Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mumbai, the Aftermath

CNN reports that the fallout of the Mumbai attacks could destabilize the region. Have you ever heard a better understatement than that? These are two nuclear powers who are now faced with the difficult task of returning to a turbulent peace.

And if already heated diplomatic exchanges escalate further, analysts say tensions could have dire consequences -- affecting Afghanistan to the north and embroiling the West in new chaos as militancy flourishes.

Even before the attacks that left 179 people dead had stopped, India's government had made vague accusations against Pakistan, while TV stations aired pictures they said was evidence against the neighboring country.

On another thread, Bob made reference to an article in which an Indian cameraman witnessed what he took to be inaction or hesitation on the part of the police. The cameraman bemoaned the fact that he'd had only a camera and not a gun. What do you think about that?

Wouldn't armed citizens be just about as powerless as unarmed ones when faced with a well coordinated terrorist attack? Wouldn't the same apply to armed teachers? I mean, how armed do you want people to be? The way I see it, only in very limited circumstances would arming the good guys save the day. I know it happens. But I don't accept that it happens so often and so reliably that it makes the least bit of difference.

Does that mean I say we should just lie down and let the bad guys have their way? No, of course not. Why not expect, or even demand that the police and other forces of law and order do their job? Let's invest time and money there where it belongs.

What's your opinion?


  1. Mike,

    Would armed citizens be just as powerless as unarmed when faced with an attack, short answer no.

    Have you seen the pictures the cameraman took? There are several where the attacker was only yards away. At that distance even I could hit a man sized target several times. Multiple that by dozens and you soon get attackers pinned down or taken down.

    The last figures that I heard for Texas was approximately 300,000 concealed handgun license holders (CHL). That was last year's numbers, the Department of Public Safety had to hire extra help this summer to process all the CHL applications.

    We have evidence in America that armed citizens make a difference:

    Pearl Mississippi High School - The killings....Oct. 1,1997
    Luke Woodham stabbed his mother to death, and then went to Pearl High School with a rifle. He shot and killed Christina Menefee, 16, and Lydia Dew, 17. Then, he shot seven other students.
    As he left, another student cut his car off, then Assistant Principal Joel Myrick ran up, sticking his .45 pistol in Woodham's face, and then police came.

    Myrick had to go to his car to retrieve his pistol because the law prevented him from carrying in the school. Woodham was leaving to go to another school as part of his plan to continue his killing. He was leaving because armed cops were on the way.

    Jean Assam New Life Church Colorado
    The shooter, Matthew Murray, had as many as a thousand rounds of ammunition for his assault rifle. With at least a thousands of people still in the common areas after the second service and smoke devices ignited, he could have killed many many more than the two who did die.

    But Jean Assam stood in his way.

    "I identified myself, I engaged him and then I took him down," she said at the press conference. "I didn't run away. I didnt' think for a minute to run away. I knew I was the one given the assignment to stop this thing."

    Those are just two example out of countless examples that I could provide.

    One last example from a country that has learned its lessons quite well - Israel. Probably some of the highest levels of firearms being openly carried ever in the world.
    Bulldozer Terrorist Attack

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak voiced support for demolishing the homes of Arab terrorists on Wednesday after a resident of east Jerusalem rammed a bulldozer into cars, buses and pedestrians on one of Jerusalem's busiest streets, killing three people and wounding at least 45 others - including a six-month-old baby girl - before being shot dead by security personnel. ...An off-duty police officer climbed atop the vehicle and wrestled with the wounded terrorist, managing to shoot him.

    Then an off-duty soldier who had been riding his bike home joined the policeman and Dwayat, and repeatedly shot the east Jerusalem man.

    Mike, I think the reason you don't accept that armed defense happens on a regular and reliable basis is because you won't look for that evidence. I again challenge you to post a positive defensive gun use for every negative gun use. Analyze it as you do the negative one. Think about the gun control measures you advocate and how it would have affected that defensive use of a firearm.

    Last point:
    Why not expect, or even demand that the police and other forces of law and order do their job?

    Law and Order is everyone's job, not just the cops. Why invest more time and money into a system that regularly shows up only after the crime has been committed? Why not let the people be able to defend themselves, to prevent or stop crimes as they are occurring?

