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Old December 18, 2012, 08:17 PM   #30
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,489
I would simply feel awful if I knew I could have helped the victims but didn't (which may or may not be the case, depending on incident specifics).
Me too. It's one thing that's driven me to seek good training, and then to turn around and teach others. I never want to be in a position where I could have helped, if only I hadn't been too proud to seek instruction early on. If I'm ever in a fight for my life, I want to be so well-practiced with my lifesaving rescue equipment that I can think about solving the problem, instead of wasting precious mental energy trying to remember how to run the gun. I'm frankly appalled at the number of people who say they'd be willing to jump in, but who aren't willing to do even a minimum level of preparation that would make it more likely that their intervention would be successful. It's ... sad.

Although I beat the drum of preparedness and practice, I'm also aware that stuff happens.

Three years ago, during an LFI class held at the Firearms Academy of Seattle in Washington state, Mas Ayoob brought in a guest lecturer. This honored guest was one of the nicest guys I've met in years -- very soft spoken, very kind, very gentlemanly. I loved getting to know him during the class. He was also a heluva good shot, having put a mass murderer down at a measured 70 yards using a handgun he had literally never fired before. (He was, of course, well-practiced with similar guns, but he had never shot that particular gun until he needed to do so under extreme stress.)

Mas calls it "one of the most remarkable feats of marksmanship in modern times," and it was.

You can hear him tell his story here: Definitely worth listening to, if you have the time.

As you listen, pay particular attention to what that man found most difficult after he saved lives that day. It was that, in all of his physical and mental preparation, he had never considered what might happen if he stopped an attacker ... but was too late to save every life. He was undoubtedly and unquestionably a hero, but the lost lives still ate at him.

It's good to be realistic about possibilities. Don't let them paralyze you, but don't engage in unrealistic fantasies either. Learn as much as you can. Then consider your own priorities, count the cost, make your choice.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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