“This was the FIRST SHOT FIRED from a Brand new Vulcan 50cal using factory ammo,” generes posts at ar15.com. “The bolt lugs disintegrated, the charging handle sheared from the bolt, and the bolt exploded backwards and lodged into the guys neck area.” Well, that sucks. What’s interesting here (for me): the guy ‘effing and blinding as he shouts for a towel. And the calm voice repeatedly telling a bystander “I need you to stay back.” The contrast highlights two possible responses to a life-or-death situation: unbridled aggression or self-contained calm. Which is the correct response? Well that depends . . .

When an armed American can’t escape an attacker threatening death or grievous bodily harm, the tooled-up good guy shouldn’t think of the required response as “self-defense.” They should launch a sudden and vicious attack designed to stop an attacker from attacking. No holds barred. Chocks away. Let ‘er rip. Survival depends on speed, surprise and violence of action.

Not to be labor the point, when facing aggression be aggressive. However, self-defense situations can be both confusing and fluid. If the aforementioned potentially lethal attack isn’t imminently imminent, if your attacker isn’t in the act of attacking, aggression can get you killed. Overly aggressive behavior can easily escalate a situation (that might have been deescalated) and prevent you from thinking calmly. Strategically (e.g., moving to cover).

So how do you “choose” unbridled aggression or self-contained calm and/or switch from one to the other in response to a life-or-death self-defense situation? How do you prevent yourself from simply reacting instinctively during an adrenalin dump, defaulting to a subconscious behavior (flight, flight or freeze)? Force-on-force training is the best answer, highly recommended, but not always practical.

Another solution: train yourself to have access to two different modes/speeds of shooting.

During range time, practice slow fire, pausing between random numbers of shots, aiming for maximum accuracy. Also practice rapid fire, aiming for no more or less than a dinner plate-sized group. (If the group is too tight you’re shooting too slowly. If it’s too large you’re shooting too fast.)

[NB: ranges that don’t normally allow rapid fire shooting will often make an exception if you ask the RSO, especially if you shoot during off-peak hours.]

As you shoot rapid fire, say a code word or phrase like “go time.” You can use these verbal cue during a self-defense situation to stimulate the high-speed, high-intensity fight mode. As always, don’t slip into a routine (e.g., slow fire, rapid fire, slow fire). Mix it up. And if you can, practice the same two-speed training on a punching bag or exercise machine using the same code word or phrase.

It pays to be in control – even when you’re out of control. If you know what I mean. If you don’t, I hope you never do. But be ready anyway. [h/t AH]

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100 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Keep Calm and Carry On. Or Not. [Video NSFW]

  1. I’ve seen some sick stuff on liveleak, and for some reason, this turned my stomach more than images from Syria or Mexico… In this situation, calm, authoritative (if you know what you’re doing) and loud to be heard clearly, are the order of the day, not swearing and gibbering.

    • Slightly disturbing comment. Don’t get me wrong, the video made me squirm when I paused to realize he was missing three fingers. But to compare that to seeing rows of children convulse uncontrollably due to nerve gas, well… I’ll just say you may want to mention that to your shrink (or get one).

      • It’s a totally normal human response to react more strongly to a familiar situation than an unfamiliar situation. Bill didn’t say this was morally worse than Mexico or Syria, just that his reaction was more visceral. Assuming Bill is a shooter who has sat down at a range to fire a rifle before, his reaction to this will naturally be more intense than to something more distant.

        • I got to agree. Pics of dead kids and women(skin color irrelevant) usually get a reaction in me(anger) because I have directly been involved in gathering and burying women and children murdered by f*cking scumbags. And I been on no few firing lines over the years. Never seen anyone blow a weapon up, have seen a couple of people shoot feet, saw the results of one idiot shooting through his hand. Does not get the same reaction in me, these are people who in-effect did this to themselves. Gets more of a “you dumb f**k” reaction.

  2. RSO seemed to have rule 1 down in taking charge of an emergency. Take Charge. Don’t let the looky lou’s get in the way or interfere.

    • Agree that the RSO did his job. The yelling and cursing wasn’t necessary, but probably not something that threw the RSO off his game. I’ve never seen a “first responder” or EMT scream and curse. Odd. Maybe it was the shooter’s friend just upset? The RSO’s “I need you to stay back” bit was directed at other shooters, not the man trying to apply first aid, it seemed.

