What am I--stupid?


Average Guy
January 2, 2003, 03:51 PM
It occurs to me that perhaps I'm not a good candidate for the Mall Ninja Quick Reaction Force. Two situations have gotten me thinking about this:

1) My wife and I were at home one day, not expecting visitors, when there was a knock at the door. At her insistence (waitasec, she's the LEO), I went to check it out. No one at the door, but as I stepped outside, I saw a white pickup truck with various handyman stuff in the bed. The driver, a white male in his 40s, saw me, then came up the driveway. I retreated behind the "security" screen as he approached, his right hand strangely behind his back. He stopped about 20 feet out, saying he'd noticed our dead cypress trees on the side of the house and would I like him to cut them down? No, thanks, I replied firmly. He turned and left. Then the adrenaline hit, and I realized how utterly untactical I had been. I wonder if he'd have been more insistent if my 5'2" wife had come to the door, instead of me (I had him by 50 pounds and 6 inches, easy). I wonder why I just stood there looking at his arm while the alarm bells rang and did nothing. And most of all, I wonder why I didn't tell him to "Stop right there and show me your hands." (Of course, now I have to wonder why my loving wife didn't have my back. Oh, honey...)

2) Yesterday at the indoor range, there were a bunch of apparent newbies. ("I wish I had an entourage," I told my buddy.) One of them was looking at another guy's Sig at the counter behind the firing line, and as I watched him handle it (from about 8 feet away), I found myself looking down the apparently .45-caliber muzzle. ("Must" have been unloaded, as the owner took it and put it in the box, but I assume nothing.) My first reaction was bewilderment. I mean, a little muzzle consciousness, please. My second was anger--not so much at him for covering me but at myself for not yelling at that ignorant @(#$* for covering me.

*** is wrong with me? I knew it was wrong, knew said situations required action, yet I did nothing. The desire to not be wrong(?), to not make a scene (that's my dad right there), was more powerful than my survival instinct. It's not that I don't value my life--or am I just training for the fun of it? Perhaps it's a self-esteem thing. Like I'm not important enough to start a fuss over. On the other hand, such non-reaction could get me killed. And I'd deserve it. Plus I've been trained to be polite to a fault. Well, "PLEASE stop and KINDLY show me your hands!" would work, too. :)

Anyone else facing this and want to own up to it? Any suggestions?

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4v50 Gary
January 2, 2003, 03:56 PM
Condition white mindset?

January 2, 2003, 03:59 PM
Chronic politeness. Suffered from it for years, still trying to {OH DROP DEAD YOU STOOPID A*****) overcome it.:neener:

Edited for humor, or lack thereof.

January 2, 2003, 04:00 PM
I'll admit I do "stupid" things like that very often.

That is how we learn.

I would bet next time you react differently in both situations.

Training helps in these matters. But you can't be ready for every situation (and where do you draw the line between training and and being a gun-hoo tactilite wacko) .

Don't be so hard on yourself, but be hard nonetheless. Just try to anticipate things as much as possible and by all means, learn from your mistakes.

January 2, 2003, 04:02 PM
Average Guy,

If you're stupid, so'm I.

Awhile back, I got rear-ended by a jerk who decided that his stupidity was my fault. I got out of the van to see if he was okay, and he jumped out of his car with his fists waving, screaming obscenities. You know what I did?


I mean, I stood there with my mouth open. I didn't jump back into the van and lock the door. I didn't put a hand on my weapon (at the time, I didn't have a weapon). I didn't tell him to "Back off!" in a firm, commanding voice, or dive for cover, or run the other direction.


I stood there with my mouth flopping open like a dying fish.

Posted the story on TFL, and someone said, "well, that's the possum defense. It works for them..." :D

Shrug. I went and took classes. Got a gun and started carrying it. Thought about it, a little and a lot.

I think I'd do better, now. Hope so.


In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. -- Theodore Roosevelt

January 2, 2003, 04:07 PM
The desire to not be wrong(?), to not make a scene
the "alarm bells", and noticing a quick muzzle-cover make me think you are a condition yellow/orange kinda guy. You just have to allow yourself to listen to the cues. I had a huge time with that...not wanting to cause a scene, and a natural shyness. You just have to learn to deal with situations like that in a way that is compliant with your nature so that you are replying reflexive and not forcing yourself to have a particular memeorized reaction...and that dosn't always mean drawing down on everyone that gives you a funny fealing.

