Father Holding His Child Shoots Armed Robber

Father Holding His Child Shoots Armed Robber

Do you think about your children when you consider how you’d respond to an armed robber? If you’re a parent, your Active Self Protection MUST include planning with your children in mind about your response to an armed robber or other attacker.

Original video of the armed robber getting his just desserts: https://get-asp.com/nk2v

 

News story with details of the armed robber and intended victim (Google Translate from Portuguese required): https://get-asp.com/0v8x

 

What does this father teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber, especially with children around?

 

  1. Parents must consider their children in their defensive plan, be it against an armed robber or any other attacker as well. The younger the child, the more the parent(s) must consider how holding or dragging their child will affect their ability to protect both of them. Naturally, the more children you have the more you’ll be constrained in retreat or running, and the more you’ll have to “stick your foot in the ground” and defend yourself without retreat. Thankfully the father knew what to do with his child when the armed robber launched the attack!

 

  1. If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of almost any armed robber. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the armed robber to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense.

 

  1. In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. Notice that the father waited until he could seize the initiative to fight the armed robber effectively.

 

  1. Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. Usually the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. (not always, but usually) So putting the first shot on target every time and quickly is imperative. The father put his first volley of shots on target in the armed robber and ended the threat, and that is what our intent must always be!

 

  1. It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and LOOK for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way. Once the first armed robber was in retreat, the father here started looking for more threats.

 

  1. If you have a spouse or significant other who isn’t a self-defender, it’s very important to teach them what their responsibility is if you ever have to use your firearm to defend you both against an armed robber or other attacker. The same holds true for children or elderly parents or anyone who you are around a lot who doesn’t practice ASP at all. My wife and kids know that if they see my firearm at all they need to get DOWN and, if possible, get away from me because I am about to draw fire. In the car they know to get low. Obviously a baby can’t be taught, but your spouse can!

 

  1. While a two-handed draw from concealment is faster and usually more accurate, there will be plenty of times when one hand is occupied or otherwise unable to assist with the draw. This might be because it’s engaged with your attacker, because you’re holding a child or protecting your loved ones with it, or because it’s injured or out of the fight somehow. Knowing how to draw your firearm with one hand, wherever it is carried, is an important skill for those instances! The father had to get his child into his support arm and then draw his firearm one-handed to use it against this armed robber.

 

  1. Your firearm will only come out when it’s the worst day of your life, so make sure that you can draw that firearm quickly and reliably. Vet your carry position so that you know without a doubt that you can get a full firing grip and get the gun out of the holster and into the fight without fail should an armed robber or other attacker threaten you. If you have to fumble to get the correct grip on the gun, change your carry setup until you can. Then train and practice until you can’t get it wrong. As the old saying goes, in a gunfight you have the rest of your life to get your gun in the fight, so get good at it.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Officer Repeatedly Tries Not to Shoot Man Pointing a Gun at Him

Officer Repeatedly Tries Not to Shoot Man Pointing a Gun at Him

Count the number of verbal commands the officer gives before he finally ends the threat! (check the news story, and you’ll see the perp’s gun was actually a BB gun…so this was suicide by cop) There are a lot of Active Self Protection at play in the skills this officer shows to protect himself.

Original video of the officer involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/klhj

 

News story of the reason the officer fired (pic of the suspect’s gun is included): https://get-asp.com/mwns

 

What does this officer involved shooting teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?

 

  1. Having a light mounted on your pistol is not for everyone, but for those who can make it work it does give you another tool in the toolbox. I carry the TLR-1 HL on my pistol and it works wonderfully. It does not replace a handheld light for general lighting needs, but for illuminating a known threat it is very helpful. The key, as always, is to train with it regularly and seriously. The pistol mounted light that the officer used here was used to good effect!

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! Experiencing situations like this officer did again and again in a training environment will prepare you mentally for the fight of your life.

 

  1. Part of your training must be knowing when to use verbal commands, and when to abandon verbal commands and move to physical or deadly force. Many times self-defenders (and LEO) get caught in a loop of issuing the same command repeatedly to no effect. Using verbal commands is an important part of your force options training, and part of that training in verbal commands is knowing when to talk and when to stop talking and act. The officer here gave this suspect every possible chance, and may even have given him too many.