      • “I’ve never seen a “first responder” or EMT scream and curse”
        I have. Even did a little of it, once. My time came when an off-site supervisor tried overriding my calls for backup on a multiple shooting situation. In general, it tends to be a directed, focused screaming and cussing at a specific individual, under “special” circumstances. In general, clam is more effective, but on occasion…

  3. I feel sorry for the guy but if that was his personal rifle, he was already playing roulette by buying a Vulcan. I have heard nothing but bad things about that company…they also seem to change their name quite often.

    • Indeed.

      Lots of people complain about the cost of .50 Browning rifles. Well, there’s a reason why they cost so much. Proper design, materials and execution costs money.

    • High on my list of dumb firearms purchases was back in the late 80’s when for $75 I bought a Mosin-Nagant re-chambered in .300 Win Mag. First time I fired it I put it between two tires, under a cinder block, and tied 25′ of 550 chord to the trigger. Glad I did.

      Cheap .50 BMG rifles scare me. .50 BMG uppers on AR15 lowers scare me. When I was a tank company XO half the M2’s in my company were deadlined at one point due to loose rivets and bad receivers.

      As far as panic, when I became an officer on the fire department my father only gave me one piece of advice, that also worked well during my 25 years in the Army. To paraphrase: guys are going to look at you to know how to act. If you panic, they’ll panic. If you’re calm…even if you’re scared crap less…they’ll be calm. Use the same voice on the radio to call a third alarm as you use to call a false alarm.

      • For years I’ve heard of the Remington made Mosin Nagant 91’s made prior to the russian revolution during ww1. Since a lot of them were not delivered to the new communist government they tried to find uses for them. I’ve heard that some were reworked to .30-06. I’ve heard they were unsafe and crude conversions. I’ve never encountered 1, but if I did I would not fire it.

        .300 win mag sounds like a death wish in a mosin.

        • Remington (and Westinghouse) Mosins do come up every now and then. A great many were not actually finished when they stopped the conveyor after the Bolsheviks defaulted on all debts, and so all they had was barrel & action, but no stock – so they were sold as such and then sporterized by various smaller companies. I have one of those, a 1916 Remington – she’s quite a beauty and still shoots very well (and, of course, having a Mosin that says “made in USA” on it is nifty in and of itself!).

          Most of those weren’t actually rechambered. So far as I know, there was one particular company that was rechambering them for .30-06: http://www.mosinnagant.net/global%20mosin%20nagants/bannerman.asp – but these are so rare now that they are highly rated as collectibles, so you wouldn’t want to shoot them even if it was safe to do so.

        • Yep, Bannerman was the company i had in mind but I was too lazy to look it up and confirm. Believe me, if I got a factory original made in USA Mosin I would put it away.

    • This is the comment that most closely relates to my question, so I’m posting my many questions in response.

      Why did it actually break? You imply that Vulcans are bad, and most here seem to agree.
      However, I’m guessing this doesn’t happen to most Vulcans. It could possibly happen to any brand. Aren’t all firearms tested numerous times at high pressures in the factory after construction?

      Final questions:
      Should people, after buying, test every firearm with string and clamp several times and then inspect?
      Should people just do this with Vulcans? (assuming they already made the purchase)
      Should people do this with just cheap firearms? (Not all “cheap” is unsafe; some is unreliable, some inaccurate, some bulky/heavy)
      Is there any more info I (and others, especially those who don’t want to shoot guns) should know?

      Thanks

      • Patrick,

        the issue seemed to be with Vulcans’ bolt design. This has happened 2 times (that I could find on the internet, so take that with a grain of salt).

      • “Aren’t all firearms tested numerous times at high pressures in the factory after construction?”

        Most are tested once. Often it’s with a proof load (I think that’s 25% over spec or so), but it doesn’t have to be. The only guns I know of that are tested with multiple rounds are high-dollar highly-accurized rifles where they provide you with a three- or five-shot group target to show what the gun could do when it left the factory.

        As far as doing remote testing yourself, well… this is a highly unusual event, so going to that trouble for every gun you come across would get real old, real quick. That’s where buying a reputable brand comes in. Do your research, and look for reports of issues. If the Vulcans have only done this twice, great, but that’s twice out of how many? I’d wager it’s a pretty low number, which increases your odds considerably. This isn’t a GLOCK 19 or a 10/22 we’re talking about, where there are literally tens of millions of them sold. If you do find evidence of any problems, and you still are interested in the gun, see how the company is handling it. I have no information about the Vulcan issues, but as an example, did they immediately take it back and test it? Did they issue a recall? Did they blame the customer? Did they ignore it or sweep it under the rug? How a company handles its issues should tell you something.

