When would you have drawn during this armed robbery? This off-duty corrections officer did enough to end the threat, and his Active Self Protection was good enough to win the day. I love it when the bad guys are stopped, don’t you?
Original video of the armed robbery with some details (Google translate from Portuguese required): https://get-asp.com/innm
What does this armed robbery teach us about self protection?
- Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker 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. In this case it meant waiting until the armed robber wasn’t paying attention to the officer to launch the counter-ambush.
- The goal in any defensive firearms use is to stop the threat. Never draw a firearm if you’re not willing to use it, but if the presence of the firearm stops the threat, don’t pull the trigger! If the bad guy flees or surrenders, that’s a very successful defensive firearm use and you’ve met the goal. This officer stopped the armed robbery without shooting, and that’s fine. It’s wonderful, in fact. Just stop the threat!
- Keep your firearm ready to fire. Some people carry their firearm with an empty chamber, but doing so is not recommended for several reasons. First, it assumes that you will have both hands available to you to draw your firearm, which isn’t necessarily the case. You might have a hand engaged or injured. Secondly, it assumes that you’ll have time to chamber a round in a gunfight, but gunfights are won and lost on tenths of seconds. Third, it assumes that you’ll have the dexterity to chamber a round under duress, though in the moment many times I have seen people fumble their chambering attempt. Keep your defensive firearm ready to fire, with a round in the chamber! In this instance we don’t know whether the officer had a round in the chamber, but we do know that in this gunfight he wouldn’t have had the time to chamber a round if he needed to.
- 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! Here the armed robber could have taken the gun from the officer, though thankfully that didn’t happen. If you have a firearm out, keep distance if possible!
- 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. You must have the ability to use it in close quarters without endangering your firearm.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.