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Mikeb302000 has deigned to bless us with his presence again, adding his unique perspective on questions of firearms responsibility and legislative control. Back on his own site, Mikeb’s posted a clip of Robert Diro’s famous “Are you talking to me?” monologue from Taxi Driver underneath the headline “The Great Fantasy of All Gun Owners. Obviously, the gun control advocate wants some goats trip trapping on his bridge. And yet I think it’s a legitimate question. Because yes, I do “fantasize” about using my gun in a self-defense scenario . . .

When I’m out and about, I run through possible “challenges” in my mind, and my potential responses. Which do not include unnecessary confrontations, clever quips or thankful citizens. I scan for danger, plan my exit, check for cover and concealment, etc. Truth be told, I “what if” all the time. I’ve even trained myself to look at people’s hands first, then center mass, then their face.

Mikeb302000 considers this sort of thing a sign of gunloon paranoia, dangerous immaturity and barely repressed blood lust. I consider it . . . relaxing. Seriously. Once I assess my situation, I can “stand down” and chill, maintaining as much situational awareness as the situation demands.

As Providence Concealed Carry Permit Holder Number 20 (as in 20 in the history of Providence), I’m not surprised that I’ve only seen one other person scanning and planning. That may have been a gay thing. (No harm, no foul.) But I reckon members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia practice mental rehearsal all the time—without the Hollywood hysterics. Well do ya punk?

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  1. Thanks for admitting it’s a fair question. And, yes I think in many cases it goes far beyond the oh-so-reasonable description you gave us of situational awareness.

  2. Of course CC’ers fantasize about using their firearms on bad guys. This is the source of the many false tales of armed defense you can find all over the Internet and elsewhere. These events never happened, which means people made them up, obviously. Fantasies are exactly what these stories are. A dream is just a wish your heart makes.

    It takes a rich fantasy life for the average citizen to carry a gun in the first place, because the chances of ever getting to use it are remote in the extreme.

    • This is the source of the many false tales of armed defense you can find all over the Internet and elsewhere.

      Yeah, thankfully the police and media are so willing to lie to help provide a supporting cover story for those “false tales”.

      “These events never happened, which means people made them up, obviously. ”

      Yep, including the medical examiners who lie about those killed by CCW holders, and those crooks are even willing to fake being shot and serve serious prison time for events that never happened.

      It takes a rich fantasy life for the average citizen to carry a gun in the first place, because the chances of ever getting to use it are remote in the extreme.

      The statistics on the frequency of violent crime stand in stark contrast to your naive foolish world view. The odds of a citizen being struck by lightning are remote – the odds of being subjected to a rape attempt are far higher.

      • Where did I say that gun owners don’t successfully use firearms to defend themselves? Of course they do. However, a number of gun owners also fantasize about such events that never occur. You can find these invented stories all over the Internet.

        To Farago’s great credit, TTAG has published some of these stories here for study. TTAG’s mission statement: “to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.” Sounds good to me.

  3. I actually don’t yet have a CCW license, (class coming april 2) but even being trained in Muay Thai and CSF, I always scan and trace my surroundings for exits, weapons, cover, possible perps, etc. Especially when with my family. It’s my responsibility to protect them. Why wouldn’t I run the scenario through my mind “just in case”?

    It’s like the old story of the basketball team that was told to imagine shooting free throws for a period of time while the other was told to practice actually shooting for that same period of time. Then, when test time came, the team that imagined, shot a huge percentage while the team with all the shots paled in comparison. Maybe, it was the power of the mind forcing the body to react and move in accordance to the “perfect” shot they’d no doubt been imagining, while the other group had thoughts of the ones they missed in their heads.

    Not to say that one shouldn’t practice but the mind has incredible power and can influence muscle reaction when it’s trained as well as the hands. Physical practice is a must but should always come with mental practice.

  4. So i guess my options are, stick my head in the sand and pretend nothing will ever happen to me, leaving me unprepared and untrained to deal with any emergency, or to think about it first and pre-plan my options, leaving me open to be called Walter Mitty.

    Well, you know what they say, it’s better to be despised by the despicable…

    There is nothing that a coward hates more than the brave man. They have to hate, otherwise they would have to acknowledge their own cowardice.

    • And not only will you be called Walter Mitty, you’ll be accused of making up “false tales”, even though citizens lawfully defending themselves with firearms is an almost daily occurrence.

      I’m with you, though… If it comes down to succumbing to the childish namecalling of blowhard cowards or ensuring that my family and I would be capable of defending ourselves if the horrifying need to do so every presented itself, there really isn’t any question at all, is there?

