How much do you work on intentional movement with a firearm out? Do you actually have experience moving laterally? This officer did a fine job of keeping the proper ranges, and practiced excellent Active Self Protection in stopping the threat he faced.
Original video: get-asp.com/6pqp
News story from local news about the incident: get-asp.com/5w8q
What does this attack teach us about protecting ourselves against armed attackers?
1. 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 or crazy battle axe if at all possible!
2. The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves.
3. It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm.
4. Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term)
5. Since marksmanship is so vital, your best bet to put shots on target quickly is to have both hands on your handgun. Two-handed shooting gives the most stable platform (especially if you use a thumbs-forward grip) and best recoil control for follow-up shots. There will be times and circumstances where shooting one-handed is the only option, but for best marksmanship get a solid two-handed grip as your default and goal.
6. 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.
7. The Tueller Drill is a widely known standard for gun carriers against a knife attack, which states that an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds to get to their target. If the gun carrier doesn’t have their gun out and ready, they will get stabbed trying to get their gun in a fight. This has led to the “21 foot rule”, though it has been revisited by Sgt. Tueller and found to be more of a guide and principle than a rule. At any rate, in a knife attack, recognize that a knife-wielding attacker can be a deadly threat from a significant range, and recognize that they can close that distance very quickly. Get your firearm out and on target as soon as you recognize a threat!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at bensound.com)