After the shooting, now what?

After the shooting, now what?

This is a discussion on After the shooting, now what? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This thread got me thinking. Say that it was a good shoot and after all the dust settles you are free to go home. ...

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Thread: After the shooting, now what?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Portland, OR

    After the shooting, now what?

    This thread So what's done is done and now the cops are here... got me thinking. Say that it was a good shoot and after all the dust settles you are free to go home. Now what? Psychological stress? Retribution by his friends? Just carry on with your life? What about your family? Friends?
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Quite possibly PTSD. More likely than not a sit down with a pshrink would be a good idea. There is whole laundry list of stress related symptoms and there is no way of knowing up front which any particular person will experience. And the pshrink is not just for the shooter. Would be a good idea for the family to have a sit down with them too so they understand what is going on.

    You then have the opportunity to exploit the situation with your family with great lines from TV and the movies! You can do the Dr David Banner.....
    "Don't make me angry......... You wouldn't like me when I am angry!"
    or Travis Bickle.....
    "You talkin to me? You talkin to me? I don't see anyone else here...."

    His friends (if he really has any) could be a problem. You would need to watch your back for a while. But don't be paranoid. Depending on publicity and public perception you might want to relocate.
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  3. #3
    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Parker, CO
    It has been said "your life will change forever." All of the options you listed are possible, and more than likely probable. You would have to be a mechanical robot not to experience psycological ramifications.

    You and your family will experience a wide array of responses from family and friends and you are likely not going to like the way your family is treated. People will avoid you in the stores and will see you and turn the other way.

    You will learn well to look over your shoulder. I know LEO's face pretty much the same as civilians even if the BG is on the FBI's most wanted list. That is why most departments have counseling available to the officer and their family.

    This is one of the first things that all who carry for self preservation have to answer. Can I deal with the ramifications of taking another human's life. I pray that this is an experience that you go to your grave never having had to go through.

    I would rather go through Hades on earth, rather than stand over the grave of a loved one because I didn't do something.
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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array RugerRon's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Gulf Coast
    Post traumatic stress is very real. A person's illusion of safety is easily shattered after a potentially lethal encounter. I've been robbed. I'll save the details for another post, but I put the guy's eye out. I started to carry concealed about a week later and have ever since.

    I know putting an eye out isn't the same as taking a life, but I felt/feel no remorse for the P.O.S. I do believe that I've suffered with P.S.T.D. ever since.

  6. #5
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    Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    I started a thread a while ago addressing this very topic.... Do You Have a Psychological Plan?

    Until the investigation is completely complete I'd still be cautious about who I talked to about the incident, but since JD can never be called to testify against me I would very likely confide in him immediately all of my feelings and stresses. Having been in combat before and having had to take lives he is the closest I can think of for someone to understand what I've had to do and been through.

    I would expect to be questioned by media, my family, perhaps even ostracized by friends who don't know what to say or how to respond to me. It would likely play havoc in my life for a while. I have also read instances where it has caused problems in neighborhoods .. especially where the bad guys happened to be neighbors and other neighbors have taken up sides and tried to run the "shooter" out of town, etc. We would deal with that if/when it came.

    JD and I have already come up with a plan for both of us... for me, he would find a sitter, disconnect phones, lock the doors and just be there for me. He would let me talk about it if I wanted to or just hold me and let me cry if I wanted to. He would also take some time off work and watch for signs of depression or PTSD. Finding some he would talk to me about it and we would look for a therapist who has experience in shooting-related incidences such as a police psychologist, military Chaplin, etc.

    Finding none, we would try to get back to our lives. I've read it is not uncommon for people who've been through a shooting incident to NOT want to carry for a little while. I would take that as it came.

    Some, even if they aren't suffering from PTSD, just suffer the after effects of adrenaline and wake up in sweats or searching for weapons and very amped up, jumping at shadows, etc. Depending on how severe that was I would decide whether or not it would be a good idea for me to be armed again so soon. JD would help with that evaluation.

    I am very fortunate to have someone very close to me who is so willing to help and support me and can, at least on a combat level, understand what I was required to do. Some spouses are not so willing or wouldn't even have the foggiest idea what to do to support someone who had to shoot in a civilian capacity. True, it is different than in military combat but there's still some connection.

    Most importantly I think would be getting over any feelings of anger, bitterness, etc, I might have towards myself or even my attacker. Once I was able to forgive myself and forgive those who tried to hurt me I think I would be okay and able to get on with my life.

  7. #6
    Member Array RoadKill's Avatar
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    Southern Middle Tennessee
    As RugerRon stated Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) is a very real possibility. It would be considered a normal reactrion to killing someone for most people. Post Traumatic Stress DISORDER (PTSD) is NOT a given. A diagnosis of PTSD takes a careful, professional evaluation as numerous definite markers must be evident before this diagnosis is made. As many have said you need a comforting, calm presense of a loved one and to seek professional counseling quickly to help prevent future problems.

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