Thinking Rationally Through Anger
This is a discussion on Thinking Rationally Through Anger within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was going to put this in "Off Topic and Humor" because it is kind of a funny story but it has it's applications to ...
July 22nd, 2011 01:18 PM
Thinking Rationally Through Anger
I was going to put this in "Off Topic and Humor" because it is kind of a funny story but it has it's applications to concealed carry issues so it's going here.
My father is... well.. an angry man. You'd never know it if you met him as he seems as quiet and docile as a lamb to people he doesn't know. To his family, however, he can have a roaring and raving temper.
It has cooled quite a bit over the last ten years but every now and then it rears its ugly head.
A few weeks back he and my mother were on a trip and got a call from the neighbor watching their house that one of the windows on the house was broken.
There had been a storm and it was immediately speculated that perhaps it was hail damage or the like.
I was driving home to visit them and would arrive at their house only a few hours after they returned from their trip.
When I arrived my mother greeted me at the door and warned me that my father was in a very sour mood.
Upon entering the house I could already hear my father raving about how lucky those punks were that he hadn't been here when "they did that."
I asked what was the matter and he told me to come outside and look at the house.
There was one large double-pane window that had one pane of glass broken out but not the other. There were no marks of any kind on the second pane of glass. A few feet to the right there was a small hole in the siding, a few feet to the right of that there was a dent in the aluminum frame of their bedroom window and a few feet to the right of that there was another small hole in the siding. None of these hole extended into the foam insulation underneath of the siding. All of these holes were almost perfectly in line with one another and the breaking in the siding made it clear that the impact was from across rather than above. So it was pretty clear this couldn't have been hail damage.
My father was CONVINCED that someone had been shooting a gun at the house and intended to kill him and my mother as the "bullets were aimed at their bedroom window."
I tried to reason with him saying that if, indeed, it were gunshots they had to have come from quite a distance away to not even have the energy to break a second pane of glass or embed into foam insulation.
Not to mention my family lives out in the middle of nowhere and their house is completely surrounded by trees. Their house is so secluded that at night, with the lights off, you can't even tell there is a house in the cluster of trees stuck out in the middle of a field, two football field lengths from the road. In order to get those shots someone would have to stand very close to the house which would cause more damage. There were no projectiles seen or found anywhere.
I asked him if, perhaps, something had been hit with the lawn-mower and the kid mowing the lawn either didn't want to get in trouble or didn't notice right away and that could have caused that damage.
"NO! Someone wants to kill us!"
"Dad," I reasoned. "Who? Who would want to kill you and Mom?"
"I don't know but why else would they be shooting at our bedroom window?"
"I don't think it's gunshots.. and IF it is I would be more inclined to think it was negligent in nature rather than malicious. You guys have no enemies of any kind."
My Dad would have none of it. "They are just lucky I wasn't here when they did that."
"Why? What would you have done if you were laying in bed and heard gunshots hitting the house?"
"I'd run down stairs, get my AK-47 and come out shooting myself!"
I scoffed. I couldn't help it. "Seriously, Dad? You'd run out INTO gunfire with an AK-47 and fire blindly TOWARDS your neighbors with no idea how many there were, what their true direction is or even if it was malicious intent or not?"
I turned to my mother and said, "I hope you guys have a good life insurance plan for Dad.. and a good lawyer."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head, motioning for me to give up.
My Dad called the police. They came out and made a report and even the officer said he didn't think it was gunfire but looked more like lawn mower damage or even something you'd see from a sling shot.
The next morning my Dad was calmer and greeted me upon waking with the news that he agreed that it probably wasn't gunfire. He concluded that even if it was it had to be an accident or negligent as he and my mother couldn't think of a single person who would wish them harm.
I reiterated that I thought his idea of running blindly into gunfire with a rifle was foolish and he still felt it was a reasonable thing to do. Tactical thinking is not his forte.
I let it go, thanking God that we will likely never have to worry about my father charging into oncoming gunfire aimed at his house.
He is talking about getting his CCW now though and I have reminded him that doing so would require him to think more rationally through his anger and get some training in tactics and law. He swears he's not an angry person and that he's been shooting all his life and knows how to handle himself. I might have to "gift" him with a class or two... at least a class on lethal force.