  2. Mike,

    Another great essay if you haven't read it yet:

    Just a small section that I feel is partly an answer to your questions:

    On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

    ...There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory acts of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

    However, when there were cues given by potential victims that indicated they would not go easily, the cons said that they would walk away. If the cons sensed that the target was a "counter-predator," that is, a sheepdog, they would leave him alone unless there was no other choice but to engage.

    Read the whole thing as the saying goes.

  3. Wouldn't armed citizens be just about as powerless as unarmed ones when faced with a well coordinated terrorist attack?

    no, they wouldn't be.

    they would have the power to choose.

    i'll grant you that all of their choices might still end with them dead. but that's the case right now, so what are you whining about? are you that desperate to take the last, Hobson's choice away from dead men walking? are you not satisfied that they are to die, unless they also die helpless, defenseless and sniveling before their murderers?

    if i should ever end up in that kind of situation, you bet your cowardly arse i'm going to look for a weapon so i can die fighting. had i been that photographer, i would've thrown down the camera and picked up whatever i could find, looked for a chance to brain the nearest bad guy and pick up his rifle.

    i probably would've died doing it, but how can any man live with himself afterwards having not done it?

    don't accuse me of wanting to be a hero for saying this, either, mike. what i want is to not end up drinking myself to an early grave out of the guilt of not having tried to stop evil when i could have. whoever died in such a situation, if i didn't at least try to fight back and defend them, i'd never be able to think myself anything but guilty of their deaths. i'd have to find a weapon.

    I mean, how armed do you want people to be?

    as armed as they are comfortable being, and can competently handle being. no more. no less, either. why on earth should any decent, honest person ever have to be?

    Why not expect, or even demand that the police and other forces of law and order do their job?

    yeah, that worked so well for that Indian cameraman, now didn't it?

    "avoid the legal nets / that ensnared Bernie Goetz / just shout, help help police / like Kitty Genovese".

    expecting and demanding the police to do their jobs is a general demand. it's a good idea in theory, certainly nobody will ever argue to the contrary that the police should refuse to do their jobs, but at best it will only convince the police to try harder in general.

    but when the wolf is at your door and some sonofabastard is shooting at you, that's a specific situation. call your mayor and lobby him to put pressure on the chief of police for more general police work when that's going down. while you're on the phone, i'll be looking for a godsdamn weapon.

    sure, being able to successfully protect yourself only happens in very limited situations. but that's because being attacked and having to defend yourself is a very limited, very rare, sort of situation to begin with! and i dare you tell the lucky, brave, honorable people who do manage to do it that their efforts didn't make any difference --- i dare say it made a difference to them, now didn't it!

    what you're saying is the equivalent of, those brave people might as well be dead because their defending themselves and surviving didn't make any difference in the big picture. mike, that's because you've zoomed out your "big picture" so far you've lost track of the individual people in it. in that big of a picture, we're all mortals and eventually dead anyway; that's not a useful picture to us.

  4. Amen Nomen, Amen friend, well said.

  5. +1 to what has been said here.

    I'll add to one of Nomen's point.

    One person asked me "How well would one person with a handgun fair against those guys with assault rifles?"

    To date 172 people (all unarmed) died there. The key fact you're not seeing is when violent people start doing violent acts, you are essentially as good as dead no matter WHAT you do...so why not do the right thing.

    Better to take them on with a pocket knife than to hide and hope they don't find you. Dead hiding vs. Dead fighting....One I'd rather have on my tombstone.

    "Wouldn't armed citizens be just about as powerless as unarmed ones when faced with a well coordinated terrorist attack?"

    How Coordinated would they continue to be once they started taking incomming fire? Coordination is fairly easy when your opposition is quite low. How cooridinated would they be with their numbers light a few men?

    There weren't many terroirsts in the building, and it looks like they weren't wairing body armor, or using cover to clear rooms from the photos taken.

    Only a few kills/woundings would have been a MASSIVE detriment to their numbers in this case.

    "I mean, how armed do you want people to be? "

    A better question would be, Why shouldn't people be armed? Its pretty obvious that just one brave person with a gun could have made a huge difference here.

    Of course there are the more mundane news stories of a person saving their, and maybe a few others with their firearm (http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html I still don't think you've bothered to even SKIM this page, and what an amazing resouse and testiment to armed lawful citizens)

    And with only a handfull of lawful citizens committing crimes with firearms (and if they legally own the gun, and have a permit to carry, they're VERY easily caught, compared to the criminals who are entrierly off the radar), and places with less gun control enjoying less crime, I fail to see any advantage to going around unarmed, or disarming peaceful people....meanwhile we've cited litterlly HUNDREDs of reason why its VERY bad news.

