PSYCHOLOGY OF VIOLENT CONFRONTATION

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PSYCHOLOGY OF VIOLENT CONFRONTATION

Dr. Gina asks, ‘Would you fight, freeze or run?’

(Editor’s note: This is Part 1 in a series on the psychology of violent confrontation.)

Advice abounds

Vice President Biden says that when one is confronted with a threat, he should “fire a warning shot.” That might be the answer you could expect from a white-gloved elitist with an entire security detail. For real people on the street, that is a good way to die when confronted with a real threat.

I recently traveled to my hometown of Jefferson City, Mo., to speak at the Rally for Common Sense. After the event, I invited a group of friends to meet up at a favorite downtown haunt near the state Capitol building, where I lived most of my life. One of my friends, who is the city prosecutor, asked if he could “bring along the man who took a bullet” for him. How could I say no to that?

I had no idea that the chance encounter would forever change the way I thought of defensive conditioning and confrontation.