Gun grabbers see gun owners as sad but dangerous Walter Mittys. I see nothing wrong with fantasizing about defending life and limb with a firearm. I see it as positive visualisation (as opposed to negative paranoia). If fantasy firearm fascination didn’t appeal to some hard-wired part of our brain humans wouldn’t be at the top of the food chain. Besides, Hollywood. What say you?

54 Responses to Question of the Day: Is There Some Part of You That Dreams of a DGU?

  1. There’s a fine line between positive visualization and obsession. I don’t wake up everyday hoping today is the day I take the life of another human being.

  2. Quick answer is no.
    Now do you think about or visual situations and how you would react, sure, but that by no means you wake every morning and dream of taking a fellow human beings life.

  3. I’ve been shot at and I’ve shot back. I don’t like it. But I’m enough of a realist to know that on any given day at any given time bad things can happen no matter how well you’re living your life. Just ask the Petit family.

    Either you’re prepared and equiped or you’re just a victim and you’ve put your fate into the hands of strangers. I don’t trust strangers.

    • A former co-worker of mine lived down the street from the Petit family. I think her brother went to school with the youngest daughter. Nice neighborhood. I myself grew up in Connecticut and remember never having to lock my doors when I was a child. Now I live in Memphis, TN. What a stupid but eye opening move.

      I cant imagine what Mr. Petit went through or what his life is like today. I admire the man in a way, I dont think I would be able to live with myself after that. Having watched plenty of local news coverage on the “Cheshire Home Invasion,” I can say without a doubt, not a single reporter ever mentioned a potential positive outcome if the family had a gun.

  4. Do nightmares count? If so, the answer would fall into the yes category. The idea of being put on the spot in a DGU is not something that I look forward to. Just the tactical situation alone is the very stuff that badness is made of. The fallout from pulling the trigger (second guessing, remorse, legal ramifications) certainly have nothing that I would ever consider fun or attractive about them. Then there is the all too real possibility of misjudging back stops, over penetration and the prize winning misidentified threat (shooting the wrong person/shooting for the wrong perceived reason). No, there is nothing about that to ever look forward to.

    • Also the nightmare of pulling the trigger and nothing happening, or of being shot before you can return fire, or of any number of ways a DGU can go bad for you.

      If you want to have a DGU you need to get your head checked.

  5. I think anyone who plans and trains consistently and puts comprehensive procedures in place to prevent, deal with and recover from a specific occurrence would naturally be a little disappointed if the occurrence never happened and they never got see their preparedness in action. It’s the only way to truly know what does and does not work.

    To take the crazy off that, of course nobody rational wants a gun fight. But by the same token, Florida’s disaster preparedness procedures are honed by repeated exposure to big swirly storms, and there’s no way they’d be as polished as they are without the hassles we’ve gone through.

  6. No. As a matter of fact, if the truth be told the average cc holder probably puts up with more crap than those that don’t carry. I exercise total self control and courtesy as everything you do or say in a DGU will be used to try to incriminate you and find you at fault. My lawyer told me “Even if you don’t fire your gun, if you draw it in public your life will never be the same.” It’s too bad our officials aren’t held to the same standards as cc holders. The paranoia of the antis far exceeds any factual irresponsibility of the average gun owner.

    • +1
      I have bandied around phrases like ‘ego free entity,’ and ‘wall flower’ to describe what a responsible CC’er should behave like. You are spot on with the idea that a armed person will let more slights go right on by, because there is zero justice in sweating out the petty things.

    • +1 be the gray man. tip from col grossman “bullet proof mind” seminar: keep hand on holstered gun until condition red. helps avoid blue on blue.

    • Another +1 here. I have told people people at church that if you want to know what true Christian behavior is like carry a gun. You do a lot of cheek turning because any confrontation can go south in a hurry.

  7. +1
    If the day ever comes when I have to shoot someone, that will be the worst day of my life, and the start of the worst year or two.

