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Thread: Can't take a life article

  1. #41
    Unreconstructed Moylan's Avatar
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    I was a town kid and never took any sort of life apart from insects until I suppose my late 30's. Oh, and that one skunk I ran over as a teenager. Unpleasant for all involved, I must say, though I suspect the skunk did get the worst of it. First thing I can recall deliberately killing was a squirrel. My oldest son developed an interest in hunting, which I'd never done, but I brought him out squirrel hunting on game lands several times and never saw a single squirrel. Finally one showed up and my son was unable for some reason to take a shot, so I shot it. I can't say it felt very monumental. I did not ask myself, before the shot, if I would have a hard time taking the shot. I was out squirrel hunting, so when I got a good shot at a squirrel, I took it. Seemed pretty straightforward to me. Delicious meat, too.

    Later, when we moved to the country and got a little land, I took up deer hunting. My very first time out in the woods after deer, first time ever, I saw a deer walking directly towards me. I thought for a moment and decided not to shoot the deer. I couldn't tell for sure, but I thought it looked awfully small. It certainly had no antlers. It's perfectly legal to shoot antlerless deer where I hunt, and many hunters love to take the little ones because the meat is so tender. But I simply made the judgment that I did not want my first deer to be this little creature, and although I took the trouble to get my gun up and on the deer (to test my capability to actually do that work without the deer seeing me), I did not shoot. I did not ask myself, afterwards, if there was some deep resistance to shooting pretty little deer. I knew I had been out deer hunting and had made a judgment call about not shooting the deer--and I knew that I could make a different judgment call when a different deer showed up. I did not get an opportunity that fall, but on opening day of muzzle loader season the next year, a 4 pointer walked up on me and I shot him with no trouble. I've shot quite a few since. Never found myself struggling with the decision to shoot.

    We've been raising meat chickens for the last 5 years or so. I put them in a cone and cut their carotids. (Or whatever they're called on a chicken.) It's not a day I look forward to, but killing the birds is just something that has to get done so we can eat decent meat at a price we can afford. It has never caused me any difficulties. We raise the birds to eat them, and to eat them, we prefer to kill them and cook them. So it's got to get done.

    I've carried a pistol for quite awhile now, and never used it in a defensive situation, except once. A group of 3 dogs came into my back yard, and I yelled at them to go. One of them charged me. I drew my gun. Fortunately, the dog decided that I was not going to be intimidated, and he and the others left. I am a dog lover and I absolutely have no desire to harm any dog, but if that dog had taken about two more steps he'd have been shot. I did not shoot because I did not have to, but if I'd had to, I would have shot that dog and slept fine that night.

    If some human being decides to put me in a position where I am in imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm, or someone I love is, I will shoot that person until he stops doing what he's doing. I'm a Christian and commanded to love my enemy, but I'm not expected to let him kill me or my loved ones. I don't want to hurt anyone, but if they choose to force my hand, I will respond as needed.

    There are always questions that the outsider can ask--I mean, the outsider to my psyche--about how I could know how I'll react in such a situation. How do I know I'll be able to pull the trigger if I have to? Can I be sure? The answer to that is, yes, I am sure and I don't need to actually go through the situation to find out how I'll react. I've already decided how I'll react, and I won't fail in that resolve. Obviously I don't speak from experience and that makes my testimony of dubious value to others, unlike some of what our LEO or military members have to offer, but I do think it's important to take into account that you can and should have every confidence in your own firmness of conviction and the reliability of your decisionmaking in shaping your actions.

    And though this might seem a bit of an anticlimax in some ways, it is helpful to me to know that I have ACLDN so that at least some of the potential practical problems that might follow on such an action can be forestalled.
    The chief mark of the Declaration of Independence is the theory of equality. It is the pure classic conception that no man must aspire to be anything more than a citizen, and that no man should endure to be anything less.
    --GK Chesterton

  2. #42
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC215 View Post
    Extremely common. Denial is real, and all sorts of people think "this can't be happening to me" when it hits the fan.

