WARNING: GRAPHIC. I mean it. Our culture is up in arms about police conduct right now, and I see an awful lot of calls to shoot dangerous people in the leg instead of center mass. This officer involved shooting puts that idea to rest, once and for all. At Active Self Protection we are pro-LEO (never pro-bad-cop), and this is why we say that good cops NEVER shoot for the leg.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of officer involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/9t3c
What does this officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?
- 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) This officer involved shooting shows how unreliable it is to shoot an attacker in an extremity, since the armed robber was still standing THIRTEEN SECONDS after being shot in the leg. Shooting in the leg simply will not reliably stop the threat.
- 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). Clearly, this officer involved shooting had some elements of all three, and the officer was at some point justified to end the threat of the armed robber to everyone around him.
- 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! In this officer involved shooting, there were so many decisions that had to be made in the moment. Training helps make those easier!
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. Clearly this robber wasn’t a boy scout, and we’re not saying that the officer involved shooting wasn’t justified. But even bad guys need to consider their spiritual condition! (and hopefully before their acts, causing them to change their ways)
- Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary. Before the officer involved shooting there are all kinds of instances where the officer and everyone around stayed in the danger zone. (I would guess this has to be cultural at some significant level)
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. In this officer involved shooting, the bad guy passed out 40 seconds after being shot. Imagine if that was one of your loved ones after a defensive encounter and they were shot. You have 40 seconds to get the blood stopped. Do you have the first aid skills and tools to do it?
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)