This shootout between Dundalk, Maryland officers and a known armed robber is one of the craziest that I have ever seen. SO much to learn here that it’s the longest video I have ever narrated!
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News stories on this shootout abound.
What does this video teach us about the chaos that is a real shootout?
- The first and most foundational part of Active Self Protection’s defensive strategy of “Attitude, Skills, Plan” is Attitude. You must cultivate the attitude that you are responsible for your own self-protection and you are the primary agent in your own rescue. You and only you can choose to cultivate an attitude that no one has the right to harm you or your loved ones and you have a right and a responsibility to stop anyone who threatens to harm you and yours. The first officer went looking for an armed robber but didn’t appear to be mentally and emotionally ready for the trouble she was walking into. If you know trouble is likely, whether a shootout or something else, get emotionally prepared!
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can.
- Marksmanship in a real deadly force encounter might mean that you need to be ready to make a precision shot on a threat, and you must be prepared emotionally and skill-wise to do so. Shooting a threat in the face, a target the size of a 3×5 card, under stress is no small feat! To be able to stop a terrorist attack or hostage situation, though, it is a necessary skill and you should train and practice your marksmanship until it is second nature. A good standard is Dave Spaulding’s “Skill on Demand” drill, which involves 2 shots in 2 seconds at 20 feet, in a 3×5 card.
- Always remember that while good people practice firearms safety at all times, criminals do not. If they cared about firearms safety, they wouldn’t use firearms to hurt people! They will endanger a bystander or a crowd to get what they want. They will take reckless shots. They will flag everyone in the place to threaten them with harm. They will negligently discharge their firearm. That is a prime reason that we need to smartly end the threat, because as long as the attacker has a firearm out, everyone is in danger.
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum: http://amzn.to/1Or4yVz ) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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