I have never seen a gunfight that is not scary, chaotic, and FAST. We show these at Active Self Protection to train our minds to make unknown situations known, and part of that is knowing what is cover and what is only concealment!
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Original video of the gunfight is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this gunfight guard teach us about the difference between cover and concealment?
- 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. The defender in this gunfight didn’t have but a moment to react and get into the fight!
- 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. Stores are transitional spaces, and while it’s a rarity for anyone to get into a gunfight in a convenience store, it’s definitely more likely than at the library!
- 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 victim in this gunfight was ready with a counter-ambush, which is rare but we can clearly see is effective!
- 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! This gunfight started with two attackers; thankfully the second bugged out quickly.
- 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.”)
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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