January 2, 2003, 04:11 PM
Oh yea....a quick 9 month crash cource and I would have you trying out for our Sector-3 Roof Patrol...just begging for the RTF to go to full tactical alert :p

January 2, 2003, 04:57 PM

All you need is a good healthy dose of paranoia. :)

If it had been me in your place, my right hand would have also been behind my back - and not just in my hip pocket, either. ;)

But I didn't start out this way ...

January 2, 2003, 05:10 PM
We are all learning, some are in different stages that's all. Actually what I'm reading is growth from experiences. Where were you 6 months ago? See, you have made progress.

Want stupid? I bought and paid for brother to get his CHL. He travels some and uses rest stops and gas stations off the freeway. Well we just had another death at a rest stop, and a day later a carjacking with victim thrown in trunk. Mom calls to-well- be a mom. To bro she said " Aren't you glad you got your CHL?" Bro-sheepishly " umm I never sent it in, I dont't have nor carry". Mom " I didn't raise you to be stupid!!".

January 2, 2003, 06:03 PM
There's a book called "The Gift of Fear," by Gavin DeBecker. He discussesin depth exactly the kind of reactions you're talking about, and goes into learning to pay attention to those niggling, vague fears that we so often dismiss. And unfortunately sometimes suffer for having dismissed.

Unfortunately, Debecker is somewhat anti-gun, but the book is not an anti-gun tirade. It's worth a read.

January 2, 2003, 06:07 PM
Average Guy: Sounds like you suffer from 'deer in the headlights' syndrome mixed with a little titanium white. Like the late Bob Ross, you're too sedate. You need to be alot more conscious and work on your natural reaction response when faced with the presence of danger.

Is your fear of making a scene and embarassing yourself playing a part in this? Definately. Why are you afraid to make a scene? What have you got to lose? Other than, say, your life? :eek:

Granted, I'm not saying that you should become paranoid and overreact to every little thing. You just need to overcome the fear of embarassment thats been instilled into you by your father. Your survival is paramount regardless if you have to make a scene in order to stay alive.

What most people fail to understand is that the general population, as a whole, is disinterested in the attention that you may draw to yourself. They're too wrapped up in their own little world than to pay any mind to what's going on in yours. Remember that.

January 2, 2003, 10:42 PM
STreet smarts is something that takes a while to acquire if you have lived in a nicle area. I grew up in a not so nice area and thus I keep on the alert all the time. My wife calls it hyper-vigilance. I call it paying attention to what is going on around you.

January 2, 2003, 11:57 PM
-Condition White: You are unaware of what's going on around you. Perhaps you're tired, or worried about work or school. Maybe your senses are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Either way, you are not ready--for anything.

-Condition Yellow: You are alert but calm and relaxed, scanning your surroundings for threats. You know who's in front of you, to your sides, and behind you. You don't think anyone will attack, but you are mentally ready in case something happens.

-Condition Orange: You sense that something is not right, and that you might be attacked. Perhaps there's a number of suspicious men standing around your car. Or in the classic Jeff Cooper example, a guy wearing a raincoat comes into your shop on a sweltering summer day. What's wrong with this picture?
In Orange, you are aware of the positions of all potentially hostile people around you, as well as any weapons they may be able to use--in their hands or within reach. You are developing a plan for dealing with the potential hostiles. You have also identified multiple escape routes, depending on what response you will use. In addition to being mentally ready, you are physically ready as well.

-Condition Red: The fight is on. Someone is assaulting you and you are reacting to the attack and defending yourself. You are taking immediate and decisive action to stop your opponent, flee, or get help.

It really dosn't sound to me like Average Guy bumbeling through life in Condition White. Condition White Sheeple don't hear the warning bells. They would have never noticed the hand in a possibly threatening position. I don't think AG is oblivious to his surrounding, actualy he sounds pretty awair to me. I think he just has a problem translating those feelings and instincts into action.

January 3, 2003, 12:07 AM
We're people. We scare ourselves.... :D

January 3, 2003, 12:35 AM
Let me rent out your roof, I'll just live up there and no one will even come close to your brock!!


Average Guy
January 3, 2003, 02:15 AM
no one will even come close to your brock!!
Skunk, I see you've picked up an accent in your travels. ;)

Thanks for opinions and observations. I have great situational awareness; it's getting beyond the "Hey, look what's happening here" phase that I'm having the trouble with. But boy, do I analyze the bejeezus out of every one of those situations afterward--probably much the same as Carbon_15 has run his "New Year's Eve alternate scenarios" every waking moment since the event.

2nd Amendment
January 3, 2003, 10:33 AM
I have always found myself stopped by considerations of "making a scene", "what if I'm wrong", "is it really worth further pissing off the other guy". I suppose there's two ways to break the routine, lots of entense training or the slow concious modification of ones behavior.

