Making the decision to draw a gun on someone is a weighty one, with dramatic potential consequences, let alone actually pulling the trigger. There is, perhaps moreso now than ever, a sense of hesitancy in some armed citizens and police, given the last two years of court cases and media coverage surrounding both Officer Involved Shootings (OIS) and armed citizens exercising their first, and second amendment rights.
There is wisdom in the concept of serious contemplation of moral, personal, financial, and legal outcomes surrounding use of force. Nobody worth listening to would suggest that firing blindly at someone without a clear and articulable threat of death or grievous bodily harm. That would be indefensible on every level, and would make the shooter a criminal, and at best a wanton asshole.
If you’ve watched the news, or any of the videos posted by John Correia over at ASP, then you’ve seen someone hesitate to react appropriately to a lethal threat. Cops aren’t immune from this, (disclaimer: the video linked in the following text is upsetting to watch, as it is the final moments of a police officer)it’s not even a new phenomenon and besides the fear of being branded a murderer in the media, police recruiting is often scraping the bottom of the barrel nowadays. I don’t think anyone would argue that law enforcement training is TOO rigorous or in-depth, but calls to defund them, and the perception many have of them as being arbitrarily violent is not improving that situation: Presuming you are a decent person, if all you ever hear about police is how violent and sinister they are, will you be drawn to law enforcement as a career, or will violent, sinister people be the ones drawn to the profession?
Self-fulfilling prophesies aside, whether you are a cop, or an armed citizen, training more than the minimum is paramount to increase the odds that you can successfully defend yourself and others, not to mention your reputation and literal freedom. Going to jail after making the wrong call and unjustifiably shooting someone does you and your family no good.
Equally important though, and excellently analyzed by the venerable Force Science Institute in the article linked above, is the aforementioned hesitancy to go to guns. If you encounter a threat that meets the AIOJP standards for use of lethal force, waiting to see if it all turns out okay might end your life as quickly as a bad shoot could, but somewhat more permanently, and lot less figuratively.
The 0.83 seconds it takes to react to a deadly threat, assuming you’re 100% focused on it, and can see it coming, could literally be the rest of your life. Creating distance, achieving a positional advantage, and attempting to negotiate or de-escalate the situation can all be done with a hand on your gun, ready to draw (which can cut the time to first shot by up to a quarter), and it can also be done with that gun pressed out, sights on target. One might even argue that your attempts at negotiation would even be more effective this way.
Whoever you are, if you’re armed in your day-to-day life, it’s worth keeping all these things in mind, and integrating them into your training and solo practice. Instinctively moving to cover, giving commands, and creating distance will always put you in a better position than standing still, or having to think on the fly. Give FSI and their online resources a look, and see if you can integrate their suggestions into the work you put into going home alive every day.