 

  1. Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. Usually the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. (not always, but usually) So putting the first shot on target every time and quickly is imperative. The officer put his first volley of shots on target and ended the threat, and that is what our intent must always be!

 

  1. In a gunfight, movement is your friend as this officer shows. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.

 

  1. The goal in any defensive firearms use is to stop the threat. Never draw a firearm if you’re not willing to use it, but if the presence of the firearm stops the threat, don’t pull the trigger! If the bad guy flees or surrenders, that’s a very successful defensive firearm use and you’ve met the goal. If your first shots stop the threat, don’t take more shots that can turn a defensive encounter into charges for you. Shoot as many times as you must in order to stop the threat, and once the threat stops, reassess and stop shooting. The officer here stopped the threat and then stopped shooting and took follow-up shots. That was the way to do it!

 

  1. In a gunfight, cover and concealment are important tools to know and use. Cover is anything that will stop bullets; concealment is that which will not stop bullets but will hide you from being seen by the aggressors. In many instances concealment works as well as cover against attackers who are not highly trained because they won’t shoot through it. Even so, cover and concealment only work for a few moments before the bad guys will start to work around them, so use them judiciously to buy you time and give you an advantage in a gunfight.

 

  1. Using a pistol-mounted light effectively takes training. Don’t think for a minute that you can just put it on your gun and use it effectively without learning how! With a light on your pistol, the rules of firearm safety are the same as they were before it had a light; therefore, using it as a search tool is extremely limited unless your light has excellent spill. Likewise, you MUST get training on how to use the light effectively, in short bursts, with movement, and effective follow-up shots. Taking a low light pistol course is really critical for anyone who keeps a light on their pistol.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Armed Citizen Defeats Carjacking Attempt

Armed Citizen Defeats Carjacking Attempt

Have you thought about or trained for a carjacking attempt? This armed citizen certainly practiced Active Self Protection in defending himself against this carjacking attempt, and we can learn from him!

Original video of the carjacking attempt, with scant detail: https://get-asp.com/8yz9

 

What does this carjacking attempt teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?

 

  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. This carjacking shows that well! Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can.

 

  1. Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. This armed citizen was able to be ready when the carjacking started because he saw them with a bit of notice before the attack formally launched, and that situational awareness was an important part of him winning the fight.

 

  1. This carjacking certainly shows that if you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of most attackers. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense including carjacking defense.

 

  1. It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and scan and assess for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way. In this carjacking the bad guy with the gun is clearly the first threat to be dealt with, but don’t completely forget about the second guy!

 

  1. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! Most carjacking attempts that we see involve at least attackers, sometimes more. Multiple attackers make the fight more difficult, but not impossible if you train and prepare!

 

  1. In most instances that we see on surveillance video such as this carjacking, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”)

 

  1. Never leave your life-saving tools at home. Having attitude and skills to protect yourself with your firearm will not help you if you do not have it on your person when you need it. Leaving your gun in the glove compartment, on the night stand, or in your safe could be a fatal mistake. Keep your tools on your person whenever you legally can so that if (God forbid) you need them, you have them. This is the same reason you wear your seatbelt every trip in the car, and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You need to have it ready before you need it. This armed citizen needed his gun RIGHT NOW when the carjacking started, not in 10 seconds.

 

  1. People have to fight from their car more often than we care to think about; it’s a definitional issue in a carjacking! You should consider and prepare for fighting for your life and freedom while in the seats of your car. These kinds of skills can be practiced in a good force on force class and should prepare you to win against a determined attacker who means to harm you and yours in your vehicle.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Crazy Russian Unfazed by Being Shot in the Leg

Crazy Russian Unfazed by Being Shot in the Leg

Why is it a bad idea to shoot someone who is threatening you in the leg? Simple: it just doesn’t work. It’s also morally wrong, and at Active Self Protection we want our self-defense to be both effective AND moral!

