Am I vigilant or paranoid?

Am I vigilant or paranoid?

This is a discussion on Am I vigilant or paranoid? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; When does being alert and ready cross over to being paranoid and jumpy? Is there such a thing as being too quick? Let me relate ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Kaymen's Avatar
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    Am I vigilant or paranoid?

    When does being alert and ready cross over to being paranoid and jumpy? Is there such a thing as being too quick? Let me relate two incidents that have happened to me in the last few months. The first was one in the middle of the night I was sound asleep, but I heard a noise that was out of place and it woke me up, with no conscious thought on my part or at least none that I remember, I came fully awake and realized I was standing next to my bed with my weapon in my hand at a low ready. I knew my wife was asleep in our bed and my infant son was next to her. I then proceeded to check our home and insure it was secure. I never found the source of the noise.

    The second, I had just came home from work, it was late a little after midnight, my wife who does not like to be home alone was at her parents house and was due home shortly. I walked into the house and laid my keys and phone on the couch, then heard something fall it sounded like it came from the bedroom, I moved to a low crouch position and drew all in one motion, again no conscious thought on my part just pure reaction. Again I found nothing; my best guess was something in the garage fell over.

    The second incident got me thinking; both times I was armed with a Kimber CDP, the first time a full size, the second time an ultra. Neither time did the safety come off nor did my finger touch the trigger. Both incidents the weapons were cocked and locked. Are my reactions fully justified or are they being paranoid? The thought did cross my mind, what happens in a few years when my son is old enough to try to sneak in and out of the house, when he tries to do all those things we did when we were kids.
    What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    There are a lot of people who are still alive today because they took action when they sensed something was wrong. With your situation where you have 2 or more people in the house and you come in at different times of the night, it is paramount that you identify your target before you fire.

    In your second story, where the wife was 'due to be home soon', I don't know how many times my wife has changed her plans and been home when I did not expect it. 99% of the time there is going to be normal explanation for any abnormal noise you hear. You have to balance it so you are ready for that 1% and do not cause a tragedy during the other 99% of the time.

    I would not call you paranoid. I would call you prepared, and maybe a little anxious with a wife and new son to protect. Instinctively coming to a crouch/low ready is nothing to be concerned or worried about.

    On the other hand, if by instinct you came to low ready, took safety off, and had your finger on the trigger, then that could easily result in a tragedy.

    Being prepared is not being paranoid, and even if it was, paranoid people are right some of the time.

    Stay safe out there!
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    I'd classify it as a little edgy, but not paranoid.

    Your instincts and technique seem right, per your description.

    How long have you been carrying? I ask because when I started, 7 months ago, I was somewhat edgier about noises as you appear to be.

    I have done the same types of things you describe...there is nothing wrong with checking things out that bother you. Your gut feeling could save your life one day, trust it.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Appropriately vigilant....... Neither strikes me as a gross overreation.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    I would say that you are not paranoid, you are more aware of yoru surroundings because of the responsibility you have taken on with carrying, not to mention the bambino in the house will make you more alert.

    Just remember the rules, keep your finger off the trigger until you are SURE you want to shoot.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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  6. #6
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    I'm sure a new baby makes you even more aware.

    In your first situation I might be inclined to wake the wife up before checking out the house. I'd hate for her to wake up and go looking for you. Last thing you want is to not know exactly where she is.

  7. #7
    Member Array Kaymen's Avatar
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    How long have you been carrying? I ask because when I started, 7 months ago, I was somewhat edgier about noises as you appear to be.


    I have been carrying and around firearms for most of my adult life, I bought my first pistol a few days after I turned 21 and I'm looking 40 dead in the face now. While I'm not new to guns and carrying them I'm new to the husband and father thing and I guess that is what has got me jumpy.
    What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand.
    Kimber CDP fullsize Kimber CDP Ultra
    Colt Combat Commander Colt Goverment 1991
    Springfield Armory 1911-a1 Sig Sauer GSR 1911

    I'm a 1911 guy.

  8. #8
    Member Array GOPony's Avatar
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    you heard a noise grabbed your gun and checked things out, now it turns out it was not needed. Think of the opposite, you hear a noise, you don't investigate because you figure it is the "wind" and you don't grab your gun, but this time it turns out there was something wrong. Call me paranoid, call me jumpy, call me whatever you want but i would rather do what you did 100 times and find out it was nothing than do the opposite just once.

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    Member Array 588's Avatar
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    Society has caused you to be alert, the media has caused you to be suspicious of your surroundings, good to be both today,keep your finger off the trigger (good) and pratice as often as you can afford.

  10. #10
    Member Array DarinD's Avatar
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    +1 Kerbouchard.
    Being new to the family thing has given you a new appreciation for life and the protection there of. Living in a development that has an increasing amount of violence, I to have become more in tuned with the noises of my environment. Good for you.
    Life is too short, stop to smell the roses and don't let anyone take it away from you!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    I don't think you are either. I think you are someone who takes their personal protection in their own hands, especially since you can't rely on LEOs being in so many places at once.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    +1 for all of the above. Find nothing 99 times. Get complacent and the other 1 time might kill you. Stay alert and ID your target before engaging.
    Tim
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array rdoggsilva's Avatar
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    I still wake up if I hear a noise at night, but I also listen for our dog. If she starts barking then I go check, she is a great home security alarm. Our home is over 100 years old so it does creak alot, or maybe haunted who knows, but that is another story. But trust your gut feelings, one can not be to complacent and be sure of your target.
    John Steinbeck: Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    There are a lot of people who are still alive today because they took action when they sensed something was wrong. With your situation where you have 2 or more people in the house and you come in at different times of the night, it is paramount that you identify your target before you fire.

    In your second story, where the wife was 'due to be home soon', I don't know how many times my wife has changed her plans and been home when I did not expect it. 99% of the time there is going to be normal explanation for any abnormal noise you hear. You have to balance it so you are ready for that 1% and do not cause a tragedy during the other 99% of the time.

    I would not call you paranoid. I would call you prepared, and maybe a little anxious with a wife and new son to protect. Instinctively coming to a crouch/low ready is nothing to be concerned or worried about.

    On the other hand, if by instinct you came to low ready, took safety off, and had your finger on the trigger, then that could easily result in a tragedy.

    Being prepared is not being paranoid, and even if it was, paranoid people are right some of the time.

    Stay safe out there!
    +1

    Let me emphasize that other people live in the house and there is the potential for a serious (deadly) accident if you "jump the gun" and react before you are 100% sure of your target and ensure that it is a potential BG. Make sure your wife is aware of your reaction to strange noises as well. You need to work out a routine or scenario that you both follow to the letter to avoid accidents if she returns home after you or wakes and finds you're not in the bed at 2 A.M. When your child and/or children are older you'll need to do the same with them.

    One other thing, make sure your wife informs anyone that may come home with her at night (like a friend or relative) that they are not to wander your house alone until you are home and you know they are there. It would be a sad day - and not do much for your marriage or standing with the local police either, I'd bet - if you drew down on a member of her family or your wife's best friend because you didn't know they came home with her to see she got home safely... and got shot for their effort.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Situation #1 I relive several times a week, including last night. As rdoggsilva has noted, when the dogs bark, that's when I take action. Especially since my dogs nearly never bark (Bullmastiffs).

    Situation #2 I've had happen a couple times also.

    I usually take a perimeter check a couple times before bed with a long gun too. Keep in mind I live in a gentrified neighborhood of Atlanta proper.

    I vote for vigilant.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
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