If you enjoy shooting as a hobby, you’ve probably thought about a scenario where you might have to use your gun to protect yourself or others. Maybe you’re at a public event and everything is seemingly normal, until a criminal pulls out a gun and threatens everyone around. Since you have your concealed weapons permit and are carrying, you’re now faced with a decision. Do you stay quiet or take advantage of the fact the criminal underestimated the power of a law-abiding, 2nd Amendment loving citizen? These situations happen all the time. If you’ve never been in this situation before, it’s important to consider you don’t know how you’ll react. Preparing for the possibility is smart, especially if you’re carrying. Here’s what you should know about staying calm and shooting well under pressure.
There is a great article on the Warrior Life website about preparing yourself for a scenario such as this. They provide practical tips you can implement to improve your reaction to a real ambush. Just knowing how to shoot isn’t enough when it comes to a real life situation. “If you’re not actually training to fight WITHOUT a weapon, you’re leaving dangerous gaps in your training.” Practicing how to fight without a weapon is important too, because in some cases you might not have time to draw your weapon. You may have to take down the criminal before you can pull out your gun, so this is a crucial step. They also discuss how physical fitness is important as well, so working out regularly will benefit you. Practice drills are also important because it’s easy to get rusty. “It’s all about challenging yourself and constantly improving your skills, under realistic stress.”
The NRA shares an article regarding stress and anxiety when it comes to shooting. They’re specifically talking about shooting in competitions, but the advice they give can apply to real life situations as well. “As a shooter, it is important to know that breath control—together with sight alignment and trigger squeeze—is key to properly executing a shot.” Focusing on your breathing is important for controlling your stress levels and that will help you shoot better. Stress and anxiety will definitely hinder your ability to shoot well, so staying calm under pressure is vital.
Those in law enforcement/military careers will know all about training and running drills to make sure they can recognize real threats and shoot well under stress. We can use those same techniques to practice. You can run practice drills with different scenarios to stay sharp.