The ''hesitation factor''

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; How many here can honestly say, they do not think of any legal ramifications if involved in a shoot? I sure do. From this comes ...

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Thread: The ''hesitation factor''

  1. #1
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    The ''hesitation factor''

    How many here can honestly say, they do not think of any legal ramifications if involved in a shoot? I sure do.

    From this comes the possibility as I see it - to vacillate maybe too long in a ''situation'' ..... that extra bit of thought as to ''is this worth it'' ..... unless of course said ''situation'' is blatantly cut'n'dried - no messing ... shoot first to be able to live. I am thinking slightly more marginal situations.

    Other side of coin - is the decision-making time that one would like (improbable luxury for most part) ....... enough to make the decision the right one anyways?? There are many scenarios where we might decide to not shoot - and should have done. The opposite also applies ... we shoot and realize it could have been avoided. 20/20 hindsight would often be the only real leveller.

    No one in the end knows how anything will go down but - this potential for hesitation has always bothered me - I sure as heck am not keen to over -react and shoot, if it is avoidable - the sequele are far from desirable. ( I am leaving out here the 100% ''gotta shoot'' episode - if the gun is coming on you then you have to respond ... maybe that is the easiest to deal with from decision making POV.)

    I apologize - I am writing thoughts - structure not planned - but maybe you get my drift? React too quick at times --> deep dodo ...... hesitate just that fraction too long --> deep dodo. Rock and hard place!!

    What are your ideas folks - does this give you pause for thought?
    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.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Truthfully P95 I feel this is a far more important issue than how good your marksmanship is, what kind of gun you carry, or what kind of experience you have.

    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?

    I think that's a pretty simple question to answer to be honest. I admit a lot of the situations we talk about are not really cut and dried, but they all call for action. The goal has never been to shoot first and ask questions later, but people who hesitate lose.

    Now it's true we can cook up situations like this:

    Imagine you are trying to unlock your car at 1 AM after coming out of a long conference when out of the corner of your eye you see a large menacing figure with something in his hands coming your way.

    You unclip your Surefire from your pocket and illuminate a large, 300 pound figure with a fireaxe coming straight at you. He screams "I'm going to kill you!"

    You take off running but find yourself in a dead end. There's no doors to go in, and there's nothing to hide behind. You fire once to the center of mass, and your attacker stops in his tracks and starts wailing in pain, crying for his mother.

    The police show up and you find out he's a 14 year old kid with a grandular disorder playing a live action roleplaying game with his friends. His axe was a toy and you couldn't tell in the dark.

    Now don't you feel like an ass?

    Now I ask you. How ridiculously elaborate and contrived is that scenario?

    That scenario is patently absurd despite the fact it's entirely possible.

    Now are there less contrived situations where a lack of hesitation can get you in tons of trouble? Of course. We talk about them here all the time.

    One thing my CHL instructor said that is a grandmother's wisdom that has stayed with me was this:

    Here's the difference between women and men. Women have this tendency to wrap their minds around other things and are often caught in White more often than men. My friend who got robbed in her driveway is the perfect example. She wasn't paying attention. Men have this tendency to follow their hunter-killer instincts and go towards the danger rather than away from it. It's like the man who knew there was someone in his house, charged in there anyway, heard someone in the closet, fired through the door, and killed his own daughter.* And either one gets you in a world of trouble.
    *She earlier used this incident to point out the importance of the Four Rules of Gun Safety in any situation.

    My point is that:

    #1. I think in all likelihood it'll be real obvious when you should fear for your life, and I think the odds of one of us actually having such a terrible encounter is a million fold greater than the possibility of some out in left field "Don't you feel like an *******?" scenario. Hesitating in this situation will probably happen to some degree but the more we prepare ourselves the more precious seconds we can shave off.

    #2. I think you can avoid a blunder by letting the danger come to you whenever possible.

