use of force with non carrying friends and family

This is a discussion on use of force with non carrying friends and family within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; (CAUTION, LONG THREAD. Any points made that seem to be biased or one sided are unintentional and I would appricate it if you would point ...

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Thread: use of force with non carrying friends and family

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    use of force with non carrying friends and family

    (CAUTION, LONG THREAD. Any points made that seem to be biased or one sided are unintentional and I would appricate it if you would point these out and post a correction)


    I was bored and on facebook browsing Lima's facebook page when someone posed this question in reply to one of her daily carry blogs. Suppose one of us is out with friends or family who are unaware we carry a firearm and something happens where the answer is force on force and deadly force is called for. When something happens the normal response for family members, spouses, girlfriend/boyfriends, and etc. is to grab onto each other for comfort and support while trying to run from the threat. I am sure many of you can see where this is going, and notice that this is detrimental to the neutralizing of the threat if you need to fight rather than take flight. I am going to attempt to address these issues here and any of you who have thoughts please feel free to chime in.

    You are downtown in any city of your choosing and a man confronts you with a knife, gun, bottle, group of thugs, anything that would constitute a lethal threat. You are with your wife, husband, boyfriend/girlfriend or family member. (I will address friends at a later point because the emotional response can and will be different than these closer relationships.) So, our threat presents itself, and the family member/significant other does what is expected of someone not aware of your training and carry status. They grab you and try to pull you away, or grab onto you out of fear and a need for comfort, keeping you from reacting in a way that you would by yourself. Obviously this creates a problem in a situation where your reaction is critical. Here are a few ways to solve or avoid this problem all together.

    Always make every effort to keep your strong side away from the person you are with, this creates a buffer zone between them and your weapon if they should latch onto you in this situation and make it possible to access your weapon. Obviously had you not created this buffer zone and they latched onto your side, access to your weapon is now blocked. Keep your awareness up, if you spot the threat before he or she becomes an issue, so much the better for your survival. You also have to make sure that when you are seated you are in a place that allows you to step out and draw from your strong side instead of having to draw from inside a booth against a wall. Always note exits, entrances, and cover positions once you have entered an establishment. This again, will prevent you from being in a situation where you have to react immediately and give you time to distance yourself from them to draw should a threat become apparent. Sit facing away from a wall towards the door and if possible try not to sit where someone will be next to you that can grab you if you begin to move to engage a threat. The best defense against a deadly force encounter is avoiding the confrontation all together.

    Now, say all that I just said has failed, and you find yourself facing a threat. Since you have kept your strong side free, this enables you to use your weak side arm to shuffle them behind you, draw and bring your weapon up, or step out from the booth and move so you can draw and bring your weapon to play. If you are walking, push them to one side or pull them behind you out of the threats target area, use your best judgement because this obviously will not work if you are surrounded. If they should grab onto you, now you have them behind you and your weapon is already out so this is no longer an issue, unless they grab your arm, in which case you need to shake them off as quickly as possible. Neutralize the threat, and return to comforting your loved ones.

    Most people will not run towards a threat so you should not need to worry about them running in front of you. If they should start to, use your weak side arm to grab them and pull them back behind you, this is not the time to be gentle. If you have to grab them and move them, do it quickly and forcefully. It is better to have bruises and scrapes from being thrown behind someone or something than to have a bullet or knife wound. If possible, get them out of the area directing them out another exit. Again, this is not the time for touch feely, command them to do this, do not ask, TELL. Your immediate family should know the difference between your polite self and your aggressive defensive self and you need to practice asserting yourself in a situation so that when the time comes, you speak forcefully, clearly, and with authority.

    Now we deal with the friend issue of this question. Obviously your friends should react differently than your family, if they act the same, follow the above paragraphs as to what to do. Friends are normally not as emotionally staked as your immediate family and therefore are less likely to grab onto you as a brother, mother, father, or child would do. However we all have those friends who are closer to us than family. Most of the above applies however in some situations they may be more likely to run away and leave you to face the threat, this is an advantage unless they run the wrong direction. Another thing we have to factor is the difference in male friends and female friends. This is dangerous territory and may seem to be based on stereotypes, however this is not intentional, we all know men who are very emotional and women who could stare down a bull. The emotional types of people will still try to grab you, hold on, cry, scream, or just try to hold onto you for comfort. Use your non dominant hand to move them behind you and draw your weapon as you move them. Be forceful when you move them so the message is clear where they need to be going.

    Your biggest problems do not come from the emotional, need to be held type of people. Move them behind you, or out of harms way and take out the threat. The problems come from the aggresive types, the I want to take on the world and shove it down someones throat types. They may rush the aggressor. In that case they have provided a distraction and gives you more time to get the rest of your group to safety. Controlling their movements will be more difficult but it is essential that you attempt to do so so as to avoid taking them out yourself. If you have to forcefully move them, yell or scream at them to get them to comply, do so, as long as it does not compromise your safety. I hate to say this, but if someone is going to act a certain way and is dead set on it, they may become a threat themselves. If they are set on attacking the threat, they will, no matter what you say. Accept that even your best efforts may not be good enough and that they may get themselves hurt or killed. The important thing is making sure that everyone you can save gets saved. Sometimes you are not able to protect everyone. Someone in your group could already be hurt, dying or dead. Do what you have to do to protect as many people in your group who are still safe stays safe including you.

