The ''hesitation factor''

This is a discussion on The ''hesitation factor'' within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If your aggressor is dangerous, then find a way out. You're not dangerous. If that's what you feel, then yes, withdrawal is a very wise ...

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Thread: The ''hesitation factor''

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    If your aggressor is dangerous, then find a way out. You're not dangerous.
    If that's what you feel, then yes, withdrawal is a very wise choice. I've now faced LEOs and legal jeopardy situations several times in my life for assisting another and been convicted twice, once for misdeanor battery when I was much younger and in a jurisdiction that didn't value someone's life, and now for "non-malicious pointing of a firearm." Neither has taken away my right to own firearms or to carry them, and I've come away a little more bruised every time - but the fact is that if it's my skin or someone else's, that little thing in me says that I'd rather take the flogging than watch someone else do it. Maybe it's a great failing in me personally.

    To get back to the meat of the question, however, the time for these questions is before you step in. In my recent incident, I knew the minute I touched the Glock that the night was underway - and that there would be no winners. I went forth anyway.

    I'm not saying that others should unequivocably do so. I'm not saying that in every situation I should either. However, there comes a point as I've gotten older that I'm not willing to cower in the corner and hope for the best - or run away. I will leave if the situation warrants, but if it's already escalated or it's a momentary decision, I've always been one to err on the side of action versus inaction.

    In my recent real-world scenario, I was faced with an unpleasant situation: intervene and do what was right or let someone I despise take a beating that they didn't deserve. I did the former, even though it cost me a $50 fine and put another mark on my jacket.

    In those unpleasant situations, ask yourself, is this something I have to do, or is it something I want to do?

    If it's yes to the former and no to the latter, then take those steps and know that at least some folks will understand.
    Last edited by rfurtkamp; April 24th, 2005 at 02:04 AM. Reason: edited for clarity.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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  3. #17
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    Indeed - some folks will understand. I applaud your sense of public spiritedness. Not sure we would all have the b***s to go so far tho I hope I would.

    I have that thing called a conscience - it could just get me into trouble one day!!!
    Chris - P95
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    "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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  4. #18
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Rfurtkamp,

    I am not a sworn officer. Of course, few of us would leave a LEO in danger if we could help it. I interact and do business with them every day. All of us should take steps to secure the life of someone less fortunate in a crisis situation.

    The ideas of 'cower' or 'run away' are not the same. I don't cower, that's what the Glock is for. But consider a parallel situation with a burning building, and you have no extinguisher or the fire is too large for you to contain.

    You're not "running away" if the danger is too great for a reasonable man to handle. Would you stay there and burn?

    Same thing on the street. My wife and I use cell phones all of the time to report unattended and spreading fires, unskilled people with disabled autos or drunken behavior by drivers. That's appropriate behavior.

    Did you know that many first responders also die with the victim because they rushed into the same danger? This is often the case where danger is unseen, like in a gas leak. It would have been great if a hero could have pulled victims to safety from the young boy and older man who used sniper techniques from the trunk of their car. Most likely they would have provided another target.

    But what series of events caught the two snipers? A normal citizen saw the car and the license plate and got the police. They were arrested as they slept.

    Technically, the citizen could have pulled his own firearm, hoped for the best, and apprehended the two. Read that sentence again and tell me how it sounds.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tourist
    Rfurtkamp,
    But consider a parallel situation with a burning building, and you have no extinguisher or the fire is too large for you to contain.
    The problem is that I've never met a situation I couldn't handle save for a full-scale riot. This won't be the case for everyone, but it is, as much as it pains me to paraphrase Marx, "from each according to his means."

    You're not "running away" if the danger is too great for a reasonable man to handle. Would you stay there and burn?
    I'll run into the burning building if needed, yes.

    Same thing on the street. My wife and I use cell phones all of the time to report unattended and spreading fires, unskilled people with disabled autos or drunken behavior by drivers. That's appropriate behavior.
    Different situations require different appropriate behavior.

    Did you know that many first responders also die with the victim because they rushed into the same danger? This is often the case where danger is unseen, like in a gas leak. It would have been great if a hero could have pulled victims to safety from the young boy and older man who used sniper techniques from the trunk of their car. Most likely they would have provided another target.
    Most likely, yes. The problem is that if that situation presents itself, chances are I'll respond with the best case scenario hope. I've got training, don't flinch under fire, and quite frankly, am willing to take a risk. I know what that means - it means I may not come home that night. Some situations are worth that, others aren't.

    But what series of events caught the two snipers? A normal citizen saw the car and the license plate and got the police. They were arrested as they slept.
    If I see a "suspicious" car in that scenario, sure. If I see gunfire belching from the trunk, it's a world of difference.

    Technically, the citizen could have pulled his own firearm, hoped for the best, and apprehended the two. Read that sentence again and tell me how it sounds.
    As you describe it, it doesn't sound good. Brave actions rarely do when analyzed in light of a 'what if something happens to me' standpoint.

    That's the difference, I suppose. Yes, I analyze that repercussions could occur - and weigh them against my skill set.

    If I have a reasonable chance of success, I'm a gambling man.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  6. #20
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    What pains me about your prose is the phrase "I'm willing to take the risk." I'm getting to the age where I see younger people as a possible son, or even grandson. It's hard watching them get banged up.

    I'll give you an example. All of my friends are conservative church members, cops, rednecks, bikers and redneck bikers. We don't suffer fools longer than it takes a Rhinelander Bullfrog long-neck to lose its chill.

