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As a young Marine trained as a Force Recon Marine before going to Viet Nam,I was trained to believe I was a killing machine. To make along story short and to the point, with the best intensive training the military has to offer. I remember in detail the first time I had to pull the trigger on someone with in one foot of me. I have asked individuals over the years that carry and are gun-oh aand those that have never carried a gun but think it might be cool to do so the question when it come down to it, do you have what it takes to pull the trigger at close ranger with out hesitation? As all combate vets and LEO's know if there is any apprehension to pull that trigger you are putting yourself in more harm than good. My question is, all of us that carry are we parpared to pull the trigger. I would like for LEO's and combate Vet and others to share their thoughts on this subject.

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Trader - been there, done that, also in Vietnam 1969-1971 US Special Forces.
I still carry because I refuse to be a victim of some young punk who thinks he can prey on whomever he wishes with out fear of reprisal. I pray each and every day that I never have to drop a hammer on another human being again. That doesn't mean I won't however. I have tried to explain to others what kind of emotional distress it causes to kill another person no matter how neccessary it may be to survival. Over the years I've learned to displace those memories and cope with them.

I do believe however, that given the proper motivation, almost anyone can pull the trigger. I've taught many women who have told me they didn't think they could shoot another person, I then ask them if they have children and when they state in the affirmative, I propose that a crazy man has a knife at their childs throat and that they have a gun, almost universally they respond that they would shoot him without hesitation. It all comes down to motivation. A soldier shoots because he is motivated not to let his comrades down, a LEO shoots because he is sworn to, a citizen will shoot because they cannot bear the possibility of what will happen if they don't.

The main question is: "When the horn blows" will you make the right decision, with the right amount of force, for the right reason, at the right time?
 

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Oh my yeah - ''the right decision'' - ''the right time'' and the ''right amount of force''. How many times must we give this thought - wondering.

I, like most (all I sincerely hope) wish to never have to face this but - it is a real possibility, however small the odds. Training is IMO mandated - enough at least for fluency and control of the firearm. Total competance.

Beyond that is trying to maintain good situational awareness - this might many times even avoid the need for a show - because we can hightail it away before things go belly up. Always #1 choice.

There is IMO the need for some sorta balance - between outright panic response, which may be far from ideal. Then the need for what I might call '' instant anger'' - that strong nudge that might come as we realize instantly that we or our loved ones are in immediate danger.

The response will have to be quick - very quick probably - and so ''thinking time'' is a luxury we cannot permit. The thought for me will not be ''am I about to possibly take a life'' ... I cannot let that be a prime consideration under extremis conditiopns. It HAS to be the ''him or me'' syndrome.

I sure as heck do NOT want to take a life - I hold life sacred. But being a tad self motivated in the survival stakes, will not lay down my life easily because of some blatently perceived threat wishing to take it.

Ultimately - should ''the test'' come to pass, I shall hope not to be prosthelatizing at the last instant. :smile:
 

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Actually it's so funny you would mention this. I am in the process of reading "The Tactical Pistol" by Gabriel Suarez. This is an excellent book.

There is a chapter in here about conditioning your mind for having to shoot another person, and about the lies that we've all been told about what it's actually like to shoot someone in your own defense. I had no idea.

One thing the author keeps coming back to over and over again is that you have to really do some serious thinking about what you plan to do if you ever do have to shoot somebody. He makes it very clear that the purpose of fighting is to win and you have to get all this touchy feely New Age garbage out of your head and look at it with a clear, objective mind.

I plan to read the rest of this book and I think everyone else should too, especially if you're a civilian who's never been in the thick of it like me. Mr. Suarez is the real deal and tells you straight up how you have got to think in order to win.
 

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I have only been in one incident where I believed I was possibly going to have to squeeze the trigger. I was, at that time, resolved to do it if the guy so much as twitched. He chose to leave, I chose to let him. There's a post I made about that incident around here somewhere, but what I found surprising was how time slowed down allowing me to sort all that was happening out and determine my response. I was glad beyond words that I didn't have to shoot but there is no doubt in my mind I would have. I also believe I would have had demons to fight the rest of my life had it turned out differently.
 