My Dad is not "old." He's fit. He's healthy. He's still working and typically a pretty smart and reasonable guy but when it comes to his temper all of that seems to fly out the window and he comes up with the most hair-brained stuff.
We've had a couple of posts on here of stories where people have acted out of anger. I think anger can be a very useful thing. Getting mad can help you act provided you can think rationally through it and use it for you and not let it lead you to doing something stupid. Having good tactical training to guide you through your anger should also be a top priority.
July 22nd, 2011 01:23 PM
There is the mature handling of anger and then there is childish rage. We should always strive to act like grown-ups rather than 2-year-olds. Some never do though and some even think that their rage is excusable on the face of it.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
July 22nd, 2011 01:29 PM
Keeping your temper under control is a hard habit to form. I know the older I get the more relaxed I get about certain things that would have really ticked me off years ago.
The big thing you have to realize is that most things that tick you off, aren't worth reacting to. Because if you do react and go overboard, the damages caused by your actions are most likely far worse than what transpired to make you angry.
"Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"
Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”
July 22nd, 2011 01:32 PM
At one time in my life, I was very hot headed. I learned that its hard to come out on top in any situation if you lose your cool. So, I let that drive my desire to keep cool and temper simmering.
July 22nd, 2011 01:36 PM
Originally Posted by rammerjammer
I'm very fortunate to have inherited more of my mother's steady calm than my father's hotheadedness. Unfortunately, my brother got a little bit of his crazy and he's not a whole lot better in his rationale when angry.
July 22nd, 2011 01:43 PM
I also am a former hot-head. Somewhere in my late thirties, I learned to force myself into cool-down periods (at least 24 hours) before I took action (if any).
The challenge is this (which Bmcgilvray touched on); Sometimes there is righteous anger, which also warrants a quick response. If you always wait 24 hours before taking action that may be needed, you'll often find yourself somewhat useless. As I get older, I find the ability to discern righteous anger vs. petty rage much easier. It's ironic that as my discernment skills increase, my physical abilities decrease...
'Clinging to my guns and religion
July 22nd, 2011 02:12 PM
I have never found it useful, so I abstain from it. I don't require it to spur necessary actions and I have observed it cause mistakes that might have been costly and ill-advised actions.
"I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".
July 22nd, 2011 02:20 PM
You mellow as you get older, life's too short to be mad all the time!
You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku
July 22nd, 2011 02:31 PM
I'm just waiting for the kids in my neighborhood to walk on my grass ONE MORE TIME!!
limatunes: It sounds like the dents were evenly spaced along the line of damage, is that right? Being as there was a storm in the area around the time of this occurrence, it is possible that a square, flat piece of debris was flying in the wind & 'skipped' down the side of the house. This might account for the shallow holes & only one pane of glass being affected.
...not that I'd suggest mentioning this to your father!
"Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)
July 22nd, 2011 04:39 PM
He sounds like a pretty "normal" guy but another thought is, that if that situation were to really happen, it could result in different actions than he threatened. He may just be saying that because it makes him feel better that he's able to verbally lash out at the damage. I would guess that he would think through it more if he actually had his finger on the trigger.
Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME
Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.
July 22nd, 2011 04:53 PM
Yea, I was also very "short-fused" when I was younger. Seems to have pretty well mellowed out with age. I can and occasionally do still go off,
but it takes much much more than it used to. It took me a lot of years to realize what a disadvantage it put me in when I was angry, just couldn't think as clearly, and sometimes would leave me physically sick for a day or two after. It is a very difficult thing to master.
"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it".
July 22nd, 2011 06:37 PM
There is a name for people that charge blindly out into gunfire,bullet magnets
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
July 22nd, 2011 10:46 PM
Great story Lima. Live how mom blows him off. Classic.
There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive
July 22nd, 2011 11:00 PM
I used to be VERY hotheaded. I still get that way sometimes; usually when driving. And, pretty much always involving unusual amounts of profanity and very loudly. But, especially now that I have my permit (really ever since I had my own weapons in the house), I've been trying to keep my calm. I do MUCH better now; I don't have such violent/angry reactions, and I know that keeping calm is much more important now that I carry a gun in public.
"Gun control should mean hitting your target every time."
Please try to remember- I have a very dry sense of humor. It usually sounds mean, but isn't meant to be.
July 22nd, 2011 11:49 PM
Not to get all psycho-babble about this but WHY is dad such an angry guy?
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