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  • Firearms

    Hi! I am a police explorer in Minnesota. I have an issue with shooting firearms. The first time we went to the range, after I had my gun safety training, I fired ten rounds of a .38 revolver. I got home, and burst into tears, and I was shaking for hours after I had done this. The next time we went to the range, about three weeks later, I did the dry fire rounds, and misfire drills. When I loaded the revolver, and was instructed to begin firing, I started shaking so bad I had to raise my hand, so one of the advisors could take the revolver away, and empty the gun. Then, I was shaking again, and my advisor had to pull me aside, to make sure I was ok. The third time, I just sat out. I am terrified of guns, but I am determined to be a police officer. On a ride along with one of my advisors, he thought it might be a good idea if I watched some of the officers qualify in the range. I watched, but it just made me more scared of the bigger firearms I will have to be able to shoot, in order to become a police officer. I am currently the only female in my post, and I am 15 years old, the rest of my post consists of four other 18-20 year old guys, and two male advisors. I really want to know what I can do to get over this irrational fear of the noise, and aspect that this is a gun. Your advice would really be appreciated!
    Thanks, Heather

  • #2
    If it's only the noise and such that's bothering you, I think you'll eventually get over it. If you keep observing at the range, your mind will eventually learn that the noise won't hurt you. When I was a child, the first thunderstorm I ever experienced terrified me, because I grew up in a place that didn't have them. It didn't take long before I realized that it was just noise.

    If it's not just the noise, but the violence that is associated with guns, this may be another issue entirely. Some people are repulsed by violence, and they don't always get over it (this is not necessarily a bad thing, by the way). That will be something to discuss with a counselor, a member of the clergy, or some other qualified person whom you trust. A revulsion to violence is not compatible with the career of a law enforcement officer. If this is something engrained in your psyche, then you probably ought to look for some other career. This is also something that a trained counselor can help you with. If your motivation to be a cop is based on the desire to help others and be useful in the community, there are lots of ways you can do that, other than police work.

    Good luck.
    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

    Comment


    • #3
      I mean this in the nicest way possible, but if firing a firearm causes that much emotional stress, then please seek another form of employment.

      It may be something you can "grow out of" by the time you are eligible for the application process. If not, the things that you will see/do/have to deal with as an officer are so much more disturbing that it will destroy you emotionaly.

      In my first two years I have alreay been covered in someone elses blood three times, assisted fire/paramedics with a baby who was hit by a car, came 1/2lb away from killing several different idiots, and had my knee blown out in a fight with a crackhead. Those are just the highlights, not the mundane like searching urine soaked drunks and listening to the interesting verbal abuse that I as a male officer receive. I won't even go into the verbal abuse that a female officer receives from our wonderful clients.

      As Tim said, you may want to seek the assistance of a counselor. Just do so knowing that police work can be one of the most emotionally trying occupations on earth. If you have trouble dealing with it, it can destroy you as well as your family.

      **edit typo**
      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blackdog F4i
        I mean this in the nicest way possible, but if firing a firearm causes that much emotional stress, then please seek another form of employment.

        It may be something you can "grow out of" by the time you are eligible for the application process. If not, the things that you will see/do/have to deal with as an officer are so much more disturbing that it will destroy you emotionaly.

        In my first two years I have alreay been covered in someone elses blood three times, assisted fire/paramedics with a baby who was hit by a car, came 1/2lb away from killing several different idiots, and had my knee blown out in a fight with a crackhead. Those are just the highlights, not the mundane like searching urine soaked drunks and listening to the interesting verbal abuse that I as a male officer receive. I won't even go into the verbal abuse that a female officer receives from our wonderful clients.

        As Tim said, you may want to seek the assistance of a counselor. Just do so knowing that police work can be one of the most emotionally trying occupations on earth. If you have trouble dealing with it, it can destroy you as well as your family.

        **edit typo**



        On ride alongs, I have seen some pretty bad stuff, and I know I can handle the verbal abuse (I have learned to deal with it, since I dealt with it everyday when I was in middle school). I have thought alot about WHY, I am scared to shoot a gun. It has do do with the NOISE that it makes. I know that police work is extremely emotionally stressful, but after several ride alongs, and crowd control stuff, and dealing with people, I know I can handle it. I just need advice on getting over the fear of guns. (I don't have a fear of violence either, the guys on my post laugh whenever we do DT stuff, because I get so into it). Thanks for the advice though!

