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If it comes down to it and you fear for your life or that of a loved one, can you actually shoot an attacker? What if your gun jams or you run it empty? Can you get past the ‘ick’ factor and, in Diana Liedorff’s example, jam a pencil in someone’s eye? Nick’s Team FNH USA compadre advises that you think through those scenarios before you’re presented with one. As Jimmy Malone famously asked, what are you prepared to do?

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    • 1+ I agree with USMC_Tanker

      When the choice is between you or me winding up in the hospital/morgue its gonna be you everytime. I pray/hope I dont have to kill someone but if I have to, I have to.

  1. I am confident I could do whatever it takes when my life (or the life of a loved one) is on the line. I hope I’m never forced to do it. But, yes… I have mentally run through scenarios.

  2. If the gun runs out, I’m beating them with the aluminum frame.After that, it’s time for the pocketknife.If that doesnt discourage an attacker, I’ll start breaking every bone I can touch,beginning with the wrists and working my way up from there.

    Brutal stuff, but every person who carries needs to have that internal dialogue.Theres no shame in deciding you can’t take a human life:better to reason it out now then in the Gravest Hour.

  3. This young lady has got some real sand. First, working in that stop-n-rob, mostly, taking a bullet and returning fire, becoming the victor, not the victim.

    Out of the times I’ve been tested, so far I’ve been fortunate. Never had to pull the trigger.
    ST, you are spot on with the self dialogue. Constantly playing out scenarios in ones head is also helpful.

  4. With a gun, yes! With a knife, yes. Sticking a pencil in someone’s eye, maybe. But I hope I can either run away, or even better, make them run away.

  5. Gun runs dry, knife to the juggular or into the heart area. Pull out with force to create bigger wound cavity. Even if you don’t get a straight shot at the heart itself, you can rupture the pericardium. That will at least take most people down if not kill them.

    Gun jams or empty, or lost in a scuffle, no knife, no clubbing implement, I would try to strangle or just snap their necks.

    To weak to fight, perhaps from gunshot wound of my own, only one recourse I taught myself when I was younger. Bite into the artery on the side of their necks and rip with my teeth like crazy, pull out enough they’ll bleed to death in seconds. Disgusting, but it works.

    Therapy comes later.

    • Don’t try to stab someone in the chest in a knife fight. You should try to cut the Carotid, Femoral, or Brachial arteries (neck, crotch and armpit respectively) or stab them in the liver or kidneys. If you stab the chest, it may not even go though the rib cage. If it does penetrate the ribs, the knife will probably get stuck and if you miss the heart, an injury to the lung is not nearly as lethal as the targets mentioned above.

  6. First time, mixed emotions (a) I never wanted to hurt anyone that bad (b) I had no choice :after that it just got easier and easier…

  7. I aways carry a good blade and a Surefire pen and one of their combat flashlights when carrying a gun, Ill use any and all of it, in my defense or defense of another.

  8. I’m prepared to do whatever I have to do. I wouldn’t carry if I wasn’t. I certainly don’t relish the thought of taking a life (unless it’s a hog or a turkey), but if someone is trying to harm me or my loved ones, I’ll hopefully be able to rationalize that the asshole brought it on himself and deal with it.

    I don’t know how I’d feel as I’ve never directly killed anyone before. People I know who have killed others are pretty equally divided; some of them don’t lose any sleep over it, some of them are seriously fvcked up over it. I hope I don’t have to find out how that feels.

    If the gun runs dry or jams, I’m pretty confident in my hand to hand skills, which unless my attacker has a gun, would be my first choice anyways. The pistola is more of a last line of defense. Something really bad would have to be happening for me to draw on another person.

  9. The question is not how far. The question is do you posess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?

  10. An old favorite if someone’s crowding my space is a cigarette in the eye. That will put the strongest man on the ground crying.

  11. Don’t know, won’t know unless I’m in a situation where I have to stick a pencil in an eye, won’t pretend to know until then.

  12. All is fair in Love, War, and Self Defense.
    Knives, Clubs, Pens, Pencils, Bottles, Ashtrays, everything.

    One of my old Co-Workers was almost carjacked on his way to work a few years back; he used an old school heavy ceramic ashtray to beat the living crap out of the robber, he then forced the manual window up on the guys arm and started to drive. Ended up stopping infront of a police station. Thankfully the bad guy wasn’t armed, he just tried to reach in through an open window and grab my co-worker but he did what it took to turn the tables.

