Cover is any object that protects you from gunfire. Concealment is an object that hides you from an aggressor. Question: if you were in the Stop ‘N Rob (notice the bars “protecting” the employees) where’s cover or concealment? Concealment would be the shelves in the middle of the store. Cover? Nope. There ain’t none – as the employees discovered. Three things about that . . .
1. Very few objects provide cover
In your home, walls and doors are highly unlikely to stop a bullet. As in fuhgeddaboutit. Your refrigerator is about the only object capable of stopping a bullet. That’s not a sure thing. And trying getting behind it in an emergency. If you’re attacked in your home, you need to find cover, stop the assault – by counterattacking – or leave.
Out in the real world, thick cement walls work as cover. Your car’s engine block can stop all but the largest bullets. (But certainly not your car door.) Trees are excellent cover, depending on their width and position. Look down! Dirt – hills, berms – are also a viable option. If you’re getting the impression that there’s not a whole lot of cover options available in a gunfight, you’re right.
2. Concealment is everywhere
There are plenty of objects behind which you can hide: walls, doors, store shelves, tables, counters, cars, trees, etc. If a bad guy or guys can’t see you, chances are they can’t shoot/stab/bludgeon you. Chances are. Remembering that bad guys can shoot through concealment and kill you dead.
3. Escape is your best option
You are not a cop; you don’t have to stop a bad guy or guys. If you’re in a dangerous situation and you’ve decided that you’re not going to defend innocent life (the store could have allowed their employees to arm themselves) leave as quickly as possible. Run!
It’s best to have an escape route in mind when you enter a new environment. Look around. Keep in mind that you can go out the back of a restaurant or store if things go pear-shaped.
In any case, don’t get married to cover or concealment. If it’s compromised – if your assailant figures out how to get to you – your proverbial goose is cooked. Unless you move. Your end goal: GTFO. And carry a gun whenever possible, understanding the difference between cover and concealment for your attacker, as well.