Play stupid games, win stupid prizes!

This video just cropped up on youtube. Apparently this is a “prank” where a person dresses up like “Michael Myers” from the “Holloween” movies and then walks about in public with a realistic looking toy rifle. The goal appears to be to watch people run in terror.

I can see how this might appeal to the younger generation. It makes for an interesting video, mainly because you get to see how the public reacts to fear of serious bodily harm. This causes a problem for me though. This is not a closely monitored experiment. There don’t appear to be any safety controls in place. Lets assume that while they were performing this little stunt, one of the “victims” was legally carrying a concealed weapon. If you saw people running and screaming with a masked gunman behind them, what would you think? If you were placed in the position of being able to stop a mass-murder spree, would you fire the first shot? Would you wait to see if the gun was real?

In the video the rifle appears to be a bolt action with a scope. If my life was on the line, I would assume it was at least .308 or larger. Capable of penetrating most barriers you find on a city street. Would you attempt to find cover and order the “gunman” to drop his weapon? Would you risk opening up the distance, getting behind poor cover and setting up a situation that may favor the “gunman’s” firepower advantage? Would you charge, close the distance and engage the target hoping to overpower him with surprise and violence of action, before any lives are lost?

It’s a tough question. There really aren’t any right answers.

There is a wrong answer.

The wrong answer is deciding to put on a costume and walk around in public, placing citizens in fear of their lives. I like to believe that in my county if an off-duty officer or lawfully armed citizen gunned down our “prankster-gunman” that the officer/citizen would be found to have acted properly. As a Police Officer, I have watched hours of dash-cam death videos from Officers who felt the need to give a gunman a chance to put down his weapon. The end result of all of those videos was if the Officer had acted on the threat immediately, we would have gone home to his family.

What these “pranksters” did, was roll the dice and hope that a well trained and well armed citizen/officer was not present to end their “prank” permanently.

Don’t play stupid games. We play for keeps on the street. The losers don’t get a do-over.

6 thoughts on “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes!”

  1. A law enforcement friend was shot twice in his career. Both times were none life threatening. He also will tell you that each time was when he hesitated in deciding if the situation that was unfolding before him was real or not.

    Personally, I have asthma. I can’t run very far. If the prankster manipulated the bolt and pointed the weapon towards me, I would engage and put him down.

  2. Tough call, but I believe that this instance deserves special consideration, as all lethal situations do. I would have drew down and closed the distance. I am not a police officer, however in a situation such as those that were presented, you must stand your ground. I don’t intend on being shot in the back with no chance to defend myself. Close the distance, take away the scope’s advantage and turn it into a disadvantage. If that weapon were raised in any way, lethal force is completely justified. I open carry, and I support the open carry. If someone wants to carry a rifle slung, so be it. I notice, but think little of it. If someone puts on a mask or is holding the rifle, I act with extreme caution and assume the worst. If that individual at any time raises the weapon, I will not hesitate.
    Too often, especially recently, people want to “jump the gun” and fire. There is nothing wrong with drawing down on someone in this situation, and asking them to drop the weapon. Granted, the adrenaline will be pumping and there will be milliseconds to act, but shots should not be fired unless there is a possibility that at that point in time, someone may be hurt by the individual. There are too many stupid people willing to play kid games in a big boy world. I blame the parents.

  3. This was monumentally stupid, and what’s with doing this only in what appears to be black neighborhoods? Nothing like inciting even more racial tension than already exists out there. This takes a pretty twisted mind to do.

  4. A few weeks ago, in my curnt town a 13 y/o child was shot and killed by a deputy. The boy had an air soft AK-47 that had the red tip removed. Horrible situation for all everyone envolvd. This guy is lucky he was not shot.

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