A scenario to think about, and my real-life experience.
This is a discussion on A scenario to think about, and my real-life experience. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Let's say you're outdoors in a public place at something like a city park. You're aware that there's a BIG guy nearby. He's strong and ...
July 23rd, 2008 08:05 PM
A scenario to think about, and my real-life experience.
Let's say you're outdoors in a public place at something like a city park. You're aware that there's a BIG guy nearby. He's strong and muscular, easily out-weighs you, he's menacing looking, but hasn't caused you any trouble. While you happen to look away, all of a sudden he blinds-side you with a huge body blow which drives you to the ground and flat on your back. While you're still seeing stars, you realize he's now on top of you and using his knees on your torso/abdomen to pin you down.
You're now aware that he's ultimately going to pummel you with his fists. You find yourself instinctively using both your hands and forearms to deflect his blows from your head. With the power and speed of his blows you're barely able to defend yourself, and you cringe expecting the worse at any moment. Your survivability instinct says that any pause in your defense will allow a crushing blow to come through to your head, probably followed by more, rendering you unconscious.
#1- With an overwhelming attack like this, will you even be cognizant that you have a concealed weapon available?
#2- Would you be able to overcome your survival instinct and force yourself to stop using your hands for defense and be able to draw your CCW? Keep in mind, being pinned down may put you in a position that retrieving your CCW may be very slow/difficult. During your process of drawing you are likely to get KO'd.
I bring up this scenario because something similar happened to me today and it made me think on a different level. It's easy to think about situational awareness, range practice, good and bad holsters, etc during peaceful times, but how about during times of stress in aextreme life or death struggle.?
I pose a different scenario here rather than one about the shady guy I see in the alley and I get prepared, and have time to decide some tactic. This scenario I describe is during a life or death struggle, sort of like the victims of a knife attack that tend to have defensive wounds on their hands. They are essentially sacrificing their hands to shield their torso from the overwhelming knife attack. In "peaceful" times, we avoid allowing ourselves to come in contact with sharp objects, but in survival mode, instincts kick in to try and keep you alive. In doing so you're apparently in a survival mode that you can't really practice for.
Before today I would have proably answered question #1, that yes, I would probably be aware of having a CCW and wanting to put it to use very badly. On question #2, I would have hoped I'd been able to buy myself some time by a groin strike or eye-gouging or something like that, so I could draw. I would have been wrong on both predictions. YMMV
Here is what happened to me today:
For the sake of brevity, I won't go into cattle-handling techniques, experience, behavior, etc. because it would deviate too much from the purpose of the thread, though I would be happy to answer questions later.
The victim- That would be me. I'm 56 yoa, dealt with livestock all my life. In my younger days experienced with horse-training, rodeos, etc. I don't consider myself as a city-slicker. I'm 5' 10", 185, and I think in pretty darned good shape physically. My wife may question my mental shape though.
The aggressor- Mostly Angus/Brahman crossbred cow. Four years old, weight about 1000 lbs. Muley-headed (no horns). No indication of any pattern of violent behavior. Cattle are really good at keeping a buffer zone between them and humans. They do get nervous in a pen, and in regards to their calves (mother instinct). They are big and powerful whenever they want to be.
My scenario- We were out in an open pasture and needed to catch this cow's calf. We were doing it by hand so as to not cause so much ruckus with the nearby herd. I've done this at least a thousand times in my life. Whenever I catch a calf the cow is usually nearby concerned and curious. Today, this particular cow unexpectantly blind-sided me and butted me on the run in my left chest. Knocked me flat, certainly causing me to let go of her calf. I would have guessed she'd taken her calf and left the crime scene, but no, she wanted some more of me. She wasn't finished. She got on top of me, bending at her front knees and using them to pin my torso down. Believe me there was a lot of weight involved. Now being at such close proximity to me, her intentions were to butt heads with me and she would definitely win that contest. While I was pinned I automatically started squriming to loosen her hold on me, at the same time I put my hands against her head (nose mostly) to interrupt her, plus soften some of the potential head blows. I knew that one good blow from her head to my head, would likely cause me a serious head injury or death.
