Personal Protection Specialists

The Psychology of a Defensive Shooter

Training and the current events that initiate inspire and eventually move us to act on seeking more knowledge on how to survive an attack. It is now the expectation that it is not “if” one of these murderous scenarios happens in your local community, but when. There are so many examples of our complicated system gone bad.  In trying to keep a positive and optimistic view and to have a better perspective we must see the difficulty for a legal Defensive Shooter to make rational sense in a Mad Mad Mad World. The Plan or outline of a system is to help people that are Defensive Shooters or have interest in becoming one.  Make the choice to be an active participant in your daily journey and this by taking the critical aspects of being a Defensive Shooter while still maintaining the ability to protect your life.  As a Defensive Shooter you must spend the time finding the mental clarity, visualizing and planning any actions that may be required if something in your life goes bad.  A thorough and simplistic strategy as a guide for the Defensive Shooter is necessary.  In this complex and confusing world we live in, the effects of personal protection needs more clarity and self-thought. The decisions you make have to be well thought out and worth your life.

There is a basic structure here for Defensive Shooters, or anyone that is considering the time, cost and responsibility of the decision to be armed. Having said that, a clear understanding of what are the important issues, and having the commitment and time to make the tough choices to succeed as a Defensive Shooter in personal protection are critical.

1) Society and Government intervention affects our opinions, and everyday security decisions. Staying updated on the news and opinions of Government and the media tells us a lot about how people will adapt their defense opinions and needs in the future. This is an easy target for those with a hostile political gun agenda to take advantage of. Taxes specifically leveled at the gun industry are gaining momentum, every time a psychotic murderer destroys more lives. It is our responsibility that we stay vigilant and respectful to the 2nd amendment and our own protection needs.

2) Tragic and murderous incidents are becoming all too common and devastating in our daily lives that tap into the Fear and Bias at a personal level of all Americans and initiate many complicated issues and decisions for the Defensive Shooter. The FBI has debated how to classify this relatively new wave of murderers, but we hear this now referred to as Spree murderers. This is changing the way people think and act towards defense in public places and events. Understanding that the Evil that man is capable of doing is getting out of control regardless of the gun use. These are morally provocative and societal breakdown issues, and cannot be stopped or significantly slowed down by gun legislation and restrictions. We do still have the 2nd amendment as the final life preserver available as free Americans. Make your defense planning a common sense approach, not by panic or fear.

3) The willingness to use deadly force is far more intense than just a gun purchase and basic firearms training. Great first steps but are they well thought out in a structured Plan that gives you focus, clarity and direction? Serious thought reflection as well as religious views must be considered for defense. This needs to be pondered more by the Defensive Shooter then other parts of the plan. It is vital to take time and make sense with how willing you are to protect yourself at all means. Some Defensive Shooters that I have trained in the last 20 years take it for granted their decision to take another life without the clear perspective of all the aspects needed here.  My thought though is if you cannot find the reasons and clarity to do whatever it takes to live, then a firearm might not be the right defense tool for you.

4) A Defensive Shooter needs to learn more about body language, and Awareness. Getting your Ego out of the way is a beneficial step in the right direction. Yes, I understand you may have a gun, but so may the attacker (s) and be in a better position to use any deadly weapon on you at that time. Sometimes the most important time of an attack is to sensibly know when to see the tactical disadvantage of pursuing a bad situation and be smart, safe and efficient by avoiding the escalation of an already toxic situation. Being able to use Awareness as a defense tool has the ability to increase your mental clarity and action response time. Using the tactical modes of awareness will be a good guide in this process. Learning distance evaluation, a safe circle of life buffer zone, and tactical modes of escalation awareness are crucial.

5) Visualization is a powerful tool to create a mental image of how you may see a situation possibly going on in the future. Most likely a bad incident will not go down as specifically visualized, however by imagining many different defensive situations or scenarios that you may encounter on the street. This is a powerful tool used in the “What If” mode that you can imagine what your options and reaction might be. Visualization is considered a dry run or mental exercise to devise practical and well thought out plans to handle an attack. This technique develops confidence and will assist in enhancing your real world ability to manage and control a life threatening attack.

6) Judgmental (Shoot-Don’t Shoot) and a Warriors Confident Attitude.  Gun Owners that carry their guns for protection, with or without a permit need to learn to understand and “feel” how tactical concepts apply in physical applications. You must be well armed mentally, tactically and technically through a series of scenarios that replicate actual armed attacks. The better your Attitude is for protection and the sharper your Awareness is, will help in dealing with all active shooter issues. The Defensive Shooter would be wise to be taught the basics of how to respond to attacks unarmed, (without weapons), with an edged weapon, (their knife), and with various environmental weapons that are available. Having a gun and knowing how to use is only one aspect of the Defensive Shooter.  Judgmental Shoot-Don’t Shoot decisions are critical and also go back to your visualization training.

Your Attitude must be more than bluster; it must project a higher level of warrior spirit and confidence in order to fulfill the many levels that the Defensive Shooter requires for personal protection.

7) Effective and Consistent Training and Tactical Options.  This covers a multitude of issues for the Defensive Shooter. Taking professional classes or lessons from a firearms training specialist can assist greatly in adapting, Assisting in Confidence and learning new skills while refining others. Some people take the interest in specific competitions that help in the raw skills of gun handling and time pressures. These are helpful, but consistency in your training on a regular basis is where the confidence comes from. With so many pieces of the protection puzzle to put together, actually getting out there and applying the skills is imperative. If you cannot practice regularly, dry Firing principles and concepts are the next best training option. There are so many variables to the training approach that I believe in getting a full perspective of training from more than one professional source.

8) Survival Mindset – Physiological reactions due to Fear, Anxiety and Disbelief can run rampant in a violent encounter. Some of the potential issues to be considered and you may deal with are Tunnel Vision, Auditory Exclusion, Time Dilation, Injury, Depression and loss of memory. The level and effect of dealing with Fear without deep thought and clarity will cloud up your options and decisions in any future potentially violent incidents. “The will to win generally beats the skill to win” and this combined with a solid Plan, combat mindset and training increases the success dramatically for the Defensive Shooter.

9) Picking the right Gun, with a comfortable and Safe Carry Holster, Accessories, Non-Lethal options, etc. These may be altered due to different required security needs. Revolver, Semi-Auto, 9mm or .45, hammer or hammerless etc… The list goes on.  Seek out trusted sources on this or a salesman or relative may just point you in the wrong direction.  Because consistency in your method of carry is important, careful consideration should be given to your options before selecting that method. Consider the primary holster carry factors:

Can you safely draw the gun from concealed position quickly and smoothly without pointing at yourself in less than 5 seconds? Will the gun hang up on other things like your clothing when you try to draw it? When you reach for the gun, do you get a good grip? (You should!) Will the gun fall out if you bend over or fall down? Can the gun be easily taken away from you or can you retain control of it? Is it comfortable to wear on your body for long periods of time? Are you really concealing your gun or will someone who knows guns recognize that you are carrying? Once your concealment method(s) is selected, practice on a slow smooth consistent draw!

10) The Defensive Shooter must always be learning and be professionally advised. Legal Aspects including possible arrest, dealing with Law Enforcement, Injury to you both physical and emotional and death are issues to consider. These are all important pieces of the Defensive Shooters Plan of Action. A few that come to mind is the Concealed Carry Gun Guide for Legal carry and Judgmental Shoot-don’t shoot scenarios are available through Bloomfield Press Author Alan Korwin.  There are many more books on these subjects, so go research the details or take some great training.

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