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Old September 16, 2011, 12:29 AM   #1
Datguy781
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Steel Courage

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After reading several "it happend to me" stories in magazines and online I have noticed a trend of "steel courage". What I mean is that people losing common sense because they are carrying; I will elaborate.

EX: I was walking to the store and noticed a questionable group of youths down the street, the same street I usually take to the store. I could have taken a slightly more scenic route and avoided the group all together but I decided not to because (insert foolish reason here). As I walked by the group of youths began slandering me and threatning me. I got nervous and reached for my (insert brand here).

Finish the scenario how ever you prefer. My point is that if this fictional individual is not carrying they would have easily taken the high road. I think its a foolish idea to have this mentality. You would be placing yourself in tactical disadvantage in court. Is it just me but has anyone else read some stories where "steel courage" caused the ccw holder to make poor decisions?
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Old September 16, 2011, 07:02 AM   #2
AK103K
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Personally, I think having a gun along tends to make you more tolerant and apt to avoid things than it does give you this "steel courage" thing.

Then again, if youre carrying that gun for insecurity reasons....

There was a time I used to read Combat Handguns, but that "It happened to me" column just aggravated the hell outta me, and one of the main reasons I rarely read it anymore. Most of those little "stories" remind me of a mall cop, volunteer fireman attitude. "Look at me, look at me!, Im imporatant!"
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Old September 16, 2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
My point is that if this fictional individual is not carrying they would have easily taken the high road.
Personally, I do not believe that any ordinary, law-abiding citizen minding their own business should have to alter their behavior in any way in order to avoid being hassled, assaulted, robbed, raped, (insert offense here). As many often forget, a crime is the fault of the criminal who perpetrates it.

Having stated my personal belief, is it a tactically sound idea to cross the street to avoid the hypothetical group? Yup, sure is. From a combat standpoint, you are increasing the distance between yourself and possible threats and from a legal standpoint you attempted to avoid any possibility of a confrontation.

As I am realizing more and more, the responsibility of carrying a weapon comes with a lot of pride swallowing.
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Old September 16, 2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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Having a gun, and/or carrying one, comes with the responsibility to use it only when necessary. If I can 'safely' manipulate the situation to make it less likely that I will have to use it, or even not use it at all, I will do so. I am referring to normal ccw while out and about.
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Old September 16, 2011, 08:48 AM   #5
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EX: I was hanging around an Atlanta 7-11 store late at night, proudly displaying my open carry, and holding the door open for people, when a guy I opened the door for, didn't thank me properly.

So I decided to pester him about his lack of manners, then I became hostile and began to beligerently badger him and followed him to his car when he left the store - vociferously berating him all the while when all of a sudden

BLAM

He shot me!
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Old September 16, 2011, 08:57 AM   #6
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Using a gun, even in a case of justified self defense, invites a civil suit that will cost at least $40-50K just to defend ......... it is the proverbial nuclear hand-grenade for most people....... likely to ruin them financially ...... but better to be broke than dead.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:27 AM   #7
Pbearperry
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carrying a gun

I teach firearm safety for folks wanting to get their gun permits.During the class,I always stress trying to avoid bad things.Distance from a bad situation will always be your friend.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:29 AM   #8
motorhead0922
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mall cop, volunteer fireman attitude
AK103K, is there any particular reason you chose this opportunity to put down every volunteer fireman in this country? Security guards need jobs too.

Out of line.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:41 AM   #9
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Ditto.
If one knows not of what they speak, then...well you get the picture.

I, for one, would appreciate a retraction of that statement.

Ken
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:50 AM   #10
Archer 9505
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No Steel Courage Here

"Personally, I do not believe that any ordinary, law-abiding citizen minding their own business should have to alter their behavior in any way in order to avoid being hassled, assaulted, robbed, raped, (insert offense here). As many often forget, a crime is the fault of the criminal who perpetrates it." - stresssfire

In theory I agree. In practice I go out of my way to avoid trouble. I have the opposite of steel courage. I know that using my firearm is going to open up a huge can of worms. I am a private, mind my own and you mind yours kind of guy. Even if justified, if I pull the trigger there will be cops, lawyers, prosecutors, news media etc. sticking their noses into every corner of my life. I don't want to pull my firearm and definitely don't want to pull the trigger. I will do so only when cornered in a situation that leaves me no alternative.

