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Old February 2, 2009, 05:33 PM   #1
Gaxicus
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The best advice we can give to new gun owners

We probably all get questions or even help train people new to firearms or those new to defensive firearms. I've heard people offer some bad, some useless, but mixed in there is usually some really good stuff.

In what could be a very useful thread to all of us and the lucky new gun owner that comes this way, lets put some of it down in print.
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Old February 2, 2009, 06:18 PM   #2
Gaxicus
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Mental State. Never leave home without it.

One of the first and biggest obstacles I run into when working with a new defensive gun owner is helping them make their decisions about themselves and their attacker before they get in a situation where they need the gun.

Most people never want to use the weapon on a human being or even animal but have chosen to get one because they have been victimized or are worried that they might.

We all know that the best gun in the world is useless without a proper mindset in approaching the situation where they might need it. We have heard the stories of the people, even cops, dying of minor wounds because they gave up or the people that are killed with their own gun.

I have a little axiom and a speech that I use a lot when advising people who just cant see themselves pulling the trigger. (edited)

Most of them are buying a firearm because of fear. You can just see it written all over them. This ditty is what I tell them to get out of the fear mindset.

It sounds a bit cheesy but it really pushes the right buttons. Ill spare you the intro and get right to the heart of it.


Say it to yourself.

"I am a predator killer"

This attitude will have you picked last as a victim (it aint a lottery), more observant, and have you mentally ready to be the one bashing in the skull of an unconscious rapist with an emptied weapon after taking 3 knife wounds.

"I am a predator killer"
  1. You are not a jackass killer (We are all jackasses sometimes)
  2. You are not a predator fighter. (Fighting is something a predator is probably at better than you and they have less to lose)
  3. You are not a predator disarmer or counselor. (This just gets you killed and gives a predator a chance to do it again to someone else)
  4. This fight is for your life. Make it about theirs.
  5. You don't run from predators. Just watch a nature show, what happens to the prey?
  6. Mercy can only be applied when your attacker is defenseless, not hurt, but defenseless. You have to get to that point before even entertaining the idea. If mercy is important to you, fight to be the one in the position of making the decision about mercy.

You are a predator killer, they will be the victim.

When someone gets predatory on you, you kill them. . . . . ..............

Commit to it. You cannot afford to think otherwise, nor do you deserve to.



I believe that this attitude is the best chance most ordinary people will get to reclaim their freedom, quality of life, and happiness from the predators around them.

I work on this little ditty all the time. Please feel free to help make it better.

Last edited by Gaxicus; February 3, 2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Old February 2, 2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Best advise to one with a new fire for defense, is SHOOT IT. Practice, Practice, dry fire, become so familiar with it you hands feel neckid without it.

Then shoot some more. Shoot short range, shoot long range, shoot everything in between.

Study and practice pistol marksmanshiip fundimentals. Get some bullseye pistol targets and practice slow fire at 50 yards, and timed and rapid fire at 25 yards. Get the fundementals down and then play with combat style shooting.

Practice Practice and Practice.
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Old February 2, 2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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Rule #1 to any person new to guns.
"Don't be an idiot"
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Old February 2, 2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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Get some instruction in the basics of shooting from someone who's qualified.

If you don't understand trigger control, follow-through and calling the shot, you'd better restrict your gunfights to very close range. Like inside a phone booth.
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Old February 2, 2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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If you don't have the right to shoot to kill you don't have the right to shoot at all.
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Old February 2, 2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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don't be like that DEA agent. you know the one.
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Old February 2, 2009, 08:41 PM   #8
JasonG
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Wow Gaxicus, that was awesome.
"I am the weapon, my gun is a tool" is one of my favorites.
I always beat the 4 rules into them.
Guns are like bowling, use as big a caliber/ball as you can control.
I like someones sig line on here "you can't miss fast enough to win a gun fight".
At the end of it all, I make them promise to read through Pax's www.corneredcat.com site.
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Old February 2, 2009, 09:01 PM   #9
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My advice? "Get some real training"
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Old February 2, 2009, 09:05 PM   #10
Gaxicus
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Quote:
Wow Gaxicus, that was awesome.

