This is a discussion on Mindset within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We have had a lot of new members this year, some are new to CCW and others are coming up to it. This is far ...

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Thread: Mindset

  1. #1
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    We have had a lot of new members this year, some are new to CCW and others are coming up to it. This is far from original subject but I want the newer folks to think hard about it and make no apologies for bringing it up.

    First off and pretty obvious - if you carry a gun you also carry a huge burden of responsibility - it goes with the territory. That needs accepted 100%.

    Secondly is the thinking behind your decision to carry - not just the protection of self but, the coming to terms with the possibility you may have to take a life (or more than one) to achieve that end. The ''hunter's freeze'' will not save your hide - slight dalliance may be fatal. Neither tho will hasty and poor judgement do much good.

    I consider we all have to regularly remind ourselves, not only why we carry but - gain continued and maybe even increased acceptance of what we may do in extremis. We must accept the dictate of ''him or me'' - and accept too the fact that our decision should be only brought on by a BG's efforts to harm us. We should take no blame.

    If our actions cause death - can we be ready for that trauma? Your answer after due consideration must be yes - and you must be able to live with your actions, and the legal sequele also.

    Carrying a gun is not macho - it is a considered decision to take responsibility for one's own survival and that of loved ones. The response to threat may have to be sudden and definitive - therefore IMO you have to have these mindset factors straight in your head in advance. It goes without saying too that a suitable degree of training and practice is also paramount but, without the necessary ''mindset adjustment'', IMO - even that may not suffice.

    I ramble as usual but just want newer folks to get this aspect straight for themselves. I feel it is key to best results, not to mention promoting the responsibility angle - something I wish the anti's would realize we regard as very important.

    <steps off soapbox>
    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
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    NW PA
    Hear hear! That calls to mind the quote "The real weapon is between your ears." Naturally no one who hasn't ever been involved in a shooting will truly know if he or she is capable of actually pulling the trigger, but you must at least believe you are capable. Anyone who can casually answer that question hasn't given it enough thought. It's not an easy thing to consider but it must be done if one has decided to carry a firearm.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    It's good to be reminded as to why I have decided to carry, even though I'm not yet able. One must constantly reassure him/herself they have made the right decision and will do what it takes to keep themselves and others safe and out of harms way.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Making ammo.
    I am nice. I am polite. I plan to kill everyone I meet because one day I might have to just that. That is my mindset.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

    Probably the only home based FFL that doesn't do transfers.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Rainy ol' Seattle, WA
    My ccw is in the mail soon i hope. Applied a couple of weeks ago. While im excited, I am aware of some of the legal problems of even pulling your gun out, let alone shooting it at someone. I chastised my fiance' the other day because she has been telling family and friends that i will be carrying. I would rather be incognito and be able to surprise than to be expected to act. If someone pulls a knife on a group that im in and everyone turns to me and says "shoot him" I just became a target and if i (for some reason) did not have my gun on me, I and the whole group could be in serious trouble.
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Since I got my CCL , and began carrying , I find that I am
    general ly calmer in stressful situations.

    I think this is because I CHOSE to take on the HUGE
    responsibility of carrying a tool capable of projecting Lethal Force.

    Everything else pales in comparison.
    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

    know your rights!

    "If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
    {Bernhard Goetz}

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by AKsrule
    Since I got my CCL , and began carrying , I find that I am
    general ly calmer in stressful situations.

    I think this is because I CHOSE to take on the HUGE
    responsibility of carrying a tool capable of projecting Lethal Force.

    Everything else pales in comparison.
    Amen brother!

    BTW AKsrule, I just got my first "AK", a MAK-90 about two weeks ago. I LOVE it!
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Spring Hill, FL
    I think deciding to carry concealed is far from a "macho" thing. In fact, it will very likely cause you to do some very "un-macho" things.

    You'll find yourself going out of your way to avoid trouble, once you start to carry. It is so easy for a verbal confrontation to become physical, and once blows have been exchanged, the heat of the moment can escalate into gunfire.

    No matter what was said, if you threw the first punch, then you'll have no defense for using the gun. If to a "reasonable person" it would not appear that your life was in danger, you just may have to take a beating and leave the gun concealed. Can you do that?

    Knowing that, you'll find yourself backing down or just walking away. In a situation like this, discretion is the better part of valor.

    If you avoided going to certain places because you considered them dangerous, getting the permit and carrying the weapon doesn't mean you can now go to those places. If you do, then you are just one step away from "looking for trouble."

    Those places were dangerous then, they are dangerous now. You stayed away from them before, stay away from them now. Having the gun does not make them any safer.

    It really is all about "mindset," but that mind set isn't what many may think. And macho, it isn't.

    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  10. #9
    1952 - 2006
    Array acparmed's Avatar
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    In one way I'm fortunate in the fact that I've already been shot (3 times) and had to shoot others. I'm fortunate in that I know what my reaction is going to be in a deadly force encounter.

    I'm also unfortunate in the same facts. I can still see the faces of some of the people I've had to shoot. They can haunt you in your sleep.

    I agree with madmike 100%. Just because you carry a gun does not make an unsafe area any safer. In fact it becomes more dangerous after you have decided to carry.

