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Old February 10, 2009, 06:47 PM   #76
Kurt2k
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Good thread. Thank you for posting, Gax.
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Old February 10, 2009, 06:49 PM   #77
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I was going to move along but some nut just pushed the wrong guy

Glaxicus,

Hmm, you just pushed the wrong button in me today.

I was going to totally drop this thread and let it go. Where - ever you nut will take it.

I was going to go away. But I think I'll take you up on your logic here. And attack. Not letting this go. No no no.

I will review in pain staking detail over and over on this thread. As you probably know I do quite a bit. So, we will begin.

Oh, after this short break... I have to go back to my patient :-)

But, before I go. Let's do talk about credentials here. Oh, how did you put it? Hmm, oh measuring my penis to yours. I guess you don't have one since there is nothing to put up on the table.

Will Be back.
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Old February 10, 2009, 06:52 PM   #78
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Quote:
If I am to characterize your objection, it would be "you dont have to turn them into a predator in order to do this" Is that a fair assessment?
Not really. My objection is that you are making claims for a method of training that seems to have nothing to support it other than your own belief system, as well as teaching attitudes that are quite probably counterproductive for SD issues.
Quote:
You start with a person that just cant see themselves being violent, even to save their life. After all the conventional training, they just still cant see it.
As mentioned, I doubt there is much to support this idea, and so far you have given us no reason to believe there is any validity to this assumption of yours. Obviously the person CAN see themselves as being violent, otherwise they would not be getting this type of training.
Quote:
Their abhorrance of violence makes them ideal responsible citizens, but it also makes them ideal victims for a predator, and very likely to lose their gun to the predator.
And yet we see on a regular basis the typical, normal responsible citizen, who dislikes the idea of violence, stepping up and engaging in an appropriate level of violence needed to win the encounter. If you have some numbers on folks who lose their guns because they are "ideal victims" and how likely it is, I'd sure like to see it.
Quote:
You have been doing this a long time, tell us how you accomplish the above list of things in this kind of person.
I don't accomplish some of the things on your list. There is no need to accomplish some of the things on your list. Some of the things on your list you claim are contradicted by all the available information. What I do is simple...train my clients to minimize their loss of resources through a measured, controlled, and appropriate response when placed in danger. I don't need to convince them to be hyper-aggressive killers for that.
Quote:
Its easy enough to criticize, I challenge you to subject your method to criticism as I have done.
Ummm, given that I've been training folks how to fight and survive for about 3 decades, I'll assume my methods have been thoroughly scrutinized and criticized. Anybody who wants to do so is quite welcome to do so.

Last edited by David Armstrong; February 10, 2009 at 06:58 PM.
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Old February 10, 2009, 06:55 PM   #79
Gaxicus
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Quote:
Best advice?

Read "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob.
It is quoted often. I think you're right. Time to sit down and finally read it cover to cover.

Last edited by Gaxicus; February 10, 2009 at 07:25 PM.
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Old February 10, 2009, 07:22 PM   #80
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Hey everyone,

Take a deep breath.

Think twice, post once.

Thanks.

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Old February 10, 2009, 07:24 PM   #81
Gaxicus
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One thing at a time

Quote:
Not really. My objection is that you are making claims for a method of training that seems to have nothing to support it other than your own belief system, as well as teaching attitudes that are quite probably counterproductive for SD issues.

Im going to try and distill things as best I can to the points of contention.

Has this ever happened to you?

All of the safety, technical, legal, and shooting is done. A person got through all of that fine comes up to you and expresses that even after everything they learned, they just cant see themselves shooting another human being.

What is your approach to this circumstance?

Thats what I am talking about here. Not most people, not average people, but these people.

I've been chastized for not giving personal information or qualifications. I gave my reasons and said anything I say should stand on its own.

You claim 30 years of experience and a PHD in your profile. With all of that, why so hesitant to offer up your approach here to the same scrutiny you are so willing to dish?

I dont just mean this as part of a silly arguement. I, and probably many reading this thread, are very interested in how someone with your qualifications would approach this.
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Old February 10, 2009, 07:37 PM   #82
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Gaxicus, maybe you can find some of the information you are looking for at these sites.

http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/armstrng/
http://pages.prodigy.net/darm441/index.html
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Old February 10, 2009, 07:43 PM   #83
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A vote for not locking the thread?