    Why do you keep clinging to the idea that disarming good people is somehow a good thing, Mike?

  6. What goodcan one man do?

    It would be good for you to study both instances of one man's actions rallying the rest to act.

  7. Remember:

    Carry your gun and be prepared to use it, it's a lighter burden than regret.

  8. Mikeb: READ THIS

    Somebody wrote it better than I could have as to how to prevent such things as happened.

  9. READ IT

    Subsidiarity will mean the existence of enough armament at the grassroots level to create uncertainty for the terrorist buddy pairs. This is the concept upon which the air marshal idea relies. The possibility you may encounter an armed man in the first minutes when you are supposed to enjoy surprise could ruin everything. Instead of losing one terrorist per hundred casualties, the terrorist might be killed after only shooting two or three.

    That's why Israelis and Americans in FREE STATES walk around armed and make no bones about it.

    Civilian or not, they are in a war, whether they want it or not, just by going to work and back.

    Terrorists have no chance in an armed world just like Somali pirates wouldn't have a ship full of old Soviet tanks if we just sank the bitch. I'd like to see terrorist application of the tanks.

    Maybe sneak one into the cargo of a 757? Threaten to saw through the floor of the aircraft that can't fit one and fire the main gun???


    Armed people are useful more often than not.

  10. Mike,

    I would be interested in your thoughts about the great information and opinions posted in these comments.

    I count 3 great essays linked to, comments from us that make great points and I see no response from you.

    It seems from the non-response to most of the comments and continual return to some themes (easy availability of firearms, for example) that what is being said isn't having much impact.

    If you question something or don't believe, could you let me know in the comments? I, for one, would appreciate it.

  11. Bob, Hold yer horses, pardner. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get to answer. When I become a full-time blogger you guys'll really have your hands full.

    I looked at all of Tom's links and read yours early this morning and enjoyed them tremendously. There's nothing to avoid there, certainly not in an attempt to win an argument.

    Of course I don't deny that heroic men have done the right thing on many occasions. At other times, men have cowered in the face of a great threat, run away or hidden or just failed to act. It's probable that we really don't know how we would react to danger unless and until we're faced with it. I find all that talk about going down in a blaze of glory the worst kind of macho nonsense. Men who have faced these situations and acted bravely don't have to talk like that and the rest of us should recognize that with the best of intentions we really don't know what we'd do if push comes to shove.

    I'm really talking about the Mumbai type situation. I'm gonna write a post about the defensive use of guns soon, I promise, and there we can pick up the other thread.

  12. I find all that talk about going down in a blaze of glory the worst kind of macho nonsense.

    hit a nerve when i called you a coward, eh?

    i wouldn't have to use that overblown macho purple prose if you wouldn't keep pooh-poohing and belittling the very idea that people either can, or even should, stand up for themselves or fight back against any attacker, ever.

  13. Mike,

    I agree with Nomen, you've consistently denigrated the idea of people standing up and defending themselves and their families.

    I'll repeat my challenge again. Post a positive defensive gun use and analyze it like you do for every negative gun use you post. Then you might see that it isn't "going down" in a blaze of glory.

    Reading some of the gun forums and bloggers, I was struck that many of them had the same response to the question "what would you do if an Mumbai type attack happened near you". Overwhelmingly, the answers agreed with my response, first- try to withdraw from the area, especially if with my family. Second, I would only try to engage a terrorist if I had a decent chance of taking him/her down and surviving. I'm not a hero but I don't know if I could live with myself without doing something but first & foremost my duty is to my family.

    It's probable that we really don't know how we would react to danger unless and until we're faced with it.

    This is where those of us who have chosen to go armed are slightly different. While it is not known with certainty how we will respond, we at least know how we plan to respond. We have to know. Without training, without preparation, without awareness we might as well not be armed. The firearm is actually the last part of the process.

    When I started getting my CHL (arrived middle of last month), I found out that I first needed to raise my situational awareness. Being cognizant of what was going on around me lead me to think about how I would react to different scenarios. I started rehearsing in my mind, months before I even applied for my license, my planned responses to typical crimes and problems.

