Gut Rumbles

June 17, 2005

what would I do?

I've watched similar scenes in movies many times. Some thug is holding one of your loved ones hostage with a pistol pressed firmly to your loved one's temple. "Drop the gun, raise your hands and step away, or else your wife/lover/daughter/son/mother gets it!" I've never actually BEEN in that situation, but I know damn well what I would do.

"If you pull that trigger, it'll be the last thing you ever do in YOUR life. I've got a better idea. Turn him/her loose and get out of here. I won't shoot you if you don't shoot first. But I'll guarantee you one thing. I'm not putting down my gun, and if you shoot him/her, you are a dead man." Keep the gun pointed at the thug all the time.

I MEAN THAT, too. Just look at the simple logic.

1) You drop your gun. Now the thug is totally in charge and he can kill you both with total impunity.

2) He shoots your loved one and you blow him away in return. Not a pleasant scenario, but better than option #1.

3) The thug understands that you're not bluffing and decides to take a shot at YOU. When he moves his gun, you can shoot him first, if you're lined up and ready to go. Even if the thug is using your loved one as a shield, you have to take that shot and hope that your hand is steady and your aim is true. If you miss and hit the shield, keep firing until you get the thug, too.

4) If he decides to walk away, let him go. You got what you wanted. Allow the cops to take it from there.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you EVER give up your gun.

If the thug is a typical gutter-rat with any hint of survival instinct, he'll understand that option #4 is the only one that keeps his ass alive. Feral people glom onto such ideas very quickly.

I read this tonight. Although it doesn't quite fit the scene I described above, I know what my answer would be.

What's yours?


I agree 100%.

I would say that 99% of your thugs out there would shit themselves at the first thought they may not have the upper hand. Bullies are weak and scared, it's why they are bullies.

Posted by: chaos on June 17, 2005 04:11 AM

I'd love to agree that that is what I'd do, but I'd be more likely to panic and do whatever the thug said and pray that we got out of there. that and the fact that I don't own a gun (yet)....

Posted by: Alli on June 17, 2005 04:31 AM

You are right ALLI. What you said is what most people would do in the actual situation. Acidbrain has been watching way too many movies.

Posted by: PJ on June 17, 2005 05:04 AM

How is it that doing the sensible thing is “watching too many movies”? I’d never give up my gun. Once it’s gone you are COMPLETELY at the thug’s mercy. Nah, I’d take it one step further and tell the thug he/she’s got to the count of five to drop the gun and go away or they’re dead no matter what happens.

Predators pounce on weakness.

Posted by: Daniel Medley on June 17, 2005 05:10 AM

There would be no negotiations of ANY sort. I would line up my shot as best I could and pull the trigger.

Why? Because I have more faith in my aim, than in a criminal's mercy.

Posted by: John Stephens on June 17, 2005 05:21 AM

One of the best of the "Miami Vice" episodes ended with Sonny and the last bad guy in a standoff. The bad guy is holding a hostage and telling Sonny he better not shoot because he might miss. Sonny looks at him and says maybe I won't - _BANG_... Hole in bad guys forehead. Fade to black.

Posted by: emdfl on June 17, 2005 06:25 AM

I took several self defense classes after I was raped and any instructor worth his salt will tell you, all things being equal, to never give up your weapon. I agree with everything, except letting them walk away. Being the gnarly wench I am when I get pissed off now, I'd let him walk away and shoot him in the back. Many times.

As far as that other site and the question posed, all I can say is that rape is a survivable event. Women fear rape because they equate it with the act of lovemaking. In my mind, the two are as different as being held down and tickeled versus being held down and getting the shit beaten out of you. It's two TOTALLY different acts.

I never suffered many problems with intimacy after the rape. That isn't to say that I didn't suffer ANY ill effects. I still get a fight/flight response when my head and face get covered. But for me, it was nothing more than a physical act and a struggle for power. He physically got one over on me but I refused to allow that one act of violence have the power to define the rest of my life.

Posted by: Chablis on June 17, 2005 06:27 AM

I would stare intently over the bastard's shoulder, slightly to the right, and nod my if I was "communicating" with someone else in the room.

When the idiot turned to see who was there, I would shoot.

Posted by: Maggie on June 17, 2005 07:13 AM

One of the lessons we learned at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy was never give up your gun in a hostage situation. If you do, then there are 2 hostages. When questioned by one of the students about what might happen to the hostage, the answer was-"Hostages have bad days too". My only difference in reaction from you if my loved one was killed would be to make sure that I used every bullet in my magazine to SLOWLY put that piece of crap out of his misery. And if asked by the police why I shot him 15 times, my reply would be, "I ran out of ammunition"

Posted by: AndyJ on June 17, 2005 08:25 AM

I wouldn't even bother with talking. No negotiating will do any good. You can't reason with an animal. I'd shoot first and I'm a very good shot.

Posted by: joy on June 17, 2005 08:37 AM

I liked the comment that said to run like hell from any woman posing such a question because it is a head game.

My woman is strong enough to survive 48 hours of rape and I am strong enough to know that rape is not a sexual matter but one of violence. If they turned her loose before I could track them down and impale them on a dull hoe handle I would sharpen the hoe handle when I caught them. I am after all a compassionate bastard.

Posted by: GUYK on June 17, 2005 08:41 AM

I agree with shoot right away, no discussion. I guarantee I can take an eye out given a clear view of it.

About the question on the other site. I would never waste my time with a woman that has to come up with such headgames. However, if put in the position she described I would ask the kidnapper to give me an hour to think about it and call me back. Then I would check the got-damn CALLER ID, look up where he was calling from on the Internet(there are ways to get unlisted numbers you just got to know how) and go over and put a .44 size hole in his nether regions and leave him to contemplate why he has no dick for the rest of his life.

Posted by: assrot on June 17, 2005 09:22 AM

That scenario reminds me of John Wayne in BIG JAKE. The final conflict between Jake and Richard Boone's character. "Now, YOU understand. If anything goes wrong, anything at all. My fault, your fault, nobody's fault, I'm going to blow your head off. It's as simle as that." I hope that I would react in that manner. Never give up your weapon.

Posted by: James on June 17, 2005 10:59 AM

I agree completely with your assessment of the above scenerio, Rob. Never give up your gun and willingly become a victim.

And for those of you who say you would run away from a girl who posed the kind of question I did at my site...if a man is too ball-less to answer a question, he's never going to be able to deal with the reality of MY demons. Having been raped, beaten and tortured daily for three months of my life, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask this question of a man interested in me.

Every woman poses questions to the man she is interested in, most just do it far more covertly. But the test questions are always there. I just choose to be blunt about it.

Posted by: Joan on June 17, 2005 11:01 AM

if a man is too ball-less to answer a question, he's never going to be able to deal with the reality of MY demons.

Excuse me? Call me heartless but the question--and especially the reason for the question--would cause any man balls to "weed" himself out of the equation.

Your personal demons are just that, personal. YOU gotta deal with 'em before you get on. That is the reality. Injecting someone else into the equation is about as far from that reality as is possible.

Posted by: Daniel Medley on June 17, 2005 12:14 PM

She lives. No matter what happens to you, you can get over it. Millions have.

Posted by: Mark on June 17, 2005 12:14 PM

An edit for my above comment:

. . .would cause a man with balls to "week" himself out of the equation.

Posted by: Daniel Medley on June 17, 2005 12:35 PM

Again, an edit;

"weed". . .

Jesus! Can't sleep, can't type,

Posted by: Daniel Medley on June 17, 2005 12:36 PM

I'd have to shoot him, my wife would kill me if I didn't shoot first.

Posted by: -keith in mtn. view on June 17, 2005 01:17 PM

Another media example of the correct response: the pilot episode of Joss Whedon's _Firefly_ has a government agent holding a member of the crew hostage. As the captain walks in, the agent starts his whole "do what I say or I'll kill her" routine but fails to finish due to a sudden case of being shot in the head by the captain...who doesn't even break stride:-).

Great show.

Posted by: Jason Bontrager on June 17, 2005 02:16 PM

Holy crap, like there's any question?! I can't believe some of the comments on the linked site saying that they would, in essence, prefer their girlfriend dead to raped!

Posted by: Grace on June 17, 2005 05:32 PM

"...I'd be more likely to panic and do whatever the thug said and pray that we got out of there. that and the fact that I don't own a gun (yet)."

"You are right.... What you said is what most people would do in the actual situation. Acidbrain has been watching way too many movies."

Spoken like a gutless pacifist. I'm not criticising the first poster -- at least she knows herself -- but I am the second. I think it's a safe bet that Acidman knows himself better that you do.

I don't own a gun, but I've thought long and hard about getting one, despite the fact that its presence would make my wife uneasy. We have talked about it, and one of my statements was that if I do get one, we are _both_ going to learn how to use the thing.

I am not a violent person by nature, but I can be a very cold person in certain circumstances. First and foremost is when someone threatens me or my own. If somebody genuinely threatened my life (or a loved one's... or hell, an innocent stranger...), and I knew without any uncertainty that they were such a threat...

...I would pull that trigger the instant I had a shot.

