If you’re confronted by someone who’s angry or aggressive, there’s no need to go all alpha on his ass. Either walk away or do your level best to walk it down. What does it cost you to say “You’re right” or “I’m sorry guy. Let me buy you a beer” (assuming a barroom scenario)? Yes but—there are times when any attempt to “talk your way out of it” is a fool’s errand. Sometimes you can’t avoid a fight; you need to ramp-up for extreme offensive action ASAP STAT PDQ RIGHT NOW. After that it’s all about timing. Keeping your powder dry until . . . you don’t. At that point, speed, surprise and violence of action are your friends. Being friendly? Not so much. To wit:
Cook described the moments that led up to the C&F Bank robbery. [Click here to read more about the crime]
“He come up to the teller and he pointed a gun right at that girl’s face. I saw that and thought this is not good,” Cook recalled.
At that point Cook said his instincts took over. Cook put his pet dog on the bank counter and stood in between the robber and bank employees. After he told the robber to take the money and leave, Cook said the robber shot him in the thigh.
“I thought to myself, you SOB, you shot me,” Cook said.
Cook said as the robber turned to leave the bank, he grabbed the first thing he could to fight back, a bucket of lollipops.
“I took a bucket of suckers and threw it at him I was so mad. It was the only thing I could find to throw,” Cook said with a slightly embarrassed grin on his face.
What happened next was not so funny.
As Cook followed the robber out the front door, the robber turned around, re-entered the bank and shot Cook in the stomach.
“I stumbled on the table and thought then, damn he’s shot me twice now,” Cook said. “Adrenaline took over. I did not feel any pain.”
The pain followed.
Click here to check out wtvr’s security camera footage. Judging from the above image, I suspect that Mr. Cook was offering the bad guy lollipops rather than throwing them (hence stills rather than raw footage), at least initially. Either way, the sucker punch was never going to be anything more than a momentary distraction. Mr. Cook was engaging the robber when he should have left him the f alone.
If Cook had been carrying a concealed weapon, that would have been a different story. Actually, not. He still should have left the robber alone—until and unless he perceived his life was in immediate danger. Or, if we’re doing the Boy Scout thing, the life of an innocent person was in immediate danger.
I’m not saying the tellers weren’t about to get blown away. A loaded gun pointed at another person is a lethal threat. And the fact that the bad guy shot Cook twice pretty much proves the point that Cook was right about the bad guy’s willingness to shoot an innocent person.
Nor would a gun heavy Cook have been legally constrained; shooting an armed bank robber in Texas is more a matter of paperwork hassle than a legal challenge. Still . . . who the hell wants to get shot, even once?
Cook claimed “his instincts took over.” If you, the concealed carry guy or gal, have instincts like that I suggest you find a way to practice stifling them. Do NOT draw attention to yourself unless you have a plan to deal with the worst case scenario. Do NOT attack unless you have a good chance of winning, or no other option.
Don’t get me wrong. Instincts are highly evolved subconscious stimulus – response patterns; they exist to save your life. Many a life has been saved by an instinctive block or punch or DGU. But it’s better if you can control your instincts than not.
Throwing a small basket of lollipops at a bank robber, for example, is a good instinct gone bad. It may have worked, but the odds were low. If you’re operating entirely on instincts you can’t make that kind of calculation. You’re surrendering yourself to luck.
Some people are genetically predisposed to be “cool under pressure.” No matter how much excrement is hitting the rotating air circulation device, they’ll keep their wits about them and think before they act. And after. There’s only one way to learn to control your instincts: training. Operation familiarity training (a.k.a., force-on-force) is ideal. Short of that, shoot under stress.
Find a range where you can get creative—in a safe kinda way—with your self-defense training (prep the RSO). Have someone scream at you while you’re shooting. Do physical exercise (push ups) and then get up and shoot. A certain gun guy I know throws spent casings in front of the shooter as a visual distraction. And make sure you have to select a target AND do shoot no-shoot drills.
The rabbi has a good one. When he’s convinced that a shooter is safe enough in a safe environment, he grabs their belt from behind and pulls and pushes their body as they try to fire. Anything along those lines that increases stress—physical, mental or emotional—is good thing. [Note: stress-inducing Airsoft and blue gun training can increase safety and overcome range limitations.]
At the end of the proverbial day, anyone with a concealed carry weapon should avoid negotiating with bank robbers, home invaders, terrorists and their ilk (unless it’s a ruse). And they should think before they act, as much as possible. But know this: thinking before acting is a lot more possible than you think.