Talisman or tool?

This is a discussion on Talisman or tool? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; It's true that a handgun doesn't look like your Fairy Godmother's Magic Wand or a rabbit's foot. The answer to the question "Which one of ...

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Thread: Talisman or tool?

  1. #1
    Member Array HeadHunter's Avatar
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    Talisman or tool?

    It's true that a handgun doesn't look like your Fairy Godmother's Magic Wand or a rabbit's foot. The answer to the question "Which one of these doesn't belong?" is fairly obvious. Despite that, most gunowners don't spend the amount of time training and practicing with their handguns that we of the 'cognoscenti' would like them to.

    Still, every year hundreds of thousands of people, who have had no training whatsoever and who seldom practice, successfully defend themselves with firearms, often small ones, from villains intending them harm. Accordingly the statement: "But you need to actually train with said gun and practice often if you expect to save your life with it one day" isn't necessarily true. In fact, there's not much real evidence to back up that kind of statement at all.
    The rest of my article is on Tactical Wire.
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    Some drink at the fountain of Knowledge, others just gargle.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Well written article. It jives with my basic belief that no one likes being shot. Can you provide any documentation or statistics to back up what you're saying? I don't ask to be contrary, I simply would like to read more about the subject.
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

  4. #3
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    Great article with many good points made, especially regarding the relatively recent phenomenon of the training industry.

    We have that same six-volume treatise on World War II by Winston Churchill in our library.

    I'm still going to go with talisman though. It might ward off evil. It might aggravate evil. If one is going to bother with the defensive handgun he might just as well carry something effective and acquire the skills to use it. Certainly he has the right to defend himself with a talisman if he chooses but will it be expedient for every instance? Stunted lightweight firearms have been a growth business for several years now. A talisman is reflected in many posts seen on firearms forums these days.

    It's sort of like the illustration frequently used, making the statement that owning a piano doesn't a pianist make. I can impress the local kindergarten class but what if I'm faced with entering the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs? To complete the illustration: What if I'm compelled to enter the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs armed with only an accordion? I won't make much of an impression either way for my skill levels are hopelessly inadequate as I have neither the advanced education nor do I practice as I ought.

    I'm going to go to bed now and will probably have nightmares suggested by the above scenario.

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    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  5. #4
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    Much of that article is true. The actual "proof" can usually be found in local newspapers all around the U.S.
    A large percentage of "potential" crime AKA Theft, Burglary, break-in to steal property type crimes etc. are thwarted by the mere display of a firearm.
    Additionally scenarios where the firearm is actually fired at the perpetrator (or in some instances the general direction of the perp) that is enough to send the bad guy fleeing.
    But, a good argument CAN be made for a larger firearm because they are usually easier to hold onto and to shoot more accurately than the diminutive hot little "panic point and shoot" firecracker.

    In Pennsylvania a "law abiding" citizen with no criminal history that can pass a background check can purchase a firearm and obtain their license to carry concealed with no oral or written testing and no range qualification. The Sheriff does provide a brochure complete with basic safe firearm handling and storage information and a suggestion the the LTCC applicant get proper and professional training.
    I'm sure that a small percentage do but, most probably just go out to the property "in the country" that belongs to Aunt Martha and they practice shooting a bit. Some...probably only once or twice.
    Most probably get some basic firearm and safe handling instruction from a hunter in the family or a friend.
    We don't have very many "street type shootings" here unless they are gang related and confined to certain problematic areas. But, many Pennsylvanians have historically purchased a firearm for "HOME Defense" and just keep the gun secreted at home until such time as it might be needed.
    Many shop owners just keep a firearm "at the business" should it ever be needed. Most of the time it never is needed.

    I don't want you to think that I think the above is IDEAL. Because it is not. I DO believe that more training is always more beneficial than less training.
    But, that does not change the fact that many people attempt to defend themselves with no prior training and are usually successful for various reasons.

    One important thing that was not mentioned in the article would be that "getting shot" AKA sustaining a gunshot wound (even with a sub-caliber) projectile Example .22 .25ACP 32ACP Bird Shot out of a .410 <~~~ almost always results in a trip to the hospital where ANY gunshot wound is always reported to the Police and that is an additional deterrent to even bad guy career criminals that wouldn't care much about actually getting shot.
    They DO care about not going back to prison.

