For the defensive shooter, the Combat Triad is critically important. It is the equal balance of marksmanship, gun handling and mindset. Mastering skills in these three areas prepares the armed citizen to deal effectively with a criminal attack. Of the three, mindset is by far the hardest to teach.
Combat mindset incorporates awareness of your surroundings, understanding of the criminal mind, determination and the willingness to visit violence upon those who would place your life in danger. Those who have "seen the elephant" and survived have no trouble grasping the principle. Unfortunately, too many people just play at this business of personal defense, or don't give it the serious consideration this issue deserves.
Part of developing a combat mindset involves listening to those who have experienced a violent attack. We also learn to begin studying the criminal mind and how it functions. Above all, we learn the importance of developing a realistic defensive plan for protecting our own lives and those of our family.
Facing a criminal attack is a devastating experience. But, it is manageable if we know it could happen, have practiced the necessary skills to handle it and have a plan for dealing with it. Col. Jeff Cooper once said something like this: "When faced with a criminal attack, one should say, 'they told me that this could happen and I know exactly what to do about it.'"
The important thing to remember is you are responsible for your own safety.