View Full Version : mindset question
I have a very good lady friend that has qualified for her CHL in Texas. She used my best friends Makarov .380 and scored a 96%. She does know how to use a firearm. Her "problem" is in the mindset. She feels that she is not responsible enough to carry a gun all the time. She worries that she will forget about it and expose it. She worries that she would not use it if a situation called for it. She worries that if she did use it, it would be in an inappropriate situation. The latest thing she told me was that she does not believe she would be able to shoot someone to "kill" them (I know that we do not shoot to kill but to stop, hence the quote marks). The situation she presented was that if someone is attacking her, she would shoot for the crotch rather than the larger target, the chest. She said she would do so because she does not want to "kill" the bad guy only hurt him. Is this something that can be overcome and unlearned, the shoot to hurt rather than to stop? I have been working this summer at the DA's office in Dallas and have seen what people on the streets are capable of. This lady friend is someone I care about tremendously and am concerned about her safety. I would feel much better if she was carrying a handgun and could use it effectively. Can anyone give me some advice. I would greatly appreciate it.
It won't hurt to start the process, seeing as how it takes so long. That way she has it if/when she decides to carry. And it can help speed up the process of buying a new gun, too.
But, I don't think she should carry if she's not willing to kill someone. You can't really help her to that decision. I've never expected it to be easy and I fully expect my life to change, but if it comes down to him or me, I'm going to do my level best to make sure it's me. I know that someone who intends me harm isn't going to be bound by the same rules as the rest of society. They've made a decision to operate outside the boundaries and there are risks associated with that.
One thing that helped me was to start carrying more tools. I have knives and pepper spray and I learned some 'weaponless' moves. Then if the situation doesn't warrant a sledgehammer, I don't feel that I have to use one. Now, if I have to use my gun in self-defense it was because I needed it, not because it was the only thing around.
Also, don't get stuck on thinking that carrying a gun is going to magically save you from every situation. Work on all the other things that will help keep her safe.
Oh, and shooting for the crotch is more blood-thirsty than shooting for the chest ;)
Great post, BikerGoddess! I will add that I think if a woman knows IN ADVANCE that she will not be able to "kill" someone, (aka shoot to stop the threat) that she would be a good candidate to have her firearm removed from her and used against her. That, to me, is a grave danger that she faces.
As soon as the BG knows that the woman can't go through with it, it shifts the power to him and she is vulnerable to having her gun taken away from her.
Just my thoughts.
Good discussion. I fielded that question about a decade ago from my baby cousin and she means the world to me. Without getting into a long discussion at the time here is what I told her:
1. If you're gonna carry it, be prepared to pull it.
2. If you're gonna pull it, be prepared to use it.
3. If you're gonna use it, be prepared to kill.
4. The ultimate goal of all conflict is survival.
Tell her that the hit rate of police officers across the country is 1 in 4. That's 25%.
Ask her if she thinks she can do better. Then tell her the main reason for shooting for COM is (1) to make sure you actually HIT something and (2) to put the bad guy down. You don't shoot to kill, you shoot to STOP.
Many women don't have the "killer" instinct required to survive in a test of life and death. Maybe those are the women that REALLY need to have men protect them. But if she's thinking about carrying concealed, she's heading one step in the right direction. Stress the STOP, not the kill. The word "kill" may be what's sticking in her craw.
I would recommend you get her the book "Effective Defense" written by none other than my wife, Gila Hayes. It is her personal story about going from a newbe to one of the top female trainers in the country, but mainly about gun stuff, tactics and mindset.
You can get her a copy by visiting our web page,
I would think that the reasons you spelled out are good reasons for questioning her mindset. Perhaps, if she started out taking some self-defense classes first, to get her into a different one slowly but surely? If I weren't willing to destroy what I pointed my weapon at, I personally wouldn't have/carry one (no CCP yet tho)out of the sheer fear that my hesitation would only result in the gun being take from, and turn on, me.
