This Sorta Concerns Me - Too Much Training or What?

This Sorta Concerns Me - Too Much Training or What?

This is a discussion on This Sorta Concerns Me - Too Much Training or What? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello, Some will say this is a "look at me" thread, but it's not. I'm concerned however about something that has happened a few times ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    This Sorta Concerns Me - Too Much Training or What?

    Hello,

    Some will say this is a "look at me" thread, but it's not. I'm concerned however about something that has happened a few times and I'd like input.

    I once had to pull a gun on a person - I was maybe 16 and the gun was a Ruger Super Single Six. The guy tried to enter the house and after my dog chased him out I opened the door and shot one over his head, then levelled it at his chest when he didn't run. Luckily, he took off. Stupid, I know. I didn't even call the police. I screwed everything up - I was hesitating on the trigger as well.

    After that I sought out all the knowledge and training I could get my hands on, and afford. I've not been to Thunder Ranch or anyplace like that, but the Sheriff's Dept did some good things with me, as did law enforcement schooling.

    Since then there have been a couple times I thought I'd have to draw on humans - I ended up not having to, but they were tense moments. (One was due to a relationship I was in; I got out of that after finding out what her family was like. The other was when my dad, weak from cancer surgery, encountered a beligerant worker felling trees on the family land at the behest of a neighbor who wanted his land cleared and didn't bother to hire a surveyer first. The b.w. had a length of logging chain in his hand).

    These two times, the people became targets. I'm not talking figuratively, but I actually saw cardboard IDPA/IPSC targets I use to practice with, often covered with old shirts. While I don't know whether I could shoot a human, I have no trouble drilling cardboard, and that's what these PEOPLE became!

    What was this? Stress reaction? Should I see a shrink? Frankly, I'm a bit concerned about it every time I think about those incidents. They say you fight as you train, and I've sent literally hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange onto these types of targets. Could it just be my mind expecting to see something and seeing it for me?

    In other words, is this a normal reaction, or at least, is it not unheard of?

    I've never in my life experienced anything like this otherwise. Scratch that - CPR. I treated a person I had to give CPR to as the training dummy, and another time, a seizure victim as a classroom model. I kinda' just left myself and watched my body work.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks for any answers,

    Josh <><


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith View Post
    Hello,
    These two times, the people became targets. I'm not talking figuratively, but I actually saw cardboard IDPA/IPSC targets I use to practice with, often covered with old shirts. While I don't know whether I could shoot a human, I have no trouble drilling cardboard, and that's what these PEOPLE became!
    If you're literally seeing cardboard where in reality a person is standing, then I think you have a problem.

    Figuratively speaking seeing human beings as targets is no problem, IMO, whatsoever.

    Soldiers and civilians have different criteria regarding when they should shoot someone. Civilians such as police officers and private citizens reach a point in a confrontation where they MUST shoot someone to protect their own lives or the life of another. Soldiers satisfy their ROE so that they CAN shoot someone... shooting people is what they are supposed to do.

    However, in both cases once the decision has been made to shoot... in other words, once the proposed target has satisfied the criteria allowing/ requiring that he be engaged, that person does in fact become a target little different from the cardboard at the range. Tactical considerations apply as a range target rarely shoots back or evades, but the moral/ ethical issues are virtually the same.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    but the moral/ ethical issues are virtually the same.
    This is what I was getting at... I didn't see them as human anymore, but targets, and that disturbed me. So, this is normal?

    Thanks,

    Josh <><

  4. #4
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Josh,

    You certainly aren't doing anything wrong. I think what you may be experiencing could be considered "transference" or transfering something into something else that is more palatable at shooting.

    Don't think you need to see a shrink either.

    What I would recommend... and actually I believe it should be on a "must have list" of resources for anyone who carries a gun. It is one of the video tapes produced by Massad Ayoob called Physio-Psychological Aspects of Violent Encounters. It is a two hour lecture from his 40 hour LFI-1 class.

    In the tape, he expertly explains in ways anyone can understand, most of the natural, physical and psychological events that happens to people when involved in violent life or death encounters. These are natural occurances that you have no control over and in many cases is defensive mechanism of the brain.

