According to the Kübler-Ross model there are five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced these stages in her book On Death and Dying
, in 1969. They apply to dealing with grief from any source, but especially death. They also apply to the way we think about being prepared to defend against a violent attack.
The first stage of grief is denial. In the event of a death survivors cling to a belief that they have received mistaken information. "This can't be true," they say. Denial is a typical reaction to troubling news. The problem with denial is that it does nothing to change past events or prepare you for the future. Denial will not protect you. Recognizing that there are evil people out there and danger can come anywhere at any time allows you to prepare yourself for the future.
Stage Two is Anger. Anger creates frustration. Anger prevents rational thought. Think abut the bad decisions you've made in the past. Chances are the worst choices you've ever made were when you were angry. Your emotions, especially anger, make it difficult to think clearly. You must remain calm before, during and after the confrontation.
Bargaining is next. This is a hope that one can change the past, present or avoid grief in the future by offering a change in the way you live or think. "If I don't go to this part of town I won't have any trouble," you say. Bargaining won't prevent you from coming into contact with the bad guys. When they are in front of you – willing and ready to maim or kill – they probably aren't going to listen your "deal." Bargaining is a lot like gambling; at some point you're going to run out of luck and lose.
Depression is number four. Becoming depressed over the fact that there are evil people out there does nothing to prepare or defend against a threat. Depression creates fear. Now you are afraid to leave the home or venture out into public. Depression distracts, making it difficult to think or process information. Depression is not an option.
Finally, stage five, is acceptance. This is the only viable choice. You accept that there are bad, evil people out there ready and willing to do harm. You understand this danger can occur anywhere. Now you can take steps to prepare for trouble. You seek out training, learning how to defeat the attacker. You learn that at the top of your list of tactics is avoidance and escape, but sometimes this isn't an option. You practice the skills needed, so when the time comes you can apply them on demand under any type conditions. Mentally, and physically, you prepare for the fight, learning that no matter what happens you will win the fight, defeating the threat. The first step to preparing to respond to danger is accepting the necessity for these preparations.
Once you accept the fact that there are evil people out there you can begin to prepare. Can you prevent all attacks? No. "But what about firearms?" they say. Man killed before firearms, and taking them away will only prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves. By being armed, trained and with practice you can be ready to stop an attack. Will your response be perfect? Probably not, but it ain't gotta be pretty it just has to work. Violent attacks can occur anywhere, at any time. Personal defense is an individual responsibility. Make sure you are ready.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html McKee's new book, AR-15 Skills and Drills, is available off Shootrite's website: