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Is Your Gun a Weapon or a Talisman?

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by Michael Brown, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Michael Brown

    Michael Brown Sharpshooter

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    It is my belief that 99% of people who carry guns are not prepared to survive a violent assault (including police officers). While this may offend a lot of carriers, I feel its important to address.

    So I ask, is your gun truly a weapon to you or a talisman that will hopefully ward off those who will bring you harm?

    To answer this question properly, I propose a series of ten questions with sub-questions. They are not all-encompassing but should give you some ideas to ponder if you are really interested in self-defense and not just busting caps (as fun as that is). There are other issues such as first aid and other issues, but I think this list does a pretty good job questioning the basics of your plan.

    1) Do you train realistically with the gun and gear you actually carry with the clothes you actually wear? What does "realistic" mean to you?

    2) Will your gear hold up under the stress of a physical encounter? How do you know?

    3) Do you regularly train against a live, resisting opponent?

    4) Could you physically hold up against an all-out assault from a determined adversary? How do you know?

    5) Do you actively train your mind for violent conflict? How?

    6) Do you carry less-lethal options when you carry your gun? Have you practiced regularly with them?

    7) Do you EVER go anywhere unarmed where you are not legally prohibited from doing so?

    8) Have you assessed how long it would take you to access your weapons from any point in your home? Have you checked it against entry from various points in your home?

    9) If you have spouses/significant others or children, have you trained them in how to respond if it all goes down? Would they replicate this behavior if you asked them to do it RIGHT THIS MINUTE?

    10) Do you become task-fixated in public places? Balancing the check book in the parking lot? Talking on the cell phone while walking across the parking lot? Be honest with yourself.

    It doesn't matter if you do all of these things or none of these things. What is important is that you understand where you stand and decide what you want to be.

    Nothing we write on a keyboard will save us, but we do want people to start thinking.

    Michael Brown
     
  2. MDT

    MDT Sharpshooter

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    Mike,

    An excellent post. Very sobering and kind of what I've been thinking of for a while (per our conversation last PM).

    Whlie we all enjoy the shooting sports-- shooting paper targets and what not, I am not sure about the overall mindset. I often wonder about my mindset. I think that if my family is threatened, the papa bear in me would show up. I don't know if my "papa bear" is bad enough to respond to these guys that want to whack you on the head. These guys are DETERMINED.

    Upon answering your questions, I find my preparation lacking......
     
  3. hubmonkey

    hubmonkey Sharpshooter

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    I don't think there is any way anyone can say they are Truely ready for anything. You can only train and build confidence in yourself and hope you can do the right thing when faced with the danger.

    You don't know how you are going to react until you are in that situation.

    Hub
     
  4. Michael Brown

    Michael Brown Sharpshooter

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    "You don't know how you are going to react until you are in that situation."

    We never know.

    However we substantially cut down the odds if we train properly.

    As an aside that will hopefully relate what I'm talking about:

    How many times do you believe a major-league baseball player has practiced his swing before he felt it was reliable? I'd say its in the millions. If you don't practice hard, you can't expect that you will rise to the occasion. You will more than likely default to your level of training.

    A friend of mine and a popular law enforcement trainer once said that he saw Mark McGuire at a San Diego Chargers game, back when Big Mac was playing for the A's. He approached him and asked him the very question I listed above. Mcguire told him "I was just hitting home runs in my head until you came over and bothered me."

    That should give everyone some kind of idea of the level of dedication it takes to make a technique reliable under extremely stressful conditions.

    Now lets spin it to the criminal side of things.

    A $30 per day crack cocaine habit is pretty common among addicts and there are thousands of them in Tulsa alone. In order to obtain that $30 per day, a crackhead must likely do something criminal, whether that be stealing car stereos, breaking into parking meters, or knocking people over the head.

    If the crackhead has chosen the "knocking people over the head" route, that means he probably has to do it at least three times a week just to support his habit. In my book, this makes him an expert if he's done it for more than a couple months.

    How many of us, who are not in a profession of arms, get into a fight more than once a year? My guess is none since most of the people here are good folks. If I had to bet, I'd say 99% of folks here haven't been in a fist-fight since high school.

    This is a good thing. That is until someone targets you. Then you will wish you had that crackhead's experience.

    Thus the only option to cut down the odds for the good folks is hard, realistic training on a regular and on-going basis.

    No one says you HAVE TO have that level of dedication. I just feel that people should not delude themselves into thinking they are ready for a violent confrontation just because they've got a permit, a nice holster and a bunch of nice blasters.

    Michael Brown
     
  5. J.P.

    J.P. Sharpshooter

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    :werd:

    What Micheal says is true.
    When the adrenaline starts to flow,reason,critical thinking,and muscle control can go south.
    If you train regularly,you (usually)do as you train by default.

    If you do not train,what happens?
     
  6. JD8

    JD8 Sharpshooter

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    My family members (LE, FBI, DEA ) have taught me a thing or two about situational awareness of which I TRY to pass on to my g/f and friends. I don't train near as much as I want to but I'm extremely limited of what I can carry right now. I'm a stone's throw from the OU campus of which I spend a good amount of time, and I work in a bar. In which it KILLS me that I can't carry. Had a friend who was a bar owner that was killed in North Tulsa awhile back. Even when I was bartending at the Winner's Circle in Tulsa (now Fishbonz) I had a knife pulled on me twice and a gun once. All for a bar tab or fighting of the #$%ing pool tables. Therefore I do think about many of the aspects that which Michael mentioned (excellent list IMHO) or at least try to. Some good points in this thread for sure.
     
  7. J.P.

    J.P. Sharpshooter

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    *hi-jack*
    Is it illegal for an employee to carry in a bar?
     
  8. Michael Brown

    Michael Brown Sharpshooter

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    Nope. Just to drink but I imagine no major bar is going to allow its employees to carry.

    Even if you can't carry a firearm, there are plenty of excellent weapon choices that are not illegal on college campuses or in bars.

    I think a firearm is an excellent choice but by far not the only choice. Improvised weapons should be high on everyone's list who can't carry.

    My friend, Jerry Van Cook, told me he lets "the power of Christ" protect him when he flies and can't carry. Knowing Jerry I was little suprised until he showed me an 18 inch stainless steel crucifix that clearly became a makeshift axe. I would rather have his "power of Christ" than a Spyderco any day.

    Michael Brown
     
  9. JD8

    JD8 Sharpshooter

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    So technically it is legal for me to carry in a bar if I'm an employee??
     
  10. J.P.

    J.P. Sharpshooter

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    I'm not 100% sure.
    the only thing i could find was "owner or proprietor"
     

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