    I've posted this before, but a few years ago, I attended a presentation given by the narcotics sergeant that led the effort to track down the two terrorists from the San Bernardino attack. He brought along two survivors from the attack, who spoke as well. It was extremely interesting (and heartbreaking). According to one of the survivors, while the attack was happening-- gunshots are being fired, people are on the ground dead or dying-- a co-worker was walking around telling everyone it was just a drill. Total denial.
    I can't even tell you how many robbery victims' statements include some variation of "I thought it was a joke" when I interviewed them. Repeat victims got with the program quickly. Especially those who'd been injured before.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    I miss Dr. Aprill for his measured response and thinking in many respects.

    But dude, 9mm Speed Six is the heat. You know where to find me if you decide you need to part with it.

    ___

    This brings up a great point though, reality differs from perspective. For me, my perspective is, it seems impossible that there is reality where people are incapable of taking another human life when justified in doing so to preserve their lives or those of family member. I really cannot fathom how someone, who isn't physically incapable of it, could fail to act. Yet I know that reality says that is true.

    Still, I have an extremely hard time wrapping my head around it.

    I really do not know what makes a human incapable of taking another life in defense of their own or their pack. Because humans are animals we have survival instincts that should supersede sociocultural constructs and drive us to fight or flight. Or to fight to flight. It's so deep, there are literally no animals I'm aware of that lack these core instincts. Which means those instincts are ~1.5-2 billion years old. They're fundamental to the whole game of life, of living; survive and pass on genes to the next generation.

    When I've seen people fail to act, it always seems to be a vapor locked moment. They are frozen, unsure if to act. I have always attribute this to some portion of their survival instincts have been dulled too much. I do draw a distinction between not acting and doing something poorly. Doing something poorly is a direct result of preparation (or lack thereof - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance), but it's still acting.

    Doing nothing, denying it - I can't fathom it.

    I've always had the mindset of, "Act know, freak out (if necessary) later."
    Fight - flight - freeze. Iíve seen game animals that knew I or my dog was there and that we might kill them freeze so long trying to decide what to do that I could have killed them with a stick or rock.

  4. #44
    Unreconstructed Moylan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    When I've seen people fail to act, it always seems to be a vapor locked moment. They are frozen, unsure if to act. I have always attribute this to some portion of their survival instincts have been dulled too much.
    My impression is that freezing is an excellent survival instinct. Obviously, context-sensitive, though.

    sorry for duplicating Duelist. I didn't see that one before I wrote this one.
    The chief mark of the Declaration of Independence is the theory of equality. It is the pure classic conception that no man must aspire to be anything more than a citizen, and that no man should endure to be anything less.
    --GK Chesterton

  5. #45
    Site Supporter RoyGBiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    This brings up a great point though, reality differs from perspective. For me, my perspective is, it seems impossible that there is reality where people are incapable of taking another human life when justified in doing so to preserve their lives or those of family member. I really cannot fathom how someone, who isn't physically incapable of it, could fail to act. Yet I know that reality says that is true.

    Still, I have an extremely hard time wrapping my head around it.

    I really do not know what makes a human incapable of taking another life in defense of their own or their pack. Because humans are animals we have survival instincts that should supersede sociocultural constructs and drive us to fight or flight. Or to fight to flight. It's so deep, there are literally no animals I'm aware of that lack these core instincts. Which means those instincts are ~1.5-2 billion years old. They're fundamental to the whole game of life, of living; survive and pass on genes to the next generation.

    When I've seen people fail to act, it always seems to be a vapor locked moment. They are frozen, unsure if to act. I have always attribute this to some portion of their survival instincts have been dulled too much. I do draw a distinction between not acting and doing something poorly. Doing something poorly is a direct result of preparation (or lack thereof - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance), but it's still acting.

    Doing nothing, denying it - I can't fathom it.

    I've always had the mindset of, "Act know, freak out (if necessary) later."
    People here on P-F are the exception, not the rule.

    "Why do you need to carry a gun?"

