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[RC] Don't Just Show It (was: Guns with blanks) - k s swigart

Keith Kibler said:

?I also am a gun guy and frequently carry a pistol
?with me when I am on a horse. I have never pulled
?it on anyone. If I do, I will show it first. If
?that does not work, and leaving is not an option,
which will be my very first choice, I will use the
?gun. But, I will only do that if I or mine are
?threatened in such a way to make it necessary.
With respect to the incident that sparked off this discussion (horses being 
harassed by motorcycles), or, in fact, just about any time you are on horseback 
and feel sufficiently threatened that you feel justified in using deadly force, 
taking the approach of "I will show it first" is probably not prudent.
Unless you are dead-eye dick and your horse is also a trusty cavalry charger, 
the value of a pistol as a weapon on horseback is restricted almost entirely to 
using it in a surprise attack.? Pointing a pistol with live loads from 
horseback is almost as empty of a threat as pointing one loaded with blanks.
In the original situation, if you were to pull a gun and point it, the 
motorcycle rider is far better armed than you are, even if he doesn't have a 
gun. He's got a motorcycle, and you already know that he is willing to use it 
to harass your horse, if he decides to use it to attack your horse instead 
(which he might do if you threaten him), your gun is pretty much useless.? 
There is a reason, in the days of yore, that the weapon of choice for mounted 
cavalry was a saber, not a firearm.? When firearm technology became 
sufficiently sophisticated to be useful against mounted cavalry, cavalrymen did 
not arm themselves with these same weapons and take their horses into battle, 
they recognized that horses were no longer useful against such weapons and 
retired their horses from the battlefield.
If you feel sufficiently threatened that you feel the need to defend yourself 
with deadly force, don't just show the gun, pull it out and shoot the guy with 
it (and since, in this situation,?there were multiple motorcyclists, you would 
need to shoot them all before any others have a chance to respond with their 
deadly weapons).? 
If you don't feel sufficently threatened to actually shoot the guy, then you 
aren't threatened enough to get the gun out at all.
If you think the threat is real, you need to shoot first and ask questions 
later.? If you wait until the person you are threatening with a gun from 
horseback has a chance to respond, your gun confers you few, if any, advantages.
And you can trust me on this.? The LAST thing that _I_ am going to do if a 
stranger pulls a gun on me and shows it to me is to try to leave.? I can't 
outrun a bullet, so the most effective "defense" against somebody who pulls a 
gun on me is to mess up his aim while I get as close as?I can, where the gun 
confers less advantage.? 
If I am on a motorcycle and you are on a horse, messing up your aim while at 
the same time getting close is dead easy.? If I am on foot and you are on a 
horse, it is still easy for me to mess up your aim and get close, at which time 
the most effective weapon you have is not the gun but the horse, so you should 
let go of the gun and concentrate on using the horse as a weapon (which is what 
you should have done in the first place if you weren't going to just shoot me).
Please note that I am making no comment as to whether people should or should 
not carry a pistol for the purposes of protecting themselves while out riding.? 
I am just saying that IF you do, make sure it is loaded and don't ever just 
"show" it to somebody as a threat, unless you really don't want to shoot 
somebody but are willing to take your chances that they won't react 
aggressively to your detriment (i.e. kill?or maim you)?if your empty threat 
doesn't work.? 
An unloaded gun (or one loaded with blanks) is a totally empty threat; one that 
you are just pointing from horseback is a virtually empty threat.
Orange County, Calif.

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