Minimum Standard of Response (MSR) doctrine.

The following Minimum Standard Response guidelines are a suggested framework from lay citizens who are enthusiastic about the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. These are intended to prompt thoughtful examination of hypothetical scenarios of self-defense. Our suggestions are not official recommendations or guaranteed by certification, status, or occupation. Before making use of these guidelines, read, review, and understand local and state regulations regarding firearm usage. As always, defending oneself requires an individual's best judgement, in the moment, according to the unique circumstances present. No suggestions or guidelines can ever fully prepare someone to make the best decision in every circumstance. Reasonable care and caution should always be used to preserve life whenever possible.

 

This matrix is based on the absolute right of any person to self-defense and the protection of others against violence. Possession, carriage and use of firearms by ordinary, law-abiding citizens is an almost unique American concept that also carries enormous responsibility. Firearms are tools that enable all citizens, regardless of race, sex, religion or disability, to effectively protect themselves and loved ones from violent aggressors and criminals. As such, this matrix is offered as a basis for discussion and thought on the “right to keep and bear arms”. It is the responsibility of the individual to assess in any given environment the appropriate level of response to an anticipated or worst-case threat.

The right to self-defense is such a fundamental right it is not even mentioned in The Constitution. But who could ever justify it being wrong to defend oneself against physical attack? But recent events have shown a disturbing trend, with some political subdivisions of the country seeming to ignore or even criminalize this right when firearms are involved (even if not fired).

The tables below offer a broad brush matrix of suggestions for acceptable responses by legally armed citizens to a range of conditions and threats. It is recognized that every situation is unique and that individual responses may vary according to the moment. In other words, these 3 matrices below are neither prescriptive nor do they form a ladder, but rather supply a spectrum of responses which would seem to be commonly acceptable to our society as a whole.

While law-abiding citizens will respond according to the situation, it is essential to all to understand that Law Enforcement operate under different rules. It is also vital to understand that, though they operate to protect and serve their communities, they have no duty to protect any individual (this has been clarified by SCOTUS on several occasions).

It is further vital to understand that Law Enforcement operate on a daily basis in a dangerous environment, dealing with criminals, and since they are only human, this colors their thoughts and reactions. Therefore in any interaction in an armed environment with LAW Enforcement it is vital to make every effort to clearly PRESENT NO THREAT TO THEM AND OBEY ALL COMMANDS.

Finally, remember that ANY shooting you do may not only have fatal consequences for others but will cause you an enormous amount of trouble even if you were justified in pulling the trigger. Don’t look for trouble!


1.   1. Citizen Response Matrix

Status

Threat

Condition

Response

Unarmed

Minor

 

Situational awareness

 

Major

 

Withdraw or fort up

 

Active

 

Run, take cover/hide or improvise weapons and fight

Concealed Carry

Minor

4, 3, 2 or 1

Situational awareness and planned reactions

 

Major

2, 1

Draw, withdraw or fort up

 

Active

0

Take cover, seek targets, check backdrops

Open carry

Minor

4, 3, 2 or 1

Situational awareness, planned responses and weapon security

 

Major

2 or 1

Draw, withdraw or fort up

 

Active

0

Take cover, seek targets, check backdrops

Shotgun, open carry

Minor

4 or 3

Situational awareness, no round chambered

 

Major

2 or 1

Rack one, withdraw or fort up

 

Active

0

Take cover, seek targets, check backdrops

Rifle, open carry

Minor

4 or 3

Situational awareness, no round chambered

 

Major

2 or 1

Rack one, withdraw or fort up

 

Active

0

Take cover, seek targets, check backdrops


Notes:

1.       Brandish only if under active threat

2.       Engage only if deadly threat within 20 feet


1.       2. Alternative Civilian Response Matrix 

Status

Threat

Condition

Response

Concealed Carry

Minimal

4, 3, 2 or 1

Situational awareness

 

Major

2 or 1

Drawn but point in  safe direction

 

Active over 20 feet

0

Point, prepare and warn

 

Active within 20 feet

0

Point, prepare, warn and shoot if essential

Open carry

Minimal

4, 3, 2 or 1

Situational awareness, weapons holstered or slung

 

Major

2 or 1

Drawn or held but point in safe direction

 

Active

0

Point, prepare and warn



1.      3.  Law Enforcement Response Matrix:


Status

Threat

Response

Crowd Control

Minimal

Low Key, minimum uniforms

 

Aggressive

Many uniforms, shields deployed, with riot control close by for rapid response, selective use of pepper spray by supervisors

 

Shoving and pushing

Riot control reinforces or replaces unprotected uniforms

Pepper spray as necessary

Crowds warned that further escalation will be met with force.

 

Potential violence

LTL crowd dispersal systems:

Stinger (heat), sonic, water cannon (skunk juice and/or dyes), rubber bullets

Riot

Objects thrown

Unprotected uniforms retire, reinforce protected

Crowds warned by police, batons issued and used defensively

Water cannon, MACE, Rubber bullets and bean bags, mobile barriers, snatch squads deployed

 

Arson/petrol bomb

(make clear these are deadly weapons), regardless of target

Lethal force on single, clear targets

 

Looting

Lethal force as deemed necessary by individual officers

 

Shooting

Lethal force on clear targets

 


Weapon Conditions:

4: Unloaded

3: Magazine inserted but no round chambered

2: Magazine inserted & round chambered but hammer de-cocked

1: Magazine inserted, round chambered, external safety engaged

0: Magazine inserted, round chambered, cocked, safeties disengaged – ready to fire!











Minimum Standard of Response (MSR) doctrine.