The reality is that you may have time to decide if you need to use your firearm, but in many cases such as this officer involved shooting, you’ll have to use whatever Active Self Protection you have to choose in a literal split second what your decision will be. When is deadly force warranted? Could you have protected yourself in this instance?
Original video: http://get-asp.com/z6tm
News story with details of the incident: http://get-asp.com/mgdj
What does this officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?
1. 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. These officers were ready for the fight and in the moment of need there was no hesitation. That’s what it takes.
2. 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) These officers hit with 5 shots and we can see several misses. How many do you want on your person when the balloon goes up?
3. 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! 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. After being shot 5 times this man was still alive, and could still have posed a threat.
4. 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.
5. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. These officers used their skills after the fight was over to save this man’s life (it was clearly a case of suicide by cop), and for that they should be commended.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)