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Discussion Starter #1
I am mentally prepared for having to take a life - if indeed it is my absolute last and only option - ''him or me''. I would not otherwise even consider carry and all the responsibility it entails.

There is one aspect tho that crosses my mind at times - and it is relevant to the nature of a BG type, should I ever have to (heaven forbid) go this far.

I doubt there are many here who would not have some degree of problem, coming to terms with the taking of a life - and I am obviously talking civilian here, not military. That said - there is an inner selfish self that hopes that should the situation arise, I want the BG to be bad - I mean BAD - as in evil incarnate. Not hopefully some snotty late teen who was spaced out on something and was foolish enough to wish to play at bandits!

I guess this is a need to be able to simplify the personal ''justification'' process - a means to assuage the guilt, and so have a lesser degree of after effect, a better way to pick up pieces and still go on to live a life. I would find it hard to forget the killing of a kid, however deranged he may have been, compared with an older ''devil incarnate''!

Naturally, I shall hope to never have a conflict of this type to deal with - but when we carry we have to consider all aspects - in fairness to self - it is no good carrying without some depth of thought to actions and consequences.

This may seem strange to some - I don't know but I bring it up as much as anything to explore how others might see it. Probably seems odd to some too, I mean, a threat to one's life is - just that - a threat to one's life, irrespective of perp' details.
 

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If someone is bad enough to commit a forcible felony and unlucky enough to run across an armed victim, don't feel bad.

Once they cross that line, they're no longer a person, but a target.

I hate to be this callous, but it's true.

People don't try to kill me or steal my things by force. Targets do.
 

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Actually it's not so strange.

I look at it this way. You only have the right to be alive until you deliberately and purposefully violate the right of someone else to be alive.

But working with teenagers every day, especially ones who are juvenile delinquents, changes my perspective somewhat. I can't imagine how I'd react to a juvenile assailant.

Now thinking about it some more, most teenage kids, especially in the dark, can pass for college age or young adults. Many 16 year olds look like they're 19-20. It would be so simple to mistake their age, and feeling the guilt afterwards no matter how justified I was... I shudder at the thought. I really do.

That's why I'm all about verbal tactics, awareness, body language, etc. A misguided kid who's about to make the biggest mistake of his life will probably be nervous, stuttering etc. But I have a feeling that a young person who's made a conscientious decision to go down a wrong path will have a harder, more confident demeanor.

This is yet another reason firearms are the best defense tools available for most situations. In many instances merely seeing a firearm can give a potential aggressor a split second chance to stop before they make a mistake.

I try to tell teenagers all the time that they're at an age where honestly, many of them are in command of their mental faculties but they're in the precarious position of lacking good judgment (i.e. maturity). Of course when you're 24 it's clear how stupid you were at 17, and when you're 31 it's clear how stupid you were at 24. :biggrin:

I honestly believe most teenage kids can make a conscientious decision to do something evil. When they do, that's very tragic because it's so unnecessary. To be honest though, when that happens, I don't so much pity them as I pity their parents and their peers. It's not a feeling of sadness, so much as one of dissappointment. My little drug pusher last year for example got herself in trouble. I felt more let down than anything because I know she can do better, but she chooses not to.

Really to me, I find it inspiring that the vast majority of young people are unsung heroes who overcome incredible pressure and encouragement to fail.

But the handful that don't choose to succeed... you stay up and wonder sometimes if you could have done something different.

I had a wizened old principle once tell me however: "The hardest thing for anyone to admit is when it's their own fault, and it doesn't matter if you're 15 or 50."

I'm not sure where I'm going with all this, I just hope that this never happens to me and if it does I know what I'm gonna do. I just don't like to talk or think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To be honest though, when that happens, I don't so much pity them as I pity their parents and their peers.
That Euc I think is a factor for me. I have a son and daughter - who admittedly are growed up but - somehow puts a slightly different slant on things.

Robert - I hear ya - and in principle I agree - we almost have to be callous - but I cannot help thinking I would find handling the taking out of a teen way harder to come to terms with.
 

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In a Battle of Wits, most of MY students are UNARMED....

Euclidean said:
Actually it's not so strange.....
Euc, I work in an inner city high school and have for going on nine years now. I too have seen my share of punks, gangstas (mostly wannabes--the real ones are on the street drop-outs committing crimes), racists (all colors) and general losers on a fast trip to nowhere.

