Question of the Day: Are Gun Enthusiasts Too Macho?

[NB: video swapped out.] A member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia recently emailed me a link [via hotair.com] about the Hennepin County “Good Samaritan” shooting. Like many others who read this site, Kurt Peters wondered about the wisdom of chasing a perp. And what the reaction to the shooting says about American gun culture . . .

“I don’t get this quick draw mind set. I carry a gun so that it’s available if needed, not to get into a gunfight. I would never conceal carry a Glock because of the light trigger and no safety. When someone on a forum expressed a similar concern, I suggested carrying in the Israel method without a round in the chamber. There was much backlash. Let’s face it, carrying a loaded weapon on your person is pretty cool. ‘You packing heat?’

I live 20 blocks from ‘Lake Street,’ generally regarded as a nasty area but I wouldn’t fear for my life going down there unarmed, but I’m not a fifty year old woman. I’m much more likely to shoot an attacking pit bull while I’m bike riding. I don’t know why the gun culture perpetuates the gun fight.

If I have a fraction of a second to decide to employ deadly force I can tell you it’s not going to happen. I know well in advance when someone is fucking with me. As to the ambush, soldiers still get ambushed and their situational awareness is a bit higher than mine.”

Fair enough?

comments

  1. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    that is one cool video/song …that aside once you pull that trigger that bullet ain’t coming back so i agree yes you better be damn sure about pulling that trigger before you go playing john wayne.

  2. avatar Robert Farago says:

    Caleb asked me to share this link about to a thread over at ar15.com about a guy who was glad he carried cocked and locked:

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Interesting how the writer reports that the grip safety may have prevented a shot because his hand had been buggered up.

  3. avatar Dave says:

    I carry my Glock 19 chambered because it’s One Less Thing To Worry About(tm). If it comes down to “it”, and I’m pulling out my gun to defend my life, why give the guy an extra second or two fiddling with racking the slide?

    I carried “Israeli Style” for the first six months or so, just to get comfortable with carrying at all. After noticing I’d never inadvertently pulled the trigger, I realized it was safe enough to carry chambered. I have a good, solid holster that covers the trigger guard to minimize catching on things.

    Same with having just the trigger safety. If my gun is “presented”, and I’m putting my finger inside the trigger guard, I’m intending to put a hole in whatever it’s pointing at in short order. Adding an extra step of remember to flip a safety just adds time and steps to a process I want done as quickly and as reliably as possible.

    This isn’t machismo, it’s practicality/efficiency. When I need it, it will need to work, and quickly.

    These people talking about running after perps, or purposefully going into the bad part of town looking for trouble – yes, machismo. Not my scene.

    My G19 is reliable and fast. I hope I never need it, but I’ll have it if I do. One of my more favorite sayings:

    “I’m not looking for trouble, but I’ll be ready if it finds me”

    1. avatar Eric says:

      “I carried “Israeli Style” for the first six months or so, just to get comfortable with carrying at all. After noticing I’d never inadvertently pulled the trigger, I realized it was safe enough to carry chambered.”

      That is exactly what I did. Once I was satisfied I had carried the gun in all manner of situations and my handling was safe, and not once did the trigger get pulled un-intentionally, I moved to carrying condition 1.

  4. avatar Van says:

    “I would never conceal carry a Glock because of the light trigger and no safety.”

    That’s why they make the Siderlock.

    *lights firecracker and runs*

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    The girl that JOE and I were shooting with this morning didn’t seem very macho. Oh, and this video gave me a headache.

  6. avatar Aaron says:

    Firearm training seems to be evolving all the time. Concepts are added, reworked and discarded all the time.
    I have no idea how new it is in general, but I do applaud any training that emphasizes avoidance – both in the sense of continuing to avoid marginal areas, and de-escalating interpersonal conflict.
    That said, I think the next bit of “new thinking” should be oriented toward “projection.” The majority of CCW holders probably don’t look especially intimidating, but I have to wonder what they can do in terms of posture, dress, etc to let the bad guys know that they are not an easy mark.

