Confession: this isn’t a self-defense tip per se. This post assumes you weren’t able to use your gun to successfully defend your life. Not to put to fine a point on it, you’re toast. A dead defender walking. A wounded, soon-to-be ex-member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. It probably wasn’t your fault. As I pointed out in a previous post, you can do everything right in a gunfight and still die. You can be out-gunned, out-maneuvered or blind-sided. Lady Luck may be diverting to voice mail. You-know-what happens. Deal with it. That’s right: you’re about to die and you still have work to do. (You can sleep when you’re dead.) Here are three things you should do before you shuffle off this mortal coil . . .
1. Save friendlies!
What are the odds that you’ll be all by your lonesome when push comes to shove, you’re pushed off the cliff and left scrambling in thin air, Road Runner-style? Do you have a plan for saving your companions before you suddenly realize you’re about to plunge into the canyon, fall and poof-out?
To that end, have you mastered one-handed shooting on the move? That skill would leave a hand free to push a child or other friendly out of the way. Which is an excellent idea, as you, the self-defense shooter, will draw the bad guys’ gunfire, knife attack, kicks to the head, whatever.
If you can, dial 911. Whether or not you can call-in the cavalry, given the nature of your wounds, your friendlies will probably require more immediate assistance. Generally, they need two things to survive what you didn’t: cover/concealment and/or a weapon.
Teaching your friends and family how to ID cover and concealment before a deadly encounter is not a bad idea. But even if they understand the concept, they may freeze when the going gets tough. Direct them to the cover/concealment by spoken command (i.e. screaming) or by dragging/pushing/kicking their butts in the appropriate direction.
In terms of willing your friends and family a weapon with which to defend themselves against your murderer, you could hand them your self-defense firearm. Then again, that bad boy’ll probably be empty by then. And where there’s life, there’s hope. Few of us would have the presence of mind to conclude that our turn on the merry-go-round is over, and surrender our gun.
A shared secondary weapon’s best. Some of us use this theoretical scenario as [another] reason to carry a Back-Up Gun. Otherwise, it’s a good excuse—I mean justification for carrying a knife, tactical flashlight, pepper spray, etc. Don’t forget to offer your friendly some friendly advice before you expire. Run! Attack! Hide! Whatever. (Note: the last one’s not considered self-defense instruction.)
2. Don’t kill innocents!
Nothing can throw off your aim like a bullet wound—especially if the projectile has removed a portion of your arm. Still, with all that adrenaline flowing, you might not feel a thing, even as you exsanguinate. Resist the urge to shoot your gun sort of kinda at the bad guy or bad guys. You could shoot the wrong person or people.
Note: death may exempt you from charges of negligent homicide, but your heirs could end up defending your actions in court. An innocent person hit by one of your stray rounds may decide that someone in your blood line should pay for their injury. If you kill a bystander by accident, their family may get really pissed.
Not to mention the moral cost. Do you really want your last words to be “oh shit I missed”?
What about covering fire to protect your friendlies? Yeah, well, OK. I guess. If you find yourself in a situation resembling the Vietnam War. Consider the possibility that your job—ending a lethal threat—-may be done. At least until the cops arrive (they do get there eventually).
Alternatively, if the hostiles remain aggressive, it may be better to save a bullet or two, let the bad guys think you’re finished, allow some time to approach, and . . .
3. Kill the bastards!
If someone’s attacked you to the point where you’re about to buy the farm, the gloves are off. If you know you’re about to die, well, why not take the bad guy or bad guys with you? Even if there aren’t any friendlies to protect.
Disclaimer [via Romans 12:19]: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
If you’re going to ignore Biblical advice on your way to the Pearly Gates (or eternal damnation), remember the other Holy Trinity: speed, surprise and violence of action. Take the fight straight to the enemy.
Who knows? You might survive after all. Gunfights, like life, are a crapshoot. You pay’s your money, you takes your chances. No matter what happens, deal. Or die. Or deal and die. Sucks. But there it is.