NYC Terrorist, What Would You Do? – Foreman’s Forum

By: Paul Foreman
The recent terrorist attack in New York City, made me really stop and think. My son, Alan is here visiting from Texas. He was watching the news coverage of the event and asked me, “Dad, what should a legally armed citizen do when he or she suddenly witnesses such a horrible attack on innocent people taking place?”

There are a lot of things that go through a person’s mind when witnessing something tragic happen right before their eyes. Is the average person really that de-sensitized just because they see so much violence on TV and in the movies? Many people will be so shocked by what they see, they just freeze in place and literally do nothing. Their brain shuts down upon experiencing an event that is totally terrorizing. In one of my past articles, I told of how my brother, his wife and I along with my wife, witnessed a horrible motorcycle wreck. The victim was very seriously injured. They just kind of stood there staring while I climbed up the steep hillside and rendered first aid. I had the advantage of training and experience in such situations. At the time, with the experience of over twenty years as a deputy sheriff, my mind was not shocked by seeing the wreck. Instead, because of experience, I already knew what needed to be done.

In the New York City attack, hundreds of tourists either froze in place or ran for their lives. Upon seeing a pickup truck driven by a deranged coward, they had no training, or experience about what to do. But, a New York City Police officer already knew exactly what to do and he did it without hesitation. The bad guy was shot, by a good guy with a gun, as he fled the scene. He was stopped before he could hurt or kill more innocent citizens.

Now the million dollar question. As a legally armed citizen, what would or should you do? Under the laws of your local jurisdiction, what can a citizen legally do? The now popular phrase comes to my mind, “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”

In an open public area, one of the first things an armed citizen needs to worry about is being mistaken for the bad guy! Think about that for a moment. There are dozens of people being critically injured and killed, and here you stand with a gun in your hand. Especially with the police in New York City, you do NOT need them to see you standing there with a gun.
The time to do something is immediate. Many firearms classes and local law enforcement training teaches one to act quickly and aggressively. You will have microseconds to decide. Is the driver a terrorist? Or, is this an elderly person having some sort of medical issue and has lost control of the truck? Once you have decided to take action, do it as aggressively as possible, and without hesitation.

The tactics you use will have a huge impact on the outcome. Remember, you are risking your life and the lives of other innocent citizens. Unless you have taken an oath like the U.S. President’s Secret Service, you must make your first priority your own life and that of your family. As a legally armed citizen, you are probably carrying a HANDGUN and NOT one of those mean, black killing machines like an AR15 or AK 47. If you were, the cops would probably already be there! And, I hope you are not depending on one of those little mouse guns that have become so popular. Oh, don’t get me wrong. In a close up, personal encounter with a bad guy trying to rob you, one of those little micro-pistols is definitely better than no gun. If the gun you have chosen to carry is so big and heavy, such as a full sized Glock 17 or a Colt 1911, you are probably going to find it gets left at home. If the gun is left at home, it is not going to do you, or anybody else you are trying to protect, much good.

As for tactics to use in such a scenario as that which happened in New York City, there is way more than I can or could teach in an article such as this. Find a good Firearms Instructor and take as many classes as you can afford.
By: Paul Foreman
Paul Foreman is a retired deputy sheriff from Lee County Florida, now living in Athens. Paul is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. “As many of you may already know, due to my current battle with cancer, I am NOT doing firearms classes. Prayers are welcome. As for the classes, I have a gentleman whom I am referring people to, who is also an NRA certified Firearms Instructor.” Email me at:

Paul Foreman