Heads up, situational awareness, listen to my inner voice (the gift of fear) and avoidance are my preferred means of self defense. The best way to win a fight is to avoid the necessity to fight. I will take the scenic route every time.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:52 AM   #11
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"Look at me, look at me!, I'm important!"
How is that different from any self-defense writings? Most writers of self-defense publications cite particular instances and stories in order to illustrate their points.

I don't think its such a matter of "Hey, hey, I want attention!" as it is, this is what happened, this is what I did, hopefully you learn from it.

Of those that I have read, in Combat Handguns, many first person narations are worded much as posters on this forum have stated their "it happened to me" scenarios in this very section.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:55 AM   #12
AK103K
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I, for one, would appreciate a retraction of that statement.
Oh, dont go getting your panties in a twist.

Maybe it was a little to broad a statement, but a total retraction you wont get, as from my experience, it applies to a lot of them, and not necessarily just the volunteers.

It wasnt meant to disparage those who do it for the right reasons, but unfortunately, many of the more "visible" ones are the ones of which I speak.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:59 AM   #13
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steel courage

I for one feel as though carrying a gun makes me way more vigilant and way more responsible than I was when I didn't carry one for the following reasons....

I go out drinking way less (not that I was a drunk before)

I never ever confront anyone in public even if they deserve it.

If if I feel I may have to use what I am carrying I carry it in the opposite direction.

I drive more carefully because I don't want to do the whole traffic stop while carrying routine. (again wasn't a terrible driver before but I had a led foot)

In short I am the more reserved version of myself which seems to have come with maturity and age. This has translated into other aspects of my personality and I believe the change has been for the better.

As for the fire fighter thing ANY ONE OF THEM WOULD DIE FOR YOU AT ANY POINT IN TIME WITHOUT EVER HAVING MET YOU

Then again I do know the attitude you are referring to. Some of them fire up their lights just to get out of traffic. We are lucky around here because I haven't met one of the barn burner mentality yet. But the town where I was born had its fair share of that going on.

Kind Regards, Vermonter
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Old September 16, 2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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Ditto what Archer wrote. Well said.
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Old September 16, 2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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I have yet to see a documented incident or case of a legally carrying CCW'er who displayed "steel courage" where the mere act of carrying a firearm prompted an other than reasonable reaction leading to an altercation or shooting. If there is a trend, I'd like to see proof.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old September 16, 2011, 12:52 PM   #16
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By avoiding trouble, you are at the same time avoiding potential confrontation with the police and the local district attorney arising from your actions. Trust me, there is some desirability in this.

But if trouble is unavoidable, I recommend you trust in the judicial system and exercise that steel courage when necessary.
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Old September 16, 2011, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Personally, I do not believe that any ordinary, law-abiding citizen minding their own business should have to alter their behavior in any way in order to avoid being hassled, assaulted, robbed, raped, (insert offense here). As many often forget, a crime is the fault of the criminal who perpetrates it.
In theory I'm in complete agreement with the above, but we don't live in a perfect world. My theory is I see no need to look for trouble and never trouble that could lead to violence; if that means I have to drive a block of two out of my way to get where I need to go so be it. Yet I will not let anyone stop me from conducting my normal business when I need to. I.e on Friday and Saturday nights there is a loud and robust crowd of young adults(?) who hang out near the movie section of the mall near our home. If I need to go to the mall I use an entrance away from their location, yet if I want to go to a movie I go, and I will not let their behavior stop me!! When I go I don't always carry a gun, but I always have my hardwood cane with me.

Perhaps I am guilty of wooden courage..
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Old September 16, 2011, 02:16 PM   #18
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volunteer fireman attitude. "Look at me, look at me!, Im imporatant!"
I resent that.

I drop what I'm doing to run and go help people at any hour of the day or night I am able. In return, I have been thrown up on, assaulted, have worked myself to heat exhaustion ....... all to help people that, in general, were doing stupid things .......

I don't ask for any recognition from the public (I prefer recognition from my peers-they KNOW.). I do it because I live in a small town, and if I did not do it who would? My daughter needed help when she was 3, and 1/2 a dozen folks rolled outa bed at 3 AM and were at my house inside of 5 minutes with an ambulance and a plan.

