bad guy?
- Or is he a good guy trying to identify and shoot the bad guy?
- When he starts shooting, should you shoot him?
- If you see someone else shooting, is he the bad guy? And is he close enough for you to have a clear shot?
- Is he surrounded by others you might hit?
- If he’s the bad guy, and you miss, haven’t you just made yourself and everyone near you into targets? We know a bad guy would not care if he hits several people to take you down.
- If you shoot, how will other good guys know you are also a good guy?
These are just a few questions you need answered RIGHT NOW. Chaotic situations are difficult to interpret. I’ve heard of at least one reasonable person who had a gun at a recent shooting who decided he didn’t know enough to take action. Perhaps, if you are unlucky enough to encounter such an event, you will react that way as well. Perhaps you will hold your fire until you, and those with you, are directly threatened by the shooter. If you take premature action, you will probably be making a bad scene worse.