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Old October 14, 2017, 05:06 PM   #1
OldMarksman
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Sufficient Preparedness for Self-Defense

"I am thinking about getting a gun for protection"

How many times have we heard that?

People who frequent this board undoubtedly realize immediately that while "getting a gun" may be a good idea, it will not be sufficient, by any means.

The next obvious concern is about whether a person will be able to use it effectively.

But there's more.

The words "mindset, skillset, toolset" are often used together in this context. I think they originated in the context of leadership, sales prowess, and other things, but no matter.

Let's briefly define those terms, for our purposes.

Mindset, for us, is a bit different from the classical definition. At least to my way of thinking, it has to do with whether a person is mentally prepared to do what is immediately necessary to stay safe, whether that involves avoidance, retreat, smiting the brigand, or just something to defuse or deter.

A person who fails to recognize the emergence of a rapidly developing threat timely, or who hesitates in responding, falls short in terms of "mindset".

Skillset obviously means, for our purposes, the skills required to perform the tasks at hand. Let's confine it to the use of firearms, and leave the subjects of edged weapons, martial arts, and my trusty ever-present 57 inch hickory walking stick for other discussions.

Developing and maintaining the skillset involves training, but that entails a lot more than learning and practicing marksmanship and gun handling. Most people who go to a range to shoot at a stationary target employ a rate of fire that is far too slow to effectively stop an assailant charging at, say, five meters per second at a distance of, say, three or four meters, when multiple hits will likely be needed.

But even training to shoot rapidly with combat accuracy after having drawn very quickly leaves some very important things undone. When we go to a range, or event to a pistol training facility, we go there expecting to shoot; in most, but not all, venues we know where the targets are (probably, right in front of us). We know wthat we will be shooting toward a safe backstop; and we know that there will be no innocent people moving between us and the target, or beyond the target in our direction of fire. And we will be given some kind of signal.

None of that applies in the real world. We have to prepare ourselves to address situations in which none of those little niceties are true.

We have to recognize the emergence of the unexpected, very quickly. We have to be able to react, very quickly. We have to hit the targets, without hitting anyone whom we do not want to shoot.

A good way to get an idea about how things can happen is to watch instant replays of the receiver getting creamed by that tackle that we did not see coming the first time.

And now, to toolset.

The first prerequisite is to be armed. Tom Givens has described some tragic incidents in which graduates of Rangemaster classes died, on days on which they had chosen to not be armed.

Even when you have it with you, that gun is not a talisman. It will not repel evildoers. And just because one may "feel comfortable" with his particular firearm does not mean for a moment that it will suffice, even if the carrier has trained with it. the defender has to score effective hits timely, and that will come down to ballistics, rate of fire, and in some cases, magazine capacity. An unskilled defender will not be much use to himself or to his surroundings with a 17 shot automatic; even a skilled and trained pistoleer may find his five-shot snub wanting if there are two or more assailants, which is not unlikely.

We often hear the term "shot placement". Do not confuse that with "marksmanship" in a defensive environment. You cannot see the critical internal parts of the attacker's body, let alone aim at them.

Ah yes, there's the little matter of penetration. Forget knock down power, energy transfer, and shock.

Any of the service calibers will do the trick, if you do your part. Just don't expect a one-shot stop.

This is probably a good time to point out that what you will end up needing to have in your hand when the balloon goes up will not be defined by the likelihood of the occurrence before it happened.

One last thing--learn everything that you can about use of force law, and forget everything that you have seen in screen fiction.

If you succeed in all of that, will you be sufficiently prepared for the gravest extreme?

