How do we know we won't freeze up?

This is a discussion on How do we know we won't freeze up? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was not trying to denigrate training. Training is essential to enable you to react effectively once you have made that inner decision to fire ...

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Thread: How do we know we won't freeze up?

  1. #76
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I was not trying to denigrate training. Training is essential to enable you to react effectively once you have made that inner decision to fire and stop your assailant. I practice every day with a .22 (S&W 317) and weekly with my carry weapon(s). I practice draw and IE drills (Immediate Action) with a "blue gun" at least weekly. I still need the motor skills to properly present and accurately fire my weapon. Motor skills can only be enhanced by practice. But I don't believe that practice will make the difference whether I fire or not. My mindset will determine the fate of the aggressor and I am not convinced that practice or preparation alone can develop that mindset.

    I do think the value that you place on the lives of your loved ones and yourself has a lot to do with it. I have a strong tribal instinct. I value family and friends above all others. In combat I didn't fight for GOD and Country, I fought for my fellow Marines (tribe.)I still ,to this day, put a higher value on fellow Marines and former Marines than I do on anybody other than my family. I have a "love" of others but it is not as strong as the love I have for my family and fellow Marines.

    My wife and my sons, followed by other family are valued above all others. Fortunately, that is the exact line of justified defense that the law makes primary in purpose.

    I don't believe that all the " Mental preparation" in the world can replace a truly valued tribal instinct. The Marine Corps and most other military organizations put most of their emphasis in training in strengthening this internal tribal or unit mindset. It can be nurtured but not instilled. Some will have it and some won't."You are Marines, Marines don't let other Marines down."

    Fear and anger can cause you to fire. But they will dissipate after the incident and you will have to cope with your emotions. I believe that tribal instinct will remain and wil ease any further mental anguish. "I protected my own" lasts.


    Rudyard Kipling said it well in The Jungle Book," The strength of the pack is the wolf. The strength of the wolf is the pack."

    You don't have to be a Marine or Ranger for this to be. If you really do value family and friends above all others you have the "pack" instinct. If your relationships are shallow, you don't have it. You are a "lone wolf."
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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  3. #77
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey wjh: Well said last reply. The tribal instincts you talk about are rooted in your mindset and are a very important factor in any discussion of "freezing up". They also play heavily in any moral equation you may make up about taking a life. If you are alone, however, Harry Callahan said it all--you have got to know your limitations with your firearm and your psyche and you also have to know the firearm's limitations. Standing still and not freezing, as you present a 380 against say a shotgun or any form of big firearm, is not going to work out well for you regardless of this overall discussion.

  4. #78
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I will rely on my tribal instincts to enable me to fire. I will fire with a BIG gun!
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  5. #79
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    I read some of the recent replies and in them I see terms like "hopefully" and "I do not think", when relating to "freezing up". Lots of replies emphasize practice, practice, practice. IMHO, there is no "practice" for the real thing and "hopefully" and "I do not think" I will freeze are, quite frankly, not good enough

    I think it's fair to say that nobody can predict the future, thus "hopefully" and "think" are the words we use to describe what cannot be absolutely known. No more than that. I don't think one can make the assumption and leap that a person using those words is failing to train sufficiently realistically or is failing to "believe" deeply enough.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  6. #80
    Member Array jvteach77's Avatar
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    There is no way for me to know if I would freeze up or not, but I have a mindset that if the choice is between some BG that is out to do harm and my wife, kids, and/or myself, then the decision on what I would do in that situation was made the day I started carrying. It would just be a matter of doing it, rather than soul searching about whether I would be willing to do it and then having to act. I've never been in a situation before I started carrying where I thought to myself "I wish I had a gun", so I pray I never need it, but if I do it is there and I know how to use it.
    Glock G23
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    OMC "The Backup" .380

    I may die by my own gun, but whoever kills me with it will have to beat me to death with it, cause it will be empty by the time they get it.

  7. #81
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey ccw: I guess we will agree to disagree on comments like "hopefully" and "think". I intend to run as fast as I can away from anything resembling a confrontation and/or use my common sense and situational awareness to never be put in a situation where I do have to run away. Short of that, I convinced myself with a certainty that if retreat is not an option and I have to draw my firearm, it will be to use it--period/end of story. If I cannot believe that fact, I will not carry a firearm. Hopeful and I think thoughts are not what, IMO, should be part of my psyche should I be placed in an actual what if confrontation. The firearm comes out and it will be used AFTER I have exhausted every conceivable way to avoid any confrontation. Imminent death does not have room for hopefully.

