Hesitating to pull the trigger, some reasons why

This is a discussion on Hesitating to pull the trigger, some reasons why within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 1. Fear of a stray round from your gun hitting an unintended. 2. Legal ramifications of use of deadly force that may result afterwards. Not ...

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Thread: Hesitating to pull the trigger, some reasons why

  1. #1
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    Hesitating to pull the trigger, some reasons why

    1. Fear of a stray round from your gun hitting an unintended.

    2. Legal ramifications of use of deadly force that may result afterwards. Not confident in your ability to understand when, why and how this works.

    3. An uneasy feeling to take another persons life even when your own is threatened

    4. "Frozen in time", not fully comprehending what is happening to you mentally or not believing you are being placed in this decision process and trying to "think" if you really need to pull the trigger

    5. Fear or frightened to an extent that you can't physically pull the trigger, plain and simple.

    6. Not familiar with "Ugly" and how to let him go to work for you.

    That covers most of them, lets discuss what people think they can do, think they will do, and what they actually may do in the first second or two when startled and faced with imminent death RFN.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here's my thoughts on the hesitation issues.
    __________________________________________________ ______

    It doesn't matter why you hesitate, HESITATION CAN GET YOU KILLED . There's a time for "thinking" and a time for "doing", the thinking comes in threads like this so you can make your decisions before you find yourself "IN IT" on the streets. When it's time for doing, there's no time for thinking, and if you are taking the time to think you are not being instinctive in your response.

    When it's "go time" and you find yourself "in it" and have to respond with deadly force using your firearm RFN or possibly take incoming and die, there is only one priority that counts------

    THE priority is getting rounds on threat before he does you first , plain and simple. The list of reasons I gave that may make you hesitate to pull the trigger are going to hinder your response time, and anything hindering your physical response time can and does get people killed.

    Whether you had some situational awareness, some type/form of indicator/s trouble was imminent and you were able to mentally prepare to do battle or you are acting under a pure startle response [ the fight or flight ]---

    if you slow your physical response time in any way thinking about backstops, legal ramifications, moral issues of having to shoot someone, you increase your risks of being seriously injured or killed.

    The second you recognize you are in imminent physical peril or great bodlily harm or death and need to use your firearm to defend yourself, your response better be on a purely physical level and not cerebral in nature.

    The mental aspects of the encounter which are the listed reasons you could physically hesitate needs to be set aside, reasoned out beforehand. You need to get to work and focus on THE PRIORITY at that moment in time if you want to increase your chances of surviving the encounter.

    I'm not predisposed to be thinking about where the bullets are going [ they are going into the BG to get him to stop his aggression and deadly force against me RFN ]. I'm going to be hiding behind a wall of bullets until the BG is no longer a threat to me.

    Worrying about being arrested and prosecuted for my action/s against someone who is a threat to my existence right now, about where an errant bullet may go or what it may damage/kill doesn't take priority when it's "go time".

    My training is geared and always has been geared to the physical speed of my response to deadly force applied against me on the street. I've thought about all the mental hinderances [ and that's all the original listed hesitations are ] well beforehand and have determined to prioritize and train the physical response to deadly force without the encumbering affects of the list of hesitations.

    Hesitate physically, for any reason, at increased risk of injury or death !!!!!!!!!
    ccw9mm, TSiWRX, Ghost1958 and 1 others like this.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I think you hit the nail on the head with your list. I have no doubt that people go out and buy a gun to protect theirself without doing the soul searching to determine if they can in fact take another life to protect their own. Mindset goes a long, long way and I can't preach that enough. Hesitation gets people killed, all across the board, not just in SD situations.
    Ghost1958 likes this.
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  4. #3
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    You gotta do what you gotta do.
    But those questions do enter your mind. It is sad that we have to worry about destroying our families financially for defending ourselves. It should not be that way, but it is. It is always in the back of my mind, and yes it could get me killed.
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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    The problem of people 'choking' at the moment of truth is a very real phenomenon.
    I have seen new recruits under fire in 'Nam who 'choked' and I saw them shot. They had no idea they were not prepared to take a human life, even to save their own.
    It also happens in LE often enough. Some LEOs may go years until they learn they are just not prepared to take a life in order to save their own or to protect another.

    When someone straps on their sidearm, they must make a decision to use that weapon to protect themselves &/or other innocents if the necessity occurs.
    The way I was taught in the Corps, was that its the 'Fight or Flight' instinct. A decision is required and that decision should be thought through long before one ever picks up a firearm.
    When the time does come, there will be many variables, but they must be overcome by basic 'Shoot or Die belief' at the time of the incident.
    It can take some people a very long time to come to a definite decision.

