As a parent, I’ll always be a little ambivalent about my pro-gun choice. On a day-to-day basis I see myself as a nurturer. It’s my job to hug and kiss my girls — to make them feel loved and secure. Holding a gun hardly feels maternal. Yet it’s that very maternal instinct that moves me to protect my children at all costs. In a sense, I’m no different than a wild mother bear who will tear anyone or anything apart if she perceives a threat to her cubs. But being human, we are held to a different standard — a moral standard. But that’s the whole rub: if my children were threatened, all moral reasoning goes out the window.
Any kind of risk to my children’s life is scary to me. In the end, though, I realize the kind of risk gun-ownership poses is a risk I can confidently control and minimize. Crime is not.
All I wanted to say on this topic was covered in the two comments I posted at the link.
I don’t know that I could handle a gun competently in the adrenalin rush that would come with a threatening situation – no matter what kind of training I had had. In fact, I would probably be one of those people who end up having their own gun turned on them.
All of these problems, Katie, have answers. Whether you acquire those answers or not depends upon primarily two factors. Your own desire and will combined with knowledge of where to get the info/training.
You are right in the sense that high adrenaline situations produce sub-optimal conditions for accurate shooting of a firearm. For example, in high stress situations you tend to grip the firearm more tightly and if it is a handgun, then your (incorrect) grip may be enough to make you miss the target by a couple of inches. This is solved by practicing until drawing, aiming, and shooting a firearm (with the lock, load, safety, and magazine reload actions assumed) becomes part of your muscle memory. Just as you drive without consciously thinking of all the various different things you have to do, just as you hit the brakes when you get surprised while driving, the same must be conducted with firearms, Katie.
However, that by itself may not reassure you. What if your problem is also mental in the sense that you doubt that you will be able to make the right decision in a life and death environment? What if you don’t want to draw the gun because you see the gun as a weapon that kills people and you don’t want to kill people (as is natural and mostly healthy for law abiding citizens)? Then, your problems are different. Firearms training won’t solve those hangups. What will solve them is either using a different “tool” (a firearm is just a tool. I can kill a person just as easily and with more certainty with my bare hands), like mace, or training yourself to, mentally and psychologically, recognize asocial situations.
If, even in a situation with a criminal threatening your children, you still have doubts about how you will react, then I suggest Target Focus Training. It provides you the training, both physical and mental, in how to break a person’s body apart using your bare hands. And if you don’t want to kill them, then all you have to do is to pick a different target on the human body to hit. Whereas martial arts takes decades to get up to black belt status and they still don’t train you for the streets and against serial killers, TFT focuses exclusively on maiming, disabling, or killing criminals trying to kill you or your loved ones.
One example you might be interested in concerns firearm disarms. It is correct that if a criminal, oftentimes a man, gets into grappling range with a woman, that the woman will often lose the gun in a grapple fight. That is just obvious since most women are less powerful in the upper body than your average man. This is especially true if it is a young man and you are a much older woman. TFT trains in both open handed disarms as well as provides you with the knowledge you need to prevent yourself from being disarmed, even if the assailant has both their hands on your arms and the firearm is pointed past his torso and you need to struggle to get it lined up with his body in order to shoot him. This uses nothing concerning your upper body strength (which is why women can use it as effectively as men can).
I’m thinking more about elementary aged kids, who are savvy enough to find guns in their hiding places but still so sure of their own immortality that they will do stupid things with them when they do find them. They are past the wanting to drink any poisonous substance age, and guns hold a fascination for them that no amount of safety training can obliterate.
Depends on what you mean by safety training. If you take a kid out, elementary aged, and shoot a watermelon with a large caliber, I believe the kid will be able to “imagine” the damage a gun can do.
Guns hold fascination because adults tend to want to forbid their use to children. Instead of doing that, children need to be exposed more to firearms as a prerequisite to Pavlovian training in why it is not proper to play with guns.
A study was done with two groups of young kids. One group was told all about guns, how dangerous they were, to tell an adult if they ever found one, not to touch them, etc. The second groups was told nothing. Later, (unlodaded) guns were placed where the kids would find them. The properly trained kids PLAYED WITH THE GUN, just like the untrained group.
As I said, depends on what you mean by “safety training”. That’s not safety training. That’s just academic theories people try out because they have never used firearms or been around a culture that needed firearms for hunting, self-defense, warfare, or etc.
After a kid watches a watermelon explode from the discharge of a firearm, I don’t really believe more than .5% of kids would then think to themselves “that’d be cool if it happened to my head or somebody else’s head”.
And if you do have one of those kids, then you have bigger problems than just firearms.
Other Pavlovian methods include the punishment drill where you inflict a negative physical stimuli upon the kid when the kid starts doing behavior that is dangerous. Wood stove or firearms, doesn’t matter.
This conditioning method also applies to firearms safety, since you’d be surprised how many adults will not check the breech before they fiddle around with a firearm. They won’t check the breech until you impress upon them the importance of it.
People, like basketball stars, who put 9mm glocks with no safeties inside their pants and then shoot themselves in the leg while they are bouncing up and down in a night club are… not prototypical of the common sense population.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 12:40 AM
Or whether the house has any lead paint? Or whether there is a body of water on the family’s property in which a child might drown? Why single out guns?