I don't want to sound down on your friend, not at all. Say, if it were a friend or daughter of mine, I'd be steering them in a mental/mind-set preparatory direction first, as a prerequisite to pursuing a firearm.
Thanks for the replies. I have been extremely busy and out of town a lot lately so I this is the first chance I have had to read them. The friend in question and I had another conversation a few days ago and she gave me more insight into the issue. She said that for her to shoot someone it would be out of anger, and for that she would feel guilty about it. On the other hand, she said that if I were to shoot someone, it would be out of a hard wired sense of duty to protect. I would be thinking something along the lines of "This BG is trying to do seriously bodily harm or death to me or someone around me and the only way for me to stop it is to shoot them." She would be thinking something along the lines of "I am pissed off that this BG is trying to do me seriously bodily injury or death and I am going to shoot him for it." For her, the shooting would be because she was mad and angry at the bad guy and because of the guilt associated with that, she feels she could not pull the trigger. I think that she could actually do it, but would feel guilty about it due to the anger thing. I hope this makes some form of sense as I am only interpreting what she said. If that does make any sense, can anyone give a response?
Have a friend who gave me a similar tale recently -
Used to pack when she had a kid - and would shoot to defend the kid - but won't to defend herself....
Ask your friend why she believes that some scumbag has a greater right to live than she does. Ask her what impact her death or injury would have on her loved ones. The concept of shooting to protect someone else but not yourself is absurd but I'm assuming that most of us have loved ones who would be worse off if something happened to us. Personally, I don't have a problem with a person being mad at an attacker as long as it's a controlled rage. After all, the scumbag initiated the assault, not your freind. Being wrathful is a productive emotion for winning a violent confrontation. With all that said, your friend probably shouldn't carry until she's highly confident that she has the proper mindset.
Originally posted by Smiles007
She said that for her to shoot someone it would be out of anger, and for that she would feel guilty about it. On the other hand, she said that if I were to shoot someone, it would be out of a hard wired sense of duty to protect. [/B]
There is only one reason to pull a gun on someone and that is to stop them from killing or injuring yourself or someone else.
I have had every thought that you described as well as many others that make just as little sense. I would hope that every person who considers concealed carry also considers their motivations. Familiarity is what made me stop thinking so much about it and start feeling comfortable with it.
Carrying a deadly weapon is no different than driving a car. You must get your driver's permit and practice countless hours in every conceivable condition before you are a competent and trusted driver. Your friend needs to run hundreds of rounds through a fire arm before feeling confident. A good NRA training program would be a nice start.
The fact is that women have to overcome a great deal of societal programming in order to feel comfortable with a gun. It is also a fact that women are completely capable of overcoming that programming and becoming responsible carriers who are capable of exercizing excellent judgement.
I'll start off by admitting that I didn't read everyone's responses completely through (don't tell them though; some GTers would be offended) so maybe someone already mentioned this.
1) The purpose is to stop; not kill; a VIOLENT ASSAILANT.
2) If the crime doesn't warrant possible death (stealing your TV vs trying to rape and strangle you), the gun should not be presented in the first place.
3) Most people survive a gun shot wound. Even if forced to shoot, the poor misunderstood bad guy stands a very good chance of surviving (and suing her).
4) The crotch of a man as a very small target (no insinuation intended ;e ). Much better to aim for a big target (such as the chest or the ego). He still stands a good chance of survival.
5) Most men would rather die than have their crotch destroyed.
If she is still uncertain, you might want to discourage her from carrying a gun until you can make her understand that some people simply don't give a flying f..k about her feelings concerning his "humanity".
I am not trying to cause an argument. I agree with everyone's points about mentioning the things that could happen to her, her right to live over the bg, etc. But, we have to remember, carrying a deadly weapon is a HUGE decision and a HUGE undertaking. The decision to do so rests only with the individual who is to be in control of that weapon. Just my thoughts. Jeremy
I find it interesting when someone can shoot to protect someone else, such as kids, but not protect herself. What she's really saying is "I need my kids, but my kids don't really need a mother." She is saying it is about her, even though it sounds like she is saying it is about the kids. If it was about the kids, then she would be as concerned about her kids being momless, as she is about her kids safety.