    However, I do have Self Defense Situational Awareness

    Self Defense Situational Awareness = Be polite to everyone you meet, but have a plan to kill them.

    • And I plead for a fifth!! ;)!
      Having been in 2 DGU’s I can tell you first hand the preparing, planning and thinking it through over and over does make a difference in the outcome most of the time.
      The after is where it gets the worst. Being aware of every word you say, how you describe the incident, how you act and behave during questioning and especially in court can all make or break you being found not guilty in a otherwise justified shooting.
      The dreams and nightmares about it I guess never really go completely away but they do seem to be less frequent over time.
      Never want it to happen again but will always try to be ready for it if it does.
      Pray for the best but expect the worst.
      Have a plan and stick to it but be flexible too!!

      • You were involved in two DGUs? You don’t have to go into detail about either, but are you a police officer or a regular citizen? Were you injured?

        • Regular civvie. Both were while I was in the military. Poor Private E1 and living in a rough neighborhood cause couldn’t afford better at the time(first one).
          Second was after I had moved up and was actually in a decent neighborhood, just a couple thugs that thought they could make a quick buck robbing me while I was under my car working on it.
          The first ended in the BG dying, the second ended with two 17 yr old punks in the hospital for a short stay.
          Having taken the first ones life still bothers me but I made my peace with God.
          I have killed people in combat but the DGU is a whole different ball of wax so to speak. The aftermath was worse than I could imagine but my(now ex wife) and 11 month old son were unharmed and that was all that mattered.

  8. If the answer is “no”, gun owners will honestly answer “no”.

    If the answer is “yes”, gun owners will lie and say “no”.

  9. A dear friend in LE came very close to using his piece of Austrian perfection once. I told him I was glad he didn’t have to, but I was happy I thought he could. I think of it they same way for myself. I am armed because even the lightest cops are hard to carry and even harder to conceal, and a “security contractor” is not in my budget. I was raised being told that I should never start a fight, but I could finish as many as I wanted. If I’m fighting for my life or someone else’s, I will do my best to stop the threat. Center mass, two shots minimum, repeat as needed.

  10. Man you guys blow me away (no pun intended) with some of your posts…I guess that’s why I keep reading. Well done….anyway, I’ll answer with a simple hell no. I don’t dream or long for the day that I must shoot anyone. I dream of owning and enjoying many unique and extraordinary firearms. I would agree with most above in that any responsible owner is prepared and humble. But never wants it to happen.

  11. Call me crazy but I often actually pray that I will never have to point my firearm at another person or shoot at someone. I’m a former Marine and was lucky enough to never see combat so I have no doubt that if TSHTF my training will take over but it would be a horrible day followed by several years of sadness. The thought that I may have to use a gun for defense bothers me but the thought of someone having my daughter grow up without a father or someone trying to hurt my family makes carrying an easy decision.

    • Average_Casey, you’re not crazy; you have had to decide how you would deal with having to take someone out. I was Navy and eligible for assignment to the Fleet Marine Force as a combatant. Your training would “kick in” but you know you would still have to deal with the consequences. I find some consolation in Massad Ayoob’s comment that the ONLY thing worse than having to take the life of another human being is being in a situation where it is necessary, and not being able to do so because you don’t have the will or the means.

  12. That small, small part of my brain that screams “Die Hard” and John Wayne says Yes. But the rational side says that Hollywood lies and sucks and there is no such thing as real Hollywood gunfights. So, No, not really.

  13. “I see nothing wrong with fantasizing about defending life and limb with a firearm. I see it as positive visualisation (as opposed to negative paranoia).”

    Nope, I do NOT fantasize about being in a DGU, I do think about it in the same way I think (and plan) for bad weather, or for that dreaded vacation to see family that you don’t really like, but feel obligated to see every few years. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be necessary at all, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

  14. Hell no. I’ve been on the two way range enough and it sucks hard. No way in hell would I ever WANT to have it happen, if there was any way to avoid it.

