January 23rd, 2008 01:27 PM
Muses about CCW, goals, and lifestyle ...
Whenever it was I visited Limatunes WEB page back in December, I read some of her observations on why she carries - about lifestyle. I was thinking about that when I put that together with the leading cause of death for women in her and my daughters age group. Clearly, for women in that age group, the best thing they can do is to make the decision to survive if attacked. Second, or maybe first, as was suggested, is to be discerning and very careful what males they associate with. It appears the #3 thing they can do is to go armed and have the skills to take advantage of that.
But that is them, not me. I'm in a different situation and stage of life. We all are individuals at some place in life, and our situation determines what we might do to reach some sort of goal.
That made me ask myself, "What Goal?"
Then I got to thinking about why I carry. What is the goal, how does it fit into what might be an overall goal for lifestyle?
I won't go through all the mental gymnastics that lead me to this, but I concluded that my Lifestyle Goal, from this point on, ought to be:
To live as long a life as my particular gene set allows.
The only thing that absolutely "will" place a limit on our longevity, that we can't escape, or modify, is our genes. They are the most important determinant of possible longevity. However, given that, which we can't change ... yet anyway, what is the best course of action to achieve that goal?
I don't know for sure, but I had some thoughts on that.
OK, assuming for a minute that is the goal (YMMV), I wondered, how do I go about that?
In looking for an answer to that I happened to stumble onto an employee wellness questionnaire developed by Loma Linda University Medical Center, Center for Health Promotion. Looking at the 78 questions in that test I couldn't help but notice that they covered the gamut - Physical Activity, Lifestyle (what you eat, alcohol and tobacco), habit Patterns (hitchhike, argue, nights in high crime areas, out at night, use seat belts, confrontational personality, etc.), Social Networks, Mental/Social/Spiritual Well-Being, Medical History (only 8 questions out of 78!), Dental Care, Demographics, Occupational Health.
So many questions, so little about medical history - but a lot about how one treats one's body, where one goes, attitudes while driving, social crowd, self image, and work life. At that point the realization hit me, longevity is determined by the first thing that kills you. Well, duh! you might say. That all seems obvious, but I hadn't really looked at it that way before. It could be a mugging, but it could also be a heart attack, cancer of <whatever>, an ex-boyfriend, but it is whatever happens first.
I decided that carrying a gun, while it deals with exactly one cause of premature death - unexpected aggression by one or more attackers placing me in fear for my life or grave injury - isn't necessarily the most effective thing that can be done because it doesn't deal with the most likely causes of shorter than gene limited longevity given my situation. In a way it does, at least in the short run, for females in my daughters age range, but not for me.
I don't have the statistics handy, but given my lifestyle (retired, non drinker, non smoker, who seldom goes out at night, never gets into confrontations, doesn't suffer from road rage, doesn't commute to work at all - although I used to drive 60 miles a day one-way through So. Cal Traffic to get to work and did it accident free for 35 years which means I'm at least lucky - living a fairely active life), it occurred to me that the most effective thing I could do was lose 30 lbs, restart my exercise program, and change my diet.
Like it or not, those three things have more impact, for me, on achieving the previously stated goal of achieving gene limited longevity than carrying a gun for self defense. This may not be true for others, but it is true for me.
So, my new years resolution was to do those three things, in addition to continuing to carry every place it's legal. I've managed to do the three since January 2 ... so far ... and it's easier than quitting smoking was, so I think I'm going to make this work.
January 23rd, 2008 02:24 PM
Very interesting topic. I did a little digging, and a 25 year old caucasian male such as myself would most likely die from an auto accident. I'm currently driving quite a bit for work, and will be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. Such is life.
But, just as I drive defensively and put snow tires on the car, I carry so that I am better prepared for whatever life tosses my way.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
NRA Life Member
January 23rd, 2008 02:49 PM
I started carrying many years ago when a really bad client publicly threatened to kill me and the judge who was hearing the case. Like a lot of folks, I relied on LE, until a sympathetic LEO asked me what time I walked my dog. When I said, "When the dog has to go" , he asked me how the police would know that.
I was up all that night. I had 2 young kids and finally came to the conclusion that I was not constituted to be a victim.
That conclusion remains firm to this day
January 23rd, 2008 04:44 PM
This was posted on another forum, and fits well. This is not simply a "firearm" issue, it is indeed a lifestyle issue. If we train for mediocrity in most respects, for "superiority" in others, guess what...the consequences of mediocrity are going to kick our butts. We are cohesive organisms, not independently functioning multi-systems.
...rapidly bringing things to a point where the traditional balkanization within the tactical training community is breaking down. Going along with ****'s excellent post, I think that before long we will have guys with the MMA, tactics, practical shooting, S&C, ditch medicine, etc. knowledge to see a problem not as an unarmed combat decision or a shooting decision or a strength/conditioning training decision or some other narrowly provincial decision, but as a fighting decision.
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