With me squirming and fighting back, plus my helper getting on scene, it was more than she wanted to handle, and of course she took her calf and scooted.
I write all this, because it was a similar situation that I started this story with regarding the BIG guy at the city park. Today, I was violently knocked down, pinned and nearly pummeled. After this was over I reflected very much on exactly what I was thinking, while I was under this "attack". I never thought about my ccw at all, I automatically went into a survival mode and I was too busy (mentally and physically) to ponder alternatives. If I would have had multiple weapons hanging off of me and ready to use, I wouldn't have had time to put them to use. Even if available weapons were laying on the ground right next to me, I wouldn't have seen them because I was in a mental state of survival. Had I happened to have a weapon in my hand, say like a stick, I might have used it, but may not have even thought about it being there.
I wanted to share this experience of heightened stress and what it was like to enter a momentary mental zone of survival. I'll tell you this it is pretty primitive thinking, and sort of scary as to what goes on in your mind. As soon it was over I thought, you know I never had the slightest thought of using any weapon at all, other than my wits and hands.
Just for clarification I wouldn't have fired on the cow, doing so may have just intensified her anger. It certainly wouldn't have dropped her. She was just being too good of a mama. Sorry no video was taken, though I would love to see how it went about.
BTW, I'm sore in lots of places, even as I write this. Everything seems to be working alright and still functional. I think tomorrow I'll have some impressively large bruises, but I'm not looking forward to the aches and pains first thing in the morning.
July 23rd, 2008 09:06 PM
I'm not as "experienced" in life as you are....I'm only 38.......but I've got 'some' experience with cattle and horses......even when carrying.
When I've been 'hung up' (rodeo days), it's just 'get away'.....pure instinct.
When I've been "threatened" by cattle, It's still the 'get away' instinct, but I (and like you I think) knew my sidearm was there but only a last resort....and I never did much with cattle alone.
As for the big guy scenario, very tough. Blind sided and then pinned and being pummled, very tough. I've spent a better part of my (adult) life preparing myself for action in an emergency situation.....fire, flooding, combat, catastrophic failure of the coffee maker, etc.....I'd hope I would defend enough, and have the presence of mind, to employ my sidearm.
Very tough situation.
July 23rd, 2008 09:33 PM
This is a scenario where you will have to get that deep down instinct and will to survive. You'll have to fight back dirty. Groin shots etc. You will be taking hits but your ultimate goal it to get to your weapon and use it period.
July 23rd, 2008 09:58 PM
This is exactly the scenario that requires hand to hand skills. (The big guy, not the cow.) I don't think any of us think our CCW is a talisman but many of us think we will be able to effectively deploy a gun in the heat of an attack. Me, I am old, slow, and have a bad leg. I have learned some hand to hand skills and plan on more training but I am under no illusion that I could effectively use those skills.
The most important self defense tool is situational awareness. You simply can't be so unaware that you are overwhelmed by your opponent with no preparation.
If I were in that situation with a big guy I think I would do everything possible to draw since he would be unaware I have a gun. I would need to even up the fight as soon as possible. If a cow attacked me I would be glad I was on the other side of the zoo's cage bars.
July 23rd, 2008 10:05 PM
Dang! I'd keep an eye on that cow. Sounds like it was extremely hazardous to you! Have you considered raising chickens?
About your scenario, it's probably real easy to say what I might do vs. actually doing it while being pummeled. If I could, I might try to block my face with one arm while I reach for a weapon with my other. I carry a fixed blade at about 10 o'clock, and sometimes carry a gun in the appendix area, so those locations would facilitate a draw of either while laying on my back. Not saying I could under all circumstances, but placing them in those positions might increase my chances.
Hope you heal soon. I bet you will be sore.
July 23rd, 2008 10:29 PM
This old body would be straining to get the 'hand-to-hand' engine started...I'd probably be OK for 30 sec, or so...
It's all situational (much of the time)...knowing who/what is around you will pay big dividends in terms of a potential self-defense situation.
Hope I never have to fight a cow...
