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It is universally recognized that the building blocks of people are genes. When confronted by a life threatening situation, the “fight” or “flight” genes activate.  I think everyone has a “flight” or “flee” gene; but I think a person has to have a different gene, a unique gene, to be able to aggressively confront and defeat a threat; this gene everyone does not possess.  I like to refer to this gene as “the killer instinct” gene; either one has this or they don’t.  I dated a young woman in Florida for a while; she was a very nice person; really sweet and kind; and a single mother.  She wanted a job that paid better than just waitressing.  One day she asked me what I thought about her applying to the Florida Highway Patrol; someone she knew had suggested it.  I told her to forget it; she asked me why?  I told her I knew her well enough to know that she did not have the “killer instinct” and one day that may be a problem.  That was the end of that relationship.

If squashing bugs makes you squeamish or if you flee from small rodents, then you may not have the killer gene.  If the thought of gutting and skinning a critter induces the gag reflex, you may not have this gene.  Jim Cirillo wrote in his book that one of the key attributes that he looked for in a potential stake-out squad candidate was a successful hunter.  A successful hunter has the killer gene.  To survive a life-threatening situation you must have this gene and it must be active.

To reiterate, some do not have this gene; yet, in others, this gene may just be dormant due to generations of inactivity.  I suggest that you find out whether or not you possess this gene; before you are staring at some miscreant intending to do you grave harm.  Your most important weapon is the one between your ears; so if you question whether or not you have this gene, start by imagining killing bugs and small rodents with glee. When you can gut and skin a critter as calmly as tying your shoes, you may then be ready for that miscreant who really looks at you as nothing more than a rodent.

The bottom line: you can train like an Olympian but if you haven’t identified and cultivated that killer instinct you will hesitate at the moment of truth and that hesitation will get you dead.  If you want to know what attributes make up a successful gunfighter, then I highly recommend you read Jim Cirillo’s book “Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights”.  It is no longer than my second book and a great read; I have read it a few times.

Defensive Handgun 101
An afterthought

By Tim Siewert

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