Maybe. What we are discussing here is risk management. Let us hope that we manage our risks prudently and effectively,
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Old October 14, 2017, 05:12 PM   #2
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I like to think of self defense as an onion, each thing I do adds another layer of protection and the more layers you have, the better chance you have against evil doers. Firearms are a great layer to that protection as are a number of other things (ie alarms, dogs, situation awareness, etc.). And I was literally just thinking about this a few hours ago while I was working in my garage - about 11 years ago before kids/house me and my wife lived in a city and one night a drugged out freak tried to get into our apartment. A locked door prevented that. It was all we needed in that situation before the police arrived and arrested the guy. And a locked door is just another layer. I like to think of my guns as one of the last layers and hope that I never need to use one but I am physically and mentally prepared (as best I can be) if I need to.
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Old October 14, 2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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If I may take 'force multiplayer' more literal. It multiplies force, skills, or (lack of skills)
Any incompetence is multiplied as well.
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Old October 14, 2017, 07:56 PM   #4
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Training is good.. I am a proponent of training. That said, there are people with zero training who have successfully defended themselves with a weapon,.. gun, knife, hammer.. whatever. Violence is not rocket science and people do not have to be a spec op door gunner in order to manage an effective defense.

Its not always the strongest, biggest, the most skilled, best equipped or the greatest numbers that win a fight. Winning can depends on a great number of things. Training tools and skills are advantages but whether or not it can overcome a superior fighting position, initiative, fierce determination, happenstance or blind luck- can be a roll of the dice.

I always say to train as best you can, as often as you can and hope that it will be enough if the fight comes.
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Old October 14, 2017, 08:42 PM   #5
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Training is necessary. Training in the legal limits of use of force is of prime concern. Then there is training with the weapon of choice and the manner in which you carry it. Training your brain to recognize the likelihood of a threat and then to respond in the safest possible and legal way. You also need to train in what to do after the threat is over. What you say and do after is as important as what you did to survive.
Learn to become more aware of your surroundings. Look past the pretty girl to see if you are being targeted- she might be a decoy. Those three guys up the street, are they a threat? Can you avoid them? Is there cover? When you walk into that restaurant do you examine the people at the register? Are they paying a bill or are they in the middle of a robbery? Is there a good place to sit? Is there a back door? When you are seated can you see both entrances? Are there multiple paths you can take to get out if you need to? The people around you, are the going to panic? Will they block your way? When you leave the restaurant are you ready if someone is standing off to the side of the door, just out of view? Can you see your car? is there anyone between you and the car? Do they pose a threat? Is someone crouching between cars so they can jump you when you turn your back to open the door? Is someone hiding, tucked down, in the back seat of your car?

Learn to think like that. You will learn to do it automatically. You won't be doing it out of fear but because it is the natural way to scan your surroundings. It is a lot like being on a yellow alert almost all the time. Nobody I know can do that all the time but when you are out and about you should try to be able to quickly scan within your threat zone and those approaching that zone.
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Old October 14, 2017, 09:37 PM   #6
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People have been facing crisis situations for thousands of years. The vast majority being untrained individuals who acted with the benefit of common sense and a little personal grit.

Training is certainly beneficial but if the suggestion is that a person will not be able to muster a reasonable defense without it, ..I will politely disagree.

The very fist time I experienced violence was in the 1970s when I was 11 years old. 3 older kids decided that they wanted my money and were going to take it. I was unlocking my bike when they confronted me. One grabbed me while the other tried to get the change from my pocket. I pulled loose and put one kid down with 2 wild haymakers. I grabbed my bike chain and squared off against the other 2 who seemed shocked by seeing their friend on the ground. They chose to run away rather than risk being struck with the chain. I left the area and remember seeing the first kid still sitting on the ground with a bloody nose.

I had never thrown a punch in my life, I was untrained and had never even thought about fighting 3 people. I am confident that the 3 goons that attacked me were well practiced and that it was not the first time they had tired to take money from someone. Training can be advantageous and beneficial but a lack of training does not automatically mean you are doomed. As I said earlier, I think that people should train and continue to do so. You are better with training than without. Its not much deeper than that.

I have been fortunate enough to have had a couple of different jobs that allowed me to attend many different training centers. I will always consider myself a student and I will always endeavor to continue learning. Still, I think there is a lot of drama, romance and intrigue assigned to things that are pretty much just plain ole common sense. When I go to the store, I am just a guy who wants to be let alone and I do my best to simply pay attention what is going on around me. I don't live my life like its some sort of OP
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Old October 14, 2017, 09:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
...there are people with zero training who have successfully defended themselves with a weapon,.. gun, knife, hammer.. whatever.
Would anyone responsibly suggest or formulate a strategy on the basis of that observation?

