Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger?

This is a discussion on Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have looked across the sights at another person within 10 ft 4 times (Once as a Marine, twice as a reserve LEO, once as ...

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Thread: Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger?

  1. #16
    Member Array Moondoggie's Avatar
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    I have looked across the sights at another person within 10 ft 4 times (Once as a Marine, twice as a reserve LEO, once as a homeowner @ 4:00 AM) in my life, never had to fire. Their choice. I was acutely aware that I did not want to kill them unless they took the next (wrong) step. I would have fired without hesitation had any of them done the wrong thing. After each incident it ended in my mind as soon as the situation was over. I was where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing in each case. If I would have had to fire, I don't think it would have taken a great deal for me to put it behind me.

    I'm not looking forward to being in that position again, however, but I will if I have to.
    If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes.

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  3. #17
    Member Array tminer's Avatar
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    I have not pointed the muzzle at anyone. I have carried a weapon into situations that could have escalated to needing one. (as a homeowner) I would not hesitate to use force to protect.

  4. #18
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    I'm with Cory on this issue. I'm Mr. Avoidance. In fact, macho chest-thumping usually turns me off.

    I believe this is primarily for two reasons.

    First, the older I get, I see less and less real change done by fighting. Ireland has had centuries of fighting to no avail. And just when you look at that war-torn country, you face the same perils as 'west coast' rap musicians (to me, 'rap music' is an oxymoron, with my apologies to stupid oxen) kill the 'east coast' variety.

    Oh, BTW, liquor is cheaper if you buy it and take it home to be with friends. People who go to smoky, dangerous saloons are sort of asking for it.

    The second reason I would hesitate to pull a trigger (unless the most dire circumstances prevail) is the selfish issue of 'me.'

    I don't want the severed arteries, the shattered bones and the eviscerated bowels in my memory banks. That type of 'cool' is for video games.

  5. #19
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    Like The Tourist, I've tried to live a life of trouble avoidance....never heard a shot fired in anger (okay, I was Air Force ) and I'm definitely not a bar room brawler. Part of the reason for CCW is knowing my physical limitations.

    In my mind's eye, I believe that I could pull the trigger if my life depended on it. I wouldn't carry a pistol if I thought otherwise. The part that worries me is that INDECISION at the crucial moment (am I in danger?...Holy S**T, he ain't stopping....should I pull my pistol...etc, etc) could cut my life short. Getting to the point of knowing FOR SURE that my life depends on hard action seems to be the sticky part of the experience.

    Is training in tactics the only way to prepare yourself to recognize this moment, or is there something more to it? I would sure appreciate some input from those who have been in harms way.

  6. #20
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    Team American-- training is the key. Attend any schools you can. they help with your mindset
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  7. #21
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    My short answer to could I, is yes.

    I have had people on the business end of a loaded firearm, and fortunately for all involved did not need to fire.

    Team American - Training is good for your mindset and awareness. There is no magic formula for knowing what's going to happen when. What you can do is learn situational awareness, to go with your instincts and the ways to react to threats.

    -Scott-

  8. #22
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    Like Moondoggie when I was ridding with a buddy that was a sheriffís deputy I had a number of people at gun point, a couple times I had the safety off my 1911 and finger on the trigger. In one case the only reason I didnít fire was worry about the legal hassle I would have to face, fortunately at the last second the scrote had enough brain cells start functioning to realize I would do it, dropped his knife and went belly down on the ground. I had one other experience shortly after I was old enough to get a CCW, it was an encounter with some outlaw biker wana-bes while swimming in abandoned quarries in southern Indiana, the only reason I didnít shoot then was fear of legal consequences, today I would likely shoot him. I found the restraining force was the legal consequences, figuring if there was enough justification, not any reluctance to take a life, and having had 2 buddies murdered hasnít helped my disposition any either.

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Answer...yes, no problem.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Question Trigger Puller or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle
    I think the bottom line is that a person will never know until they find themself in that position. Some may say then it's too late, but that is probably the only way to find out.
    First of all to the 'Nam vets here, my utmost respect and deepest thanks. I was a "Cold Warrior" which is to say, I trained most of my adult life for combat and to lead men and never heard the angry shot. Took some friendly fire (accidentally) during some training but never had to kill. I have drawn my pistol as a civilian a couple of times, but never had to drop the hammer.

    I think that civilian self defense is necessarily different from combat against the enemies of my country. The sole exception we have discussed here is the terrorist attack on home soil against individual terrorists wielding firearms. I would trust my training (long dormant but always there) to initiate my muscle memory and take the proper actions in a wartime scenario.

    Self defense is more problematic and that's why I would concur with the above statement. Nobody really knows what they will do in a given situation until the moment is at hand. I try to prepare myself by keeping technically and tactically proficient (my semimonthly IDPA match is tomorrow morning) and maintaining situational awareness (condition yellow) 24/7.

    I feel that an instant's notice to get set is the difference between dying in an ambush and fighting thru the ambush in an immediate action drill....if I'm making any sense at all.

    I know one thing in my heart of hearts: I'm not sheep...I am a Sheep Dog.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/1..._hang_wit.html
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  11. #25
    Member Array Hotelcharlie's Avatar
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    Will you shoot if necessary?

