It’s often said that piloting a commercial aircraft is 90 percent boredom and ten percent terror. Other than the odd downdraft or mechanical failure, most people assume the terror part has to do with take-offs and landings. True dat. But fear-of-flying folk take that to mean that take-offs and landings are really dangerous. Not so. Going up and coming down are only relatively dangerous. They’re the bit of the flight where the pilots can’t kick back, check the markets and concentrate on not passing gas. For an armed citizen, the parallel is clear: the most dangerous part of the day occurs when you’re entering or exiting a car or building. To wit this from TTAG commentator Robin Paul . . .
I have a S&W 686 by my bedside and a 870 shotgun as well to protect me inside my home. But nothing to protect me in my driveway going out to my car! I was stabbed and my car stolen, purse, cell phone, etc, right in my driveway getting ready to go to work. Now I panic every morning since. And F***** Calif doesn’t allow the Taurus Public Defender or the S&W Governor. Small enough to be an equalizer…..I have lived here all my life but this Liberal crap is getting intolerable!!!!
Four spears!!!! That’s some major league agita. Aside from the political broadside against what Joe Matafome lovingly calls “Commiefornia,” Robin has a message for all of us: watch those transitions.
The nightmare self-defense scenarios for most armed law abiding citizens: a street mugging, a meth-crazed robber (or two) invading their home, or a spree killer letting loose in a public place. While horrific, these are not the self-defense scenarios you’re looking for.
The “real” danger lies elsewhere. Violent attacks are most likely to occur during transitions. When you’re going to or exiting from a car or building; when you think you’re about to be safe. That’s because predators do what predators do: hide, wait, ID vulnerable prey and attack. Speed, surprise and violence of action.
The best way to protect yourself against sneak attacks: avoid places where they occur. Don’t go to/park in bad neighborhoods. Don’t use bank ATMs at night. Another excellent idea: take preventative measures. Install, advertise and use an alarm system. Don’t leave your garage unlocked. Don’t keep bushy plants right next to your doors. Install security lighting. Buy a dog (preferably a Schnauzer). Etc.
In terms of armed self-defense, have a gun. And get ready. Not paranoid OMG ready. Ready as in don’t commit to entering or exiting your car, home or business unless you think it’s safe to do so. If in doubt, slow down and/or wait. Feel free to run your so-called OODA loop a couple more times: observe, orient, decide and then act.
By the same token, be prepared for fight or flight. Look for escape routes and cover. Be ready to draw your weapon; don’t carry anything in your strong hand (or at least be prepared to drop it like it’s hot) and don’t walk into or out of these transitionary spaces with your coat zipped up.
Consider keeping a snubbie in your coat pocket. It’s one of the best ways—if not the best way—to quickly prepare for trouble. If you’re feeling a disturbance in the force, you can have your hand on our revolver (with its million pound trigger pull), ready to rock and roll. If needs be, you can shoot through your coat.
[Note: never leave your revolver in your jacket. Don’t assume you’ll “keep an eye” on it. As soon as you remove the garment, place your gat in a safe or in your front pocket. If you can’t do this (a trip to the bathroom works for cubicle dwellers), don’t carry this way.]
Bottom line: armed citizens need to pay more attention to their surroundings as they reach their final destination (and I don’t mean it in the “we should have died” sense of the term). Ironically, you’re least safe when you think you’re about to be the most safe. Stay safe by activating your Spidey senses and readying yourself for the worst case scenario.