Physiological Changes Brain/Body During A Shooting:

Physiological Changes Brain/Body During A Shooting:

This is a discussion on Physiological Changes Brain/Body During A Shooting: within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Most know these but I thought I'd post for those who don't especially those new to CCW. I think they are important to know because ...

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Thread: Physiological Changes Brain/Body During A Shooting:

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Physiological Changes Brain/Body During A Shooting:

    Most know these but I thought I'd post for those who don't especially those new to CCW. I think they are important to know because they likely will happen to us IF. At the end: a brief true story and part of a research project to investigate how the brain changes from normal function in a shooting.

    The premise to all of this is that we are animals and we have the survival mechanisms of animals. But because nature did not have in mind animals trying to shoot a handgun properly, most have a minus for us as well as a big plus. Those I know:

    TUNNEL VISION: as the name implies the center of your visual field is heightened, the periphery lessened visually, some describe this as light, bright in the center, dark around it. This allows the "animal" to focus visually solely on the immediate threat to life. The down side for us: lessened peripheral awareness of possible others on the sides moving in to attack.

    AUDITORY EXCLUSION: sounds are reported heard less loud, gunshots as well, as if heard from a great distance. Again, animals are not distracted by secondary noises or startled and can focus exclusively on the threat. Downside: we may not hear sound of another perp as he moves in on our sides or behind us.

    BLOOD SHUNTING FROM EXTREMITIES TO DEEP BODY ORGANS: this is animal's body in preparation for severe injury to help prevent massive bleed-out when the animal is rent apart in the center of its body. For us animals a big down side: blood leaves our hands and fingers and they don't work as well as at the range, and they may already be shaking and sweaty making grip difficult on hilt of gun. This makes it worse, drawing, aiming, everything. You just won't shoot as well as you do at the range from this factor alone. (On the big plus side: this will help you maybe survive a shot in the torso or guts.)

    TIME DISTORTION: as in a car accident time is reported by participants in shootings to stop, a second seems a day, some report sense of slow motion. I see this as a help with no minus.

    The story: an officer, one of a number agreeing to be interviewed by researchers on his past shooting involvement, told this, and this part I relate is one phenomena of his brain no longer working normally. There were others from him as well.

    Three officers were outside a door preparing to knock to see if a perp was there and if so to arrest him. The criminal instead thew the door open and began firing with a handgun. The officer researched remembered only at this point seeing the circle of the gun's barrel, looking huge, as the perp aimed at him. He and one of his partners flew towards the end of the short hall to throw themselves around the corner. The partner was hit as they were running. The officer I'm focusing on remembers just bending down, grabbing his partners belt and dragging him at a "fly" around the corner and onto the floor. The officer drew his gun to glance around the corner and begin firing when appropriate. He suddenly noticed the only thing in his hand was his hand. He had dropped his gun on the initial run to the corner, had drawn as if there was a gun there continuing the whole movement and turned his hand into the hand-symbol of a gun, you know: forefinger pointed straight, thumb up as the hammer, rest of the hand a fist for the hilt. Researchers said that due to his training his brain went back to normal mode instantly upon his realization: he immediately took his partners gun and began really firing. The officers killed the perp I believe, all were OK and the wounded officer recovered quickly. But such is one example of how the brain can go into an abnormal mode in a shooting. And remember these are trained officers.

    Perhaps others, maybe even a LEO who has been in a shooting, would like to add other physical effects of shooting stress I don't know. These are merely what I do know.
    I really don't have the foggiest of how to train away the negatives of some of what our bodies do, but any who do may want to help us all by their suggestions. (I'd like to know.)

    Best
    Last edited by detective; August 8th, 2013 at 07:16 AM.
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    Stiff arm to the goal line.
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    Thanks for sharing.


    “Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” Thomas Paine


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    During a 4 day defensive handgun course they repeatedly said, "Your worst day at the range is better than your best day in a real emergency. So make your worst day at the range pretty damn good."
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farsidefan1 View Post
    During a 4 day defensive handgun course they repeatedly said, "Your worst day at the range is better than your best day in a real emergency. So make your worst day at the range pretty damn good."
    Right, the range is not the street or your front door being broken into at 1:00 am. I like that remark they made to you: it means to me train so well at the range that you have a good, high bottom should the real thing happen. And the perp too may not be at his best either - it's not just you...

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Just to hammer this home, your best option is to partner up. If you are running point, your partner is not in the tunnel vision auditory exclusion zone and things are unfolding for them in normal time - they are back away from the action and covering you. Create space between you, your partner and the action to allow this.

    In today's world, you can not do it alone. Even if your 'partner' is the clerk at the grocery store, let them help you when you sense it's not a good time (night, bad weather, etc.) It's no comment on your manliness to get help even if you're athletic and able-bodied. Things will happen when you least expect and you are ALWAYS going to be one step behind the attacker.

    Good post, OP.
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    All of these things listed by the OP are accurate. Repeated force-on-force can help to minimize them. Good post.
    The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    One drill we had was to place our weapon on a table 3-7 yards from a target place yourself 60 yards from table sprint to table expend all rounds into target. Your groups won't be pretty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdave View Post
    One drill we had was to place our weapon on a table 3-7 yards from a target place yourself 60 yards from table sprint to table expend all rounds into target. Your groups won't be pretty.
    That is another phenomena for which repeated drills provide a nice workaround.
    The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.
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    Close but no cigar.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I really don't have the foggiest of how to train away the negatives of some of what our bodies do, but any who do may want to help us all by their suggestions.
    You dont train away negatives, you train to what your body does in these types of situations. Train to it, not away for it....
    Secret Spuk and detective like this.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    I have experienced the Tunnel Vision and Auditory Exclusion, in seperate events, not simultaniously. Suprisingly the tunnel vision I experienced only lasted for a few seconds before I was able to overcome it. The auditory exclusion however, lasted to the end of the incident and my partner touched my arm to get my attention. I didn't realize it had occured until afterward.
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    These are all true and thanks for reminding and possible educating a few. We as responsible carry's need to keep this in mind in our training. Why it is important to train to scan the area, to assist in breaking the tunnel vision. Guy's/Gal's these are thing's as well as the emotional trauma and speculation as well as the legal battle, that needs to be well thought out in advance. Only a simplton would get there permit and strap on a piece, without a mature, educated, intelligent thought to responsiblity as well as effect's.
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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    Fine motor skills are dramatically reduced during the stress of a shooting! This is where you will revert to your training...which should focus on gross motor skills.
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