      • Sure, there are many true stories of people properly defending themselves with firearms. And many false ones. And there are many true stories about people using firearms to get themselves into trouble they could have easily avoided in the first place. And around 200,000 injuries due to accidental shootings per year.

        People being struck by lightning is “a daily occurence” — 600 per year. However, with a few simple measures I can reduce my personal risk to essentially zero. Consequently, being struck by lightning is not one of my personal fears.

        • False analogy. But it’s very likely you knew that before you even said it… By and large, you can predict, relatively well, when and where lightning will be striking – at least within a general area.

          Can you accurately and reliably predict when and where criminals will be striking? Because, if you can, why are you wasting your time at this webpage – get out there and start helping your local police force!

          Of course, it’s interesting that you have yet to provide any kind of evidence to support your “many false ones” claim… That claim is irrelevant – it doesn’t matter how many “false” claims of self defense there are – but still interesting. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how many accidents there are, either – my rights are not subject to other people’s negligence. But, hey, you keep fearmongering and trying to infect other people with your cowardice – maybe it will catch on!

        • On the flip side, I just realized something… You indicated that you’d prefer all of those people who did legally defend themselves by using firearms instead be victimized however their assailants preferred, due to your own personal fears about American citizens carry guns.

          I guess I should thank you for making it clear that any further conversations with you on the topic of lawful carrying of arms is completely pointless.

          As to the question, which I just realized I’d neglected to answer, looking past MikeB’s attempt to poison the well through his choice of that colorful word, yes, I do think about the possibility of having to defend myself and my family. I’d hardly be maintaining situation awareness if I didn’t.

        • However, with a few simple measures I can reduce my personal risk to essentially zero.

          Lightning doesn’t stalk you, it doesn’t break and enter into your house, and it won’t carjack you when you least expect it.

  5. Dean, I don’t consider myself a coward at all, or the least bit passive in regard to my personal protection. I take all the same measures to protect my safety as any CC’er, and as you know, common sense and situational awareness are far more critical than the firearm itself. To me, the firearm is one of the more limited and least useful tools at one’s disposal.

    • I take all the same measures to protect my safety as any CC’er, and as you know, common sense and situational awareness are far more critical than the firearm itself.

      What does your common sense and situational awareness tell you to do when the four armed men are demanding you watch your wife be raped before they kill you both?

  6. I do not fantasize about shooting bad guys, or any guys for that matter. However, I do fantasize about welcoming Magoo and Mikey into the fold. I know, I know. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day they’ll join us, and the wo-o-o-orld will live as one.

    • Years ago I had a carry permit but hardly used it — and at the time, I had far more need of a firearm for protection than I have today. Given my current lifestyle and occupation, I can’t imagine why I would need to carry a handgun. If I didn’t need it then I sure don’t need it now. I guess I just don’t get the thrill from it that some people do. To me it’s only a pain in the ass.

      To me, maybe people carry to make everyday existence more interesting. When I go to the store, I go to the store. When you guys go to the store, you are off on another exciting mission.

      • You’re projecting. I’m going to the store too. I’m just doing what I need to do to increase my chances of returning. And making sure my kids and wife can go to the store without having to worry about going to the store.

        Rest assured, as an ex-world traveller, I know the difference between a fundamentally safe and unsafe environment. But I also know that random violence can occur anywhere, anytime. I’ve seen it many, many times. I don’t wish it to occur. But if it does, I’m going to be ready. I still might “lose” but I will be ready.

        • I wish you had told me about this holster thing sooner Ralph, I’m sure it would have helped my sore A**.

  7. I wish there was a better word for it than “fantasize”. That term seems to lend a certain illegitimacy to what I would consider being responsible. Responsible gun carriers should be considering what their response would be should something bad start to happen. To not consider ways to use your surroundings or how to react if the need arises to protect yourself or your family is dumb.

    So, yes, I”fantasize”. I fantasize to keep my family safe, I fantasize because I know that simply having a gun with me is not the whole answer, I fantasize because at the end of the day I’d rather be called “paranoid” then end up dead due to bad planning.

  8. Most of my fantasies involve Salma Hayek, fresh whipped cream and a large plate of cuchifritos — but that’s just me.

  9. Nope, I have never “fantasized”, day dreamed or mentally played out scenarios in my about shooting anyone.

    I actively watch for risks and that awareness keeps me out of all sorts of trouble. Last week I managed to keep me and my kid from being squashed in a parking lot as an old lady backed out of a parking spot at full speed, guessed that a barking dog that ran up to me wasn’t going to attack (the wagging tail gave it away) and managed to avoid breaking my ankle by NOT stepping in a deep pot hole right next to the curb. All that while also keeping an eye out for falling objects, on coming traffic and yes weapon toting assailants.