I've been modifying for a long time now.

I also need to modify my spelling...ahh, screw it

January 3, 2003, 11:24 AM
If I lived in a place where I needed ot live a "tactical life" I think I'd move. No wonder people die at 35 of heart attacks.

January 3, 2003, 04:07 PM
I catch myself doing that too. The thing that worries me the most is that I run around the house bare or sock foot and when I answer the door I won't be able to block the door with my foot. Major brain f*rt. Went to the store last year to get milk and did not take my Glock. While exiting the parking lot some guy comes blasting into the parking lot and almost hits me. I hit the horn saving an accident. He does a smoking donut and follows me out of the lot and down the street. My wife is with me. After driving around for about 10 minutes with this guy on my tail, only live 2 minutes from the store, I manouver into a position to get the guys plate number and call it into the cops. I then advised the cops I am headed to the local fire department and to meet me there. After I pull into the fire dept the guy takes off giving me the one digit salute. The cop arrives and takes my story. He says the whole thing is my fault and he could cite me. He also adivses me the plate number I gave him was bogus. My wife and I both saw it several times and each of us wrote it down. The cop let us off with a warning. Something did not sit right so I had a cop friend run the tag number and it belonged to another cop. Everytime I have had to deal with the cops here they turn the story around so it is my fault and not some perps. They usually lighten up when I tell them I used to be one too and they realize I see right through their BS. Hate dealing with the cops, especially the young ones......chris3

January 3, 2003, 06:16 PM

You do.


I am not cynical, I have merely got experience -- which, however, is very much the same thing. -- Oscar Wilde

January 3, 2003, 06:19 PM
I do what? I hope you are not telling me what kind of town I live in, there has never been a mugging, we have a murder every 3 or 4 years, I don't fear for my life when I leave the house.

January 3, 2003, 06:26 PM
its a case of learning from experience. next time you will handle it different im sure. nice quiet word to the sig owner you dont need to shout. not talking from personal experience "you stupied &%@$ what the hell you think your doing"

and the guy in your driveway... well i think your being a bit paranoyed anyway so i dont think thats any 2 worry over.

January 3, 2003, 06:32 PM

Yes, that was exactly what I was saying.

Your town has never had a mugging?

That's literally incredible. By which I mean, it is not at all credible.

I hope that this incredible belief never comes up and bites you in the butt.


He who goes unarmed in Paradise had better be sure that is where he is. -- James Thurber

Average Guy
January 3, 2003, 06:38 PM
If I lived in a place where I needed ot live a "tactical life" I think I'd move.

The untactical life is not worth living.

:D Sorry, couldn't resist. I think the point is this: I don't live in fear. I live in a nice area. The apartment complex behind the house is another story... But I--as anyone should--remain prudently (and not unreasonably) alert; therefore, I'm not worried.

And I can rest assured that if I do eff up and something happens, I will have seen it coming miles away. :eek:

January 3, 2003, 06:41 PM
You probably should do something about your dead cypress trees.

January 3, 2003, 06:54 PM
I could really care less if you believe me or not, a town of barely 8,000, that was closer to 5,000 when I graduated high school 10 years ago, doesn't incur the drama or danger that larger cities do. The town if you can call it that just north of where I live had a graduating class of 12, that is not a typo. We have no public transportation, what little there is downtown closes by 6 and most people are at home well before 10. We have one bar that is a members only club, this is a dry county, and no gangs or such nonsense alleviate a lot of crime. Our city newspaper comes out once a week and always has a section of who visited who from out of state. That is why I don't carry a gun or live a tactical lifestyle. Come on down for the Peach Festival this summer and I'll show you a small redneck town.

Check out http://www.cswnet.com/~graphic/ and see what you think or search for info on Clarksville, AR. I'll be waiting on your apology after you gather some info on my town.

January 3, 2003, 07:02 PM
Easy to lapse a bit at home, as it's territory/turf we "own" figuratively, if not literally. Also common at the range, as it's sort of implicitly understood that we're all there for honorable reasons and concentrating on doing our own thing safely. Its pretty tough to concentrate on shooting well and watching your back at the same time. In the past I let a couple of muzzle sweeps go unmentioned, and felt like a moron in hindsight.

January 3, 2003, 07:04 PM
The Wolf knows he is a Wolf.:evil:

The Sheep is unaware that he is a Sheep.:what: and therefore becomes dinner.

When I figure out what I meant here I will post again.:D


January 3, 2003, 07:09 PM

I'm glad you think you live in a place where bad stuff can never happen, but you are wrong to be so smug. Bad stuff can happen where you live. That you choose to deny it does not make you any safer -- nor would choosing to acknowledge it make you more likely to have a heart attack. It is what it is, regardless of what you think about it.

