What would you do: Run, Hide, or Engage?

You’re shopping at a local store when a man rushes in with a bloody knife.

He grabs a teenage girl and holds her hostage. What do you do?

  • Run
  • Hide
  • Engage the active, lethal threat

0 voters

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In a case like this I’m probably going to intervene and engage.

Always hard to give a definitive answer on “what if” questions not knowing all the details I would if I was actually in the scene in the moment.


The thing is those of us that decided to get a ccw, take classes, get insurance and then get more training are more than likely not beta individuals.

Hopefully we will not rush in like a bull in a china shop or expose our Hole card too early. But as stealthily as practicable we would be planning on how to save a fellow human being.

If we are armed and the perpetrator is not aware of it we have an advantage. The only hope that young person may have is for someone to intervene.


I voted engage but if I had an opportunity to hide and maneuver into the best position possible to engage that would be my immediate response. If he didn’t attack right away he’s probably already in over his head and as he’s panicked and overwhelmed it’d be a great window to exploit if given the opportunity.


Fleeing like you are in a panic until you get around behind the subject to then engage is a perfectly reasonable technique. I wish more trainers would teach it. So is simply feigning compliance/surrender.


I was in a situation similar to this while in the Army in Germany. The difference was the guy was threating people with a liter beer mug in a local German nightclub. I maneuvered behind him by acting like a drunk American (I had not had anything to drink) and then snatched the mug out of his hand. Others then helped him exit the place.


Well done. If you can just melt into the crowd by looking non threatening others will distract the bad guy and give you a chance to maneuver and if necessary help mask your draw giving you a clear tactical advantage.

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Bloody knife, assumption is he has already injured someone. Taking precautions and engaging in a hostage situation, being a responsibly armed person , to me is the right thing to do. Try to deescalate if possible but target acquisition seems like the correct response.
There are ALOT of variables in this scenario, some unknowns etc.
Kind of difficult to give full and correct answer but running the scenario, as described, through my mind to engage, remembering your training (if any, hopefully yes), is the safest and better (not best) option. Aquire target, take care to protect victim from being hit, fire until threat is neutralized.
A long thought process, just say “engage”. LOL


In this scenario, I’d do like @WildRose. I would either act panicked or disoriented, to gain a more tactical position, then make my move. With the bloody knife, he shows he has more than likely already assaulted at least one other, and has intent to assault others. **

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Imminent threat with a deadly weapon again another human body would certainly make my natural instinct react and engage, but in a manner where I’d do my best to keep the victim out of harm. Fear of confidence of not engaging might have wonder your entire life with regret if something happens and you had the ability to stop the threat. Much appreciated!

I have no choice except to run because USCAA CANCELLED my insurance for a legal defense this month. USCAA has no plan to accommodate the needs of any residents of NY or Washington State. No guts, no glory, USCCA. So sorry you left us hanging!

Good afternoon @Jay2. The situation in New York and Washington breaks all of our hearts!

We’re currently under investigation by the state of Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner. In its preliminary findings, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has taken the position that certain USCCA member benefits are illegal and against public policy. We totally disagree with their position and have responded to them accordingly. But, until the investigation is over, we have chosen to stop doing business in Washington to mitigate any fines and penalties they will assess and to preserve and protect our overall membership community.

We’re doing everything we can to find a solution that will get you a membership again. It is a priority of everyone here at the USCCA from Tim on down to find a way to get you protected by us ASAP. We aren’t waiting to hear a result from the investigation…we’re working right now to find a way to get you protection no matter what the investigation ends up saying. But we have to hold off on making new memberships or renewing current members in Washington until we discover that solution.

Unfortunately, I do not have a timeframe for the solution. However, I know we are working on it continually and will update everyone as soon as we have a viable option for responsibly armed Americans in New York and Washington.


To quote my instructor from this past weekend renewal course “ draw your weapon and shoot the s**thead”


I don’t like the options run and hide. Not in my nature.


Agreed. People can only train for a well educated response and hope that they make the right decision when presented with a situation. During high stress incidents your brain (for the average person) may relinquish all ties to your “human” brain and revert to the “lizard” brain-the freeze,flight, fight response. Proper evaluation of your environment and surrounding individuals is a must no doubt! Things to consider, “Might there be another assailant?”, “May there be another CCW or police officer who might mistake me for an attacker?”, “Am I competent enough to make an accurate shot and not hit a bystander?”, etc. -Good Response Rose-


I don’t think I know enough about the scenario to make that determination to engage the threat. Maybe this girl just killed his girlfriend he picked up the knife was chasing after her and then you go ahead and shoot him.
Jay I can feel your pain I left New York because of the politics come to North Carolina everybody greet you by saying welcome to America


It’s really hard for me to stand and do nothing as someones life is in danger. I have to do something


I don’t believe they left the two states I honestly believe they are doing everything they. An to make it right

The phone made me mess up I meant to click engage the active threat not run. It had a notification in the way tried to click off it and made me mess up :unamused:

We sent message to Mike Kreider, Washington Insurance Commissioner, that we think his actions are cowardly, and that we would donate big time to electing a replacement for his elected position in the next election.