I make them promise to read through Pax's www.corneredcat.com site.
Hey thanks. Its often very difficult to get people to face their own ability to fight, keep fighting, and survive. Many are afraid of their own power.

I have been working on this little story for a while. I never tell it the same way twice. You really have to read your audience before associating the word "killer" with what a person thinks of themself.

It works. I am so glad you posted that link to cornered cat. I enjoyed reading it and so will some of my friends. Any thoughts on improving the story?
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Old February 3, 2009, 07:41 AM   #11
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Four simple things:

1. Learn everything you can about your gun and ammo.
2. Learn everything you can about the handgun and carry laws in your state.
3. Be willing.
4. Practice!
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Old February 3, 2009, 09:52 AM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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I think being a 'predator killer' in your postings will look good in court if you are charged in some ambiguous self-defense case.

Esp. the part of pounding an unconscious rapist who you seemed to have emptied a mag into.

Now where is the popcorn? Pax and I are going to watch.
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:24 AM   #13
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1. If you have to ask someone else what gun or caliber you should buy ... You are not ready to buy one . Because you did not do the homework for yourself.

2. Gun safety " READ THE OWNERS MANUAL " ..Do not touch the gun until you have read the manual.


3. CLEAN all guns you buy new or used before you shoot it. But only after you have read the Owners Manual.
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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Be willing to learn everything you can about the responsibility of being a gun owner. Learn your local laws. Join the best RKBA organization in your state and be active in keeping our rights a reality.

In Georgia, it's Georgiacarry.org
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:50 AM   #15
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The best advice to give a new gunowner? Don't believe everything old gunowners tell you!
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Old February 3, 2009, 11:01 AM   #16
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David Armstrong: amen and amen!

Glenn's right.

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Old February 3, 2009, 12:06 PM   #17
Gaxicus
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Quote:
I think being a 'predator killer' in your postings will look good in court if you are charged in some ambiguous self-defense case.

Esp. the part of pounding an unconscious rapist who you seemed to have emptied a mag into.

Now where is the popcorn? Pax and I are going to watch.
If you ever attended a woman's self defense class you would be shocked at the things retired police officers tell them in order to get them out of prey mode.

The story of the woman emptying her gun into a rapist and them bashing his face in with the empty weapon came from one of these classes.

The rapist had already victimized other women before he attacked her, he had practice. She took three knife wounds in the struggle but she survived because she kept fighting. He is rotting in jail with a colostomy bag or something like that.

The advice is meant to get them from looking like a limping gazelle around lions, fight relentlessly with an attack mindset, and to shoot to kill.

If you and PAX have a problem with that, take your popcorn to a victim recovery group and shut up and listen.

I will take my chances with a judge over counting on the mercy of predator any day. If you have daughters you should tell them the same.

Judges have prosecuted dozens and dozens of cases involving predators where the victims life and the lives of their families are destroyed or forever damaged. Catching them is hard enough, keeping them off the street is even harder. When one comes along where the intended victim viciously and relentlessly attacks their attacker and even kills them, I like their chance with the judge. At least they have one.

Most new defensive gun owners just ooze fear. Thats why they bought the gun but they are scared of the gun and absolutely terrified to need it.

Gazelle.

Scared panicky people with guns, even at a range are very dangerous and prone to mistakes. Training with a firearm should start with dealing with all of that fear.

Go ahead with your snide sarcasm and your popcorn. I can live with it if I am wrong. The consequences of putting yet another gun in the hands of panicky gazelles who will just end up losing the gun to a predator is not something I can. It would be better to hand them sugar pills and tell them it makes them predator proof. At least the predator only ends up with sugar pills to use in their next attack.

Last edited by Gaxicus; February 3, 2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old February 3, 2009, 12:36 PM   #18
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Gaxicus ~

I'm sorry your feelings got hurt. Now get over it, and let's talk.

Frankly, any time I hear a man bragging that he knows just what to say to the ladies -- whether he's talking about firearms or pick up lines -- I always have my doubts!

