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Old July 22, 2013, 10:48 PM   #26
Frank Ettin
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Let's remember that the mindset is neither shoot-to-kill nor shoot-to-wound. It is shoot-to-stop.

The reality is that effectively stopping an assailant who has manifest the intent and ability to cause you death or great bodily injury will most likely require that you use a degree of force likely to cause death or great bodily injury. But that is not the same thing as intending to kill.

While your intent is to stop and not kill, the reality is that using force effectively to stop an assailant may very well cause his death. One needs to be able to accept that might be the result of his efforts to protect himself.
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Old July 23, 2013, 12:31 PM   #27
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Frank has it exactly right -- and there is an important mindset component to the "shoot to stop / wound / kill" discussion.

Almost every class, during the legal component of my material, I have a student ask me about shooting to wound. After a little back and forth, it almost always comes out that the question is driven by a reluctance to really face the reality of using a deadly weapon in self defense. They just don't want to risk killing anyone. In those cases, I look the student in the eye and say, "If you are not willing to face the idea of killing the attacker in order to save an innocent life, then a firearm is not the right tool for you to use in self defense. That's because firearms are deadly weapons. The law recognizes that these are per-se deadly weapons because there is a high risk of killing or crippling someone for life no matter where you aim on their body..."

Another mindset-related question that often comes up, driven by the same reluctance: "Can I use the gun to, you know, just tell someone to go away and leave me alone?" The reluctance behind this question is almost palpable, and it's driven by the same squeamishness that drives the shoot-to-wound query. Setting aside the legal and tactical considerations (there are many!), the mindset answer boils down to a surprising paradox: Successful violent criminals are really, really, really good at reading body language. If you're not absolutely committed to using the gun, if you're not willing to fire, the criminal will read that on your face and in your body and you will very likely have to shoot in order to save your own life. But if you are committed to action, the criminal will read that and is more likely -- no guarantee, but more likely! -- to run away. And that's the paradox. Criminals are less likely to attack those who are fully committed to defending themselves, and more likely to attack those who are not.

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Old July 23, 2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
...Successful violent criminals are really, really, really good at reading body language. If you're not absolutely committed to using the gun, if you're not willing to fire, the criminal will read that on your face and in your body and you will very likely have to shoot in order to save your own life. But if you are committed to action, the criminal will read that and is more likely -- no guarantee, but more likely! -- to run away...
An excellent point, and it echos something that Massad Ayoob frequently mentions. To paraphrase:
Quote:
Criminals aren't afraid of the gun. They are afraid of the person who both has the gun and is obviously ready to use it immediately and effectively.
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Old August 1, 2013, 03:53 AM   #29
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I was once in a K-Mart - in a time and place long before CCW was an option - when I noticed a group of 6 - 7 young guys walking through the store that just didn't look right. I told my wife I would be waiting in the car - where I had my 1911. Events after that proved that they were looking for "prey".

Playing it back in my head later I realized that what seemed wrong was the fact that they had walked by 3 rather attractive women without showing any signs of noticing them. I subconsciously recognized that they were looking for something other than merchandise.
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Old August 1, 2013, 09:56 AM   #30
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I don't get this. Why wait in the car? Was the wife still in WalMart?

If you thought there might be an incident - why not leave rather than stay for the gun fight?
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Old August 1, 2013, 11:29 AM   #31
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I think my biggest beef with the uninformed and the concept of mindset is that it's to hard or strenuous and it just means someone is paranoid. I don't see it that way at all. I am a curious person, and I watch people around me and pay attention to my surrondings because I find it intresting. ... I guess my side note on maintaining a good mindset and alertness is that it's not this hard thing to be struggled with. It's a means to be more aware of the world you live in, GOOD and bad.
It seems difficult because we are not training ourselves to be really living. How often are we reminded to take time and smell the roses. And few ever think the smell of that rose could actually save your life. It really IS interesting to practice awareness of surroundings. You can learn all kinds of things. And in addition to saving your life, you can also come out of it with more enjoyment of life.

