Noticing a new trend
This just might be me. But in the past couple of months it seems I am seeing more posts where folks say that they would display their firearm if they are approached by a stranger (usually at night or in a bad neighborhood). This is well before a weapon is displayed from the stranger or a direct sign of an attack.
Also, we all no of the hoodie thing. But I see that cropping up a lot also in a multitude of threads. A lot of folks seem to be profiling too much.
Maybe I am just reading the post more carefully lately. It is disconcerning that some feel it is OK to brandish a weapon as a pre-programmed response t certain triggers.
Just my thoughts.
Yep more and more I have a gun and it makes me safe. If I show it the bad guy will run away or sucumb to my overwhelming power.
But wait I am sure there is a statistic that supports it somewhere done by someone so it's all ok.
I think a lot of the issues on this subject stems from....
1. No training or life experiences to draw from (no pun intended) on how to manage unknown contacts.
2. Many believe the gun will solve all of their problems. With no other types of training such as hand-to-hand or tools on hand such as pepper spray they default to the gun.
3. Sometimes individuals just seem to lack common sense.
There is a difference between brandishing and drawing and concealing out of site.....IMO...if a threat is perceived, the gun must be in the hand ready...whether it still be in the holster or out of it and out of view......but Ready.
My choice would depend on the variables at hand.
I always wonder of the "I almost got mugged/carjacked" threads, how close to a reality such would appear to the average forum viewer who were to be able to watch a video replay of the moment.
Personally I would be careful about publishing in a forum what I would or wouldn't do in a SD situation, as it may just be fodder for an over-zealous prosecutor in the future who investigates computer records.
Street robberies and you - The Basics
While many say it is better to be lucky than good, no one is lucky every time. In this post I am going to attempt to provide some insight into street encounters. Other may have different viewpoints. I am not here to argue. I will say some of the comments I have seen posted in the threads about this sort of matter make me realize that while some ARFCOMMERS are clearly street veterans others are not. This is really for those who are not.
First, my info. I worked in the street of one of America's most violent, dangerous cities for 15 years. I usually worked in the worst part of that city. I spent 15 years in patrol. I liked patrol. It was wild. Most of the time I worked in areas covered in ghetto. By that I mean large housing projects combined with run down slum housing. I have worked all shifts. Later I became an investigator including a robbery investigator. I have spent countless hours in interrogation rooms talking to hold up men. I know them. I am still an investigator but have quit playing the Robbery game because my family was starting to forget what I looked like.
Some may object to me calling hold up men "the enemy". You can call them whatever you like. I can assure you however they are as deadly an enemy as you will find anywhere but the battlefield. Even many soldiers probably lack the viciousness and utter disregard for life most hold up men possess.
No one wakes up in the morning one day and decides to become an armed robber. It is a gradual process that requires some experience and desensitizing. Before a man will pick up a gun and threaten to kill people who have done him no harm in order to get their usually meager possessions he has to get comfortable with some things.
He has to get used to seeing others as objects for him to exploit. He has to accept he may be killed while robbing. He has to accept the felony conviction for Robbery will haunt him all his life. He has to accept he may need to kill a completely innocent person to get away with his crime.
This is a process that starts with stealing candy at the corner store as a child. It progresses through bigger property crimes that may also involve violence. But one day G gets tired of selling his stolen property for nothing and decides it would be better to steal cash. Cut out all that tiresome sales stuff.
Keep in mind many petty thieves, auto burglars, residential and commercial burglars, paper thieves, and hustlers will get to that point and decide not to become armed robbers. Most will. It is a special group of outliers who decide threatening to kill people for a few dollars is the way to go.
Once a man starts armed robbing he has crossed a line most won't. Don't forget that when you are looking these predators in the eye. Their decision to kill you is already made. Your life means nothing to him. Only his does. His sole motivation for not killing you is he doesn't want a murder case. He has already accepted he may pick one up though.