All it takes for violence to happen to you, in your town, is for there to be one Bad Person and one Clueless Victim.

Me? I carry, because I don't intend to provide the Clueless Victim portion of the above equation.

Btw, my town is [edited to change "probably" to "definitely"] smaller than yours. So what? All it means is that the police are further away and less well trained. All the more reason to be armed.


In life, as in chess, forethought wins. -- Charles Buxton

January 3, 2003, 07:10 PM
must be something in the water, eh cardboard? :D
i'm a little envious of the trainquillity you described.

i think all pax was trying to say is that you can never be too careful. for example, what kind of arms do your local law enforcement carry?

January 3, 2003, 07:18 PM
They switched to Glocks a couple of years ago, I believe about half have a shotgun in their cars and some carry AR's also. I am on the fire department and work with a lot of these guys closely at times. I get to see some of the ugly stuff that goes down in my area, but it still doesn't spur me to carry a weapon every time I leave the house, although I was #653 in the state to get a permit.

I never said bad stuff doesn't happen, all I said was the occurence is very low.

January 3, 2003, 07:23 PM
I'm with Cardboardkiller and schmo on this one.

At home, fix the trees. Be aware, but it is paranoid to assume every stranger approaching your house is a threat. Yikes.

At the range, for your safety and all others, politely ("hey dumbass" might even work) tell the bozo to watch his friggin' muzzle.:D

Just because I'm paranoid, it doesn't mean their not all out to get me:uhoh:

January 3, 2003, 07:39 PM

You have a New Paper and you call that a small town. Try live in Arivaca AZ. Arivava have one small store that is also sell gas. I have to drive 30 mile to get to a grocery store or 50 mile to get to a gun store:( . A freind of mine runs his house off a generator. Because the power company will not run power lines back the 15 mile to his house.

Arivaca has about 2000 people in it .Out of 2000 at least 75% of them are armed all time or have a gun in there trucks.

I know sounds great right, but we still have crimes and murders.
:cuss: :banghead::fire:

January 3, 2003, 07:40 PM
good points cardboard....but what are your thoughts on the adage: "better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have"?

January 3, 2003, 07:48 PM
CardboardKiller said: ...I hope you are not telling me what kind of town I live in, there has never been a mugging, we have a murder every 3 or 4 years...
That sure sounds to me as if you were saying "never."

From the link you posted above, I checked out the police report and the sheriff's report. Selected incidents from your town and the surroundings areas, in one week, include:

Dec. 18
Cynthia Vannoy reported personal checks were stolen.

Dec. 19
Kirk Jarrod Bean of Lamar reported the theft of a shotgun, four rifles, a revolver and a belt and holster from his residence.

Dec. 20
Virginia Totten of Lamar reported an incident of criminal mischief and sexual harassment.

Billy Gray reported a third degree battery incident at a Highway 292 residence.

Dec. 21
Donna Gattis reported the theft and forgery of three personal checks.
Bruce D. Kimpton of Coal Hill reported the theft of cash.
John Pellham reported the theft of three reindeer outdoor decorations from his property.

Dec. 22
Wendy Woodward of Hartman reported an incident of terroristic threatening. A subject involved in the incident was later arrested on five violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law warrants by Hill.

Dec. 24
Inman arrested a subject at a Patton Circle residence for criminal impersonation.

From the police report, of the same week:

Dec. 20
Ross served a subject with eight violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law warrants.
Patrolman Larry Sanders investigated a rape of a Clarksville juvenile female.

Dec. 22
Melissa Terry of Harmony Road reported the theft of a 1991 Pontiac from her residence. The vehicle was later recovered at a Harmony Road residence.

Dec. 24
Donaldson arrested a subject after a high speed chase through Clarksville for DWI No. 1, fleeing (auto related), reckless driving, implied consent and running a stop light.

Dec. 25
Stephen Spoor reported his vehicle license plate, Kansas QLX 442, was stolen.
I hope you do not feel like I am picking on you. That's not my intent, and I'm not only talking to you. I'm talking to every person who thinks he lives in some magical, crime-free zone, wherein he is perfectly safe because "it's never happened here." As I said above, all it takes is one Bad Person in your general area to ruin your whole day.

The above quote illustrates that neither your town, nor any other, is crime-free. If you choose to go unarmed in public (or even at home), it is your own choice. But do not fool yourself into thinking that you may do so because you live in a crime-free zone. You do not. If you think the risk is low, that's fine. But the risk is there whether you acknowledge it or not.