There's not one of us that wouldn't appreciate knowing about a bad situation long before it happened. And many times, the data to determine that is right before us, just waiting to get plugged into our computer (brain).

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Old August 2, 2013, 03:39 AM   #32
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"I don't get this. Why wait in the car? Was the wife still in WalMart? "

There wasn't anything overt enough to call police or even tell the wife something was wrong. It was just a subconscious feeling that they were up to something.

I went out to the car so I could arm myself in case they were hanging around outside when my wife came out. I didn't want to wait until they were already outside.

It turned out that they followed me - but far enough back that I was in my car and armed before they passed by. A few seconds later the guy they sent to circle back popped up behind my car in time to see me checking the chamber of my 1911. He ran back to where his buddies were waiting and they all took off in a different direction.
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Old August 2, 2013, 10:46 AM   #33
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A very interesting conversation, and topic that we all need to examine and understand. I think Pax's point about confidence and willingness is the core issue of this discussion. Situational awareness and tactical skills are essential to an attitude that speaks louder than words. I am not talking about the false bravado that tries to mask fear and insecurity or the macho chest thumping of the lower primate; but the attitude that says, "I am not a victim, leave me alone."

Most of us have seen and experienced situations where calmly, and confidently dealing with aggressors has prevented trouble. There is no substitute for that.
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Old August 2, 2013, 11:49 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluestarlizard

I think my biggest beef with the uninformed and the concept of mindset is that it's to hard or strenuous and it just means someone is paranoid. I don't see it that way at all. I am a curious person, and I watch people around me and pay attention to my surrondings because I find it intresting. ... I guess my side note on maintaining a good mindset and alertness is that it's not this hard thing to be struggled with. It's a means to be more aware of the world you live in, GOOD and bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louca

It seems difficult because we are not training ourselves to be really living. How often are we reminded to take time and smell the roses. And few ever think the smell of that rose could actually save your life. It really IS interesting to practice awareness of surroundings. You can learn all kinds of things. And in addition to saving your life, you can also come out of it with more enjoyment of life.
Right on, both of you.

So many people talk about paying attention to the world around you as if it's some weird, paranoid, scary, "tactical" thing. It is not! It is making the decision to live consciously. To be fully present in every moment. To listen, and really hear. To look, and really see. To be completely there in the world.

It's a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac

Situational awareness and tactical skills are essential to an attitude that speaks louder than words. I am not talking about the false bravado that tries to mask fear and insecurity or the macho chest thumping of the lower primate; but the attitude that says, "I am not a victim, leave me alone."

Most of us have seen and experienced situations where calmly, and confidently dealing with aggressors has prevented trouble. There is no substitute for that.
Good points.

These skills do help us protect ourselves from violent crime, no doubt about that. But they are also very basic, very worthwhile skills for living well -- living with confidence, living with awareness, living with full knowledge of who you are and what you can do and how you fit into the world.

The decision that your life is worth defending marks an important milestone on the path to living at peace inside your own skin. Most people never consciously decide what's worth living for, what's worth fighting for, what's worth dying for, but you have. It settles your mind in a way that those who have never examined that choice never will know.

The commitment to really see things that are really there -- not to turn away in disgust or fear of the things we don't understand, not to miss seeing the fragile moments of beauty, not to skim busily past the humor or the pathos of life around us -- that commitment marks a big milestone on the path to full consciousness. Most people go through life half-asleep, and you just made the decision to wake up.

Deciding that you will act means you believe you have agency, that the things you do really matter and make a difference, that you fully own your own power and your own choices -- and that's the major milestone on the path to adulthood.

Taking time to master (not just learn, but master) the skills you may need to protect yourself and the people you love -- that's turning away from posturing or posing, and turning toward full responsibility for yourself and your choices. Acquiring the physical skills teaches you something about the limits of those skills and your willingness to use them. It helps you make better and more responsible choices throughout the rest of your life.

All of these things really do make us better prepared to defend our own physical selves. But better than that, they help us fully live.

