I read an interesting piece yesterday which explored a couple of aspects of what people who live in the Land Of The Big PX might do in the event that they have to defend themselves with deadly force. I have just a couple of thoughts to add, but they're pretty uninteresting and more focused on brain preparation than the bang-bang-shoot-'em-up stuff. So to steal a phrase from my betters, if that ain't your bag, move along, nothing to see here.
To set the stage, very long time ago, back when I was just incredibly young and incredibly full of energy and testosterone (not the same thing as Toblerone), I went well out of my way to train. It was not as if the navy wasn't providing me with a great deal of training to begin with, but I had, in addition to all that youthful energy and testosterone, a great deal of curiosity about various aspects of the military service which were in some way related to my primary military occupation but were also rather different. I also wanted to do exciting and technically difficult stuff, and even more, I wanted to excel at such things.
What I'm talking about specifically is military shooting, both square range and complex live fire, rifle and pistol. I did it enough and enjoyed it enough that eventually I became marginally competent. In some circles I was thought of and treated as if I were nearly adequate.
So imagine my surprise when, engaged in my first two-way range experience while buzzing along over the cedar-covered hills and dales northeast of Beirut, I found myself closing my eyes and cringing while jerking the infernal machine to life via the volume switch. What the hell? I tried not to do it. But I did do it. Again! And a third time! In the moment a torrential flood of thoughts and emotions roiled through my head. With monumental effort I was finally able to revert to training. Support--sight alignment--sight picture--breathing--trigger control. The shock of an unexpected emotional response abated. I put out aimed fire, and that fire might possibly have been almost marginally effective.
|Not, obviously, in the vicinity of Beirut.|
At the time I was engaged in internationally lawful military action. I was part of a huge team, and if stuff went sideways thousands of good guys would bring unimaginably vast quantities of skills and assets to bear on my behalf. The "firefight" we engaged in lasted less than thirty seconds and in truth was more about protohuman dick-beating than anything else. If anyone actually got shot it would have been more by chance than by skill, though there was no lack of deadly intent on either side. As a "baptism of fire" it was real and the five of us in the helo were mightily impressed with ourselves, but on this day and in this place it was arguably no more dangerous than training.
My point is that you can be very good during training, but the real stuff is not training, and you might struggle a bit getting your feet under you the first time.
In my opinion, if you are actually an American -- not a person who simply lives here and has never developed a sophisticated set of foundational principles -- then you have a responsibility and obligation to arm yourself and train well so that you can defend your sovereign personal liberty.
But before you pick up a bang stick and head for the range, you also have a responsibility and obligation to train your brain. You can run those things concurrently, but don't neglect the thinker!
If you are an American, you believe that all men are equal and endowed by their creator with natural rights, including but not limited to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you get to a place where you're going to take one or more of those things from a fellow human, it's exactly as big of a deal as if someone else is taking your life, or your liberty, or your pursuit of happiness. That person you're shooting in the face isn't a thing, isn't simply a libtard or a fascist pig. That person is precisely the equal of you. You might indeed have to kill them to survive, but if you're really an American, you have a responsibility and an obligation to know exactly what you are doing and that both of your immortal souls are among the chips on the table.
Firetrucking dick-beating buzzkill, innit?
So if you are an American, arm yourself and train your ass off, but don't forget to do the fundamental thinking part, which if you're like me, comes from your ass too.
Finally, at the end of the piece, we get to the rules of the non-military firefight.
At this time and in this place, the first rule is this.
Head up, eyes out, if you see some scary shit RUN THE FIRETRUCK AWAY.
Yes, it's possible that this, that, and the other thing might happen and you might have to defend yourself with deadly force.
That's why we're armed and why we train. But in the absence of widespread and deadly civil unrest, if you walk yourself into a gunfight you've violated the first rule. You've almost certainly fucked up.
And those chips on the table are fucking real, baby.
I'm just sayin'.
I'm unlikely to revisit this topic in detail. Far too many downsides. Besides, real Americans have access to all the stuff needed to get foundational and don't need any advice from me.