The Chance of Being Wounded
This is a discussion on The Chance of Being Wounded within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am almost positive that everyone here understand the need for the proper mindset of concealed carry, the mental preparation for making the determination when ...
April 17th, 2007 10:35 AM
The Chance of Being Wounded
I am almost positive that everyone here understand the need for the proper mindset of concealed carry, the mental preparation for making the determination when lethal force must be used, actually pulling the trigger when the time comes, and then the fact that there may be some post conflict stress involved in dealing with what happened.
We accept that and so we carry.
However, last night, multiple stories fell in my lap and were all brought together by a pretty stupid event--my stubbing my toe--that made me sit back and do a little thinking.
Before I even started carrying I read a story about a man in Washington state who was carrying who approached a man with a rifle who was shooting people in a mall. He said, "Son, I think you should put the weapon down," (or something like that) and the rifleman turned and shot him. He never even drew his weapon.
The man didn't die, but he was paralyzed.
Then about a week ago I read a story about a police officer who was shot in the face and survived. He is now permanently blind but alive.
So, yesterday I stubbed my toe and took off my sock to discover I broke my toenail in half across the top of my toe. Every step I have taken since if my toes are moved, my foot feels like it's on fire.
Why that made an impression on me, I have no idea my wound is minimal at best, but I was sitting on the couch chastising myself for stubbing my toe and started thinking about the chances of getting wounded.
You get into a conflict with a man with a weapon, best case scenario, you are able to overcome the situation and your life and limbs are preserved while the bad guy goes down. Worse case scenario, he kills you. But there is a middle that may even be considered a fate worse than death by some... being irreparably wounded.
I've heard some people say (not necessarily on this board, but in general) things like, "I would rather die than be blind for the rest of my life," or "I'd rather die than be paralyzed."
I once read a story about a Vietnam Vet who had made a pact with a buddy while in Vietnam. They promised one another that if one was wounded in such a way that would leave them permanently crippled that the other would kill him so he would not have to live the rest of their life as a cripple. As Vietnam would have it, his buddy had his leg badly wounded by an explosion to the point that it would have to be amputated. As he approached his friend, just to be with him before he was medi-vated, his friend started screaming, "Please don't kill me! Please. I want to live. Seriously, man, don't kill me."
He tried to assure his friend that he wouldn't do it, but up until the very moment that they put him on the chopper the wounded man was afraid the friend would keep his promise.
I know that some people like to think they would rather die than be disabled but when staring at the prospect of losing their life they quickly change their mind.
Well, what about it? How much has the idea of being wounded been weighed in your decision to carry? And what of the aftermath of being wounded? I would hope we have all talked to our families about what may happen should lethal force be needed, but have you talked to your family about their thoughts on what would happen should the threat be stopped but you are left wounded?
April 17th, 2007 10:49 AM
I look at it about the same as anything else... I am planning on doing yard work today, I can be hurt doing that. I might get in a car crash on the way to Home Depot. You never know what life is going to bring. Thats why I wear my seatbelt, and carry a gun.
The proper mindset you speak of does not allow the thought of injury to control the situation. It cant. In self defense, your going to get hurt anyway (or at least about to). Your role is to minimize damage and live another day. If I get hurt, that sucks, but its the cards life dealt. The BG is going to get hurt far worse. You cant let fear of getting hurt enter your mind.
The key to the mindset is survive. Some most battles last only a few seconds, but I have said on this board before that the fight lasts much much longer. Once your ears stop ringing does not mean the fight is over.
April 17th, 2007 10:51 AM
Well, that's certainly a factor, but I can be wounded or killed for not resisting just as easily as I can for putting a bullet in the ******* trying to hurt me or mine. My objective for carrying is to put the bad guy down before he manages to do the damage he is attempting. I feel I have a better chance of getting out of a violent encounter in one piece if I have the means to resist. Naturally the possibility still exists that I'll be wounded, but not carrying a weapon doesn't make that possibility go away.
“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V
April 17th, 2007 10:55 AM
In my mind the decision to carry does not enter the equation, unless it's to reduce my chance of being wounded or killed. The gun is there to help me in a bad situation and assist in keeping me from harm.
