A great training tool is "what if" visualizations. It is something that can be done with no preparation, no tools, in any setting, at any time of the day when you have a few minutes to just think. Got a minute? Think about what you do if <insert crisis here> happened right now. Make up something or take something from the news. Work it out in your head and visualize the actions you would take all the way up the point that police and EMS arrives. Bad outcome? Work it again with a different course of action. This can become a powerful training tool. Let's try this one, ripped from today's headlines...
You're suddenly faced with screams for help from next door. You've got your CC on or a handgun readily available. A neighbor girl who you know baby-sits is screaming for someone to bring a gun. You rush to investigate. She's covered with blood and hysterical. As you enter the yard, you see a pit bull tearing into the neck of a small girl. Blood everywhere and a ravenous dog in the middle of it, still on the attack. What do you do now?
I know, the first thought for everyone is going to be "shoot the dog". But, is it really that easy? Let's work this out...
How far away are you? How close can you get?
When was the last time you were at the range and fired this gun?
Did you practice with a small moving target that has an innocent child bystander inches away or even screened by the target (over penetration must be considered here)?
Did you do a 200 yard sprint before shooting to get your heart rate up so you know how to deal with the effects of the adrenaline dump you're feeling right now?
Can you see the front sight?
Can you visualize the shot hitting the dog and ONLY the dog?
Do you know what to do for this unconscious and critically injured child lying in front of you? Without immediate help, she now has 60 seconds to live...
Think about it. Hard.
Now, if you haven't seen it, here is the article in ADN... http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/492069.html
I'm NOT attempting to judge anything about how folks responded to this particular case. Fact is, everyone who dropped what they were doing and went to help is a hero in my mind. From the baby sitter who quickly called for help when overwhelmed, the guy who confronted and ultimately shot the dog, to the US soldier who saved the child's life by controlling an arterial bleed. Just put yourself in the same position and think about what you would do. I would point out that several shots were fired and the dog was missed before finally being wounded. The dog still lives.
So, to sit back and say, "shoot the dog, end of story", is not quite as clear cut as folks would like to make it sound while standing around the water cooler. Could you have made the shot? Be it a dog, or a human predator, in the real world targets move, fight back, bite, kick, scream, and there are innocent lives at stake. You have mere seconds to take action. Practiced for that lately?