I have it in me to kill; make no mistake about that. Fortunately, I have never been confronted with such a situation, and I hope to never be. The ability to pull that trigger even if you've never done so before, come from preparing yourself mentally -- to essentially make that decision before the actual situation arises. That way, when the panic reflex hits, you don't need to decide, because you already *have* decided.

Posted by: Strider on June 17, 2005 06:48 PM

"Spoken like a gutless pacifist. I'm not criticising the first poster -- at least she knows herself -- but I am the second. I think it's a safe bet that Acidman knows himself better that you do."

This gutless pacifist is pretty sure he has the size, the strength, and the pure aggressive intensity to pull YOUR head off with my bare hands and shit down your neck STRIDER. Acidbrain may think he knows what he would do in that scenario, but like all those still quoting movie scenes here, very few of us would be careless enough to risk raising a gun and drawing a bead on a hostage taker while he has a gun barrel pressed firmly against our LOVED ONE'S temple. In the heat of the moment, we would not risk their life with some cool move we saw on TV.

Posted by: PJ on June 18, 2005 02:49 AM

My previous post was supposed to say...but UNLIKE all those still quoting movie scenes here...

Was typing too quickly, sorry.

Posted by: PJ on June 18, 2005 02:54 AM

Interesting responses. I might steal the idea & turn it into a post of my own, if our gracious host doesn't mind...

Assuming that I had a handgun & not a rifle then honestly I wouldn't trust my aim past about 5 yards to make a clean shot. Course if I dropped my gun we'd both be dead anyway so part of me would think "what have I got to lose?" But what I would most likely do is while the punk is still talking start walking towards him while training my pistol on his nose if he took his gun away from the hostage I'd tell him/her to drop & shoot him. If he held fast I'd keep walking towards him till I could put the muzzle on his nose & pull the trigger.

I'd assume the hostage would be killed either way so I wouldn't see it as my actions causing anything that wasn't going to happen already. True; he could be bluffing but in general I assume anyone who threatens force means to use it. By not negotiating & walking steadily towards him there's a good chance he'd point the gun at me instead of the hostage, which gives the hostage more options & perhaps gives me a better shot.. It'd spook him more or less - or at least it might. Still I'd say there's a better chance of both me & the hostage walking away if I did what I described above than any other option.

Now if I had my Garand instead of a handgun then I'd just shoot if he was inside of 100 yards. If I could see 4 minutes of angle on his head then it'd be over before the case hit the ground. But the odds of a scenario like that happening are slim, seeing as how I can't find anyone willing to make an ankle holster for the Garand. :D

Posted by: Publicola on June 18, 2005 04:03 AM

Give the hostage one to the leg. Then give the bad guy a double tap to the chest, then one to the head.

The leg wound is relatively easy to treat assuming you don't tag an artery, and is much less risky than trying for a head shot right off the bat.

All depends on the range of the shot and other metrics.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on June 18, 2005 05:14 PM

Of all the other proposed solutions to Acidbrains scenario, I would have to agree that MR. LION'S is the LEAST RISKY to the hostage's life. Although I personally would find it emotionally difficult to shoot my loved one in the leg, it would perhaps confuse and distract the hostage taker just long enough to hopefully pop him with a SURE FIRE SHOT and save my loved one's life. It could be the only way. Good thinking Mr. LION.

Posted by: PJ on June 19, 2005 03:00 AM

I thought long and hard about this situation a long time ago. I came to pretty much the same conclusion. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give up your weapon. And if someone is holding one of mine hostage, the ONLY way they will survive is to release the hostage unharmed and walk. There are NO other ways the miscreant will live to see another day. Unless they do so, I'm going to save the local governemt the expense of a trial. I might submit a voucher for ammunition reimbusement. All hypothetical, of course, since the only firearms I own are imaginary also.

Posted by: Harold Foster on June 19, 2005 05:54 PM


I'm gonna have to disagree with the majority here. I'd drop my gun.


...and when the scumbag takes his gun away from my loved one's head, I'll plug him with my backup gun.

Posted by: Jay G on June 19, 2005 11:25 PM

depending on the range, i'd shoot first. i'm confidant enough with a pistol to place a round within an inch at say 50 feet. that's well within a 'face'.

he probably wouldn't finish the drop your gun line before i opened fire.

and of course it is easy to say that as i sit here reading blogs. it's a whole different ballgame in the world, when you're holding a real firearm.

Posted by: mlah on June 20, 2005 01:34 PM

Excellent thoughts. I have three daughters that I am trying to teach and this is a very specific scenario I want them to learn. Home invasions are becoming more frequent and violent.

Posted by: Don Murphy on May 18, 2007 04:21 PM
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