By definition, defensive firearms will be used if a person is under stress when circumstances present themselves for the gun to fulfill its intended purpose. The fundamentals of gun marksmanship that people learned in the calmness of the training range and in classrooms might go out the window if the training didn’t encompass something which experts call “stress inoculation.” Gun experts speak of competency levels when it comes to vital physical skills.

At the bottom of the scale is unconscious incompetence, a situation where people do not know what they are doing and have not yet realized they do not know what they are doing. These people are set up for failure. If there is a life-or-death situation that requires the skill set in question, there is a big chance that they will die unless they are fortunate.

To know more about the stages of competence, check out for more information.

The next level is conscious incompetence, is a situation where people realize that they do not know what they are doing. It is something more manageable since these types of people tend to be more hyper cautious. It will not get in their head and will train until they reach the next level, which is conscious competence. It is the realization that if they think about what they are doing, perhaps only for a fraction of a second, they can do what needs to be done.

The top-level is unconscious competence. People performed the skill set that was required as many times that if given the stimulus, they can carry out the task on autopilot mode without actually thinking about it. Unconscious competence – commonly called “in the zone” or “the Zen state” by sports practitioners and other disciplines – is what every person seeks.

The bad news is, none of us can guarantee a perfect “in the zone” performance on the fly. Experts use tern “autopilot” when teaching since people can relate to the word quickly. Any car driver, airplane pilot, or ship captain knows that autopilot mode is beneficial when the road, the sky, or sea are calm.

Still, when the vehicle is in trouble, it is time to turn the autopilot off and use the conscious competence’s manual override. Thinking about what you’re doing will bring the person back on course. Though, with that being said, having the right skills set dialed into autopilot mode will leave the mind free to deal with the non-physical things, like the crucial aspect of deciding between not shooting the gun or pulling the trigger to survive.

For more information about active shooter training, make sure to check out government manuals, as well as information packets from security firms that are found on the Internet.

Fight or flight mechanism

We all know that there are things that can trigger a person’s fight or flight mechanism. It is our body’s response to certain dangers, just like an alarm clock for our body, but on a higher level. During this situation, our body will release epinephrine or also known as adrenaline, which increases our body’s strength close to superhuman degree.

Not only that, it will release norepinephrine, as well as endorphins, which will make the body virtually immune to pain in a short period. The problem with this adrenaline rush is its side effects. There is a big chance that you will crash and burn after the dump and may experience violent tremors.

That is why, for many years, instructors always suggest shooting using a gun with a deliberate trembling hands to show that they can do it during dangerous situations and can still score a neutralizing hit. According to recent studies, more often than not, people will experience altered perceptions like auditory exclusion and tunnel vision.

It means that people may no longer recognize the next target on the periphery of the first attacker that they are focused on, and they may not hear someone shouting warnings. Yes, it is a complicated thing. There is a small chance to see what you are looking for or inattentional blindness, or hear the things you are not listening to (also known as inattentional deafness).

It is why beginners are taught to scan dangerous scenarios as soon as you think (or know) that the initial opponent is incapacitated or down. Also, make sure to listen to the surroundings if scanning the area is not possible. It is also the reason why it is imperative to have the right skill sets down to the core where you can perform the necessary task on autopilot mode, to free the cognitive attention to gather vital intelligence as to what to do next, both for survival purposes, as well as not make a situation a lot worse.

Lesson learned

Let us offer some points and tips that have stood out from the lessons some shooting survivors learned over the years from practicing self-defense – these lessons are essential, that they scream for the attention of people who carry a gun to protect yourself, your family, and innocent people in general.

People need to accept crisis can happen anytime, anywhere, to everyone. Too many people, including law enforcers, think that there is zero chance that they will experience a disaster like gun shooting. Make sure that you are adequately prepared to face these types of situations.

How to handle firearm safety? Click here to find out more.

Like most experts always says, practice will make the task engrain in your muscle. If you practice how to accurately shoot guns to the point that it is natural to you as breathing, there is a big chance that you will not be affected by outside factors since it is almost automatic for your body to react immediately once you experienced a crisis.

Have a mental situation to respond

No, you cannot practice everything 5,000 to 10,000 times in your lifetime. According to science, it takes 10,000 times of repetition to make a complex psychomotor skillset to perform on autopilot. It will also take 10,000 hours of practice for you to master one skill. But if you can visualize yourself doing these tasks and programmed your mind that in case this stimulus presents itself, you will automatically respond, the job will be living in your head, and there is a big chance that it is easier for your body to find the right reaction to the given stimulus.