One of my thoughtful readers asked me a serious question and it is the title of this article. I want to help him and others with my opinions and considerations about his question and my title.
Say, you are required to be walking in the not well-lit and somewhat sleazy area of town in the evening. You wanted to avoid it, but you cannot. As you turn the corner, you suddenly see just 6 feet in front of you an apparently frail older man in his late 70s, with a cane gasping for breath on the ground, being verbally abused and cussed at by a big, strong, physically-fit much younger man, who may have shoved the older man to the ground or hit him. The young guy aggressively turns, stares directly at you with an evil look, and shakes the big rock in his hand. Thankfully, you are in your mid-thirties, are physically fit, very good with your licensed concealed carry gun, and have been practicing your fast draw. Should you intervene with your concealed carry gun?
Just as you start to turn the corner, you hear a shot fired, and then you turn the corner and suddenly see a rough-looking, muscular man with a scraggly beard and one clenched fist, younger than you in his twenties, with what you believe to be gang tattoos and piercings on 90% of his exposed body, hatefully spitting at and pointing his gun at a guy on the ground to possibly fire a (maybe a second) shot, while looking down at the well-dressed guy in a suit on the ground just 8 feet from you who looks like he is bleeding; should you intervene with your concealed carry gun?
Well, you accept that the usual 3-3-3 Rule of self-defense applies in these encounters, where you have a quick 3 seconds or less to respond, at a close-up encounter distance of less than 3 yards, and usually 3 shots max are fired and it is over. What tremendously frightening and complex situations, although realistic, to find yourself in.
What do you do… within 3 seconds?
It would be nice to have the time to logically and calmly think through the pros and cons of each situation, critically analyze each set of factors and possible responses, and take your time to make a valid rational decision in each unique scenario. However, this is not a fun television or movie scene and you do not have the luxury of time. It is happening right now in real time, people appear to be injured, and you must make an immediate decision. You really want to help folks, in general, and especially in these situations. Thankfully your family is not with you, which would introduce even more considerations and safety concerns.
Again, what do you do… quickly?
What are your considerations?
How do you respond?