    I do probably have more to add here but, I'll end with a statement that most average people do have some natural born "common sense" - They know that firearms are designed to be deadly instruments. They know that bullets kill. They know not to try out the "unloaded" firearm by pointing it at the family cat and pulling the trigger.
    They know not to give the handgun to "baby" as a playtoy. So let's DO give them some deserved credit.

    One of my Uncles comes to mind who owned a little Colt .25 for decades and kept it handy in the bedroom. He was an accountant who repaired sewing machines as a hobby. He was mechanically inclined and not an idiot.
    My best guess is that if he woke up to find some stranger in the bedroom in the middle of the night riffling through the Wife's purse - he could grab the little .25 and probably make a hit. Certainly it would be more effective than grabbing the night light off of the night stand and using that as the only available defensive weapon.

    Which brings us to the age old question...Do All Trainers Truly Believe That Everybody That Owns A Firearm Needs More Training? Of Course.

    My Grandfather owned a large Cigar/Tobacco Wholesale outlet and he truly believed that everybody (including women and little kids with asthma) should smoke/enjoy a good cigar.
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  6. #5
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    And then there's this use of a talisman type of arm.

    A fun read.


    PC Free Zone

    Retired Green Beret shoots intruder, gets court martial


    "BREVARD, Jan. 19, 2008 – Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it.
    Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers under the charge of “failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber” in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, TN, in December."

    When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.

    “That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,” Taylor said after his trial. “The bullet bounced right off.” The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.

    “Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,” said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. “He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.”
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    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  7. #6
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    More evidence that a weapon, whether pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle is an effective talisman against the bad guy is the NRA's American Rifleman magazine and its "the armed citizen" section. I've been reading the American Rifleman for years and have at times been amazed at how vulnerable some of the folks have been in there homes.....and yet how effective almost any kind of firearm has been to thwart an attack or invasion. Even more amazing is that many of the "victims" are elderly/disabled people who I am almost certain haven't been to tactical defense training. Leads me to believe that bad guys are looking for targets of opportunity......people they believe will put up little defense. When their (bad guy) plans don't work out, they look for a way out.

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Tool. Talisman is a Medieval sort of deal, and that's basically relying on the unknown. I never rely on a good luck charm....only myself and my tools. Talisman conjures up my thoughts about programs on television. Tools are real....talismans are needful things when you want more power than what you have. What reason do you have to believe in witch doctors? Rabbit's feet? Talisman. America believes in God, or so it's stated "In God We Trust" Talismans are pretty much denied in the here and now. If you'd like to state otherwise, I'm sure homeland security would like to have a word with you. Talisman........I care nothing about the article...just the meaning. You cannot prey on a sound mind.

  9. #8
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    "Talisman is a Medieval sort of deal, and that's basically relying on the unknown."

    Not really so different than an unskilled person relying on a less than optimal handgun as the tool.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    The Choices We Make

    If you like to buy guns but not shoot them the Firearms Manufacturers of America thank you, the ammunition makers not so much. Carrying a firearm is both your right as an American Citizen and a tremendous responsibility. Not everyone can be or should be a gun carrier, and that's just fine. That's why God gave us big dogs.

    Having come to the end of this piece if you are embarrassed or offended I apologize. You can see the lady at the front desk for a refund. However, if you are serious about defending your life and that of your loved ones you need to ask yourself a hard question. "Am I capable of using this gun in a life or death crisis or is it just a good luck charm?" Reach into your pocket. If the gun has rust on it and more lint than your dryer vent you might just be kidding yourself. Either way, the choice is yours to make.
    Handguns: the American Talisman? | Shooting Wire

    I will stick to the way I do things. Playing Odds has never worked well for me. The above article makes more sense to me....
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  11. #10
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    Nice link, Harryball!


    "The pocket gun becomes the cross to Dracula. When evil is near the owner imagines pulling it out and showing it to the 'vampire'. Maybe the villain will flee and then again maybe they won't."


    Yep.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while As to hundreds of thousands of people who have no training whatsoever,they must have some because they seldom practice. Can't be both.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array wdbailey's Avatar
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    I believe it was in Meditations on Violence that Rory Miller pointed out that it might take a lifetime to become a master swordsman but you can teach someone how to kill with a sword in under 30 minutes. Sometimes that's all you need

  14. #13
    Member Array HeadHunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayBar View Post
    As to hundreds of thousands of people who have no training whatsoever,they must have some because they seldom practice. Can't be both.
    Why can't it be both?
    Some drink at the fountain of Knowledge, others just gargle.

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