3 keys to preparing for a shootout

Preparing for a shootout means preparing for anything and everything, but here are three points that are absolutely necessary:

1. Control fear (through stress inoculation).

Maintaining composure and making correct legal and tactical choices come through tough, rigorous training. It can come no other way. Training must be realistic. Training must be difficult.

If you haven’t had your heart rate soaring in a variety of unique and challenging scenario-based exercises, you’re not as prepared as you should be.

2. Be acutely aware of your tactical options—and legal options.

Whether it’s a necktie you can use as an improvised tourniquet after a lethal shot to the femoral artery or a brick wall you can hide behind for cover from incoming rounds, you need to know what’s available to you in your surroundings and how to use it to your tactical advantage. Your tactical options increase as your knowledge and skills increase.

But it is just as important to know the law and be able to implement defense justly under stress. There are at least eight fundamentals to consider before using force. You need to know them.

3. Be familiar with your equipment.

Years ago in Pinellas County, Florida, a seasoned deputy was working at the courthouse. He was standing behind a walk through metal detector watching as people came in. Another officer watched the x-ray machine.

Early in the shift, around lunchtime as I recall, the training staff brought new holsters for all the deputies. The holsters were slightly different than the ones they were wearing.

During lunch, this experienced deputy, took time to practice drawing from his new holster. He took his job seriously, even though others were making fun of him for drawing his gun in the bathroom as he tried to figure out his new holster.

Not long after, a man came into the courthouse with a pistol, determined to kill. Thankfully, the deputy who practiced with his new holster was able to draw quickly, shoot and kill the would-be assassin.

Practicing his draw and being familiar with his new holster saved his life and the life of others that day.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.

Safety warning: Jeffrey Denning is a long time self-defense professional and any training methods or information he describes in his articles are intended to be put into practice only by serious shooters with proper training.  Please read, but do not attempt anything posted here without first seeking out proper training.