Many people train with their handguns for defensive situations without thinking about anything but the shooting part of the equation. The fact is that real-life defensive situations are more complex and instantly stress your body and mind.
Being surprised, threatened or attacked causes your body to dump varying amounts of adrenaline and other potent substances into your bloodstream. Those natural drugs in combination with a stressful situation cause well-documented reactions such as tunnel vision and auditory exclusion (not hearing sounds, even those as loud as gunshots).
You may experience involuntary shakes after an encounter, or even find yourself laughing or crying inappropriately—that is your body’s way of burning off the excess adrenaline. It’s also common to have difficulty remembering exactly what happened. Those reactions to stress are natural, and to be forewarned is forearmed, as they say.
A number of people with concealed carry permits regularly practice dry firing, drawing from a holster and target shooting to prepare for personal-defense situations, but that training doesn’t account for the physical and mental affects people experience when lives are on the line.
How do you condition your body and mind for the adrenaline dump that occurs during and after a stressful situation? Here are a few helpful hints and a video to help you make it out alive:
- Seeing or predicting a problem about to happen is far better than being surprised.
Being surprised by a situation makes you more likely to become panicked, and panic kills. If you see someone loitering by your car in a dark parking lot or sense someone coming up behind you, you might have time to plan your response or avoid the situation entirely.
Having the muzzle of a gun stuck into your back shouldn’t be your first clue that trouble lurks nearby. If you regularly carry a gun, you have a responsibility to be aware of your surroundings, as everywhere you go there is “a man with a gun”—you.