Quote:
Training is certainly beneficial but if the suggestion is that a person will not be able to muster a reasonable defense without it, ..I will politely disagree.
It is a very simple matter of likelihood.
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Old October 14, 2017, 10:22 PM   #8
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Commercial firearm training schools open to the general public are a relativly new thing. As are cc permits
That said, folks have owned and carried guns both long and handgun, open and concealed for over a couple of centuries.

And people used those guns to defend themselves quite well with nothing but paw showed Jr how to shoot training.
Sometimes against odds no modern person would ever encounter in civilian life. And again did it pretty successfully.

If a person has the money and the time to go spend a couple days and a grand that's great.
If they want to they should. At very least it won TV hurt. And they may learn some useful things.

But it's hardly nessacary to spend a 1000 bucks to attend a training school to defend oneself with a firearm.
People do so daily somewhere in this country with just basic aim like this and pull the trigger instruction.
A handbook of one's SD laws I believe can be had in every state.

Again so there's no misunderstanding.
I've had training but it came with the suit [uniform ]. I didn't pay for it nor would have as a civilian then or now. I was as capable of defending myself before as I was after.

Training is fine if one can afford it and have time for it and is inclined to go to low drag high speed "tactile" training.

But beyond basic function ,safety, care and marksmanship , all of which can be had at a gun store and range, a friend or a family member, it's hardly nessacary to successfully defend oneself with a gun.

JMO but as someone who has had training, since concealed carry permits came out, self defense with a firearm has been turned into a much more complicated endeavor than it actually is because there was and is much money to be made by over complicating it.

It's really not the brain surgery it's made out to be.
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Old October 14, 2017, 11:09 PM   #9
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... folks have owned and carried guns both long and handgun, open and concealed for over a couple of centuries.
How quickly we forget!

Some time during Reconstruction, the carrying of handguns was prohibited in a number of states, and some time after that, carrying firearms in municipal areas was outlawed in many Western towns, including good old Dodge.

These prohibitions spread throughout much of the nation. Thirty years ago, shall issue and unrestricted carry existed in less than a dozen states, and those were sparsely populated.

The carrying of guns for self defense was virtually unheard of, except for sworn officers, in most of the country.

How people may have hunted large and small game in season is not the subject of discussion here.

What is on topic is the ability to defend oneself lawfully and effectively, should the need arise.

Home defense is rather simple. Justification is not in question very often, once the door had been breached; drawing from concealment is rarely an issue; worry about bystanders is rarely a concern.

Out doors? That's a different story, and it is not one that has played out over a couple of centuries.
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Old October 14, 2017, 11:51 PM   #10
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I don't think I mentioned hunting at all.
Yes Earp and a couple other law dogs of that time banned as much as they could the carrying fire arms.
Most people didn't live in towns then and carried guns both long and handgun daily.
Even in Texas where carrying a handgun was banned for a hundred years open carry of a rifle was and is now legal.

I will stand by my statement that through our nation's history, people have defended themselves at home and out long before the first permit or traing school for the public were ever thought of.

As far as there being a time only a dozen states allowed owning or some form of carrying a handgun I've never heard that and would be interested in the source for that info.

My own state has had unregulated open carry of hand or long gun since statehood.

Ohio has also.

The topic was as I understood it that professional training is almost a necessity to defend oneself with a firearm.

