Ahab has an interesting post about our responsibilities as armed citizens, in regards to our obligations to defend others:
There seem to be a couple of schools of thought on this issue, which I’ll divide into three major camps. Camp A would say “Absolutely, being armed gives you the obligation to assist if at all possible”, Camp B would say “Absolutely not, your only obligation is to defend your life and the lives of your family”, and finally Camp C seems to say that “You should do what’s appropriate to the situation at hand.” Of course, that seems kind of wishy-washy, but at the same time I’m more comfortable with that than I would be the absolutism in Camp A or Camp B.
I think I’m firmly in Camp C. It really does depend on the situation, and I think it has to. I do think we have an obligation to help others in trouble, even if it means risk to ourselves, both physically and legally, but it has to be circumstance sensitive. In using deadly force in protection of others, one has to be exceedingly careful, but if we find ourselves in a situation where something must be done, and we’re the only ones around who are capable of doing it, it’s our duty.
We should leave the situation to the police when that is the prudent path, but I don’t think it’s just the police and military that responsible for the safety and security of our communities, states and nation.Â We all have a role to play.Â As armed citizens, we should not run around acting like police officers, because we are not; armed citizens should become involved only in dire life and death circumstances.Â But I strongly believe that, as members of a society, and citizens of a nation, we have an obligation to be prepared and ready.Â You never know when circumstances might call on you to go from citizen to soldier.Â Look at the brave folks on Flight 94, who, on that day, answered the call, with no weapons and no training, and gave their lives to save others.Â I don’t think we should expect less of ourselves.