I don't need any recognition, but don't dis all those people who put in a lot of time and put up with so much BS ...... put on some turn-out gear and serve a couple of years ...... then you can talk about "Look at me!" attitudes.
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Old September 16, 2011, 02:54 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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The following applies to non-lawenforcement personnel, and does not apply where the rescue of helpless or innocents may be necessary:

Logic dictates that any sane person will avoid trouble whenever possible.

Further, logic dictates that a person who is armed will go to even greater lengths to avoid trouble.

There are moral arguments to be made as well but they're frankly unnecessary.

If you see potential trouble, you avoid it when possible. You prepare and plan for when avoidance is NOT possible.

Anything else is foolish and irresponsible.
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Old September 16, 2011, 03:38 PM   #20
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I can say for myself that my gun in no way makes me feel secure. I do not find it comforting either. It simply gives me a tool to fight back with if I am attacked. When it is a situation where drawing my handgun becomes necessary I am already behind the curve on things.

In short I know from personal experience that crap happens. As a teenager I was stabbed, the guys later tracked me down, and confronted me at a gas station. Then later did a drive by shooting on our home. (Luckily no one was home, and no one was injured.) The perps were caught, and sent to prision.

My gun only comes out in the event that I am threatend with an immeneint attack, or am being attacked. My handgun is not a magic wand that will make someone that scares me crap themselves, and run away. It is the tool I train with to defend my life with in the event of above stated reasons.
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Old September 16, 2011, 03:49 PM   #21
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I think its a foolish idea to have this mentality
As do I. If Isaw a lion in my path I would surely avoid it no matter what I have in my hand or in my holster.

Avoidance is first and foremost in my armory, why go to a place where the possibility of hurt is high?

Jimbob what dept you with? We are Crescent IA VFD and i have yet to see one with the attitude mentioned by another. Most will give their life to save another.
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Old September 16, 2011, 04:39 PM   #22
William Gilmore
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The very first thing our firearms instructor at the Police Academy told us is,"A gun will get you into trouble ten times faster than it will get you out of trouble."

I carried for many years (I don't anymore) I only drew my gun once, when I was attacked by a dog. No report was filed and I left expeditiously. The dog died.

I made a firm resolution that if I drew my gun it was going to come out smoking. A gun is for shooting, not intimidation or show. My Dad once told me: "Never play craps on a blanket, never use the others guys dice, and never bluff with a gun." I always thought he was a smart man so I believed him.

If you carry a gun to make yourself powerful, tough, or safe, give it up, those are the wrong reasons to carry. There is no safety on this world, it is in your mind, will, and reason.
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Old September 16, 2011, 05:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Personally, I do not believe that any ordinary, law-abiding citizen minding their own business should have to alter their behavior in any way in order to avoid being hassled, assaulted, robbed, raped, (insert offense here). As many often forget, a crime is the fault of the criminal who perpetrates it.
AMEN Stressfire.

I' never ran from anything in my life (carrying or not) and I don't intend to start now.

Guess its the "Paratrooper" in me. Just step out the door and do what you have to do.
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Old September 16, 2011, 06:51 PM   #24
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I do it because I live in a small town, and if I did not do it who would?
An admirable stance, jimbob86, a bonded sense of community becoming more and more obsolete in this country. Still prevalent in many rural areas and some cloistered urban areas. But disappearing more and more. Especially in the small towns and the countryside with the onset of the methamphetamine epidemic combined with the recent price increases for scrap metal.



Quote:
"A gun will get you into trouble ten times faster than it will get you out of trouble."
The above is a discredit to America. Unfortunately, it is true.
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Old September 16, 2011, 07:27 PM   #25
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I haven't read of any incidents of "steel courage" to tell the truth. Maybe I'm just not remembering any if I have, but I can't remember any. I haven't heard of any stories of my peers having that feeling when they've carried either. As a matter of fact, when I've asked them if they felt any safer they said that they felt reassured that they had something to defend themselves with, but they didn't feel invincible either.

The peers I'm talking about are all Marine officers. We actually discussed it together when I was trying to figure out what handgun I might like for CCW when I applied for it. We all agreed on these things:
-It's foolish to look for trouble
-If a fight can be avoided, then it should be
-Never draw a weapon unless it's intended to be used
-Lethal force is a last option
-Your actions need to be justified in court

They didn't feel any braver for carrying, just more ready to defend themselves if their lives were on the line. Similarly, I don't feel any braver at home for having loaded firearms ready, but I do feel I can defend it better than when I didn't have them.
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