Probably because guns are seen as ‘killers’ while forced flu vaccination are seen as “Good Things” ™
Flu vaccinations cause permanent damage
It all depends on what the new EngSoc terminology is these days.
Guns, for better or worse, are seen by most people as tools specifically designed to make killing effortless, easy, and without requiring the intent to kill.
The “intent to kill” can be defined as someone with a bat repeatedly smashing it up against an infant’s skull about 10, 50, 100 times. You know that guy has “intent to kill”.
Muscle powered weaponry, namely knives, bats, and various other implements, require intent to kill somebody because if you just tap somebody with it, it is not going to kill them. You would have to specifically land on a knife, at the right angle, with your body weight on it, before it could ‘accidentally’ kill someone (meaning you). And most people survive single knife stab wounds, anyway. (same with single bullet wounds)
However, a firearm simply refines the principles which make violence work. Even though most people see fist fights and whatevers as being less lethal, you also have to realize that there have been plenty of people who have gotten into bar fights, with no intention of killing people, but still having dead bodies to show to the police.
This is because those people unintentionally applied the principles of violence, the same principles which make a bullet penetrate a human body and cause damage (sometimes fatal).
Both firearms and less lethal implements (like bare hands) all operate on the same principles and all are oftentimes more lethal than expected but most often (in the hands of the untrained or those without the intent) are far less lethal than popularly conceived.
An important element is intent. If, say, a firearm provides 90% of the intent and it only requires you to pull the trigger, then a knife would provide 50% intent and barehands would provide 20% intent all by themselves. But, a person without that 10% required intent to pull the trigger to kill, and that person faces up against a guy, 250 pounds of bone and muscle, and that guy has 150% intent, then it doesn’t really matter that you have a firearm and he only has a melee weapon. A person with the intent to kill is not going to “hang back” trying to flee or defend himself. A person with intent is going to close the distance to you, because they know you are harmelss and don’t have the intent to kill them, and then they are going to apply the instrument in their hands to your head, repeatedly, until you are no longer functional.
This is why prosecutors love trying to disprove self-defense defenses by saying you shot him more than 3 or 5 times. That is intentional, to shoot a person more than 1 or 2 times, repeatedly, in the back or front.
But, in reality, they don’t seem to use that with bats or knives. Do you get a harsher sentence if the guy you killed was killed with one stab to the heart or 50 stabs in the body? *shrugs* Hard to say. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is intent, not how many times you did something. The intent to kill is what makes multiple repetitions lethal, because a person with the intent to kill is normally going to target your head, which they think is going to kill you. Since people are untrained, the head is a popular target for killers or just multiple stab wounds on the body. After a person becomes trained, they start seeing that there are numerous ways to kill somebody, even though targets around the head and spine are still the more lethal ones.
A bullet to the head/neck is almost a guaranteed kill. Firearms work better with intent and accuracy in the choosing of targets, just like any other tool. It is no different.
But I know myself too well to believe that a gun would help, rather than hurt
Why all this matters is precisely because unless you are trained in the principles of violence, of how violence works, and how to apply that with any tool in your arsenal (bare hands, bat, knife, firearm, stone rock, etc), you don’t really “know” what you think you know.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 1:01 AM
Forget about “moral reasoning” when threatened with a “home invasion.” I speak
from personal experience–one of those episodes which people usually only read about
in newspapers. My home was invaded in the
middle of the night and I suffered 17 stab
wounds. all tendons cut in one arm, a
collapsed lung, and laid bleeding in my bed-
room for three hours while my house was
thoroughly ransacked and I was repeatedly
raped by a single intruder. (I did not have a weapon.) There are other details but to end the story, I asked for an ice cube. When the intruder went to the kitchen, he found my scotch which he started drinking, giving me time to get up and out the front door. The moral of the story: keep your scotch in the freezer of your refrigerator and keep a gun on the bedside
table. Now if I hear a noise, I put the gun
in my hand under the covers. By the way, the
first place the intruder looked for “my weapon” was around the bed between the mattress and box springs. I grew up around guns and could fairly
well handle rifles and simple pistols and I was
fairly good at target practice. But I have no qualms about ‘morality’ because I know how strong the will to survive can be. By the way,
I am female.
Posted by: Safer Now at December 7, 2008 11:25 AM
I wouldn’t say that I was raised around chivalric values, but it certainly had an impact on me, regardless of where I got it from. I ended up with a strong protection instinct towards those unable to defend themselves, although namely women. It was only as I got older that I started learning that the best way to protect women is to teach them how to protect themselves. This wasn’t an option when I was under the impression that women had a natural disadvantage in fights against men. It is, however, an option now that I’ve learned the basic underlying principles of violence and how it isn’t based upon strength or size (two things women will always lack compared to men). And it is not firearms that equalize the difference, either, or rather it is not firearms alone that equalizes the difference between men and women in terms of their ability to fight and kill. Firearms is just the fastest way to close the gap, although it is true that a gun is no substitute for lack of fighting ability (hand to hand or otherwise).