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Old August 2, 2013, 12:08 PM   #35
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Beautifully said Pax. You should consider teaching...
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Old August 2, 2013, 01:20 PM   #36
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Successful violent criminals are really, really, really good at reading body language. If you're not absolutely committed to using the gun, if you're not willing to fire, the criminal will read that on your face and in your body and you will very likely have to shoot in order to save your own life. But if you are committed to action, the criminal will read that
This is the reason I don't advocate that everyone should have a CCW permit or even own a gun at all (for self defense purposes). I'm really into guns, however, my mom is not. She's asked me if I think she should have a gun for safety and I've told her absolutely not. While I fear how she would fair in a given violent encounter, I'm quite confident she wouldn't pull the trigger and would only make the situation worse if she even pulled out the gun to begin with. I'm sure I couldn't live with myself if I told her to get a gun and then it ended up being used on her instead.

Personally, the primary "mindset" should be avoiding/removing yourself from potential confrontations (like someone said, humility can be a huge de-escalator). However, if it comes down to me or them, I'm the one that plans to go home at the end of the day.
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Old August 2, 2013, 05:08 PM   #37
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Move first

In almost any threatening situation, your first thought should be "Move!".

If within contact distance, move INTO the threat (offline) and strike.
If within Tueller distance, move off the line of attack and present arms.
If outside that distance, move to retreat or cover.

After you are moving, you can think about what next.
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Old August 5, 2013, 08:18 AM   #38
Lee Lapin
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Good thread - thanks for the contributions.

Mindset is a complex thing, to be summed up in one simple word.

If I had to boil it down to one thing, I think it's a point Kathy already made (no surprise there.) That point being 'living in the moment.' ANY time a person is armed, they need to be fully in the moment, awake and aware.

Beyond that, it's the willingness to do significant violence when necessary. It's hard for a lot of people to shift their thought and behavior patterns from "nice person" mode into "killer" mode, and in fact is should be difficult. But the transition has to be mastered.

I've suggested Cooper's little book (Principles of Personal Defense) for decades, and have bought dozens of copies through the years (they keep disappearing somehow). I have yet to find anything better to introduce someone to the defensive mindset.
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Old August 5, 2013, 07:36 PM   #39
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"shoot to stop" vs "shoot to kill"....

While I agree the main point of carrying a sidearm or learning how to properly use it is the "shoot to stop" mindset, I think there is value in reinforcement of the use of lethal force when carrying a firearm.
Students or armed citizens should not think they can draw a handgun & "wound" a violent attacker in a split second. They should train & be fully prepared to deploy lethal force if required to stop a attack.
I'm not saying you stand over a felon & go to slide-lock with a pistol but you shouldn't get the delusion that you can "wing" a bad guy or shoot the knife/gun out of their hand like some B movie cowboy.

Years ago, I watched a cable documentary where a young woman was taking a gun class. On the range she was aiming at the head of the target. She explained to her instructor that she wanted to make "lethal shots". The gun class instructor(correctly) explained to the armed citizen that the human head is a small, narrow target & easy to miss. He also said the point of carrying a weapon is to defend yourself not to kill people.
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Old August 14, 2013, 05:25 PM   #40
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In fights people do what they have trained to do. You have no time to think and ponder, even if a person did are they really going to think "ahhh hmmm, shoot to stop yes that is what we do in situations like this" ???

You train to put 2 in the chest and it becomes muscle memory you draw and you will probably put 2 in the chest.

Untrained people are constantly shooting people in the legs and abdominal region they have no training only "I will shoot them"

I have never been in a all out gun fight but a good number of kickboxing and mma fights when you are at it -you just do-. Muscle memory/training.
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Old August 14, 2013, 05:34 PM   #41
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IIRC, even trained folks shoot low. The reasons being that:

1. They start to fire too early under stress.
2. They apply extreme pressure to the trigger under stress, yanking the gun down.

Because of this, some trainers say to take advantage of this in what's called the zipper technique.

In a training session, we had a drill where you stood in the center of 4 opponents (airsoft guns) and one would be the shooter at you. You had to respond. Many of the shots from trained folks where at the navel level or below. Ouch, they stung close up.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:18 PM   #42
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Quote:
Untrained people are constantly shooting people in the legs and abdominal region they have no training only "I will shoot them"
They are?