    Being aware and prepared for extreme threats doesn’t mean I really want to shoot someone, it means I really don’t want to get killed.

    BTW: I also carry a flashlight. What movie fantasy does that indicate I want to act out in real life?

  10. Magoo’s right. You guys are always out on special ops, even buying a quart of milk for the kids’ cereal.

    Jayson summed it up for the rest of you. “Nope, I have never “fantasized”, day dreamed or mentally played out scenarios in my about shooting anyone.”

    Some of you others don’t go quite that far, you just insist it’s not living in a fantasy world, it’s maintaining good situational awareness.

    But you know what’s missing. No one admits to having acted out in front of the mirror or having gotten a bit carried away with the fantasies maybe in the beginning until you got over it. None of you admit that some guys are too into this shit and that they’re dangerous.

    C’mon guys. I thought you didn’t want an echo chamber around here?

    • You’re going to have to clarify what “fantasize” means in this context.

      Special Ops? I don’t give a damn if you don’t understand our life choices. I do care if you mischaracterize them to other people and perpetuate the culture war your ilk has started. All of this “what does this say about you?” crap is not getting us anywhere. Right now there are over 3 million permit holders going around their daily business, hanging out with their friends and families and being of no harm to anybody.

      Some of these permit holders do have other interests outside of firearms and self defense, but they probably don’t admit it to anyone else outside the firearm circle for fear of being character assassinated by twits from your side constantly poisoning the well.

      If you’re talking fantasies where you have to rehearse the moves in your head or in dry practice so you don’t forget and potentially mess up (after all, you should be competent with your firearm so you don’t ruin it for the rest of us) then perhaps “fantasies” is probably the wrong word to use.

      Once again.

      If you do not pose an imminent threat to yourself or others around you, and if your social and occupational functioning is not impaired, why should YOU worry? When you go around telling lies about us, it doesn’t get you far.

  11. It appears to me that mikeb302000 & Magoo are mistaking situational awareness & preparedness for some kind of daydreaming.
    It may be fine & good to wander through life in Condition White but that’s the same as not having a smoke alarm “because my home has never set on fire.”
    It isn’t fantasizing to take the time to consider one’s options in a potentially life threatening situation; it’s common sense.

  12. It may just be semantics, but I believe words carry implied meanings as well as specific definitions. To “fantasize” holds conotations of experiencing enjoyment or taking pleasure in your imaginings. I think a more accurate description of what gun owners do is “mental visualization” in order to be fully prepared to counteract unjust aggression. That visualization done at home, in relative safety, allows us to never be caught unaware or by suprise when faced with a real threat.

  13. I concur. Just like a basketball player does visualization every night about making free throws. Visualizing a perfect draw stroke, yelling “STOP!”, moving off the X, focusing on the front sight with a smooth trigger press is an essential mental preparation. It doesn’t matter what, if any, mental scenario is imagined; practicing good gun mechanics in your mind helps solidify your physical training.

  14. I think it’s a valid question to ask. People who choose to carry everyday day are overwhelmingly male, and most could be described as “macho.” I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t choose to carry (though I may get a permit eventually, just to have the option), but I feel safer overall knowing that other people are carrying. Are there dangerous people who legally carry? Of course there are, but not many, and too many of those few are cops.

    Whenever this question (or similar) of “fantasizing about shooting a creep” comes up, gun owners tend to get pretty defensive, and go on about “situational awareness” and “protecting my family.” These are valid points, but I doubt most of those guys spend hours thinking about how to drive safely, or buying the safest possible car with the most airbags, much less healthy eating habits and regular exercise. I think we should be honest about the fact that guns have an attraction all their own, and that that attraction does have to do with power. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re hoping to shoot somebody.

  15. Of course, when you stop to consider that Mike is a resident of the UK, you have admit that he has no choice but to be an anti-gunner. He’s just pissed that he can’t own a gun, and wants to make certain that nobody else can either.

    Mike…..move out of that shithole and buy yourself a gun already.

  16. If there was any doubt that gun loons actively fantasize about using their weapons on other people, it was put to rest by the episode of Shooting Gallery that aired last night on the Outdoor Channel. This week’s topic: Zombies. No, really. A how-to on shooting zombies. And despite its alleged April 1 theme, the episode was presented as a justification of Second Amendment rights. That was the windup at the end of the show and the intended takeaway. I am not exaggerating this in any way.

    If you can’t recognize it due to excessive proximity, there is the gun loon mentality on objective display. Take the level of armament and paranoia and direct them at the only scalable target and where does it go? Zombies. Your sport is holding up a mirror, so everyone, have a good look.

  17. I dunno, I have done real-life special ops and I still keep a daily eye out for zombies! As for creeps, thugs and other bad guys-they’re just zombies in training!


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