Where Do I Start?

How Would You Handle These Two Scenarios?

Republished with permission from our friends at Concealed Nation

From time to time, I am going to have some articles that throw out hypothetical situations that could happen while you’re carrying, and ask what you would do based on the information given. It’s always important to play through an entire scenario all the way to the end. If you want, walk through different steps that you may take, depending on what happens next. It’s all up to you. Many times, we stop at “I’d shoot the bad guy” and don’t go beyond that. Let’s change that each time a new scenario comes up. Play them out.

How it Works

For each scenario, we’re going to assume that you’re carrying your firearm. After all, it’s no good anywhere else if you need it immediately. Here’s a quick list of things to consider while you’re deciding what you’d do:

– Assess whether you draw your firearm or not
– Figure out what to do to get others out of harm’s way, if necessary
– It’s up to you to decide what happens beyond the information given for each scenario

Example: If someone is trying to break into your house, it’s up to you to finish the rest of the story. Maybe the bad guy got in… what do you do then? Maybe you scared him off by yelling through the door that you are armed. The playing field is wide open.

Scenario #1

You’ve just pumped gas and are walking into the gas station to buy a candy bar and a soda. As you’re walking back outside, you see a man opening your driver-side door of your vehicle that is still at the pump. He’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and you don’t see any visible weapons. He looks to be about 50 lbs heavier than you, 4-5 inches taller, and roughly the same age. You are about 50 feet away and he’s just sitting down in the seat. You can see him fumbling around inside, and you assume he’s looking for keys or valuables. Every single pump at the station is occupied, so many people are in the immediate area. What do you do?

Scenario #2:

It’s 11pm on a Friday night and you’re inside your home watching a movie with your family. For the purposes of this scenario, you are home with your wife/husband and two children, aged 3 and 5 (yes, the kids are still up). You hear a very loud knock at the front door. As you get up off the couch, you see a shadow figure walk past your back window. Someone else continues to knock loudly at your door. What do you do?

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22 thoughts on “How Would You Handle These Two Scenarios?

  1. Belinda Mello says:

    Scenario 1. I have conceal carry. But bc this person is not threatening my life. I go back inside call 911. Take a few pictures or videos to give to the authorities.
    Scenario 2. Get my kids and myself in a safe olace..which is my bedroom. Im armed,I call 911, I tell the dispatcher I’m armed and what is happening.. stay on the line, if my door gets busted in I shoot to kill. Protecting my life and my children

    1. April T says:

      Perfection! Exactly what I would’ve done…except scenario 2 could be police at a wrong address? Would verify with 911 that no police were called out to my address (hey it’s happened before but not to me).

  2. Lisa Graziano says:

    I just have to add in scenario number 2, please never, ever, rely on young children to hide on their own. They need one adult with them to make judgements like do you leave the house. To make sure they stay in safe place.
    I think it would be good to shout out between husband and wife. Maybe a code word for abandon house and one for all clear. So you know it is not under duress.
    Depending on location of units it could take a long 15-20 minutes. An eternity when an emergency happens as we learned with a medical emergency.

  3. Lisa G says:

    #1 – I take my keys and purse so no valuables in car. In my rural area I don’t always lock the car for a dash and drink. I would call 911 from store and try to take a screenshot of person assuming store camera may not work. Hit alarm button
    #2 – again rural. I would be sure to call 911 first to insure it is not the sheriff at wrong house and apprise of situation. As I am doing this I take kids and move to room with an outside window that I can leave from. I am armed.
    My husband also armed if not hearing sheriff open up ams confirmation from 911 is armed, he is giving verbal warnings are my two 100 plus lb dogs.
    My main concern is not to fire with my husband outside.

  4. Nancy Hamilton says:

    Scenario #1: I always lock my car before going in , but say that there was that one time I didn’t and this happened. I would sound my alarm and call the police to make a report.
    Scenario #2: My first move is to get my weapon as I take the children to the safe spot while calling 911 to insure assistance is on the way. Turn off the T.V. so I can hear even the smallest noise. Turn off the lights. Get in a spot that covers my back and wait for help to arrive.