All the same, when someone comes on here & tells me he knows just what to say to the ladies about firearms, I'm prone to listen a bit before making judgements. Hell, maybe he knows something about women I don't know. After all, I'm not exactly omniscient myself. Maybe I'll learn something.

So I listened. Here's what I heard:

1) You believe most new gun owners reek of fear.

2) You particularly believe most female gun owners reek of fear.

3) You believe that the way to get them over their fear is to call them "killers."

I reject all three premises. The first is projection, the second incorrect, and the third ridiculous.

Actually, the third point is not just ridiculous, but could be damaging, as Antipitas pointed out. Telling students that they need to keep fighting until the fight is over is utterly necessary and an important lesson, but telling them they need to keep fighting after the fight is over is dangerous and perhaps disastrously bad advice.

Of course only you know how your lecture comes across to your students in context, so feel free to tell me how off base I am. But right now, all we've got to go by is the context on this thread, where it appeared you were telling students to bash an unconscious and helpless attacker over the head after the fight had stopped and the attacker could no longer attack. You cited this as an example of how to do the right thing. But most courts would call unnecessarily killing an unconscious person "murder," and personally I'm not in favor of telling my students to commit murder -- no matter how "empowered" killing such a slimedog might make them feel.

Want to know what I believe about new gun owners?

1) They're individuals.

2) Most need information far more than they need motivation.

3) They are not "killers" and shouldn't become "killers."

Calling people "killers" instills a dangerous mindset. My students aren't "killers." They are good people who want to defend themselves, and who are willing to do whatever it takes to defend themselves. If whatever it takes means walking away from a fight and apologizing to a punk for offending him, so be it. If whatever it takes means fighting with bare hands against a guy six times your size rather than throwing yourself on the mercy of the merciless, so be it. If whatever it takes means handing an assailant your wallet, keys, and favorite jewelry so you can walk away unharmed -- or so you know whether the fight is really necessary to save your life -- so be it. If whatever it takes means shooting for the center of mass and continuing to fire until the attacker ceases his attack and dies screaming for his momma, so be it.

We aren't "killers." We are people who will do whatever it takes to survive the encounter with our lives and our good guy status intact.

That's why I chose "Cornered Cat" for my website. A domestic cat is sweet and cuddly and non-threatening. Sure, it's capable of killing, if killing is called for. But it's not primarily a killer. That's not its identity. Its central identity is non-threatening; the claws only come out when threatened and the purpose is to get away from the attacker.

I know that's not macho enough for a lot of folks. I can live with that. I'm just a girl, after all, and probably don't have the right mindset. So be it.

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Old February 3, 2009, 02:35 PM   #19
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From Glenn Meyer:
Quote:
I think being a 'predator killer' in your postings will look good in court if you are charged in some ambiguous self-defense case.
Yep, nothing like manufacturing evidence that might be used against you and might be difficult to successfully rebutt.

Beyond that, how might words like that be taken and used by legislators, the media, etc., and how might they impinge upon the continuation of gun rights?

No, I would say "you or not a killer. You can and will use force, including deadly force when justified, to protect yourself and family, when it is immediately necessary to do so--and at no other time."

Yeah, I know about defending property in Texas after sunset and before sunrise...

I'll go with Keltyke's recommendation:

Quote:
1. Learn everything you can about your gun and ammo.
2. Learn everything you can about the handgun and carry laws in your state.
3. Be willing.
4. Practice!
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Old February 3, 2009, 03:04 PM   #20
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1. Don't point any gun at anything/one you are not willing to destroy/kill! This is forgoten to many times.
2. Get professional training from a reputable firearms instructor or school. Not just training on how to use your weapon but when its legal to use deadly force.
3. Have fun. Marksmanship activities aren't all focused on life and death. Look for USPSA matches, IDPA or whatever floats your boat!!

My humble advice.
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Old February 3, 2009, 05:11 PM   #21
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No hurt feelings here.

Pax,

Thank you so much for actually contributing something to the thread instead of just sarcastic remarks. I put this up here because no matter how effective I might think it is, it is certainly controversial and I wanted to improve it. My feelings weren't hurt, I just get ticked off when trollers or drive-by insult artists mud up a thread.

