Could You Pull the Trigger?

November, 2019                                                                 
By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We’ve focused the last two months on deadly force.  We’ve reviewed lethal and non-lethal force as an action to protect ourselves and those around us.

This month, we’re going to return to the idea of deadly force and ask the question of whether you could kill another person.

As a continuation of recent themes on preparation; we’ll discuss having the “mind set” to take someone’s life.  Preparation for action includes not only the physical preparation to act; but also, the mental preparation to act.  Acting, or responding with deadly force mandates being able to pull the trigger!

There are situations reported with some regularity where an individual is confronted by someone brandishing a firearm.  Such a situation is not common, but it is also not so infrequent.  What if the individual being threatened had a license to carry, as well as having a firearm in concealment?

Let’s start with the fundamentals.  You have a firearm, you know how to shoot, you have obtained your License to Carry and you practice at the range.  But; are you really ready to go barrel to barrel with a bad actor?

As a regular reader of this blog; you know we are strong advocates for taking classes to prepare you for using your firearm in situations outside of a range lane.  Those classes advance your skills and do provide the physical preparation for drawing from concealment.  But can you pull the trigger?

The taking of a human life is not, and should not be, a cavalier experience.  However, life will at times present a situation where we must act to protect ourselves, or the innocent lives around us. 

There is a significant leap from putting holes in a paper target and putting holes in a live person!  The military has dealt with this simple issue for centuries.  There has been research from earlier conflicts that show that soldiers in combat have aimed high, low and laterally; purposefully missing the enemy across the field.  The shooter is mandated to engage with gunfire, but cannot emotionally put a bullet in an enemy across the field of fire.

On the one hand, this is good.  We don’t want people to be cavalier about killing; and most people are not.  On the other hand, if confronted by someone without such a hesitation; we need to be able to quell our reservation, and “pull the trigger”.

Which brings us to the subject matter of today’s article.  If confronted by an armed ‘actor’; would you be able to draw and fire?

Most of us (especially the men out there) would respond verbally that we would not have any problem drawing and shooting if threatened.  But; most of us have not been in such a situation for the need to fire, and most of us have been conditioned in our upbringing not to kill. 

The military has developed personality reset programs to provide our soldiers with the capability to “pull the trigger”.  To kill when ordered; and as necessary.

Can you, as a LTC holder suppress your natural hesitancy to kill?  Yes, you can; but you have to be honest with yourself and prepare both physically and mentally. 

The phrase “you rise to the level of your training” is a critical consideration here.  In a life or death situation, your mind is going to react based on automatic responses.  If you have trained on how to respond to those life and death situations, it will process an automatic response based on your training.  No training!  No response!

As LTC holders, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to those we care for to be both physically and mentally prepared to take action when confronted with a threatening situation. 

As mentioned in a previous article: We CAN protect ourselves; and we CAN draw and fire if an aggressor is approaching with a weapon and we have a reasonable belief that our life is at risk.  But it requires preparation.

Also mentioned in a previous article: we must have an understanding of the rules for the application of deadly force.  Additionally, we must understand the process of the mind and how to attain the mind set necessary to be able to recognize the threat, to draw and fire to eliminate the threat; or back away and evacuate from the situation if able.

We hope that no one reading this article will ever be in a situation where deadly force is warranted; but given the events of late, it is possible that one of us may be called upon to protect ourselves or others. 

This is a continuation on our theme ‘the citizen responder’.  We hope you found it useful.  If you aren’t already training for a future threat event; we invite you to come visit Saddle River Range; talk with an instructor, take a class and do more than put holes in paper from a stable, stationary position in a range lane.

We want the customers of Saddle River Range, our friends and members of our community to continue to live a safe and crime free life.  But we also want you to be prepared; practically, physically and mentally.  Check out this month’s class schedule and sign up for something that will challenge you and better prepare you should you need to act. 

It’s a dangerous world out there; learn what you need to know and practice your skills.


Stay Alert, Stay Safe.                                                                                                                     


© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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