In general though I have thought about becoming disabled but I have such a love for life that barring catatonia or some other profound change that removes the mental aspect of who I am I would wish to continue living.
Sorry about your toe. :)
"If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys
"I carry a gun for the same reason that I carry health insurance and a cell phone - be prepared."
April 17th, 2007 10:59 AM
Those are good thoughts. I myself have thought long and hard about that. You will find most keyboard commandos will say I couldn't live with myself if I allowed this to happen, or they will throw a GOD statement in there, something like I am a god fearing man and he will take care of me. Either way I look at it in a different light. My family comes first. I carry to protect myself and my loved ones. I do not know what I would do at that moment but I do know my family needs me and as selfish as it is I want to live and spend my life with my family. I will do what ever it takes to protect them.
April 17th, 2007 11:05 AM
That is a very real consideration. Two of the finest people I have ever known have had their lives and the lives of their families forever changed by their wounds. One is former Louisianna Trooper Bobby Smith, Phd. who was blinded by a shotgun blast to his face on a traffic stop. He has written a book and produced a video presentation that details how the world will change in an instant, and his personal journey from a "trooper who rides alone" to the depths of his despair to where he is today. I have seen him speak twice and he is incredible! The second is an officer on my old department, who I won't name out of respect for his privacy, who was shot in the neck on a traffic stop. He was paralyzed from the chest down. He is an inspiration to me. He never gives up. He has pursued alternative therapies and is slowly regaining control of body. He is still active with the department, riding a desk temporarily, and still providing valuable service to the community. He was offered a full disability retirement, but refused it. He views his current situation as a temporary setback, and a trial of his spirit.
If I should ever suffer the kind of trauma these two men have overcome I just hope I can show half the resolve, and courage, as these two men.
April 17th, 2007 11:14 AM
Certainly not. And I also agree with Sixto in that you can get wounded or hurt doing anything from raking your yard to walking your dog. You do the best you can to avoid it but if it's going to happen it's going to happen. It hasn't changed or effected the reasons or my mindset or my decision to carry.
Originally Posted by Roadrunner
But some people wear their carry weapon like a kind of badge of courage. (Again, not necessarily here, but they are out there.) They step into situations they would never have were they not carrying and may be hurt because of it.
They think they are Rambo and can go charging into ANY situation, guns blazing, and take down multiple BG's while the bullets go zinging by their head and they will walk away the hero.
If they understood the risks of getting wounded or even killed, they may be a little more hesitant to charge in.
There are some circumstances where I believe I would intervene, with or without a gun despite any chance of getting hurt or killed just because it's the right thing to do. There are times I wouldn't.
I think my own personal standard is if I wouldn't intervene without a gun then I'm not going to intervene with a gun.
If someone takes you on personally and comes after you, well you probably were going to be hurt or killed anyway, you have nothing to loose.
My husband and I have talked about this and also about what states of medical intervention that we would want should we ever be wounded. Would we want to be allowed to stay in a vegetative state? Would we be organ donors if it came to that point? I think those conversations are prudent in any marriage, concealed carry involved or not, but the fact that we are more aware of violence in the world (therefore we carry) I think we are more aware that that violence could lead to devastating effects we should be prepared for.
April 17th, 2007 11:18 AM
Originally Posted by PapaScout
April 17th, 2007 11:26 AM
Another great thread, Lima...
I've worked at a major trauma facility hospital in the Denver area for the last 20 years, and have seen how horribly injured people either choose to live or not...the chain of events goes something like this:
First, the Emergency Room personnel are either able to save the life and stabilize the person, or not. If the injured person is stabilized, they are transferred to the Critical Care unit where the "make or break" phase begins...in the CCU, injured parties either begin to heal, just remain stable (as with bad head injuries), or fail and die.
It's at this point that people either find the inner strength to move on with life and whatever it holds, or give up an succumb. If they decide mentally that they are going to live, they are transfered to the Multiple Trauma unit for further stabilization, and then to a Rehab Hospital where they are trained in the techniques of how to deal with thier new situation. It's not a pretty picture...
Daily I see young people who are permanently paralyzed and will spend the rest of their lives in a motorized wheelchair, and I wonder where they find the strength to face the future. I hope that I never have to make that choice for myself.