I love the cornered cat. JasonG posted a link and I spent a lot of time reading it. I referred a lot of people to it.

An observation. I disagree with you on several points in your post Not that I am going to try and tell a woman what she is thinking, but probably because you are in a very different place mentally than I see some of the women and quite a few men at the range. I'll explain and maybe you can address them. I dont want to be right, I want to get better at this.

First , let me start by saying I don't condone beating an unconscious rapist.... but I understand. I would rather have fight like that in her than have her give up and become a statistic. Same applies to men. The story is shocking and I believe it sidetracked things as people seemed to get hung up on it.

Quote:
1) You believe most new gun owners reek of fear.
Most new defensive gun owners, Yes I do. Fidgeting, very little eye contact if any, jumpiness, extremely fast and start stop speech pattern. The big test for me is watching them load the gun in the range stall. Shaking hands, dropping rounds, bad muzzle discipline. I usually comment on what a nice gun they have, ask them the story behind it, then ask to try it first when I see that. It helps them focus and calm down but that's not necessarily what this approach is designed to address.

Quote:
You particularly believe most female gun owners reek of fear.

I will cop right now to using generalizations. Lots of them. I know I am skipping through a field of bear traps on this one but I will give you a direct answer anyway. New female defensive gun owners, yes I do. Almost the same thing as above but with additional observations. I'll explain.

Actually, the women usually exhibit less of the above symptoms of fear during the first parts of the session and the actual operation of the firearm. Many times they outshoot the men once they have reloaded, not sure why, better fine motor control, whatever. They also ask more questions. Not kissing any ass here, its just true.

Where I see the above symptoms really become evident is when the discussion of using the weapon starts. Some will flat out say that they dont think they can use it if they needed to. I don't think its responsible to ignore that. The gun is worse than useless if this isn't addressed

After several different approaches and exercises, i reached the conclusion that, generally, women are less likely to have wrapped their head around and have far less experience with the concept of physically attacking someone. In a fight, you have to willfully, aggressively, and repeatedly attack someone, even when hurt. When an an advantage is gained, you must not surrender it until the opponent is incapable of attacking you effectively on your egress. Especially if you are outsized.

Anyone who has raised boys knows that they seem instinctively driven to constantly challenge themselves and others in this physical way. My girls are instinctively very capable of using words against other girls and completely outmatch the boys but have had to learn the physical aspects of conflict. Often from their brothers.

Without the subject coming up, after a few minutes of conversation, you could probably guess right 75% of the time if a woman grew up with older brothers.

The act of punching, kicking, biting, scratching, shooting etc should be a focused attack. The very word attack seems to make a lot of women and some men cringe when they think of associating it with themselves. Attack they must if they are in a fight. How do you get them to commit to an effective attack? They need to be more than OK with it. They need to be passionately resolved to it. They must fight harder, faster, and be more relentlessly than their bigger attackers.

That is what this whole approach is geared toward.

Quote:
3) You believe that the way to get them over their fear is to call them "killers."
The words and concepts are very strong, the example story of the woman is very strong. Attack, Kill, all that. I know. Its on purpose. This is a hard approach.

The soft approach we would all prefer doesn't work sometimes. It can come off fake and condescending when coming from a man to both women and men. Sexist? Maybe, but it is something that happens and it cant be ignored. Some fair criticism here, I love the cornered cat. I like the approach but it is just isnt going to work sometimes. Its not too hard to imagine women balking at being compared to kitties, especially by a man is it? Maybe it is sexist, but its something I've noticed and have to deal with.

My first rule of teaching is be yourself, be honest, and deal to your strengths. I am not a woman. I am not someone that has much, if any, sympathy for predators, and I detest the idea of having a gun being taken from a law abiding citizen by one.

The hard approach is not the first option, it is not just for women, and it is definitely not for everyone. It can be very effective though.

I use those strong words because it forces the issue. Those words are monolithic and leave very little wiggle room for fear (ir)rationalization.

