How much have you trained to protect yourself against an armed robber? This off duty officer did a pretty fantastic job of practicing Active Self Protection principles to stop this armed robber cold. This is pretty much textbook, so it’s a good template for us to train from!
Original videos of the armed robber meeting his maker: https://get-asp.com/mrbw and https://get-asp.com/vluo (WARNING: site #1 is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- Successful self-defense against an armed robber often involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the armed robber and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched.
- Situational awareness is useful for more than seeing the attack coming, but also for knowing what is happening during the attack. In particular, if your awareness is strong you might get to see an armed robber put their gun away to use both hands, or you might see that the robber’s gun malfunctions or is empty; perhaps the armed robber focuses elsewhere and ignores you. That information can give you the cue to act definitively to defend yourself by running or by counter-attacking the armed robber. This is not only why awareness is important, but knowledge of firearms and tools is as well!
- In your follow-up, if you have to stay in the vicinity of a downed armed robber, don’t leave their tool near them if you possibly can help it. Always think of your safety first, and getting as far away as possible is always preferred for CCW, but if you have to stay in the vicinity for whatever reason, get the force multiplier away from the attacker you just stopped if you can do so safely. If you had to shoot them, the shock might wear off after a time, and if they’ve lost blood they can recover consciousness while on the ground and continue to present a threat. So if you can’t get significant distance and get out of contact to the threat, get the tool away.
- It is critical to know not only how to shoot from the “press out” position, but also from high compressed ready and from retention. Being able to shoot from a high compressed ready as well as from retention are vital skills for all self-defenders to have, because drawing the firearm and using it when there is a threat within arms-length means not pressing it out to use it effectively (as the fight with this armed robber shows). You must have the ability to use it in close quarters without endangering your firearm.
- 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 robber had the officer cornered, and only what he had on his person mattered in the moment. It will likely be the same for you and me. So keep your firearm on you!
- 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! That’s certainly what happened with this armed robber after the first shot. 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.
- In a real gunfight against a real armed robber, the chance of needing to shoot from an unconventional position is fairly high. Some gunfights happen at greater than two arms-length distance, where stance and press out matter. But many more happen at “bad breath” distances and from compromised shooting posture, whether a poor body position, or having the firearm in a grip or position that is less than ideal. Learning how to put shots on target from awkward and unconventional shooting positions is a very useful skill for the real world, indeed.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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