How long does it take to shoot someone? A fraction of a second. How long does it take for a martial artist to attack someone about to shoot them? A fraction of a fraction of a second. You? A lot longer. But both you and the martial arts guy are subject to one key variable: distance. Distance equals time. Given that bullets are REALLY fast, when it comes to surviving a gunman who’s up close and personal, running is not your first, best option. Attacking is. And that means that the less distance, the better. Your first goal: push that muzzle so that it’s not pointing at you. Conveniently enough, yourlure’s armed antagonist has positioned his gun perfectly for the martial arts guy. In most cases, the gun will be pointing straight at you from the front. What then?

Again, charge! Attack! As the Krav Maga people will tell you, give it all you’ve got in one huge violent assault. Go for the gun at the same time that you do something violent to some other part of the gun guy’s body. Kick, punch, knee, elbow, bite; unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s all good. Just LAUNCH on them.

If you have something in your hands, throw it in their face. That’s the anti-charge option. Distract your assailant and run like hell. A thousand feet per second ought to do it. No really; if you can do something to distract the robber, you might have a chance of escape. Or enough time to move away, draw your gun and do what needs doing to save your life or the life of your loved ones.

As for all that ripping the gun out of their hand business, sure, why not? If you can, do it like it’s shown here: twist the gun towards the assailant. If you can’t think, just think “that gun’s mine bitch.” Wrench that weapon out of his hand like your life depends on it. It does. And as Uncle Krav says, don’t wait. If you’re asked (less than politely) to put your hands up, don’t do it. Make your move.

Another aspect of this scenario I want to stress: most robbers are not very good with a gun. In the main, you don’t find them down on the range honing their accuracy. You can’t count on it, but the odds are good that their gun handling skills are bad. More importantly, you can count on the fact that all robbers assume that their gun will intimidate their victims. Which is an advantage for you. So . . . don’t be afraid of getting shot.

Seriously. Follow the advice given to me by a UK low-altitude paratrooper: make your peace with death and jump. I’ve spent [far too much] time searching the net for handgun survival rates. My general impression: it’s better than 50/50. I’d rather get shot in a struggle than be shot execution style. Of course, not getting shot at all is the best of all possible outcomes.

As for yourlure’s muttered recommendation that you should rack the assailant’s gun’s slide and shoot him, he’s joking. He may not know it, but he is. You ain’t got time to rack nothin’. As always, consider not shooting. Running for cover as you draw your gun might be a better idea. It might not. But there it is.

2 Responses to First Rule of Gun Defense: Tell the Bad Guy to Move Closer

  1. #1 The concept of disarming is only for a last ditch effort for survival and only to be used by highly trained people as it is a lot harder than it looks. These techniques look great in the gym, but they always underestimate the attacker's ability to fight back. Things don't always go so well on the street.

    #2 I don't like the approach of "capturing the weapon", physically attacking then disarming. Too many variables that leave the gun in the bad guy's hands too long. Assuming the chest hold of the gun arm will work is underestimating your attacker.

    Mroz's law; Everything works at 50% speed and 50% power. Most techniques work at 75% speed and 75% power. A surprising number of techniques work at 7/8 speed, 7/8 power. Very few techniques work at full speed, full power.

    #3 Never assume that you weapon you took from your opponent is working or even loaded. After disarming your attacker, you must rely on your weapon, not his. The proper finish of a disarm to gain distance as you draw your own weapon.

  2. most martial arts training is a type of show business that involves audience participation. while these techniques may be valid the primary uses are ego stroking, exhibition, and teaching them to other people, actual combat comes in a distant 4th place.

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