We hunt hold up men around the clock once they are identified. We send teams of fire breathing fence jumper/door kickers to find them. We will bring their mother to the office and convince her she is going to jail if we don't have Junior in our office in an hour. We have her call her son crying hysterically for him to turn himself in before she is arrested and held without bond as a material witness and her home seized for harboring him. Most of the time they won't. Thwy will screw over their own momma.
We will hit all Juniors friends and family's houses. We make it so no one will harbor him. He is so hot no one will let him in their house or even talk on the phone with him. We put money on him so he knows he is right to be betrayed and set up. We do this because of one thing.
That thing is they WILL kill someone if they keep robbing. That is why the city is willing to pay all the overtime. They don't want the murders. Think about that when you see Junior coming. The more robberies he does the closer he is to killing someone. Maybe you.
The guys who hit you on the street are gang members. They are Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Crips, Sureonos, many others. They do not see themselves as part of society. The street is all they know. They don't expect to live long or stay out of prison. They take a delight in your fear and suffering. They are warped individuals for the most part. They can be extremely dangerous.
One time we were locking up a hold up man and having a conversation about how they target their victims. I was saying they pick easy ones, another guy was saying they preferred easy ones but would take anybody.
I pointed out a uniform Officer there was an NFL size guy to that hold up man. Frankly the dude was a monster. I asked hold up man if he would rob him. He said "If I needed the money".
Chances are good you are a law abiding person except for maybe a little light weed smoking and maybe driving a little drunk every once in a while. Most of your life you have been taught to be nice and don't point guns at people. You are the exact opposite of your enemy who was taught just the opposite. Remember a lot of street life is like prison life. Who's the man is everything. Violence is the currency of the street.
You do not possess total disregard for the lives of others and do not want to kill anyone. You are concerned about the ramifications of shooting someone. Your family, your possessions and finances on the line. Your enemy has none of these concerns.
The laws that keep you from carrying your gun in bars or where ever mean nothing to your enemy. Your reluctance to shoot someone works to is advantage. His greater experience in street violence and the element of surprise is on his side.
Everyone should call their local FBI office and get a copy of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. When it first came out it was ground breaking because it demonstrated to academics and other elites what street police knew all along. What did it show in interviews with cop killers? Nice guys finish dead. That's right. Most of those offenders commented that the Officer they killed set himself up to be killed because of reluctance to use force early in the encounter.
You can probably find it on line now. A lot of the victim Officers were a lot like a lot of other people, normal people. They were the opposite of their enemy.
Am I advocating becoming the enemy? No. I am saying the person who is robbing you has certain traits, attitudes, and background. That is all.
Dynamics of Encounters
Hold up men target victims on the street in an impulsive, opportunistic manner. They see someone and make a quick judgment call on whether to rob them. The time between when you are targeted and they are on you isn't long. Therefore, situational awareness is everything.
If you see G coming you are in good shape. If you don't you will be the victim who says "He came out of nowhere". No he didn't. There are many tricks to watching out but simply watching your back is the main thing. Watch your back. If you do it enough it becomes second nature and you won't even realize you are doing it.
Watching out is great but unfortunately many self defense courses stop there. You have parked you car in a well lit area, are aware of your surroundings, and looky here, here comes three guys across the parking lot and they start to kind of fan out.
When you lock eyes with G the very first thing you need to do it indicate you have a weapon. It doesn't matter if you do or not. If you are a woman put your gun hand in your purse and keep it there. If you are a man fan your shirt or coat tail with your gun hand. Make it clear to dude you are mentally prepared to draw and making sure your gun is clear. This will many times result in an about face by dude. It is the single best robbery avoidance tactic IMHO.
Not long ago I was walking down the sidewalk in my town to go get my car. I was holding a folding chair in my gun hand. A car slow rolled past me with 4 heads in it. The guys in the back seat turned around as they went by looking at me. They went a little farther and U turned in the street.
