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Defensive thought process

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by barefoot, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. barefoot


    Oct 26, 2010
    San Antonio
    I haven't seen any discussion in the regard, but if I missed it, please point me in the right direction.

    What I'd like to discuss/develop is a checklist of items to be marked off mentally before drawing and shooting. Specifically in a public area where conditions are uncontrolled.

    Let's say (God forbid) you're present at the next Jared Loughner incedent. You're armed. You hear shots, you become aware of nearby, ongoing commotion, you ID a shooter/perpetrator. What thought process do you go through before drawing and firing?

    My thoughts:
    Look for Police
    Look for film crew
    If neither of those are present, start thinking tactically, ranges, backstops, co-conspirators etc.
    What else should you check?
    I hope this doesn't come off as mall-ninja-ish, I'm looking for serious discussion, even though it's not likely to happen to me. (except that we hear about crap like this in the news far too often)
  2. rta108


    Mar 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

  3. SpringerTGO


    Jul 30, 2011
    Look for cover. Look for an escape route.
  4. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Get some real training.

    Otherwise, risk being overcome by events for which you may well lack a foundation of legal knowledge, training, understanding and experience.

    You can often hear folks discuss their understanding (and often misunderstanding) of when they think it might be lawful (excusable & justified) to use deadly force, but not nearly as often discuss whether it might also be necessarily appropriate for the totality of the circumstances.

    Getting some real training is often a good place to start.

    You'll notice that they no longer just hand guns, badges & car keys out to our cops without having given them exposure to some training, right?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  5. guitarded_1


    Jan 18, 2011
    Unless you have trained a lot, prepare to have very little in the way of conscious thought process. When a full adrenaline dump is underway, your mind will essentially vomit out a response. If you decide to engage, you will hopefully have the presence of mind to at least assess who is the bad guy.

    It's not much different that someone grabbing you when you are walking out of the grocery store and throwing you against a wall. Without training, you won't be considering openings, angles, technique, etc. It will be fight or flight - and it's pretty much guaranteed to be sloppy as hell.

    Train, train and train if you really want to be ready for something.
  6. TDC20


    Apr 11, 2011
    Make sure the guy you are targeting isn't the CCW guy who just took out a "Jared Loughner" type maniac. If you see the whole thing happen, that's one thing, but just responding to shots fired, how do you know who fired the shots? Maybe someone with a CCW was being robbed and just took care of the situation. Maybe it's a plainclothes or off-duty LEO that just stopped a drive-by shooter.

    If you're not 100% sure of who did what, who is the bad guy and who might be the good guy, you had best wait to see what develops. Especially if two guys are trading shots and you don't know why. Obviously if someone is shooting unarmed innocents, the intent and actions are fairly easy to judge. But even then, you can't un-shoot someone, so better be darn sure you know what is going on.

    Also keep in mind that once you draw your gun, you may become a target for another CCW shooter or for cops who are trying to stop the armed confrontation. They don't know you or what your role is in the commotion. This type of friendly fire does happen.
  7. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Even off duty cops sometimes get shot by mistake.
  8. bustedknee

    bustedknee Curmudgeon

    Aug 1, 2001
    Wythe County, VA
    Not yet a self defense situation.
  9. guitarded_1


    Jan 18, 2011
  10. barefoot


    Oct 26, 2010
    San Antonio
    Excellent discussion, thanks!

    I guess it's this kind of deranged lunatic that gets under my skin - someone in a fit of random violence who brings an end to good people who deserve a chance to live. And it's possibly a foolish notion that I could make a difference in such a situation. And probably one of the least likely scenarios that any one of us would have to face, and much less cut-and-dried than a self-defense situation. Your suggestions are well-heeded. Keep 'em coming.
  11. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    Unless the person is actively threatening YOU, find cover (something that will stop bullets) and keep really good track of what's going on so you can tell the cops when they get there.

    If the person is threatening YOU, then and only then should you do anything else.

    It's obvious you've not done a lot of force on force and single shooter stuff. Stay out of it unless YOU are in danger of being killed.
  12. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    Get off the X.

    Get farther off the X.

    Get really really far off the X.

    Do the above at high speed.

    Happyguy :)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  13. douggmc


    Feb 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    The first question should be what are your state's laws regarding deployment of lethal force. Is it allowable in defense of someone else? Due you have the duty to retreat? Etc.

    After ensuring that you understand those well, the next question is what is your PERSONAL threshold for deploying lethal force and is it higher than perhaps the law allows. For example, your state may allow use if deadly force to stop a violent crime against someone else, however are you willing/able to do so?

    Both those questions need to be answered in every civilian carrier of a weapon as soon as you decide to strap on (not when you encounter situation).

    Me ... Personally ... My state's laws allow more than what I am personally willing to do. I am not a LEO, nor do I want to be. I am not a hero. I would like to think my ego would stay out of a decision like that. I will not deploy in defense of others (only myself and my family). I will escape if I can safely do so (no "standing my ground" as my state permits). These are my personal positions and they are of a higher threshold than my state allows.

    So ... In your example of the Loughner crime, I would be running in the other direction to escape if at all possible.
  14. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Get Off The X and then assess...

    What's in the hands?


    Get Off The X and then assess...

    What's in the hands?

    Rinse and repeat as needed...

  15. Rumbler_G20


    Dec 5, 2011
    N. Florida
    The "correct answers" to this discussion are highly geographically, training and whether you are a sheep or a sheepdog, dependent.

    The only universal is this:

    "The only substitute for professional training is on the job training."

    And learning when and how and IF to gunfight during a gunfight is . . . . . . probably not the best approach. :whistling:
  16. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    My thought unless there is a specific legal obligation to(attemot to) apprehend the guy in this situation as much distance as possible away from him is the best option.
  17. ijacek


    Jun 21, 2008
    Like some others have already said, find cover, observe, communicate with 911, in a nutshell become a best witness you can be. Unless of course you are staring down the barrel of the bad guy's gun.

    Remember that Concealed Carrying of a firearm comes with great responsibility. The simple fact that just because you have a CCW and the firearm on your person, does not automatically give you a free pass at stopping any and all encountered conflicts. That's what the law enforcement is for. And trust you me, situation like that, they are coming, and they are coming in HOT. Anybody with a firearm in this predicament, in the best case scenario, will be quickly detained by means of not so gentle prone handcuffing.

    Instead of when/if-ing about your response, practice avoidance and get some quality training! And whatever you do, don't go looking for firefights!
  18. liberty addict

    liberty addict

    Jun 17, 2005
    Well stated, but what if you're in McDonald's with your family and Huberty comes in hosing down EVERYBODY -- you had best be fast and accurate if you are to survive. Then again, Huberty likely doesn't strike where there is shall-issue CCW. He might not care if he lives but I don't think the mass murderer likes being struck with only 2 people shot.

    On the other hand, the guy we were discussing did his thing in AZ -- I guess he came "close" to getting capped but not quite.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  19. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Jun 14, 2002
    Much as with a nuclear threat, you want to gain time, distance, and shielding. Only if you cannot decrease your risk through increasing those does your ccw weapon come into play.
  20. RoundBrown


    Feb 12, 2010
    There is a split second when the conscious you, the one reading this at this moment is involved in the thought process. After that Instincts take over and your just there for the ride. Depending on you training and the relativity of the incident you will either go into a flight mode or fight mode. Most people will not go into fight mode initially and thats understandable most people arent exposed to unexpected gun shots or weapons being pointed at them on regular basis.I can tell you that with proper training you will act accordingly and when its all said and done you wonder what the hell just happened and how/why did I just do that. Gun fights are an interesting thing and you can fantasize all you want about what you would do in this or that situation. But the reality is you dont know what you will do. All I know is that my instincts and training will take over, my conscious self (The one here typing right now) is just along for the ride. Hope this makes sense