Original video of the ineffective leg shot, with details: https://get-asp.com/ygy3

 

What does this crazy attack teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?

 

  1. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “proportionality,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ). Proportionality requires that the response is proportional to the threat, and escalating conflict is not allowed legally or morally. When we fail the test of proportionality by escalating conflict, we lose our innocence in the eyes of the law and put ourselves at risk of spending significant time in prison. Proportionality is also why I carry a pepper spray, because non-lethal threats require non-lethal responses. (I carry this one: http://amzn.to/1kxJ3v8 ) I don’t think that this was a deadly threat, and so a firearm wasn’t a proportional response.

 

  1. In almost all instances and jurisdictions you cannot use deadly physical force to defend property. (Texas is the rare exception to this, but recognize that TPC 9.42 has some significant limitations) Even in cases where you COULD use deadly physical force to defend property, it’s worth considering whether it is WISE to use deadly physical force because of the risk to yourself and to any bystanders that could come because you choose to continue to engage the criminal(s). That doesn’t usually apply to occupied buildings and cars because of the inherent value of the people inside of them, and the defense of property does vary considerably from state to state as to what’s acceptable. Please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction to be sure that you understand the laws of your area!

 

  1. Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up!

 

  1. A life of self-protection must be dedicated to avoidance, de-escalation, and escape whenever possible. You win 100% of the fights that you don’t get in, so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. Having good situational awareness will give you more time and opportunity to see problems coming and formulate a plan to stay away and protect yourself without danger to yourself or others. This is always our first choice as self-defenders.

 

  1. An important part of spiritual fitness is knowing what you are willing and able to fight for. As bearers of the image of God, humans are uniquely valuable and it is always acceptable to protect human life, whether your own or someone else’s. Property is something else entirely, and while in some states it is legal in some instances to protect property with deadly force it is not acceptable ethically for self-defenders to use deadly force to protect stuff. If a robber threatens your person to take your possessions, then by all means stop them from harming you and end the threat to your life. But if they are not a threat to life or limb, don’t become a perpetrator yourself by using deadly force without proper justification.

 

  1. Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term)

 

  1. If you can use your car to escape, that’s normally your best bet. If you CAN’T use your car to escape for whatever reason (you’re blocked in, it’s dead, etc.) then it becomes a mobile coffin where you can’t really move, and you can’t freely maneuver to engage threats all around you. In that case, do what you can to get away from the coffin. Use the car as cover or concealment if you can, but don’t stay in the car if it’s not going to be moving.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Armed Robbers Try to Take Cop's Gun

Armed Robbers Try to Take Cop’s Gun

These armed robbers were pretty well organized and reasonably smart, but that’s why we talk about practicing Active Self Protection when you’re a self-defender! Would you have drawn immediately, or waited like this officer did?

Original video of the armed robbers being run off, with some details (Google Translate from Portuguese required): https://get-asp.com/ys1k

 

What does this off duty officer teach us about defending ourselves against armed robbers?

 

  1. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. The officer had almost no notice that the armed robbers were coming, and that’s par for the course and what all armed robbers want to do. When you’re in a transitional space, make sure you know your vulnerabilities and do the best you can.

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The armed robbers got TWO ambushes here: first, they all got to ambush the entire store; second, armed robbers 2 and 3 got to ambush the officer. Surviving the ambush is a critical part of your defensive plan, whether you’re an officer or CCW.

 

  1. In the moment armed robbers attack you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robbers are not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. I don’t blame the officer for taking his time here, but he almost let his opportunity go when the first of the armed robbers (the one with the gun) went past him, to launch a counter-ambush.

 

  1. The root word of gunfight is “fight,” not “gun.” Whether you carry a firearm or not, recognize that you need to know how to fight and protect yourself against an attacker! Even if you do carry a firearm, you need empty-handed skills to be able to fight your way to your gun or defend yourself before you get the opportunity to draw. To think otherwise is madness. This officer had multiple armed robbers hanging on him before he could get to his firearm; he needed those empty-handed skills!

