Neighbor Argument Turns Into Deadly Gunfight

We talk about de-escalation, escape, and avoidance for a reason at Active Self Protection. This argument between neighbors turned into a deadly gunfight where one man is dead and the other will spend years in prison. Don’t miss the many lessons, both moral and tactical.

Original video:

News story with more details on the incident:

What can we learn from this deadly gunfight?

1. You must, must, MUST dedicate your life to avoiding as many fights as possible, ASPers. No one won this fight. No one. One man is dead, and his family grieves his loss. The other man will spend years in prison, and his family grieves his conviction and loss. These kinds of ego battles have no place among those who are shepherds and warriors. Swallow your ego and avoid fights. How many of these could be avoided with a handshake, and apology, and perhaps a cold beer?

2. From a tactical perspective, if you have to attend a deadly gunfight, do so with a long gun rather than a handgun. The shotgun was a show stopper, while the handgun didn’t have near the ability to end the fight. A handgun is a great tool because of its portability and superiority to tools with less range, but a long gun FAR surpasses a handgun in the ability to stop an attacker.

3. Again PURELY from a tactical perspective, use your vehicle! The man in the truck pulled back in to fight the man with the shotgun, and to do so he pulled up and stopped to use his handgun. If you have to defend your life, use your vehicle if you’re in it. Use it to get away (best choice), or if that’s not possible then use it to stop your attacker using your grille.

4. If you are in a gunfight, MOVE. The man with the shotgun stood there and because of it took a round to the arm. Moving targets are far harder to hit, so don’t stand in one place. This is doubly so in the case of having an aging parent standing beside you. Move away from putting your loved ones in danger.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Officer Involved Shooting in Las Vegas Caught On Body Camera

(NSFW language) Even if your verbal judo is up to par, as part of your Active Self Protection you still need to have a variety of skills and a plan to change your approach in a heartbeat if the encounter goes from verbal to physical to deadly. This officer involved shooting highlights the chaotic nature of a gunfight for sure! How would you have responded in Officer Luna’s shoes?

Original video and news story on the incident:

What can an officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?

1. Unpredictable people are just that: unpredictable. Officer Luna stopped this guy for a bad tail light, and stepped into the middle of a huge problem that he had no control over. This guy had a history with the law, firearms, and mental instability. He had no idea when he pulled the guy over that this was going down. For all of us, the lesson is clear: be ready for what you think is a routine part of life to turn into a deadly force encounter without a lot of warning. Of all of the officer involved shootings we see, very few of them come with any appreciable warning. If you’re CCW and not LEO, this could just as easily be your uncle or neighbor or some guy in your aisle at the grocery store.

2. You must know the appropriate response to the situation you face. Officer Luna did the best he could to de-escalate and use verbal skills (and good verbal judo) to try to control the encounter. When it came time to use empty-handed skills, he didn’t hesitate and went to work. When the threat escalated, he disengaged and got to a place to defend himself with deadly force. (it wasn’t needed; the news story says another officer shot the aggressor) And then when he had a partner down, he was able to regain his composure and start emergency medical care (did you hear him say “apply pressure”?).

3. Officer Luna’s body camera was glasses-mounted, and we can see that the glasses came off in the struggle. If you wear prescription glasses, be ready for them to be knocked off in a deadly force encounter! Train with them on and off, so that you’re ready for what might come in either case. If you wear prescription lenses, can you still see your front sight with them off? Can you put shots on target accurately? These are important questions to ask.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Motorcycle Jacking Caught On Video

Riding a motorcycle gives freedom, maneuverability, and fun. It’s also reason for practicing Active Self Protection, because a motorcycle jacking like this is easier to fall victim to than a carjacking. How could he have protected himself, do you think?

Original video:

News story with more on the incident:

How do I protect myself from a motorcycle jacking?

1. While in a car or on a motorcycle, recognize that stoplights are transitional spaces, especially in urban areas with a lot of foot traffic. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. While moving, your car or bike is relatively safe from carjacking or motorcycle jacking. While stopped, you’re more vulnerable.

2. What this needs, then, starts with situational awareness. If you’re in an urban environment especially, be aware of pedestrians near where you are stopping. If possible, don’t stop your bike right next to the curb, but choose the middle lane or between cars (if lane splitting is legal in your city). Keeping some distance and an obstacle between you and danger is always wise.