Quote:
Good thread. Thank you for posting, Gax.
Im glad you like it. I have been introduced to plenty of stuff to think about. I might bark a bit here and there but I really try to keep it productive and interesting. Heck, I have to try and keep it from getting locked up!.

If you look at the part where Pax takes me to task it is really good stuff. I dont think we agree or disagree in huge ways but anyone reading that is going to get a full look at the issue without name calling or a pointless penis waving contest.


Quote:
Hey everyone,

Take a deep breath.

Think twice, post once.

Thanks.

pax
Great advice as always Pax. Thanks.
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Old February 10, 2009, 07:46 PM   #84
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Quote:
Gaxicus, maybe you can find some of the information you are looking for at these sites.

http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/armstrng/
http://pages.prodigy.net/darm441/index.html
Ok, now I really want to know what he has to say in his next post. I hope he has something better to offer than I did. Whether it worked or not, clearly there are plenty of experienced folks here that object to it. I hope he will give us something new to talk about.

Last edited by Gaxicus; February 10, 2009 at 08:02 PM.
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Old February 10, 2009, 08:06 PM   #85
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Lets move on

Quote:
Hmm, you just pushed the wrong button in me today.
I dont want to push your buttons. In your profile it says you are a certified NRA instructor. We dont have to keep rehashing the stuff I put up there. Its been through the ringer enough already.

Im sure you have stories or an approach that worked well for you. Please share a tidbit or two.
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Old February 10, 2009, 08:24 PM   #86
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Small game hunting . Than clean it & eat it.

For the one's no sure of protecting themself's.
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Old February 10, 2009, 08:35 PM   #87
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Quote:
Small game hunting . Than clean it & eat it.

For the one's no sure of protecting themself's.
I once had a great discussion with someone that thought it unethical to eat meat unless a person had killed, dressed, prepared, and eaten their own kill at least once.

Is that kind of where you are going with that?
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:10 PM   #88
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Rethinking "Predator Killer"

An open invitation to anyone who has read the entire thread, or at least the exchange between myself and Dax, to revise or replace the "Predator Killer" in the circumstances it was used.

I know it, or the words used in it, evoked a lot of discussion. I remain convinced I am onto something but must admit that it needs work, some would say trashing altogether.

I asked for help improving it in the very post I outlined it in. So rather than just having people post criticisms of it, lets start building something that works better.

Here is the scenario I want to address:

A person learns safety, operation, troubleshooting, and marksmanship in a self defense class. The legal and ethical stuff has been gone over, they get it and pass all segments no problem.

Then they approach you explaining that even with all that they have learned, they just cant see themselves shooting another human being under any circumstances.

So, there they are with their new gun, they know they are unlikely to be able to use it, they are looking to you to help them, what do you say?

One of my biggest concerns is that they will keep the gun and when they need it most, the predator will end up with it.

Clearly there are a lot of mental and emotional obstacles on the part of the person asking for help. What is your approach?
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:21 PM   #89
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Talk to them about the four rules of gun safety, take them to the range a couple of times to re-enforce safety/handling. Show them where deadly force laws in TX are on the Internet.

Encourage them to take a real intro and intermediate shooting class and to at least come watch an IDPA or IPSC match.
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Old February 10, 2009, 09:53 PM   #90
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Quote:
I have no doubt that there are people who carry a gun for SD and who would stand there pointing it at a BG until said BG walks right up and takes the gun, just like we see in the movies.
While that is a predictable risk - the data on DGUs from Kleck doesn't indicate that this happens a great deal. It was an argument against the shall issue laws and it hasn't come to pass.

Interestingly, I did see once in FOF with a guy who claimed he was a big deal martial artist.

Many folks teach mindset with terms that probably won't bite you in court. Also, in a DGU - you probably won't kill anybody - so can we talk about what usually happens as compared to fantasy blood/death scenarios?

Here is the point - you have to be ready to use the gun - as Ayoob says (if one reads him - surprising to have missed that book) - deal with the Question - can you use lethal force. But someone who teaches should not say you will probably kill someone - that indicates a lack of knowledge of what actually happens.

It's like the folks who say if someone comes into their house, they will be dead. No - you should be ready to act.

So if one teaches
Quote:
They need to be capable of killing because if they are using a firearm to defend themselves and they use it effectively, the predator will likely be dead.
they really don't know the reality of defensive gun use.
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Old February 10, 2009, 10:29 PM   #91
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Gaxicus ~

You need to go back and re-read, maybe. I don't so much object to the words you used. But I do object -- strongly! -- to the entire concept you were expressing with those words.

Earlier, you said something (to another poster) that showed how thoroughly you'd missed my original point. And you are still missing it. So let me try again.

Here's what you said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaxicus
Mentally, golfers dont swing the club, they hit the ball to where they want it to stop. The final result is part of the mental decision to start the chain of events and involved in every step along the way.

Martial Artists dont just kick, punch, or throw, They defeat their opponent. The decision and resolve to defeat their opponent is present during every link in every chain of execution. Boxers and UFC fighters rely on this to maintain strategy while they are being pummeled. Intent starts with result.

The concept of result guides the building chains of execution until it reached.
This is exactly right. Action starts with intent. Our students won't do the right thing under stress unless they have the right goal in mind. We're solidly in agreement on that point.

Unfortunately, immediately after that is where we part ways. And I think, if you look around on this thread, you will find a lot of very qualified people telling you the same thing: the goal of self-defense is NOT killing the attacker. The goal of self-defense is ... (drumroll please) ... SELF-DEFENSE.

You do whatever it takes to defend yourself and you keep doing it until you know you are safe.

You stop immediately as soon as you are safe.

That's self-defense.

So despite what you've said above, this isn't about the words you use. It isn't a plea to be gentler or kinder or whatever nonsense you've ascribed to this idea. This is a serious conversation about the goal you're presenting to your students. By telling your students that the goal is to kill the attacker, you're doing a disservice to your students. You're giving them a goal that is likely to lead them into practical and tactical trouble immediately, and into legal trouble later.

Tactical trouble? Sure! Just as the martial artist trains to strike through the attacker (or the innocent pine board standing in for an attacker in the dojo), an intelligent person training for self-defense always, always, always keeps the ultimate goal in mind, striking through the attacker to the ultimate goal of survival and escape. Focusing on the attacker's death is stopping too soon, tactically speaking.

As I said earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax in post #24
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.
Strike through the attacker to your own safety. Don't stop at the wrong goal.

****

Setting that aside for something even further back, more foundational, in your philosophy. I'm increasingly disturbed by the attitude I see in your posts toward your students. Frankly, as a student myself I would have a difficult time learning from an instructor who had as much contempt for me as your posts appear to express toward your students.

My own philosophy toward beginning defensive shooters is simply this: they purchased guns for self-defense because they have made the decision that their lives are worth defending. They enrolled in a class because they already understand that using a firearm in self-defense is deadly serious stuff. So I believe these folks are adults who are capable of making their own choices when given good information, so they don't need cheerleading or brow-beating. They don't need motivational speeches or emotional tricks. What they need is good, solid instruction in the basics, including physical skills, some understanding of defensive tactics, and the legal underpinnings of lawful self-defense in our society. They need trigger time, realistic targets, and an honest discussion of the social, legal, and physical aftermath of shooting events. With those elements in place, there's no adult on the planet who would somehow fail to grasp that using a gun constitutes lethal force – and these educated people are much more emotionally and psychologically prepared to cope with the realities of self-defense than is someone who merely responded to an emotional pep talk full of powerful buzzwords.

Defensive firearms students do need to come to the place where they are emotionally, psychologically, morally, and ethically okay with the idea of deliberately taking an attacker's life. No question about that.

My contention is that a little more respect for your students' decision making process would go a long way in your credibility here. They're adults!

Of course when you talk to people who have not yet been educated about the realities of self-defense, they are going to express some pretty silly ideas. Sometimes the newly educated haven't yet absorbed the full impact of what they've been taught, and they'll also have some strangely offbeat thoughts. But the way to get those silly ideas out of them isn't by browbeating them with emotional appeals. It's by educating them and presenting what they need to know. When given the full information they need, they'll make the right decision for themselves, and won't need the empty-of-content but full-of-emotion pep talk. If they are motivated only by a pep talk, they might walk out of your class feeling pretty good and energized and enthusiastic ... but it won't last. It'll wear off. Emotions always do.

True education doesn't wear off. It changes the shape of the student's mind forever. A mind that's been stretched by a new idea, even one it later rejects, never returns to exactly its former shape...