 

  1. One of the challenges that is more and more common with multiple attackers like these armed robbers is the concept of a “trailing accomplice.” What we see fairly often is a point man/gun man who launches the attack, and a trailing accomplice who observes from a distance and comes in when it’s time to secure what they’re after or after they identify any resistance. Just because you don’t see multiple attackers at the beginning of an encounter doesn’t mean they’re not there, so if you’re in a defensive encounter expect there to be multiple attackers.

 

  1. As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it! Here the armed robbers thankfully discontinued their attack from the ground (not positive why), but knowing that you may well need those skills, you better learn to fight from the ground!

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention. The officer needed those retention skills against these armed robbers, and that lesson shouldn’t be missed.

 

  1. The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon like these armed robbers by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon, especially if you’re not a police officer.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Clerk Successfully Fights Off Armed Robber

Clerk Successfully Fights Off Armed Robber

Would you have fought this armed robber or just given him the till? Each of us must think of our own response in the face of an armed robber, and how our own Active Self Protection comes into play to choose the response best for us. This clerk was brave, but was it smart to take the armed robber on?

Original video of the armed robber being run off: https://get-asp.com/cq25

 

News story of the clerk’s actions against the armed robber, including the fact that the armed robber shot through the door after the footage ends: https://get-asp.com/co6f

 

What does this clerk teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?

 

  1. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. The clerk had almost no notice that the armed robber was coming, and that’s par for the course and what every armed robber wants to do. When you’re in a transitional space, make sure you know your vulnerabilities and do the best you can.

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter like this armed robber was, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This clerk had to decide in that moment what she was going to do to protect herself from the armed robber, and that was a good decision for her!

 

  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. The clerk hit the panic alarm, but the armed robber was long gone by the time police arrived. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.

 

  1. In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. The clerk tried several times to get the gun out of the fight against this armed robber; thankfully the armed robber was too stupid to know that.

 

  1. In MANY armed robberies, a counter is between the armed robber and the intended victims. That counter is a double-edged sword, because it can keep a knife-wielding attacker out of contact, but keeps a firearm-wielding attacker safe from your contact unless they put it over the counter. Even then, your empty-handed skills will be sorely tested by a situation when you can’t close the distance because of the counter top. The answer if you work in one of those environments is to train over the counter so that you know what your options and possibilities are.

 

  1. The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed robber or other attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Off Duty Officer Shoots Bank Robber

Off Duty Officer Shoots Bank Robber

Would you have the skill to put shots on target against this robber like the officer did? There are a lot of Active Self Protection lessons from this one, so don’t forget to read the description after watching the video.

Original video of the robber being stopped by the officer: https://get-asp.com/7pon

 

News story of the DA’s decision on this off duty officer with details: https://get-asp.com/mo3d

 

Twitter post with pics from the Cincinnati PD of the gun in the bag that was recovered: https://get-asp.com/lhmo

 

What does this off duty officer teach us about defending ourselves against a robber?

 

  1. There’s going to be some question here about the officer shooting the robber in the back, but let’s take a look at what that means. The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon, especially if you’re not a police officer. Here it seems reasonable that the officer was acting to stop the existing threat, and that the robber had a firearm on his person that the officer couldn’t have known was left in the bag when the robber jumped back over the counter, and therefore deadly force is clearly justified here.

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This officer only had a second to decide what to do with the robber, and he had to act immediately. He did well!

 

  1. Marksmanship is critical in a gunfight, because you are responsible for every round that leaves the muzzle of your firearm. You must recognize that you are accountable for any errant rounds that leave your gun and the damage they cause. The officer fired twice here, and thankfully the only hit was on the robber. There were a lot of danger spots though!

 

  1. The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves. The officer had a very cluttered lane of fire and a bystander behind the robber…this makes the shot difficult and the background dangerous.

 

  1. Since marksmanship is so vital, your best bet to put shots on target quickly is to have both hands on your handgun. Two-handed shooting gives the most stable platform (especially if you use a thumbs-forward grip) and best recoil control for follow-up shots. There will be times and circumstances where shooting one-handed is the only option, but for best marksmanship get a solid two-handed grip as your default and goal. The officer had a single hand on the handgun the entire time, and it might have been a better choice to get both hands on the gun immediately. Train to get both hands on your gun if you can!