  13. I’ve been shot at and I’ve shot back. Nuff said there. I always carried a knife in my military days. Still do. Never stabbed anybody in the eye or elsewhere. Twice i’ve shown my knife and that caused the others to seek adventure elsewhere.

    I have faith that if I’m threatened or someone I care about is threatened I’ll go as far as needed.

    That being said, if I never have to harm another person again so long as I live, I’ll be a happy man.

    • An attitude shared by most who have “seen the elephant”. I work hard to maintain mind, body, and skill to defend if necessary, but I’ll be perfectly happy if I never have to do so ever again.

    • I had a knife on me at all times once. Now I dont, I am happily disarmed. Mainly due to brandishing it in a self defence scenario and having it taken from me.

        • Its as far as I know illegal to carry a knife in a public place, except if you have a good reason. Good reasons are hiking, camping, work etc.

          While I would appreciate one of you sending me a knife, it would be more trouble for me. I still live with my family and my computer is the one I got from secondary school (the school before college but after high school). Which means that having a knife arrive in the mail from a unknown (for them) person would be more trouble for me. Tragically enough since my school can see what I have done on the computer (when I connect to their network which is the only one in school), I have to read TTAG, TFB and other “bad” things in the *incognito* mode of Google Chrome. I also have to download gun related material onto a USB stick (and save the things in a password protected folder, for safetys sake).

          • I think you should ask your “betters”, “what if I find a fish on the street? Do you expect me to eat it whole?”

        • Nah, it ain’t as bad as CA. Here I can own a 100 rd drum, no problem. Go into a store, put cash on the table and point at a suppressor, no problem. If I did that in CA I would get a striped tan. We do have stupid shotgun laws(no detachable mags or out of the box mag capacity over 5 rds). And stupid length laws, 33.5 inches minimum length, compared to Bosnias 24 inches minimum length (12 inch barrel, 12 inch rest).

          I do have to be careful/paranoid but that should be over(partially) when I am done with school and get licenses (to own guns and drive cars).

    • Quite so. A warrior who has seen combat is the last to advocate violence, but can use it again successfully when necessary.

      • lolinski,

        You should come for a visit sometime… shoot some full auto’s, detonate some explosives… hell there should be ammo by then…. otherwise we still have explosives.

        • Shoukd visit sometime, even though I did have fun with full-auto in the old country (in the Balkans) AKs, M16s and MG-42s (havent tried the MG-42).

  14. I would engage my attacker with polite conversation, touching upon science, literature and sociology. Those might be good things for him to know about if he comes back from the dead.

  15. In order to defend myself or others I will do things that are not suitable to be recounted in polite conversation.

    Suffice to say I know a lot about various weak points and how to deal crippling injuries and, if necessary, I will not hesitate to use that knowledge. Thumbs to the eyes, breaking joints, crushing genitals, there is no blow too low when it comes to defending myself.

  16. I am fully prepared to do anything/everything in my power to make it home/ keep my loved ones safe.

    “What if your gun jams or you run it empty?”

    And that’s why I always carry a spare magazine for my .45, and sometimes a backup snubby in addition.

  17. You can think it through all you want. It needs to be thought through, but on one can honestly predict what they’d do until the moment they’re doing it. If you think you know what you’d do, you’re fooling yourself.

  18. I will do what I have to. That’s really all I can say. That, and I pray every day I never have to do so.

  19. I cc because if I’m ever in a situtation to save a life, my loved ones and my own especially, I want the tools to do that. I know I wouldnt be able to live with myself it if I didnt give myself that option.

    That said, I worry because in college I learned that when startled or pressed my go to instinct was to spear tackle and grapple. The choke was effective so I have no qualms about that. My concern is recognizing the threat early enough to be the one overwhelming the other with force and violence. My instinctive reaction is not very tactically sound against most weapons blunt, powder filled or Sharp. I have no qualms about escalating the violence, I do worry that I won’t do it quickly enough, or in a tactically wise manner.

  20. If you threaten my wife or son, I will do whatever it takes to stop you. If I survive, great, but they’re my primary concern. You don’t even register. I’m expendable in that circumstance.

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