Which it obvious isn't as even today citizens do so with little to no training successfully quite often.
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Old October 15, 2017, 02:14 AM   #11
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Arizona has had lawful open carry for over 100 years, with the notable exception of Tombstone, which had it's ban grandfathered it, and finally overturned in the mid 80s, IIRC. We got our first CCW law in 1994, which was Shall Issue, and good people worked hard on gradual improvements until 2010 when we went Constitutional Carry. We still improve laws every year, and REALLY hope we can redirect the Calirefugees up to NYS, away from here - our two big cites are solid blue, and they want to counter the red Outlands.
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Old October 15, 2017, 06:19 AM   #12
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Well, this thread is ten minutes of my life that I won't get back.
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Old October 15, 2017, 09:22 AM   #13
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I tend to agree with Ghosts basic premise. People have been defending themselves in this country with very little to no training for hundreds of years. There are not that many ways to fight and it certainly is not rocket science. Proper training can certainly make you "better" , more "capable"... more "proficient" but a lack of COMBAT training does not make you incapable of successfully defending yourself. People seemingly manage to do it daily and most criminals are not jedi/ninja squirrels.

Should you get training? yep. Something other than gun games?.. Definitely

Is your situation hopeless without it? LOL certainly not.
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
I don't think I mentioned hunting at all. ....Most people didn't live in towns then and carried guns both long and handgun daily.
Very few people in this country were permitted to carry firearms out doors for many decades, until recently . When they did, it was primarily for hunting, or on their own rural property.

Quote:
Even in Texas where carrying a handgun was banned for a hundred years open carry of a rifle was and is now legal.
One did not see persons carrying rifles in the high-crime areas of Texas. Still true today.

Quote:
I will stand by my statement that through our nation's history, people have defended themselves at home and out long before the first permit or training school for the public were ever thought of.
Certainly, but most people in this country were forbidden to carry firearms and in many cases, other weapons, with which to dos until recently.

That made it a bit more difficult.

Quote:
As far as there being a time only a dozen states allowed owning or some form of carrying a handgun I've never heard that and would be interested in the source for that info.
Fewer than a dozen. Here you go:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...s/a/a8/Rtc.gif
Quote:
My own state has had unregulated open carry of hand or long gun since statehood.
Alrighty then.

Quote:
Ohio has also.
Ohio became a state in 1803. The concealed carry of firearms was prohibited statewide starting in 1859.

A shall issue law was enacted in Ohio in 2004. As in many states, training was prerequisite to issuance.

Local prohibitions of concealed carry were struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2008.

Quote:
The topic was as I understood it that professional training is almost a necessity to defend oneself with a firearm.
Your understanding was flawed.

The topic was that to be sufficiently prepared for self defense, a person should have (1) the mental attitude with which to defend oneself; (2) the skills with which to do so; and (3) something with which to do so.

Nothing whatever was said about "professional training".

There are numerous ways to learn to draw, and to draw quickly while moving, without professional help, and without a real gun.

One can learn to avoid walking close to the openings of alleys. No training required.

Shooting, which is a small part of the picture, requires some training, but it need not be professional. If Dad can shoot an El Presidente drill competitively , he can probably teach shooting rapidly enough for effective self defense.

Quote:
...even today citizens do so with little to no training successfully quite often.
And sometimes they fail. Even a one in ten failure rate is too high ("it's the stakes"). Best to try to improve the success rate.

I put the OP together in response to two posts in another thread. The first was from fastbolt:
Quote:
As a LE firearms trainer, I look for quality of skillset and performance of technique, as well as overall knowledge and mental preparation (mindset, if you will) ... not someone's perception of what might be a minimum "threshold" when it comes to "quantity".

...

Lots of folks like to look for "answers" to knowledge/mental & skill questions in the form of "equipment", but equipment is only ever going to be equipment.

The same equipment in the hands of 2, or even 100, different people is going to tell us more about the abilities of the users, than the equipment.

What makes the discussion of "higher capacities" of ammunition seemingly so preferable to many folks is that the "answer" can come in a box. Something they can buy and handle.

Skills, mental acuity and focus don't come in a box.
The other was from Glenn E. Meyer:
Quote:
Time to start the related - Why training is unnecessary and I don't train - thread.
It sure looks as if the fish were ready to bite on that one.
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:37 AM   #15
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About open carry as an epiphany of gun rights. Let's look at the real effects.

