Safety Rules in a Gunfight?

The universal firearms safety rules apply even during a gunfight, but they can be difficult to implement under the high stress of such a dynamic incident. Still, even though they are difficult, they are mandatory.

In this short video clip, a robber pulls out a gun on a pair of men. The man in the short sleeves pushes the robber’s gun away, draws his own gun and fires. At about the same time, the man in blue moves into the line of fire and is shot four times by the good guy trying to defend himself.

For better or worse, this situation is a result of the shooter’s failure to follow the universal safety rules. It also shows that, under stress, it takes time to make a decision. In this case, the man in the short sleeves needed to see that an innocent person was in his line of fire. He needed to decide to stop shooting, and that message needed to get from his eyes to his brain to his trigger finger. The message did not get transferred quickly enough to avoid shooting the innocent bystander.

This is nearly a no-win situation. The bad guy didn’t care, so if the shooter had waited for a clear shot, he might have given the robber the chance to fire at him. The innocent bystander was clearly confused and afraid to such an extent that he ran into the line of fire. The entire incident took place in just a few seconds.

What Would You Do?

What could have been done differently? Was this incident avoidable, or would the good guy have been shot if he had held his fire until the man in blue was clear? There are no easy answers here. These are things we all need to think about.