Lines in the sand and a willingness to fight, and maybe die

A news story has been circulating around Facebook about a father who was forced at gunpoint to leave his daughter in a New York City park where she was raped by 5 teenage males. The father left the park, attempting to get help from the police and bystanders, but by the time he had returned, the 5 rapist had already left. It is a truly heart breaking and infuriating story, linked HERE.

The general point being made on FB, keeping in mind that most of my friends hold similar values as I do, was to always to be armed and know how to use your firearm to defend yourself or others. This is a valid point, and I would agree. But what do you do in a place like NYC where you can’t carry a firearm? I have spent the past couple days bouncing this around in my head. What would I do?

Several years ago I took a class at Range USA in Memphis, TN. It was a force on force class, and some of the class was spent discussing “lines in the sand”. Essentially, using if/then thinking to make decisions ahead of time. If “this” happens, I will do “that”. If a bad guy shoots at me, I will shoot back. If someone tries to punch me in the face, I will deploy OC spray. Those examples are obviously over simplifications, but you get the idea. The point is to visualize certain types of situations, figure how we might solve it, then work through the decision making process while  sitting in that comfy chair in our relatively safe living room instead of in the middle of what is about to be a fight. This removes some of the decision making process from the stress of whatever circumstance we have found ourselves in because the decisions have already been made.

The big picture of that whole if/then exercise is deciding when to fight, or when to withdraw and live to fight another day. Obviously, that “line the sand”, should be based on sound understanding of the use of force laws wherever we happen to be, and also our own moral standard of what is and isn’t acceptable.

I applied this same method of thinking to the news story cited at the beginning of this post, and sat down to draw my line in the sand. What would I do if confronted by 5, essentially adult, males who were attempting to force me at gunpoint to leave them alone with my daughter in a relatively secluded location with no knowledge of the possible outcome?

I came up with my answer, but my answer doesn’t really matter to anyone except myself. The challenge I have for you is to use your imagination and put yourself in a similar type of circumstance, one with the odds stacked against you, incredibly so, and decide what you will do. Decisions made outside of the stress of the actual event are almost guaranteed to be better decisions than if you wait until you are there in the middle of it.

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