The Right Tools for the Right Job

This is a discussion on The Right Tools for the Right Job within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The following is something I wrote after starting to carry. In fact, one of the first things I told my husband when he suggested I ...

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Thread: The Right Tools for the Right Job

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    The Right Tools for the Right Job

    The following is something I wrote after starting to carry. In fact, one of the first things I told my husband when he suggested I get my CCW is that I would only get it as long as I went to classes and trainings on somewhat of a regular bases as well as LOTS of practice.

    My opinions on proper training and preparation in any undertaking have all been founded on the following story.

    Mods, if I put it in the wrong place, move away!

    With the last words of “If I die, tell my boyfriend that I love him,” I watched a girl close her eyes, grit her teeth, run as fast as she could and throw herself off of the diving board of my college campus swimming pool.

    She hit the water as her two friends cheered.

    I took no special interest in the situation, I had just been doing my laps for gym class and had stopped to watch when I heard the two friends teasing the girl for being afraid to jump.

    Seconds passed and the girl did not immerge. The precious seconds kept ticking and the surface of the water began to calm.

    I looked to her friends as they returned to talking and seemed not to notice their friend was not coming back.

    A hint of worry tickled my mind and I swam a bit closer, looking down through the water to see the girl’s body limp on the pool floor.

    “Can she swim?” I yelled to her companions.

    “No.” One of them answered, looking around the water for her friend, “Why, where is she?”

    I didn’t think, I didn’t even consider what I was about to do. Someone was in danger, possibly grave danger, and I needed to help.

    I dived into the water and swam down the twelve feet to the immobile girl. Grabbing her by the arm I hoisted her to the surface, all the while thinking only of saving her life.

    Her head broke the surface and she got her first full gulp of air in almost a minute, not long in retrospect, but an eternity for a drowning victim. Then something happened I had not expected. The rush of air did not prove to calm her, only to ignite a survival fury I had not anticipated. She turned in my loose grasp, wrapped her arms around my neck and clung to me like a raft all while screaming at the top of her lungs, kicking and flailing. I instantly understood my error.

    My mother, a lifeguard for many years, had warned me never to try and save a drowning victim without lifeguard training. She had told me of training they received on how to disable victims who were too panicked to understand that they are attacking the very individual who is trying to save them. She warned me that staying calm was the key, and if it comes down to the saver or the victim, it’s better to fight them off and let them drown than let the water claim two lives.

    I reminded myself to stay calm assuming the people around us would help.

    We could only have been four feet from the pool’s edge, but it might as well have been miles away. I was treading water, trying to support both her weight and mine, but I was not strong enough to keep us both above water. She was holding me under though I could look up to see a mere inch or two of water between the surface and me.

    I didn’t know how long I had been under the water for, but my eyesight began to fade and my lungs quivered with the need to inhale.

    When my vision was nothing but a pinpoint in the darkness I came to the conclusion it was her or me but I had waited too long. I desperately needed air and my last coherent thought was, You Idiot! You should have never tried to save her. You didn’t know what you were doing.


    The lifeguard, with help from bystanders, did pull us from the water only seconds later, but apparently it took a few more moments to pry the panicked girl’s arms from my neck before I started breathing and woke up. After that we were all being scolded; the friends for encouraging her to jump when she couldn’t swim, her for listening, and me for trying to save her with no training.

    I kept thinking of the things I should have done. I should have yelled for the lifeguard, if no lifeguard were present I should have recruited someone to get a pole or something we could have hooked her with. The last resort should have been to go and get her myself, but to warn those around me to assist as soon as possible, at least by pulling us in when we broke surface.

    I didn’t possess the necessary tools to intervene in that situation and though a life was saved, had no one been there to help, both of us would have died.

    That lesson has stayed with me through the years and taught me the value of ensuring I possess the necessary tools to save a life, including my own. The most valuable tool I have is my mind, seconded only preparation through training and acquainting myself with the physical tools I have around me.

    As an armed citizen, I’m back in the pool of my freshman year of college. I’m treading water in a deep and potentially dangerous place and like that day, it’s possible I may see another citizen drowning. In this day I am one step above the average citizen in that I am armed as in that day I was a step above that girl in that I could swim, but that’s not enough.

