"But I'm not sure I could pull the trigger." (firearms customers not willing to shoot)
At about that time, you gently advise that this attitude is "unclear on the concept." That's when the customer is most likely to come out of the closet and say, "I couldn't shoot anybody!"
As a seasoned, knowledgeable, ethical gun dealer, you know what you're going to say: "Perhaps then, a firearm isn't the right defensive system for you to be looking at just yet."
Any veteran of the Vietnam conflict can tell you that possession of power without the demonstrable intent to fully use it when necessary will lead to defeat. Over 52,000 Americans died in Southeast Asia, proving this point.
This fundamental truth is not limited to warfare between nations. The inability to shoot an armed opponent has brought death and maiming to uncountable legions of individuals soldiers, police officers and civilian crime victims.
The customer who is hesitant needs to be softly reminded that criminals are predators, and predators have a very finely tuned sense of what is prey, and what has sharper teeth and stronger jaws than they.
I've taken my share of criminal suspects at gunpoint. I've debriefed cops and armed citizens who have drawn down on vastly more. The virtually universal learning point is this:
A hardened criminal doesn't fear the gun. He fears the resolutely armed man or woman holding it.
The criminals I've talked with never spoke of "body language" or "vocal tonality" in assessing their victims. They just expressed their confidence that they could tell at a glance if the person they faced was hard or soft.
If they were up against someone who had the drop on them and was prepared to shoot them if necessary, they fled or surrendered. "Prison sucks, but it beat the ---- outa bein' dead," one told me with the flat pragmatism characteristic of his breed.
If, however, they were up against someone they sensed didn't dare pull the trigger, it was a different ballgame. "Some whitebread points a piece at me, I'll shove it up his ---!" was the general consensus.
"Whitebread," by the way, is not a racial slur. Criminals use it to describe th people they "consume" to nourish themselves. Whitebread is soft, you see, and easily crushed or torn apart.
If there is anything that all authorities on defensive firearms agree on, it is these facts:
1. When you must fight or die, you will do what you have been conditioned to do If you have not been conditioned to fight effectively, you will not do so.
2. A defensive firearm you don't dare fire will probably get you into more trouble than it will ever get you out of.
If we know this -- and we know that the customer is front of us is not ready to pull the trigger -- we bear the moral responsibility for the results if that customer ever is disarmed and shot.
Yeah, I know, those customers are going to go down the street to the Monster Mart where a minimum-wage gun-counter commando is going to shame them into acting like John Wayne and buying a gun they aren't ready for. Or, maybe pander to their false hopes and say, "I hear ya! This .44 Magnum is just the ticket! It's so big and scary you won't even need to load it with blanks, let alone rea bullets!"
But it's your knowledge of the real world of the gun -- and your ability to impart that knowledge to a customer -- that makes you different from the kind o greedy punk who would give ill advice to a hesitant human being who trusts him.
Make it clear that armed defense is a serious, heavy decision, one that you yourself came to only after a lot of soul-searching and issue-weighing and valu judgment. If your customer is not ready yet, it's nothing to be ashamed of. There are other options you can sell like OC (pepper spray) that will get them through at least some of the situations they fear, even though they're not enough to deal with a knife- or gun-armed assailant.
Many times in this space, we've urged you to get certified to give courses to your customers, both the long-term gun owners and those with their first firearm. If nothing else, you should have a list of local courses you can refer them to, and they are naturals for books and videos on the topic.
Consider a specific course for the kind of fence-sitter we're talking about here, the person not yet committed to the gun. Call it something like "Should You Have A Defense Gun?"
Courses are like books. I've written a couple of books on the subject. "In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Defense," is my single hottest seller. It speaks to the person who has already made the decision to be armed. However, the second best seller is "The Truth About Self Protection." It has a lot of crime prevention advice and focuses on making the decision to be armed in the first place. It addresses making the commitment to resort to letha force if there was no other way to protect oneself and another innocent person from immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.
Your clientele includes cops, lawyers, M.D.s, and members of the clergy. You'd be surprised how many of them would be willing to give a little talk, at no charge, at a seminar if you arrange it.
The cop explains why he and his brothers would rather draw the chalk outline around a dead predator than a dead citizen. The attorney explains the absolute right in every jurisdiction to resort to lethal force when in the gravest extreme of deadly danger.
The physician explains the principle of toxin-anti-toxin therapy when treating life-threatening disease, and how it relates exactly to the defensive use of a gun. Finally, the clergyman explains that in virtually every belief system, an outlaw who threatens the innocent victim's right to live, forfeits his own.
Give it a try. Don't be surprised if the result is a graduating class that stil will never want to pull the trigger on a homicidal criminal, but now will be able to when necessary.
In short, you'll have a customer to whom you'll be comfortable selling a defensive firearm.
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|Date:||Sep 1, 1994|
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