A vivid description of a real gunfight

A vivid description of a real gunfight

This is a discussion on A vivid description of a real gunfight within the Defensive Books, Video & References forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I found an interesting book at the local library last week titled “American Gunfight; The Plot To Kill Harry Truman” by Stephen Hunter and John ...

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Thread: A vivid description of a real gunfight

  1. #1
    Member Array BMack's Avatar
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    A vivid description of a real gunfight

    I found an interesting book at the local library last week titled “American Gunfight; The Plot To Kill Harry Truman” by Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge, Jr. I firmly recommend it to anybody who, like me, might be just a tad overconfident about how well they would handle a life threatening situation. The authors provide a lot of detail about the physiological changes a person’s body goes through when threatened. They explain “tunnel vision”, “audio exclusion”, “loss of fine motor skills” and a lot more. The book is a thorough analysis of the November 1, 1950 attack by two Puerto Ricans on the secret service agents guarding the president at Blair House in DC. The agents were armed with revolvers and trained to shoot the old fashioned way, one hand holding the gun with arm fully extended. The attackers were armed with semi auto pistols, a Luger and a Walther P38, and used both hands. They were almost successful.
    Stephen Hunter is the author of fifteen novels including at least two that were the basis for good movies, and three non-fiction books.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    It's good to read, to get training, etc. on what can happen and be prepared to 'act'. However, in real life... it's amazing how some people "actually" react even with the best of training and preparation.

    I learned to look at it this way, ask yoursefl this.... if you saw a 10 car accident ... and 10 people were all laying around on the street, bleeding, obviously seriously wounded .... how would you react ? Calm, intentional, assessing the situation and taking action, or ... calling 911 for help while "watching", or going into panic and not sure what the heck to do first or next ? IN a gun fight, you will see all 3 types of people. You want the first type of person standing next to you, or that person to be you.

    Be honest with yourself. If you aren't that type of person, ask yourself why not and change your mindset.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    It's good to read, to get training, etc. on what can happen and be prepared to 'act'. However, in real life... it's amazing how some people "actually" react even with the best of training and preparation.

    I learned to look at it this way, ask yoursefl this.... if you saw a 10 car accident ... and 10 people were all laying around on the street, bleeding, obviously seriously wounded .... how would you react ? Calm, intentional, assessing the situation and taking action, or ... calling 911 for help while "watching", or going into panic and not sure what the heck to do first or next ? IN a gun fight, you will see all 3 types of people. You want the first type of person standing next to you, or that person to be you.
    Be honest with yourself. If you aren't that type of person, ask yourself why not and change your mindset.
    Well said and a lot to think about!!!
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    Be honest with yourself. If you aren't that type of person, ask yourself why not and change your mindset.
    +1

    This too can be trained toward, but it costs coin and requires time. :|

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array borglyn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the book recomendation.
    " The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer." Henry Kissenger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    It's good to read, to get training, etc. on what can happen and be prepared to 'act'. However, in real life... it's amazing how some people "actually" react even with the best of training and preparation.

    I learned to look at it this way, ask yoursefl this.... if you saw a 10 car accident ... and 10 people were all laying around on the street, bleeding, obviously seriously wounded .... how would you react ? Calm, intentional, assessing the situation and taking action, or ... calling 911 for help while "watching", or going into panic and not sure what the heck to do first or next ? IN a gun fight, you will see all 3 types of people. You want the first type of person standing next to you, or that person to be you.

    Be honest with yourself. If you aren't that type of person, ask yourself why not and change your mindset.
    Good observation, Eagleks. My next comment is not attempting to suggest that training doesn't help, but it does suggest that some people are naturals in a bad situation, and even extensive training can have little effect on others when put to the test.

    I've never been in a gunfight, but I have been in life-and-death situations with team members of various levels of training and experience. I've found little correlation between experience, training and competance when the chips were down. Some folks naturally get very calm and get the job done, while others will panic. Training makes the good ones better, but I've never seen a panicker improve with training. I think it just has do with how you're wired.
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    I have not read that particular book, but I have read a detailed account of the incident by the author in another publication. It's an excellent read.

    If you are interested in learning more on the subject matter I would highly recommend the video by Massad Ayoob, Physio-Psychological Aspects of Violent Encounters.

    It comes straight out of the lecture portion of his 40 hour LFI-1 course, or now the new MAG40 from my understanding. I try to watch this video every few years to refresh my knowledge and so I can accurately impart the information to my friends.

    The unique thing from Ayoob is that with each of the phenomenon he discusses, he has a real life example of where that particular phenomenon had affected the ability of the shooter during a real gunfight or during the aftermath. He also goes in depth regarding how it would or could affect your defense if you were ever charged following a shooting. IIRC most, if not all of the examples were cases he was involved with personally and in some of the cases, his ability to effectively explain the phenomenon to the jury helped in winning an acquittal.

    It's available in VHS or DVD format and has been updated from the original video. Probably some of the best information on the subject and well worth the $34.95. A good investment I would think.

    Thanks for the post BMack. Sounds like a good read. I'll have to add it to my list.
    -Bark'n
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    "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."

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    I think it just has do with how you're wired.
    I think there is a "pre-condition" that people have, whether it's learned or they are just wired that way. My son is calm, collected and great in an emergency... the kind of person you want to be there with, whereas my daughter goes to pure panic in 2 seconds flat and I would never want around in an emergency (I've seen her in 2 ... ugh).

    There are those that their first inclination is to run into the burning building, and others who will automatically run away from it. However, I have seen people .... how to say this... have less confidence and/ or fear ... whereas others are the opposite. I have seen people who thru repetitive training and working on mindset, overcome it or be able to control it. I have also seen people that you would think would be right there, run like they had a rabid dog chewing on their rearend. I've seen that reaction, and when we actually met back up with them later..... they quit ... saying , "it was not for them". It's better to figure that out upfront and try to do something about it, then find out when it means the most.
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    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    It's good to read, to get training, etc. on what can happen and be prepared to 'act'. However, in real life... it's amazing how some people "actually" react even with the best of training and preparation.

    I learned to look at it this way, ask yourself this.... if you saw a 10 car accident ... and 10 people were all laying around on the street, bleeding, obviously seriously wounded .... how would you react ? Calm, intentional, assessing the situation and taking action, or ... calling 911 for help while "watching", or going into panic and not sure what the heck to do first or next ? IN a gun fight, you will see all 3 types of people. You want the first type of person standing next to you, or that person to be you.
    Be honest with yourself. If you aren't that type of person, ask yourself why not and change your mindset.

    Where are you getting three types of people at? I count two. The calm intentional situation assesor guy who takes action and the omg omg omg omg what do i do. Oh well, i always say theres three kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who cant............
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    1. Calm, intentional, assessing the situation and taking action,
    2. or ... calling 911 for help while "watching",
    3. or going into panic and not sure what the heck to do first or next ?
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  11. #11
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    I think most people fall into the middle, and the ultra calm and collected people are one far extreme, with the folks who literally just faint at the other. I have family that are ER nurses, and they are certainly middle of the road. I was just born with a natural state of calm in catastrophe built into me, and I react to emergencies by taking action to help. I am skeptical that most people can be trained to react in a way that is simply hard wired into me, but I would be curious to see how much conditioning and training it would take to do it.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I think alot of it has to do with accepted life philosophy and belief. To put it another way, you can't get anything done if your afraid of dying.
    Snider and Guantes like this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  13. #13
    Member Array topslop1's Avatar
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    Dealing with other stress or trauma related work will give you some experience with that. Lifeguarding / Parameds I think might have that kind of thing under control or at least have experience with it.

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