  5. Cathryn says:

    #1 – I would not engage. Possessions are not worth the drama. This is a good reminder to lock my vehicle and take my phone. I am out of the habit of doing that since I live in a small community.

    #2 – Since I saw someone in the backyard I would immediately assume this was a dangerous situation. I would turn off tv and lights motion for the children to cover and state loudly, “Ross- Get the shotgun and watch the guy in the back- I’ll cover the front door.” Then I would cock my pistol and authoritatively demand: “Who is knocking?” My husband would be able to get the shotgun, cock it and send that audible message of readiness within 10 seconds.
    We have outside flood lights to turn on, illuminating whatever is going on outside.
    If it is just some teenage pranksters (we have young adult children whose friends might be up to nighttime antics), they will either fess up or take off.
    Then dial 911 and our neighborhood police officer friend.
    Safely survey outside and listen intently. If we hear nothing it would probably be best to wait for police or our friend to arrive for an assessment of who may be outside (minutes that seem hours). Meanwhile, we remain alert to movement and sound. If there is a break-in or any other aggressive action we react ballistically when we assess our lives are in danger.

    Incidentally, my husband HAS had to shoot an intruder and even though we were trained to mentally walk through scenarios, we never imagined the one that affected us.

    Try this one:
    You are at home, it is 4:00 in the afternoon and the family has gathered for a birthday party. Grandma and others have their cars parked in the driveway. You are outside, just about to join the party when a stranger drives up and asks you for directions. You are happy to help, but you begin to have an uneasy feeling as you notice something unsettled about him. After you give him directions and it’s time he should leave, he gets out of his car and walks around your driveway looking into the parked cars. He asks you if that is your family in the house. Then he makes a bee-line to your front door, out pacing you because of the cars between you. You yell, “Stop!—don’t go in my home!” over and over.
    He opens the door and steps into your house (where your family is gathered) while you are still 15 feet behind him.

  6. scenario 1: I always lock my vehicle when pumping gas. If someone was near my car looking into windows I would set off alarm to draw attention to them, Scenario #2: I would have children hie in a safe place. I would call 911 then inform from inside the house that I I had called police and had a gun incase they decided to invade . I would be firm and try not to show fear .

  7. Darlene Marshall says:

    First scenario would never happen. Pump my gas and I’m always watching my surroundings. Never leave my vehicle unattended.

    Second I would NEVER EVER open my door at night. Period. I don’t care what they want. If it’s the cops they will let me know. Even if I hear police I’m not opening that door. Ever.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Scenario#1. I never leave my vehicle unlocked and glove compartments are locked as well, targets and hearing protection on the back seat. I would walk beyond my car to next set of pumps and from there (not super close) yell “ GET OUT OF MY JEEP! I DON’T KNOW YOU. YOU DON’T BELONG THERE! I’m sure I would attract some attention. I have gotten into my step dads car at a pizza place-only it wasn’t his… embarrassing but I was harmless.

  9. Lynda Aistrop says:

    #1: I would walk back into the store, set off my car alarm (because I always take my keys) and call 911 and wait.

    #2: Get the kids to safety immediately, have husband call 911 and position myself away from the windows, and behind the door so I can see both doors

  10. Roberta Uhland says:

    #1 Cars can be replaced. There is too little info about the person entering the car and the space is highly occupied. Press the alarm button for the car and call 911.
    #2 Move family to farthest location behind a locked door with a fire extinguisher while calling 911. I would check our outside cameras. I would not announce that I am armed until I need to pull the trigger. That fact is my only ace. I would post where I could see both entries and I would alert Alexa to record events. If they got beyond me the family could use the extinguisher for defense. All my kids know how to operate one.

  11. Donna says:

    In the first scenario, I would retreat to the gas station, call 911 and set off the car alarm . I don’t know if he is armed so I would not make any assumptions. In the second scenario l would call 911, cut all lighting , turn on all outside lights, secure and remand the children to my bedroom or windowless bathroom away from all windows, while calling 911. I would yell identify yourself or leave now, that adults are armed and ready to shoot. You must leave now.

