This is how fast a gunfight really is. This officer involved shooting shows why we talk at Active Self Protection about being ready before you are in a deadly force encounter, because everything happens so fast it’s ridiculous. Have you tried to hit moving targets while moving, as in a force on force class?
Original video from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office: http://get-asp.com/62ay
News story with more details: http://get-asp.com/xju1
What does this officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?
1. To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. These officers hung in the fight and put enough shots on target to be effective, which is awesome. They used bowling words because that’s what we sometimes do in these kinds of situations, and that’s okay too!
2. Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. It’s usually the first person to put a shot on target that wins the fight, and thankfully that was the officers.
3. Capacity matters. My rule of thumb is that I want a minimum of 5 rounds for each bad guy I might face, which accounts for 2 misses and 3 shots on target for each. (of course, you never want to miss…I am just accommodating me on my worst day) This incident saw 3 of 11 shots find their target, which is in the ballpark of my estimates for all of our worst day. Might you do better? Maybe. Do you want to have any margin for error? YES.
4. In a gunfight, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.
5. If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. These officers communicated to one another well, and that helped them end the threat.
6. In the moment of need, the old saying goes that you will not rise to the occasion but fall to the level of your training. Usually, you’ll fall to the level of your WORST DAY in training. That means you want to train hard, train regularly, and make no excuses (to paraphrase one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock) so that your worst day is good enough for the fight you’re in.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)