“Officials said two armed suspects wearing bandannas entered and attempted to rob the [Denny’s restaurant],” clicktohouston.com reports (as well as our own Daniel Zimmerman). “The sole customer in the restaurant, a licensed concealed handgun carrier, observed the suspects enter, pulled out his own gun, took cover and fired at the robbers. Officials said the suspects returned fire and fled the restaurant. The customer followed the suspects, firing as he went. The suspects jumped into a white minivan and fled the scene.” Whoa, that’s a whole lot of potential fail right there . . .
In keeping with TTAG’s tradition of staying ahead of the gun blogging curve, here are some Monday morning quarterbacking-based tips for your Sunday contemplation. Three main things to keep in mind before an armed robbery happens, so that you’re thinking straight when it does. If you can . . .
1. The only gunfight you’re sure to win is the one that doesn’t happen
As soon as the lead starts flying, you stand a chance of unwelcome aeration: new holes out of which your life-sustaining bodily fluid will flow. Never mind what could happen inside your body when good projectiles go bad. So . . . don’t start a gunfight.
The best way not to do that is to not be there. Unless you have loved ones in tow and/or you can’t extract Team You, when the robbery begins, hit the bricks. You have no legal obligation to protect innocent life. (Neither do cops but don’t get me started.)
Nor is it always wise to draw your weapon. A bad guy who sees a good guy reach for a gun could well view the sudden appearance of a firearm as provocation (go figure). Perhaps the Denny’s denizen should have found concealment (technically not “cover”) before withdrawing his gun. Or as he withdrew his piece.
Judgement call, obviously. Or instinct. But it behooves the Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit holder to at least consider the possibility of hiding, readying his or her weapon whilst remaining concealed and doing . . . nothing. If the bad guys want money, let them have it. The money, that is.
2. Look for trouble inside of trouble
An armed robbery is bad. Adrenalin flowing like beer at an Irish wake. People yelling, guns, panic, screams, etc. Yes, well, never forget the old adage “it could be worse.” An armed robbery can morph from larceny to mass murder in a New York minute. Luckily, there are warning signs.
The more aggressive the robbers, the “better” the chances that your life is in danger. While you can’t really expect an armed robber to be polite, there’s aggressive and there’s fucking insane. It’s the difference between “Give me the money” and “I’m going to kill every one of you!”
Another clear sign that your gun may soon be in police custody: physical violence. If the perp hits someone you should be ratcheting-up your readiness to do what needs doing with your firearm. But not necessarily do it. As horrific as it is, a beat down is not a bullet hole.
If the robbery situation goes all the way—a perp actually shoots someone—you probably want to shoot the bad guy or guys before they even see you—just in case. YJMV (Your Jury May Vary).
3. Don’t miss
Here we have a CCW holder who fires at two robbers—chases them in fact—who fire at him. Nobody gets hit. Thank God for that. But if this is you, you need to do better. A LOT better. Either stop the threat by hitting your target(s) center mass or use your bullets to buy yourself enough time to run away from the bad guys.
At the risk of stating the obvious, there’s no point shooting at another human being without actually hitting them. Any round that comes out of your gun that doesn’t hit your target is a “stray bullet.” It does nothing to help you. As LC Judas points out below, shooting at someone is a good way to inspire them to shoot at you. And any damage done by a “stray bullet” is your responsibility.
We’ve suggested a lot of ways to increase combat accuracy. Close the distance. Take your time. Repeat your favorite self-defense mantra (front site, front site). Whatever it takes, try to make every round count.
I know that most people act on pure instinct when they find themselves in a battle for their life. But just as some people are better at coping during violent conflicts than others, some people have a better plan to survive than others. The best plan is avoidance. The next best is winning.