        So the answer is, go back to the beginning. Start by buying from a reputable company. If the company you want to buy from is newer, or untested enough to not have a reputation yet, then acknowledge that, and maybe you want to go the remote testing route (or starting with less powerful loads, etc.). That’s really all you can do.

    • Just so people know this incident actually happened in July of last year (2013) the guy is OK

      the bolt blasted through his hand, cutting off 3 of his fingers and lodging into the man’s shoulder. I read that he was initially blinded but has since regained at least partial vision but is still missing 3 fingers.

      Lucky to be alive.

        • Yeah I am not usually a big fan of lawsuits but I think this situation would merit one.

          This is similar to buying a car and having it blow up with you in it the first time you start the ignition.

  4. “…the guy ‘effing and blinding as he shouts for a towel.”

    I can’t understand what this means, is it me, am I missing something, or does it not make sense?

  5. You have an injured person on the ground. The ambulance is literally minutes away. The only correct response is to stay calm.

    It’s also important to be trained in first aid.

    As for the RSOs taking charge… I’m better trained in first aid procedures than the RSOs. I have experience from being in the streets with an ambulance truck. So in such a case I’ll tell the RSO kindly to fuck off an call an ambulance and take over.

    • Yep, I had to take something called NIMS (national incident management system) training. But in an incident/emergency authority should always be ceded as a more knowledgeable or trained individual comes on scene.

      Of course that is easier to figure out with uniformed response teams to tell who is more trained or ranking from different agencies than a situation like the one in the video.

      • As someone with NIMS certs out my ass (seriously, 100, 200, 700, and a few others…ugh) I can tell you they absolutely don’t do shit for teaching you what to actually do, th ey just give you a framework for a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional event.

        And now I’m having to relive some o those classes 😛

      • I found the NIMS official PDF to be a very interesting document – lots of detail packed into 150 pages or something.

        But somehow, when it got translated to training PPTs it was utterly gibberized, disemvoweled, and consolized. That is to say, it was horrible, lacking in content, and dumbed down to the point of almost rendering people retarded. It was pretty useless.

    • If I had that sort of thing happen while I’m running a range as an RSO and an individual with EMT, paramedic or other higher training is there, I would ask them if they can look after the injured party.

      The “take charge” aspect of being an RSO is to make the range safe and control the situation. Some ranges are pretty large, and if people are down the line aways, not paying attention to what is going on at the other end of the line, the RSO has his job cut out for him to get the line completely safe. An RSO with medical training might be nice, but if the RSO is rendering medical attention, it can compromise his real job: To insure safety on the range.

      • I’ve been teaching CPR/AED/First Aid classes for years, now. The ranges I go to, regularly, know this, so if something happens, they know I’m more than willing to help while the RSO controls the scene for me. If the RSO isn’t on duty at the time, well, I know how to control a scene and take care of a victim, if needed. 😉

    • Thinking about the question of unbridled aggression vs contained calm. The situation in the video clearly calls for calm. Yelling like that evokes, at least in me, a fight or flight response, and neither of those is needed to get somebody to grab a towel (I presume to stop bleeding otherwise it is a stupid request anyway).

      In a self defense situation. Unbridled aggression may save you, it could also have you facing charges for murder if you don’t bridle that aggression as soon as the threat has ceased.

      • If you can’t remain calm and think clearly just because someone is yelling at you, then you are the absolute LAST person that should be talking about how to respond calmly in an emergency situation.

        • In reality I would never punch somebody in the face for that, it would only add to the problem.

          Can you honestly say that guys response is the most appropriate?

          Do EMS guys act like that every time they roll up on a scene? No, they do their job professionally and while they may talk sternly if the situation warrents they don’t fly off the handle either.

    • Conversely I have seen people try to take charge of a
      situation that have no business doing so. I see this
      constantly when responding to accidents. I’ve been on
      rescues where a less than helpful good Samaritan
      actually tried to push aside us EMTs to give CPR or
      apply bandages. So if someone’s going to take over
      an incident make sure there’s not someone else better
      suited to the task before giving orders.