    Some of the things happen more frequently to those who have not had any training or have not come to terms with the concept of actually having to take a human life to defend yourself. But other things seem to happen to those who do have training and have prepared for such an event.

    I know, once watching the tape, you will be thoroughly impressed and amazed at what the human mind is capable.

    One of the great things of this tape, is for each "phenomenon" explained, Ayoob goes into great detail, actual cases of people who have experienced the phenomenon being covered, sort of forensically dissecting each event to set it into your mind so you know what to expect and how to deal with it.

    The cost is $34.95 which is remarkable for an over 2 hour law enforcement training video. Tapes of that quality and the type of information will usually cost someone well over $100.

    The tape can be purchased at his website here:
    http://ayoob.com/cgi-bin/miva?Mercha...gory_Code=AMAV

    A second video which I also consider to be a "Must Have" video for anyone who carries a gun is also by Ayoob and is titled Judicious Use of Deadly Force. Like the other tape, it is over two hours of lecture straight out of his 40 hour LFI-1 course. With this tape, you will understand when, where, how, and under what circumstances deadly force can be utilized and goes into great detail issues such as disparity of force. Just exactly what it is, how it applies to an individual as well as use of a gun against unarmed opponents and those armed with a knife or other weapon. When finished, I feel you will have no doubt where you stand legally no matter what state or country you are in.

    There hasn't been a judge or an attorney yet, who has taken his LFI-1 course who hasn't stated that they learned more about deadly force from Ayoob than in any law school in the country.

    The price for this video tape is also $34.95 and is available not only in VHS but also DVD format and can be purchased here:
    http://ayoob.com/cgi-bin/miva?Mercha...gory_Code=AMAV

    Over 4 hours of some of the best education on deadly force for $75 is gonna be the best money you've ever spent.

    I own over 5 of his video tapes and a trip to take his LFI-1 course is on my list of things to do in the next 18 - 24 months.

    His main website is: http://www.ayoob.com/

    Josh, If you do purchase any of those videos I recommend, Please PM me and let me know what you think of them!

    Good Luck! Stay Safe! Stay Informed!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  5. #5
    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Actually Josh, that is the reason that, the military at least, uses silhouette targets, to de-sensitize troops to be able to shoot when necessary at a human. I know many troops, myself included, have that doubt before ever having to pull the trigger on a human being.

    That brings up a side note to this topic which is the de-humanizing of the enemy woven into the military's training, not referring to the enemy as men but in derogatory terms (you fill in the blanks). I can't speak to the LE training, (i.e. bad guys, perps, etc. vs. citizens).

    Bark'n, have you found any info discussing dealing with the 'psyco-babble' for AFTER an encounter?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    I wouldn't neccesarily say it's a problem. It's just the way your mind works when confronting the issue and making it pallatable for you. Because it's a situation where you are managing that problem in such a way that makes it easier for you to perform that function, as in possibly needing to shoot another person in order to protect yourself, is no different in a sense than if you wanted to speak to a public audience and imagined them all wearing pink moo-moos to make it easier for you. It's just the way your brain manipulates it's surroundings to allow you to function.
    Firefighter/EMT
    "You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.

    <----My LT was unhappy that I did not have my PASS-Tag at that fire. But I found the body so he said he would overlook it. :)

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Joshua; I wouldn't worry too much about how you felt during the experiences you just described. At the age of 16, you did the best you could under the circumstances; One thing that would help you a lot is to condition yourself not to feel so guilty about having to draw your weapon. Understand that when the gun draws, a line has been crossed. Your seeing the people as "targets" is your hardened heart taking care of business, the business of keeping you alive. Rejoice in this reaction, because it means you are a human being. When you reach that state of mind, you are shutting down all extracurricular functions like emotions, etc. in order to deal with what is an immediate threat. My advice to you is to trust your instincts, and PRACTICE your techniques. You stated in your post that you hesitated when you were 16. Hopefully you don't do that anymore. Yesterday I was shooting an IDPA match when one of the shooters remarked at how quickly I got on the trigger when engaging targets; I replied that it was all about not hesitating; When you saw your sight picture, start rocking the trigger and get after it. After all, if you find yourself confronted with a life and death situation, it is usually the fastest, most accurate first shots that win the fight.