Here they come back. As they started to slow down I looked at them with as contemptuous a look as I could muster and switched the chair to my left hand and flicked my shirt tail with my right hand. They just drove on mad dogging me.
In another case I was at a Christmas party and walked a girl to her car about 3 am. As we said our good-byes two guys were walking across the parking lot. One went behind a dumpster. I though he was peeing. He came out from behind the dumpster with a bottle.
As they got closer I stepped clear of that girl and unzipped my jacket at those two guys. When I did the guy threw down the bottle and they walked by cussing at me. If someone challenges you after you indicate you are armed say "I don't have a gun". Then they will know you do.
Here is an opposite story. A girl my brother knows was walking her dog when a guy approached her. She was polite. Mistake. He talked to her about the dog and said she had pretty hair and reached out and touched her hair. She did not slap his hand down or aggressively object. Mistake. He asked her if her dog bit and she said "No". At that time he slapped the **** out of her, drug her into a wooded area, and raped her.
The answer in the street is always "No". Can I ask you something? No. Do you have a cigarette? No. Can you tell me what time it is? No. The answer is always "No". Don't be nice. Stop the encounter as soon as it starts.
When to draw
Despite warnings I often see on the Net I have yet to encounter an instance in which a hold up man called the police to report his intended victim threatened to shoot him. Thugs do not want to come into contact with the police. They may already be wanted or realize chances are good they have been identified in a recent robbery. Or what ever. They are not going to call the police if you draw on them.
Supposed two guys are approaching you in a parking lot and do the classic fan out maneuver. You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!
I am not saying you should pull your gun out, assume a Weaver stance, and scream "That's close enough scumbags!" What I am saying is draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover. I am very fond of telephone poles. Anything will do though. They will see this. They will remember they have to be somewhere else. They will not call the police.
Then you can just put your gun back in the holster and go back to whatever you were doing like nothing happened. Why? Because nothing did happen. A happening is when shots are fired.
Do not hesitate to draw. If you are somewhere you are supposed to be and someone appears who is not supposed to be there like a closed business show him the end of your gun. Could it be Mother Teresa looking for her lost cat behind your closed business? No it is some dirtbag up to no good. He won't call the police to report he was prowling a location when a guy ran him off.
When to shoot
The time to shoot is immediately upon seeing his weapon. You are not a police man who has to try to arrest the guy. No need to scream at him. No exposure while you yell for him to drop the gun.
In deer hunting the experienced hunter takes the first good shot. May not be the perfect shot but it never is. Novices pass up a doable shot waiting for a better shot and then the deer is gone. Take the first good shot you are offered. Hopefully your alertness and hostile cues will prevent you ever having to fire. But once you see his weapon, shoot.
If a guy is coming at you with a gun in his hand shoot him. Shoot him right then. If you don't shoot first you may not shoot at all. I have known more than one person who was shot and received life changing injuries and also shot their attacker. Their only regret was not shooting sooner. Like Bill Jordan said "Nothing disturbs your enemy's aim like a slug delivered to the belt buckle area".
Guns and weapons
The handgun is the best weapon you can carry easily. I understand it is not always possible to have one due to laws, restrictions, whatever. I am not telling anyone to disregard laws about carrying weapons. Each person has to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with. I will say there is no substitute for a pistol when you need one.
Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can't be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn't make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don't know what to tell you.
Types of guns and ammo are always debated and probably always will be. I have seen people shot with all common calibers. My conclusion is if you hit someone between the collar bone and the tip of their ribs three times with anything, they are handled. Bigger is better but something is better than nothing. Get your front sight on his shirt and stay on him as long as he is standing with whatever gun you have.
Just have a gun with sure fire ammo. Draw early and fire immediately upon seeing his weapon. That course of action is about all you can do to up your odds of ending things favorably. Guns like the Ruger LC9, SIG 239, Glock 26/27 are examples of guns small enough to carry but with enough power and capacity to be useful. Do not be afraid to use a French Lebelle if that is the only gun you have. A gun is a gun. I like a Glock 19.
