Gunfighter Cast – Episode 73 (The Killing Toll)

Daniel Shaw back in 2003

Daniel expressly answered a few questions about his personal application of lethal force and how it changed him and I thought he made a number of points that are important to readers of WTBGU!

1. Regardless of the Moral, Legal and Ethical attributes of the use of deadly force, it will change you.
2. No matter how justified you are and even if you are publicly cleared by the police (don’t hold your breath), there is no such thing as a clean shoot and someone close to you will view you differently because of it.
3. Your mindset going into the event, your confidence in your decision and the support you get afterwards greatly affects how you will rebound.

During the episode Daniel mentioned the book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman, in high regard.  I agree and I have given away multiple copies of the book.

He also alluded to the idea that there could be a positive PTSD and it is an idea that I subscribe to whole heartedly. In fact I wrote about is 2 months ago in the post “The Power of Thought.”

Lastly, many people struggle to develop the mindset they need to both survive a critical incident and live with themselves afterwards because of their religion. I don’t believe that the bible provides any evidence against self-defense and again have written on the topic in the past, but I don’t think I covered it as well as Dustin Ellermann and Rob Robideau on Gun Guy Radio.

Yeah, I had a heavy commute today.

Tell me what you have done to both prepare yourself and your loved ones, for when you might be faced with taking a human life.  Tweet me @BalloonGoesUp, message me on Facebook or leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this analysis. If you liked it share it with your friends, and don’t forget to subscribe to the new newsletter!


  1. says

    Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s books are excellent… my gal and I recently attended his Bulletproof the Mind seminar and it was equally worthwhile… the gals and I have plans to attend TDI’s Handgun Level I, II, & III course in May, 2013… a refresher for me and the first opportunity for my daughter to more formally strengthen her shooting skills and mindset before she heads off to college next year… although apparently the government values her life far less the mine as they will not let her carry for self-protection until she’s 21… That’s four years away… and as a Christian man, husband, and father… providing for my family both spiritually and physically is job one… and if that means stopping someone who intends to prevent me from doing that or harm my gals… I’ve got no hesitations about pulling the trigger… I have yet to do that, not even during my time as a police officer… yes, I’ve drawn down on scumbags, but never shot one… and I don’t look forward to having to do it if the occasion or circumstances should arise… but I will… without hesitation… I’ve determined that in my mindset… in my training… in my heart…

    Dann in Ohio

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