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I’ve got two main problems with laser sights. First, they’re a point of eye fixation. During a high stress event, you get tunnel vision. If you’ve trained with a laser sight, there’s a real danger you’ll become fixated on the laser dot (think laser pointers). If so, you’ll reduce your ability to gather and process visual information—at the precise moment you need to increase it. Secondly, failure. Laser sights are one more thing to go wrong. Not the technology. You. Although most switches are idiot-proof, you could fail to “light it up.” While a gun still works without laser sights, do you really want your last thought on Earth to be “where the hell’s my laser dot?” And now, strategy . . .

In this episode of The Art of Survival, Wes Doss begins his instruction by using his Crimson Trace-equipped pistol to shoot an attacker who’s about to cave his head in with a baseball bat. Let’s have a think . . .

1.  “I’m totally oblivious to the world around me”

If you’re “totally oblivious” approaching an ATM, you’re making a BIG mistake. Where ELSE would a cash-seeking attacker attack someone? More generally, an “average citizen” should NEVER be totally oblivious to potential danger. If an attacker has achieved the element of surprise and entered close proximity, the victim has lost the battle before it begins. You want to live? Identify threats before they become an attack and leave (if possible).

2. Grab?

The scenario enacted here assumes that the robber would grab the bank customer, and then beat the shit out of him. Why? If he planned on assaulting the customer with a deadly weapon, he’d wait until the victim had the cash and then hit him without warning. Good luck getting to your gun in that case.

3. Throw?

Alternatively, a robber would threaten the vic with a weapon and demand the cash. Throw him to the ground? Not so much. The cash transfer’s a lot easier if the target’s standing up.

4. Baseball bat?

A baseball bat is an obvious weapon. It would be hard for a criminal to carry a bat unnoticed. They’be far more likely to use an edged weapon or . . . nothing. No matter what the perp has or doesn’t have in the way of weaponry, if you’ve lost the time – space war, give the attacker your money and/or run. If not that, strike with your hands. Again, proximity is the key. If your attacker is close, the chances you’ll be able to draw your weapon and fire before you’re stabbed or slashed or punched are small.

5. Dodge!

Best case, it takes you less than a second to draw your gun and fire. And? By the time you did so, that bat would be hitting you HARD. The first thing to do is to get the hell out of the way. Roll! Move! Run! Laser sight or not, you’re going to need some space – time to shoot effectively.

6. Two shots?

If you have to fire, laser sight or not, you’re probably going to need more than two shots. Keep firing until the threat is gone.

7. Iron sights a disadvantage?

I can imagine scenarios where that might be true, but this isn’t one of them. If a baseball bat-wielding assailant is standing over you and you’re shooting, it’s point shoot all the way.

8. Move!

While I like the look of that lying down and firing off a magazine drill (I’ve been looking for a way to motivate myself to do ab work), again, MOVE! If you don’t, you’re not a sitting duck. You’re a lying down dead duck.

9. Shooting with your head away from the gun

Advantage laser? Sure BUT—I reckon the extra inch or two of exposure won’t make much difference.

Especially not compared to the importance of being able to shoot accurately while running for, to and from cover. Does a laser help in that situation? Try getting a laser dot on someone while you’re running.

10. Trigger discipline!

Sorry. Pet peeve.

11. Shooting backwards as you’re running away

Why haven’t we seen this in a movie? Here in the real world, if I’m running, I’m not looking backwards under my gun hand, trying to pin a laser dot on my pursuer whilst running and shooting. Note: Wes isn’t running in this demo.

12. Shooting out of a car at a distance

Why? If the attacker isn’t right at your window, you should be driving away. Fast. If they are, you won’t need your sights. I suppose it’s possible that you’d need to shoot someone twenty-five or fifty feet away from the driver’s seat, but is that really reason enough to use a laser sight, give the disadvantages mentioned at the beginning of this piece?

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  1. BOB: yeh, yeh… we all know. C'mon now. There's more troubles in the world then picking on LASERS. Truth is, the Police 'Spec OPS' Forces [SWAT, PAra-Military, etc.] around the WORLD -including our own Nationwide- wouldnt have made them "standard issue" for Close Quarters Combat [CQB] if they didnt SAVE LIVES and give some decided edge!

    FACT: The ISRAELI Forces -one of the most advanced,l aggressive Military's in the World- now integrate the LASER into their own "M15-variant". { – goto time 4:40}

    LASERS: HERE TO STAY! STAY WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ONES (Crimson Trace) and u wont go wrong!!

  2. I agree that you can’t be dependent on laser sights. You definitely need to be able to shoot and react without a laser sight if you choose to get one. Train without a laser sight if you get one, and don’t be dependent upon it. But I do think they can come in handy. If an intruder who doesn’t mean physical sees a red dot on them, I would think or hope they would leave to avoid harm to themselves, and non-lethal self defense may win.

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