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P95Carry said:
Oh my yeah - ''the right decision'' - ''the right time'' and the ''right amount of force''. How many times must we give this thought - wondering.
We must give and hear this thought for as long as we choose to CCW.

IMO it has to be on your mind every time you holster that gun.
 

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Good Thread Trader

This is a very good thread & it is such a necessary one. It's also a topic that I honestly believe cannot be discussed enough. Everyone that carries a deadly defense firearm needs to do a through & honest internal self examination.
I also very much consider all human life to be a sacred & precious thing. "All Human Life" happens to include my own life.
I have always spent my entire life staying on the correct side of the law & going out of my way to help others...even to the point of making a total silly chump out of myself. I never look for any pats on the back but consider being compassionate and understanding ~ "helpful & friendly" & a good citizen to be a necessary part of my personal obligation to a civilized and healthy society.
I never go out looking for trouble & try to carefully pre~think all of my major life decisions.
Keeping my temper under control is easy because most things are really not worth getting chronically upset about. Box the punching bag for a while & then go play with the family dog. That what I do when I get POed. Nobody can stay pissed off after playing with the pooch for a while & getting that unconditional affection.
It sure works for me every time.
It helps to take a good hearty laugh at myself every once in a while. As "HUMANS" go I'm FAR from perfect. There are some really good people that depend on my personal "well being" and depend on that "imperfect me" being alive and able to function.
I owe them and myself my God Given Right to stay alive and to chart my own course in this world without stepping on anyone else's rights. I also have a serious self~understood obligation to the innocent people in society to be "practiced enough" and skilled/trained enough with the possible use of deadly force that I can administer that force (if absolutely necessary) without harming any of those innocent folks around me. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if I ever missed a Bad Guy & hit an innocent child. That is the main reason why I constantly practice. It's never a game and it's always a serious responsibility. I'll always look for any possible way out of any confrontation. You curse at me & I'll "Shut~Up"
You bother me & I'll walk away. You flip me the bird & I'll give you a smile. Do not follow me and aggressively back me into a corner & give me no way out. All bets are then off & may God have mercy on your soul because I will do whatever I am able to do to stop you. That is my true feeling about armed personal protection. It is a sad but necessary part of trying to live peacefully in a world filled with violent takers.
 

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Bumper said:
but what I found surprising was how time slowed down allowing me to sort all that was happening out and determine my response.
This is training and mindset at work. It is almost universal in people who have been in this situation. With training and mindset, time itself seems to slow down, your mind is analizing at incomparable speed while all around you is moving in slow motion. I have told people that the reason I won in Vietnam is that I had more time to kill him than he had to kill me. I have heard that race car drivers and downhill skiers have described the same phenomenon.
 

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acparmed said:
This is training and mindset at work. It is almost universal in people who have been in this situation. With training and mindset, time itself seems to slow down, your mind is analizing at incomparable speed while all around you is moving in slow motion. I have told people that the reason I won in Vietnam is that I had more time to kill him than he had to kill me. I have heard that race car drivers and downhill skiers have described the same phenomenon.
It's comforting and unnerving at the same time....
 

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I'm more proud of the times I have managed to not pull the trigger than the times I have. I learned to use what skills I picked up here and there to use it to my advantage - if you can draw relatively quickly, keep appraised of your situation, and know what you're willing to do (and can do it if needed), many situations can be diffused.

When you've got a weapon at someone's head at 3 feet with the hammer back, safety disarmed, and 3 pounds between their choice of actions and their demise and everyone lives to see the next sunrise, you're doing pretty well in my book.

There are some folks who just won't listen, but thankfully, they're few and far between.
 

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I think it would be easier to pull the trigger on some punk who's willing to kill me for a little personal gain as opposed to an enemy soldier who's only fault was that he has been told by his country that i'm his enemy
 

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Trader said:
As a young Marine trained as a Force Recon Marine before going to Viet Nam,I was trained to believe I was a killing machine. <SNIP> so the question when it come down to it, do you have what it takes to pull the trigger at close ranger with out hesitation?
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I think the bottom line is that a person will never know until they find themself in that position. Some may say then it's too late, but that is probably the only way to find out.
 

