PART TWO: What Does It Take To Be A CQB Gunfighter?
Speaking in a mundane sense, a good CQB pistol gunfighter needs to be unfettered by most, if not all, extraneous intellectual considerations. He has to be ready, willing, and able to end life in, (quite literally) 'the blink of an eye'.
A talented CQB pistol gunfighter doesn't need to be particularly honest; he doesn't need to be particularly intelligent; and, especially in today's world, he doesn't even have to be especially morally inclined. In fact, while there are exceptions, it's been my general experience that most people who wield guns, today, possess few of these admirable personal virtues. (You can see this predominant intellectual phenomenon in action, right here, on Glock Talk just about every time you visit!)
People, today, are taught to be largely passive and almost entirely reactive. Political correctness rather than traditional biblical morality, now, dominates everybody's public lives. The problem is that none of these politically correct, passive states-of-mind will help to keep you alive during a violent CQB pistol gunfight. Here your very first instinct, your very first action, must be exactly the correct response. When you're, 'one-on-one with guns' any mental waffling, or tractable emotional passivity will get you very quickly killed!
(David, the greatest king of ancient Israel, was acknowledged by God to be a righteous man. David remained acceptable to God until the night that he took Bathsheba and, thereafter, murdered Uriah, her lawful husband. Make no mistake: King David was an accomplished destroyer of tens of thousands of: men, women, and children; yet David remained without a culpable moral blemish before The Lord God Of Israel UNTIL he committed his first murder! THINK about that!)
What you have to be, what you have to do, in order to survive in the midst of a split-second, life or death gunfight is to be focused, FOCUSED, on the immediate task of simply staying alive -
IN MORTAL COMBAT YOU MUST STOP YOUR ATTACKER BEFORE HE STOPS YOU; AND THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IF THE BAD GUY IS WIELDING A GUN.
As for myself, personally? I like to think that, at one time or another, in addition to being a competent gunfighter I have, also, been able to exhibit all of these other civilized, 'noble virtues' - Just NOT while gunfighting.
During a CQB pistol gunfight: A, 'cold mind'; a steady hand; a, 'hard focus' on the target; and an unfettered willingness to end life are, all, highly desirable personal assets. The right psychological attitude DOES make a difference! Without the exercise of these savvy personal attributes pistol gunfighting becomes an act of mere circumstance where almost anything might happen. To paraphrase Dr. Walter Prescott Webb’s sage aphorism;
'IT IS THE ABSENCE OF FEAR RATHER THAN THE PRESENCE OF COURAGE THAT UNIVERSALLY CHARACTERIZES A TRUE GUNFIGHTER.'
One thing's for certain: All guns have the real world ability to instantaneously reach out and end life. In contrast to Dr. Webb's statement I'm going to offer: In a CQB pistol gunfight, if you aren’t passionately angry then you are going to be gunfighting at a distinct personal disadvantage in, both, time and opportunity.
Now, while I would be (and hope I am) among the last people to advocate any sort of immoral behavior, at the same time, I realize that a hesitant or waffling mentality is antithetical to successfully surviving a gunfight. The key - the secret - to successful CQB pistol gunfighting is to be able to instantly acquire a clear mental, and cold emotional, 'HARD FOCUS' on the task-at-hand. (A mental and emotional attitude that rises above the violence with which you are confronted, OK!)
Even fear might be acceptable as long as you are able to control it! Anger - while, perhaps, atypical for you - remains an absolute emotional necessity! The only other thing I’ll add is that every talented pistolero needs to know when to put his (otherwise genuinely useful) combat emotions to rest.
Ancient Roman gladiators - Men who had no choice other than to, ‘steel themselves’ and fight to the death - also had trouble with letting go of their occasionally necessary hard combat focus. Today, the same psychological phenomenon is referred to as, ‘PTSD’.
(This is, ‘Why’ I’ve never seen any glory in violent conflict. All violence is sordid, and (fortunately) doesn't usually occur too often. As much as any other Christian, I, too, long for the day when, ‘The lion will lie down with the lamb.’ In the meantime, though, this remains the, 'devil's world'; and it's incumbent to know how to correctly handle a self-defense handgun - NOT just mechanically, but: tactically, mentally, and emotionally, as well.)
It doesn't take much to realize that CQB pistol gunfighting can be a very dirty business! Here, are a few stories about a number of the Old West's most famous (or infamous) gunfighters. Truly by no stretch of the imagination were any of these Old West gunfighters, ‘saints’. This web article is all about: cold, hard, ruthless and cruel, CQB pistol gunfighters! Cold, often morally obtuse, men who simply knew how to, 'work a gun' against other equally angry, ‘hard men’ while they were, 'up close and personal'.
When everything is said and done it all comes down to the individual demonstration of:
(1) Well developed CQB personal skill sets, along with
(2) An almost instantaneous willingness-to-act, and
(3) A sudden, 'hard focus' on the target, and
(4) Anger - Yes, anger! (Hopefully a self-disciplined, controlled, and controllable emotional anger that is not beyond otherwise reasonable virtue.)
These are the only sure and certain personal attributes that are genuinely able to keep you alive inside of a split-second, life or death, CQB pistol gunfight.
If you require a strong visual image of these individual characteristics in action, remember the Hollywood movie, 'Heat'; and think about the curious psychological relationship that existed between Police Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), and arch-criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro); i.e., 'If that moment ever comes I will not hesitate, not for one moment, to shoot you!' ('Heat' was well written. McCauley showed the audience that he definitely KNEW what he was talking about. Too bad for him, though, that - in an apparent flicker of maudlin sentiment - he didn't take his own advice!)