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#130652 - 04/20/08 10:46 PM Mental Prepardness
LeeG Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I seem to spend a fair amount of time doing 'what if' thinking. During commutes, boring meetings, or other times you have to be somewhere physically but not mentally. I'll pick a topic and think about what my response should be. Then I'll change some variables and think about how that would affect my initial response. Sometimes I will even go through the motions of a response to see if things worked in real life like I thought they would.

Professionals in all sorts of physical activities train so they have 'default moves' - the thing to do when you don't have time to decide what to do. The more things you have a well defined default action for, the better off you will be.

Now for an example. You are driving and you look to one side and see someone in an adjacent car pointing a gun at you. What do you do? Do you do it something different in heavy or light traffic? Stopped at a light. Passengers in your car? Freeway or City streets?

I had this happen to me about 15 years ago. He was in center lane, I was in right lane. He'd been tailgating me for several blocks and finally pulled along side. I looked over to see a pistol pointed at me. I was at an intersection, so I hit the brakes and made a quick right turn and another a few blocks down and the guy never caught up to me (pre cell phone days). Was what I did necessary? I have no idea, but I do know I didn't get shot.

I have survived three mugging attempts, one office rampage (ex-employee came in with a gun and was waving it around), and numerous cases of idiocy on the road - all without mishap and largely because of having thought about what my reactions would be in advance.

Does anyone else do this sort of thing?

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#130658 - 04/20/08 11:38 PM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: LeeG]
Katie Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By: LeeG
I have survived three mugging attempts, one office rampage (ex-employee came in with a gun and was waving it around), and numerous cases of idiocy on the road - all without mishap and largely because of having thought about what my reactions would be in advance.


So, what did you do when your coworker went postal? I was working in a lab once where an ex-employee called in a bomb threat, but we all just shrugged and kept on working. Nobody was willing to abandon their experiments, knowing how much time it would take to set it up again. Perhaps this wasn't a particularly smart decision, but this was pre-Oklahoma City, and bombings just weren't part of my threat model.

I was trading stories with a coworker who also professed a fear of flying. I told her that I hated being stuck in a tin can with 200 other people for four hours. She told me the last flight she was on was hijacked. I couldn't top that.

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#130666 - 04/21/08 01:14 AM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: LeeG]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I think that mental prepardness is a very important thing, right alongside of physical training, 'cuz when bad things happen you tend to go with what you have trained to do, be it physical or mental.

As for the guy alongside waving a gun, in my opinion hitting the brakes is the proper thing to do. Every time I see something on TV or a movie where the victim hits the gas I crack up. Why would anyone want to stay in front of a badguy with a gun???
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OBG

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#130677 - 04/21/08 02:39 AM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: OldBaldGuy]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I gotta go with OBG on this. Just tap the breaks (or lock them up if you want. watch out for the jerk tailgating you). A few quick turns, you're hopefully in the clear.

Or, maybe OBG can have us all meet him somewhere in the Central US, and give us a "how to" on the PIT manuever!

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#130678 - 04/21/08 02:57 AM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: MDinana]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
PIT'n is a hoot! But we use your cars for the training...
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OBG

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#130683 - 04/21/08 04:56 AM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: OldBaldGuy]
LeeG Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Katie,

The company I worked for at the time had a large number of employees, but only a small office staff. This was about the time where a few postal workers had their at work issues, thus coining the phrase. So I got to thinking about what to do, and then talked to the owner of the company about it. We sat down with police officer he knew and we worked out a plan. Basically there were a few of us in the office that were well trained with firearms (including the owner). The plan was after calling 911, he would talk to the person and try to diffuse the situation until the cops arrived. One of us others would be nearby and armed so if the guy did start shooting before the cops arrived, we would respond appropriately.

Fortunately, the only time the incident happened, the owner was able to keep the guy calm and get him to surrender his weapon before the police arrived.


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#130687 - 04/21/08 11:27 AM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: LeeG]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yep, driving home from the store yesterday in the right lane, I had a guy cut in front of me, no signal, maybe a foot of clearance, then he slowed down. Had to get on the brakes to avoid rear-ending him. Had I my pistol with me at the time, you can be sure it would've been in my hand. My reasoning is that vehicles can be come quite effective lethal weapons when abused, much the same as many other things, and actions such as these I perceive as a direct threat and will react accordingly. As it was, the guy took a right turn at the next block. I waved a big California Howdy his direction and went on my merry way.

I don't tolerate threats well I guess.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#130700 - 04/21/08 02:07 PM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: benjammin]
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
You've got to be kidding me. This is overreaction not unlike the hiker at the trailhead death.

Originally Posted By: benjammin
Yep, driving home from the store yesterday in the right lane, I had a guy cut in front of me, no signal, maybe a foot of clearance, then he slowed down... Had I my pistol with me at the time, you can be sure it would've been in my hand. My reasoning is that vehicles can be come quite effective lethal weapons when abused, much the same as many other things, and actions such as these I perceive as a direct threat and will react accordingly.

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#130707 - 04/21/08 03:57 PM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: jshannon]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Nope, no kidding.

Each of us has our own life experiences to rely on. Get threatened with being run over or off the road a couple times, and it might change any person's perspective.

Note that I didn't escalate the situation, merely prepared for the worst. After all, we do need to be a bit sensible about these things. Besides, I doubt if he or anyone else saw my gesture. More for my benefit and closure on the situation.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#130730 - 04/21/08 09:02 PM Re: Mental Prepardness [Re: jshannon]
Katie Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By: jshannon
You've got to be kidding me. This is overreaction not unlike the hiker at the trailhead death.


Do you have a link to the hiker at the trailhead death thread? I missed it.

Originally Posted By: benjamin
Had I my pistol with me at the time, you can be sure it would've been in my hand.


I can't think of anything more dangerous in a near-collision situation than reaching for a gun instead of keeping both hands on the wheel.

Originally Posted By: benjamin
Each of us has our own life experiences to rely on. Get threatened with being run over or off the road a couple times, and it might change any person's perspective.


Having been run off the road in the past, and having been almost run over more times than I can count (I live in Boston, it's almost an everyday occurrence), I still don't understand your point. Even if you're in a situation where you're a pedestrian and someone is deliberately trying to run you down with their car, introducing a gun into the situation is bringing the proverbial knife to the gunfight.


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