    One of the situations most CHL holders game out is a terrorist scenario...it's unavoidable in today's world.

    We talk alot about our differences but I'm betting dallars to doughnuts that we are actually very similar in many ways, especially about our families. I have a wife and 3 kids, I believe you do also. I'm sure you would fight to defend them from harm as I would fight to defend my family, right?
    The difference is the preparation to effectively do that, I'm armed and ready to use that arm to defend my family, even in a terrorist situation.

    What would you do in that situation?

  14. +1, Nomen

    "I find all that talk about going down in a blaze of glory the worst kind of macho nonsense."

    That all depends on the end-result of said blaze. If I engage an attacker while my wife and kids flee, or stop a crazy with intents to mass murder, wouldn't my death be worth it?

    If the police ever come for my guns I'll do my best to fend them off. They'll call for re-enforcments, I'll likely be alone. I'll die. Still there is no doubt that I'd be able to take more than a few with me. To what end? What are the cops or soldiers going to be thinking on the NEXT door they kick in? Will they be thinking of the tyranical orders of the state...or their own wives and kids at home?

    Now imagine it was some other damn fool who went down, and it's MY door next. Maybe they'll pass me by, maybe they'll join my cause. Its only macho nonsense if the ends don't justify the means, and there are SO many things in life that are important enugh to die for. I'm guessing, Mike, that you kissed a few of them this morning, and if you haven't yet, you'd best go do that now!

  15. Mike,

    Just trust the police, let them be the ones carrying firearms is a common refrain from the gun control side.

    MUMBAI: The state constabulary was grossly unprepared to deal with the worst-ever terror attacks on the metropolis because of an acute shortage
    of weapons and ammunition.

    Official records show that for a force of well over 1.8 lakh, the home department procured a meagre 2,221 weapons — 577 for Mumbai, and 1,644 for the rest of Maharashtra

    Population: The population of Mumbai is 13 million. The population of India is 1,014,003,817.

    In the absence of a firing range and of ammunition for practice, members of the law enforcement agencies have not opened fire in the last ten years. ‘‘I’ve been in the police force for a long time, but I had no occasion to open fire for practice,’’ a senior inspector of police said....The manual also prescribes mandatory training for all officials, especially shooting practice at the firing range. According to a senior IPS official, the norms prescribed in the manual now exist only on paper because of the acute shortage of ammunition for practice and the non-availability of a firing range.

    The downside of strict gun control laws can affect people in ways too horrific to imagine.

  16. weerd

    If you were my neighbor and the JBTs were kicking in your door, me and the other folk on this road would be sniping them from behind.

    We're neighborly in Texas. Our doors may or may not be next, but it would give the fascists or terrorists or even common criminals a bit of pause to be eating .50BMG, Lapuas, and Grendels in their backs, now wouldn't it?

    The best prevention of tyranny is an armed citizenry.

    Aaron Zel and Mike V argue back and forth over who said it first, but it was one of them:

    "If 10% of the German Jews had each had a Mauser 98 and 10 rounds, AND, the will to use them, there would have been no holocaust.


  17. Nomen said:

    "hit a nerve when i called you a coward, eh?"

    No, you really didn't. That's not why I said, "I find all that talk about going down in a blaze of glory the worst kind of macho nonsense."

    I said that because I meant it. Sometimes I think you guys live in a fantasy world, one in which you continually watch for antagonism and imagine yourselves coming to the rescue violently. You do it literally in your carrying weapons wherever you go and you do it on this blog in the commenting.

    I'm just trying to get along, like Rodney King said.

    Bob said, "I agree with Nomen, you've consistently denigrated the idea of people standing up and defending themselves and their families."

    I've done no such thing. I've been more respectful to you guys than you have to me. What's wrong with having differing opinions? Does my not agreeing with you equal denigrating you for your ideas? That's paranoia or insecurity on your part.

  18. I don't live in a fantasy world.

    I live in a world where I'm situationally aware to the best of my abilities and equipped to respond to threats if need be.

    I live in about as much of a fantasy world as my friends that are LEOs or in the sandbox or live in 3rd whirled countries and we can all drive down the same streets and remember the same fatal accidents, just like we can all be prepared for self defense and aware if the need arises.

    If you aren't up to being a sheepdog, be a wolf or a sheep. Don't demean the people that might save your ass because if you do that too often we might remember not to save your ass. If you tried to climb in my lifeboat I'm halfway inclined to stomp on your hands and watch the sharks eat you for speaking as you just did.

