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Old December 17, 2012, 01:20 PM   #11
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,981
At home:

I don't recommend hiding or cowering.

I do strongly recommend setting up a tactical ambush from a secure location, with your family well-protected behind your covering fire.

Also, I also don't recommend abandoning your family members to fend for themselves while you wander around in the dark looking for trouble. Haven't you ever seen a horror movie?

In public:

When you pull and use a gun, you are gambling literally everything you have on getting it right during the event and being legally justified afterward. You are gambling your physical life. You are betting your job, your home, and every penny you have in the bank. At risk is your marriage, your ability to share a bed with the person you love, and your ability to watch your children grow up in person instead of from jail. You place on the table every friendship you’ve ever made, every dollar you’ve ever earned or will earn, and your family’s future happiness. You are risking sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, impotence, anorexia, alcoholism, drug reliance, and a long and bitter lifetime of regret if you get it wrong. That is the gamble you take when you use a firearm against another human being.

And all of that pales alongside the horrible, awful risk of killing an innocent person, and having to live with that for the rest of your life.

To take a gamble that big, it’s a good idea to be overwhelmingly certain there’s no other way out.

Is the life of a stranger worth a gamble that size? Depending on your personal morals, maybe he is. But never ever ever in an ambiguous situation, especially when you didn’t see the prelude and don’t know the players.

To me, the only thing worse than "allowing" a stranger to be killed, would be for me to kill an innocent person. I will risk the former to avoid the latter.

Bottom line:

If the idea of standing by without acting bothers you, GET MORE TRAINING. Learn what you can really do, and what you can't. Be realistic about your abilities and equally realistic about your limitations. I'm not impressed by online chest thumping because I've seen what untrained people (can't) do on the range or under pressure.

I'm impressed with self-discipline and honesty, such as that displayed by a man who lines up to take a shot he realizes he cannot safely take, and holds fire. That's impressive. Would I rather see him take that scumbag down? You betcha! If you want to be that guy, able to accurately judge your abilities under extreme stress, able to make smart split-second decisions, and able to actually take a difficult shot when you need to ... get training.

Confidence is good.

Misplaced confidence is a killer.

pax
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