Deadly force decision making by armed citizens is a very important topic and concern for all of society.  This is something that goes far beyond the mechanics of doing something like drawing and shooting.  Making the appropriate decisions under stress not only applies to whether or not to shoot, but also can apply to tactics.  Decision-making under very stressful conditions is extremely difficult because of the adrenaline that the body is experiencing.  There are three common responses that happen to people when experiencing an “adrenaline dump”: to fight, to run (flight), or to freeze.  Studies have shown that the more police officers, for example, are exposed to making use of force decisions under stress, the better they do.  This has been given the term “stress inoculation”.

One of the reasons that police officers sometimes make mistakes in the use of force is because many times they have not been trained adequately to operate under stressful conditions.  If police officers make these mistakes even with all the training they have received, how well do you think you, as an armed citizen, will do without all of the training?  The more you can experience making decisions under stress in a training environment, where there is nothing to lose other than your pride, the better you will perform in actual real life situations.  Why? Because you have had the opportunity to be "inoculated" into that type of stressful environment.

If this is not routinely incorporated into your training, you are setting yourself up for failure.  There are many ways to accomplish decision making in your training.  One way is incorporate "shoot - don't shoot" targets when you are at the range.  Another way to get that decision making under stress is to take a class that includes Scenario Based Training.  Wisconsin Precision Concealment is proud to offer these types of classes to shooters seeking to increase their knowledge and abilities.  The goal is to have the students experience a variety of stressful situations in a training environment where they can make the important use of force decisions, and learn from the mistakes that they make.

How do you operate under stress? If you do not know, you owe it to yourself to find out.