These officers had to react SO fast to a very volatile situation. Heck, just clearing the house is a hard job! Good work assessing their options and protecting themselves.
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves when our tools fail?
- You must understand that your intermediate force options, those in between hands and firearm/knife (like pepper spray, TASER, baton, etc.) will not always be effective. They are designed to be used BEFORE a threat becomes a deadly threat, and we must always be ready for them to fail us. At that point, we must quickly decide whether the right answer is to move to empty-handed skills or to deadly force options.
- Whether you’re LEO or CCW, you need to know what force options you have available and when to abandon one and move to another. (“force options” are a better model than the older “force continuum” model) You need to know when your pepper spray is the best option, or when to abandon it (or the TASER) in favor of your firearm in a split-second decision. The best way, of course, to learn and embed these options in your mind is to train in force on force scenarios with the options and then respond to the situations appropriately.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker.
- The rules of firearm safety apply in a gunfight, just like they do on the range or in your home. Whether you prefer to articulate them as Colonel Cooper’s four rules or the NRA’s three rules (I have a discussion of my preference here: https://get-asp.com/cfgf if you want to read it), you must have the presence of mind to keep your firearm pointed in the appropriate direction and only fire when you will not hit an innocent. You are morally and legally responsible for the rounds that leave your gun, so make sure to train and practice so that you take responsible shots in the moment of need.
- One of the significant dangers in using your defensive firearm is to your support hand. This is usually only in play in a very close-range defensive shooting, say 6 feet or less. What we see happen on video regularly is that if a threat closes within about 2 arms lengths rapidly, the natural tendency is to release the support hand from the pistol and use it as a barrier to the attacker getting too close. The danger there is in floating the support hand out in front of the muzzle and shooting yourself! In training, that means we must drill and drill and drill the thumb pectoral index which minimizes the risk to the support hand, as well as drilling keeping the support hand close to ward off blows while using the firearm in defense.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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