An armed robber represents a deadly threat, but this store owner definitely practiced Active Self Protection in ending that threat in a hurry! How would you have responded in the moment?
How do I protect myself from 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. This store appears to be a transitional space because it’s a place people frequent and it’s got easy access in (and therefore out) for this armed robber. When you’re in one, be careful!
2. 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. The first person to put a shot on target normally wins the fight, and this is proof of that concept. The defender put his first shot on the armed robber and that dictated where the fight went from there.
3. Capacity matters. My rule of thumb is that I want a minimum of 5 rounds for each bad guy I might face, which accounts for 2 misses and 3 shots on target for each. (of course, you never want to miss…I am just accommodating me on my worst day) This armed robber was shot multiple times and was still in the fight, which is a great reason to have as high capacity a firearm as you can.
4. 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.
5. In a gunfight, movement is your friend. 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.
6. Keep your firearm on your person! Plenty of people keep a firearm stationed near them under the counter or on a desk, but in the moment of need you can’t ever be sure that you can get to it if it’s not on your person. It worked for this store owner, but he would have been much better served to have it on his person.
7. In the moment of need, the old saying goes that you will not rise to the occasion but fall to the level of your training. Usually, you’ll fall to the level of your WORST DAY in training. That means you want to train hard, train regularly, and make no excuses (to paraphrase one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock) so that your worst day is good enough for the fight you’re in. In this case, we see the man keep one hand on the gun against an armed robber when he had a second hand available. That shows a lack of training, because fast shots on target are much more reliable with two hands on the gun in a thumbs-forward grip.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)