        Comment


        • #5
          It's great that you want to be in LE and help people BUT...

          If you can't deal with violence (you haven't replied back so it's unknown whether this is the case but I doubt you'd be on the verge of a nervous breakdown just from noise) you will be a danger to yourself and your co-workers. I don't just mean freezing in a gunfight either. Freezing in any kind of fight or passive resistance situation can worsen the situation for everyone including the bad guys. If you don't help in a fight they may end up getting shot instead of detained, ect... You don't have to be a violent person by any means but make no mistake you MUST be capable of violence.


          *edit* you replied while I was typing so disregard the above.

          As to getting over the fear of guns this may sound stupid but maybe try starting off shooting a paintball gun at a target. It will put you through the motions at least.
          Last edited by Bushum; 09-01-2006, 02:24 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            If it is only the fear of guns, then the best way to get over it is to shoot. Shoot a lot. Alternate dry fire and live fire so you don't pickup and bad habits. Familiarity will remove the fear from just about anything.
            "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
            8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=Bushum]It's great that you want to be in LE and help people BUT...

              If you can't deal with violence (you haven't replied back so it's unknown whether this is the case but I doubt you'd be on the verge of a nervous breakdown just from noise) you will be a danger to yourself and your co-workers. I don't just mean freezing in a gunfight either.

              I don't have a fear of violence, I just have to get over the fear of shooting, and getting comfortable with it....I am fine doing DT stuff, and I enjoy practicing, when we go over it at meetings and stuff. Question: The next time we shoot at a meeting, should I throw myself in and try to do it, or wait until I am more comfortable with the idea of shooting?? (my advisors said to wait until I feel ready, maybe when I am older (i'm only 15) but I don't know about that...)

              Comment


              • #8
                why don't you go buy a pellet pistol and practice with that? you can even shoot a C02 gun without any pellets or BBs, so it will be easy for you to get used to the noise. just practice point/shoot.

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                • #9
                  If it is just the noise then wear double hearing protection for a while. I do it myself when I'm shooting some of my larger caliber guns to focus all my attention on my aim and trigger.
                  "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                  For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The use of both plugs and muffs, and perhaps starting with a .22 (less noise & blast), has been a traditional way to overcome a fear of the noise of gunfire. Why not see if you can get some range time with one of the instructors, without the added pressure of the other explorers, advisors, and others who may be at the range? A good instructor can help you a lot.
                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                    John Stuart Mill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is the best idea yet.Get some blanks.or even get a cap gun.Shoot it,reminding yourself that it is just noise and not a real bullet (do not put your hand or anything else in front of a gun with blanks,it can still cause serious injury or death if too close).Get use to the noise and then try shooting a real gun.If yo still have an adverse affect to shooting a real weapon from the noise try more ear protection.Godd ear protection should lower the boom to a slight pop.If you still have problems with shooting a gun,maybe you need to wait until your are older,or maybe police work is not the best field for you.Maybe you need to think about corrections work.
                      FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

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                      • #12
                        You poor girl, you have been brainwashed by liberals. Guns are just objects, like a kitchen knife or a car. They can kill people, but only in the hands of those who are careless or intend to do harm.

                        Try going to a local shooting club, they will be happy to introduce you to firearms in a safe, and more importantly, enjoyable way. I'm sure there are also women there who would guide you, just be honest. Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also don't despair, my wife can out shoot most of the guys I know. Even with a .45 she can knock the center out.
                          "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                          8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blackdog F4i
                            Also don't despair, my wife can out shoot most of the guys I know. Even with a .45 she can knock the center out.

                            My wife is an excellent shot also.of course she had a great instructor!!
                            FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What worries me is that, if you are scared to death of the noise from a firearm you are shooting, what about the noise of a firearm that's being shot AT YOU.

                              You're only 15 so I think there is a chance this is something that can be grown out of. If you are having the same anxiety several years down the road, then, as yoda would say, "another profession seek, you must..."
                              I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                              Comment

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