Focus on the willingness to kill?

Focus on the willingness to kill?

This is a discussion on Focus on the willingness to kill? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Granted shooting someone may end their life no doubt. But most shootings 80% if my recollection is correct do not end in death. Should we ...

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Thread: Focus on the willingness to kill?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Focus on the willingness to kill?

    Granted shooting someone may end their life no doubt. But most shootings 80% if my recollection is correct do not end in death. Should we focus more on a person willingness to shoot to stop a threat, rather than on their willingness to kill? Of course we need to accept the fact that if we shoot someone they may die but it is not the most likely out come. Or does that set us up for emotional devastation should some one die as a result of their being shot. Or worst lower our inhibitions about shooting a human being thereby increasing the likely hood of a bad shoot. Part of why I am asking is if this is a tact we should take with people reluctant to carry because they do not want to kill anyone. Seriously does anyone here really want to kill someone? I do not think so. Though most of us do accept that may happen. Maybe if we focus on death of the perp not being likely they would be more receptive to carrying to protect themselves
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Kill or be killed? If the headlines aren't enough, the stories, the interview with the perps, the thoughtless killings at the hand of criminals and their descriptions of such. Backed into a corner, I can be just as ruthless and without remorse. If that in any way scares you, or makes you feel uncomfortable that I walk the streets, then I am truly apologetic. Maybe my years in the Marine Corp prepare me more than the average person considering self preservation. Someone willing and attempting to kill me? That scenario demands an equal and opposite reaction with little room for doubt. I'm willing and able and I'll stop the threat to my life no matter the outcome or consequences. I live day in and day out with that notion and I've never second guessed it. Firearms have their limitations as do people. Modern medicine is nothing short of magical in some instances. Let the chips fall where they may.

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    I will shoot to stop the threat and hopefully my aim will blow his heart apart,once the threat is over the law does not allow a coup de grace or execution shot.
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    If I use a firearm in self defense, I'm using lethal force.

    Let me reitirate: lethal force.

    I'm not going to try and kid myself "Hey, they might not die...it's not all that bad!". Those rounds exiting the barrel are going to do very, very bad things to the receiver; and, while yes, we aren't shooting to kill, we're not shooting to...annoy (unless of course, you're packing a .25 or something ()) either.

    So, all in all--yes, if you don't assume that when you shoot somebody that a lethal outcome is likely, you're setting yourself up.

    (Now--that doesn't mean that you should assume that your handgun is a guaranteed death-ray either; but that's a can of worms of a different color.)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    Should we focus more on a person willingness to shoot to stop a threat, rather than on their willingness to kill?...

    Seriously does anyone here really want to kill someone? I do not think so. Though most of us do accept that may happen. ...

    Maybe if we focus on death of the perp not being likely they would be more receptive to carrying to protect themselves
    Very good questions and points.

    While I shoot to stop the threat, as you said, anyone who carries needs to understand that once the bullet has left the end of your barrel you have absolutely no say in what kind of damage it will do. Even if you shoot someone in the leg you could hit an artery that leaves them lifeless in less than minutes.

    No, I certainly do NOT want to kill anyone and I pray and pray and pray that I never have to, but that doesn't mean I'm not willing if I am forced to.

    I've never killed anyone and I'm very glad for it, but I DO KNOW that if I ever have to do so it's going to be a very traumatic event. I am probably going to have to go through a lot and even if I'm cleared and told by EVERYONE that it was completely justifiable I may be forced to live with doubt the rest of my life as to whether I made the right decision.

    I've been through some traumatic times and had to deal with some pretty rough stuff that messed me up pretty bad emotionally and mentally for awhile, and as bad as all that was I'm expecting that dealing with the fact that you have taken a life is probably even worse than anything I've dealt with before. But I believe that I will get through it, whatever it takes. I'll do counseling, I'll talk about it, I'll mourn, I'll do whatever I need to do to deal with it and keep living my life.