    I would like to add my two cents worth to Ex Soldier's comments about the Viet Nam vets. I offer my most sincere thanks and appreciation to the sacrifices you men made. I was not there but my cousin, four years my junior, was, and paid the ultimate price. Not in-country but several years later after being wounded twice and suffering liver and heart damage from some unknown toxic compound, and the ravages of PTSD. He died in the VA hospital, a skinny, 90 year-old man in a 55 year-old body. Suffice it to say I have little patience for journalists, peaceniks, and others who criticize our fighting men and women. I still harbor a great deal of anger because of this and if some dirt bag with a weapon wants to imitate a target I will definitely oblige him, bearing in mind the rules of engagement and the fact that I have a wife and family that I want to spend the remainder of my years with, not in prison. Would I shoot? Damn Skippy.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Will you shoot if necessary?

    I've placed in my mind, that in all the years I've carried a weapon, and with as much mindset of all the ramifications involved, if I had to draw it, I'd either be in the position to be defending my life, or the life of an innocent. In answer to the question, and with all this in mind, YES I would without hesitation

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll chime in on this. I served 21 years in the Air Force, never really had to carry a gun in my job. I felt real bad when I came back from Desert Storm because I was treated like a hero. All I could think about was those who'd been in Vietnam, Korea (like my dad), etc. I felt guilty for a long time for having been in a war that was relatively safe for me personally. I'm a preacher and my calling is to preach the gospel to men so they won't die and be separated from God forever, however, God's Word instituted capital punishment and this was before the "law" of Moses and it was never recinded. There's also a principle in the Bible that if you live by the sword you'll die by it. If a man uses weapons or force to harm/hurt, there's a principle of justice if he falls by the same. Add to this a Biblical principle of self defence and the Lord's commandment that I provide for my family and it becomes clear what I should do if every I HAVE to and that's the key, if I have to! Part of provision is protection. I've been fishing along the Mississippi river at night with my 16 year old daughter and two characters pulled up in the cove in a little boat with no running lights. They came ashore to cast a net for bait shad but they sure did keep eyeing us. I felt very vulnerable but what really bothered me was how I felt about my ability (or lack thereof) to defend my daughter. I carry now depending on the situation, mainly because it's my right and I'm exercising that right. I carry based on a risk assessment of where I'm going and under what circumstances I'll be there. I've noticed that carrying a weapon heightens my situational awareness and it makes me think more about my behaviour. As a Pastor I'm sensitive already how I talk and act because I don't want to give anyone an excuse for rejecting the Lord but that feeling is amplified when I'm carrying. I've read a lot of forums as I've researched weapons and it seems there are those who carry because they can and they think they're cool doing so. Then there seems to be those who carry because they're scared and living under high risk scenarios. And I'm sure there's a lot of other motives. I don't always carry but I often do.

    ....and could I shoot someone if I had too? Yes I would but for me, I know that if a man dies without Christ he'll realize too late that hell is real and not just a figment of a Bible Thumpers imagination so if I pull that trigger, the consequences for that individual are more significant that many might relize. I'd rather preach to them than shoot them (although they might rather I shoot them! But if push comes to shove, there's no question. I carry when I preach and consider my congregation my responsibility. Our church is way out in the country in one of the nations largest meth producing areas so I believe the chance of a nut coming into church and going wild isn't as crazy an idea as some might think. Sound familar?

    Well, I apologize for going on so long. God Bless

    Gideon

  14. #28
    Member Array TAPS CCW's Avatar
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    I think all of us hold life very dear, and we should. If we remember the "Combat Triad" and live by it everyday. Of course the triad is equalateral as it should be. Mind set is just as important as gunhandling and marksmanship skills. Treat others with respect, however using the Principles of Self Defense when it comes down to it one of the principles is "Be Ruthless". We are reasonable people and you would not be using deadly force without good reason. Use it well and survive. Its something that should be thought about everyday. Vets my thanks too! God bless you, you did a good job.
    T.A.P.S.
    Tactics-Accuracy-Power-Speed

  15. #29
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    Smile Don't worry...Be HAPPY!

    Quote Originally Posted by TAPS CCW
    I think all of us hold life very dear, and we should. If we remember the "Combat Triad" and live by it everyday. Of course the triad is equalateral as it should be. Mind set is just as important as gunhandling and marksmanship skills. Treat others with respect, however using the Principles of Self Defense when it comes down to it one of the principles is "Be Ruthless". We are reasonable people and you would not be using deadly force without good reason. Use it well and survive. Its something that should be thought about everyday. Vets my thanks too! God bless you, you did a good job.
    I have a buddy whose personal motto goes like this: "Be polite. Be courteous. But have a plan to kill everybody you meet." LOL
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    My wife asked the same question the other day.

    We were leaving a mall when she asked me "if someone started shooting up the place, would you shoot them?" To save lives I said I think I would. Having never had to face that situation I can only guess as to what my reaction would be, and I know of my duty to retreat, but I also feel I have a moral duty to help others.

    Mulling it over I think my initial reaction would be to get her safe first, then if possible neturalize the treat without endangering others. There are a lot of if's, and's, and but's in any of these situations of course. I hope I would have the moral fiber to do the right thing.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

    Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
    NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
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