      Letting someone take over can also have some pretty
      severe legal ramifications too. Let’s say I respond to a
      bad accident. Someone steps forward saying their a
      doctor. Anything that happens is still on my head. The
      person can be the best doctor in the world but it
      doesn’t mean that something won’t happen. If the
      victim dies or is permanently disabled, guess who’ll be
      in front of a judge explaining what happened.
      I’m not implying you’re not better trained, but unless I
      knew someone, there’s no way I’d let them take over.

      • If someone is trying to prevent you, a trained EMT, from performing CPR on someone NOW that’s a guy who needs to be punched.

      • On an ambulance run to a bar in Germany found a sergeant with a deep gash in his palm and spurting blood from an artery after he tried to impress some Fräulein by crushing a wine glass. His captain was also in the bar and very drunk and they both fought with us over proper treatment. Finally had to deck the captain and then restrain the sergeant while my partner got a pressure dressing on. We also had to strap him to the gurney to get to the E.R.

        Never a good choice to let an over-excited individual get between you and proper treatment or other actions. M.P.s took care of the officer and we never heard any more about the incident.

    • “As for the RSOs taking charge… I’m better trained in first aid procedures than the RSOs. I have experience from being in the streets with an ambulance truck. So in such a case I’ll tell the RSO kindly to fuck off an call an ambulance and take over.”

      Sounds great, but does the RSO know that you have such great experience? Probably not – Which means telling him to kindly fuck off might be a little counter-productive.

      It’s one thing to jump in and say “Sir, I’m an EMT(or whatever you qualifications you have) – How can I assist?” and another to say “Get outta My Way, I’m better than you”.

      I’m reminded of an Old joke – Where a person just finishes CPR class, is walking along the sidewalk, when somebody collapses in front of them, this person pushes their way in saying “I know CPR” – The person they pushed out of the way kindly taps them on the shoulder and states “great, when you get to the part about calling a doctor – I’m right here”.

      You don’t necessarily know the RSO’s qualifications either – and while you’re probably right that you are better trained, you may not be – and you’re not the one being entrusted to ensure the safety of that particular range.

    • Crowd control can be a useful thing to have. You tend to the victim. RSO keeps the looky-loos out of your way and calls for help.

    • RSO was a two tour medic. You notice he calms down quickly, just had some bad memories pop up when it first happened.

  6. I always despised the senior physician that would freak out during a critical situation while I was in training.

    Everyone in the room is looking at how you respond and will react in the same manner.

    Calm the f@ck down and handle the situation.

  7. It was hard to tell who was screaming. But my reaction to somebody yelling at me to go get them, ” a f***ing towel,” would skew toward punching them in the face before I ever got them a towel.

    • So your response to a Man Down situation is to attack a first responder?
      Do you realize how utterly contemptible such criminal behavior is?

      • If somebody is yelling like that, they are actually making the situation worse, in my mind they are not actually a first responder.

        It would be like slapping a hysterical lady in the old timey movies.

        • Your solution is to make the situation way worse by punching someone in the face when there’s a serious medical emergency.

          Instead you could say: “Calm down and stop yelling. Where are the towels?”

        • Yes. of course you are right.

          I should have said, I would want to punch him in the face rather than help him.

          I would not actually start a fight while some guys is blinded and bleeding everywhere.

          .

    • This guy. This guy right here gets it. His own personal butt-hurt feelings from getting shouted at in an emergency should ALWAYS trump the immediate physical plight of the injured person. You, Sir, win the “Mature Comment of the Day” Award.

      Sarcasm off

      • It’s not about feelings being hurt jack wagon.

        Yelling and screaming trigger primal reactions such as the fight or flight response. It is basic human nature to respond to such aggression with aggression.

        The guy screaming to get him a towel was in no way helping anyone.

        • I’m not saying that his yelling was helping anyone. In point of fact it wasn’t. What I am talking about is your response of “punching them in the face before I ever got them a towel.” If just getting yelled at causes a flight or fight response for you then you should not be criticizing this guy for yelling when he was presented with a “flight or fight” situation, i.e. guy bleeding everywhere with a bolt in his neck.

        • I’ll repeat from above:

          I should have said, I would want to punch him in the face rather than help him. I would not actually punch him.

          Maybe I should have said hyperbole on.

          I would not actually start a fight while some guys is blinded and bleeding everywhere.

