Foreword by Massad Ayoob
It’s an honor to be asked to write the foreword for Bruce Eimer’s book, because “Armed” isn’t merely one more of the plethora of CCW (carry concealed weapons) books now on the market. While all his information is solid, Bruce brings two particular strengths to the topic.
First, of course, he’s a practicing clinical psychologist with extensive experience in areas related to armed self-defense. It shows in his approach. He understands what has to be going on in the defender’s mind before, during, and after the encounter…and he prepares his readers to understand that, long before any steel clears leather or any triggers need to be pulled.
The use of lethal force in self-defense is, by definition, a near-death experience. It triggers body alarm reaction, the most intense form of which is known as fight or flight response. Ancient survival instincts kick in, causing us to focus on the threat in a way that tunnels vision and interferes with hearing, and otherwise alters our perceptions. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens more often than not, and the potential defender needs to be aware of it beforehand. Dr. Eimer understands these things – things I’ve been researching and explaining for some forty years now – and does an excellent job of getting them across to his students and readers.
To prevail in a savage gun battle with a violent criminal, an encounter that may last only three seconds or so, one must have prepared well ahead with mental and emotional conditioning. That three-second street fight may trigger a criminal justice system response that might not be concluded for over a year, and a civil court lawsuit that will seldom be resolved in less than a year. The “Mark of Cain syndrome” – people seeing you differently because at one time in your life you killed a man – is something you’ll probably have to deal with until you take your last breath, and even then you can bet someone will mention the long-ago shooting at your funeral.
Psychologist and firearms instructor Bruce Eimer wisely prepares you for that, too.
Having seen Dr. Eimer as a student and as a lecturer, I can tell you he’s good at both. As a student, he absorbs, analyzes, and incorporates. As a speaker and instructor, he relates to his audience and knows how to powerfully communicate the things they need to know.
Another of Bruce’s long term specialties has been adapting defensive doctrine including shooting to those who are physically challenged, whether by illness, injury, or age. He has much sound advice in this book that covers this area, as well.
As a psychologist who understands the gun and as a committed “advanced student” of the art and science of armed self-defense and the management of its aftermath, Bruce Eimer brings much to the table that is lacking in some other quarters of self-defense training. This, his newest book, is a most worthwhile read, and one I encourage you to take seriously.
–Massad Ayoob, November 23, 2011