    I've read all this stuff on having the will to fight and they all come to the same conclusion: plan it out beforehand even though your plan probably won't fold out the way you'd like. The point isn't to construct an elaborate set of contigency plans to address every possible situation, the point is to feel fear and not panic. Fear is good, panic is not.

    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.

  3. #3
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    Thx Euc .... I am with you all the way. For sure - awareness is so vital - it gives or should give - that vital ''headstart'' and so a fraction more thinking time (if lucky!).

    From awareness too comes I think the greater opportunity to get the hell outa Dodge!! I for sure am one (as I hope are all CCW's) who will avoid to the nth degree, any confrontation. Not thru cowardice but simple avoidance, knowing I have the final sanction. As I feel the effects of age tho I am aware that flight becomes less of an option compared with when I was a supple 30 yr old!!

    Maybe, depite all the thoughts on multiple scenarios, there is still that back-of-mind wondering - will I react fast enough - or too fast?. Adrenaline is a fine actuator but - I hope it will never drive my training into top gear too fast - or my cerebral deliberations drag me too slow.

    We will never know - hopefully.
    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.

  4. #4
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    I hope this fits what we are talking about here-a hightly trained officer is chasing a reported bad guy in a mostly mexicon neightborhood at night!!!!! He lost track of the person he is after so the officer back tracks the street. About that that time a guy leaves his home and is searching under a car for his son's toy gun. The officer I suppose sees the man with a small rifle and fires. The guy is shot dead by the officer!!! No second guessing here on my part, your on a dark street chasing someone and decisions for life or death come pretty quick I would imagine. In a review where its calm things can be made to look much different.
    As you slide down the banister of life,
    May the splinters never point the wrong way.
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    I do think about the legal ramifications of shooting in a defensive situation, but not so much that it would negatively effect my actions. At least I hope. I believe odds are that the situation would be a little more "cut and dry" and that the correct action will be dictated by the situation. The time to shoot instead of hesitate is when it is a "kill or be killed". If we are almost, but not quite, there yet I will attempt to diffuse the situation rather than shoot.

    I agree with just about everything each of you have said with the exception of Euc's scenario, which I agree is possible and probably not all that improbable.

    The police show up and you find out he's a 14 year old kid with a grandular disorder playing a live action roleplaying game with his friends. His axe was a toy and you couldn't tell in the dark.

    Now don't you feel like an ass?
    No, I do not. If someone is coming at me with an axe (and it does look real) saying that he is going to kill me I will drop him like a rock. And I won't apologize for it later. If the parents are letting a 300 pound 14 year old boy run the streets at 1AM with his friends and he is foolish enough to include an adult in their "game", that is not cause for me to feel like an ass for killing him. I would certainly feel bad that it happened, but I would not say that the situation was my "fault". I was simply trying to get in my car. He caused the situation that lead to his demise, not me.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  6. #6
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    45 - it is just such factors that give me most cause for concern! Some situations might be seen as cut'n'dried - but such as you mention. Heaven forbid I should find one!

    Being in a semi rural environment I would think (and hope) it very unlikely.
    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.

  7. #7
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    P95,

    I am well known for being Mr. Avoidance. In the macho types I've known, the utterance they use, "I had to do it," is really a cover for, "I wanted to use these new hollowpoints."

    In my life I've ridden, been neighbors, and lifted with perhaps two dozen people in law enforcment. Most go +20 years without firing a shot. And the kicker here is that they are looking for trouble, that's their job.

    So if looking for trouble makes you a remote participant, then being an avoider reduces your chances to about nill.

    You know that 'hinkie' feeling when you know something is wrong? You can tell which side of the fence you're on by your next move.

    Do you reach for a SureFire to enhance a kill zone, or do you look for a safe way out?

    I say this because most good bikers always look for an "avenue out," whether it's for bad pavement, a sudden stop, an Illinois driver or bad weather conditions. The reason is that in a biker vs. truck scenario the biker usually dies and trucker driver tells the TV reporter he heard a 'soft thump.'