    Just my .02c
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith View Post
    This is what I was getting at... I didn't see them as human anymore, but targets, and that disturbed me. So, this is normal?

    Thanks,

    Josh <><
    People have varying degrees of "sensitivity". Those that can do, those that can't....have "battle fatigue". A human being wouldn't try to harm me or mine, anything else.....

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    I think everyone here so far has given some good advice.

    Personally, I think you are a little crazy. But so am I. And probably everyone else here is a little crazy too.

    At least we are in the eyes of those who would rather we just be sheeps with the rest of the herd.

    I think everyone has different and unique reactions. I remember the debriefing of about 12 officer after a shooting. One of the questions asked was "What was the weather like?" Same question with 12 different answers ranging from sunshine and hot to thunder and lightning. Everyone's perception was completely different. Thats one of the reasons that if you ever are involved in a shooting you should lawyer up and get the chance to calm down before giving any statements or answering questions.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith View Post
    This is what I was getting at... I didn't see them as human anymore, but targets, and that disturbed me. So, this is normal?
    I would say that it is fairly common.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  11. #11
    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    It seems like you are fighting your conscience here. The reason that you didn't pull the trigger on the first guy at 16 years old is you didn't have to. The whole concept of deadly force is based upon what a reasonable man can reasonably be expected/allowed to do. You really wouldn't want to drop the hammer on someone if you couldn't justify it in your mind at the instant an incident occured. Your brain and conscience steps in and says "don't squeeze just yet" we have time. Visualizing a BG as a target with a shirt on it might just over ride your brain and get you into trouble. Trust your instincts to guide you when you really need it. You will do what you have to and hopefully no more or less. Chuck.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    Thank you all. You've been very helpful.

    Josh <><

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith View Post
    This is what I was getting at... I didn't see them as human anymore, but targets, and that disturbed me. So, this is normal?

    Thanks,

    Josh <><
    I'm no expert, but I would think that if the time to use the firearm has come, and the moral stuff is already a foregone conclusion, then it's not a harmful thing to tune out the humanity and get the job (defending your life) done. If that means you "see" them as cardboard targets and that helps you deal with those targets, so be it. Just as long as you are not relegating human beings to being no more important than cardboard targets, I think you're OK. They should be considered human up until the point when you need to shoot them to save your own life. At that point, since they should be considered "dead" (having had deadly force used against them), it shouldn't matter what you consider them.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    This ability to disassociate the target as a human is one reason that we do not and should not make statements to LE or otherwise after a shooting incident . what you say while under ( for lack of a better term ) " disassociative stress " can and will come back to haunt you later. Its to a degree required to function effectively in a firefight , but by the same token its one of the worst behaviors we can express in the aftermath .
    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 .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  15. #15
    Member Array Stormtruck2's Avatar
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    Reactions in combat

    In a former life it was my job to engage, eliminate, and move to the next target (enemy). It was my experience that as I was engaging the enemy in CQB, they became targets just as we had trained with on the range and in the shooting house. Looking at them while I was moving, I could see the X on their chest and the little box on their forehead. It was instinctive to shoot there. Adrenaline being dump into my system during the engagement slowed down time to a crawl, making the target appear to not be moving. Identification friend or foe seemed to be instant, and their weapons seemed as big as garbage cans.
    Your description seems to be what I would expect from a trained and prepared person. Once you entered the zone of doing what needed to be down, you were focused, and able to carry out the deed. Yet you did not cross the line until absolutely necessary. Your training took over, and you did well. A man covering my back who responds like you did is a comfort. Your are not crazy, no need to see a pshrink, or to doubt yourself. Your normal ( as normal as anyone can be now days).
    When the chips are down, only hits count

    Train as you fight, fight as you train.
    Sig 220-45,Sig 225-9mm,Sig 226-.40,Bernelli M1,Bernelli Nova, SW 4340-.40
    Glock 19,Llama Mini .45,U-238 WMD, (so the anti's say),and others

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