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Old August 15, 2013, 09:20 AM   #43
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Quote:
buckshot00- Untrained people are constantly shooting people in the legs and abdominal region they have no training only "I will shoot them"
Quote:
SgtLumpy- They are?
More then half of the shootings I ear and read about the "victim" goes to the hospital and gets "treated for gunshot wounds". 2 in the chest is usually the "victim was pronounced dead".

I have heard reports of many gangbangers getting shot in the legs and abdominal region, this could be due to the sensitive nature of gangbangers not wanting rounds hitting bystanders but my guess is poor training.

You average gang related shooting has a very poor kill ratio.
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:23 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshot00
....Untrained people are constantly shooting people in the legs and abdominal region they have no training only "I will shoot them"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshot00
...I have heard reports of many gangbangers getting shot in the legs and abdominal region,...
How about some actual evidence.

"I think" or "I've heard" doesn't mean anything without known expertise, established credibility and actual evidence.
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:09 AM   #45
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You average gang related shooting has a very poor kill ratio.
Our gangs here in Phoenix have got it goin' on. They kill each other regularly.

Do you think, for some reason, that gang bangers don't train?


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Old August 15, 2013, 11:19 AM   #46
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More then half of the shootings I ear and read about the "victim" goes to the hospital and gets "treated for gunshot wounds". 2 in the chest is usually the "victim was pronounced dead".
The first sentence is undoubtedly true. In most cities, more than 80% of people shot with a handgun survive. In some cities that number is as high as 95% survival rate. Handguns are not that efficient at killing people.

Your second sentence is not necessarily true. Granted that two in the chest are more likely to kill someone than two in the big toe. However, people with multiple shots in the chest survive all the time. See above.

Good thing that the ultimate goal is to STOP the assailant, not necessarily to kill them. Handguns are very good at that.

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Old August 15, 2013, 12:30 PM   #47
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Posted by buckshot00: More then half of the shootings I ear and read about the "victim" goes to the hospital and gets "treated for gunshot wounds". 2 in the chest is usually the "victim was pronounced dead".
Pax addressed that one.

I would not conclude that lung shots are any more likely to be fatal than shots to leg arteries.

Quote:
I have heard reports of many gangbangers getting shot in the legs and abdominal region... my guess is poor training.
Are you aware of this?

A relevant excerpt:
Quote:
Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything."
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Old August 15, 2013, 03:37 PM   #48
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Oldmarksman, good link. Read the whole thing.

All it boils down to in that link is the fact that offenders have the drop on the victims most of the time. So the 70% hit rate they have over the victim's 40% hit rate, is in my opinion not a matter of skill. It's more a matter of them always having the upper hand in choosing their victim and drawing their weapon first.

It is sad how this new generation of criminals is noticeably more cold blooded in general.
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Old August 15, 2013, 06:25 PM   #49
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All it boils down to in that link is the fact that offenders have the drop on the victims most of the time.
In self defense, aggressors always have the luxury of the initiative. They know what they intend to do and to whom and when and where before they even draw a weapon. They may not always "have the drop", but the defender has no business pulling a gun unless he or she is clearly faced with imminent danger.

Quote:
So the 70% hit rate they have over the victim's 40% hit rate, is in my opinion not a matter of skill. It's more a matter of them always having the upper hand in choosing their victim and drawing their weapon first.
"More a matter" is a matter of degree, but if a 40% of violent criminal actors have had formal training and 80% do practice regularly, I would not completely discount the "matter of skill."

And the study does rather convincingly debunk the assumption of "poor training."

Not that much training is needed at bad breath distance....
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:33 PM   #50
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Mindset

I completely agree. The level of training required to be a sufficient defender is much more vigorous to be adequate than it is to be on the offense end.


What I disagree with is the notion that notice training is needed at bad breath distance.
It's actually quite the opposite. Farther is shooting and taking cover, with a retreat option.

Bad breath distance is actually more difficult training to prepare for. Too many different things are able to happen. It's more for a fight. It's the "fight" in the term "gun fight".
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