    If your aggressor is dangerous, then find a way out. You're not dangerous. You're a father. A Christian. A suburban resident. A husband. You haven't been in a fist fight since the third grade and the last knife fight you saw was during a revival of "The Westside Story."

    Besides, statistics show that the average a LEO stays in uniform, even after a legitimate shooting, is for about nine months. We have a distinguished State Trooper in our neighborhood who was discharged from duties for PTSD. He didn't even shoot at anyone, he wrecked a squad-rod during a high speed chase.

    We have the same cognitive therapist.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist
    We have the same cognitive therapist.
    I think so yeah - much goes with bikers that is common ground. More in fact than many folks might realize - not to mention how potentially misunderstood bikers can be by ''mere mortals''!!!

    Plus too the 'hinkie' feeling - ''spidey sense'' - whatever we may call it - is probably only second to our gun as a survival tool! I have nurtured and cultivated those senses as I get geriatric - partly to compensate for no longer being the Adonis on the block but - also to simply better stay in one piece!!

    I fully expect to see my entry onto the worm's menu coincide with a gun showing no notches - that will suit me fine. I am tho more at ease knowing that I can, if all goes down the toilet - stand a chance to keep self and my nearest around to expire gracefully when the big fella decides!
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    P95,
    I'll weigh in on this as this is one of the factors (legal) that I've posted my thoughts on lately when presented a "what would you do?" scenario.
    One thing I think that comes to mind is that shooting for MY life or that of my family is a non thought, so to speak. You can bet that if I'm confronted with a level of violence that I feel I cant overcome by any other means, I will fire. Sounds easy, right? The trick for me is to decide, in advance, what that level is. Seated in a diner, fruitcake plows thru the front and opens fire....retreat may be more dangerous as it exposes you to the incoming rounds. Cover and concealment, of course. But if retreat means exposure in the open that can be seen by the attacker, then I'll stay down and attempt a well placed shot. More than one assailant, dispaying obvious intent to do great bodily harm, and if I believe they are gonna do it, and especially if I have my wife/kids in tow, no thought required, I made that decision a long time ago. An attack so sudden I'm on the ground before I can react, means my attacker has a pretty good idea of what he's doing, or he's crazy as hell. What I mean by this is that I try not to be a soft target. I stand 5'11'', 215 lbs. I do 30-45mins cardio and 45mins wieghts 5 days a week. I've done my share of rolling around on the concrete with fellas who dont see things the way I see it. I'm no slouch. I'm not a snake eater, but I'm no pushover either. I tend to be very aware of my surroundings. And I let someone know, either by looks, body language, or verbal conveyance if their presence or proximity troubles me. So, for me to be driven to the ground, my assailant for some reason or another, has figured 'he can take me', or he's looking to get killed. Either way, that is a level of violence that I cannot allow to continue for any prolonged amount of time. Because the longer the time, the better his odds are at just being lucky. Time and distance are my friends. Also, the threat of being physically seperated from my wife/kids will result in all bets being off. Guys stroll into Pizza Palace, announce a holdup, and do their thing. Fine, lets let'em get done and get out. If they say "you, get up and move over here, and lead me away from wife/kids........well, I drew the line in the sand long ago, and now you've crossed it. Expect incoming fire. I say this due to precedence. At a Pizza Hut in Brandon a few years back, guys came in, robbed the place, led the males to the freezer and executed them. So, due to the fact that this is a documented practice, and you perform parts 1 and 2, I am not gonna let you get to step 3 scott free. Or, if someone attempts to take my wife/kids away by force, bodies hit the floor. The longer and further they are from me, the less likely to get them back unharmed (rape, torture, etc).
    Where the thinking, and 'hesitating' comes in, is when the violence is not overwhelming, or when I dont know the players, or the old 'third party' quandry. Then I have to put on my thinking cap and weigh out my consequences for making a life/death decision with out all my data. And it may not be hesitating in the form of "I wont shoot", but it may be "I wont shoot now, or I wont shoot unless". Thats just playing it smart and giving some time for things to develope enough to make a better plan.
    I would venture to guess that most everyone on this forum has the smarts to make the decision that would be the decision of any "prudent person in the same situation". Hindsight is always 20/20. But you gotta live long enough to have the chance to see things in hindsight.

