A member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia recently recommended a schnauzer for gun guys looking for a home-based early warning system. Roger that. Rosie Von Schnauzer’s bark could wake the dead (which is just as well given Ambien’s efficacy). She barks at any stranger, any time. That said, both of my schnauzers are as stupid as a fence post. Rosie will bark at the same stranger if said house guest goes into another room and returns. Remember Dory in Finding Nemo? Like that. There was the time when I heard a big ass bump at ‘o dark thirty. Neither dog stirred from their slumber. Huh. What does that tell you? Well it tells me . . .
That no plan survives contact with the enemy. For those of you who aren’t big fans of Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke (no Ottomans in my house), let me put it this way: shit happens.
An alarm that should have sounded doesn’t. You go to your safe room to call the cops on the spare cell and—little Johnnie’s moved it! A cop who should be there to resolve the situation goes to the wrong address. The mag falls out of your gun and disappears into the darkness. A kid heads for the front door. The wife lasers you with a shotgun, and then argues about it. Stuff like that.
It’s not so much that you need a plan B, C, D, Etc. for armed self-defense. It’s more that you need to be able to think during a high-stress defensive gun use. You need to be able to improvise, adapt and survive.
In that sense, it’s just as important to develop some principles of armed self-defense as well as the skills needed to implement them. For example, improvise, adapt and survive. Keep going! Or my go-to gun gestalt: speed, surprise and violence of action. If you’re facing a deadly threat, find a way, some way to counter-attack, and then do it as quickly and violently as possible. No holds barred.
Alternatively, concurrently and/or in addition, move! A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one. Moving to cover or concealment creates a world of new possibilities, both ballistically and tactically. Movement also opens up the possibility of further action. As Newton and Pfizer asserted, an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
Then again, you might want to hide and then attack. or hide some more. I don’t know. And neither do you. But one thing’s for sure: the more you practice high-stress on-the-go tactical thinking, the better you’ll be at it. Force-on-force training, paintball, laser tag, capture the flag, Chinese checkers, whatever. It’s all good. And if you can take family members with you, so much the better.
Did I forget to mention teamwork? Then here it is: teamwork. You can’t trust anyone to do “what they’re supposed to” in the midst of an adrenalin dump—especially yourself. But you’d be surprised what a coordinated, practiced and focused team of individuals can do to ensure their mutual survival. And yes, that includes the family pets.