In other words the "protect others, but not myself" is really an elaborate form of narcissism that needs to be dealt with as the distortion and lie to self that it really is. just a thought.
Originally posted by Smiles007
This lady friend is someone I care about tremendously and am concerned about her safety. I would feel much better if she was carrying a handgun and could use it effectively. Can anyone give me some advice. I would greatly appreciate it.
Sounds like what she needs now is a good defensive handgun course taught by someone who will address those issues in a matter of fact manner she can relate to.
I teach the only defensive handgun course in San Angelo, only a 9 hour course, but constantly address survival mindset and try to re-inforce in the shooting drills. Ask around to see if there is anyone who does that in your area. I can't remember the name but there is someone who teaches a one day class in the Dallas area and charges only $100. One of his students shot in one of our club matches here and stood out for his positive safe gun handling technique.
Marty Hayes replied to you and if there is any chance she could make a class taught by his wife, Gila, that would be ideal.
This is a very personal decision, and everyone has a different answer. I used to teach a self defense class based on martial arts techniques and common sense.We always discussed who had a gun. Then the discussion went to training, maintenance, and practice and ended with the "mindset" question... Are you prepared to use the gun with a fatal outcome? If not you may want to reconsider carrying one.
It is obvious that you are concerned about your friend's safety. Maybe the solution is as has been suggested, training in self defense that addresses the "mindset" question with facts in a slow manner that can be accepted by the individual at their own pace.
Each one of us must make this decision in our own way and time. All you can really do is support your friend as she moves through the process of making this decision. Be there for her to talk with and let her make the decision that it is Ok to carry and use a firearm.
One last comment, avoidance of a dangerous situation is much better than any confrontation, has you friend had any training in situational awareness? This would be a good start and is usually an early part of even the most basic self defense training.
Sorry for the long post.;b
Upon revisiting this posting I've come up with some more thoughts. Your friend seems to be a victim of the Oprah, womans magazines, women's TV mentality; poor, helpless me. Your question seems to address her reluctance to use deadly force against someone who only wants to rape and maim her.
I would suggest that you show her your NRA magazine (you do belong to the NRA, don't you? ;2 ) and read with her the "Armed Citizen" page. There she'll discover that there are plenty of not-nice people running around. You might also go over your local newspaper with her where they have the weekly "crime report" section. This might help her to understand that even in an area such as her neighbourhood, bad things happen. Finally, there is the website for "Plus P Technologies". They have on-the-web training liturature but, more importantly, photos of actual crime victims. They're quite shocking but true and perhaps seeing a few photos of mangled women just might convince her that living is better than dying.
As a former "it could never happen to me" woman who never thought about self defense, it pains me to no end to hear of another woman who isn't sure she could shoot another "human being". I sincerely hope you can convince her that her life is more valuable than some sleezy scumbags'.
I wasn't going to post anything, but SlimKim's last paragraph reminded me of something my wife said a while back in conversation w/ another gal (a "nongun" lady) when she mentioned about having learned how to shoot and being ready "to take someone out" if a situation ever came to that. The other lady was initally surprised that my wife, a professional woman, even owned a gun. ;Q
Anyway, my wife explained that she felt a moral obligation, not only to herself, but to the next victim down the road to use deadly force, if warranted, to stop a predatory attacker (the context of their talk involved several recent home invasions in our area, as well as a still-uncaptured serial rapist who's been operating in a nearby university area for almost 2 years now ).
Anyway, she told this lady, "self-defense with a gun isn't a crime. You probably won't be his first victim, and if he gets away with it, you sure won't be his last. If you've got the means and opportunity to do it, you owe it to yourself and the next person down the road to take the scumbag out. She might not be prepared like you, or even see it coming." (That's about as verbatim as I can recall it).
Her view probably sounds harsh, and you sure wouldn't hear it on Rosie. But I'm proud of her just the same.
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