Crazy Day in the Park: What would you do?

You’re at the park with your 6- and 8-year old kids on a hot day in August. You’re watching them play in the splash pad from a lounge chair. A fight erupts on the nearby basketball court and turns violent - shots are fired.

Read the whole situation here:

What would you do?

  • Hunker down in place and let the shooter run past you.
  • Grab your kids and move away from the shooter, even if it means moving away from the exit.
  • Go for your gun and start firing at the shooter.

0 voters


In the scenario it says people are already running into you so sounds like panic has set in and the sheep have gone into a level black mindset.

That being said I’m gonna keep my movements to a minimize the chances of being separated from my kids. ( by this age they’ll know to grab a leg and never let go) It also prevents an injury from getting trampled. If a good defensive position was available close I’d take it. But really just some basic concealment would probably work in this scenario ( a chair or table with towels hanging down), the individual seems to be interested in fleeing the area so it would seem easy to go unnoticed.

I know this plan doesn’t account for stray rounds from the shooting. There becomes a point when all you can do is prepare and act to the best of your ability.


So long as there is also cover in the direction you are headed. Main concern is the kids safety. Get them to cover, and then be prepared to act if necessary.


There are too many bystanders and the threat to your children is too great to risk engaging. The best play is to grab your kids, get some cover or at least some concealment, and get out of the guys way. As the scenario is proposed, his only target was the guy he was fighting with. No reason to risk all the other lives in the area trying to stop him unless there is no other option.


I’m going to hunker down in place with my firearm ready, if he moves past me great, if not I’ll Shield the kids and engage in any manner I have to in order to protect our lives.


I think I’m splitting the difference between @Okpanic and @BrophE on this one. Rampaging crowds are a problem. So is the bad guys taking shots at each other where we might be already in the line of fire.

If I can move with the kids away from the gunman’s path to cover or conceal, I’m doing it. If there’s too many people running past to allow us to move, I’m getting between harm and the kids, hunkering down, and ready to engage if needed. Probably going to try to stay concealed so as not to be mistaken for part of the problem by any of the combatants, but likely already gun-in-hand.


Legally in NC if you engage in an action that you are not involved in then you at just another shooter in the eyes of the law. Escape evade and then fight if necessary


I agree. Getting the kids and taking cover is the best strategy. Maybe even head to the restroom/bath house. They are usually constructed of cinder blocks. The “shooter” isn’t assaulting the pool, he’s after someone on the basketball courts. You don’t want to get hit by a wild pot-shot in your direction.

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I can’t believe that there are 7% who would start shooting!


In this case the safety of my kids is paramount. Children will be even more confused that many of the vacating adults, plus they are well below eye- level; those looking for an exit are not looking down.


Obviously the situation is tense but the shooter is focused on his target so I’m gonna grab the kids and find cover. If I start shooting at the shooter I’m only going to put the kids in danger & at risk of being shot by the shooter so the best scenario I think is to grab the kids and bunker down. If the shooter decides to take aim at more people I will hopefully have my gun on me and will get in a defensive position behind cover and if I have a clear shot I will take it if not, I will wait until or unless he somehow sees me and begins to move my way, at that point if he is pointing his gun at me I will shoot otherwise chances are someone else has already called the cops therefore I should stay hunkered down because I will only make the situation more confusing & dangerous for myself once cops arrive. Sometimes taking a shot is NOT the best move.


Well situation awareness should’ve been used when entering the park. The option I chose was to grab the kids and move away even if it’s away from the exit. There’s most likely another exit. If not I’d be ready to defend my kids and myself if necessary. The object for me is to get away from possible stray bullets. Because we weren’t involved in the fight the shooter probably wasn’t going on a shooting spree.

If you knew that the fight and gunfire would stay between the basketball players I would gather up my kids and seek cover. But you don’t know what will happen next. You may be the only person caring a firearm in the park. Any hesitation will cost more lives being lost. I would stop the shooter as quickly and safely that I could without out hurting any one other than the shooter. Obviously I can not shield everyone but I could shield my own children while engaging the shooter. So I would shoot the shooter as quickly as possible and save as many people as I could. There a lot of things that you don’t know so you should assume this could be a shooting against rival gangs which they may not stop shooting until out of ammo or the sounds of sirens. I would definitely engage the shooter ASAP.
MASTER GUNNERY SERGEANT Kevin USMC (retired) 27 years of active duty service.


Can’t shoot, too much chaos, people and kids running around. Also, the point was made about the person holding the gun may be trying to stop something worse from happening.

None of these options are really what I’d be doing. The idea is not to move with the crowd and not to stand out either. You don’t want to be the three running in a different direction as if you’re waving a flag.

Moving away from the herd of sheep, hunkering down behind a garbage bin, building or even low in the pool against the wall on the side he’s approaching from are all options for concealment. Possibly even cover. But I promise you that gun would be out and ready.

I like sorry problems but I hate predefined answers.


Move the kids out of the path of the shooter while keeping low. Ready your weapon while keeping it concealed. If you are forced to fire your weapon move away from the children. Always keep your body between the children and the shooter and keep your eyes on the shooter at all times.

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Having been at a few parks where fights have broken out and shots are fired I’ve found that hunkering down has been the best bet (most of the time). In my experiences the shooters let off a few shots and took off as quick as they could. In one of those experiences I’ve seen people get hit by stray bullets while running away from the scene.


Best fight is the one you are not in. And with kids around I should try to cover them as soon as possible instead trying to put more bullets flying


I chose grab the kids and move away from the shooter in this scenario. But, all situations similar to this are different. How many in your family are with you, size of the crowd, what function are you attending, how many exits are there, are you at a public swimming pool, at a local ball game etc. etc. I only put my replies because I feel the real intent of this article is Situational Awareness including knowing where all your exits are. But, if you’re not sure who the good guy is and who the bad guy is in any situation, do not pull your gun and fire unless it comes down to life and death, meaning yours and your family’s.

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Well first off I have my own pool and wouldn’t be at a public bathing hole, so I would never be in this kind of situation. Second most public pools are fenced off so the basketball courts aren’t close enough. (In most public parks). Third of all with so many sex offenders why aren’t you in the pool with your kids? Fourth if I was to be caught in this situation my main concern and only concern is get my kids to a safe area and be prepared to defend ourselves at all cost.

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