Preparing for the Aftermath?

The worst has happened. You’ve been violently attacked. You were in imminent, unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm and needed to protect yourself. You shot in your self-defense.

Once the police have arrived, you think everything is going to be OK. But the aftermath is yet to come.

Which aspects of the aftermath have you consciously considered?

  • Friends and family’s reaction
  • Media’s reaction
  • Neighbors’ and coworkers’ reactions
  • Strangers’ reactions when they recognize you from the news
  • Emotional aftermath (survivor’s guilt)
  • Fear of additional attacks
  • Legal investigation
  • Self-doubt (could I have done something differently?)

0 voters

Here’s a blog post featuring information from Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman and Massad Ayoob:

What part of the aftermath scares you the most?


Truth is, I’ve considered them all. It only lets me choose 5 though.

The conclusion I’ve drawn is this:

I don’t give a rats fuzzy backside about most people’s opinions. The media is going to do what it’s going to do. The police and prosecutors are going to investigate. As long as I’ve done what I’m supposed to do the USCCA and the people who I actually matter to are going to have my back. As far as additional attacks go, well I don’t have just one firearm for self defense. And survivors guilt? That’s honestly not my style, if I’m pushed to that point then guilt goes out the window.

My circle of friends is small, we all know what’s at stake. My family, most of my family, will understand. The ones that won’t? Blood doesn’t necessarily mean family, family doesn’t necessarily mean blood.



You are not alone! I’ve considered all of them as well.

One that is heavy (or was until some of my friends on here helped me) was the self-doubt.
I did not have to shoot in self-defense, thank God, but I didn’t have to shoot. So, I had a sheriff deputy who made me feel really guilty for not shooting the suspect…

For a long time, I had guilt about letting him run free, but now I feel FREE due to some friends on here giving me peace.


Me too. The ones I have the least influence over worry me the most… media, legal system, additional attacks… and neighbors and strangers I cant control, but that’s of less consequence I think.

Self doubt and survivor’s aftermath are things I might need to work through, but I know how to do that sort of thing and how to get an assist if I need it.


We on here all got your back!!
If need be, talking on here would help(If you ever were in that situation).

I know when I let my guilt story out, I had so much freedom and support, including from you @Zee
So, this website is a lot more important than many might give credit for!


I’m with all y’all on considering all listed and maybe some other ancillary to those listed like losing a job or work, having family, friends and associates harassed by the media and on social media. The hardest, I believe for me, would always be second guessing the decision and could i have done more to prevent or avoid it.


This poll really needs the option for multiple answers.

My answer is “all of the above”. Survivors guilt is something I got over many years ago due to good training and preparation long prior.


The legal aspects.

You can do everything perfectly and still end up charged with murder if you happen to be in a gun/self defense unfriendly jurisdiction.


This is a powerful and awesome thing :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

^^^ :blush:


I’ll never feel guilty about being the one making it home to my family. As @WildRose said tho. You can do everything right and still get charged.

The further people get from my inner circle the less I care what they think.

The legal side of it is the most unpredictable and that makes it the concerning. Hence the being prepared with a USCCA plan.

This poll brings up great talking and thinking points for those who are new or just haven’t thought about all the angles.

@Randall318. I’m very happy that this forum and the people in helped you. That’s a very rare thing nowadays for a social media platform. (I know this isn’t typical social media)


Mental prep long before you’re ever involved in a violent encounter is really key.

Unfortunately we live n a society today where it’s drummed into us from the earliest age that “violence is bad” and we should feel guilty if we ever act violently.

This is simply untrue. Violence is often the only answer and when it is, as long as you are legally and morally justified in using it there’s nothing to feel guilty about.



You are on point…very rare these days! Social media has its name for taring down people, not building them up. Again, on point…this is not the typical social media site. We all love and support each other around here!!


That is also correct. However, I’m the kind of guy who double guesses most of the things I do…

Right or wrong…


Be careful that self examination does not turn into second guessing.

As cold as this sounds when evaluating a self defense situation you have to turn your emotions off completely or to the greatest extent possible and simply evaluate the facts, the law, the options available and whether or not you have acted lawfully and morally in whatever you choose.

It’s like being a paramedic on the ambulance or an ER doc or nurse. You have to detach yourself emotionally, follow your training, and have the background and education to make sound decisions.

Otherwise the second guessing and self doubt can become incredibly toxic and eat you up from within.

Of my great grandfathers was the last US Marshall sent into the NM “Badlands” to clean out the last of the outlaws. In the course of his work he’d been in quite a few shootings many of them fatal.

He was a family hero and something of a scary son of a bitch all rolled into one and what made it worse was his physical appearance. He was somewhere between 6’8-6’10, gaunt and looked kind of like the angel of death and generally a very stone faced and stoic character but he had a real soft spot for us kids.

Of course we heard of all of his exploits from the parents, grandparents and great uncles/aunts.

I got up the courage when I was six or seven to ask him about his life behind the badge and how he lived with it and he simply looked at me with a cold stare and slight smile and said, “There’s true evil in the world and some folks just need kill’n so you do what you have to”.

Stuck with me for life.


That one there………


Honestly if lives are on the line it would not be a consideration for me.

You can always get another job, even another career if necessary but nothing erases a grievous or fatal wound.

These are all things we need to weigh long before we actually face such a situation because even a split second of indecision can mean a life or grievous bodily harm.

Mental training I believe is 90-95% of successful self defense.


I didn’t say it would stop me, I’m stating it’s a concern I would have in the aftermath.

Job security is pretty important for me right about now where my family is at (yes I could get another job, but would it be at the same rate, same city etc, would I be black balled in my industry?)

But even with that, it wouldn’t change my reaction to do the right thing and helping (done it before, would do it again, it just didn’t involve using a weapon).


That resonates with me as well!

Everything you wrote is spot on! When it comes to life and death you can’t second guess!


I have thought about all of them but only chose the three that mean anything to me. I dont care what other people think as I cant control their thoughts yet (still working on that whole mind control thing).

I have talked to my family about what NOT to do if I am ever involved in any type of shooting. One of the big things is POST NOTHING on social media. If you think you are helping or defending me your not, you are only making my lawyers job harder. Talk to NO ONE other than me or my lawyer period.


^^^^^That, right there! I can invoke all my rights and be as silent as a tomb, but if my companions are answering questions and making statements, even with the best of intentions, they could actually be helping to stack up charges against me. A firm “I prefer to not make a statement at this time” might work, or they can always call back on the tried and true “I didn’t see nothing”.


Due to circumstances I was forced to come to grips with that possibility early in my teen years.

When I got into the service, it was a tremendous benefit in most ways but it made things a bit complicated after my first FF which required me to sit down with a psychiatrist.

She was really concerned that I was a conscienceless sociopath.

She finally accepted that I’d simply done the necessary mental prep ahead of time once I explained the above.