    Some people get killed by other people in what my LEO friends jokingly refer to as "misdemeanor homicides" because nobody gave a flying fuck about either side of the battle. Just mop up and write a report.

    If that's where you want to live,best of luck.

    No paranoia on our part.

    Would you like people like me to give you a hand up over the railing or giggle as we watched sharks eat you because you were too lazy/scared to help yourself?

    That's a brutally honest question and you might wish to think on that a while before you reply.

    Are we paranoid or are you a misdemeanor suicide?

  19. Tom, thanks for the offer, and that's why they'll be kicking down MY door first. In Mass I'll be alone, and likely they will have my neighbors as police informants. Good people the lot of them, but they all share the fantasy that somehow taking MY guns away will clear up the bloodshed in Boston.

    "I'm just trying to get along, like Rodney King said."

    Well let's pretend for a moment that King wasn't a violent criminal. Ol Rod did a great job "just getting along" until a group of guys with guns decided to kick his head in.

    Would you not lay down your life to protect your wife and kids?

  20. Mike,

    Sorry but you have denigrated, repeatedly the idea of people standing up for themselves. You did it again when you asked if we are living in a fantasy land.

    Are you willing to stand up and fight for your family? If the answer is yes, then you are living in just as much of a fantasy land as we are.

    Tell me you wouldn't fight a burglar/rapist/murderer standing in your living room in the middle of the night?
    Now tell me how I'm different from you?

    When you doubt without evidence how often people protect themselves with firearms, you are denigrating the idea of people protecting themselves. You deny the evidence presented to you, repeatedly. You dismiss it saying "you don't trust statistics".

    I don't live in a fantasy world, dreaming that I'm Rambo or Dirty Harry. I live in the real world, check out the Dallas Morning News or the Fort Worth Star Telegram for a week. Tell me if the crimes in there are fantasies.
    Check out any Texas paper, there are over 300K Concealed Handgun license holders, probably a few more carrying against the law. If we, the gunowners, are seeking out antagonism where are the reports of those confrontations.

  21. Sometimes I think you guys live in a fantasy world

    oddly enough, that's pretty much what the more right-wing commenters here would tell me if i started to explain to them why i'm a social democrat.

    (i speak from experience. back before the election, in comments on somebody else's pro-gun blog, i mentioned being a socialist --- and commenters there started frothing at the mouth about how they would physically stop me from voting, if they could. considering i'm pseudonymous, it was actually pretty hilarious.)

    mike, you and i --- just like weerd and i, or bob and i --- are separated by a difference in fundamental worldview, which means our basic philosophies and approaches to life are totally different. to you, that makes me seem like i live in a fantasy world. i think it merely makes you wrong. ;-) you live in the real world, just as i do. we merely interpret it through dramatically different cognitive filters; my interpretation is no more "fantastic" than yours, mike.

    what i can't seem to do, annoyingly, is understand how your set of cognitive filters work --- what your worldview is based on --- without making a number of pretty unflattering assumptions about you which i don't want to think are true. i'll keep trying, though.

  22. "I don't live in a fantasy world, dreaming that I'm Rambo or Dirty Harry. I live in the real world, check out the Dallas Morning News or the Fort Worth Star Telegram for a week. Tell me if the crimes in there are fantasies."

    He reads my blog, and I've posted about some of the murders that have happened within feet of me commuting through Boston.

    This latest story turns my stomach:

    "A 50-year-old Roslindale man was shot dead after answering his door late Tuesday night at 710 Hyde Park Ave.

    Police are searching for a suspect described as a light-skinned black male who could possibly be Hispanic or Cape Verdean, around 15- to 18 years old and wearing a blue jacket with white on the sleeves."

    You need to be 21 to get a Mass Pistol permit, and you can't get a carry permit if you live in Boston. I have no earthly idea what sparked this violence. I'll keep my eyes on the paper because I'm curious....I'll keep my hand on a gun and look before I open a door because I know that whatever reason for this senseless killing, it won't make a lick of difference to me if I'm dead.

    God, and to think that they have it worse than this in London!

