Train Your Brain: The Defensive Mindset

Train your Brain

We have all heard the tough guy phrases. “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six.” “Don’t tread on me.” “I’ll be your huckleberry.” While I find some comedy in most of these phrases, I also find concern. Most people don’t give the act of lethal force more thought than it takes to say these “cool guy” cliches. As responsible gun owners, this is a mentality we need to change.

After the birth of my first child, I had a significant shift in perspective when it comes to self defense and defense of others. I decided that in order to be successful in a self defense encounter I would need to develop parameters, or define the things that would bring me to use lethal force. Essentially, thought about what acts would bring me to actually pull the trigger.

The Good Samaritan

As Americans, we have built quite the reputation for defending the defenseless. We have sent soldiers to fight tyrants and dictators thousands of miles from home because we are tough enough to stop them. We stop criminals during robberies and mass causality events because we can.

But should you?

This is a question we each need to ask ourselves. When push comes to shove, is risking an end to your own life worth it? Your kids growing up parentless, your spouse in the breadline?

On Killing

A book I read recently regarding lethal self defense was “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning To Kill In War And Society” by Lt. Col Dave Grossman. This book discusses many things from, as the name would suggest, the psychology of killing to the different methods we have conditioned ourselves to be capable of committing acts of extreme violence.

One topic the author brought forth in this book was the inherent resistance humans have to killing their own species. While we have hunted and fished species to extinction, humans don’t like to kill one other. We are adverse to it in a way other species casually accept as normal.

So can you? Have you really thought about the act of defending yourself even if it means someone else dies? Have you thought about what your mother and father, sister and brother, and spouse and children will think of you?

Methods to Madness

While it may seem like I am discouraging you against enacting your God-given rights to self defense, it is actually the opposite. I encourage every man and woman to do everything in their power to not be a victim. We simply need to take the proper steps to ensure it.

We, as individual responsible citizens, should be sitting down and thinking about these things. We need to develop boundaries that nobody can cross. We need to develop a plan of what to do if/when someone crosses them. We need to scrutinize our plan until it’s as flawless as we can make it.

We need to talk to our loved ones. We need to talk to our friends. We need to see where they stand on the topic of lethal force to better understand where we will stand in the aftermath. We do not live in a social vacuum so we must plan like it.

We need to visualize ourselves in these potentially deadly situations. Go through each motion we intend on making. Find our own weaknesses so that others don’t exploit them.

And then we need to practice until we can’t get it wrong.

Taylor Kauffman
Taylor has served in the Army National Guard as a Small Arms Repairman for 10 years and as a full time Artillery Technician for five years. He has taught marksmanship in the military and has been an MCRGO instructor in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan for two years. In his spare time, Taylor enjoys the outdoors and is an avid hunter, trapper, and fisherman.