3. I like my motorcycle and am loathe to scratch it, but if you’re attacked you’ve got to be willing to dump the bike to engage the attackers. A motorcycle jacking is not the time to worry about your chrome! If they steal the bike the chrome is gone anyway, so if you’re attacked you’ve got to have the emotional fitness to just let it go and defend yourself.

4. Multiple attackers are the norm more than the exception anymore, so make sure your training encompasses multiple attackers.

5. A force multiplier is a good thing to have along with you. A good pepper spray would have gone a long way here, if it was available and legal in his city.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Dash Cam Catches Road Rage in Toronto

Do you make a conscious decision to avoid road rage while driving? Practicing Active Self Protection means swallowing your pride so that situations like this don’t happen to you!

Original video with more information:

How do I protect myself from road rage?

1. Your ego is one of the most dangerous attributes you possess. While ego isn’t evil in and of itself, too much (as seen here) makes you need to be right and have your way. As Ed Parker, Sr. once said, the best way to win a fight is to let the other guy be right. Wave him in. Give him the right of way, or let him merge. Let go of the idea that you need to tell him what he did wrong and get him to admit he can’t drive.

2. Stay in your car. Exiting your vehicle is a normally a bad tactical move for many reasons! First, if the other guy is still in his car you’re at a huge disadvantage of force multipliers. Second if he isn’t, you’ve just accepted his invitation to fight and can’t rightly be called a self-defender anymore. You’re now in mutual combat. Stay in your car and, if he exits his, use the opportunity to drive away.

3. If for some reason you have to exit, such as an accident or you’re blocked in, do so knowing the gravity of the situation. You’re in DANGEROUS territory, so treat it as such. Keep your cool. Stay aware. Use de-escalation techniques and verbal judo to try to avoid the fight.

4. If he won’t be dissuaded, a force multiplier like a pepper spray is a good idea to have for these kinds of situations. A solid spray to the face will stop the fight for long enough for you to get back in the car, get out of there, and call 911. For the guy in the red car in this video, it would certainly have been preferable to the beating he took!

5. As a last resort against deadly force, I do recommend having a firearm on your person.

6. The guys who broke it up first had to overcome the Bystander Effect to do so, and that’s awesome that they did. They prevented this from becoming a really bad scenario. If you see this happening, be sure you know what you’re doing before you step in.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Stops Carjackers

Do you practice shooting at 7 yards and beyond? You might well need that skill to protect yourself or someone else! This officer in Mexico City practiced great Active Self Protection to keep these carjackers from hurting someone else.

Original video:

What do we learn about carjackers here?

1. We learn that there will be times that you can’t just drive away from them! This might be better termed an armed robbery than a carjacking, but there was nowhere for this person to run to. The cars all around prevented escape in the car. Carjackers pick people who are victims that they can corner, so sometimes you have to be able to simply fight where you are and stand your ground.

2. Carjackers travel in packs! Two or three opponents are not uncommon, so make sure that your defensive plan includes multiple attackers. Your training should regularly include multiple attackers and how to successfully defend yourself against them.

3. Marksmanship matters. This officer had a shot of 7-10 yards or so, with a terrible backstop. He had to put the shot on target to be able to stop these guys and not endanger others. Do you practice shooting at 7 yards? I hope you do, and hope you do it until you can get reliable hits.

4. Notice that the officer didn’t get tunnel vision on the one carjacker that he shot. He maintained awareness of the others who ran off, which is excellent! Keeping aware of what is going on keeps you from getting ambushed as you recover from the fight.

5. Notice as well that the officer shot to stop the threat, and that was enough. It was a psychological stop and perhaps a neuromuscular incapacitation of his legs, but he didn’t keep shooting once the threat stopped. That said, he went and got the gun in the guy’s waistband so that the threat couldn’t re-emerge, and that was excellent as well!

6. Even with multiple attackers, when shots are fired many times the gang will scatter. You won’t often have to fight 4 or 5 carjackers or other attackers, because once they realize that the force equation has tipped against them, they run for safety. They’re looking for victims, not fights, so when they encounter a fight they find alternate things to do with their day.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.