At Ammoland.com Rick Ector writes:
As a Firearm Safety and Personal Protection Instructor in Detroit, I often find it useful to read and analyze published defensive gun use (DGU) stories and to share my findings with students enrolled in my Concealed Pistol License (CPL) Class. As such, yesterday I saw the posted video of the Chicago off-duty law enforcement officer, who defended himself against three assailants, to be full of “teachable moments” for my students . . .
I always stress to my students to always be prepared. At any time or place, they can suddenly be under attack from a violent predator without a moment’s notice. It is precisely for this possibility, that they chose to be lawfully armed – to protect themselves. Accordingly, it is imperative that they be ready for an attack during their every conscious moment.
Awareness Of Your Environment Is Critical
It is imperative that you always be aware of your immediate and surrounding environment. Doing so can potentially buy you extra precious moments to identify potential threats and to quickly dispatch a response. In the video, it appeared that the officer was caught “off-guard” by the sudden appearance of the three predators. If he had noticed them sooner, it is possible that he could have had enough additional time – one to two seconds – to immediately draw and discharge his firearm. Instead, his lack of awareness forced him to delay his defense until he could find another opportunity.
Distance Is Always Your Friend
Once the victim noticed that he was being attacked, as evidenced by the young thug holding a gun, he immediately dropped the gas dispenser and started retreating backwards away from the threat. He moved somewhere between 10 and 15 feet away from the pump before stopping. Had he been aware of the impending attack, he could have had an opportunity to retreat even further. Each additional step away decreases the amount of space his body occupies in the firing radius of the assailant’s gun. Additionally, the dropping of the gas dispenser allowed the victim to free his shooting hand while moving along the side of his vehicle to produce a partial ballistic backstop should he be able to find an opportune moment to fire his gun.
Victim’s Attire Selection Allowed A Fast Draw
Chicago has a historical reputation for having a cold climate during the winter. As such, people who live there dress appropriately: long coats, mufflers, hoods, and etc. However, the victim in this story did not elect to wear bulky outer garments that would have restricted access to his firearm. As such, he did not need to consume valuable split-seconds of response time to move his clothing out of the path to his gun. Apparently, the victim had the forethought to carry his firearm in an accessible location while being dressed for cold weather.
Victim’s Firearm Was Ready For Firing
The victim’s firearm did not need to be chambered before he used it. It was immediately “ready for use.” If he needed to make his gun ready before using it, he may not have had enough time to mount an effective defensive of his life. Proponents of carrying a firearm without a round already chambered grossly under-estimate the time required to do so. Many of these folks mistakenly believe that carrying a firearm in that manner provides a needed and necessary extra layer of firearm safety. In fact, doing so may reduce the chances that a victim can defend himself. Obeying the fundamental firearm safety rules is more than sufficient.
Compliance Is Not A Guarantee of Safety
The victim correctly assessed that having a gun pointed at him by robbers placed his life in danger. As such, he made the conscious decision to defend himself. It is not uncommon for robbery victims to be shot and killed, even after complying with the criminal demands of their attackers. As such, he feigned compliance by turning or “blading” his “weak side” towards the bad guys to ostensibly show that he was retrieving the requested wallet from his back pocket. This strategy allowed the victim to both reduce the amount of space that his body occupied in the assailant’s gun radius and to hide his “strong side” hand while reaching for his own firearm.
Fortunately, the victim was able to quickly draw and discharge his gun before the bad guy could get off a shot and evade injury. The accomplices of the dead assailant evaded capture and are still at-large in the community.
This graphic video provides an excellent case study for persons who regularly carry a firearm for personal protection. It demonstrated the need to always be aware of your surroundings, always carry your firearm in a quickly accessible manner, always keep a round chambered, and to have the mindset that you are willing to defend your life. Be prepared to defend your life every time you leave your home.
Carrying a firearm is a grave responsibility. It is your responsibility to know all applicable laws related to lawful firearm usage for your respective area. Infractions carry stiff penalties. Be responsible BUT also be ready.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school – Rick’s Firearm Academy of Detroit.