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I think motivation and training (hopefully) will win the day. I don't feel if my life or my families was in jeapordy I wold hesitate. I feel rstickle is correct. Ya never know till ya have to.
 

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I think that if my life, or the life of someone I care about were in imminent danger, I'd pull the trigger without hesitation, but, it's true you don't know until you're in the situation. One thing I notice about myself, since I became interested in guns and gun culture; whether I'm carrying or not, I try to avoid conflict more than I did before, maybe because I have a better understanding of what it can lead to. IMHO, that's a good lesson to learn.
 

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Haven't had personal experience "pulling the trigger" on anyone. Like others, I continue to mull over in my head what might be my response and I really like the various scenarios you guys come up with. Sounds like "The Tactical Pistol" should get on my read list. Most "Normal" human beings have ingrained in them a sense of survival. Life for us would be so much simpler if there was one book that listed every possible scenario and gave a Shoot or No-Shoot choice (with answers at the back). There isn't, of course. But, as initially stated, the question is, given all the indicators that you will die (or innocent third-party) if you don't pull the trigger, can you pull the trigger. The rational person will always say yes. But, the situtation can distort rational thought. Therefore, it must be thought about in the ole gray matter...eventually, it becomes a default reflex....all you mil-types know what I'm talking about....training for reflexive responses....do it enough times and it becomes second-nature (conditioning). I see the real hard part as recognizing "for certain" the pull trigger response. Well, I'm babbling now, so outta here!
 

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I have looked across the sights at another person within 10 ft 4 times (Once as a Marine, twice as a reserve LEO, once as a homeowner @ 4:00 AM) in my life, never had to fire. Their choice. I was acutely aware that I did not want to kill them unless they took the next (wrong) step. I would have fired without hesitation had any of them done the wrong thing. After each incident it ended in my mind as soon as the situation was over. I was where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing in each case. If I would have had to fire, I don't think it would have taken a great deal for me to put it behind me.

I'm not looking forward to being in that position again, however, but I will if I have to.
 

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I have not pointed the muzzle at anyone. I have carried a weapon into situations that could have escalated to needing one. (as a homeowner) I would not hesitate to use force to protect.
 

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I'm with Cory on this issue. I'm Mr. Avoidance. In fact, macho chest-thumping usually turns me off.

I believe this is primarily for two reasons.

First, the older I get, I see less and less real change done by fighting. Ireland has had centuries of fighting to no avail. And just when you look at that war-torn country, you face the same perils as 'west coast' rap musicians (to me, 'rap music' is an oxymoron, with my apologies to stupid oxen) kill the 'east coast' variety.

Oh, BTW, liquor is cheaper if you buy it and take it home to be with friends. People who go to smoky, dangerous saloons are sort of asking for it.

The second reason I would hesitate to pull a trigger (unless the most dire circumstances prevail) is the selfish issue of 'me.'

I don't want the severed arteries, the shattered bones and the eviscerated bowels in my memory banks. That type of 'cool' is for video games.
 

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Like The Tourist, I've tried to live a life of trouble avoidance....never heard a shot fired in anger (okay, I was Air Force :redface: ) and I'm definitely not a bar room brawler. Part of the reason for CCW is knowing my physical limitations.

In my mind's eye, I believe that I could pull the trigger if my life depended on it. I wouldn't carry a pistol if I thought otherwise. The part that worries me is that INDECISION at the crucial moment (am I in danger?...Holy S**T, he ain't stopping....should I pull my pistol...etc, etc) could cut my life short. Getting to the point of knowing FOR SURE that my life depends on hard action seems to be the sticky part of the experience.

Is training in tactics the only way to prepare yourself to recognize this moment, or is there something more to it? I would sure appreciate some input from those who have been in harms way.
 

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Team American-- training is the key. Attend any schools you can. they help with your mindset
 
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