    The simplest case, is the person who steps off the curb, into the street and sees a bus coming at them full speed..... some will 'choke' as they are frozen in fear and get run over, when they could easily have given the scenario prior thought, and would have had the 'presence-of-mind' to have just jumped out of the way.

    I have found it to be oddly unpredictable as to who will draw and shoot and who will 'choke' when an instantaneous decision is at hand.
    However, with enough training, the risk of 'choking' can be all but eliminated as can the 'background' be deemed safe to fire at a given distance.
    Muscle-memory is a huge factor. It can be something as simple as 'always' pulling the trigger when practicing one's draw.

    This is one reason I always encourage shooters to get Professional Training when they get their CPL.
    After a lifetime of teaching LEOs to shoot, I still search out 'basic' shooting courses for myself and practice as much as I can.
    Shooting is a very perishable skill and I have a hunch the ability to pull the trigger, in real life, may also be perishable.... either way, I'd rather not find out.

  6. #5
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    In my dreams I have had a few Gunfights and the trigger is the hardest to pull if never. In training it is very easy to pull and when the situation arises I will do what is needed. As far as the after issues of a gunfight, that is why I carry a very large Umbrella policy for liability and have 2 lawyers on call if the need arises. If I shoot someone dead in a justified shooting, I am not going to pay their family 1Cent. The trial will be looser Pays and they will know that up front. I have taken 5 gunfighting courses in the last few years and have learned many relevant skills in the defense of my life and practice them quarterly on a 360 degree range. That part is getting harder to do every year.
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    Cannot add much to the OPs post except it is spot on. Accurate speed and the willingness to use it instantly without mental and moral gymnastics may give you an even chance of winning. Anything less than that when your life is on the line and you will lose. Your attacker will not be bothering himself with such civilities.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Your number one concern is an evolution that should go with every shot such as it would be one of the golden rules of knowing your target and what is beyond it. You should address the fact that you are confident in your training that you will only shoot if you are confident that you can keep your rounds on your target.

    The others concerns that you list should be a heart felt discussion with yourself before you decide to carry a firearm for self defense and the defense of others. Looking down the muzzle of an aggressors gun is not the time for the philosophical discussions with yourself.
    ccw9mm likes this.
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  9. #8
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    People talk about the reasons someone may hesitate but I dismiss most reasons pretty rapidly. Not saying I'm correct- just saying I disagree with almost everyone. I'll use this as an example.

    In this list I believe numbers 1, 2, and 6 are invalid. Under extreme stress the brain goes into a primal mode. We all talk about some of the changes people experience- tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, etc. but assume that thinking isn't going to be changed. It is- you're not going to be what if'ing a miss or a legal battle. You may think about that before and after the situation but in the moment it won't even dawn on you to consider it.

    4 and 5 both happen, no question. Though I believe both are actually connected to number 3, and that's where just about all hesitation comes from. Studies have shown that going back to at least the civil war people simply are not willing to take another life. Whether it is finding civil war rifles loaded with numerous balls in the barrel showing soldiers were "reloading" as if they were fighting but not actually shooting or interviews with infantry troops from recent wars admitting to shooting over the head of the enemy- many people simply find it impossible to take another person's life. Often these people are surprised when they find themselves unable to respond in the heat of the moment. (And that's why no amount of bravado on a forum ever means anything to me. It is easy to say you'd shoot a person for X reason- it is an entirely different thing to do it. Unless you've been in the situation it is merely conjecture.)

    I could be totally wrong, but I still hold firm that most, if not all, hesitation is due to that one simple to understand but difficult to overcome issue.
    Bill MO likes this.
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  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    What do you mean by RFN?

  11. #10
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    I will do as I was trained to do.

    Assess the threat, draw and fire two to the chest and one to the head if necessary.

    I can't explain how that works, it developed from being trained to do it.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    What do you mean by RFN?
    I assumed it to mean Right Friggin Now.
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Ah! Thank you!

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array BlackStallion29's Avatar
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    It's easy to sit here and say there wouldn't be any hesitation. I think my biggest fear would be to miss my intended target and hit an innocent bystander. When it comes to protecting my loved ones, friends, myself, or even an unknown in a life threatening situation, I'd like to think I wouldn't hesitate. My motto has always been...pay the price now, suffer the consequences later.
    In a life or death situation, paying the price would be..."pulling the trigger," suffering the consequences would be..."legal battles" that follow.
    "Everybody gets knocked down in life. How you choose to get back up is up to you!"
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    You forgot price of ammo,thinking is this POS worth popping $1.00+ per round into
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  16. #15
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    It's not will that will make you pull the trigger. It's fear. It better be fear.

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