What should I expect, or be ready for?

What should I expect, or be ready for?

This is a discussion on What should I expect, or be ready for? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know the elation of killing some paper at the range. (especially when near the X), I know the practice and the repetition all goes ...

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Thread: What should I expect, or be ready for?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array LuvMyPX4's Avatar
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    What should I expect, or be ready for?

    I know the elation of killing some paper at the range. (especially when near the X),
    I know the practice and the repetition all goes into it.
    But, Thank God I have never had to shoot another person, yet.
    But to protect my family, I will.
    I know that the adrenaline rush almost makes time stand still, and that it causes your brain to use much more of the processing capabilities.
    But as the ringing in my ears dies down, and I see the intruder on the ground, and I know my wife is safe and has already called the police.

    What can I expect from the heart pumping, lungs heaving, adrenaline subsiding, etc.?
    Will I collapse? Be shaking? or feel like Rambo?

    How can I prepare now, for what happens after?
    Zechariah 10:5 They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the LORD is with them, and they shall put to shame those that seek evil.

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  2. #2
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    Array Stoveman's Avatar
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    Nobody that hasn't been in that situation could tell you, IMO.

    If it ever happens call #2 needs to be your lawyer. Have his number on speed dial in both of your phones.....

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    you need to put yourself into stress-inducing situations. This is a key facet of a good martial art like Krav Maga. This I know-of where I speak.
    I assume any real good firearms instruction will have some stress-inducing elements.

    will you be shaking? will you collapse? will you feel like Rambo? I dunno, will you?

    I have never fought for my life with a firearm. I have been stuffed into a corner and mauled by state champion MMA fighters. I know how to control my breathing, and maintain a useable mental state when I am under duress. a good analogy I once heard about this stuff is it's like walking into a monster spider web, the stuff clings to you, you don't know if one is on you, and you have that panicky, twitchy, OH MY GOD moment where you come flailing out of it. Well, you may be about to be shot. think your body will react with more fear and adrenaline to thinking you have a spider on you, or about to be shot? maybe your not afraid of spiders, ok how about snakes? how about teetering on a cliff? pick your phobia, and get slammed in the face with it, while trying to fight back to protect you and loved ones. this is the level of reaction you should expect.

    So how do you feel after almost getting a car crash, because someone threw a snake and spider on your lap while you were driving on an icy road? I would imagine we're tlkaing similar levels of stress. have you ever been in a car accident? have to ever had a serious injury? ever had to administer aid to someone else who is injured? these are all things that can indicate how we will deal with stress. if you've never really been stressed, find a way too. not fun. scary as heck actually. it should be, the scarier and crazier it is, probably the more life-like and telling it will be.
    rutcrazed, Hoganbeg and LuvMyPX4 like this.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    No you will not be feeling like Rambo, you will most likely questioning EVERY decision you made. Why? Because you are most likely a good human being and do not want to kill someone, even if you had every right to do so. That is one of the reasons you need to have a lawyer handy and do not answer questions. You will be questioning your decisions and you don't want the police to do the same.
    OldVet, DingBat, USM1976 and 1 others like this.

  6. #5
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    Mas Ayoob has written extensively about the psychological, physiological and legal effects following a self-defense shooting. Here are a few of the things he's touched on:

    Immediately after an event, the adrenaline dump may inhibit sleep for days. Avoid the "pharmacological cascade" effect of taking (over-doing) sleep aids to sleep and stimulants to wake up. Know in advance that the adrenaline effects will diminish with time.

    During the life-or-death event, you may or may not be aware of your shots or the aggressor's. Some report hearing pops and not associating them with gunshots, others hear every one. "Auditory exclusion" is often at work as nature's own way of preserving critical body functions. Shots from .44 magnums may barely register and shots from .38s may leave the ears ringing for days.

    "Dissociation" from the events in front of you is common - you see what's going on almost as if you're a third party watching a movie scene. It may even seem to unfold in slow-motion. Read some of the reports from the FBI agents wounded in the Great Miami Shootout.

    "Logorrhea" (pretty much diarrhea of the mouth) is common after a shooting. The defensive shooter wants to explain everything that happened in great detail to anyone who'll listen. This is what creates possibly the most trouble for the victims, because what is said immediately after the event may be incomplete or subject to distorted perception. Good time to zip the lip and call for the lawyer.

    Some time after the event, especially if a life has been taken, self-doubt may set in. "Survivor's guilt" and "the mark of Cain" are common feelings encountered. This is where support from friends, family and professional counselors are helpful.

    How to prepare? Take professional training. Learn to shoot on the move, how to clear malfunctions, learn how to fight, how to survive.

    A good start is to read Ayoob's In the Gravest Extreme - twice. The discussions on equipment are dated, but most of the rest is not. I took his LFI-1 class as an intro to aremed self-defense, and after 40 hours it left me weak in the stomach but also fully convinced of the decision to use deadly physical force if warranted. He currently offers about the same content in his MAG-1/-2 courses. Highly recommended.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Good points above. Expect to have the worst "Aw, fudge" feeling you can imagine. If you don't something's not right. Everyone's reasonable reaction to being involved in a SD shooting will be that to some level.
    Last edited by OldVet; April 11th, 2014 at 08:22 AM.
    denclaste and Secret Spuk like this.
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  8. #7
    Member Array BuffaloRider's Avatar
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    I have read about this from Mas a good bit.