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Old February 10, 2009, 11:00 PM   #92
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Moving along ...

Quote:
Here is the scenario I want to address:

A person learns safety, operation, troubleshooting, and marksmanship in a self defense class. The legal and ethical stuff has been gone over, they get it and pass all segments no problem.

Then they approach you explaining that even with all that they have learned, they just cant see themselves shooting another human being under any circumstances.

So, there they are with their new gun, they know they are unlikely to be able to use it, they are looking to you to help them, what do you say?
I look them in the eye and tell them, "Then you should not carry a firearm."

And I stop there.

It is up to the student to make the connection for him- or herself from that point.

And they do ... sometimes awhile later. As an example of this type of process, one friend of mine attended LFI-1, then put her gun away for nearly three months while she emotionally digested the class. She re-armed a few months after the class and has never stepped out of her house unarmed since then. She says that class deeply affected her because she suddenly understood the huge responsibility the firearm represented, and that it caused her to pull out her ethics and really look at them. That's a meaningful change -- though probably not within the comfort zone of enough instructors who want to force their students into the right mindset immediately.

You just gotta have a little faith in what you're presenting, and enough faith in your students to let them find their own paths.

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Old February 10, 2009, 11:17 PM   #93
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Advice on new gun owners?

You know when I got my first gun, I wasn't sure how or exactly when I would use it (in a tight situation), defending myself or my family. I asked a lot of people what they thought (especially my LEO friends). Most said these three things:

1. Go to the range and practice shooting larger targets (center of mass). As you get more proficient, move target back and practice at that range and maybe go to smaller size targets. Then mix up the distance, close and up to 7-15 yards for example. After this, you will feel a lot more confident in handling your weapon (no matter the caliber). This is very important, because a lot of folks buy guns and end up never practicing loading/unloading and firing their guns. They have no confidence and when and if the time comes to have to use deadly force, they will no doubt have big problems.

2. After you have become proficient and confident with your weapon, you next need to become DELIBERATE........... This is extremely important. You must decide ahead of time what you will do if the time ever comes to defend yourself. It is a mind set that becomes easier as your think more about it. Plan ahead what you would do if you or your family member's life is ever placed in danger. How are you going to react? No time to really give it a lot of thought because you may just have seconds to react. Think about how would you handle different scenarios, at your home, auto or other areas (if you have a carry permit).

3. When and if the time ever comes, (React with a purpose and do not hesitate). When and if you are forced to have to use your weapon,
USE IT.................

I hope the day never comes that I have to put these steps in action. But, if it does, I know (without a doubt) that I will do what I have been training to do to, (protect myself and my family). Good luck to you.

Last edited by skydiver3346; February 11, 2009 at 06:10 PM.
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Old February 11, 2009, 12:41 AM   #94
Gaxicus
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Firearms are not tasers

Quote:
So if one teaches
Quote:
They need to be capable of killing because if they are using a firearm to defend themselves and they use it effectively, the predator will likely be dead.

they really don't know the reality of defensive gun use.
In a study of police shootings in Sand Diego, From 1996 through 2006, the SDCDA investigated 200 OIS cases with 201 suspects. Total cases per year ranged from a low of 10 in 1996 to a high of 24 each in 1997 and 2002. The percentage of fatal shootings ranged from 42% (2002) to 79% (2005) of the total shootings. In 61% of the cases, only 1 officer shot a suspect. There were 2 officers in 44 cases and 3 in 20 cases. Of the remaining, 6 cases had 4 officers firing, 3 had 5 and 1 case each had 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12 officers.

Ive spent some time shooting with police officers, on average, they arent super marksmen by any stretch but they are probably a bit better than the average joe.

If you can hit your attacker in a shooting 15% of the time and fire 3-4 times per target with formal training, you can match the generally accepted shooting proficiency of the police. Interestingly, the revolver hit percentage was 25% in an older study.

If you want to use stats, studies, etc, fine. But before you go crazy quoting them and quibbling over a few points, deal with this one.

Depending on the statistics you want to use, 91-99% of the time a gun is used defensively, it is never fired. Statistically speaking, maybe we dont need training, to be able to pull the trigger, or even bullets.

I dont think Im going to rely on those statistics to defend my life or family. I dont think anyone should. My point is let the numbers fall where they may, make your own choices and do your part to protect yourself.