    I have firearms for a few reasons – I like the challenge of getting that projectile onto it’s target repeatedly – I realize that there are a crapload of two legged predators out there, and I aim to defend myself and my loved ones to the bitter end – and last, but not least, for food procurement.

    I would dearly love to pare that down to two reasons only, and dump any need to carry or consider defensive needs against my fellow human, but that’s not reality.

  15. Before I joined the Army I was a fireman (yes I’m old, I was a FIREMAN, not a firefighter in those politically incorrect days). We looked forward to fires. It was what we trained to do, what some guys lived for. I remember my first working fire like it was yesterday (man I am old…it was in 1983). Despite the fact that someone was having the worst day their life, it was the most exciting day of mine.

    I felt the same way before Desert Storm. I was a high speed, low drag, bad ass paratrooper. I looked forward to seeing if I was as well trained as I thought. Then I got shot at. I realized that there were a million Iraqis who wanted to kill me. Then we hit the first T55. I watched flames and no crew boil out of all three hatches. We started to cheer…then my gunner reminded us that there were four dudes just like us who just died in that tank.

    Since then I’ve been in a lot more firefights. I’ve seen Americans, Somalis, Afghans and Iraqis die. Not a single one was a heroic (or stoic) Hollywood death for God and Country. I’m not proud of any of them, and the best thing about being close to retirement is I never have to see another one again.

    Occasionally I still have nightmares about that very first tank burning in the desert. (Al Stewart made it sound so poetic in Roads To Moscow…. “Two broken Tigers on fire in the night, flicker their souls to the wind”…in reality there’s nothing pretty about it.) I know the responsibility every time I strap a pistol to my belt. I pray I won’t have to use it, but I pray that if I do I am ready and capable. I would rather mourn someone else than one of my family members.

    That’s the long answer. The short answer is no. No I don’t.

  16. I own a firearm and train because I want to be prepared for the worst. However, I am always hoping for the best. I’ve been in enough life threatening situations that I’m not really looking to add “been in a gunfight” to the list. 20 years ago I might have sang a different tune if I was being honest.

  17. Thinking about and trying to prepare yourself for ghastly contingencies is not the same as fantasizing about hurting or killing another human being. No fantasies here, just some very unpleasant what-ifs.

  18. I have owned and actively shot guns for nearly five decades. In that time I have never pointed or fired a gun at another Human Being, nor ever seriously wanted to. I don’t even fantasize about shooting “Zombies” (but I have played First Person Shooter Video Games, so maybe that’s a sort of fantasy activity).

    That being said, I have thought about what I would do in such a situation very seriously and tried to visualize what the criteria would be to commit to a DGU and I believe I have got it clear in my mind what the situations would be.

    For me, guns have always been a recreational tool first. I was more interested in how firearms do what they do and the history of their development. Of course, I found target shooting to be relaxing and just plain fun. I do not hunt, nor have any arguments with anyone else who does.

    So, my answer is a truthful “No!” I do not want to ever have to shoot another person, but “Yes” I think I have a clear idea of what situation(s) would force me to do so (and recognize I’ll have to deal with the emotional and life impacts afterwards as best I can).

    I practice Situational Awareness (even though in my State there’s practically no chance of a person like me getting a CCW and hence I am never carrying in public) and I firmly believe in Issac Asimov’s prescription “Violence is the last resort of incompetence.” which I use as a guiding principle for my conduct in public.

    And, finally, “Yes, my farts smell.”

  19. I find myself constantly analyzing what I would do if that guy over there decided to rob this store or restaurant or bank, or looking around for potential weapons if I am not armed. I don’t consider that fantasy, I consider it situational awareness.

  20. What do gun-grabbers fantasize and suggest gun-owners do if confronted with a kill or be-killed scenario when no level of cooperation with an attacker will keep that person(s) from their intent to kill?

