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Bad dream

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  • Bad dream

    I had just got home from work and was walking in with a bolt action rifle that a friend had asked me to look at. I got off early so I was in a pretty good mood. I knew something was off immediately because my dog didn't greet me at the door, which was unlocked. I remember thinking that I was glad Travis had given me the rifle fully loaded (something I generally consider dangerous). I checked the chamber of the unwieldy sporterized mauser, thinking simultaneously, "This is the worst weapon I have for this" and "Thank God I have this piece of crap with me."

    I heard someone say something in the back of the house and I moved toward it with the barrel of the 4 ft rifle leveled and held at the hip. It was at that moment that the intruder said, "Are they coming home?", just before a dark blond 20ish male turned the corner and came into my view. I saw that he had a blued revolver with a 4 inch barrel in his right hand, and when he saw me with the Mauser his hands went straight up in the air in the classic "I surrender" pose with the glaring exception that he had a gun (not one of mine) in his right hand.

    I pulled the trigger instinctively but it didn't move. The safety was on! I could tell immediately that he didn't have a clue what he was doing by the way he was holding the gun, and he was so shocked to see me there that he seemed to forget he had a gun. I took it out of his hand and ordered him against the wall, reverting to the police training I had recieved at the Academy 20 years earlier, then rethought better than that and ordered him face down on the floor like I had been taught by the Army slightly more recently. As my adrenaline began to subside I started thinking about how in an EPW search, one man searches, while his partner pulls security.

    I then thought about how I wish I had one of my guys with me for security. It was right around then that I wondered, "Why was this guy talking, and who was he talking to?"

    It was my last thought before the bullet entered my skull and I woke up.

  • #2
    Re: Bad dream

    I posted this here because after I woke up I started picking my actions in the dream apart, for very good reason.

    I think the events were pretty realistic in that I could definitely see something like that happening. I figured I'd discuss some of the mistakes my dream self made that got him killed.

    The first thing is that as soon as I realized the door was unlocked and my dog was missing I should have retreated from the house and made a careful evaluation of the situation. That would have meant getting some distance (I was carrying a scoped rifle) and getting my CCW handgun from the glove box at a minimum. Taking an overwatch position and covering the exits while waiting for police would have been the wisest course of action, but I don't think most folks would do that, and my personality and confidence would probably influence me to check it out myself.

    Second, after I made the decision to enter the house, I allowed myself to be drawn deeper into the house and toward the voice instead of again, breaking contact and calling 911.

    Third, I never cleared the house, which goes counter to everything I was ever taught (and that I taught) in both law enforcement and military training. It was this omission that got my dream self killed.

    Fourth, I should have immediately realized that the dude was talking to someone and that mean he had an accomplice.

    Fifth, I noticed that the gun the guy had wasn't one of mine. That should have been a red flag that told me that the theif was not a young smash and grab burglar. I should have been watching my back and put it to the wall as I was covering the thief.

    Sixth, when I pulled the trigger and it didn't fire it was because I had made some assumptions that were faulty. I have shot plenty of Mausers and own quite a few. I rarely use the safety, and I've only shot them in a range environment. Travis gave this rifle to me fully loaded (5+1), which is why he had the safety on. I never transport a rifle with a loaded chamber. In Iraq going red wasn't just a physical condition, it was also a psychological shift. I don't chamber a round until I am ready to undertake a "go to war mindset". It didn't occur to me that someone else would have the same mindset triggered by taking a weapon off safe. I had checked that the weapon was loaded, and as soon as I saw it was I dismissed the situation as Travis being an idiot and didn't check the safety.

    Seventh, as soon as I confronted the thief I started shouting commands at him, which alerted any potential accomplice to my presence. I should have butt stroked him immediately, taken his gun. and held him at gunpoint with my back against a wall.

    I hope doing an AAR for a dream doesn't seem too silly, but I think there were some good lessons to be learned, and in real life, unlike dreams, there are no do overs.
    Last edited by ISC; January 10, 2015, 00:48.