It is a very direct thought process.

Predator.
What is a predator? A person that wishes to inflict themself on me and take something from me by force. What am I willing to surrender and what am I not? Hey, who the *#@*&% does this jerk think he is anyway?!

Attack.
Me? Attack? Oh my god you cant be serious, I have a hard time killing a spider. Wait! I have kids, a wife or husband. I have made sacrifices for my future and my family. I have every right to protect that. How do I survive? He wont let me talk him out of it.. he is just hitting me and pulling me into a car! I must attack to save my, and my familys future. I must attack to survive.

Kill.
Oh sheesh I dont think I could live with myself if I killed someone. Thats what bad guys do isnt it? Cant I sorta threaten him in a nice way? Maybe shoot him in the... Oh its too late, Im in the car and he has my gun. Is that Duct tape? What are the garbage bags for? Is that dried blood? Im not the first one hes done this to. OMG I wish I had that gun back! I want to live! This &*%^$% deserves to die!

Predator Killer.
I have already thought out my moral obligations, my fears, and my choices. I know the law, it is on my side, and it is less of a threat to me than my attacker. I am perfectly ready and willing to kill a predator. I will fight until I am unconscious if necessary to make sure he can not attack me until I can be safe. If he takes my wallet the look in my eyes alone will be enough to let him know he wont get anything else. If I have to pull my gun, I will shoot and shoot to kill. I cant afford, and he doesn't deserve, for me to take any chances if he attacks me. I am a predator killer and I am more than ok with it I am resolved to it.

Thats the hard approach. It has worked. The people that it works with dont go around looking for an excuse to kill people. They carry themselves more confidently, not more aggressively or threatening. Calmer and noticeably less jumpy. Not a limping gazelle around lions. Im not going to make anyone I would use this approach with into a serial killer. They will have faced the issues, thought it out, and resolved themselves to their choices.

Quote:
Calling people "killers" instills a dangerous mindset. My students aren't "killers."
Quote:
We aren't "killers." We are people who will do whatever it takes to survive the encounter with our lives and our good guy status intact.
I respectfully disagree with this approach. If they carry a gun, and are willing to pull and shoot it, they had better be killers. Why do we seem to forget that you shoot to kill. Thats the only reason to shoot. Good guy status belongs before and after, never during a fight for your life. Hero stuff just gets you killed. Lots of people will probably back me up on this even if they hate everything else I posted.

I like your "whatever it takes" stuff. Good. Mind if I use it? I don't just use the hard approach.

Quote:
A domestic cat is sweet and cuddly and non-threatening. Sure, it's capable of killing, if killing is called for. But it's not primarily a killer. That's not its identity. Its central identity is non-threatening; the claws only come out when threatened and the purpose is to get away from the attacker.
I am sure this works really well for you but I just cant see myself pulling it off the way you can. I can see everyones eyes rolling and going glazed to anything else I tell them. Like it or not, Im just a man (wink).

Quote:
I know that's not macho enough for a lot of folks. I can live with that. I'm just a girl, after all, and probably don't have the right mindset. So be it.
Now that IS sexist condescension if I have ever heard it but considering how many times I probably offended you, I can give it away.

Keep up the good work. I like the website and will continue referring folks to it. Thanks again for taking the time to contribute something useful to the thread.

Last edited by Gaxicus; February 3, 2009 at 06:29 PM.
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Old February 3, 2009, 06:27 PM   #22
Gaxicus
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Quote:
Yep, nothing like manufacturing evidence that might be used against you and might be difficult to successfully rebutt.

Beyond that, how might words like that be taken and used by legislators, the media, etc., and how might they impinge upon the continuation of gun rights?

No, I would say "you or not a killer. You can and will use force, including deadly force when justified, to protect yourself and family, when it is immediately necessary to do so--and at no other time."
Legislatively or in the press it does make for interesting discussion. Fodder for the gun grabbers, the media, etc.

With all of the pictures of little kids, women, and such on the news and on milk cartons, Im not sure advising people to kill a predator if they attack you is something the public would see as a bad thing. As long as the word predator isnt dropped.

