Dear Concealed Nation, Crazed Driver: To Shoot Or Not To Shoot?
A Reader Asks:
Do you think that if a concealed carrier was in a position to shoot the driver of the car in Las Vegas the other day[,] it would be legal to do so[?] I’m not questioning the ability or physics to do it. Obviously, I’m thinking is that while this person was mowing down people with her car someone could have smashed the window and discharge center of mass. It seems that would be [a] legal use of lethal force because she was in the process of killing innocents but it is not themselves in imminent danger.
Referenced story: (Las Vegas Sun) At least one dead, 35 injured when car strikes pedestrians on the Strip
Dear CN Reader,
In reference to the story you’re talking about, that would be an individual call made on behalf of the concealed carrier. The vehicle being driven by Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, of Oregon, was moving erratically. This presents a severe problem with the theory that a concealed carrier would just be able to bust a window and shoot center mass. It’s also a moving automobile, so it’s moving between 10-60 mph in those conditions. So, a highly irregular, small moving target inside a giant Oldsmobile sedan doesn’t really present itself to good judicious shot placement. Additionally, because there’s so much panic on the strip when incidents like these occur, missing your target can be the potential to end another person’s life.
Personally, I would only take a shot if I knew I was certain I stood a good chance of hitting it. Nothing about this scenario screams easy. Also, there was no mention in the news articles referencing this story about any concealed carrier in the nearby area that hopped in to try. This is likely because either the incidents occurred so quickly he or she didn’t have time to react or there was no concealed carrier in the very close vicinity. Take it or leave it but in real life situations, people tend to opt for what they can live with. Opening fire on a fast moving target in the middle of the Las Vegas strip, I stand to lose a great deal more than the driver.
Nothing about actual concealed carry defensive use is easy. We like to emphasize responsible decisions and good training because those are the only two elements we can truly draw upon in a scenario like this. Despite all the holster companies and gun companies constantly naming their equipment “Delta Tactical Operator Special Forces”-sounding names, we’re not Navy SEALs, we’re not Delta Force, and we’re not some advanced military or law enforcement. We’re just normal people who happen to carry a gun concealed for defensive purposes.
Also, it’s easy to talk about situations like this on the internet and idly discuss what each of us would do in a similar situation but the fact of the matter is we weren’t in those situations and we didn’t have to deal with them. To those who were and did, all I can hope for is that each individual can live with his actions (or inactions) in those given scenarios.
So, to answer the question: I wouldn’t shoot even if she hit and killed the person directly in front of me.
Because I have no confidence in being able to successfully neutralize her in the split second between the person in front of me being struck and the next second when she’s 60 feet down the road. But who knows? Maybe I’ll reverse my decision in the absolute near-impossible chances I’m put in a similar circumstance.
There are consequences for my inaction (others may die) and there are consequences for my action (bullet striking bystander, bullet ineffective on target, bullet missing target completely).