I am often asked by beginning shooters what it takes to get into defensive shooting. Many, it seems, are under the impression that the techniques needed in a defensive situation are somehow more advanced and more complex than those typically needed for basic marksmanship.
In truth, these defensive shooting skills are not more difficult to learn. The same amount of time and energy is needed to set them into neural pathways. In fact, some of these skills are less complicated than those used in marksmanship shooting. Learning to use the sights on a gun is a relatively complicated skill. Kinesthetically orienting the gun toward the target is much more natural (you point at things every day) and, therefore, easier to learn.
I’ve previously written about the importance of a defensive mindset HERE and HERE.
The defensive mindset is the foundation to your entire defensive strategy regardless of the training you’ve had or the tools you carry. Just as a building with a compromised foundation can result in a crumbling structure, an inadequate defensive mindset can result in your entire defensive strategy falling apart in the midst of a fight for your life.
Tactical Ted is my favorite hypothetical person. Despite his complete and utter lack of any formal training, he considers himself to be an “operator” and, unlike me, he knows every answer to every question in the defensive shooting world. Sometimes Ted shoots only occasionally and sometimes he shoots every week. Sometimes he shoots competitively and sometimes just for fun. In spite of all of his shooting experience (or lack thereof), Ted is all knowing.
Sometimes it blows my mind when I hear some of the ridiculous excuses made by folks when it comes to why they don’t carry their gun. They have put a lot of time and money into buying a gun, taking a state mandated safety course, paying for their carry permit, and buying a holster and other equipment but choose, instead, to leave their gun at home.
Let’s look at some of these excuses and see why they are invalid.