Gunfights can erupt suddenly and without warning. In my own experiences, there was no time for preparation, coaching, or warm-up. This meant that my skills and training had to be rock-solid because the stakes were life and death. Typically, gunfights are over within seconds, making it challenging to scientifically pinpoint their exact duration due to the chaotic nature of the events. However, an in-depth study of law enforcement-related gunfights has shown that most of them unfold in about three seconds, from the moment the decision to engage is made to the shooter ceasing fire.
While some gunfights may extend beyond this brief window, the critical decisions and actions must take place within this unforgiving timeframe. In just those few seconds, you must assess the threat, analyze the situation, determine if shooting is necessary and lawful, consider background and potential collateral damage, and select tactics in accordance with the law and protocols.
The consequences of these rapid decisions and actions can be profound. They range from physical harm to psychological trauma and legal or policy violations that can tarnish a career. Not only are your actions significant; they can impact others, including innocent bystanders or your opponents.
Gunfighting is starkly honest. There is no room for deception or second chances. It's a moment where either you succeed, or you don't. The gravity of this reality is not to be underestimated.
In summary, the aftermath of a gunfight, encompassing moral, legal, ethical, mental, and physical consequences, can be long-lasting. The key to surviving such an ordeal and minimizing the fallout lies in thorough preparation. Beyond physical training, mental readiness is paramount, driven by the will to win, unwavering determination, and the ability to adapt and think under duress. This is why it's often said that gunfighting is 95% mental and 5% mechanical.
Keep your head down and keep the faith,