    Mindset is the key. The one advantage I have over most of you is that I know I have the willingness to shoot. That is a key part of the mindset. Being Willing. Most people aren't. They will take a breath or lick their lips, or blink their eyes, a thought goes through their mind as to what action they are about to undertake. Namely, lethal force. Imposing your will on someone else.

    Once you have that understanding, then as Chris pointed out, you don't make the decision to use lethal force. The BG makes that decision for you through his actions.

    As freakshow paraphrased, be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet. After a time and with practice, it will become automatic. Kind of like when you get in your car to go somewhere. You can do it without thinking about what you are doing and it doesn't affect the other thoughts going through your mind, ie. driving while talking to your passenger. The same will be true for watching for threats in your area of vision and because of this you will learn how to avoid the kind of situations where your gun would be needed.

    The best training in learning how to fight is in learning how to avoid one.
    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


  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array BCurry1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acparmed
    The best training in learning how to fight is in learning how to avoid one.
    +1, ACP knows his stuff!!

  12. #11
    Senior Moderator
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Good post P95, and thank you for the reminders. To others - thank you also. It is ALWAYS good to think about this!
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ: Buy These Stickers Here

    "A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world" Albert Camus

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Excellent post!

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Sturgeon, MO
    Great information! (and that's why I come to this forum)

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    Eugene, OR
    I learned along time ago to use the brain and not the fist (avoid trouble before you get into trouble) so that isn't a problem to me.

    I have found myself just talking to myself and not the other person if they cut me off or almost cause an accident (talking with horn, finger, etc..). I just back down and call the non-emergency police to inform them I think the person (with plate number) may be impaired.

    If I never ventured into an area before (due to danger), why the heck would I do it now? That isn't very smart (and I may be a pea short of a pod but not that short).

    I, for one, have no want to ever have to use my firearm but will if I have to do so; whether it be human or animal.

    I carry not to be macho even through according to "some experts", me being a small man in stature would make me more likely to do so. I could care less about macho. I carry not to look for trouble or to look for a confortation, it actually does the opposite; to look out for trouble and avoid it if I can.

    I know the responsibility that I have, not only carrying a firearm(s) but also owning. If I were lazy or unsure of myself to handle said responsibility, then I too would lay my hope (and life) in LEO's or EMT's. And if a time comes when I do have doubt about my ability to remain responsible, I will cease to carry/own.

    The anti's use the untrue stereotypes because you can't demonize a group of people who, because they carry, become almost passive and tolerate of more things than usual.

    As for knowing if I can or can't pull the trigger without hesitation, I think that I am able but I'm not sure 100% sure. Why, because it hasn't happened to me yet. I have shown the gun (on my own property) to make a tresspasser leave that was intimidating my Uncle (who was sick at the time) and after the incident reflected upon it and knew that I would have drawn and fired if the BG had forced it upon me. Yet I was thinking more of my uncle and not myself at the time. I don't even remember having a thought about myself, just for my uncle. I don't know what I would have done if it would just been myself involved.


  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    To me,mindset is extremely important. As I have stated before,I teach CCW and basic(sometimes advanced) self defense to mostly women. These women almost exclusively already have a CWP and have been carring for awhile. These are the wives of our active duty armed forces. Their husbands are mostly deployed to some crap hole overseas. Myself and the other instructors do not charge for this training. We feel that it is our duty to do this as it was to serve.

    Our training is not sanctioned by a state or federal agency so we do not have to follow a guideline. We teach what we feel that these ladies need to survive in a cruel world.

    Our training will last between 5 and 8 days. One class lasted 10. Approximately 40% is actual shooting. We ask the ladies to have ready 200rds of ammo. 150rds. can be some "other than carry load". 50rds is to be the load that they will carry in their CCW.

    The other 60% of our class focuses on empty hand(last ditch)tactics,some edged weapons,and some impact weapons. Also,"what to do if" kinda stuff.

    Probably 60-70% of the above 60% is used to teach "MIND SET". To us,this is extremely important. Especially for women. Poor women(with respect),they have been taught by their parents,their school teachers,their boyfriends,their husbands(sometimes),by the politicians,by their clergy,and by the police,not to fight back.Weather it is rape or simple boyfriend/spousial abuse,they are taught that they deserved it or that it was their fault. We try,through our training,to give them another mindset. (This,without gettin' too political, aint easy.)

    We teach them that they don't have to tolerate this behaveyor. We teach them to get mad,get mean,and refuse to be the victum. We teach them to fight their attacker to their dying breath,if that is what it takes.We try to make them understand that they just can't try to get free and run away. (cases have shown that a large percentage of women get dragged down from behind while trying to flee)We want them to be offensive to the max. We teach them not to be affraid to hurt/maim their attacker.

    To me,all this comes under mindset. The conditioning of the mind and attitude. A way of thinking. And a way of reacting to a threat. This wont guarantee a win,but it will help you on your way. It will help you use your time in a fight more wisely. None of them "unnecessary" thoughts,just pure agression.

    So far it has worked for two of our students. One lady was in the hospital for 4 hrs..........her attacker was in the hospital for 4 weeks. YOU GO GIRL !!

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