How to Fight A Flash Mob. Or Not.

“If you have a pistol, please make sure it is a modern high capacity weapon with a couple of spare magazines in your belt.  The Suarez International company gun, a Glock 17 with three magazines, yields a sum total of 52 rounds.  Figure three rounds per man, and you can reduce an angry mob of panga swinging killers into a fleeing group of bloodied bad guys.  Draw it and yell, “Get The F*** Back!” If they do, run away.  If they do not, shoot the first man in the face. The rest will take care of itself.” This from, where TTAGonist Gabe Suarez holds court. While I appreciate the fighting spirit, and understand the strategy (speed, surprise and violence of action), I disagree on a few points . . .

1. Warning schmarning

Yes, Mr. Not Shooting is the Default Option reckons if you’re about to be attacked by a gang of thugs you can dispense with the pleasantries and open fire. Besides, shouting obscenities will only inflame the situation, should that make any difference.

2. Define the “first man” first

That would be the bad guy most likely to kill you. It could be the closest perp or the closest perp with a gun or the biggest guy or the one moving towards you the most quickly. Come to think of it, IDing your most lethal lethal threat probably wouldn’t be an intellectual exercise. Still, it’s good to have a plan.

3. Aim for center mass

I can see the advantage of running up to an attacker and shooting them in the head: guaranteed hit, guaranteed threat cessation, spectacular violence (to put off other attackers) and a limited likelihood of collateral damage. Aiming for a head shot at any longer distance than point blank is a recipe for disaster. Center mass uber alles baby. The bigger the target the easier it is to hit.

3. Fire one or two rounds per attacker

Gabe’s warriors may carry two mags of nine, but there are plenty CCW permit holders who carry no mags of anything. And/or a self-defense gun with eight or 10 rounds (hopefully of .45). Or maybe even a revolver with five or six rounds (hopefully of .357).

The vast majority of gun owners need to be slightly more judicious in the lead dispensing department. The general rule: everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. Three shots per perp? Not even with a Springfield XD(m) 9. In a flash mob fantasy—I mean, nightmare, you don’t have time to be certain of any given ballistic outcome, if you know what I mean.

4. Running beats reloading

If the situation is so frenetic that you can’t get to safety after emptying your gun at your attackers, brother are YOU in trouble. If the criminal hordes are still in your face after firing your initial rounds, I’m not entirely convinced you should bother with reloading. It’s a bit . . . fiddly.

I’m thinking RUN! In fact, it might be a really good idea to run AS you fire your initial rounds. (Training to run ‘n gun at the same time is highly recommended.) What’s more, the best place to reload is from behind cover or concealment, during a break in the action. Again, running away should be priority number one. Reloading, number two.

Of course, reloading as you run would be ideal. I’m sure the Suarez folks practice that action. A lot. But loosing fifty-two rounds with two reloads in the middle of a melee? Good luck with that (and to any nearby non-combatants).

[Note: If you’re with children or other innocents, running may not be an option. In that case, it might be a good idea to crouch and protect friendlies from a defensive position behind . . . anything.]

To his credit, Gabe’s post preaches the gospel of avoidance. And I’m sure he’d be more likely to survive an encounter with a deadly flash mob than this fleshy Jew. Still, as my old man said, I’d rather be lucky than smart. And fast. Very very fast.