"Man advises gun owners to think of themselves as predator killers" is one thing but "Man advises gun owners to be killers" is another.

I want to use strong monolithic words that force the issue so that people really face and pre-make their decisions about the moral and legal aspects of owning or carrying a gun for protection. The word everyone has a problem with is "killer" but we don't shoot to counsel, deter, maim, or wound. We shoot to kill right?

Tough. I am more than open to ideas on improving the approach.
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Old February 3, 2009, 06:32 PM   #23
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Glaxious,

It's all about perspective. The cart before the horse, sort of speak....


The post was about what advice you give to new gun owner.

The "mindset" is for someone that is more into the self defense and/or concealed carry use of a firearm which is something to consider..... But, this is way before that.

Some post diverged a bit so back onto topic.

So, back to advice for NEW gun owners.
1) Be safe - Safety First
2) Get some training from an experienced shooter or by an instructor
3) Read all the info you can - about gun safety and about your particular gun
4) Practice
5) If you are considering concealed carry or for home defense - read and be familiar with your state laws. Lethal force - no you can't shoot someone if they stole your car - now if they are trying to run you over that's another story. Of course, if your in the car when they are stealing it then that's a whole different situation.

New gun owners: - there's a lot of new gun owners (my weekend trip to the gun range proves that.... hands down.

Have fun and do learn how to shoot well. If you think about it. If you can shoot well - you'll have a lot more fun.
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Old February 3, 2009, 06:52 PM   #24
pax
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Gaxicus ~

Now we're talking! ("A man never tells you anything until you contradict him." -- George Bernard Shaw ) Thanks.

By the way, just to clear the air a little: when I said Glenn was right, I wasn't referring to popcorn, but to the danger of being convicted as a murderer if you continue the attack against an unconscious, helpless person who is no longer a threat to you. Of course I can be & frequently am sarcastic, but not in that first, short post ... (see the last para of my second post for a true sample -- I'll take my lumps for that one).

Quote:
First , let me start by saying I don't condone beating an unconscious rapist.... but I understand. I would rather have fight like that in her than have her give up and become a statistic. Same applies to men. The story is shocking and I believe it sidetracked things as people seemed to get hung up on it.
Well, yes. I am somewhat hung up on it, and here's why: I think it illustrates our primary area of disagreement very clearly. So let's talk specifics. We can revisit the rest later, if you like -- but I suspect that focusing on this will bring everything else into sharp focus too.

1) I agree with you (absolutely!) that the "never give up or quit" mindset is essential and important. Never, ever, ever quit until you've reached your goal.

2) The story -- as told -- only partially illustrates that "never give up" mindset. It primarily illustrates a different mindset entirely. The mindset it illustrates is not "Do whatever it takes to get away safely." Instead, it illustrates, "Do whatever it takes to kill the attacker." Some people talk as if these two goals are one and the same, but in fact they are worlds apart.

Someone who is focused on survival and escape may very well kill an attacker, when the attacker and his actions are in the way of that goal. But someone who is focused on killing the attacker might instead utterly miss her one and only good chance to escape in safety, because she has tunneled in on "winning the fight." With the wrong goal thus in mind, her chances of survival go down dramatically. This is particularly true for women, among whom even the most skillful and trained are generally at a disadvantage when the assailant is male: males generally have larger bodies, greater reach, more endurance, and so on. The longer the physical assault lasts, the better it generally will be for him and the worse for her. So if she can escape safely, she should escape rather than prolong the fight. And she should steel herself to do whatever it takes to manage that escape in safety.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I think we need to very, very carefully define what a win looks like for our students. A win isn't killing the attacker. A win isn't not killing the attacker. The attacker simply doesn't matter. If he gets in the way of the goal (survival!), he's disposable. That's the mindset.