Consequently, I find that, as far as CCW and the thought of engaging in a gunfight goes, I don't dwell on the possibility of a permanent debilitating injury...if it happens, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. That's why we train to hone our skills...to try to tip the advantages in our favor.
Recently, I have taken some steps that I would recommend to everyone: I purchased the Quicken Willmaker Plus 2007 software, and made up a Last Will, and power of medical attorney with a Living Will to give my family members the say in how medical treatment will be carried out in the event that I'm unable to direct my own treatment. The software make it easy to do, and can help your loved ones if the worst case scenario comes true.
"I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York
"They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper
April 17th, 2007 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by limatunes
The risk of being injured doesn't change if i'm carrying or not. Only what i get involved in does. Sometimes you cant help but be involved. But when you can avoid it and you choose to get involved anyway, you voluntarly increase your risk. Sometimes it is the right thing to do, sometimes folks just get gung ho and want to be the hero, even if its not the best thing to do.
Your right, so many of us go through scenario after scenario in our heads, with one thing almost always in common: we don't get shot.
May your toe heal quickly and your bullets fly straight.
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April 17th, 2007 12:00 PM
During any violent confrontation, the immediate need is to survive. Actually, merely surviving is not enough.
Our mindset should be to win by responding with such an overwhelming attack that the offender is too busy defending themselves to worry about a serious attack.
As for worrying about getting wounded, that will have to wait for a later time.
We should turn any fear we have into a controlled anger: how dare he try to kill me!!!!!
Besides, I figure that life is precious. I will fight for it!
Lima - I will echo the comment - sorry about your toe!
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).
April 17th, 2007 12:11 PM
Feces occur. Having the means of affecting the outcome the situation in your hands is a whole lot better than leaving it all up to the kindness and mercy of an evil person.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
April 17th, 2007 12:31 PM
Your post speaks to mindset, on two levels: You must be prepared to act, and you must be prepared to overcome.
Originally Posted by limatunes
The "individual" in Tacoma is paralyzed because he made a choice. The shooter did not care what he thought about the situation. It was time to act, or get out of Dodge. Oops.
Gabe Suarez has said that it would be wise to carry a BOK (Blow Out Kit) instead of one extra magazine. Sound advice. Without knowing the extent of injuries at VT, as an ex-EMT, I'm pretty confident in saying that if 2 people had had BOKs, and some basic training, at least 3-4 more people would have survived/prepared care-provider. It doesn't take much, in the first 3 minutes of injury, to "make it or break it". Overcome.
Having a weapon does, indeed, not make one "armed". Nor does being "armed" mean only the possession and appropriate utilization of weapons. It is a total mindset, a way of life. Being prepared for life-challenges is not a matter of specialization, but of Renaissance.
April 17th, 2007 12:44 PM
I have a purple toe nail myself to prove that I am human too. It's what I get for walking around in the dark knowing that i have two kids that like to leave toys laying around.
Originally Posted by limatunes
Back to the point, the thought that I may wind up taking a trip to the ER or the morgue is one that I have given time to, but I don't dwell on it at all. Once you let those thoughts filter into the way you act and think, you may loose focus on what needs to be done. I find they tend to become motivating factors in many peoples minds, and I am not immune to that possibility either.
I have spoken to my wife about this on several occassions, and I think that we both are prepared to deal with the consequences of my actions. Since I am the one that is more likely to be the one effected personally, I believe that I am capable to handle whatever the outcome is.
I have told her that in the event that something were to happen, that if I don't come home, it wasn't because I didn't try, and to rest assured that the BG had a bad day as well.
"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair
April 17th, 2007 12:50 PM
Well that is something that is talked about in my house a lot (Getting wounded). I have thought about it over and over again and came to the conclusion that I will be wounded atleast once in my life time. I will be going to the police acadamy pretty soon and I would like to be on SWAT. I just have a feeling in my gut that I will get shot and it will take me a little bit of time to recover. I don't know why I feel like that but I sometimes have dreams about and my mom hates to hear about them.
I tell my wife that it will happen and she just blows me off. I am going to have to sit down with her and go through the worst of the worst on the "what if". Never even dawned on me to sit down and let her know what should be done in case. Well looks like I will be chatting with the wife tonite about during dinner.
“Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”
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