“Minneapolis Police are real champions for backing down from violent threats made against them,” YouTube commentator carl nordstrom51 writes underneath his Live Leak video upload. “Excellence in cowardice!” carl adds. I disagree.
First of all, this incident went down in Brooklyn, New York not Minneapolis. Second, I reckon the responding officer showed tremendous courage. He leaped out of his car and ran to apprehend the perp. Out of a burning car. At a gas station. A perp who’d fatally stabbed his wife and injured his daughter.
Nor do I consider the officer a coward for backing away as the perp attacked. Unless you’re going hands-on, why wouldn’t you put some distance between yourself and a deadly threat? That said, the officer did made a strategic mistake: he failed to shoot or get physical with the bad guy when he had the chance.
As my second ex-wife pointed out — after we watched a car slow down and get T-boned by a red light runner — hesitation kills. The cop had a VERY small window of time to act decisively and aggressively, to strike the perp or pull the trigger. Once that moment was gone, it was gone. He lost the opportunity to take the initiative and could well have lost his life.
At some point in an attack, it’s go time. Time to stop cooperating, cowering and/or running away. Time to start acting. Violently. Because a defensive gun use is not a defense per se. It’s a counter-attack. Unless you’re ready, willing and able to mount a pedal-to-the-metal counter-attack when you face a threat of grievous bodily harm or death, your odds of surviving a violent assault are not all that wonderful.
It’s best to have a “trip wire.” Mental and physical preparation is the key.
You need to be mentally prepared to shoot, kick, bite, punch, stab, head butt, do anything to survive. Ralph may disagree, but I believe you need to reconcile yourself to the possibility that you may suffer serious injury or death. Your ballistic response may end one ordeal even as it starts another even longer and more painful one. You may kill the wrong person, or fail to kill the right person.
Was that what stopped the NYPD officer from firing? Fear of failure?
Don’t let it stop you. Commit yourself to doing your best to protect yourself and other innocent life — come what may. And, of course, accept the possibility that you may have to take a human life. Or two. Or more.
At the same time, move. TTAG’s resident war hero Jon Wayne Taylor is a firm believer in training yourself to move — instinctively — when you draw your gun. A subconscious reaction that makes you harder to kill and signals your brain that this ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling’ around.
There’s no point calling someone who reacts to violence by retreating or becoming submissive a “coward.” That’s straight-up blaming the victim. But there is a point in not being “that guy.” Counter-attack and your chances of survival increase astronomically. So be prepared to get seriously nasty. Your attacker(s) deserve nothing less.