    How many times have you heard that on TV or from acquaintances? I wonder what percent of the US population has ever had this conversation, even just with themselves. Ever seriously considered whether they could take a life in a me-or-them moment. Not just the bravado "I'd kill that guy if.....". Really contemplated it. Perhaps taken steps to test themselves or trained. I'd bet it's a small number.
    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

  6. #46
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
    I wonder what percent of the US population has ever had this conversation, even just with themselves. Ever seriously considered whether they could take a life in a me-or-them moment. Not just the bravado "I'd kill that guy if.....". Really contemplated it. Perhaps taken steps to test themselves or trained. I'd bet it's a small number.
    I guess that's part of my difficulty. I'm not sure I ever had the conversation with myself, yet I clearly came to the conclusion that I have no problem in taking another person's life if justified.

    Having been in the position to have made the decision of 'me-of-them' at a fairly young age (14), I remember clearly my thought process that day in those moments. And none of those thoughts were about, "Can I kill this guy?" - They were, "If he moves one more step towards me with that tire iron in his hand, I'm going to ram this knife into him repeatedly until one of us quits." And I stood there already with a knife in my hand.

    Maybe I'm fortunate, maybe he waffled on the thought of, "Can I kill this guy?" - Though I suspect it was, "I'm gonna get fucking stabbed if I try this." -

    Regardless, I never questioned if I could, if I would, etc. I'd made up my mind, seemingly long before then. And straight up, I have never lost sleep over worrying over that part of it.

    NOW - I recognize I'm an outlier on this spectrum. But it strikes me as so logical and reasonable that the obverse, being not willing to exercise force and take another life if necessary seems illogical and unreasonable. I'm not sure the two positions can be reconciled...
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEW8338 View Post

    As an example, how often do people in bad situations always say "any second now it will all turn around ". It's almost a degree of not accepting reality.

    Part of the problem is that with most modern people in the USA most of them have only experienced violence through watching scripted violence on TV or movies. So while they may recognize "something isn't right" when confronted with a bad situation they often don't truly recognize what it is they are seeing unfold.

  8. #48
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    Freezing in the animal world works for prey animals. Many predators have visual systems keyed on motion. Staying still causes you to blend in. To get into the weeds, there are two visual systems - one for pattern vision and one for color, one for motion. Depending on your species you have different levels of sensitivity.

    Can be determined purely from motion cues. Example:

    https://michaelbach.de/ot/cog-Dalmatian/

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    I can't even tell you how many robbery victims' statements include some variation of "I thought it was a joke" when I interviewed them. Repeat victims got with the program quickly. Especially those who'd been injured before.
    People may not believe it but this is actually a real thing. People either think it was a joke or think while the weapons and threats might be real that the assailant won't REALLY do anything to them. See the "snow shovel shooting in Pennsylvania" https://www.nydailynews.com/news/cri...j2e-story.html. When James Spaide approached James and Lisa Goy with a gun during a heated exchange over dumping snow in his yard they taunted him , not believing he was about to light them up. They apparently didn't recognize what was actually happening.

    On a vaguely related note I was a participant at the 1st Givens/Douglas/Aprill Establishing a Dominance Paradigm class in 2015. In one of the FOF evolutions one of the other participants pretty much did nothing at all when 2 guys brandishing guns (sims) came into the "office" looking for one of his co workers. When asked why he just hovered there around his cubicle and didn't try to stop them or to even try to just get away even after the assailants started shooting at people he said something about not recognizing it as danger and that he thought they might have been "playing a joke". Even though all participants and onlookers knew going in to the scenarios that the "weapons" were "real" someone still thought it might be a joke when confronted with armed assailants. As we often say, your brain cannot differentiate between training and reality and in that particular case we saw someone rationalize a threat (even in a training environment) as a joke.
    Last edited by Randy Harris; 03-02-2021 at 02:56 PM.

  10. #50
    Site Supporter Giving Back's Avatar
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    Never had issue with it. Never knew anyone to have issue with it. But it is definitely a conversation you want to have with yourself BEFORE you need to find out. Mindset during training can certainly help overcome any problems with this issue, itís best to avoid those issues all together, by having that ďCome to JesusĒ moment before the festivities begin.
    You can get much more of what you want with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone.

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