Armed self defense–you don’t automatically win

One of the things that those of us who go armed probably don’t like to think about is what would happen if it all goes pear-shaped.  Let’s say you’re faced by multiple attackers who don’t run when you go to the gun, even after you shoot one of them.

Defiant 76-year-old woman dies in shootout with gang of three who tried to rob her of bingo money

This nice little grandmotherly looking lady faced a trio of attackers who were determined to relieve her of her bingo money.  She shot first and got what sounds like a disabling hit on one assailant.  She was in turn shot by another of the attackers.  She died on the scene; the attackers have all been captured and are charged with murder.

We all have our training scenarios that we run through.  Do you have scenarios with multiple attackers?  Scenarios in which you must fight after being wounded yourself?  If you don’t, you might want to add them into the mix.

I can think of several skills you might want to practice:

  • Target transitions–shifting focus from one target to the next in minimum time.  You aren’t going to have a lot of time to stop and assess your shots–you must become confident enough in your skill to know that you have hit your target.  (A lesson that I learned from this guy, even though he didn’t realize he was teaching it to me at the time.)
  • Rapid fire–multiple hits on multiple targets in a hurry.
  • Combat accuracy at speed–as opposed to traditional target shooting.  Many of us refer to this level of accuracy as “minute of bad guy”, but it’s more than just that.  It’s all about getting multiple hits in certain zones of your target quickly.  Rob Pincus calls it a “balance of speed and precision“.
  • Movement–if you’re standing still while shooting, you make yourself an easier target.  Learn to hit your targets while you move.
  • Reloads–many of us carry smaller guns because they conceal easier and carry more comfortably.  They also hold fewer rounds, generally 5-7 for guns like the Springfield XD-S.  Practice reloading at speed.  (You do carry at least one spare mag, don’t you?)

If you are a match director at a range, give some consideration to the two types of shooters who come to your matches.  You have the competitors, the ones who are out to win.  And you have the folks like me who are there to practice our skills on a clock.  When I get the opportunity to shoot a tactical match (far too infrequently), I know I’ll never do better than the bottom of the pack.  I’m shooting full-house rounds out of the guns I would be carrying.  I don’t “game” my stages, I shoot like I would normally.  Throw folks like me a bone, and design a stage or two for us with close targets and shooting from awkward cover mandatory.

If you are a range officer looking for a new type of match, consider a “self defense” match.  Set up the rules so that, as far as safely possible, competitors are shooting carry guns from carry holsters with carry ammo.  Make the scenarios realistic–home invasion, “knockout” victim and so on.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good your turnouts will be once word gets out.

One thought on “Armed self defense–you don’t automatically win

  1. Bless her soul. She was robbed before, and the police never caught the criminals who did it. This time, she plugged one, and as a result of this, there were three arrests,and all face murder charges. She lost her life, but she has save others from the feral blacks who attacked her.

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