    Please feel free to add comments, concerns, and corrections where you feel I may have been inadequate or lacking or even completely wrong. These are just my thoughts and are in no means an expert opinion. I wrote this on little sleep and with a migraine so take it with a grain of salt. Based on limited experience on my part and the training I have acquired thus far this is how I would react in this situation. It may or may not work for you and is not intended as a how to guide for self defense with a unarmed and unaware group of people. What are your thoughts?
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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  3. #2
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    Interesting food for thought. These seem like good general ideas, but each situation is so fluid that there is no one size fits all response. Having a plan for the clingy types is, however, a good idea.
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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey IN: Methinks you have overthought this issue to the point that ks has mentioned. Too many variables and too much thinking. Always good to have "ideas" on what if scenarios but, just on the basis of your lenghty reply, it is obvious that this is just too complicated for a "fits all" response. I appreciate your comments though---every thoughtful comment explained as well as yours is a welcome read and I always find something I can put in my experience file.

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Good comment here by ksholder. It's the same reaction I have: too over-thought.

    Force-on-force dynamics are too fluid, too random to allow an analytic dissection of this nature. In the martial art that I practice now, there are no set drills because it is felt that such training is non-effective. "OK, you grab me here so I can do this and then push you this way..." and so forth is planning for a specific attack with a specific response. Well there's no guarantee that's going to happen so why train that way?

    Same with the OP's observations above. Also, notice the focus on the firearm. All this stuff about keeping the "strong side" unencumbered sounds like the objective is leave a clear path for the hand to make a grab for the gun. Can't have no weepy sheep hanging on the Roscoe wrist, right?

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well maybe the problem tonight is going to be a drunk, unpleasant scoundrel who takes a dislike to your person. Maybe all he needs is some "come to Jesus" spray in the face, or just a forceful shove backward.

    And what if you're out with another couple? Now there's four of you, walking along the sidewalk, crossing streets, etc. You really don't want to be wasting mental energy calculating how, when the group makes a right turn, you have to position your "strong side" over this way so that two people in front won't block your draw. Rather, you want to be paying attention to the environment.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    shockwave, what do you do to train then since set drills are not effective. I agree with you on this, just looking for some suggestions on how I could become less ridged and "robotic" in the way I train. Never occured to me to try something in your line of thinking, as opposed to draw, fire, holster,or repetitive training. How would I change things up and make it fresh everytime I go train?
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    Suppose one of us is out with friends or family who are unaware we carry a firearm
    That is mistake number one. If I hang out with someone, they are close enough for me tell them that I carry. As of now, I hang out with people that, 1. Knows I have a permit to carry 2. Knows that I carry all the time and/or 3. Hang out with people that carry them self. So if everything goes south, its not going to be a shock that I am fighting back. Hell, about 50% of the people that I hang out with would be given my BUG to use themselves if and when possible.
    TN_Mike likes this.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    shockwave, what do you do to train then since set drills are not effective.
    Well, drills are useful for certain things, and if you're learning a hard style you'll probably get a good deal of them. And you want to practice your draw, things like that, sure.

    What I'm doing now is more like what you see here. Just very fluid, responding to whatever's going on and not thinking or planning anything.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    so in essence the only thing that i should make sure i do is just keep repeating my fundamentals, draw, sight, dry fire, draw non lethal, transitions, mag changes, things that can never change and always will be the same and then just keep an open mind when in the public arena. makes sense to me

    and knightrider i agree with you, but there are many people who believe in always carry never tell, so this is more for them
    Last edited by INccwchris; March 20th, 2011 at 09:10 PM.
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    My wife knows when I go into fight mode. She gets out of the way. My friends will either fight the threat with me or be so frighten they will stay away from me. There are no set patterns in self defense. Adapt and overcome.
    Semper Fi
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Since the wife and I are both CHL instructors, pretty much anyone of any importance knows we are and pretty much know that we carry every day.

    Those that don't carry would probably be trying to get the heck out of there. Those friends and family that do carry, would probably be engaging the threat as well.

    One problem with them moving behind you is that they would more than likely be in the line of fire if the BG continued their attack, if the BG is shooting they stand a good chance of being hit by bullets that might miss you. They would probably be better moving away from you and away from the threat getting to cover as quickly as possible.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The wife knows, that lacking instructions, move to the side and "gimme room". The others that I might go out with who aren't also strapped, by their nature, would probably leave the lead to me.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    Guantes, how many of these people are aware of your profession, most of the time people expect cops to be armed at all times, therefore your reaction is expected, would you say the same thing as a civilian without years of LEO training and work behind you? Just curious
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I think we are talking two different things. One is that I am an ex cop, the other is my nature, compared to some we might go out with. Most of them know I am a retired cop and the ones that might not, being more mellow business nature types, would probably still leave the lead to me. In either case I'm going to be out front.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Anyone who cares enough to hang out with me knows what I'm all about...
    Plus I OC 100% of the time. So if they don't know I'm armed then they are blind. Second any BG who see my handgun in plain view and still wants to mess with me, I have bigger problems than getting my family or friend behind me. (but I bet they decide to pick an easier target(s).. )

    Hopefully I'm with any or all three people who carry, My dad, uncle or girlfriend.
    TN_Mike likes this.
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    Everyone I usually hang out with know I carry and shoot a lot,And also have carry permits after realising the world by the South Border is getting really bad and we are getting spillover violence
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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