    It doesn't get much better than the way gasmitty described it.

    I will add that there is a youtube video of a law professor from Regents that is quite funny regarding "Don't talk to the police" I quote never ever never ever never talk to the police.
    You have until 6:00 to leave town.

    Break your gun on a stump!

  9. #8
    Member Array firerat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutWestSystems View Post
    No you will not be feeling like Rambo, you will most likely questioning EVERY decision you made. Why? Because you are most likely a good human being and do not want to kill someone, even if you had every right to do so. That is one of the reasons you need to have a lawyer handy and do not answer questions. You will be questioning your decisions and you don't want the police to do the same.
    ^^ THIS

    I never used a firearm to defend myself but did have to use a knife. Fortunately no one died, but someone came damn close.

    I knew what i did was justified. I knew I had no other choice.

    I also know I felt absolutely horrible. I did questioned every move I made.

    I didn't talk to the cops but not because of any legal reasons. I literally couldn't really say anything.

    And I certainly did not feel like Rambo.

  10. #9
    Member Array Powpig2002's Avatar
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    Don't know if it compares but my hunting partner dropped his mag first time he had a monster buck walk out on him.
    Secret Spuk likes this.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    Training helps, but know one really knows how they will react until it happens. You might react totally different the next time something occurs. Most people never have to use a gun, so there is a good chance you will never experience it in your life. That should be your primary goal when carrying.

    People's reactions vary from panic or freezing to heroic actions. For me in a few extremely stressful situations, it seemed that time slowed down significantly, I had tunnel vision, and sound was very muffled. The shaking, heart pumping, heavy breathing, and knot in the stomach came later.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    What can I expect from the heart pumping, lungs heaving, adrenaline subsiding, etc.?
    Will I collapse? Be shaking? or feel like Rambo?

    How can I prepare now, for what happens after?
    Nobody can tell. Train for such situations by deliberately inducing those conditions via 'heavy' workouts, FoF engagements and the like. Train for managing the effects. ABout all you can do. If you've never experienced the impacts, it's hard to explain. Everyone's different, and you won't know until you go through it how your particular body is going to cope. I'm no expert on the physical aspects, though I've been through them a handful of times for real, and a number of times in training. It's no fun, but it's important to know how your body and mind are going to be impacted.

    That's the physical aspects.

    As for the situational stuff, read In The Gravest Extreme, by Ayoob, retain a qualified self-defense attorney in advance, and think through all the situations and ramifications you'll need to prepare for. Be prepared to be taken into custody, until the GG's and BG's can be determined. Be prepared to be having someone working on your behalf, someone who isn't being impacted by the post-incident "blues" of coping with the situation, someone who can work through details without much of the worry clouding things. Speak with the folks at Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network regarding their services.
    5lima30ret and DingBat like this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array USM1976's Avatar
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    Everyone is very different...in two police shootings all the physiological reactions occur...rapid heart rate, increased breathing rate, possibly tunnel vision, and yes, the ever present adrenaline dump, all very normal. I never questioned the shootings as I knew before hand they were legal. I slept well after such...it comes down to mental preparation...being a police officer facing dangerous situations almost daily tends to aid in developing control of one's self...no, not every police officer...but, I managed.

  14. #13
    Member Array Figbassist75's Avatar
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    The only thing I can add to this conversation is to be very familiar with your state's laws in regards to legal self defense up to and including deadly force. The website, Handgunlaw.us, has some great information for each state regarding these kinds of laws. Still even with the website, it would be advisable to look up your state statutes on the subject.

    I know for a fact in my state, NC, if you are within the law in using deadly force then you are immune from both criminal and civil prosecution and that includes immunity from the families of the perpetrator who try to sue you as well. Read up on your state's laws to become familiar with the self defense laws as they differ from state to state. Handgunlaw.us is especially helpful if you plan on carrying while traveling.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    I strongly suggest taking the NRA Personal Protection In/Outside the Home courses, they delve into a lot of the detail you are seeking plus have good shooting drills to start training with some tactics. These courses are strong on the effects that you might encounter, a detailed section on the laws of self-defense in your particular state, avoiding a situation, how to deal with the aftermath, etc. I'm an NRA Instructor and teach these courses but I'm up in Commiechusetts. Look here for courses near you: NRAInstructors.org - Portal for NRA certified Instructors, NRA Education and Training

    Mas Ayoob's books are also excellent.

    After doing the above, take some tactical defensive handgun classes (most are almost all shooting classes and don't address what you asked about) for the icing on the cake as it were.
    5lima30ret likes this.

  16. #15
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    No real way to answer. Every body will react differently. Some may become violently ill, some may blot it out, some may walk around in a daze. Even someone who handles it well may react differently if put in the same situation again.
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