Mindset Beyond Platitudes

My friend and colleague Shelley Hill wrote two articles about mindset that are well worth reading.

“We hear that term quite often in the self defense world, but what does it really mean?”



Here are  few other short explanations about mindset.

From Chapter III of the classic 1942 text Shooting to Live by Fairbairn and Sykes:

“The instructor will be well advised to give his pupils short ‘rest’ periods at fairly frequent intervals and to utilise such intervals to impress upon them the conditions under which they may be called upon to use their pistols eventually. … [W]hen obliged to shoot, they will have to do so with all the aggressiveness of which they are capable.”

From a presentation to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) about Violent Encounters – A  Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers (An FBI publication):



“Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had ‘experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority’ to use deadly force ‘but chose not to shoot.’ They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. ‘It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available,’ the researchers concluded.

The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, [one of the researchers] said the study team ‘did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don’t hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant.’

‘Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms,’ the report states. ‘In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.’

‘Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves.’ Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers ‘let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation.’”

From the late William T. Aprill:

“They are not like you.”

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