    I hope this made some sense and I am really looking foreward to the other replies.

    Dan

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    Dan - thx a lot for your input - this is already proving very valuable - sharing our thoughts on what is quite a significant subject IMO. I do agree re ''line in sand'' and suspect we are all pretty much clear on that with ourselves - that is if you will, constituting the minimum thinking time scenario - SHTF and we go for it - no need to have to hesitate - it's ''game on''.

    I am as you may have gathered more mindful of the ''intermediate'' situations ...
    Where the thinking, and 'hesitating' comes in, is when the violence is not overwhelming, or when I dont know the players, or the old 'third party' quandry.
    Indeed - this is it exactly. That is where I have to wonder whether hesitation will be either too much or too little - no way to know until presented with it.

    As I mentioned - there is this dichotomy - between adrenaline impulse effects - and the need to be mindful of not over reacting. That almost ''no man's land'' - or vacuum - during which we have to assess, and act as best we feel fit. Maybe we could book in advance for some ''divine guidance''!
    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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    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    P,
    when I was working in a gunshop in Geneva, AL, and we were the 'probable' intended victims of an armed robbery, one thing I did was force my brain to tell my body to "get your breathing under control". Panick tends to ensue quicker if you are losing all feeling in your limbs when the dump hits. And that panick may cause a 'not correct at this time ' decision. When you can breath, it is MUCH easier to assess the siutuation, and puts the odds in your favor to make a better plan of escape/avoidance. OR, God forbid, if you do need to use deadly force, your shot will be much truer if you can control your body because you can breath.
    Its a simple thing, get your breathing back under control, and things and events may look differently.

    DAn

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    Legal issues are a very important consideration. The sad fact is that we have prosecutors and politicians out there that are more than willing to subvert our human right to defend ourselves.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    How many here can honestly say, they do not think of any legal ramifications if involved in a shoot? I sure do....
    I'll say I don't dwell on the legal ramifications but rather I think hard on the situations that might cause me to use deadly force. Afterall, they all boil down to whether it's a "good shoot" or not, and if not, then you bet...the legal ramifications are gonna bite you. That's one of the reasons I like this forum....you guys come up with some real thought provokers and quite honestly that's as good a training as going to the range for gun proficiency....best to prepare oneself "before" the situation arises.

    I listen to the news about shootings, robberies, etc. and try to think "what would I have done or could have done". The scenario about the 300lb 14 yr old is a sign of our current times...it could happen....and I for one would probably have shot the kid based on the facts given. But it does make me think about it more and also what else I might be able to do before resorting to deadly force....no answer yet but has me thinking.

    Keep em coming guys!!

  14. #14
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Another aspect is trying to tie anecdotal evidence to your planned strategy.

    For example, have you heard these examples of wisdom?

    1.) Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread.

    2.) He who hesitates is lost.

    P95 mentioned 'getting older,' and I find I factor this into decisions more and more. The exception would be another person, like your wife, in immediate danger.

    If it's just your personal bacon, I say, "What's the rush?" Ensconced, you are in no immediate danger and the aggressor must come to you. You pick the time, the cover, the corridor of fire, all with a reload ready and your stance solid.

    Statistics say that gunfights last 4 to 7 seconds. Whoa! I'd like to live a bit longer, thank you.

    There's another factor to getting older. The epithets, "wuss," or "leaker" or "paper tiger" lose their sting. There is the bold and the old, but there aren't that many old bold. Ever wonder why?

  15. #15
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    aggressor must come to you
    I think on that quite a bit!!
    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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