  23. Also from today's emails:

    In 2001 the USA had the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. It has become vogue to call it the 9/11 Tragedy, as if it was a hurricane or an earthquake, but it was not. It was an act done by men, evil men. A few years later, both Spain and England faced similar events. And now India. I am not so schooled in geo-politics to try to draw strategic significance here. All I can do is to draw operational similarities in the hope of understanding my enemy better and thus be able to defeat him. Similarly, to be able to teach my students to defeat him.

    Here is what we know thus far -

    1). The attackers were organized into buddy pairs, allowing one to shoot while the other moved, and so forth. The buddy pair, or "Two Man Team" is a development of small unit tactics very prevalent in SWAT operations. For urban close quarters battle, where areas tend to be compartmentalized, it makes sense for each room to be "taken" by two men. It is not hard to develop the skills of a two man team. For example, we teach a team tactics course and after two days of instruction, attendees are quite well skilled in working through any problem as a well oiled team. It is obvious that these terrorists had a good amount of exposure to this material.

    2). While we don't know everything yet, it appears the two man teams operated autonomously in Mumbai. That means that while they had an overall objective, how they achieved that was up to the individual team itself. Now we see the autonomous two-man team, well drilled, practiced, each with its own set of objectives, and apparently in contact with one another. If you think about it, this was a bigger, better planned Columbine with multiple and much better prepared shooters.

    3). Until the "elite operators" showed up later, it doesn't appear that the "armed police" did much to stop them at all. I have never been to India, but if the training and pay of their local police is anything like what I have seen in the many Third World nations I have visited, I don't expect the terrorists would have met much resistance from anyone in authority. After all - if they give you an old Enfield with no ammo and $150 per month to live on, do you really want to jump into the lion's mouth?

    4). India is a very restrictive place as far as civilian ownership of weapons, and the likelihood of anyone present being armed was slim. Regardless, I think this is once
    again indicative of how an armed civilian may have been able to stop at least one of the two man elements. Those who wish to argue the point will be referred to the British reporter who commented that if he'd had a gun he would have killed both of the terrorists he saw (because no one else was even trying to do so!)

    5). There is evidence that many of the victims were tortured and executed. I will let that one soak in good.

    6). Here in CONUS, or anywhere else in the world, if you rely on the authorities for your protection and safety you are a fool. They cannot protect you. True, that sometimes you cannot protect yourself either, but the point is that to surrender your right (or tools) to self-defense because someone else is telling you they will protect you is stupid. We keep seeing the results of that mentality. Only you can protect you.

    7). There is evidence that the terrorists were "strong and well toned", and that they were using steroids and other drugs to fight better. Now we aren't going to suggest that doping up is a good thing for those who would fight against those guys, but it does show that your adversary will not be the push-over some think he will be. Look at the photos from the train station. You see a fit young man with what looks like a Romanian AK. He has two magazines taped together just like the Russian Spetznas do, and his trigger finger is off the trigger. These guys were serious, dedicated, and did their homework.

    I am certain we will be hearing more and more about the Mumbai event in the coming months. We have been discussing this at length in the Fighting Terrorism Section of warrior talk. As more info becomes available, we will pass it on to you.

    ...It is hard for some to sneak up on a man and shoot him in the back of the head unannounced, regardless of what the man has done, or is about to do. You need to get over that if you want to be a player at this level. it is not about capturing, or about bringing to justice, or about "stopping the action". it is about getting the drop on a terrorist from a distance, unseen and undetected, putting your sights on his ear, controlling your heartbeat, and then pressing that trigger without a moment's hesitation.

    Gabe Suarez
    Author of "DIE LESS OFTEN 2 : Bringing A Gun To A Knife Attack"

  24. OK, everyone says they're not living in a fantasy world. Please accept my apology for stating the proposition in such an insulting way. I often do that for brevity sake, rather than taking the time to subtly describe the situation. We've had this discussion before, remember?

    Let me put it this way. Remember, Weer'd, when you carried legally for the first time? It was just a couple months ago, I think. Didn't you describe how excited you were, the anticipation of doing it, the heightened awareness of your surroundings, all that. Now, that's what I'm talking about.

    Can you honestly say you never entertained any exaggerated fantasies about shooting down the bad guys in a confrontation? Don't answer that; it's a rhetorical question. Isn't it a fine line between this type of day-dreaming and the common-sense feet-firmly-planted-on-the-ground attitude that Tom describes so well? Doesn't one kind of bleed into the other? You'd have to be a robot, otherwise.