We all want the best training. It can be expensive if you are having to pay for it and it can be hard to find the time to do it. There is a whole lot of BS out there. What can you do? First, pistol handling is not rocket surgery. If you will learn the basics and practice on your own you can be fine. Smooth draw, quick pairs, reload. If you know those things well you can be OK.
I know a young man who shot down two hold up men in 2010 at very close range while he and his GF were walking home from the store. He in Wyatt Earp like fashion ignored the fire coming from the gunman and killed him and wounded his accomplice. He nor his GF were injured. He like many was willing to give them the money until he picked up on nonverbal cues that because of his GF they were not quite satisfied with the money. He had a Glock 27.
He had only the most basic of training in gun handling but did do some draws and some dry fire a couple times a week and live fired maybe once a month. That basic skill combined with knowing what to do was enough. He shot at the first possible moment despite having let the guys get the drop on them. When the gunman turned his head because a car drove by that was the opening. A split second is a long time sometimes.
Work on some one hand shooting at close range. That is a skill not as popular as it once was and you want to use two hands when you can. Often you can find yourself doing something with your off hand though so be able to shoot with one hand out to 5 yards or so.
If it comes to pass you are forced to shoot someone do not feel bad. When the police come just tell them a guy threatened you with deadly force and you were forced to fire. I know there are bad police out there in some parts of the country who don't support self defense. I can't help you with that.
Do not talk to them until you have your attorney present. Now most young guys don't have an attorney on retainer and you may have no idea who to call. That is OK. You will figure it out but in the mean time don't talk about what happened other than to say you were forced to fire. You don't have to be a jerk, just remember to wait for your attorney.
Hopefully you will not give a statement for a couple days. Remember if you are put in jail that doesn't mean you are charged. Most places can hold you 48 or 72 hours on a felony before charging you or letting you go. Breath deep and get an attorney.
Expect to never get your gun back. You may get it back one day but maybe not. Do not buy expensive guns for the street. Buy yourself a nice sporting gun if you want a nice gun. Keep your street guns basic. The factory Model 10 Smith and the GI 45 have done a lot of work over the years and aren't fancy.
We all live in different worlds. My world is filled with felons and gang members. Violence is common place. No one would be surprised if one of their friends called and said they shot a hold up man at a place of business or parking lot. In the past when I made calls the fact that the guy who is beating his GF is also on parole for 2nd degree murder flavored my world.
You may live in a smaller, less violent place where shootings seldom occur and it would be a rare to shoot a hold up man. I envy you and will be moving to a place like your town as soon as I can.
But be advised no matter where you are a hold man is going to be about the same. Whether he is a home boy or a guy who just exited the interstate into your town and needs some quick money. He is going to have a vicious streak and no regard for your life. Treat him like he treats you.
Giving them the money, doing what they say, all that may work but there is no guarantee. If you have never read Jeff Cooper's book The Principles of Personal Defense I suggest you order a copy immediately. It is a short book but summarizes a lot of important things.
Last year we had a trial here regarding an armed robbery that occurred. Three or four guys took a young couple from a parking garage near a college out by some railroad tracks where they raped, shot, and beat them. Their lives will never be the same.
The lesser thugs all turned on the trigger man at trial. The trigger man's statement in the paper was after all that had happened he felt like he was a victim. Think about that. That is the mindset you are up against.
Wow... that was a mouthfull.
Once again I think it boils down to intent. In most jurisdictions Brandishing/Menacing is a crime. However one must place ones hand on the firearm AS A PART OF THE DRAW. If the dynamics of the ongoing situation change between GRASPING THE FIREARM, AND THE DRAW to the point that the THREAT RETREATS, or the assistance is on the scene. The CCW wasnt threatening anyone. He was simply DRAWING HIS LEGAL HANDGUN to face a IMINANT THREAT. The CCW isnt threatening anyone... he's going to defend himself. The threat stopped before he had to... so he changed his mind about the draw.