    My next semester of college, I took Lifeguarding classes; I was never again going to be caught unprepared to save a life in the water. Today, I actively seek training and practice in preparing for saving a life in the world.

    The instinct to save a life, even a stranger’s life, is a good instinct, but is in need of control. I cannot always rush in to help and save the day. Sometimes, I must pass off that responsibility to those who are better equipped and even if I can help, I need to make sure I use the resources available before I dive in and possibly add another victim to the water of life.

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Good post. I actually have been in that situation with my own sibling when we were school aged. She nearly drowned us both trying to claw her way to the top of my head after I dove in to pull her out. Thankfully I wasn't so unlucky to not be able to control her to some extent. I almost learned that lesson the hard way, Never again! But it does prove a good point. All the good intentions in the world mean nothing if you don't keep your tools sharp(tools being learned skills you put in your brain to be pulled out later).
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Exellent !
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    When I took lifesaving classes (years ago), that was a big part of the class. They taught you how to avoid & how to get out of those types of holds by a drowning victim.

    Just apply those principles to daily life & you look at situations differently. You want to try to save a life if needed, but HAVE A PLAN TO SURVIVE YOURSELF.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

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    2 valuable lessons in 1 . Train to properly handle the situation, and don't try to save a downing victim without lifeguard training.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Excellent post

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    Great posts Lima and rocky.
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    Excellent lima - another very salient reminder of why we should train - and obviously this is not just CCW even tho the message you make is clear.

    Thank you. Good post.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    WOW!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

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    JD
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    Thumbs up

    Lima's snoozing on the couch at the moment but I'll pass on the kudos, I am very pleased that she has found a new "home" here, she was/is a Moderator on the Militray.com website in the spouses forum, but there was too much drama there for her. I'm glad she likes it here, and I'm glad you all enjoy her posts as much I enjoy discussing them while in the works.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Good post and it concisely to me illustrates just why so many of us try and build a " leatherman set of skills " rather than specialize. I have at times in my life been an emt , a cop ( i dont mind the lable ) , and a volentere fire fighter . I have been a life long firearms student , and on occation when no one else was better able an instructor . I feel i have a " leatherman " set of skills in the sense that i am not the best at anything , but can get by in most situations . I dont have a full tool box for anything , but do have a " kit " to get me and mine out of about anything .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Actually, the lesson I take away from the story is that one should do all that they can to prevent a non-swimmer friend from jumping into a pool!

    On a serious note, it is all about preparation, be it shooting, CPR, or other lifesaving skill.

    Personally, as I've aged I have felt a decreasing physical ability to fend for myself, so have been more attentive to my defensive shooting skills as well as making sure that I'm never unarmed.
    Last edited by JimmyC4; March 8th, 2007 at 11:59 PM.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    The instinct to save a life, even a stranger’s life, is a good instinct, but is in need of control. I cannot always rush in to help and save the day. Sometimes, I must pass off that responsibility to those who are better equipped and even if I can help, I need to make sure I use the resources available before I dive in and possibly add another victim to the water of life.
    One aspect of this I disagree a little bit with is depending on someone else who may be better equipped to help. The assumption that "someone else" is in a better position to help someone in trouble is a big contributor to the bystander effect. When a large group of people observes someone in need of help, they tend to rationalize not helping by assuming that someone else is more qualified to help. Since everybody thinks that someone else will help the person in trouble, no one ends up going to their aid. Learning the skills necessary to save a life is definitely a good idea, but we shouldn't necessarily refuse to provide any help at all just because we're not experts.

    As far as the specific situation with the drowning victim goes, I was taught a pretty easy way to deal with it way back when I was a Boy Scout. If someone you're trying to save is pushing you under trying to keep their own head above water, let go of them and stop trying to keep them afloat. Dive down deeper if you have to. Once you switch from being a flotation device to a dead weight dragging them down, they'll let go pretty quick.

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    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    another great post lima
    Timmy Jimmy

    If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.

    "Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."

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    Good post and information.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

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