1. Having lived more than half my life in open carry states or carry a long arm state - I never saw it in the urban areas, resort areas or rural areas. Never. If someone wants to post that they saw it once or twice or they do it - that's not evidence that it swept the gun owning population. In fact, concealed carry hasn't. Most states have about 2 to 4 % of the population with permits or licenses. Most of those folks don't even carry the gun.

2. What OC accomplished in Texas was a wave of signs banning OC across the state and additional bans of concealed carry. That was a net negative as now kids and the on-the-fence folks see everyday a sign that gun carry is a bad thing.

OC was not adopted by the majority of the populations as a mode of carry.

As far as training, there are enough gun carrier stupid actions that they think are legal and aren't, that it would be a good idea to study up.

I grant you training isn't cheap. I opine that those who can afford it and don't - are scared to test themselves. They know they are instinctive warriors and would rather discuss the stopping power of a gun they don't usually carry anyway. Man o' man - that Judge is the hammer of Thor!! What a truck gun!!
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:57 AM   #16
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I have read and reread OldMarksman's original post, and I believe his three central points clearly and accurately define the essential elements necessary to effectively carry a handgun for self-defense.

That people have been defending themselves with handguns for centuries is not an argument against having the proper mindset, skillset, or toolset when carrying a handgun. People have been starting fires using primitive methods for millennia but that doesn't mean it is the most effective way of doing so. A person who's life depends on being able to quickly and efficiently start a fire in arctic conditions would be considered foolish if he didn't have proper understanding, training, and tools to do so. Just sticking a lighter in his pocket might work...
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Old October 15, 2017, 11:12 AM   #17
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nobody ever said that they don't train. I didn't see anyone say that they were not a proponent of training or that training was not a good thing. What is being said in this thread is that the idea that a person cannot or is not likely to be capable of mounting a successful defense with a firearm without tactical training- is silly.

Did citizens( individuals)carry firearms in public for self defense in this country in the 1600's.. yep
1700's yep
1800's yep
1900's yep
2000's yep

Was their a period of time ( here, there, this place or that) where people were prohibited? sure. Does any of that change the basic point against tactical training being "necessary". Nope.

I train and continue to train.. Altogether I have carried a gun personally and occupationally for more then 30+ years. I support the idea that training is a good thing and that citizens who carry a weapon should probably receive as much training as they can manage. That said, I do not consider it an absolute necessity, prerequisite or absolute imperative.

There are people all around the Nation who bought a gun, loaded it .. put it in a nightstand, understood its basic operation and never gave it a second thought until it was needed. Acting on common sense and personal grit, they managed to defend themselves when the time came. Its not a phenomenon in my estimation.
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Old October 15, 2017, 11:18 AM   #18
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2000's yep
Nope. Did some - maybe. Was it the majority, nope. Was it even a large segment - nope.
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Old October 15, 2017, 11:21 AM   #19
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What is being said in this thread is that the idea that a person cannot or is not likely to be capable of mounting a successful defense with a firearm without tactical training- is silly.
No, no, no. That is not what is being said.

One of the things that is being said is that to be sufficiently prepared, one must have some proficiency with the tools at hand, and some knowledge about when to use them.

The term "tactical training" has not been mentioned.

Quote:
Was their a period of time ( here, there, this place or that) where people were prohibited?
There was a very lengthy period of time in which most people in this country were legally prohibited from carrying firearms for self defense. Unfortunately, that condition continues in some major states and very large cities.
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Old October 15, 2017, 11:26 AM   #20
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The term "tactical training" has not been mentioned
I said that only to distinguish between simply knowing how the weapon works and knowing something more. I think we all are conceding that a person knows how to operate the weapon they own.

Quote:
No, no, no. That is not what is being said.
well, I think I said it several times
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Old October 15, 2017, 11:45 AM   #21
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I think that Glenn's prescient suggestion about starting a thread on training was right on point. some people have required wi th some emotion. While playing lip service to the goodness of training, many have bought up that old saw about how many people have defended themselves without having received any training at all. N now has mined the cases we have read about here for almost a decade in which people without training have been severely injured, killed, charged, tried, and sometimes convicted for using firearms ineptly and unlawfully and for hitting innocent people.