    Understanding that, accepting that, and making the conscious choice to be willing to put myself through all of that again to defend myself or someone I loved is one of the reasons I know I'm ready to carry a gun in self defense.

    There are people out there who, once they started thinking about that, would not be willing to go through that.

    My mother once told me that if she ever took a human life she would never be able to forgive herself. She understands that even if it was self defense and the world held no blame for her and God held no blame for her she would live the rest of her life in misery at the knowledge that she had taken a life. She said she respects and understands people who believe they could but she couldn't do it.

    She won't carry a gun and I don't think she should. God bless her for knowing herself well enough to know that she could not take the emotional or mental strain of taking a life.

    To be honest, no one (other than those who have already had to take lives in the course of their duties) knows if they are able to take the burden of that kind of emotional and mental stress. I could be completely fooling myself and if I were forced to act on what I BELIEVE I may find myself completely crushed and ruined, devastated by the act. I have no way of knowing until that time comes (which, of course, I pray never does).

    In my opinion, telling someone it's not very likely someone they shoot would die and therefore "talking them into" (i.e. pushing them into) carrying a gun is dangerous and irresponsible.

    They NEED to know it's lethal potential and they NEED to be ready for that or they are NOT ready to carry a gun.

    I shiver and shudder when people come into the shop telling me they want a gun but they are "NEVER going to kill anyone," they are just "going to shoot them in the leg."

    They could be setting themselves up for SERIOUS, SERIOUS, DEVASTATING anguish if the shot they fired into someone's leg (if they are able to actually make that shot) proves to be lethal.

    At least recognizing that every bullet is potentially lethal is essential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    Kill or be killed? If the headlines aren't enough, the stories, the interview with the perps, the thoughtless killings at the hand of criminals and their descriptions of such. Backed into a corner, I can be just as ruthless and without remorse. If that in any way scares you, or makes you feel uncomfortable that I walk the streets, then I am truly apologetic. Maybe my years in the Marine Corp prepare me more than the average person considering self preservation. Someone willing and attempting to kill me? That scenario demands an equal and opposite reaction with little room for doubt. I'm willing and able and I'll stop the threat to my life no matter the outcome or consequences. I live day in and day out with that notion and I've never second guessed it. Firearms have their limitations as do people. Modern medicine is nothing short of magical in some instances. Let the chips fall where they may.
    Except for my 'Coast Guard' experiences...you sound like me...
    My wife and I were just talking again during the news tonight about the actions of some local dirtbag. We discussed quick violent action, no regrets (so you better be sure)...and reactons afterwards.
    My abilities and my weapons DO have their limitations, but I will use them to MY advantage.
    Each day we become more and more aware of how closely we may have come to some predator's eyeball...

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    If the situation is not a definite live or not, the gun stays in the holster, unless it's checking for a burglar and/or similar situation.

    So, if I even pull it.... it's to fire it and the threat on my life has already been determined, and it's me or them. I"ld rather it be them.

    I do suggest... some keep those guns in their holsters and not be so quick to pull them out, as someone may mistake their intentions and reasons.... and they may be the one considered the threat. "officer, I saw this guy pull a gun out when my sister was approaching him in his car ..... I was in fear he was going to shoot her , so I shot him first".

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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    Flight or flight... not philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    Maybe if we focus on death of the perp not being likely they would be more receptive to carrying to protect themselves
    Biology will throw most of that 'I can't shoot someone' out the window when the perp is gutting them or a loved one... when you,re getting shot at, stabbed, sexually assaulted etc all that philosophy won't be the initial thing the victim will think of... it will either be FIGHT or FLIGHT while adrenalin is pumped through your blood stream and other bodily changes take place, not lamenting on 'can I really shot?' It's no different from moving your hand away after being burned or pricked, or flinching if you feel something is going to hit you in the face.... such survival mechanisms are internal and have NOTHING to do with philosophy and more to do with instincts with survival value. The idea of "Killing" won't even be the first thing the body will think of, it will be to SURVIVE and using whatever options are available is apart of this, such as escape or to fight back... the death of the attacker is only a possible result of the victim/target fighting back.

