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What am I--stupid?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Average Guy, Jan 2, 2003.

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  1. Average Guy

    Average Guy Member

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    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?
     
  2. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Condition white mindset?
     
  3. 2dogs

    2dogs Member

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    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.
     
  4. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2003
  5. pax

    pax Member

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    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?

    Nothin.

    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.

    Nope.

    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.

    pax

    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
     
  6. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    BINGO!!!
    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.
     
  7. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    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
     
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Average,

    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 ...
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    Stupid?

    NO
    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!!".
     
  10. BogBabe

    BogBabe Member

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    The Gift of Fear

    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.
     
  11. triggertime

    triggertime Member

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    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.
     
  12. PATH

    PATH Member

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    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.
     
  13. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    re-examining the color codes

    -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.
     
  14. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    We're people. We scare ourselves.... :D
     
  15. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    Let me rent out your roof, I'll just live up there and no one will even come close to your brock!!

    WARNING: THIS NEIGHBORHOOD PATROLLED BY VICIOUS ATTACK SKUNK
     
  16. Average Guy

    Average Guy Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2003
  17. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2003
  18. cardboardkiller

    cardboardkiller Member

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    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.
     
  19. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    You are not alone....

    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
     
  20. pax

    pax Member

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    CardboardKiller,

    You do.

    pax

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

    cardboardkiller Member

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    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.
     
  22. sasnofear

    sasnofear member

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    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.
     
  23. pax

    pax Member

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    CardboardKiller,

    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.

    pax

    He who goes unarmed in Paradise had better be sure that is where he is. -- James Thurber
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2003
  24. Average Guy

    Average Guy Member

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    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:
     
  25. schmo

    schmo Member

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    You probably should do something about your dead cypress trees.
     
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