        • People always talk about flight or fight, but the majority of time people just freeze. If you are working with a bunch of professionals yeah, then the old aviator voice is the best way to communicate, but when people are freezing and panicking, often yelling at somebody is the only way to get them to react. You ever been around a explosion, when people get shook up and they are not used to it, sometimes you have to get aggressive with them.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhUys_48cTI

          I don’t know about that. Look at the raw footage from the Boston city marathon bombing of the bomb exploding.

          If you watch, a bomb just exploded, I don’t see many, if any, people frozen. In fact it looks like most people, especially the police, and I’m guessing national guard guys, run toward the area within moments to start helping and clearing wreckage to get access to where the victims are.

        • Yes, yelling triggers fight or flight reactions. It sharpens your awareness and responsiveness. Go flight off and get a towel and flight it back help the bleeding guy.

        • One do you see anybody within the blast radius moving right after it goes off, cause I didn’t. The guys responding were far enough away from it to be able to help effectively, and as you said were cops and national guard with training in what to do in a emergency. And have you ever actually dealt with a explosion. I have, got the TBI to prove it. You get your bell rung it is really hard to think, having people yell at you at times like that is helpful sometimes. And in the video it sounds like the guy who is yelling for the fucking towels is the same guy who is also calmly telling people to stay back.

    • Punch an injured guy in the face because his language was offensive to you? Damn–so, you have zero tolerance for other people’s emotional distress and only interpret situations based upon how they offend your ego. Yeah, you’re not long for this side of a prison cell…

  8. If you don’t think people swear in when faced with a calamity, you have never witnessed one.

    If you have the gumption to correct someone’s profanity in a situation like this, you need a foot shoved up your rear.

  9. The guys shouting for towels sounded like cops. I have to be honest.

    I agree safety on the line and medical response to the guy on the ground is priority. I think it was just the phrasing really… first thing that popped in there was a cop giving instructions to someone under arrest just before a tasing.

  10. Somehow the scene all makes sense to me. A guy too fond of burgers buys into a caliber on the cheap, gets his just reward, and then freaks out on everyone else when he is, as a result, injured.

    While we all are budget constrained at some level when it comes to guns, I have no sympathy for people who buy crap guns, often multiple crap guns, and then impose their failage on others. Diversity of buying supports a big efficient market. Good. Buying cheap cow flops masquerading as guns does no one any good. Nobody is that poor. Hell, he could sell the SNAP card for a few months and buy a quality gun. And what does a guy like that say in the lead-up to the explosion? “You paid how much? Idiot! I got a great one for half the price!”

  11. I can’t stand the “aggressor” here, this man in particular comes off as the type of guy that was just waiting for this to happen so he could finally have his chance to respond to it and show off his range safety bag.

    Good on him of course to yell “cease fire”, you have to at a gun range. But he’s not speaking with authority, he’s yelling commands like everyone is waiting for the chance to steal the guys wallet or something. Yes, direct the crowd, do your best to get everyone to understand they need to make room and that medical supplies and attention is the utmost priority. But don’t treat the people like they’re part of the problem.

    • Well said.
      What you have said is probably a better way of saying what I felt about his attitude than saying I would punch his face.

  12. As loud as he is yelling it takes a good bit for all shooters to cease fire. You also have to understand he is around people who are all wearing hearing protection. Yelling loudly and repetitively makes total sense in this situation, this shooter was bleeding from the neck – urgent action is required. If I am shooting and something happens where I am bleeding from the neck I would rather have somebody taking charge quickly, forcefully, and loudly than somebody who isn’t all that urgent about getting first aid started. I think his actions are completely justified under the circumstances.

    • I bet If the guy ran off to find something to stop the bleeding himself it would have been ever more quickly addressed than him yelling for somebody else to do it. The exception would be if he was pressing on the guys wound with his bare hands while he was screaming, and didn’t want to let up the pressure.

        • Yeah it’s a good thing you pointed out something humorous, or at least relevant to the point of the conversation.

          Oh wait… you didn’t.

      • The exception is the rule. That’s exactly what he was doing. Everything you have said about this video is based on conjecture and a complete lack of experience in a situation like this. Other RSO’s, you know, the guys NOT holding the injured’s blood supply in, are in shock and just standing there looking at a guy potentially bleeding out. Maybe they needed the shock to snap out of it.

        But, you’re probably right. About everything. Always.