Whatever an "expert", statistics, or surveys might say, firearms are considered a lethal weapon in every state of the union. Use of a gun in a defensive situation is considered using a lethal weapon.

Suggesting otherwise is not only incorrect but irresponsible.
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Old February 11, 2009, 12:48 AM   #95
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Quote:
I once had a great discussion with someone that thought it unethical to eat meat unless a person had killed, dressed, prepared, and eaten their own kill at least once.

Is that kind of where you are going with that?

No not quite.




PAX has it all covered from A-Z & 1 to Infinity......gezzzz. I most definitely would not want to be on your bad side PAX . Excellent information PAX
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Old February 11, 2009, 01:18 AM   #96
Gaxicus
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Adults

Quote:
My contention is that a little more respect for your students' decision making process would go a long way in your credibility here. They're adults!
Pax, I read and reread what you posted recently. I like all of it and can find ways to agree with at least 90% of it. I especially like the story of the woman that "disarmed" for a few months to digest what she learned in the class.

I have struggled with what to do about that situation for quite some time. The only thing I would really take issue with is that I don’t think it is enough to say "you shouldn’t carry a firearm" and drop it at that.

A list of decisions they need to make, some book references, maybe even a web site that specifically addresses this issue could really help people "digest" what they are truly undertaking. It probably wouldn’t hurt to make it a prerequisite for the class.

There is really only one more major thing. In the above quote you chastise me for not treating people like adults. It could be argued that soft selling or avoiding the psychological issues and the harsh realities of defensive firearm use is treating people like children. I believe people need to face this stuff head on. I think that is treating them like adults.

Again, I liked what you wrote. Im probably going to reread it again to make sure I didn’t miss anything I should respond to.

Thanks again.
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Old February 11, 2009, 03:30 AM   #97
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just an observation

After reading and rereading just to be sure I still knew the point of the thread and it being based in tactics and training I would assume "The best advice we can give to new gun owners".... "who are planing to use it for home/personal defense" is the topic.

The obvious has all been stated already, safety, practice, law, safety, practice, law etc etc ..

Though I did just want to comment on one aspect which I think is something not touched on really well at least in my words. We are all individual people, we all have our own way of thinking, all have personal trigger levels on what it is we consider a threat.

Sure there are laws in place as a guide line to determine these levels for us/people to keep them on the good side of a bad outcome. And tactical hd training can be a tool to teach people to stay in the boundaries of those areas as well as personal research, a mandatory part of gun safety which should always be just as important in knowing how to use a firearm safely.

Though, I think any new owner should be honest with themselves first and foremost as to what they believe is their trigger point based on who they are inside and see if that even follows the laws and guide lines in place to begin with. Building confidence through martial arts does not change a personal trigger level it only allows you to deal with it more effectively. Same can be said for firearm practice and training, constant grouping in the center mass in an area the size of a dime and knowing when to stop in a situation does not change your personal trigger level, it only allows you to control it more effectively. Sure, habits,reaction and rules of engagement can be taught but how do you teach instinct based on someones fear level based on an unknown actual scenario?

I know I am wrong in thinking that people just do not show up at the gun store and say I want to buy a gun without considering this (prior victims aside). This is a mentality I have never understood. And I am able to say that I would find it extremely hard to believe that you can reprogram someone or offer advice to someone with that extreme impulse mindset into knowing what is right and wrong if a situation requiring them to discharge a firearm happened.

I feel a new non impulse owner for hd/pd should truly know where their trigger level fits in regards to what is deemed by the majority as being acceptable practice. Knowing this about themselves first should be a determining factor in if they should own a firearm or even if they should bother fighting back at all and rely on the compassion and goals of the attacker to determine their fate.

Sadly those who do not address that trigger level will be bound to make a mistake and will face what is so jokingly addressed and condoned as part of the proper punishment if you go to jail besides the time away from society. The whole "drop the soap" or "a visit from bubba" or just psychically fighting to survive daily which leos/judges and society so freely joke about but expect.

You need to ask yourself, is your trigger level comparative to what you face if you make a mistake? Sadly asking yourself this question will make you wonder if the risk you take engaging someone climbing through your window is worth having to protect your backdoor and life daily for 15 to 20 years based on what you thought was right at the time because it set your personal trigger level off.

