This lecture is presented by Massad Ayoob, who is one of the pre-eminent fighting handgun trainers in the world. His methods of reflexive, high speed yet accurate shooting has been adopted by the U.S. Army as part of its standard pistol-training course. Former director of Lethal Force Institute, and owner/operator of the Massad Ayoob Group, he is directly responsible for training thousands in justifiable use of deadly force, safe gun use and effective defense techniques. In this lecture, he offers a frank discussion of how a lethal force incident changes the survivor.


In this video, Ayoob defines both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and post-shooting trauma, explaining that the reactions suffered by the survivor stem from how society treats one who uses deadly force to avoid being killed or crippled. He suggests coping strategies for dealing with the distress, explaining, “If you can understand the trauma and the symptoms, you can remedy it,” and adding that knowing in advance innoculates the student to some degree so their responses may be less intense.

Some post-event reactions include:

  • Nightmares
  • A period of insomnia
  • Survivor euphoria and its flip side, self doubt
  • Depression
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Social withdrawal
  • Aggression/avoidance syndrome, and more.

Sound grim? It is. Introducing these realities to those who sit in judgment of a member and explaining that the member knew these post-incident problems might plague them, helps explain why use of deadly force in self defense was a last-choice option faced by a man or woman who would have died had they not acted in self defense.

Ayoob closes with advice about how to reach out to other armed citizens who may be enduring this pain and how to offer substantive assistance and support. For previews of the other member education lectures, click here.