I read yesterday on MSN that a "trigger happy mom" in Atlanta took a .38 caliber revolver and shot an intruder five times. She put the bad guy in the hospital while protecting her two kids.
When I was in college, I took a class in editorial techniques. One thing that the instructor emphasized was that when writing a story, the reader should not be able to tell what your political biases are. When reporting on issues, the reader should read the story and be able to decide the matter without being told what to think. He told the class that he used to make people mad. Not the readers, but the people he interviewed for the story were always upset with him. He was able to set aside his own bias and as fairly as possible present both sides of the issue. Objectivity is something to strive for, regardless of our personal biases.
The reporting I find on Yahoo News and MSN is not very good. I should never read about "trigger happy moms" shooting people. From what I have read, the mother and her two kids were hiding in fear of a home intruder. When he found her, she fired six bullets at the intruder, and hit him five out of six times. The intruder survived being shot five times in the head and neck. This tells me that she was not "trigger happy." It tells me that she was scared. Her system was loaded with adrenaline. No one under attack is "trigger happy." No one is happy at all.
Combat Handguns magazine was one of my favorite publications back in the 1980s. One of the more popular writers was Massad Ayoob, a police officer and a director of Lethal Force Institute. He would analyze self-defense shootings, taking readers step by step through the scenario where someone was in a position to where a gun had to be used in self-defense. Among the common factors I can remember were the way time slowed down as a person sees a weapon being drawn and the reaction of adrenaline being pumped into the system, giving the defender a boost in pulling his own weapon out. Then comes the very brief amount of time one has in properly aligning the sights, then pulling the trigger. When a person is in harms way and has a gun pointing back at it, no one is happy. Someone is going to get hurt. Someone just might die.
The sensationalistic way that MSN reported the story reveals a lot about the character of their writers. I do not appreciate the way that they managed to trivialize the shooting or they way in which they described the mother with the gun. I have no use for such sloppy journalism.
I used to own a number of guns back in the 1980s. Among them were a Smith and Wesson 469 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a Taurus M85 .38 Special revolver, a Cobray M-11 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in .44 Special, among others. The times I went target shooting, there was no laughter when shooting paper. However, watching the reaction to aluminum pop cans spinning around when hit was very funny. I can say I had fun shooting guns. There is a lot to be said about kicking brass and taking names. It can also be a stress reliever. In high school psychology class, the idea of "displaced aggression" was shared with us. A person gets angry, but has to keep it under control until a safe time comes around to properly and safely vent it. Instead of venting on the one who makes you angry, you take it out on an inanimate object or maybe a person who doesn't deserve to experience your wrath. If you can't hit your boss, you can always take your boss' picture and put it on a dart board and hope to score a lot of 20s. Or you can put it 25 yards downrange and shoot all the holes into it that you want. The anger is vented, the boss lives, and everyone is more or less happy to see another day.
If you have not taken time on YouTube to watch any of the videos produced by Kyle, then you are missing out on one of the better demonstrations of what "trigger happy" is all about. Kyle is an American who lives in Georgia, USA, not Georgia the former Soviet state. He takes on the persona of "Dmitri," a professional Russian on the FPSRussia channel. He picked up his Russian accent from a former co-worker while selling used cars. In his videos, "Dmitri" demonstrates a number of guns and explosives and other equipment, including a couple of tanks, one of which he drove to a burger drive through. I can say I have found it educational, and humorous, and disturbing at times.
Personally, there are times when I think the videos are funny, but I find myself disturbed with myself in that I find them funny. Hosing a keg of beer with fully automatic gunfire is way too cool, and yet, I have to be practical, knowing that somewhere because of political or ideological reasons, or just plain stupidity on the part of someone, a gun is being used to kill or injure another human being. The shooter may be a mother defending her kids. The shooter may be a cop shooting at a bad guy and hitting innocent bystanders by mistake. The shooter could be a terrorist. The shooter could be shooting a terrorist. The gun range is a good place to blow off steam, to make jokes, to have "a good time." Its okay to be trigger happy when the shooting is part of good, clean fun.
But in real life, the good guy with the gun hopes that he or she never has to draw that weapon. I was perfectly happy with the gun safely in my holster. Unfortunately, the bad guy doesn't think or feel that way. The only time the bad guy has a trigger happy finger is when he or she is inflicting harm on others. Bad guys don't care about the law. Bad guys don't care about you. Bad guys don't care about your kids. (Sounds like a lot of politicians I hear about in the news.) When the chips are down and the die is cast, there is no room for trigger happy people in the life and death struggle of a gun fight.