Check this out, too. It's a site which lets you check out crime stats for your city. I put in the zip code of the Clarksville newspaper, and received back -- well, the results are at http://cops.heritage.org/detail.cfm?ori=AR03601 (Get there through www.crime-stats.org if that doesn't work). The stats aren't too recent; I think there's a better one at www.apbnews.com but the site is down.

Anyway. Fact is, you don't live in a crime-free zone, and you do need to pay attention to what's going on around you.


Be alert. The world needs more lerts.

edited to fix a link

Average Guy
January 3, 2003, 07:49 PM
cbk: I checked your newspaper's Web site. As evidenced by the police blotter, there seems to be a lot of theft in your area. What if someone were to surprise an armed thief in flagrante pickem lockem? Just a thought.

Re: the trees -- we rent. The landlady is a cheapskate. I've planted more cypress, but they grow so damnably slow... and if I take down the dead ones, there'll be a big, gaping hole. Ah, such travails.

it is paranoid to assume every stranger approaching your house is a threat

Agreed. I only get paranoid about the ones with a hand behind their backs. ;)

January 3, 2003, 07:50 PM
Average Guy, you sound like an aware fellow who is struggling to find a balance between your natural tendency to be courteous and friendly, and the need to stay safe and perhaps be confrontational, at need, in some circumstances.

I think most of us have this problem from time to time. It has NOTHING to do with being in "Condition White". You obviously were in Condition Yellow, or maybe Orange in your descriptions, but it didn't turn out to be necessary to either fight or flee. It sounds like you did nothing wrong for the distances involved.

Only jerks are confrontational and rude to everybody under the excuse of being "tactically ready and prepared". This is unnatural.

The sheeple are incapable of responding to intuitive danger signals with confrontation or other action, for fear of offending somebody, and are polite and ingratiating when they should be ready for trouble. This is obviously unsafe.

The genuinely alert and prepared man usually knows who to confront, and when, and when to leave a situation, but not always.
We needn't live in fear, but there's often an element of uncertainty in unanticipated or unexpected interpersonal contacts with people not previously known to us.
There are lots of times when it's not clear what a stranger's intentions are.
Nothing wrong with courtesy in these circumstances, though just not to the extent that your safety is notably compromised.

You kept your distance and sought a form of cover, and put yourself in a more advantageous position with the workingman who approached you. I think you did well.

As for range turds who've never learned the basics of muzzle consciousness and etiquette, they deserve ONE warning from management, followed by banishment. Period.
Probably best to have alerted the owner or range officer, and left if he did nothing.


January 3, 2003, 07:55 PM
The "never" was used to describe the lack of muggings. Read my other statements thoroughly before you start hacking at me.

January 3, 2003, 08:05 PM
Sometimes people just aren't aware of what is happening in what they consider to be their safe little neighborhood/town. I know plenty of my neighbors who think that we still have the nice safe little town it was 10 years ago since they have been here their whole life they just don't notice it. Just because you don't see it or hear about it doesn't mean its not there festering into what could be a situation. Many of my neighbors thought they lived in safe comfortable place. We had some new "neighbors" move in and some strange activity started to occur. A lot of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. The new neighbor running out to cars on the street and back into the house. I started asking other neighbors if they saw it. They told me I was being paranoid and suspicious, They are just young people with alot of friends. Then cars were getting broken into in the area. Alot of highschool aged kids to late 30s people not from the area hanging around at night early morning hours. Younger kids getting knocked off their bikes and their bikes and money being stolen. Well then one day the police cars block off our street and a squad of officers descend into the new neighbor's home through the front and back simultaneously. We watched the police load two vans with bikes, car stereos, tvs, vcrs and a number of unmarked boxes. Only one arrest was made...16 year old son. The situation just proceeded to get worse from there. The mother and her remaining spawn continued as if nothing had occurred. I live in one of a set of 10 row homes. The older neighbors on the block started to get harassed. I had people come into my backyard and try to climb a wall to get get access to the roof, get loud and aggressive toward my elderly grandfather for sitting in front of his own home, fights in the street over money/drugs, attempted break-ins and so on. They soon learned to avoid me and mine at all costs but that didn't help my other neighbors. The situation went on for 5 years before these "people" were finally evicted. The woman's children all reached adult status and she lost her free ride and couldn't pay her rent so the landlord finally evicted them, which he must have been glad to do since most of the other home owners called him on a weekly basis to complain about his tenants. The story could go on and on about the things that occurred so I wouldn't be so smug about how safe your neighborhood is because that can change overnight. Sorry for the long story but I've seen it happen and its happening everywhere.

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