Adam Deciccio at the American Firearms School is a major proponent of SSVOA. Speed, Surprise and Violence of Action. When someone’s gunning for you and escape isn’t an option, attack and attack HARD. THEN escape. To implement this strategy you need a mental “trip wire.” For example, if a bad guy orders you to move to another location (e.g., into a car or back room), know this in the deepest part of your mind: it’s go time. Your mind and body may seem stuck in peanut butter. Overcome it. Don’t wait. Attack with everything you have, including, if possible, your firearm. The bottom line is simple enough: hesitation kills . . .
In the video example above, let’s assume the off-duty cop was being robbed violently. It sure doesn’t look that way to me, but we’re here for the sake of argument. So, for instructional purposes, pretend that the “good guy” in blue was in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm.
The cop draws his weapon and . . . waits for the bad guy’s submission. Pardon me for saying so, but that’s typical cop thinking. I’m a cop. You do what I tell you. If I draw a gun, surely you will do what I tell you. To which this perp replies (in effect) “Don’t call me Shirley” and attempts to swat the gun away.
And, by the way, leaves. A bad guy leaving at the sight of a firearm? Result! Best to let him or her go. Dial 911 (ALWAYS) and thank your lucky stars you’re not looking at Murder, Man One or a family vendetta. Where was I?
Right, submission. There are no reliable stats on the effects of brandishing on bad guys. But it’s certainly not a reliable way to stop a violent attack. The upside is fantastic; it could save you a mountain of paperwork. The downside could be terminal. As in you dead.
If you want to go that route, you need distance. A lot of distance. If you have, say, ten yards between you and a slow-moving or stationary attacker, you may have the time to hesitate on the trigger pulling part of the program. If the attacker’s moving quickly into your “exclusionary zone,” you won’t.
In that case, count yourself lucky that you got your weapon into play in the first place. You know, if you do. (If you don’t, don’t forget to do something.) As a general rule of thumb, the less time and space you have, the less time and space you have. You have to act, act quickly and act decisively. If you’re going to shoot, shoot.
If the alleged bad guy above had been wielding a knife, the cop would have been in a world of trouble. There was no place for the cop to retreat; he lost his advantage the moment he didn’t shoot. Not that it looks like he should have shot, but you know what I mean.
If you have no option other than armed self-defense, don’t hesitate to do whatever it is you have to do to stay alive. As Lyndon Johnson said, a bad decision is better than no decision. At least you’ll be alive to discuss your defensive gun use (DGU) with your lawyer. And no one else.