    • Good outdoor ranges have electronic loudspeakers and lights to indicate when it’s okay to shoot and when it’s not. Or at least the RSO has a bullhorn.

  13. Thats messed up. Will make me think at least twice before i shoot someone elses gun at the range when offered.

  14. I have been in life and death injury situations of both myself and others where I have had to attend to myself and others before professional or qualified help was on scene.
    I had to give instructions to a machine operator what buttons to push to extricate my arm from a machine. I got out but my arm didn’t.
    That has made aware that my calm gene gets called up in an extreme emergency.

    As the pointed out in the article above, that may not be advantagious in a SD scenario. That means I should bias my training to generate the bad ass in me. Others would have a serious advantage if they were prone to go red zone fast if the situation required it. They should train to be able to coax that calm self if de-escalation is the proper approach.
    Find out which one you are and create an inner twin of the opposite nature and when called, release the one that is needed..

  15. That sucks! I’ve witnessed a gun accident before “ND” guy shot another guy in the foot on accident. It’s not a good feeling on the range after that happened, it was a lets pack up and call it a day kind of thing. As for staying calm the only one yelling was the shot guy and his buddy saying, “I thought it was unloaded”

  16. Responding to the Topic: Is the upset surrounding an accidental shooting at a range anything like “two speeds in a life-or-death” assault? Perhaps, vaguely.

    As for the “surprise, speed, and violence of action,” that phrase has two very different applications. One is in small-unit combat when undetected by the nearest opponent but committed to attack. Naturally, if you’re going to engage, do it with maximum effect.

    In a civilian setting the saying only makes sense in regard to hand-to-hand defense without a firearm. There is no substitute for fast brutal violence which the attacker isn’t expecting. This is typical especially in a two- or three-on-one attack. Defense has to be explosive aggression, whatever it takes to incapacitate and escape. We have a better chance of breaking free of three if we cut two than if we just try to pull free and run.

    In an armed response I think the saying is inapplicable. A shooting response should be cold, gray, cool, just do it. Suppress the adrenaline. We want the opposite of adrenaline dump. If they don’t get their hands on you but are moving in, I know this for a fact: You don’t want to respond with angry words and physical excitement, getting caught up in their threat. You want to just go cold and stop them.

    Maybe its just me. I’d compare the two to biathlon, just for topicality: The art of biathlon is first total physical push for speed, much like total hand/fist/knife/bottle aggression. Second, trying to go cold at the range to knock back the heart rate and adrenaline in order to shoot. The best guys have an on/off switch, the two modes you speak of. They can squelch their heart rate very effectively and just shoot. Or not?

    • As I was reading down I was waiting for someone to address this and you’ve done so quite succinctly.
      Shooting is preformed best in a dead calm thus there is no need to ratchet up the aggression to effectively shoot in self defense. The overwhelming and sudden violence is accomplished by the gun and more is not needed or desirable. I feel rather certain that calmly, quickly and repetitively delivering CoM hits is more of a deterrent to further aggression that shouting obscenities at the attacker. In fact, regardless of the discussion or commands issued before hand (“Stay Back! I’ll Shoot!” come to mind) when the time comes to pull the trigger any time for talk is well past and it’s time to focus on good shooting which means shutting up and putting rounds on the target.

      Of course in the absence of the gun to provide the needed level of violence it would be enormously beneficial, at least for untrained or lightly trained individuals, to go full boogie on their attacker once the decision is made to fight. The exception would be certain highly training individuals who might actually be more effective if they remain calm, even in a hand to hand/impact/edged weapon engagement.

      I know that I don’t have that level of training and I know what has worked and hasn’t worked for me (Hint, hurt them as bad as you can as fast as you can in any way you can with absolutely no reservation or regard for injury, yours or theirs until they flee or collapse or give you opening to flee). As is said, who ever thinks they are losing is losing because in those types of encounters pain, psychology and cardio play a huge role in determining how long the fight will last, who will win and how much damage is necessary to end the encounter. Most fights of this type end well before either party is actually physically incapacitated because one or both parties are now hurt, frightened and concerned about how badly they may be injured already or may be injured if they continue. Put bluntly, a cup of hot coffee to the face and a few rapid but low power punches and kicks to the shins won’t generally incapacitate a person, it very well may however, due to the shock and pain, induce fear that makes them suddenly want to be anywhere but there. I have seen violent criminals who were not in any way seriously hurt fold up and surrender to the point of awaiting the police to avoid having more abuse heaped on them by their intended victim and or others coming to aid the victim.
      It would be dangerous and foolish to count on this working in any given situation but then we’re not all up to serious combat of this type and doing something is better than doing nothing. . . you may lose if you fight but you definitely lose if you do nothing at all.

