Imagine yourself in this defender’s shoes: you’re sure the shotgun is incredibly effective, and then he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to! How does your Active Self Protection stack up when Plan A doesn’t work?
Original video of the shotgun coming up initially a bit short: https://get-asp.com/6xfw (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
What does this deadly force encounter teach us about protecting ourselves with firearms?
- 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. Even a shotgun won’t always incapacitate someone instantly!
- Whether you use a pistol or a long gun (carbine or shotgun) for home protection, you must know how it functions and how to use it in enclosed spaces. A long gun can become a liability while going around corners or through doorways if you don’t know how to use it effectively in those situations. The solution, of course, is classes designed to teach those skills. So go train!
- If you’re clearing home or office, you need to know how to move effectively to do so. That’s a pretty broad topic, but this video is evidence that it can be critical to your success. Knowing when to move quickly and when to slow down, how to “slice the pie” at doorways if the situation allows it, and knowing how to consider the “fatal funnel” and minimize risks there. This, of course, requires training and practice! But if you’re going to use a firearm in self-defense you need to know these ideas and internalize them for use in defense of life and limb.
- 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) So in this instance, was the second shot with the shotgun justifiable? Well, here on video we can see that the firearm that the aggressor had, he dropped when he was first shot. He then appeared to run. But in the heat of the moment could the defender have necessarily seen that the gun was dropped? I don’t think so, so if we presume that the defender is justified until proven otherwise (which is the standard in most of the US), then he’s still justified to use deadly force in the heat of the moment.
- It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and scan and assess for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.