 

  1. While we know that shooting with both hands on the gun is best for recoil control and putting fast, accurate shots on target, we also know that it’s not always possible to do. We must train and prepare to use our firearm with both our gun hand and our guard hand in case of injury or incapacitation. As the video shows, there’s a moment where the officer had to use his guard hand to push the woman counting the money away while he dealt with the robber. In that moment he only had one hand to use the gun.

 

  1. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. This robber was mortally wounded but ran off into the woods and died some time later. Don’t think that just because you put a shot in the center of mass that the robber will die immediately.

 

  1. In most instances that we see on surveillance video, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”) Thankfully the officer was first to get a shot on target!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Legally Armed Firearms Trainer Shoots Man Who Corners Him

Legally Armed Firearms Trainer Shoots Man Who Corners Him

Would you have taken the route that this legally armed firearms trainer took? Would your other skills have come to the front, or would you shoot him as well? These kinds of encounters are why we post after action reports on Active Self Protection!

Original video of the firearms trainer getting backed into a corner: https://get-asp.com/t2bl

 

News story of the DA’s decision on this shooting with details: https://get-asp.com/pos4

 

Official statement from the DA with audio of the 911 calls: https://get-asp.com/akru

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an attack?

 

  1. A life of self-protection must be dedicated to avoidance, de-escalation, and escape whenever possible. You win 100% of the fights that you don’t get in, so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. Having good situational awareness will give you more time and opportunity to see problems coming and formulate a plan to stay away and protect yourself without danger to yourself or others. This is always our first choice as self-defenders. This legally-armed firearms trainer tried pretty hard to de-escalate and escape, and that was a wise decision that probably swayed the DA quite a bit.

 

  1. Using your verbal judo to de-escalate and redirect a conflict is always the best choice if it is available, so make sure that your verbal game is strong. Knowing how to redirect, how to persuade, how to empathize, and how to talk someone down from a confrontation is critical to avoiding some fights. That said, we must also know that some people will not be dissuaded from a fight, so knowing when to talk and when to act is critical as well. This legally armed citizen used his words until he recognized that they wouldn’t help him anymore, which is good. As a firearms trainer I am sure he was thinking about his responsibilities in this area, and we all should as well.

 

  1. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ). Imminence means the threat is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: http://get-asp.com/pm3k in some detail). The firearms trainer here didn’t use his firearm until he was backed into a corner and reasonably in fear for his life from a man who wouldn’t leave him alone. He didn’t use deadly force too soon, and that was important to his legal situation!

 

  1. Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself. Certainly in this instance, a good pepper spray may have ended this fight before the firearms trainer had to use his firearm. I am not at all blaming him for shooting the guy who attacked him, because he did what he had to in the moment. But if he had a good OC on him, he might not have had to. This is why I carry OC spray.

 

  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t. This is why we recommend being legally armed. You and only you can protect yourself in the moment.

 

  1. Fights are physically demanding, and this firearms trainer certainly felt the physical toll of the fight. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill! The firearms trainer here needed to be able to stay in the fight for several minutes, with adrenaline flowing. That takes fitness.

 

  1. Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to protect your firearm from being taken, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial. If you’ve never fought from the clinch with your gun in the fight, on the ground and on your feet, your training has a huge gap in it. This man really needed empty-handed skills and close quarters fighting skills. He also needed to get both hands in the fight before it was time to use his firearm.

 

  1. You must be able to fight and defend yourself from all different stages of action. One of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, likes to say that we must be able to fight wherever the fight happens to be! So whether we are at contact stage (just able to come in physical contact with our attacker), penetration stage (where attacks can contact and penetrate significantly), or manipulation stage (a clinch or similar where joint and body manipulations are possible), we must be able to use effective technique to protect ourselves.

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

chambering a round

This is Why You Carry With One in the Chamber!

