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“A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”

Mom With A Gun reminds us of the wise words of Inspector Harry Callahan, aka ‘Dirty Harry’, who said in his second movie, Magnum Force, “A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”

Tammy quotes the ever-quotable Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat, who said,

If you are concerned enough to pull your gun out of its holster, you should be concerned enough to pull your phone out of your pocket and call for backup. Except in cases of extreme and immediate need, law enforcement officers won’t try to clear a house by themselves, without backup. Why should you?

I’ve been guilty of letting my emotions overtake my training.  On mumble-mumble occasion(s), I approached my home (former home) and found a door breached.  All my training (NRA ‘Gun in the Home’ trainer, CCW licensing and Az DPS CCW trainer) said back away, pull your cell telephone and call the police from a safe location.  Do NOT attempt to engage.

And yet I did.  And I felt compelled to enter my breached house and ‘clear’ it.  Without backup.  Stuff I’d drilled into my own students not to do.

Machismo?  Ego?  Anger?  Yep, all of it.  Fortunately, no burglars were present.  I think I know better, now.

I do now reside in a better neighborhood.

Hopefully, I’ll never have to find out.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


8 thoughts on ““A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”

  1. That would probably be good advice for most people in most places. If, however, you live in a place where there is no “cell phone” service (I don’t even have one since I’m mostly deaf and can’t hear anything said on one…) and/or the response time of peace officers is extended or not to be expected any time soon at all… it would make sense to take a serious look at alternatives. What those might be and how one would go about putting them into place would depend on the person, the situation and how far he/she is willing to go taking care of things on their own… but it seems foolish to me to rely totally on “the police” ever.

    My advice to students is NEVER to attempt to “clear” a room or the house in such a situation. But we do spend a lot of time looking at all the things that can be done to make that possibility quite remote. Just as an example… strange as it may seem, a lot of people leave doors and windows UNLOCKED. Many are shocked to the core to discover how easy it is for an intruder to open the average LOCKED French doors or sliding patio windows… and much more. Criminals want easy, risk free environments to work in. Don’t give them one.

    Do the things needed to secure your home, shop, garage, storage shed, car, etc. and prevent intruders. Then you’ll not likely ever be faced with the need to “clear” the place anywhere. Yes, it still could happen. Life isn’t fair and there are no guarantees – but we can certainly improve the odds. :)

    Posted by MamaLiberty | October 28, 2012, 7:41 am
    • Good points! There are always extenuating circumstances and other measures.
      Sadly, I used to live in a ‘high-crime’ neighborhood. Was breached 3x in 18 years. Had deadbolts, etc. But also had a regular job – they knew when I wouldn’t be home.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | October 28, 2012, 8:03 am
      • Bad neighborhood indeed! I’d have been all packed to move within 24 hours of the first one. sigh… Sometimes that’s very difficult, of course, but that goes right along with any other measures to avoid confrontations, I’d think.

        A friend had a rather novel solution, though far from ideal. He lived in an area that HAD BEEN a good place, but rapidly deteriorated. He couldn’t keep a dog there, but decided to buy a very large parrot and teach it to BARK. The darn thing sounded like the most vicious Rottweiler you could imagine.

        Well, that worked out fine for a while… until one day he gave a co-worker the key and permission to use the place – but forgot to tell her about his “pet.” Near scared the girl half to death.

        The miracle was that she wound up marrying him anyway, and they found a nice place out in the county. Can’t remember what happened to the parrot. :)

        Posted by MamaLiberty | October 28, 2012, 8:38 am
      • Sadly, I didn’t have the resources to move.
        I did have a dog for a time, but she passed away.
        Great parrot story!

        Posted by guffaw1952 | October 28, 2012, 10:22 am
      • Each one must determine for themselves what incentive and resources they have for such a move, of course, but I would certainly think that my life was worth making a supreme effort, even if it involved a major sacrifice. After I had to shoot that man out in the desert, I’d have walked away with nothing but the clothes on my back if necessary to live somewhere else. That neighborhood was not going to get any safer, and I was aware that I’d been darn lucky the first time. Fortunately, I’d already been in the last stages of moving, but even then I had some fears that he might locate me later. In any case, I got as far away as I could, and as close to other people who cared about me as I could. A woman alone has some serious difficulties – and living in California was not the least of them.

        Posted by MamaLiberty | October 28, 2012, 11:45 am
  2. +1 for MAMALIBERTY

    Posted by WellSeasonedFool | October 28, 2012, 8:03 am
  3. Yeah, the visceral response is MY HOUSE… and to charge in… NOT a good idea!!!

    Posted by Old NFO | October 28, 2012, 12:47 pm

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