This long simmering feud finally erupted into shots fired and a gunfight that teaches self-defenders a lot of lessons for before, during, and after a deadly force encounter.
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves in a gunfight?
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands!
- Using your verbal judo to de-escalate and redirect a conflict is always the best choice if it is available, so make sure that your verbal game is strong. Knowing how to redirect, how to persuade, how to empathize, and how to talk someone down from a confrontation is critical to avoiding some fights. That said, we must also know that some people will not be dissuaded from a fight, so knowing when to talk and when to act is critical as well.
- The first pillar of lawful, moral self-defense is “innocence.” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ) Innocence requires that we not be the instigator of the fight and that we not be the aggressor or the perpetrator. In some states when we attempt to leave or run we can re-establish innocence in self-defense, but states differ on that. Regardless, getting into a fight is a poor basis for a self-defense claim later, so always live in such a way that innocence isn’t a problem for you.
- Our defensive strategy is always dictated by our mission. It’s worth remembering that the mission of military members (to overwhelm the enemy with force and drive them from the battlefield) is different than the mission of law enforcement officers (to protect and serve the public interest by subduing and arresting those suspected of crime) is different than the mission of armed private citizens (to protect their loved ones from harm by breaking contact effectively with violent criminals). Those varied missions will dictate what skills are needed and what tactics are employed!
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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