Twenty-one feet is the anecdotal distance that separates self-defense from murder. It’s based on work done by Sergeant Dennis Tueller. Tueller timed volunteers to see how quickly a determined attacker could cover 21 feet (about 1.5 seconds). In doing so, he identified a dilemma for anyone involved in a potential DGU. If you use a firearm to defend yourself at too great a range, you are at risk for being charged with murder. However, as Tueller demonstrated, 21 feet of separation can disappear in a flash . . .
By the time you draw your weapon, you may only have a split second to respond. Note how quickly this guy goes from a dead stop to delivering a mortal poultry wound using a bladed weapon. He closes the distance so quickly that I doubt I could draw and fire my firearm, at least not without plenty of practice.
The key issue is the time between the moment the guy begins his beserker move and the point blade strikes flesh. He could have just as easily plunged a 3″ knife center of mass.
All of which illustrates the importance of training. The cool part: you don’t even need to go to the range. You can practice your draw in the comfort of your own home (gun safely emptied and all four rules observed, of course).
A full-length mirror will help, too. Just practice clearing your cover garment and bringing your gun to bear, ready to rock. The more you do, the faster you’ll be. Don’t forget to draw and move, and draw as you move. In a DGU, a sitting duck is a foul thing to be.
And when you’re down at the range, practice the Kenik drill (named after TTAG’s own rabbi): shoot your gun as fast as you possibly can. Then check out your group. Speed isn’t everything—unless it is.