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Ears and Flight or Fight

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by jmsfmtex, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Mr. Ayoob,

    I posted this elsewhere and received no responses. Would you enlighten me please?

    I would like to hear from those that had to fire their weapons during a stressful time. As we all know you should always wear ear protection when firing a gun. But when the police have to fire their weapons they do not have ear muffs on. Is it that under stress the body closes down a portion of the ear in a "flight or fight" condition? I know there must be some impact but is it the same as when on the firing line?
     
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    A majority of gunfight survivors report auditory exclusion or muting: they do not hear the shots at all, or hear them as soft "pops." Audiologists tell me there is no mechanism in the human ear that can be responsible for that, and it is generally attributed to "cortical perception." That is, when the brain goes into survival mode it screens out our conscious awareness of things not immediately essential to survival. Many hunters have had similar experiences when shooting their quarry without hearing protection.

    Some report that their ears weren't ringing afterward, but few people listen for that after a near-death experience and they might simply not have noticed.

    I've run across cases of serious hearing loss from a gunfight, usually in tight spaces where sound reverberated: One of those guys fired a .44 Magnum in a narrow corridor of a warehouse packed with boxes, and another used a .357 Magnum in a concrete stairwell: killed his opponent, but also killed some of his own hearing.

    I do keep some active hearing protection by the bed, near the home defense gun. If time allows, it only takes a couple of seconds to put them on.

    Make a strong mental plan not to hesitate to shoot when you need to shoot because of hearing concerns. A bit of hearing loss is a cheap price to pay for survival.

    We'll hear nothing at all in the grave.

    best,
    Mas
     


  3. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It was extremely informative.
     
  4. RussP

    RussP Moderator

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    Mas, when you say "active hearing protection", do you mean ear muffs that allow or amplify ambient sounds yet reduce hazardous sounds like gunshots?

    And a follow-up, why is active hearing protection important?
     
  5. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    You nailed it, Russ, and thanks for the opportunity to, uh, amplify the answer.

    I personally use Gentex 1030A Wolf Ears, no longer manufactured unfortunately but still to be found on occasion on eBay.

    For this purpose, we want this type of muff, that amplifies small sounds but brings down large ones. The moments preceding a possible violent encounter are the worst time to block our sense of sound.

    Unprotected ears will be stunned into lower hearing capability by close-in, reverberating gunfire in predictable close quarters...a time when we desperately need our sense of sound to determine a nearby threat in the darkness.

    Blocking sound sharp enough to impair hearing on one end, giving us actually BETTER hearing on the other end, gives us the best of both worlds if we can take a couple of seconds to get on active muffs at the first indication of danger.

    Best,
    Mas
     
  6. RussP

    RussP Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    :rimshot: :wavey: