Would you have waited as long as this officer did to respond in the armed robbery? I think he practiced excellent Active Self Protection in handling the threats that he faced, and I love it when the good guy wins!
Original video of the armed robbery: https://get-asp.com/kzbc
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves in an armed robbery?
- 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. This officer was aware of what was going on around him so that he had some time to consider his action. That was great.
- 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 officer did a good job of riding out the initial ambush to the place where he could get control of the armed robbery.
- 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. This armed robbery involved a well-timed counter-ambush, which was the key to winning the fight. Look for your opportunity and seize it!
- Against multiple attackers every self-defender must know and train and practice that it’s death to focus on one too much. When every attacker is an equal threat, we practice the “Boarding House Rules” that everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. If possible, stack the attackers one behind the other rather than getting between them, because if you get between them then one will have your back. It’s better if possible to work to the outside of the group and keep one between you and the others. These weren’t equal threats necessarily, but the officer did a great job in this armed robbery of not focusing too much on one and ending each threat in turn. Well done!
- 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! This officer would have failed if he had to chamber his pistol before using it. But because it was ready to fire he won the day. Keep your firearm chambered and ready to go.
- 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. In this armed robbery we see that one bad guy stopped when shot, and the second one surrendered when he met effective resistance. The officer showed excellent decision making in stopping both threats with the appropriate amount of force.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.