I let them know right off the bat where I stand but usually those students who have had me before spread the word to the rest. However, there is always somebody who doesn't get the word or doesn't believe it. Always some youngster eager to try out the old lobo. That's where bearing (we used to call it command presence in the army), confidence and an easy manner come in most handy. I find I can diffuse most simmering situations by being smarter than they are...which is usually not too difficult. I have already predetermined to NEVER drop my guard and always be ready to do what must be done to preserve my life. I can't be in possession a firearm in school. I don't feel the need of one (unless you count the MS13 gang down the street) and never have. But that doesn't mean I'm never armed, however. I almost always have a rolled up newspaper under my arm on my way thru dark halls or into the teacher's parking lot. Correctly employed, it can be lethal. I have my awareness and I have my Aikido and other unarmed combat training. Most importantly I have the mindset of a sheepdog. Funny, the wolves near me never want to really test my resolve. I've posted this link before, but it always bears a repeat:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/10/i_only_hang_wit.html

Euc, whether you know it or not, you along with the others here are SHEEP DOGS. That's why I hang out here.
 

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I'm sure anyone would have real problems with the emotional baggage following an encounter that results in them killing someone. That said, the concern about maturity, bad choices, drugged up kids, etc, can surely get you or a loved one killed if you allow it to cause hesitation. The BG is a BG is a BG when he or she chooses to become a predator and decides you are the prey. I (thank God) have never even come close to such a situation. I only can work now on the proper mindset so that if it ever does happen, I won't be weeping over my loved ones grave because I was worried about some punks inability to make good choices in life.

I don't think this is callous. I think it is realistic. Hope this can help sort out the concerns.
 

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I honestly have never been afraid of a student and I've had some violent offenders before. The only thing that scares me at work is the thought of some crazy whackjob coming in there wanting to blow a student away and they can't protect themselves nor should they be expected to as minors. I can easily see that happening.

Perhaps that's why the concept is so difficult to fathom because I can't see it happening. I tell one of these people to sit down and shut up and they do it. To be honest an 18 year old kid really doesn't scare me because I know I'm more clever than they are.

OTOH I fully expect it to be futile to try that with a real, hardcore, no respect for human life predator. Can such a young person reach that stage so early in life?

I suppose they can.
 

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Euclidean said:
...OTOH I fully expect it to be futile to try that with a real, hardcore, no respect for human life predator. Can such a young person reach that stage so early in life?

I suppose they can.
I'm certain they can, because I've seen and treated the results of their handiwork.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to want things to be clear cut. And to worry because we all know life is rarely clear cut. We want our bad guys to be BAD, and our causes to be righteous. We worry about the unknown, and I think this is key. I've never taken a life, but I have had to defend myself. When I was training, before I had an experience to which I could relate it, I wondered how I would react. In retrospect, I was lucky. I waited too long to be sure before acting. I wanted to be certain. I didn't quite believe it was happening, and frankly, I was scared, right up to the moment things started to happen. Then, I stopped thinking of them as people and started thinking of them as "threats" and training took over. I remember emotion draining away to be replaced by a time-compressed objectivity (I guess the adrenaline kicking in?). Since then, my perspective has changed. I react to changing situations earlier in the process, and while I haven't had to test it, I know that I would be less hesitant. I also know that if I have identified a threat, I won't be worried about their age or gender - just neutralizing the threat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Absolutely - a threat - is a threat - is a threat. And that would be dealt with as necessary. I doubt I would be drawing distinctions while ''in extremis'' either. It's a case of react and get the job done.

Most of my thinking here is in respect to the sequele - knowing that if any BG I took out was relatively advanced in years and BAD, then I know I would suffer way less mental trauma, than if a youngster. I very much doubt the age thing would prejudice reaction - that will be a training element.

Thx for the considerable input you guys have made.
 

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P95Carry said:
...Most of my thinking here is in respect to the sequele - knowing that if any BG I took out was relatively advanced in years and BAD, then I know I would suffer way less mental trauma, than if a youngster...
Just from what you've said the short time I've been here, not that I know you or anything, I think you would lament the waste of life, regardless. You might feel marginally less bad if he had BAD GUY tatooed across his forehead but I hope that, should the situation arise, you wouldn't feel too bad about taking out an amoral, ruthless predator before it has a chance to breed.
 