    1. avatar Van says:

      Which is why I only wear a pink speedo in public when I CC. The bad guys think I am batsh!t crazy and leave me alone.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I dress up like Pennywise the Clown and the bad guys pay me to leave them alone.

        1. avatar Van says:

          It floats! Everything floats down here!

        2. avatar Joe nobody says:

          Do what the guys in the video do, dress up like borat and everyone will avoid you

        3. avatar Joe nobody says:

          unfortunately gay men are targets for crime, why do you think the guys in the video carry?(besides the fact there in the military) nothing macho here. Maybe the author is right.

        4. avatar Wade says:

          Or do like Rodney Carrington, and take your pants off if someone tries to pick a fight, because no one wants to fight a naked dude.

    2. avatar HAVEGUN says:

      “The majority of CCW holders probably don’t look especially intimidating, but I have to wonder what they can do in terms of posture, dress, etc to let the bad guys know that they are not an easy mark.”
      All those years of not being able to legally carry a weapon that was like a mantra in my mind. Looking purposeful, sober, alert. Not appearing to be the easy mark I really am.That is one thing which really can’t be practiced at the range.
      Been doing that so long for me it is like a lifestyle.The good lord gave me the face of an ape, that also helps. 🙂

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        Thank you for at least approaching a serious answer to the issue I posed.
        I wasn’t saying it’s something that can be practiced at the range, but perhaps it’s something a good self-defence/firearm instructor can integrate into a class, as part of the overall “avoidance” idea.
        I’m only 5’9″ small boned and with a not very intimidating face. This sort of knowledge would serve me quite well.

  7. avatar Aaron says:

    PS… I think the Foster the People song “Pumped Up Kicks” might be an even more poignant reflection of this QOTD subject matter. Just Sayin’

  8. avatar RKflorida says:

    Video was horrible. Besides ugly visuals, it could use some music instead of noise. I gave it about 10 seconds and started feeling ill from it.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      True dat. Video swapped.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I’ve learned the reason for the “Israeli method” or why they originally did this from reading it here. But why during the “move and shoot” at the end of the video did the trainer (dark jacket) turn his gun up 90 degrees (butt right) after every 3 shot group? The guy in the light colors didn’t do that. “Dark jacket” even did it after the final three round group, prior to swinging the butt all the way back through vertical (down) and all the way to about 45 degrees to the left to eject and catch the magazine.

        Is there a reason, or just his personal style?

  9. Carrying a round in the chamber is “macho?” How do you even arrive at that conclusion? Sometimes people make these bizarre leaps of logic that my feeble, neurotypical brain just can’t seem to follow.

    Hint for carrying any gun safely: use a proper holster. A good holster covers the trigger and secures the gun tightly for a reason. If this guy wouldn’t carry a Glock because he perceives it to be a “safety hazard” then that’s *his* fear coming from *his* lack of training, nothing to do with the gun or machismo.

  10. avatar Jeff Stevens says:

    The reason I carry chamber empty is because I want to make a serious deliberate action before I kill someone, not slip my finger onto the trigger (while pointing or in the push phase). Sure, I train, but I also make mistakes when faced with an unfamiliar and adrenaline filled situation.

  11. avatar Jeff Stevens says:

    I think the best example of overly macho gun enthusiast is the nutjobs who says such nonsense as “If you are in my house I’m gonna kill you.”. Especially those who would go through the house proactviely, SEEKING a confrontation. To me, that indicates an interest primarily in killing rather than the safety of yourself and your family. If an intruder is between a gun owner and his family, the only option may be to kill. If a gun owner has his family safe, seeking an intruder only escalated risk….massively.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      What people say and what they do are two separate things. If you don’t believe me, check with a politician.

  12. avatar LC Judas says:

    If you are a soldier or former soldier from a battleground the typical threats you address are from people with rifles at a distance. Urban combat with a robber or rapist is more typically bad breath distance and you may not have the time or SPACE needed to charge the weapon and begin shooting. Situation awareness can help you know when you’re in danger but won’t make you psychic.

