Defend your Vicinity

Joe Huffman asks, in regards to the recent shooting in his home town:

There is the issue of urban response and combat tactics, which leave me curious. The guy apparently was shooting at anything that moved. He was on a hilltop surrounded by mostly residential streets and a high school, but also surrounded on two sides by solid buildings. What do you do? That’s my question, and I don’t have a good answer, mainly because I have no exact details and maybe never will have them. IF (if) there is guy in a parking lot firing shots at everything around him (was he maneuvering? was he behind cover? we don’t know) he might be a fairly easy target for someone intent on stopping him. Certainly a SWAT team arriving hours later was in this case of no use.

If it was my neighborhood, and there was a guy in the area shooting at anything that moved, I’d return fire if I had a clear shot, but I’m not going to go roaming around the neighborhood looking for him.

As soon as I knew the guy was in the area shooting, I’d load the AR-15, and call the police. After the police were called I’d check my immediate vicinity (basically my own property, plus up and down the street) and see if I could spot the shooter. If I can identify him, and have a clear shot, I’ll take it. I am fairly confident in my ability to hit a man sized target out to 100 yards with an iron sighted AR-15. If I couldn’t easily identify the location of the shooter as being in my vicinity, I’d retreat into the house, find cover someplace where I can still see what’s going on, and keep an eye out for the shooter until the police arrived.

I don’t think it’s a wise idea to be running around the neighborhood with a loaded rifle out in the open. There’s a non-trivial chance you’ll be mistaken by police, or another one of your neighbors, for the active shooter. I think in this situation, the best thing to do is to defend your vicinity. If the shooter comes into your vicinity, carefully aimed return fire is the way to go.

Leave tracking the guy down to the guys wearing a uniform and body armor. I don’t think you have any duty to go seeking out an active shooter that’s not in your immediate vicinity. Presumably, your neighbors have all taken care of their own defense. If they haven’t, it sucks to be them. Toting firearms is about defending yourself, and those immediately in your presence. It’s best to leave the offensive action to the professionals.

2 thoughts on “Defend your Vicinity”

  1. Actually it was Lyle that asked the question but the confusion is understandable.

    I don’t think I would want to be seen outside with a firearm after there were shots being fired. I would be concerned that, in the best case, I would be a distraction to the police. In the worst case I would get shot. I would get myself and mine indoors to a “safe area” and wait it out.

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