the primary target

the primary target

This is a discussion on the primary target within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In my usual CCW shooting scenario, I make the decision that "deadly force" is required, and then I pull the gun and shoot. My state's ...

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Thread: the primary target

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array TRX's Avatar
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    the primary target

    In my usual CCW shooting scenario, I make the decision that "deadly force" is required, and then I pull the gun and shoot. My state's laws don't require that I then threaten the assailant, or negotiate, or philosophize about how many rounds I might have left to fire.

    Also, several decades ago when I took the state course for an armed security license, the instructors really hammered "pull it and shoot", saying that almost half of all policemen shot in the line of duty were shot with their own guns. Police might have a reason for pulling a gun without shooting it; we, operating as legal representatives of a property owner, didn't. Any time the gun was out of its holster was an opportunity for someone to take it away from you. I checked online, and it looks like the incidence of policemen being shot with their own guns is way down from 1983. Looks like that "weapon retention" training might have paid off...

    Anyway, I sometimes watch movies with my wife. She's not a gunhead, but she's tactically aware... and she just loves those cinematic moments where the good guy and bad guy are threatening each other with guns, and another person (usually another bad guy) pops into the scene... and almost every time, the good guy will swing his attention and gun other to the new threat. Tactical complications generally ensue.

    My wife will be chanting "shoot! shoot! shoot! IDIOT! I told you so!" or "shoot the primary target!"

    Her reasoning being, "shoot the bad guy the gun is already pointed at, THEN move to the next target."

    I knew there was more than one reason we've been married for 33 years...


    Today's thought: just because I focused on one threat doesn't mean he doesn't have accomplices nearby. Yes, I SHOULD put all my attention on what I am doing; I am using "deadly force", and it deserves all the attention I have. But the whole thing shouldn't take more than a few seconds, and then I should be looking for the NEXT target, if any.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Good point. Don't assume the threat is over just because you got rid of the one at hand.
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  3. #3
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    I would agree.. many thugs come in groups learning early that there is strength in numbers.. If you pull and aim your weapon be prepared to pull the trigger at any second.
    You might get lucky and the threat takes flight and runs to the horizon.. maybe they will continue to advance, maybe they will run for cover then re-engage..maybe they run and a second decides to engage..
    never concentrate 100% on the first identified threat, remain aware of what is going on around you.
    US Army Retired (2002)
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  4. #4
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    And always remember that the thugs don't play fair. There is not such thing in the criminal world.
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    "the instructors really hammered "pull it and shoot", saying that almost half of all policemen shot in the line of duty were shot with their own guns. "

    I don't know the actual numbers, but in all the local LEO shootings around here, rarely are the officers' guns used against them. It borders more on myth than fact.
    Secret Spuk likes this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    the good guy and bad guy are threatening each other with guns

    If I'm in a faceoff with a BG and both our guns are drawn, I'm already shooting and moving. I'm not waiting around to see what happens.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    Stand-offs only work out in the movies. Only in the movies does a sniper miss with a rifle and then be taken out by a detective with a snub-nose .38.
    Secret Spuk and locotest like this.
    I carry a gun, because a Cop is too heavy.

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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    That whole police officers being shot with their own gun thing spoke more to their holsters than being disarmed after drawing. Police equipment went through an evoloution and our holsters became safer for everyone. Inand around the 70's and 80's comfort, ease, and speed dictated officers equipment. If you look at some old photo's many officers wore border patrol, tom threepersons, styles and other open top, trigger exposed holsters. Any retention device was to keep the gun from accidentally falling out. Not much consideration was given to gun grabs... And some officers paid the ultimate price.

    Police departments in large cities like L/A, NY, D-C, Philly, and probably a few more were wearing snatch resistant holsters forever. Now all police and security holsters have snatch resistant devices.

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