Category Archives: Fire Pit

Being Shot

Photo by Sgt. Bobby Yarbrough

“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”

Winston Churchill


From the Fire Pit:

“Let me offer my perspective on being shot. I feel that if you have some idea of what to expect, you have a much better chance of survival.

I have been shot. I have friends that have been shot and I have seen the results of several gun-shot wounds of various calibers. After much comparing of notes and discussion, this is what we feel you can reasonably expect to experience if you find yourself in this situation. This is not a first-aid course so I will not go into the “fixing your shit after you get shot” stuff here. My only intent is to help you survive the initial attack by providing information on the first few critical minutes and maintaining the warrior mindset. Knowing what to expect has kept me alive in several instances, and my colleagues here tonight probably echo that statement.

The first rule of surviving a gun-shot wound is not to get fucking shot. Use your training and judgment to avoid it at all costs. Period.

The second rule of surviving a gun-shot wound is to forget what you’ve seen on T.V. or heard from the friend of a friend about gun fights. People don’t fly through the air or get thrown ten feet back unless you are hit by a .50 or something bigger. If you do get hit with a .50, just throw away the body part it hit and prepare to meet your maker.

Most victims of small arms do not even immediately fall down. It’s anti-climactic; many do not even know they are hit if there is some excitement going on. THE GAME AIN’T OVER just because someone is hit with small arms. The Human body can handle tremendous amounts of damage. I personally feel that unless the victim is dead, he/she is a viable threat. And you should be the deadliest fucker still alive if you are wounded and are still faced with a threat.

The first time I was shot, it was in the hand with a .38. I was diving toward the perp from 10 feet away in an attempt to decrease his angle of fire. I knew he was pulling the trigger. I knew that if I ran he would shoot me several times in the back. I also knew what I am telling you now…that unless you are killed you are still a viable threat. The Bullet hit the palm of my hand at the base of my thumb and went right through…deflecting the bullet upward just enough to put a burn over my scalp. I did not even know I was hit…the guy never got off a second shot, the struggle was a struggle but the one thing remember was the stunned look on his face when I put my knife into his gut. My weapon was emptied on his buddies and I had no time to reload. Everyone lived because rescue was right there.

When I found the hole through my hand I gave myself first-aid and called the ambulance (the officer with me curled up, went into shock and had to be hospitalized; she wasn’t hit by anything at all). That brings me to some other points…you WILL experience shock. If you can keep your head after the fact, you have several advantages, believe it or not, and a good chance of living and winning.

If you are lucky, the shooter will think you are out of the picture when they nail you. They go on to the next target and are scanning for immediate threats. Get ready, you are in for an adrenaline smack that will literally make you feel like Superman. We are talking strength and speed like you have never known. Those are your advantages…it’s up to you what you do with them now that you know, but I STRONGLY recommend that you do SOMETHING other than lay there and wait to bleed to death.

In Iraq, I was shot in the Leg and hip several times by a 7.62 X 39…I knew something was wrong but it did not dawn on me that I was hit. I just couldn’t seem to keep my feet under me long enough to stand up. I thought I had tripped over something and fell into a patch of oil. Even so, once I figured out that the oil was my blood and that I was hit, I managed to still return some sort of effective fire until help arrived. Expect to feel “detached” for a few moments…this feeling will come and go but is greatest after the threat is over.

KEEP CALM OR YOU MAY DIE. FEAR is the mind killer. If hit in an extremity, the limb may not work…so expect that and practice off hand shooting, shooting prone, etc. Usually there is no initial pain…that comes later. And it will come. You MAY feel a tingling…but I doubt it unless you are really the Ricky Ranger type. As stated before, expect a MAJOR adrenaline rush… this may cause you to overcompensate when you return fire, but for a minute or so you are going to be stronger than you would ever believe possible. You can also expect your thinking to be very, very clear and quick…if you remain calm and decide you want it to be (and you had BETTER want it to be). Think it, and your body WILL respond.

If you are hit in a major organ or nerve center…and the bastard is within arm’s length, at least grab the bastard by the throat, hair, or balls and take him with you…make them have to pry your fingers out of his eyes or your knife out of his chest.

Your stomach may feel cold and it may hurt terribly after the initial threat is over… it may even feel as if you have been “gut shot”. Your whole body may feel different. Inspect. Be sure you are not bleeding out anywhere else, but remember that this is normal.

This will not be a walk in the park…in just a few minutes you will have to deal with all kinds of complications…I am only trying to let you see that God gave us, and a few other predators, POWERFUL survival mechanisms to help give us an edge. Most prey animals don’t have these mechanisms…just watch National Geographic. Don’t be prey. Don’t waste the edge by allowing fear or confusion to take over.”


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