This officer made some critical mistakes, and points us toward considering equipment and skills as both essential elements of our Active Self Protection!
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Original video of the suspect disarming the officer is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story of the suspect taking the gun from the officer, with details: https://get-asp.com/82yo
What does this officer teach us about defending ourselves against a gun grab?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! The suspect here is a known problem and known to be unstable, and that might have colored the issue of the officer letting him in close like that.
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker like this suspect. The officer had cues if he was looking! 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.
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! The suspect leads with his hands.
- Always remember that while good people practice firearms safety at all times, criminals do not. If they cared about firearms safety, they wouldn’t use firearms to hurt people! They will endanger a bystander or a crowd to get what they want. They will take reckless shots. They will flag everyone in the place to threaten them with harm. They will negligently discharge their firearm. That is a prime reason that we need to smartly end the threat, because as long as the attacker has a firearm out, everyone is in danger. This suspect shows that clearly from the moment he takes the gun from the officer.
- Firearm retention is an important skill to have as a self-defender. In a real-life defensive encounter it is quite possible for an attacker to have the opportunity to try to take your firearm from you, so training in firearm retention is critical for every firearm carrier. (even CCW holders) If you are open carrying your firearm, I can’t say enough that I recommend a holster with active retention and a passive release (http://amzn.to/1n684Pu is the only one I recommend). But having a retention holster does NOT mean you can ignore good training on keeping your firearm from being taken.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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