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Old April 11, 2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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What can we learn from Florida?

At this point, we can only speculate about what happened in the Trayvon Martin shooting, which leads no where. We do not know the facts and none of us were there. Therefore I will stay away from the specifics and the specualtions. However, from a tactical point of view, it seems like we can learn a lot from this case.

For instance, having a gun does not make one invincible. I have not see Bill Cosby's direct quotes, but he mentioned that some people think a gun empowers them to do things they would not normally do. All of us that carry ought to think carefully about that concept. Too many times a gun makes us feel "tougher" and we act more aggressively. From a tactical standpoint, having a gun should not make us more aggressive. If we find ourselves going places and doing things that we would not do without a gun, perhaps we need to rethink our strategy. We should perhaps stay inside our car instead of getting out; we should perhaps stay inside our house instead of racing outside to investigate; perhaps we should stay hidden rather than reveal our position. Having a gun does not make us invincible.

Another thing we may need to think carefully about is our appearance and how we behave. Our appearance conveys a message to people. If we dress a certain way, it conveys a different message to different people. For instance, wearing a leather jacket and riding a Harley motorcylce can intimidate certain people and will put them on the defensive. Am I saying that no one should ever wear leather jackets and ride a Harely? Absolutely not! But I am saying that we need to be mindful of the way we dress and how we act - these affect how people PERCEIVE us. Sadly, perceptions can be very wrong. But as wrong as someone's perception may be, there perception affects how they will react to certain situations. As an example, when I see three or four young men hanging around a place, my perception is that they MIGHT be up to no good. In fact, they may just be waiting for a friend to join them as they go volunteer at an orphanage. But my perception is that a possible danger lurks nearby, and I become defensive. Should one of those young men approach me and ask for a contribution for their orphan work, I would be less likely to donate than if an elderly lady approached me and used the same exact words. As an example, when I was in college, I left the computer lab late one winter evening and put on my black jacket and my black gloves as I walked across the campus (around 10:00 pm). As I walked along, I noticed that I was going to intersect a young lady walking across campus alone. When she noticed me 25 yards away and walking fast (I was hurrying home), she almost dropped her books! Here I was, walking rapidly and wearing a black jacket and black gloves, and she PERCEIVED that I might be a danger. Rather than frighten her any more, I immediately stopped and tied my shoe; Ishe practically ran past the intersection point and hurried off into the night! We ought to be mindful of our appearance and our behavior.

Another lesson we might want to consider is our willingness to engage in confrontations. The first two issues come into play here. We do not know the other person and we do not know their perception of us. Our willingness to engage another person may intimidate them and put them on the defensive if their perception of us is negative. IF we chose to confront someone, we should carefully consider our approach and be wary of their response. Perhaps we would be better off not confronting someone over a parking spot or a driving infraction. I have seen videos of people getting cut off while driving; the individual who got cut off then follows the offender, waits until the driver exits his vehicle and leaves, and then damages the offender's car! This kind of behavior can get a person killed!

These are three lessons that I have learned from the Florida incident. Without discussing the Florida incident, what other lessons can we learn?
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Well that is pretty deep. I think you made alot of strong points and I totally agree. I have no input other than good job. I never thought of it that way. I don't carry (not old enough) but I will keep this in mind when I do.
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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short version

Treat everyone you meet as though you were going to meet them everyday for the rest of your life,

but always keep in mind,

you someday may have to kill them.

If you want peace, prepare for war.
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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I think a better lesson to be learned is, never get out of the car.

There are other lessons, but you probably are intending this to be a law abiding scenario, and not include such time honored traditions as "drop guns."
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Old April 11, 2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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I suppose you're correct. We may go to war with our neighbors. "Someday you may want to kill them."

Is that the way it is these days?

I think there is another trend that goes along with this. It is the gated community mindset. There seems to be the idea that you can wall off yourself from the rest of the world and literally privatize yourself. It means that the law no longer means anything. Private rules are all that matter. The rule of an elected government has been usurped. In fact, the rules of private organizations like home owner's associations tend to be much stricter than public law. I'm not sure this is all a good thing.

There also is the mindset that having a gun makes you a deputized member of the law enforcement community in some way. To be sure, you are enabled and empowered but you are not authorized. You have no police powers no more than you have the power to bring someone back from the dead.
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Old April 11, 2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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I tend to agree. Having a weapon is a means to get OUT of a bad situation. It does not give you any more right or reason to get yourself INTO a bad situation.
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Old April 11, 2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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Discretion is vital,,,

Observe and Report does not mean Follow and Confront.


Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old April 11, 2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I may be a little different than some folks, but I have found myself to be less aggressive since I started carrying a firearm on a regular basis. For instance the other day as I was driving someone started tailgating me and when I slowed to turn they gave me the “you're number one” sign. In the past I might have returned the gesture, but this time as soon as the incident occurred the first thing I thought was – you have a gun. I did not think this because I felt empowered to be aggressive, but just the opposite that I need to do my best to avoid situations that might result in me being forced to use the gun.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
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Old April 11, 2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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We don't have carry in Illinois, but if we ever do get it - one thing I am going to make certain of is that our neighborhood crime watch people have strict guidelines - or maybe even drop the neighborhood crime watch.

If you belong to a home owner's association and the crime watch is formed by the association, then this is an issue that you as a member of that association better be aware of and involved in.

I do think a lessons learned takeaway though for members of a HOA - you should be sure what the guidelines are for members of your nieghborhood crime watch, and be certain of who is on that watch.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; April 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM. Reason: delete off topic material
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Old April 11, 2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Another thing that can be learned from this issue has to do with the homeowner assocation itself and belonging to one. I realize my post here is not firearm related per se, but people, as members of a homeowner association, can be held liable for lawsuits against such association. early on in the opening days of the issue in Fla, there was a news article about what happens if the Martin family sues and wins. It was reported that in another lawsuit, the homeowner association lost and each and every member (read that household) of the association had to contribute (actually was legally forced to pony up) $7000.00 as their share of the award.

While a person may not agree with every policy or implied policy/action/etc of a homeowner association, by moving in a joining such, you can be deemed guilty by association (no pun intended).
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Old April 11, 2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Never, but never, assume that the legal process will afford you innocence until proven guilty, even though it is supposed to.

Never trust that the legal process will provide you a fair and balanced trial.

Make logical and rational decisions, even in a SD situation.

Don't share your personal observations, opinions, or telegraph your beliefs on social media for all the world to see (and later dissect).

Learn to keep your mouth shut. Listen more than talk.

Trust no one.
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Old April 11, 2012, 04:18 PM   #12
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Have to agree with Aarond.

And as another poster above noted, CCW imposes a higher degree of responsibility and maturity because of the increased potential of serious harm.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; April 11, 2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: delete off topic material
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Old April 11, 2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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First, the Stand your Ground Laws are new and will be challenged in court. period, that is the nature of new laws.

Second, keep your distance from suspicious characters--they might just be football players who can move faster than you!

Third, SYG, etc. are a direct assault on the ``rights`` and welfare of the urban underclass and their political representatives and they know it.

Fourth, when attached, the underclass rallies around it's own. When attached, normal folks hide, snivel, and nit-pick their own.

Net, net, welcome to the elections of 2012.
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Old April 11, 2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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Please be careful

Until we know the facts of the Trayvon Martin case, we cannot apply specific tactics to the specific situation. To keep this thread from getting locked, please refrain from discussing that situation. And while we have our own opinions concerning the politics involved, there are few tactics that we can apply to politics!

So what lessons have you learned? What principles have you taken away from the situation? I believe someone stated a frightening principle - just because we feel justified in shooting someone in self-defense, what will a district attorney say, and what will a jury of our peers say if we go to trial?
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Old April 11, 2012, 06:08 PM   #15
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Certainly, we can learn that as a home owners association member myself with some recent break ins, we are looking at setting up a neighborhood watch as well. I will be sure to have rules and regulations in the neighborhood watch that make an observation only watch even though many carry up in that part of Idaho. The way law suits go, I don't want to have to cough up thousands of dollars for some creep or his family if some sort of incident were to occur.

On the other hand, they are now targeting what had been a very nice and safe neighborhood and we need to respond in some manner to their provocation. They recently broke into 4-5 RVs and a few houses unoccupied in the winter months. First time that has happened in this well established neighborhood.