    However, I was the last one in this group to agree on sending troops to the mideast. My view had nothing to do with politics (I would have personally put the last three slugs in Bin Laden or Hussein), but for the cost to us in the lives of the young soldiers.

    I made the comment: "Why should our best die for their worst?"

    My opinion on a first-responder is similar in nature. In the few threads in which I have read your thoughts, I have no doubt you would risk it all to save someone or face a BG. How many folks do you know like that?

    I've known four. In my entire life.

    We have technology, trained fire and police personnal and an ugly history of first responder deaths. My view on bravery has changed.

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tourist
    What pains me about your prose is the phrase "I'm willing to take the risk."
    Life is a risk. Every time I leave the house I take a risk. Every time I get up in the morning I take a risk. I'm well aware of them and the ones I choose to embark on versus those that can't be avoided.

    However, I was the last one in this group to agree on sending troops to the mideast. My view had nothing to do with politics (I would have personally put the last three slugs in Bin Laden or Hussein), but for the cost to us in the lives of the young soldiers.

    I made the comment: "Why should our best die for their worst?"
    Herein I suppose lies the difference - I make the assumption that troops who have signed on the dotted line are willing to go into harm's way. I'll support their decision to do so and attempt to cajole my reps into providing them with the best possible rules of engagement, equipment, and support - and do what I can as a private citizen.

    I've had enough discussions with friends in the service on the subject to let them do the jobs they've signed on to do - and part of that job, as any new recruit knows, is to sometimes die.

    My opinion on a first-responder is similar in nature. In the few threads in which I have read your thoughts, I have no doubt you would risk it all to save someone or face a BG. How many folks do you know like that?
    I know at least half a dozen. None are policemen or in any way 'obligated' to do so.

    I've known four. In my entire life.
    I've lost about that many - the folks willing to do often have short, eventful lives but I'm not going to second guess their choices.

    We have technology, trained fire and police personnal and an ugly history of first responder deaths.
    Truthfully, I don't necessarily believe that in some (not all) instances that the trained professionals are any better than the trained amateurs. I saw the first responder police guy in my recent incident. If he exhibited twice the skill in dealing with people that he did with me, the domestic would have turned into an officer involved shooting.

    My view on bravery has changed.
    As I've gotten older, mine has as well. I didn't used to respect those who tried to help others, considering them fools who got what they deserved. Somewhere along the way, I realized that ability and skill equalled obligation in a certain respect - much as someone trainined in the Heimlich maneuver isn't going to stand by and watch someone die on a pretzel.

    Not everyone feels this way, and I don't blame them for it. There's nothing wrong with taking the safe route - millions do it every day to great effect and enrich their country, community, and world.

    I'm just not one of those people. Maybe the world would be a better place with less of my people here - maybe it'd be worse.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfurtkamp
    I'm just not one of those people. Maybe the world would be a better place with less of my people here - maybe it'd be worse.
    I'll vote for worse here, I'm with you all the way, in one of these situations I could see us standing side by side, be it fire, flood or firefight, sometimes you have to make the choice to see that innocent lives are not lost.

    We may be dinosaurs in the modern thinking man's mind, but so be it. God knows I'm getting old enough to have had personal relationships with a few dinosaurs.
    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

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    ...To boil it down to its simplest form, I have come to the conclusion that I must answer one simple question:

    Is a life in danger with no hope of retreat or resolution to the situation?
    ...Overall, I try to be aware as possible. I feel awareness and avoidance are the most important things I have learned and ever will learn. I feel I'm making a reasonable effort to protect myself. I have the tools, I have the materials, I'm practicing regularly, and I hope to take some more courses this summer. What else could I possibly do without this whole thing consuming my life? And I simply pray and hope God will provide otherwise.
    The question is straightforward, certainly, but not necessarily simple. In a situation where one's personal boundaries are, of necessity, closer than one would prefer, such as a busy downtown sidewalk, the answer can go from "maybe" to "yes" very rapidly and with little warning, even for the situationally aware.

    To answer P95's original question, yes, I think about the legal ramifications of having to draw in idle moments, and thought about it a great deal before committing to carry. But, while carrying, I don't think about the legal issues, except in practical terms, such as Euc has laid out. The legal limitations on my lethal response are manifest in my risk/threat assessment, and part of going from yellow to orange to red.

    This is probably a poor description, so I will apologize in advance, but when I am home and have the luxury of sitting in contemplation, I am more in "strategic" or "tactical" mode. When I am out and about and doing stuff, I am more in "operational" mode. In operational mode, for the most part I am not planning and contemplating the legal consequences - I have plans in place and try to maintain situational awareness to deal with the tasks at hand.

    I have never been in a gunfight. I have been drawn on three times while unarmed. I have been in one hand-to-hand confrontation, with multiple attackers. When I found myself unavoidably up against three figures in the dark, I did not worry about the legal ramifications, I focused on eliminating the threats. My risk/threat assessment had my legal limitations built in. I could not have gotten to "orange" without having tried unsuccessfully to avoid the confrontation. I could not have gotten to "red" without the recognition that I had no alternatives left but to defend myself. I do remember that, because I had done everything I was supposed to do to avoid conflict, I felt a certain "liberation" to respond without worrying about the consequences.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

  10. #24
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    Tom - thx for your addition to the thread and thx again also to all who responded.

    This whole deal is of course incredibly subjective but - it has been useful to gain insight thru input.

    I feel with carry, that our burden of responsibility is such that every morcel of opinion and feedback we can gain, thru forums such as this, can only enhance our outlook and probably also sharpen our thinking.
    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!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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