But not all of those outcomes should be attributed to lack of training. We also need to consider mindset.

A person attacked without warning because he is unaware or unobservant may have been better able to succeed due to training, but the real issue is mindset.

Would training better equip one to be aware of a risk that a robber int the sore had an accomplice protect him? I sonnet thing anyone has to take a class to learn that, but one how knows should not ignore it.

The person who observes but ignores danger signals? Same thing.

And then there is disbelief--this cannot be happening. A person who "freezes" may be no better prepared than the person who is not armed.

So, how about the Texas airline mechanic, who, when hearing someone outside, went out with a shotgun to investigate? He was ambushed, attacked, disarmed, and maimed by a man armed with a knife. He survived, but he lost his livelihood due to crippling energy.

Training, or mindset?
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Old October 15, 2017, 12:08 PM   #22
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I said that only to distinguish between simply knowing how the weapon works and knowing something more. I think we all are conceding that a person knows how to operate the weapon they own.
I think no one in his right mind will agree that "knowing something more" would not be much more likely to result in success.

And that is what risk management is all about.

I started shooting handguns around 1961. One handed, as in police training films. Slow fire, as in most training. I read Ed McGivern's works, but they blew by me. I had never seen anything like that in screen fiction.

Over the years, I successfully defended myself against violent felons without ever having had any training. Indoors in all cases, no shots fired.

All good. But it is now abundantly clear to me that my having known "how the weapon works", even with my years of familiarity with firearms, would have prepared me very poorly indeed for the gravest extreme.

Even assuming that I had recognized the threat timely, there was no way that my skill set could reasonably have been expected to have sufficed in reliably stopping an assailant charging rapidly from a distance of, say, four meters.

First, I had never trained to draw quickly while moving.

Second, I had never developed the skill necessary to fire several shots with combat accuracy, very rapidly in the time afforded to a defender. Anyone who does not recognize that necessity should do some research on handgun wounding effectiveness.

I have taken a couple of defensive pistol training courses. I gained some proficiency, but perhaps more importantly, I gained a much greater appreciation of what will likely prove necessary when the balloon goes up.

That's something that people who would suggest reliance on "simply knowing how the weapon works" seem to lack.

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Old October 15, 2017, 01:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer View Post
Nope. Did some - maybe. Was it the majority, nope. Was it even a large segment - nope.
Not being a smart aleck.
You would know this how?
I'm truly curious.

The gov has no clue as to how many guns there are in this country but I've seen guesses they make.
Like 2 guns for every citizen.

So realizing the plain facts that 1. More folks carry without a permit than have one.
2. That permits were not heard of for most of our history and people carried guns as part of their daily lives.

3. A cc permit is not necessary to in fact carry concealed.

4 concealed is not the only way to carry a gun and for over a hundred years hiding ones weapon was the mark of a criminal.


So unless one can come up with someway of computing all private sales there is no record of.

And some other way of counting those who carry besides permits, I see no way to reliably have the first clue how many additional unpermitted folks carried guns in 2000 or any other year.

But maybe there is some way I am not aware of?
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Old October 15, 2017, 01:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireForged
Training is certainly beneficial but if the suggestion is that a person will not be able to muster a reasonable defense without it, ..I will politely disagree.
What exactly is the point in stating a reductio ad absurdum argument nobody has made and then disagreeing with it? Nobody has stated it is impossible to defend yourself without training, which is the uncontroversial statement you are disagreeing with. Yes, the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong; but that's the way to bet.
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Old October 15, 2017, 01:35 PM   #25
Bartholomew Roberts
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There are people all around the Nation who bought a gun, loaded it .. put it in a nightstand, understood its basic operation and never gave it a second thought until it was needed. Acting on common sense and personal grit, they managed to defend themselves when the time came. Its not a phenomenon in my estimation.
This dachshund fought off a bear (and with no training even!). Yet, I think most of us would assume that the victory was more about a very shallow commitment by the bear rather than assuming the weiner dog was adequately equipped for the fight.
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