But following and confronting folks just seems like the wrong way to handle your CCW privileges in my opinion, not withstanding what is not known about the Florida case, but just in general.
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Old April 11, 2012, 06:11 PM   #16
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you are not talking thousands of dollars--you are talking millions.
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Old April 11, 2012, 06:50 PM   #17
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The lesson from Florida? Think and act like Sheriff Taylor, not Barney Fife!
Your brain and the ability to remain objective, not to mention on the right side of the law, are much more important than ego. The trigger should never pull the finger.
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Old April 11, 2012, 07:01 PM   #18
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The take away for me - or what I'd hope the take away would be in general, as I felt this way before - is that:
1) carrying a gun does not make you a police officer, and
2) there is, and should be, a difference between "stand your ground" and "follow and confront".

I agree entirely with the idea that - for a civilian - a gun is a tool to get you out of a bad situation, not a tool to allow you to walk into one.

I also agree with the idea that those gun owners that do see themselves as some sort of modern vigilantes do far more harm than good to the gun rights cause. It's always aggravating to agree on any issue with a moron.

Lastly - and I should have been more careful to copy names to cite - I agree with the poster that said he's been purposefully less aggressive since carrying. I've noticed the same thing. When I'm armed I make sure to be as non confrontational as possible. Most stand your ground protections - as well as any moral high ground - go out the window if you escalate a confrontation.
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Old April 11, 2012, 07:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RevJim
Until we know the facts of the Trayvon Martin case, we cannot apply specific tactics to the specific situation. To keep this thread from getting locked, please refrain from discussing that situation...
Thank you.

You will notice that some posts are gone or edited. So just to be clear --

We are not discussing the detail of the Zimmerman matter.

We are not discussing whether or not Zimmerman did the right thing or the wrong thing.

We are not speculating about what Zimmerman did or didn't do.

We are not discussing Zimmerman's personal problems.

Even without addressing those points, this can be a useful thread. So I'm leaving it open for the time being -- if people can stay on topic.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old April 11, 2012, 07:08 PM   #20
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I can't carry here in CA. I got a small folding knife today since every one has pit bulls running every where. I always carry a stick, but until today, had little to defend myself especially if there are more than one dogs in a group.

I don't have any pretense of being a cop. My CCW trained to evade, avoid and be a good witness first and foremost. In the gravest extreme and as a last resort, use lethal force to STOP an attack. Provoking an attack makes you the perpetrator in just about every case.
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Old April 11, 2012, 07:26 PM   #21
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Neighborhood Watch

An important thought about neighborhood watch is that if the community is not dysfunctional, every member of the community is de facto part of the watch. If someone is loitering on your neighbor's back porch and you see it, wouldn't you call it in?

I don't think organized citizen patrols are as necessary in a functional community as some indicate. If the community is falling apart at the seams, I'm moving my family to another community ASAP. I realize that everybody's situation is different but I would like to see more emphasis on what used to be called the good neighbor policy and less emphasis on neighborhood patrols.

If you live there and you have eyes and ears, you are already part of the watch. No title, gun or patrol car necessary. Just sayin'.
Gun control...that's when you learn to hit where you aim.
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Old April 11, 2012, 08:19 PM   #22
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Umm - much to learn

As a patrotic American citizen living in a 3rd world country south of the equator for more than 30 years, I enjoy reading about your views on tactics and training. Fortunately, it appears to be a lot more peaceful sown here than up there and concealed carry is not a controversal issue here.

I have learned:

1. Treat everyone as if you are running for election and you need their vote.
2. Pray to God that you never have to kill someone, unless you have to.
3. Keep your firearm ready 24/7. You will never know when you need it.
4. Do not associate yourself with anything illegal.
5. Know what's going on around you at all times.
6. Little good happens after 10:00 pm.
7. Do not compromise your values.
8. Never show your money.
9. Mind your own business.
10. Live a modest lifestyle.
11. Speak no ill of anyone.
12. Be happy.

The above should protect you from everyone but the psycopaths and they will kill you without a second thought.
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Old April 11, 2012, 08:25 PM   #23
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Agree with Aarond and OP.

Regardless of "Stand your ground" or "Castle Doctrine", CCW holders have a greater responsibility to try to avoid situations where one may have to employ their weapon(s).

Last edited by Frank Ettin; April 11, 2012 at 08:31 PM. Reason: delete off topic material
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:21 PM   #24
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Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:39 PM   #25
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Actually, our condo neighborhood is one of the best in the entire city. That is why we have recently become targets for these creeps breaking in. There is an adjacent property that is most likely the source of this crime spree.

We have a very active neighborhood watch in CA that has helped keep the lid on more crime in the area. It really is up to the individual owners to secure their own property which is not that hard to do with a little bit of effort involved.
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