With that being said my advice for a new non impulse gun owner for hd/pd, do not just learn about gun safety, proper procedure and laws. Know your trigger level. You do not need to kill to make a mistake and pay the price. Learn about what you will actually face daily if you make a mistake in the eyes of the prosecution in regards to the use of your new purchase. You will not be put away from society with others who made the same mistake you did trying to defend themselves or home, you will be put in with people who have done things above and beyond what it may of taken to set your personal trigger level off. Can you deal with that without a firearm? It should be a determining factor if you just bought your first one and think you may want to use it.

If you can honestly say from your inner core, your personal trigger level stays within the scope of boundary's set for you by law and safety then you should feel confident that if the time comes you will make the right decision based on everything you learned about the law,safe practices and yourself when you chamber your round for hd/pd.

I do apologize if I seemed a little gloom and doom, but it just sort of bothered me the last few days. I have seen a few threads where it is insinuated that reacting on a personal trigger level makes someone a killer without any consideration on the actual deep and personal depths some may have to endure to even get to the point of purchase of a firearm.

I myself was given my first firearm at 10 and was trained to hunt with it. But when I was no longer protected by my father in life I had to address the realization that I may need to call on the tool that provided my family food for 8 years to also protect myself. It takes a lot of soul searching even after you know the laws, safety and know how to shoot to determine if your life means more then others even if you do not intentionally mean to end one while protecting your own. So to those that seem to throw around the word killer, you should really stop and take the time to determine at what value you hold your own life at before you dare judge what others hold theirs at.

Give the benefit of the doubt before you judge the majority of gun owners and know we are well aware of the gift that we all have to breath and live life. That a majority respect such a precious gift and that we have taken the time out of our limited gift to know what we should or should not do to protect the gift we were given when faced against someone trying to take it from us.





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Old February 11, 2009, 04:29 AM   #98
Gaxicus
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Nice read

I enjoyed reading that. Thank you.

Points taken.
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Old February 11, 2009, 01:20 PM   #99
David Armstrong
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Quote:
Has this ever happened to you?
Sure, quite often. At which point I generally discuss things like the idea that your children probably don't want to have to plan your funeral any earlier than necessary, your spouse probably wants to have a few more years of enjoying your company, etc. Seems to work just fine. Personally I would question whether your "killer" conditioning works any better than anything else, if at all.
Quote:
You claim 30 years of experience and a PHD in your profile. With all of that, why so hesitant to offer up your approach here to the same scrutiny you are so willing to dish?
I claim nothing I haven't earned. And I'm not hesitant to offer up my approach at all. In fact, I think I've posted how I would do what you are trying to do as a counterpoint to your ideas. If you have anything in particular or specific, please feel free to ask. I'm not at all sure what you mean by reference to some "approach to this" outside of what I've already said.

Quote:
Gaxicus, maybe you can find some of the information you are looking for at these sites.
FYI, the university site is about 10 years old, so much of the info there is rather dated.

Last edited by David Armstrong; February 11, 2009 at 01:28 PM.
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Old February 11, 2009, 04:35 PM   #100
Vanya
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Interesting, thought-provoking thread.

Pax, thank you for doing such a fine job of pulling this one back from the realm of anatomical invective -- I was a little surprised to see it still open today. And thanks to all who've responded intelligently to each other's points of view.

I've been following this from the perspective of a fairly new (5 years or so) gun owner, one who has struggled a lot with the issues raised here. I think Pax has it exactly right when she stresses the need to think in terms of self-defense -- survival, not killing someone, is the primary objective.

But the words we use do matter: they influence how we think and how others see us. And a term like "predator killer"... I dunno, it sounds sort of like we're not talking about actual human beings any more, but some sort of animals. "Predators" is a popular term, around here, for "bad guys," violent criminals -- I've used it that way myself. But I'm wondering right now if this is a way of dehumanizing people we see as dangerous, and if so, is that a good idea?

As a potential student rather than an instructor, I don't think I'd want to take any kind of self-defense training that encouraged me to think of a person who threatens me, no matter what he does, as less than human. OK, a rotten one, maybe -- but still a human being. I will do what I have to do to keep myself from being a victim, but it's the hell of a responsibility: I really, sincerely hope I never have to shoot someone in self-defense, no matter how much justification there is, and I don't think I want to try to "prepare myself" by thinking about potential attackers as less than human.
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