    And, Tom, yes if you ever see me surrounded by sharks please pull me up into the lifeboat. Do it for old time's sake.

  25. "Let me put it this way. Remember, Weer'd, when you carried legally for the first time? It was just a couple months ago, I think. Didn't you describe how excited you were, the anticipation of doing it, the heightened awareness of your surroundings, all that. Now, that's what I'm talking about."

    Your statements are all true, but your assessments are not.

    Hells yeah I was excited as hell. In 2004 I walked into the Medford Police station and said "I would like a permit to buy a gun." They told me there were several permits. When I found that the permits were essentially stacked like Russian Dolls, the Conceal Carry permit (LTC A: ALP, for Massholes) being the lest restrictive, I asked for one of those. "We Don't Issue those." was her response.

    It wasn't long when I found that several of my friends had carry permits, and it was Medford that was using their "Discretion" to deny all carry permits. It was September 2008 when I opened the Envelope on my Carry permit (Now LTC A: No Restrictions) That was an end to a long journey. Is it a fantasy to be excited when I've reached the peak of Mt. Washington and look out across all of New England through the clouds? That's the same thrill. Long hard journey, and worthwhile accomplishments, just with hiking what I get is memories, pictures, and bragging rights...this permit might save my life, or the life of my family.

    As for the "heightened awareness", a lot of gunnies talk about being more aware of their surroundings than most people. I'd say I've observed that to be somewhat corrilary, not always true, or exclusive to gunnies. In my quest for a Conceal carry permit I had since gone past my denial of what a "Dangerous Place" looked like. I pictured the dark cluttered construction zones in Boston that the wife and I walk through when we go out to eat in the city, I pictured the Cambridge square that houses the methadone clinic that is always filled with drug addicts and erratic people.

    I didn't Picture Schools, like Virginia Tech, Clean office buildings like Edgewater Technologies, or the broad daylight shootings that happen all over. I learned that "Dangerous Place" is not a set area, and instead are moments in time that are impossible to predict. I learned you should always be aware of your surroundings, doesn't matter if you have a gun, a knife, or just your bare hands. So my "situational awareness" didn't change at all when there was a gun in my pocket...what I WAS more aware of is if people were aware of ME! I'd worn my guns on my property (which was legal) but now there was a lot more on the table, as Police responding to a "Man With a Gun" no matter how peaceful and polite I was would result in forfeiture of my permit (despite no crime being committed)and therefore the loss of my property and my favorite hobby. That can be pretty damn nerve racking, it isn't an issue for me now. I still keep a look out to make sure my gun is well hidden, but since my Boss at work is still well unaware that I've been carrying nearly every day for the last three months, I'd say I'm doing a good job.

    That's what I'm talking about, Mike.

  26. Mike,

    When you drive, do you anticipate what somebody might do on the road?
    Do you keep an eye on someone that has exhibited bad behavior or questionable judgment if they are still near you?

    How is that any different then what we are talking about?

    Can you honestly say you never entertained any exaggerated fantasies about shooting down the bad guys in a confrontation?

    If you had ever seen me at the shooting range you would know the answer to that question....Doc Holiday I'm not, Not Wyatt Earp either. Just an average person with average skills at the range.

    To me it is like what I learned in the Air Force Survival school; pilots are given a firearm but taught to use it as a last resort.

    We teach and were taught to think more like a rabbit then a tiger. Ever sneak up on a rabbit? Nearly impossible because of their situational awareness, right? As for as the firearm, if I have to pull a firearm it is as a matter of last resort-not first.

    How about turning it around Mike, I don't know what the crime is like where you live but have you ever seen someone and thought of what you would have to do if they attacked you, your wife or kids?
    Are you living in a fantasy world for gaming out such a scenario?

    How about what would you do if someone broke into your house in the middle of the night? Have any baseball bats pre-positioned, ever talk to the wife about her grabbing the kids while you find out who is in the house?

    That is all I do, it's not an exaggerated dream of taking someone on just to take them on, but how best to protect my family and myself.

  27. Daydreaming,

    Mike, I daydream about flying P-47s beating up trains and flying hot missions in Huey gunships in Vietnam. I don't daydream about getting in a gun battle going to the grocery store.

    I don't always carry my mobile phone but I always carry a gun, a knife, some sort of multitool, some money, and a compass. Force of habit.