Stay armed...be a situational warrior...stay safe!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
July 23rd, 2008 10:42 PM
That scenario is a training issue. I used to train specifically for that type of encounter. You can survive. You can win (if anyone ever really "wins" in a deadly encounter).
I have 3 pairs of these as my daily wear. Carhartt Relaxed Fit Carpenter Jean
Another pair of the same but in the green "duck" version(gotta have some variety in there), and in the colder months I wear basically the same version as those, but the winter months I have a flannel liner. Carhartt Washed Denim Dungaree - Fleece Lined
The reason I wear these and only these types of pants are multifaceted.
- They have just enough pockets for most of my gear.
- They are extra heavy duty(15oz denim and all seams are TRIPLE stitched)...try keeping the same knives, flashlights, mags etc... in the same place in the same pockets for month after month and see how fast a regular pair of pants or even the coveted 5.11's last
- Since they are all the same, I have a baseline that never changes. I always know x knife is in x pocket. Y knife is in y pocket. Z flashlight is in Z pocket (heh no pun intended but hey it works), etc...
- For a pair of heavy duty work jeans they are extremely easy to manuver and/or work in (relaxed fit). Just make sure you get them a size bigger to fit your IWB(unless you use one of those baby glocks).
These kind of scenarios can go anywhere depending on your level of training and your physical condition. Obviously you're in REAL trouble if you're a normally mobile person.
For me, I revert to training. I'm a righty so I carry a kershaw clipped in that lower right carpenter pocket. There's a reason why I carry it that pocket specifically as opposed to one of the upper front pockets or belt or waistline or 'insert pocket of preference here'. The reason is your scenario.
So say the guy pummeled you down and now he's effectively mounted you. I don't know about you, but for me it's mighty hard to get to my IWB at 4 O'clock and deploy it and actually be able to get it pointed in the right direction while defending myself from blows. You also are more likely not able to reach that knife clipped into ANY OTHER POCKET because his knees/legs are either completely blocking your access to your other front pockets while mounted or the knees on the chest are too much pressure for you to get the knife out of the pocket if you can even reach it, but you can reach around his leg to the cargo one easily in that sort of encounter.
It just so happens that the average persons hand is much more easily able to reach the knife in that cargo pocket (especially if he's got you fully mounted and you're able to bring your knees up a bit) than anywhere else. The best part is yet to come. So you take your chance and reach for that knife with your strong hand, you deploy your assisted opener and since he's already mounted you, you're hand and knife are already in the best position to strike immediately after removal from pocket. Go for the organs. The kidneys, lungs etc... from the side and behind. Lots of quick short pokes. Turn HIS 7, 8, and 9oclock areas of his ribcage into swiss cheese. Once he's realized he's in trouble, he won't be thinking clearly(heavy loss of blood - the brain doesn't work too well when it's short-changed on O2) and you can finish the job by whatever means necessary.
Game over. Get up. Call 911. Spend a long time explaining. Go home, clean up, and try unsuccessfully to go to sleep. Get up go to court, spend a fortune, and hopefully get to come home and try more unsuccessful attempts at sleep again.
July 23rd, 2008 10:54 PM
July 23rd, 2008 11:27 PM
For the given scenario, where would you recommend?
Originally Posted by packinnova
July 24th, 2008 12:14 AM
+1 on those tactics... I don't have a lot of those pants with the carpenter pockets but when I wear them, I carry one folder clipped to that pocket for exactly that reason.
Originally Posted by packinnova
I have other ways of getting someone off of me if I am mounted in that fashion but if those methods fail, I go to the knife in that pocket.
I think I may invest in a couple more pairs of carpenter pants though.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
July 24th, 2008 12:43 AM
That's what I'm thinking.
Originally Posted by Bark'n
July 24th, 2008 08:33 AM
I was pretty tired and hurting yesterday when I wrote the OP. I'm still hurting today, but no big deal. I do want to clarify a bit though.