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Do it

Thinking about how bad is bad will only drive you nuts. The bottom line is:
Is your life or the life of a loved one in danger? If the answer is yes, then the bad guy is very bad and must be stopped.
You're certainly not going to stand there and try to rationalize the whole thing while your child is lying on the ground bleeding to death.
 

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I agree that one should just see it as a threat, and your job is to neutralize it. That doesn't mean I won't feel bad after it's all over; I think I would. If this person were (obviously) threatening my life, I would feel no worse about it being a teenager than I would an adult. They are simply BGs.... :redface:
 

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A threat to your life or the life of a loved one, regardless of the age or state of mind of the BG, is still a threat. I am sure, in the aftermath of any such incident, anyone would will feel some emotional distress. However, the main thing is, you or your loved ones would be ALIVE, to feel the distress. If you hesitate while thinking about the age or state of mind of the BG you or your loved ones could be feeling a lot worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
True uudl.

My point is based entirely re aftermath - and how it might be dealt with - how difficult or easy. As far as any threat goes, action if needed must be done. I do not contest that at all - there would be zero time for procrastination!.

Because I am a father and know that in a few cases there can be a good pair of parents behind an errant young BG - perhaps I am aware of the pain to them that could be caused thru such a defensive shooting.

This is all ''aftermath'' preference I am thinkin' of - whereby a real Bada$$ BG of greater age would be much less of a problem from a conscience POV. It's hard to explain much different from that but it has no effect on response to a threat.
 

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who can really say

Fortunately I have never been put in a situation where I have had to use my gun to defend myself, so I don't really know how I would feel afterwards. I can understand your concern, I am also a parent of two. Although I can comprehend the pain that the parents of the person I had to shoot might feel,
I might also just as well be pissed that I was put in a situation where I had to defend myself and harm another human being.
And if I was defending a loved one there's a good chance I wouldn't feel any remorse at all. But then again one never knows.
 

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ebd10, Yessir re, Absofrekinlutely. We learned that real quick in SE Asia. The laws of combat state that....>>you pick up a weapon--your a combatant.----------
 

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I watched a good man slowly kill himself from remorse from the killing he did in wartime. It was easy on my end to say, "you did what you had to do, don't keep punishing yourself for it." But he never could get over it, and it ate right through him. I don't want to end up there.

Our empathy is what separates us from them. It makes us the good guys. We're the ones who care about our lives and the lives of our loved ones, and that's why we have carry permits. Their apathy is what makes us carry.

There's a baby-faced 13 year-old walking over to cap you as his gang initiation. You have a split second to defend yourself by squeezing your own trigger, or pausing by seeing this young boy as a sympathetic lost youth. He's short and skinny, and you may even have a son his age. Will you allow yourself to be martyred to bring hard reality crashing down on his head and cause him to open his eyes and walk a straight path afterwards, or will the kid sneer, give you another in the back of the head just for kicks, and brag to his new friends?

It's my nightmare that when I have to squeeze the trigger, it's not against a rapist or some giant, hell-bent crackhead, but some baby-faced kid thug like the one I described.

So I harden myself to the reality that someone who wants to do me imminent harm is a person who is cold and apathetic, who'll take my body, kill me for my purse or my jewelry, or kill me just for "street cred." He's crossed the line from being a sympathetic, salvageable human to someone who must be stopped. He doesn't care about me. But I do. And it's me or him.

I'll feel terrible if I take a life to save my own - a human being should never rejoice in the killing of another. But I'll have to realize that I wasn't the inhuman one and I did only what I had to do to preserve myself when there was no other way.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Betty - excellent sentiments - thank you :smile:
 

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In addition....

I remember some antis telling me that they thought it was appalling that I, a female, the nurturing, cooing baby vessel, would dare carry a gun and take the life of someone else's baby.

I figure if that baby's big enough to rob me, rape me and kill me, he outgrew scolding and needs to be told "no" in a tone of a higher caliber.

I think the nurturing, cooing, baby vessel in me makes me all the more willing to defend myself and my loved ones. Kipling wrote something about the female of the species.
 
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