    Israeli carry was created to allow the person to safely and uniformly operate any handgun regardless of style and safety features. Weaponry was scarce to begin with and hardly uniform for that military organization. Any system can be trained and learned but the time to deploy is at best sub par and relies,on too many fine motor movements to be optimum for self defense.

    Gun owners too macho? Of course we are! I have a soapbox on the subject but it is part of why I now shoot alone to keep it short.

  13. avatar Marty says:

    “BECAUSE IT HAS NO SAFETY”??? What is that thing on top of your shoulders? Oh and what are those things attached to your palm, you know, the thing you use to pick your nose? If you are not using the safety devices God gave you, then I wonder if you really have had enough training? Ever heard of the 4 Rules for Gun Safety from Jeff Cooper? Rule #3: Keep your finger OFF the trigger, until you are ready to fire. THAT is your safety.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    That Israeli trainer guy doesn’t look very macho to me. In fact, he looks like Freddie Mercury and sounds like the counterman at my local deli.

    Just don’t laught at the counterman — pastrami on rye with a side of fries has killed more people than Glocks.

  15. avatar Rokurota says:

    “Does the rolling help?”

    1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

      Of course it does. Haven’t you ever seen the movie “Galaxy Quest”?

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        By Grabthar’s hammer, 10 points for Greg!

        1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

          Excellent!! Thanks. Wasn’t that movie a great send up?!

  16. avatar Ordine Nuovo says:

    The [White] culture in America has been overly feminized by economic comforts and the mainstream media. Masculinity is derided by many an effete hipster as “gay” or being an “overcompensation.” Media outlets often frame stories by using a victim narrative. So weakness is righteous and might is evil. There’s almost an Abrahamic quality to it. If anything gun owners need more real masculinity and less tacticool posturing.

  17. avatar Chaz says:

    … never conceal carry a Glock because of the light trigger and no safety.

    Light trigger – use the NY-1 spring.

    No safety – carry in a good holster and the trigger is protected until you establish your grip and draw. OTOH if a pistol ever needed to lie around loaded while remaining unholstered then having the trigger safety seems prudent but is there ever such a need?

  18. avatar Tom says:

    Still like the safety system on my Walther the best. I am not too much into being macho with a gun even though I am heavily built. Best to use the gun for true self defense and try to get the cops on the horn with a cell phone and let them do the work. Biggest problem is Police reaction time; if things come down to brass tacks and response time is crucial, then personal weapon action is going to have to be used.
    I have been nearly there in a defense situation and the bad guys are leading in the dance, you can only follow and try to beat them.

  19. avatar Drbacon says:

    I can’t find it right now. But I recall seeing a video of a jewelry store robbery where a customer tries to pull and rack his gun to make ready and fails several times. The robbers notice shoot him run up punch him shoot him some more and take his pistol out of his hands and leaves him to die. This is why I will always carry with one in the pipe.

  20. avatar Levi B says:

    Part of the reasoning behind the guns I choose to carry have to do with quick deployment. That doesn’t mean I’m looking for a gun fight. However, if circumstances arise where I’m forced into one, I want to have every advantage possible including fewer things to think about to have my weapon ready. I think it was Jeff Cooper who said something along the lines of, “if you find yourself in a fair gunfight, you’re not trying hard enough.”

  21. avatar Sean says:

    I find stock/factory Glock triggers to be HEAVY.

    Personally, 5.5# is the upper limit of what I’d consider usable for a defensive firearm.

    4# is the lower limit for me. 4.25-4.5# is my preferred trigger pull weight.

    Why?

    Because I need to the get shots on target! Unless you’re talking about a double action pull weight of 12# or more, any “accidental” pulling of the trigger won’t matter whether it’s 6# or 3#… it’ll still go bang

    For me personally, I can shoot cleaner, tighter groups with a lighter trigger, which means more shots on TARGET, and fewer shots off target/hitting something I wasn’t aiming at.

    Only hits count. Misses only matter when they hit someone they shouldn’t.

    Either way, a lighter trigger pull helps ME get better shots on target while a heavier one doesn’t… while also contributing nothing to overall safety from a ND.

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