"That" question, how do you answer it and why?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by grotbag, Nov 4, 2010.

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  1. I recently travelled back from exercise on public transport in rig. Looking rather warry with the 999 yard snooze in the corner, sat on my bergan I was approached by a youngster (10 at a guess) who after prodding various bits of my kit and asking questions about guns finally popped the "have you ever shot anyone?" line.

    I didn't answer but politely and calmly explained to the youngster that that is not a good question to ask, rather he should ask why soldiers do the job they do (at which point his saint of a mother interrupted and helped me out by saying all the positive things soldiers do aside from combat). The mum and son left me alone after more kit prodding but it made me wonder how you're supposed to answer such a question.

    Has anyone had this put to them before? What is the right (or for that matter; wrong) response? What attitude should you take with someone who asks such a question?

    This is not a wah, simply an attempt to try and understand how the wider community interacts with the public on a taboo subject.

  2. You should have told him you'd 'slotted' hundreds of rag and towel heads, and the occassional Brazilian overstayer and a pissed Barrister. Then you could have chilled out, safe in the knowledge the little tyke would think you were CO19.

    On a serious and personal level, the more you deny it, the more they believe you have. Catch 22, even my daughter doesn't believe me
  3. The exact reason I didn't confirm of deny anything, it's more than media security or opsec. I understand that in public you are an ambassador for the wider forces community and to an extent speak for everyone in uniform.
  4. You probably got it just about right. Any other kind of answer might sound like boasting so always keep it straight - especially to yourself.
  5. The guy who wrote the Flashman books, George Macdonald Fraser recommended " Why do you want to know?"
  6. The first time I was asked that question I had an overwhelming urge to smack the idiot. Specially as he seemed to regard it as some huge joke. Thankfully I managed to control my temper and calmly explained that it's not really a question you should ask. On the whole I'd say you were spot on with your handling of the situation.
  7. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Due to my my role not a question I'll can have to answer.

    However, my father was once asked and his reply was he didn't know, just said they stopped firing at him when he fired back. However as at the time he was gunner in Centurian and it had been machine gun bullets bouncing off the hull, it may not have been a fair contest.
    He also said he had fired at people(when not in a tank) but didn't know if he's actually hit or killed them, but suspect that was bullocks as my mam was in the room and she didn't know that this had ever happened.
  8. Not a question I get asked much these days but I agree with Tutankhamun and reply with the 'why do you want to know' question.

    Also if they know me I would add 'And would knowing the answer change your opinion of me?' This usually cuts them short and they squirm a little and get embarressed.

  9. In a Destry rides again drawl simply say "I shot a man once, just to watch him die..."

    Edited to add: Women are the worst. They just can't sem to stop themselves asking and you know they won't like the answer...whichever you give!
  10. Answer........."Deliberately?"
  11. dont care how many blokes you have or have not shot cuddles.....how many goats you buggered ?
  12. In the line of duty or for fun? I buggered a goat this summer - well I say buggered, he's in my freezer neatly butchered so I'd say he was pretty much fucked...
  13. I hope you chose the Halal method?
  14. I once met a Para PTI Sergeant in the SFSG, who'd been in Sierra Leone.
    Rather than ask if he'd killed anyone as I didn't thik he'd appreciate it. I asked him if he'd ever been shot himself.
    His reply was in the negative, but his wife piped up with "yes you have".
    He then explained he'd been hit by a ricochet and didn't count it as being shot.
  15. Halal butchery or halal buggery?