    ALSO... in case you missed most of the recent news reports, many criminals are attacking and even executing people who are both unarmed, and people who complied FULLY with their demands (Remember the 6 women who got SHOT IN THE HEAD while they were hog tied by an armed robber in the women clothing store in IL? They complied fully, and the perp executing them was in no way self defence... and Just resently a father and his children were murdered in cold blood when they drove down the wrong ally and an MS13 gangmember took offense to the victim getting in the way of their car, so the guy emptied a clim on everyone inside the car, this was in San Fransisco just some days ago), their weapons (as you assumed wrongly) are not for defensive purposes but OFFENSIVE purposes.


    When a gunmen drives you to a secluded part of town after you drove around to ATMS giving him money, or after car jacking you at a stop light at 2am in the 'hood,' keep telling yourself that criminals carry guns for "protection" against a vastly defenseless sociaty... and that 80% of GSW are none fatal (How much end in brain damage, paralisis and other SERIOUS injuries? IMHO there are states of life WORST THAN DEATH... look on Terri Schiavo

    The statistics that you stand a 80% chance of not being killed if shot brings no comfort, you could survive and your life will literally be at an end though your body functions.
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    Member Array rumblefish's Avatar
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    Just carry and use the damn 'pepper spray' and it will get you out of most situations. Then you won't have to worry about using your gun. But just don't carry a gun. Carry the spray, maybe a knife, also. I LIKE the spray thing, except when you're confronted with a gun/knife, but then you in deep doo-doo anyway.

    Other night I was walking in parking lot in not great neighborhood. Had to walk past three fellas who could've been gang-bangers. I had the pepper spray out in my right hand, ready to deploy.

    Ended up talking with them about how nice their spruced-up car was...they were okay fellas.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    ...Should we focus more on a person willingness to shoot to stop a threat, rather than on their willingness to kill?...
    What is the difference?
    Violence begets violence. Hands on hands or weapon on weapon, I'm going for the win (stop the threat, kill the the threat... same same)
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    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Apparently I was not clear as most of the responses so far have little do do with what I was asking. Sorry for not being clear My question IS NOT about my or your mind set or how we look at self defense. Nor is it about your experience or mine or what you think you might do if the day comes. Which BTW is irrelevant what you think you know you will do is nothing more than hope. Only after the screaming stops and the blood congeals will you know what you will do. Even than all you know is what you did that day, it is not proof of how you will act the next time out. But now I am getting off topic.
    I almost want to start another thread and ask in another way but let me try again

    What I am asking is what Lima says is irresponsible and dangerous. Maybe she is right and I am therefore completely off base. Because that is what I am asking about trying to figure out an effective tact to convince people to carry a concealed weapon who have no wish to ever kill anyone. Maybe my tact is all wrong and sets some one up to become emotionally devastated because they kill someone in self defense. My opinion is I can live with that because my experience says they will get over it. They will not get over being dead. So if I trick them into carrying a gun and getting the training that one day saves their lives so be it. They can go ahead and hate me for the rest of their long healthy lives. Though I hope the opposite is will happen, if they end up saving their own lives or from being seriously hurt they will be grateful that they were tricked.

    By way of back story, this all this came up because i just spent some time with my niece today who is an avid shooter and CCW for women advocate. She is someone I wish I had tricked and I am sure not a day goes by that she wished I had convinced her to carry sooner. She used to be one of those women who swore that she would rather be raped than to kill anyone. Than about twelve years ago some gangbangers snatched her up. She fought as best she could but there were four of them. They took her to a motel and for four days and nights they smoked crack and rapped her orally vaginally and anally. They shoved guns down her throat, they stuck guns and every item they could think of into her vagina and rectum . They beat, cut, and burned her with cigars inside and out for four days and nights non stop. After four days they dropped her in a dumpster covered with blood urine and feces. I had tried to talk her into carrying.