There is a term used in policing. It came about as a result of civilian complaints that Officers too often pulled their handguns during the course of duty. Rather than instruct Officers to keep the guns in the holsters.. they came up with a tactic that satisfied both the street cops, and a Civilian Complaint Review Board. This tactic is called "COVERING FROM THE LOADED POSITION" Basically it requires the officer or CCW holder to plase his hand on his firearm still in the holster. It's far less threatening or offensive, and it's easily explained.
Some of the things I agree with in the blog, some I don't. I think he is dealing with a variety of different life experiences that most of us have not had or will ever have based on his background. I can respect that and can understand why he would handle situations in the manners he describes. I just think depending on the situation, one should have the knowledge and training to be able to execute a wider variety of options rather than always immediately go to the gun (not saying that's your stand just what some might think).
Of course situations are different. My problem is how embolden some folks are in a situation where they feel threatened. To para phrase some "command them to stop. If they don't I draw my weapon". I am looking at it this way: Somebody commands me to stop and I see them reaching under their coat I would start thinking that he is the BG and might draw if I see a weapon and I may shoot then. I would be justified most likely since the guy initiated getting his weapon first. That is where I see the problem. A person who has it in thier mind to take a provocative action when the BG is not a BG nor a threat. Now, who is now justified in shooting?
Originally Posted by Secret Spuk
If you wait to grasp you sidearm until you see a weapon, it is likely going to be too late.
It is rare for an attack to happen "out of the blue," although to the unaware it may seem that way. Most of the time, there are pre-attack cues you can notice, if you are paying attention.
Grasping your sidearm, or even clearing the holster, does not need to be "brandishing." You can simply get a grip on it, or even clear the holster while still keeping it out of sight by the way you blade your body, or by keeping it hidden inside your clothes, etc.
Bottom line is that you get the gun in hand when you perceive a threat; and fire when you see a weapon. If you wait to get a grasp until you see a weapon, you are in serious trouble.
As I said in some other posts.......most here haven't had the street experiences or want them believe me.....but it's not always as you perceive it in your mind / made up scenarios.
Actually, the LEO in this article is SPOT ON......Been There.
train till SA runs in the background...it may take 6 months, some longer
know your abilities...do not lie to yourself, use reactive targets and a timer
the carrying of a gun is a lifestyle, not a fashion statement. your style of dress needs to
allow for fast axcess with either hands under all the conditions that 'a day in the life of'
and what every one has posted has merit, how it impacts you rather depends on you, yes?
and what else is to be said fills books. many have been refered to in other threads.
and take a SD class or 2 or 3...
if someone offered a class when you started to drive that was 99% guaranteed to reduce your
exposure to accidents, without regard to fault...would that not be worth a few afternoons of your time and a few hundred dollars?
payback would be the very 1st time you did not have an 'accident'
Don't get me wrong, placing your hand on your holstered firearm is a very good tactic to carry out if done at the right time and for the right reason. The hardest part of the draw afterall is clearing your garment. As mentioned earlier by others, if you are reading the cues that an attack is clearly imminent I would certainly prefer being the one who is taking the initiative rather than playing catch up.
Originally Posted by xXxplosive
As for SPOT ON.... Much of the material is, but I think if not interpreted properly it can get someone in trouble quickly. Just my opinion, nothing more.
That in a nutshell is what I was tying to say. What someone thinks is a good idea and being prepared to shoot can be interpreted by the other guy as being provocative. Now you have two GG's that can end in disaster if they are thinking the same thing
Originally Posted by AOK
GG1: "I will put my hand on my weapon"
GG2: "Oh shoot, he is reaaching for a weapon, I should also
GG1: Oh no! I was right, he is reaching for a weapon! I must draw and scare him
GG2: OMG he is getting his weapon out!
I prefer SA and always looking for a retreat or movement at an angle. Get off the side walk, change direction.