Tactical Tuesday: Mental Preparation

Your body cannot go where your mind has not been.

How do you mentally prepare for the possibility of having to shoot in your self-defense?


I think that’s why the military used targets that looked like soviet troops in the 80s, and Saddam in the 90s.


That’s the biggest challenge for a “normal” human being. Am I mentally prepared to take someone’s life?

I am trained to avoid and / or retreat. That’s the best practice for now.
Of course my mind is ready for the worst, my body knows what to do (that’s why I visit the range)… but I still cannot imagine me shooting other person… :anguished:

1 Like

That is definitely what I struggled with the most. Until I pictured someone putting my kids in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm… That visualization make me realize I could shoot another person.

1 Like

That’s the only picture that makes me angry enough to shoot somebody.

I wouldn’t call it anger as much as my need to protect them kicks in. I won’t be happy with that person, but I’d still rather not shoot them. If the choice is them or my child, they’ve made my choice for me.

There isn’t a decent person alive that wants to kill someone. We prepare for the worst while praying it never happens.

1 Like

This can (and maybe should) be a very personnel thing for each of us. No two of us think exactly alike and some of us would have a much tougher time with the aftermath than others.

I have had hypothetical conversations with people about emotions and mental health after that fact, some think it will not affect them (99% of them I dont believe) while others worry about how they will get though if they actually took a life.

I can only speak for myself and know I would get though it easier than most (please dont ask me why I know this). Some think it is because of my military training, I would say no but perhaps part of it is from my experiences while in the military.

I will say if any of us ever have to live through the experience, there are others out there who can help you with the mental anguish and struggles you will face.

You will not be the first nor will you be the last to have to live with what happened. My best advice for the majority is not to try and keep it bottled up inside. Seek out and use support groups and/or mental health professionals.

1 Like

I was raised from a very young age with a firm understanding that sometimes it is necessary to take life in order to protect innocent life.

Everyone sets the value of their own life, for some people that’s a few dollars in your wallet or the shoes on your feet, your car, or the goodies in your home.

They put that value on their own lives by being willing to take yours to get them.

Imagine yourself as a victim in just about every crime scenario you can imagine and decide if you’d be willing to take a life to stop them.

When you have the time, review crimes that have happened and put yourself in the victim/defenders shoes and ask yourself if you’d be willing to step up in the same circumstances.

If you ever find yourself actually facing such an event you’ll already be mentally prepared to deal with it and far less likely to have a hard time living with what comes next.