    She was working on the Hill Top a bad area in Tacoma volunteering to help under privileged kids by getting them involved in doing films documentaries etc. A local TV station would broadcast their work. They did all aspects of a project from the writing, doing on camera interviews, to filming, editing, graphics all of it. They found a spot for any kid interested. She would be there on the hill after dark I would pick her up and I wanted for her to carry but she said she did not want to ever kill anyone. She actually said she would rather be raped than to kill anyone. Well she was and now that she knows what she was talking about. She knows she would have wasted all four of them. She was trying to kill then when they dragged her into the van. There is no doubt in my mind that had I done my job and convinced her to carry she would have done what she needed to do but I did not do my job. She remained unconvinced and so she paid the price. Is still paying the price.

    That is why she was by today she just lost another baby and the doctors told her they do not think she will ever carry to term because of the damage done to her. She loves children so much. That is all she has done in her life is work with kids and all she has ever wanted in life is to be a mom. Now one of the things she does as I said is work with other women and she is a strong advocate of women carrying conceals weapons. Today we got to talking and the issue of women especially finding it really difficult to even conceive of preparing to kill someone. Any of the tact's mentioned so far are exactly the kinds of arguments that would build a wall around these women and have them decide to let themselves get raped rather than killing some one. I know its those arguments that got my niece raped.

    So I was wondering about a different approach. That is the purpose of my asking the question. About trying to focus on the the defending not the killing and using the fact that 80% of shootings do not result in death. As most of those who have been there knows handguns are notoriously bad killing tools. That is why on every street corner there are thugs bragging about the five six seven times they have been shot. So what if rather than talking about killing the BG we focus on talking to these people about stopping the threat. Explaining that if the day comes that they do have to shoot they will not likely kill the perp but will stop him. If that gets a gun into their hand and on the range and into training courses. It will give them a chance to see we are not a pack of blood thirsty red necks focused on killing bad guys. I am tired and it is late so I hope I got my question asked right this time.

    Which again is do you think it is a good tactic to convince people to carry by letting them know most self defense shootings do not end in death, that they most likely do not need to kill to stop the bad guy. That while a handgun is not the best killing tool it is the best tool they are likely to have to stop the BG. That if we use that tactic and get people trained and carrying a hand gun for self protection is that a good thing? BTW I have gotten two people thinking about carrying by using the 80% stat. Their response has been really is that true? Well maybe I could carry a gun than if it does not mean I have to kill anyone. For now they are going to take a gun safety course to learn more
    Last edited by limatunes; June 30th, 2008 at 09:06 AM. Reason: put in paragraph breaks.
    Abort the Obamanation not the Constitution

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  12. #12
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    If someone is going to carry a firearm, then they need to be willing to use it. The best way to stop a threat quickly is aim for one of the zones of the human body which will cause an almost immediate stop to the threat. (Then again, I am a Marine infantryman, and therefor might have a different mindset).

    I don't really think that it is a good tactic to try to convince them of the 80%. What if they get so caught up in shooting a BG in the arm or leg going for a "disabling shot" that they aren't quick enough and end up facedown without firing a shot? Or if they do have to pull and kill someone, that could cause mental damage.

    Just some thoughts.
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    I read too many posts on this and other forums where people seem too ready to use their gun in cases where it may not be needed or justified. For instance there is one thread where a fellow wants to know how to handle taunting and develops it into it is probably gangbangers doing the taunting and when should he pull his gun. There is the story about the fellow shooting the kids walking across his yard. Does the 80% stat come into play. I would hope not that every shot is a potential lethal shot and should be considered that.