If you want to start a “grab your popcorn” debate in the gun world, a good way to start is by talking about carrying with the chamber full (condition 1 for 1911 lovers) or empty. (condition 3) At Active Self Protection we believe that each person has to make that decision for themselves, but as for me and for what I teach, I believe that the best way is to keep the chamber full if possible. This video is why.

Why is chamber full a better defensive setup?

1. Chambering a round takes both hands. Everyone teaches chambering with both hands because that is the fastest way to do it, until some goofy holster makes the rounds again that is impractical and not helpful for concealed carry. If your support hand is engaged in a bad guy or holding a child or is injured in earning your draw or otherwise engaged, you’re out of luck. Sure, range masters will teach using the rear sights to hook on the edge of your boot or belt or whatever, but those are small targets and someone is stabbing you or bashing your head in.

2. Chambering a round takes time. In the life-or-death struggle of a gunfight, you’ve got the rest of your life to get your gun on target and rounds in the bad guy. In most gunfights, you might well have the time to chamber a round. But as these examples show, you can’t guarantee that, and under the duress of deadly threat you might not have the time. To me, that’s not worth the risk.

3. Chambering a round is risky. We see two examples here of people trying to chamber a round under stress, and both fumble the chambering and it makes their blaster puke. If you haven’t done it 10,000 times with 0 malfunctions, there’s a good chance you will short stroke your gun and put it out of the fight at your greatest moment of need. You might not; you might do it great. But why take the risk?

4. Chambering a round is unnecessary. Modern striker-fired semi-automatic pistols are all designed to carry with a round in the chamber, as are all modern revolvers (those that have a transfer bar). Heck, the 1911 design is over 100 years old and is designed to carry with a round in the chamber!

5. Chambering a round reduces your gun’s capacity. I recognize that in a standard capacity modern double-stack semi, that’s not a high percentage of available ammunition. That’s why I put this one at the bottom! 🙂Nevertheless, it is a concern. The only time you have too much ammo on you is if you’re on fire or drowning, so in my VP9 I would rather have 16 than 15 in the gun. I have never heard of someone finishing a gunfight and lamenting having too many rounds, but we’ve seen several where people perished for having too few.

It’s a personal decision for sure, and I would rather someone carry with the chamber empty than not at all. But for everything we see here, chamber full is the method for me.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Guard Forced to Shoot Angry Patient

Guard Forced to Shoot Angry Patient

Would you have taken the route that this guard took? Would your other skills have come to the front, or would you shoot him as well? These kinds of encounters are why we post after action reports on Active Self Protection!

Original video of the guard being forced to shoot with walkthrough by the DA: https://get-asp.com/ioiu

 

News story of the shoot with a PDF from the DA on findings on both patient and guard: https://get-asp.com/ox7e

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an attack?

 

  1. If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attack like this patient. If you’re know what you’re looking for it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions or escape routes after the attack. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets, or clenching as this patient was. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.

 

  1. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. The guard knew an attack was coming because of the hands! They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands!

 

  1. To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. The guard in this attack needed emotional fitness to stay calm and in the fight until he could get to his force multipliers, not to gas himself out and wear down. It’s not easy, but when you’ve done it on the mat repeatedly it becomes second nature.

 

  1. If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. The guard and the other man didn’t seem to work together very much, and knowing how to communicate and work as a team is the key to winning if you have a partner! Communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker.

 

  1. Fights are physically demanding, and this guard certainly felt the physical toll of the fight. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill!

 

  1. Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to protect your firearm from being taken, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial. If you’ve never fought from the clinch with your gun in the fight, on the ground and on your feet, your training has a huge gap in it. This guard really needed empty-handed skills and close quarters fighting skills.

 

  1. You must be able to fight and defend yourself from all different stages of action. One of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, likes to say that we must be able to fight wherever the fight happens to be! So whether we are at contact stage (just able to come in physical contact with our attacker), penetration stage (where attacks can contact and penetrate significantly), or manipulation stage (a clinch or similar where joint and body manipulations are possible), we must be able to use effective technique to protect ourselves. The guard had a hard time with defending his firearm and employing his TASER.

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.