We shoot, if we have to shoot, to stop the attack. We often also hear trainers and thinkers tell us that we need to come to grips with the idea of killing someone.
I now think that’s the wrong emphasis.
I think it’s more important that you work on being able to handle the knowledge that you have killed someone, that you have been the cause of the death of another human being.
My thinking is that if you train and practice and study correctly, the physical act of shooting and everything else you need to do to stop an attack is going to be and should be pretty much automatic. From the time that you decide that there is a threat to life to the point where the attack stops, emotion and most conscious thought should not be present. You decide to act, you act according to your training and experience, you stop acting as you observe the successful stop of the attack. Emotion can drive, but should not direct, your action during the fight itself. It’s not that you don’t think at all, but that you move some actions into an automatic status so that you are free to think about what you need to think about if you’re going to act in defense of life.
Because of the way we have to shoot and the way we are told and taught and train to shoot, the process of stopping the attack may result in the death of the attacker(s). That is what we need to be able to deal with more than the idea before hand that we might end up killing someone. What is more important is dealing with the knowledge that we actually have killed someone.
If we haven’t come to the best terms with the knowledge of having done (as opposed to doing) then we risk not being able to act the way we should and take the actions we should after the attack is over when we’re dealing with (mainly) police and other investigations and (secondarily) friends, family and the press. If we don’t set up ahead of time, we may end up saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, saying too much or too little, doing something that we don’t understand makes the action we took look a different way than it is.
This has happened to others and they have suffered for it. Start now to prepare so that it is less likely to happen to you.