GRAPHIC. How much do you train in firearm retention? This officer shows us why that training is so important, and that empty-handed skills are very important for firearm carriers! I am glad this officer came out of it okay.
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Original video of this armed robber is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the officer involved shooting with details: https://get-asp.com/26my
What does this officer involved shooting teach us about firearm retention and use?
- In a deadly force encounter like this officer was involved in, 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!
- 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! This man didn’t try to take the officer’s firearm because he was necessarily evil, but he was not in his right mind for sure. The officer couldn’t do anything but what he did, though!
- 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 officer exhibited great emotional fitness to continue to fight for her firearm and continue to try to subdue the attacker.
- You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. Thankfully this officer did enough to keep her firearm! 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. And once the firearm is out of the holster, you need to train to keep it safe as well.
- If you have a firearm out, distance is your friend. A firearm has a functionally infinite range in a deadly force encounter. (yes, I know, that’s not 100% true…for the purposes of a self-defense fight, it is functionally true) If you are at contact distance to someone you have a firearm aimed at, you give them the ability to fight you for your firearm and negate the advantage you have. Therefore, if you have a gun on someone, stay out of range of their hands if at all possible! This officer certainly found out the truth of that statement, albeit the hard way.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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