      The level of fear and pain and potentiality for serious injury in this sort of attack coupled with my own limited ability to resist is what drives me to EDC a handgun in the first place. While the likelihood of any attack is remote, having an encounter with another armed individual is even less likely in my circumstance.

      The distinction between what works in a DGU versus other types of confrontations is so wide and important that a blanket statement that covers best practices in both isn’t possible in my opinion.

  17. I didn’t see anything too bad in that. Sometimes you swear at people to impress upon them the seriousness of the situation. And the RSO didn’t run around screaming in a panic.

    Yes, EMTs are calm, but that’s because they are trained by their job and the peer pressure of their coworkers. After a week on the job, they’ve seen enough dead people to get over it.

  18. I can’t agree with this analysis. For all we know the responder calling for towels was yelling to communicate his request to another further down the firing line.

    To my ears the very same guy screaming for ‘a shitton of towels’ in the same guy who in the very next sentence is saying, quite calmly, ‘sir I need you to stay back, to stay back alright’. Another RO further down the line is yelling at people to stay back behind the safety line, but again, it’s not the guy who was calling for towels.

    To call his response incorrect simply because he chose to swear, responding to a situation where someone was unexpectedly gravely injured, I think is immature. The guy had the right priorities, in the right situation – unexpectedly presented with a (presumably badly, given the injuries) bleeding casualty, his first priority was finding materials with which to stop the bleeding, within seconds of having taken the first action – securing the scene.

  19. There’s a reason why EMTs and combat medics are trained using mnemonics and flow charts. When you see blood spurting, or bones poking out, that adrenaline dump can undo you. Heart rate jumps, you start gasping for breath, your brain empties, and your hands turn into blocks of wood. The same thing will happen in any high stress situation, whether it be medical, or a gun pointed at you (I’ve been in both scenarios). What will save you is training. Until you’ve either a)extensively trained for a scenario, or b)been through a stressful situation multiple times, you can not accurately predict how you will react. I have worked in extremely stressful environments for close to 20 years, and here are a few thoughts.
    Rule 1. Calm down. Take a breath. In situations like the video shows, an extra second or 2 to compose yourself isn’t going to make or break the situation. You’re not going to help anyone if you spin out.
    Rule 2. One thing at a time. You can’t eat your dinner in one bite. What is life threatening, and what can wait? That second or 2 to think should give you time to assess the situation, and prioritize. Once you prioritize, start methodically working on one problem at a time. Quickly and efficiently..
    Rule 3. Fake it. The first dozen times you get exposed to this, you will be screaming inside. Project calm even if you don’t feel it. Panic is self amplifying, as is being calm. Yelling and screaming is for the movies, and the Army.
    Rule 4. You will perform like you trained. Simple. If you don’t train, you will not perform well under stress.

  20. OK, kids, lets all say it together, “trauma pac in range bag”.

    Also, yelling does not always denote panic. People in high noise environs raise their voices. Don’t think a large group around an injured person is a “high noise” environ? Then you clearly ain’t been and done. Seen people severely injured in combat, auto accidents, construction accidents and on farms. And guess what? In many of those incidents there was yelling involved, in others not. Different people react differently. Even trained people.

    • Never mind that it was a rifle range, and many (hopefully all!) in attendance were wearing hearing protection, including those trying to communicate. Hearing protection significantly hinders verbal communication over distance. I know I yell on the skeet field from time to time even without an emergency, just to be heard.

  21. guess my practice of telling the shooter next to me where my bag is before i fire the first round of the new/repaired weapon is a good idea.

  22. Vulcan changed their name to Hesse, then to Blackthorne… pure crap. The operator had three fingers blown off plus an exploded bolt stuck in his neck, he had a right to scream and carry on, it doesn’t help, but it could be expected. The guy yelling for the towel is probably busy holding a pressure point on the victim’s neck to prevent a bleed out, and can’t go get the towel himself.. and most likely he was yelling in order to get the zombies, who were standing and staring, to snap out of it and go get the damned towel. There can be a legitimate time and need for yelling for help. Calmly asking people to stay back is a completely different ball game.

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