We received the following inquiry last week:
I have a question for Matt on the physiology of when to shoot/kill and when not to, and the decision making process that goes into it. I’m not sure I trust my judgement when comes time to go to guns. I’m talking more about the ability to evaluate a situation and know the proper reaction and not second guessing a decision. And washing away the habit of looking for permission to do what needs to be done.
A bigger point we’re getting to is the “internalization” and “taking ownership” of your role. To use a parenting analogy: how did you prepare to be a mom? It’s not just one thing – it’s a change to your wholeness of being – and you quickly learned to embody that change.
People want to carry guns without recognizing the bigger responsibility – just like having kids – that comes with it. It’s not a simple choice. I’m more impressed by people like you that know what they don’t know and then seek out a way to find that knowledge than by those who hide behind their false sense of identity. And like parenting: there are no absolutes. You just have to take it as it comes, follow a set of principles, and make the best choice you can at the time.
People see carrying a gun as a task and it’s not. It’s deeper. They want if “A” then “B”, almost like teaching someone to drive. But guns are exponentially more complex because there aren’t any rules – which is where most people get hung up, especially in force on force. You have to be able to function outside of rules because the whole dynamic isn’t governed by rules. It’s chaos. So how do you manage chaos? You follow a set of principles (which can also change) and make the best choice you can.
For me I take it as:
a) there’s no reason to fight a fight that I don’t have to: know the true cost of what I’m fighting for
b) if fighting, fight as hard as I can as fast as I can: shoot fast, hit first
c) when fighting always put something between me and the hurt: distance, time, people, structures, etc
d) while fighting, there’s always someplace better I can be: always work to improve my position
e) once the fight is over, it’s not over: recognize I’m never done fighting
And now back to the beginning. There’s no reason to fight a fight I don’t have to….
People often mistake the tool for the solution. For personal security the most tactically advantageous part of an engagement is disengagement.