At the start of my journey into concealed carry-hood I worried about my reaction to a life-threatening situation. Would I know what to do if I had to clear leather (this was during was my pre-Kydex period)? When, exactly, should life-threatening push come to ballistic shove? And what would I do come The Moment Of Truth™? Hundreds of training hours later I’ve reached an important conclusion: I haven’t a clue. I know what I should do but I’m not 100 percent sure I’d do it. How could I be? But one thing is for certain: I will not be caught sitting on the X. You know, frozen to the spot. Whatever happens I will do something. Like Matt Drosser . . .
Inside his neighborhood market, Mohamed S. Ahmed [above left] was screaming for help after a pair of armed robbers had left him bleeding.
Outside the northeast Minneapolis store, two men pounded on the window, trying to get back into the University Market after Ahmed managed to lock them out.
“They seemed really agitated, super agitated,” said Matt Dosser [above right], who was walking by about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. At first, “nothing made sense, then I saw the gun.”
Dosser, who has a permit to carry a gun, reached for his own weapon.
One of the robbers “turned around and looked at me,” Dosser recalled. “He stared at me. I had my weapon up. I didn’t point the gun at the person. I had it at the ready, out of the holster.
“His buddy said something to him,” Dosser continued, “and then he had this surprised look on his face, and they both ran to his vehicle and took off.”
Assuming that’s the way it went down, this story [via startribune,com] is full of win. Two armed bad guys encounter an armed good guy and scarper. But Mr. Drosser’s tale also contains a fair amount of fail, too . . .
Back in the day, the rabbi advised me to avoid stupid people, in stupid places doing stupid things. The underlying logic: the only gunfight you’re guaranteed to win is the one you never have. So if you encounter a pair of [what the British call] ‘scrotes banging the beJesus on a locked door, your best course of action is to back away and call the cops.
The only time you want to draw your gun: when you, your loved ones or innocent life you deem worth defending are in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm, and imminence is imminent. In this case, Mr. Drosser saw a gun in an unknown person’s hand. A gun that was not pointed at anyone (again presumably). A gun that was not about to be fired.
At the risk of fueling the antis who claim that any good guy that draws a gun against any bad guy at any time escalates a bad situation, Drosser’s decision to unholster his firearm escalated a bad situation. The smarter move: get to cover/concealment and call the cops.
Let’s assume, though, that this all went down in the blink of an eye. Mr. Drosser acted instinctively. He felt a large measure of responsibility for his community or University Market and anyway he IS the good guy for Pete’s sake. If so, Drosser should have pointed his heater at the gun-toting miscreants.
I disagree with those amongst us who say “if my gun comes out I’m sending lead.” Too much can happen in those long seconds between unholstering and aiming your gun to commit yourself to firing it. The decision to shoot has lifelong, potentially ruinous consequences. If you live. BUT—
Just as you should never draw on a drawn gun (unless you have no choice) you should never NOT aim at a bad guy holding a gun if he’s NOT aiming at you. In other words, you need every advantage you can get in a gunfight. If a situation is serious enough to get out your gun it’s serious enough to aim your firearm at the bad guy.
By the same token, and perhaps more importantly, MOVE! There is no point to having a Western movie-style middle-of-Main Street showdown if you don’t have to. It seems pretty clear that Mr. Drosser didn’t have to. The way he played it could have gone. Very. Badly. Wrong.
But hey Drosser did something. Which is a lot better than doing nothing. Someone more passive, someone who just watched the “action” unfold, someone who denied themselves the “first mover” advantage, could have ended-up dead, too.
Which brings me to my main point: when it comes to personal defense, a bad decision is better than no decision. If you screw it up at least your OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) is spinning. You can correct and continue. But if you’re caught flat-footed, if you;re frozen to the spot, you’re at someone else’s mercy. No matter how you slice it, that sucks.