    • Call 911. Also, remember that those attackers are probably just reacting to something you or someone like you has done to them, their family, their nation, their ethnicity, or fill in the blank, at some time in the past. So it’s just the way karma works. Those poor disadvantaged attackers are justified in their thinking, so just hunker down and take it. /sarcasm off

  21. I have six fire extinguishers in the house, took CPR, know how to Heimlich myself against a chair, and am considering buying a defibrillator, and automatic fire suppression system for the furnace room. Do I think about fires, cardiac arrest, and choking by myself? Yes. How about discharging a ‘Non-restricted Firearm’ (in Canada, shotguns can be stored unloaded and unlocked, without trigger locks, unlike handguns) into a home-invader? Yes–though I’d rather indefinitely postpone the opportunity to use these tools in anger.

  22. There’s denial, there’s anticipation (which is what RF describes) and then there’s the state of mind I strive for in all matters of preparedness: acceptance.

    By thinking through a risk, and accepting that it is real and that it is my responsibility to prepare for that risk, I can then strive to move on to the state of open mind which expects nothing but is prepared for whatever happens. It’s a core concept in serious martial arts, and one that has utility in many areas of my life.

  23. Is there some part of me that dreams of a defensive gun use? Not at all.

    I do prepare both physically and mentally how to defend myself if someone attacks me. And part of the mental preparation is visualizing scenarios and how to respond.

    I hope I never have to use my firearms to defend myself.

  24. Yeah, I get what Robert’s going for here, but “dream” probably isn’t the way I would describe it. I’ve never had to send metal down range to protect myself, but I have shouldered my shotgun and scared all-living-hell out of an uninvited late night guest on my back patio a few years back. Oddly enough, the only thing I remember actually thinking? “Damn, If he comes any closer, I’m going to need a new sliding door…” The adrenaline for the first few seconds after were pretty damn intoxicating, I won’t lie. After the adrenaline dump, though, any illusions to how “bad-ass” that might have been were replaced with me thanking God I stayed up to watch a little TV, or that the girlfriend was out of of town, and so on.
    Since then, I have those occasional not-quite-alsleep dozing moments where you hear something that your brain amplifies +10 and sends you into condition red for a few seconds. When those happen, I generally go through the playbook, once in a while even heading downstairs with a weapon drawn, only to go back upstairs and sleep pretty well the rest of the night. So, I’m not sure that a part of me doesn’t dream of using one of my guns to protect my family, but the thought of knowing that I could and would if I had to does make me sleep a little easier.

  25. I have very good homeowner, auto, healthcare and life insurance policies. They cost me money and there’s some paperwork. I prefer not to ever have to use them. But I’m happy they’re there just in case, just like with my gun. If I never file an auto insurance claim or need to fire a gun to protect myself I won’t be disappointed.

  26. Do I dream of it? No. Do I expect it? Yes, at some point, from one avenue or another. Will I enjoy it? Hell no. It will be the worst day of my life to that point.

    • Teenage mistress and wealth, in that order? Oh Yeah!! Man, I tell you what, some of those highschool senior girls are are awe inspiringly hot! They are built for speed, but at my age about all I can keep up with is a woman built for comfort. A guy can dream, though. Lol About the question above, heck no. I do maintain situational awareness and try to figure out what I would do if that guy over there started something.

  27. I hope my firearms, fire extinguishers, smoke/CO detectors, seat belts, etc., are never needed. I realize and understand they may become necessary; that’s why I have them. In a few actual (thankfully infrequent) dreams about such things, I’ve found myself feeling barely adequate in the situation. At least, I guess, I’m not “compensating” for anything. 🙂

  28. Yes. To put that in to perspective, it is something I train for and part of me wishes to actually put my skills to the test rather than have all that time and effort waste away. It is very similar to my time in the Marine Corps, train, train, train, and train some more… only to never engage the enemy… As helicopter aircrew there was always a chance of being engaged, especially when inserting or extracting grunts, but I realize now I should have signed up for infantry…

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