    One should always consider their gun as a last resort rather than a first or second one. This leads to the fear that so many have of police and the law that they are not sure of their actions and if they are justified. If they aren't justified in your heart then rethink them. If you are betting on the 80% or even just wounding someone then sell your gun and run from any situation, you don't have the proper mindset to carry a gun. If you are walking around with your hand on your gun ready to use it then you don't have the proper mindset to carry.

    I don't know if this is what you are asking but there are too many people worrying about the legalities of being able to use their gun. When it comes time to use it then legalities is last thing I worry about. If it comes down to me or the BG I will have to worry about that later but damn this mess about is it legal to shoot him if he is doing so and so. If he isn't about to kill or seriously harm you then no it isn't legal or at least isn't in most states. If the death penanly isn't valid for raping an 8 year old child then it shouldn't be for stealing the radio out of someone's car.

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    First, you'll never know how closely your nieces story mirrors my own. I can intimately understand her pain even up to the point of loosing a child and having to deal with medical problems due to what was done to me. And, like your niece, I'm pretty sure I could have killed the man who did it to me and sleep like a baby the rest of my life.

    The main difference between my story and your nieces was that I was only seventeen and therefore unable to get a license to carry (not to mention the fact that I lived in WI which doesn't allow carry). It wouldn't have mattered who was trying to "talk me into" carrying because it just wasn't an option.

    You niece chose not to carry because she made a very erroneous judgment call. She said she'd rather be rapped than kill anyone, but she didn't understand that rape isn't just about sex and once the sex is over it's never over. Often, it is violent. Often, it leaves one with emotional and physical scars that will never heal. Often it leads to disease, infection, child bearing problems and a lifetime of anguish.

    She assumed that there was not a fate worse than death and she learned the hardest of ways that that is not true, as did I.

    Her decision, no matter how flawed, is not your fault. And your trying to talk her into carrying (or anyone else, today) by lessening the "lethality" of shooting someone doesn't add or subtract from that.

    What if she was carrying and she only managed to defend herself from one or two of the bad guys and they still got to her and did everything you said? Does that make it better? Does it make it worse? I say neither. It's still a tragedy and there's no way of knowing how it would have turned out.

    But now she is using that experience to tell people what they choose not to think of for themselves: that there IS a fate worse than death and the least you can do is go down fight for all it's worth.

    That, at least, is good!

    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    My opinion is I can live with that because my experience says they will get over it. They will not get over being dead. So if I trick them into carrying a gun and getting the training that one day saves their lives so be it. They can go ahead and hate me for the rest of their long healthy lives.
    In this statement I see you ALSO assuming that death is worst of fates. What if, by shooting, even if it WASN'T a lethal shot, the individual is put in jail, goes through a lengthy court battle, has financial troubles due to it, looses their job, their spouse leaves them because they can't handle the fact that they sleep next to someone who shot someone, they take the kids with them. What if, in the course of defending themselves they are marred, disfigured or receive a life altering wound that cripples them for life? And add on to that the fact that they still shot/killed someone and all the trauma that unfolds... etc, etc, etc. See where I'm going?

    Do you think they are just going to one day get over that?

    What if they come back to you and say, "I've lost everything. My entire life that was worth living for is gone. I would have rather died that day than loose everything. Why didn't you tell me that could happen? Why did you tell me it was all going to be okay?"

    And let's not forget that there ARE some people out there who really and truly simply could not handle killing someone. We don't know who they are. Changes are they don't even know who they are, but they could be being raped, tortured, or they could watch their family in the same condition and they could take a life and forever live in anguish because of it. Or, worse yet, they end up committing suicide because of it.

    This is not one of those areas that is so easy to pin as black and white. Yes, on one hand, they may be alive, but on the other hand they have lost everything that gives their life any meaning. What's the difference between that and being dead?

    This is one of the reasons I can't understand people who say they don't tell even their wives that they carry. So, one day, however unlikely, they have to use that gun and they shoot or kill an attacker. Their wife, terrified of what just happened, can't deal with living with someone who would lie to her all those years and leaves. What now? You have a gun to defend your family but your family is now gone anyway. What have you gained?