  8. #82
    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    We don't know we won't freeze up. How could we?

  9. #83
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogbones View Post
    Because I've been tested before. I didn't freeze up then....thing is...When I was in those situations I didn't think, I didn't think about how scared I was, or should be. I didn't think about how it might turn out, no thought...it was pure reaction and mindful determination to come out on top, as injury free, and safe as possible. Unfortunately I wasn't injury free....and the scars keep it all pretty fresh.

    After the situation I thought things out...still do to this day, how to better refine my actions and look for possible signs to completely avoid any of those kind of events from happening again.
    Same, ditto and agreed...100%.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #84
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey hamlet: You are carrying a firearm, and you have drawn your firearm because you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury--freezing up is not an option. I understand those who have replied to my all or nothing comments on "freezing" but you had better understand yourself better or you will find yourself on the wrong side of a dangerous situation. Our forum talk is just talk--the walk is what counts and I am convinced that I will act against imminent death or great bodily injury--if you are not convinced, you should find a way to convince yourself or suffer bad consequences.

  11. #85
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    You will know if that day comes; that is the only way to know for sure.
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  12. #86
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    You never know until you face the moment of truth. This was explained to me by a good friend of mine who was involved in two gun shop robberies back in the 1980s and early 90s; His assistant was a Master-Class IPSC/ICORE shooter who was also a AA rated shotgunner. My friend was the gunsmith and about half the shooter the assistant was. The assistant was involved in the second robbery, and basically froze up when the first shot was fired; my friend engaged the rest of the BGs killing 2 of them at which point the assistant unfroze himself and ran outside to pepper the getaway vehicle with buckshot......

    This incident is why many on here have heard me opine about the real value of ratings and "Master cards" in the shooting disciplines; none of them are worth the paper they are printed on if you freeze in the middle of the fight. You just end up seriously wounded, or worse yet, dead.

    The assistant never recovered from the incident; he stopped shooting matches and even now only does limited work on firearms for personal friends......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  13. #87
    Senior Member Array surefire7's Avatar
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    VERY interesting thread! I have talked with a lot of women friends(who don't shoot) and they often say they couldn't harm another human being even if they were threatened or being harmed. (I cannot understand that.) I really think they would change if their child was involved (mama bear syndrome). For me, a first step was hunting. Its a big step (esp. for women) to be able to take ANY life even though its for a good purpose. Defending your or a loved one's life...
    as others have said, I'd hate to be put in that situation but if it does occur, I feel ready to take action.
    "Good decisions come from experience;
    experience comes from bad decisions"

  14. #88
    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Pretty sure I wouldn't. I've been in three situations wherein I could likely have shot people with justification, but fortunately, did not have to. Didn't freeze then, but didn't enjoy it a lot, either. As a CHL and defensive shooting instructor, I hope not.

  15. #89
    Member Array VTXDM40's Avatar
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    We all have a fight or flight" response. Some will go head first into danger without any hesitation. Others will turn and run or become frozen with fear....nobody really knows what they will do until the need arises.
    Take care,
    VTXDM40...........Molon Labe

  16. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by metallic View Post
    I can attest to this, I had a "mishap" while finishing up my scuba diving certification. I was practicing an out of air situation that required buddy breathing, and I wasn't familiar with my instructor's gear and wound up putting his spare regulator in my mouth backwards. I pretty much made a mad bolt for the surface as soon as I got a huge gulp of sea water instead of air.

    Now here's the thing about panic, my decision wasn't even voluntary. I didn't think about what was happening to me, I wasn't thinking about the effects that a bolt from 60 feet to the surface could have on my lungs. In fact, I could say that absolutely zero conscious thought was occurring at this point. From a mental standpoint, I had completely shut down and let my baser instincts take over. And this is why panic is so deadly.
    If you want to learn about panic, and other natural phenomenon which occurs specifically during gunfights, I highly recommend you get the video
    Physio-Psychological Aspects of Violent Encounters by Massad Ayoob

    It's a two hour program which is part of his standard lecture in the 40 hour LFI-1 class and the video is worth it's weight in gold.

    It's an in depth insight into what goes on in the mind and why people do the things they do.

    The interesting part is for each phenomenon explained, Ayoob presents real life examples and cases he was directly involved in, either by testifying in court on the case or by interviewing the survivor in person where the phenomenon played a pivotal role.

    You can get it here, located at the bottom of the page. It's available in VHS & DVD for $34.95 in both formats.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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