  12. carole Henry says:

    Number 1 would not happen. ALWAYS lock vehicle and have cattle dogs, who do not like trespassers known or unknown.
    Number 2. Dogs would have alerted. Live in the middle of 50 acres. Loud knocking on back door would only mean danger. Gun out put up dogs/kids,, lights off, hit 911, . Back into a corner I n order to see both rear and front entries. As there are more then one persons seen/heard there may be more then two. So having extra ammo might help but not as much as two fully loaded guns.
    With two people defending ,making sure your partner is not in line behind the intruder is another concern.
    This would be a good practice session .

  13. Sherye Wise says:

    #1 would never happen as I even have the doors locked while I’m pumping gas.
    #2 send the children to the already discussed safe place. Have hubby call 911 while I yell stating we are armed and the police are in route.
    Have myself in position between the front and back door ready for any entry. Family knows safe word for all clear.

  14. I thought it was great how you build hypothetical situations and determine how you would react to them. My sister walks home from work by herself late at night, and she often feels concerned for her safety. It might be beneficial for her to purchase a gun and take classes that can teach her how to properly use it.

  15. Virginia says:

    #1 I would yell at the guy to get away from my car and run towards it. With all the pumps full and cameras everywhere his chance if hsrmung me are slim to none. I would also yell for someone to call 911 as I do not carry my phone near gas pumps.
    #2 kids run to bathroom and close door. One spouse is at back of house and one at the front door. One tells they are armed and calling 911. The designated spouse calls 911, gives address and yells they are on phone with 911 and they will be shot if they enter the house. This happened in my neighborhood only it was a single mom. Daughter called 911 mom announced person would be shot. They cane in anyway and she shot him.

  16. Andrea Jawor says:

    In the first scenario, my life would not be in danger so I would go back into store and dial 911, although I would be aware should the man get out and come toward me, where my firearm is should I need to use. In the case of the second scenario, (my husband does not carry, I do) I would have him call 911 and move family upstairs behind several locked doors. I would draw firearm and be ready while backing myself into a corner where I could see both areas.

  17. Catherine Sharp says:

    The first scenario- I would yell loudly for the man to get away from my vehicle and say I was calling 911.
    The second scenario- is a setup for a home invasion. I would not open the door, I would yell out that I saw both men and was dialing 911. If the pounding continue d, I would tell the person to get away from my door and I was armed (weapon drawn listening for intruder entering my home from behind as well). I would continue to yell that I had a weapon and would shoot to protect my family.
    Any intruder has been verbally warned and would be shot.

  18. Michele Fisher says:

    Scenario #1: go back inside & have the clerk call the police Scenario #2: call the police & stand armed inside waiting for the person to enter after shouting to them that the authorities are on the way .

  19. Diane Patton says:

    1. Never leave your car unlocked but if you do and have your keys with you, immediately press your car alarm button and announce loudly for person to leave your car. Do not approach the vehicle but return to gas station and ask manager to call 911. No one wants to get in a shoot-out at a gas station.2. Do not open door. Immediately call 911 and let person/persons know you are armed and police are on the way. Keep rest of family safe in another room keeping an eye on both front door and back entrance with your firearm.

  20. Patty says:

    #1 wouldn’t happen. I never leave my car door unlocked. # 2 Move everyone to my back bedroom . View the security camera while calling 911. My husband would post at the farthest forward end of the hallway, I would post at the end of the hall by the bedroom door low. My husband would announce loudly leave now I’m armed and continue loudly. If someone makes entry and moves toward him they would be shot. We have actually practiced this so we are confident in our rolls.

  21. V. N . says:

    First scenario- I pretend to forget something and walk back into the store and call the police. It’s not safe to fire a weapon around gas pumps and/or crowds if possible. Let the police handle it.
    Second scenario- I would immediately shut off the lights and get kids to a safe place and call 911. I would then wait to see what point of entry they are coming in and I would be in the shadows (behind something protective) waiting for them to get both feet inside my house where upon the second foot touching down in my residence, I would open fire aiming at their head and their center mass, but mainly their head.

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