After reading the posts, and BTW ya'll had a lot of good tips and information, but I want to re-emphasize something to everyone, sort of as a cautionary statement, and the following was the intent of my message:
When I was suddenly and unexpectently "attacked" yesterday, I truly knew I was in a "fight for my life", or at least one that a very serious injury was likely. I had no time or use for weapons, I never even thought about a weapon. I could have had a 1911 in my hands and probably never realized it was there because I had "entered into a mental zone of thought of only defensive survival". I was vaguely aware of my surroundings, I knew a cow was my enemy, I knew the forces she had, I never paniced but my thoughts were only in a defensive mode to survive.
I'd love to have the input of a psychiatrist right now to explain how we mentally react under deteriorating circumstances. I was surprised at how primitive I went into the survival mode, no intellectual thinking of options/alternatives. I experienced a very narrow range of survival thought.
I point this out because it may be how we are made up mentally, and so it could happen to you under similar pressures. We'd like to think that our plans and training will cover everything. After yesterday, at least for me, I can tell you that it might and it might not. FWIW, my message is how I mentally reacted under great pressure YMMV
July 24th, 2008 11:20 AM
Being blindsided like that would be difficult to overcome. Best defense it to be aware of your surroundings.
Catching a heymaker on the button would put anyone out cold & then you are defenseless.
I've been dropped twice like that (back in my wilder days) & there ain't much you can do. In my situations, I put myself in locations & around people that made that a likelihood.
If you ever get a funny feeling about the "Big Guy", either get away from him or get as close as you can to him. Harder to land that big one in close quarters.
July 24th, 2008 12:07 PM
Could it be that you did not think of your CCW because in all the scenarios you had envisioned where you needed it the aggressor was a human? So when you were attacked by a cow it didn't fit the scenarios.
July 24th, 2008 01:45 PM
Originally Posted by JohnKelly
Good point, and I'm glad you asked. Allow me to "paint the picture" a bit. One minute I'm on my feet, when I'm suddenly blind-sided by this cow. She actually knocks me toward the edge of a nearby pond. I don't know how much "gymnastics" I did, but I think I wound up on my back. The cow was perpendicular to my right side and she knelt down with both of her knees pressing on my torso. I was squirming under her weight to lessen the burden. At the same time I knew she was going to start banging me with her head. While squirming and wiggling, I put both of my hands on her head, mostly around her nose. Her nose was closest and gave me a small amount of leverage. With the squirming coupled with fighting off her head all at the same time I was desperately trying to fend her off to keep from getting a serious injury or even death. I knew I was at a serious disadvantage......edge of pond, bad cow on top of me pinning me down, with head-butting soon to commence. I do remember being so focused on surviving this and defending myself that I never had any thoughts or wishes for any type of weapon. Even stuff that might work against cattle.......large stick, hot-shot (ele. prod), tranquilizer gun, etc.
I had my LCP in my right front pocket, I never thought about it, never wished it was a .44 magnum, never wished for a 12 gauge slug. I never wished there was a sniper nearby to stop her. I was only zoned in on surviving this attack. All of my desire-to-live-thoughts were focused on not getting in the water with her, not allowing her to cause me internal injuries, and not allowing her to hit me with her head. It's mentally overwhelming is one way to put it.
I had this one focus, and that's why I posted this. Under severe sudden stress anyone may experience the same thing. I can't duplicate this feeling or thoughts artificially. I can't practice to prepare for this.
If someone told me there was a big snake in the backyard, I could calmly walk out there, thoroughly look around, find it, then shoot it. So essentially I'd be forewarned about a snake and prepared to deal with it. But let's say I'm out in the back yard, trimming the grass by hand under a large bush, then unexpectantly a large snake swings down right in my face. My reaction is going to be much different, in that I've found myself in a very deadly situation and my thoughts are to get away and put distance between me and the snake. I'd probably be 20 feet from the snake before I'd think about getting a weapon of some sort. Now take it a step further and imagine that the snake grabs you and stops you from leaving, and begins to constrict you. I'll bet you won't think about a weapon, you'll only think about removing the impending pressure.
I hope this example makes some sense, it's sort of hard to explain, but I think the snake example comes pretty close.
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