    I've stood beside JD after he came back from war and watched the kind of mental anguish he had to go through because of some of the stuff he'd seen and done. I listened to him for hours talk about how he didn't want to tell me things because he thought I'd think he was a monster. I remember the LONG HARD road of Post-Traumatic Stress and it was NOT easy, as a spouse, to deal with it. There are many who don't, won't or can't. But we got through it and my comfort is that if I ever have to use a firearm in self defense and take a life I will have someone with whom I can relate. My husband can look me in the eye and say, "I understand," and I'll know he does.

    He'd never leave me because of what life forced me to do.

    There are some who couldn't say that about their spouses. They don't have the luxury of knowing how their spouses or family would respond because, like the potential lethality of a shooting, it's not talked about.

    This is all worst case scenario, of course, but the choice is not a clear one. Do you trick someone into carrying a gun by convincing them their shots are less lethal than they think? Again, I think it's dangerous and irresponsible.

    Could it save their life? Possibly.

    Could it destroy the quality of their life to the point they wish they had never been tricked into carrying? Possibly.

    Could either falling prey to the bad guys OR defending yourself still lead to the destruction of the quality of life that either way it would be almost better if one had died? VERY possibly.

    I think of your niece or myself. Let's say she was carrying. Let's say she was able to shoot and disable two attackers but she was still taken and still raped and still brutalized. She still has the same scars, she still has the same pain, the same anguish and nothing for her has changed.

    No one says that life is fair and no one says it's easy. But that doesn't give anyone the right to lie and make it more "rosy" colored than it is. Why ignore the possibility and therefore leave them unprepared for the worst case scenario?

    Again, I think it's irresponsible.

    One of the things that angers me about my youth is that no one taught me just how evil and unfair this world can really be. I was told that public places were safe. I was told that if you scream, "HELP" someone will come to rescue you. I had a rosy colored view of this world where neighbors helped each other and life was happy.

    I was snatched from a public place and no one so much as lifted a finger to call the police and I got a real huge taste of just how bad it can be.

    To this day, I'm more angry that I was lied to than anything else. I wish someone had told me the truth. I wish someone had at least prepared me for what could have happened. I may have walked into the same trap, but it may have made a difference.

    It's not up to us to decide what people can handle and what they can't and therefore to construct our arguments in a way that will entice them one way or another. That is between the individual, their conscience and God. All we can do is inform them to the best of our ability and allow them to make their own decisions about themselves (whether we think they are good or not).

    I, personally, wouldn't want the burden of knowing that I had misinformed someone and then watch them take my advice and regret it. I don't think I could handle that.

    As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy, even if the truth SUCKS.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    Which again is do you think it is a good tactic to convince people to carry by letting them know most self defense shootings do not end in death, that they most likely do not need to kill to stop the bad guy.
    I'll be very blunt- mindset is IT. There is nothing else. No gun, no kinife, no bat, no A-Bomb will resolve a problem without the will and determination that I/ME am worth defending by any and all means possible.

    Something is better than nothing, but the concept of , "I'll just wound/scare/etc.." the BG is talismanic. The BG gets the weapon, or dominates the situation before the weapon can be accessed and the odds are better than average that the intended-now-victim won't be able to make that next step and go face-raking biting savage. Not saying it can't happen, but...

    We are a largely non-physical society. The best eye-opener is to have a guy wearing a cup and shin guards do a FOF, not even something "heavy." Many women have the idea of, "I'll kick him in the crotch/shins/whatever..." and have no idea how much advantage weight and reach really are for a man in a physical confrontation. many men don't realize this either, of course...

    Edit to add: of course, violence is not the only answer, I've worked with violent individuals all of my career in unarmed capacity. Words and verbal judo can carry you a long way. It really sucks if that's your whole repertoire, though...

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