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...is not the mind.

Hello. I suspect that we've all heard this or something similar:

"The mind is the weapon and the gun but a tool."

I submit that the weapon is the prepared mind, i.e., one that has actually devoted some serious thought to the following:

Will I actually shoot an individual threatening me with unlawful deadly force?

If the true answer is "no", then perhaps firearms as defensive implements are not right for that person.

If the answer is "yes," then some serious decisions should be made before the event...should it ever happen. These would include regular practice as well as constantly playing "What if?" with yourself: "What IF I have to park here and walk across this dark parking lot? Do I see anyone in the area? How many? Do they appear to pose any threat? Do I REALLY have to stop here? Can I park in a more advantageous location? What IF I do hear someone running toward me when I exit the car?

You get the idea. The weapon is at least aware and not caught in what Jeff Cooper calls "Condition White."

A close friend puts it, "Have a plan." We are not paranoid in playing these mind games, just trying to gain any advantage that we can. You see, we'll need it. If a felon makes a move on you for whatever reason that is life threatening, he has already made up his mind and course of action. We have to play catch up. We have to realize what is happening and what to do about it. The clock is running while this is happening. If we have not already "set" our minds to recognize and deal with such problems, we might very well just get too far behind to prevail.

The ultimate weapon is the prepared mind coupled with enough practice to make the bullet(s) do our bidding, i.e., go where we want it and when we want it to.

The ultimate weapon also considers escape routes when possible. Sometimes it is not, but I suggest that for most of us private citizens, escape might just be better in the long run. Peace officers might very well not have such lattitude.

A Texas DPS instructor once told a CHL instructor class, "The only good thing that happens after you pull the trigger is that you save your own life." Sadly, this is too true in today's overly litigious country.

When backed into the proverbial corner and when no other reasonable alternative exists, the ultimate weapon does not malfunction; it does what it has to do and lives with it.

The ultimate weapon is capable of inflicting deadly force judiciously, but only to the point at which the threat is rendered harmless. At the same time, the ultimate weapon shows us a way out...if and when possible.

The ultimate weapon's purpose is ultimately to save our hides by the most advantageous course, be that to run or to fight. It is not burdened with distractions like ego; it concerns itself sole with the most efficient way to survive a specific deadly encounter.

Just something to think about...

Best.
 

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Mr. Camp,

I would also submit, in addition to your excellent post, that if you must commit to the ultimate action of shooting another human being that it should be reflexive.

When I have had to draw, the pistol was in my hand as if it magically appeared. I would submit that, if one must think about this, it would then take too long and is the conscious action of drawing (as opposed to the conscious action of deciding to do so) is the product of an untrained/unprepaired mind- a very dangerous weapon to the user.

What say you?

Josh
 

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Attitude and discipline is key in everything !!!

I say that training and such as Thunder Ranch and other similars offer is worth the experience.

I have a friend who literaly lived there and taken about everything they had . He in turn shared it with me and a day of shooting with him is alot of work. but after a few weeks you begin to see the real picture and walk alil better with confidence.
The average mindset ofa person standing leaning againsta bench for support and shooting at a static target is going to get them killed one day.
It has to be mechanical and you need to be ready to clear malfunctions,mulitple attackers,off hand shooting,weak hand shooting ect ect.
Some folks will likely shoot themownselves trying to draw there CCW piece.

I still Vermont and now alaska has the right ideas about all that CCW anyway!

Training is more than impressing your folks with you new zillion round magazine Semiauto..EH!
 
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I'm going to go with the mind set thing here, every morning I go outside I keep the outside light off so I won't be in the light, first I take a look around for movement and if there is no movement then my second look around is for smoething that looks out of place, and then I look for a human shape or silhouette, if I don't pick on any of this I go to my truck as to start and warm it up for the drive to work, all of this takes about 10 seconds, and it seems to work for me, Nate.
 

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Excellent points all. When my associate Tom Givens of RangeMaster, and I sat down to seriously think about this stuff some 25 years ago we finally came to the conclusion that *one way* of looking at the overall defensive package (there are certainly other ways just as valid) was to think of your survival hanging by a "chain". We of course were thinking about the old saw that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

The links we chose were Tactics, Equipment (including how to handle it reflexively), Attitude(mind-set), and Marksmanship. Certainly some folks might think one of those is more important than others but the fact is that if the fight comes down to actually fighting failure in any aspect can get you killed.

That said, those who develop the combat mindset tend to avoid more problems because they see them developing earlier so this chain concept is really for the actual fight.

Good stuff guys!
Jim Higginbotham
"The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare."
 

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Jim, While your chain analogy is excellent I would offer an alternate. Consider a triangle. The corners are the physical components for self defence and the sides are the mental components. Without the sides to connect the corners or the corners to connect the sides there is no triangle. The sides, the mental components, are training, preparedness (which includes awareness), and mindset. All must be present. The corners,the physical components which also must be present, are avoidance (conflict avoidance or de-escalation), empty hands skills, and skill at arms (baton, knife, gun). This brings us to another discussion, the escalation/de-escalation of force continuum, but we'll leave that for another time. While a given situation may require greater reliance upon one or more components and another may not be needed all of them create the complete defensive triangle. Training without the mindset or preparedness is virtually useless. Likewise, skill at arms in a situation requiring avoidance or open hands is useless.
 

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abninftr;
That certainly works, except that us senile folks can't remember that. I have to use the acronym T.E.A.M. - which I forgot to mention - see what I mean about senility :) - when labeling the "links" of the survival chain.

An alternative is Cooper's Combat Tripod which is to think of survival sitting on a three-legged stool with legs lables Mindset, Gunhandling and Marksmanship..with one leg removed the stool falls.

A tip I took from the Col. was to never use more than 4 or 5 elements in a concept because people can't keep them in mind...thus the *4* universal safety rules.

Onward!
Jim
 
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Reflex? Training? This i know, after hitting someone, I've been holstering and running towards the guy attempting to save his sorry butt from dying.... why? cause no normal person wants to kill another! would i or could i shoot with lethal force? yes. do i like it? NO but if its me or them i intend for it to be them
 
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