This isn't necessarily a matter of "hard" versus "soft" approaches, though at first glance it might seem so. It goes a lot deeper than that, and in fact can be illustrated through something else you said:

Quote:
... shoot to kill.
That particular phrase has been hashed over, and over, and over again on this forum. And it probably will be again. For now, let's begin by agreeing that the primary point of aim is the center of the largest visible mass of the assailant's body: most commonly the area including the heart, the lungs, the aorta. Or it is the brain stem, typically reached through the sinus cavities from the front. Or it may be (in the case of a knife-armed attacker for whom a center mass shot hasn't worked, and if the head is too difficult a shot for whatever reason) a pelvic shot: bladder, bowels, and the structural support for the entire abdomen, often including the base of the spinal cord. Any of these shots will very likely kill a man, or cripple him for life. No sugarcoating here! (Forgive the digression: just wanted to be clear that when I criticize "shoot to kill" I am NOT proposing some silly idea like aiming at the assailant's left pinkie toenail ...)

Despite the fact that shooting at the center mass may very likely kill the assailant, the purpose of using these aimpoints isn't to kill. You don't choose one aimpoint over another because of the likelihood of killing versus not killing. That's not the criteria. You choose those aimpoints because they are possible. (In real life, unlike in Hollywood, many shots are impossible, for most average or even incredible shooters -- but you & I both know that!) And you choose these aimpoints because they have the highest likelihood of stopping the attack immediately and thus ensuring the victim's survival. If the attacker dies as a result, too bad so sad. But the attacker's death is not the point.

If there were a way to reliably stop the attacker -- and thus ensure the victim's survival -- by simply waving a magic wand and putting him to sleep, we'd do it. But Magic Fairy Dust isn't available, here in the real world. So here in the real world, we use firearms to stop the attacker and allow the victim to survive and escape in safety.

So I object to the very notion of "shoot to kill" not because it is bloodthirsty (or "a hard approach"), but because it is inaccurate. It does not express what I am doing or why I am doing it, when I pull the trigger in self-defense. Thinking of it as "shooting to kill", as if killing were the point of the exercise, actually prevents me from focusing on my primary goal: defending myself, surviving and escaping.

And all that brings us to the female students in particular. Are they better served by kill-kill-kill, or by a realistic, balanced, honest discussion of the dynamics of self-defense? Obviously, you've chosen the former (at least for your attention grabbers) and I've shunned that approach for -- I hope! -- the latter. As you point out, it may be that because I am female I can get away with a softer approach, one that's not particularly open for a male instructor. I don't think so, but that may be true. If so, after the kill-kill-kill spiel, I'd urge you to look for ways to underline the legal realities of self defense, in part because (in my experience at least) women are no more immune than men are to unrealistic, chest-thumping fantasies that can get them into serious legal trouble.

Oh, shall I open a can of worms here? Can't resist! Women often have an easier time in criminal court than their male counterparts, but that is changing. While a woman who kills a stranger in self-defense may have an easier journey through the "justice" system than a man who does likewise, it's not necessarily true. Personally, I would not wish to bet my life or my future on the refusal of a jury to convict me based on my sex; I'd rather bet on my own ability to avoid illegal behavior in the first place.

Of course, all of the above might mean that you and I have too deep a philosophical divide to come to a meeting of the minds about the rest, and that's okay. What a boring world it would be if everyone thought alike!

Thanks for the kind words about the site.

pax,

Kathy
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Old February 3, 2009, 07:02 PM   #25
Gaxicus
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Join Date: January 28, 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 172
Quote:
The "mindset" is for someone that is more into the self defense and/or concealed carry use of a firearm which is something to consider..... But, this is way before that.
The very first sentence in the thread is "We probably all get questions or even help train people new to firearms or those new to defensive firearms."

Admittedly the thread did take a big turn toward new defensive firearm owners but I dont think it got off topic.

Quote:
So, back to advice for NEW gun owners.
1) Be safe - Safety First
2) Get some training from an experienced shooter or by an instructor
3) Read all the info you can - about gun safety and about your particular gun
4) Practice
5) If you are considering concealed carry or for home defense - read and be familiar with your state laws. Lethal force - no you can't shoot someone if they stole your car - now if they are trying to run you over that's another story. Of course, if your in the car when they are stealing it then that's a whole different situation.
All very good. Thank you
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