Especially if you open carry, you need to know that your firearm is a valuable item and some people might want to take it from you. These armed robbers show us that pretty well.
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Some slight details on the armed robbers and guard: https://get-asp.com/sh30
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves against armed robbers?
- 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.
- The “master key” to situational awareness, as taught to me by my teacher Lawrence Robinson and his teacher Skip Hancock, is simple curiosity. You don’t have to be paranoid! Instead, simply be curious of your world like a small child is curious of their world. Look around you and really SEE. Look for what makes sense in your surroundings, but most importantly look for what’s out of place and doesn’t belong. I like to think back to the Sesame Street song “Three of These Things” and remember to look for the thing that doesn’t belong. As self-defenders, you’re looking for someone who doesn’t belong in their environment. A person standing still while everyone else moves. A person in a hoodie with the hood up when everyone else is in shorts and flip flops on a hot day. A person loitering where people come and go quickly. If you are curious and looking for what doesn’t belong, you’re 99% of the way there to being aware of your surroundings!
- If your awareness is solid, you may well get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it.
- You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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