I don’t really want to bring up old news, and some of you are probably tired of hearing about it, but sometimes it is necessary to look back at certain situations and see what we can take away and learn from them. Today I want to share with you some key lessons we can learn about gunfights from the Ferguson MO shooting.
Before I get started let me be clear, this is not about passing judgement on the situation, the grand jury’s decision, it’s not about race, or our relationship with the police, or about how the government handled the situation.
As concealed weapons carriers we need to look at situations like this and see what lessons we can get from them. It’s not very often do we get the opportunity to hear, first hand, exactly how things unfolded and what was done at each stage of the situation.
Here is the exclusive interview George Stephanopoulos had with Darren Wilson about what happened the night that changed Wilson’s life forever:
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After hearing from Darren Wilson what 3 lessons can we take away from that night to apply to how we need to respond to a gunfight?
1. Most Gunfights Are “Close Quarters” Attacks
While most gun-owners are training down at the local range for a long-range gunfight of 7 yards and beyond, the reality is that most gunfights happen less than 9′ away – as a result of an ambush or escalated argument.
In this range, you’re going to need more than just a keen eye and a tight shot group… as was learned by Officer Darren Wilson on that fateful night when he struggled with Michael Brown for his life.
While you may think the other “gun gurus” at the range will laugh at you for putting your target so close to you, see how different it feels to shoot at something at the minimum distance your range will allow.
It’s different… trust me!
2. Hands…Then Bullets!
In a close-quarters ambush, you’re most likely not going to be able to draw your weapon fast enough to engage the threat – especially if you’re carrying concealed.
That means you’re going to have to “fight to your gun”.
Are you spending as much time on mastering your close-combat hand-to-hand skills as you are getting that tight shot group with your weapon?
3. Killed…With Your Own Gun!
It’s a sad reality that too many police officers have learned the hard way.
If you’re not strong enough to wrestle your gun away from someone twice your size, you could find yourself on the other end of the barrel like Officer Wilson was as they struggled for control of his gun.
People underestimate the need for “grip strength” in their firearm skills… but it’s a critical necessity for weapon retention and close-quarters engagement.
One common mistake or assumption people make when it comes to being threatened is people always make the statement “If I’m threatened by someone I’ll just shoot them”. Now I know that is what most people will say they will do when it comes to someone threatening their life or someone they love, but how real is that statement?
You can and probably would shoot them as long as you had the time and distance to draw your weapon, lock on target and pull the trigger. But like mentioned earlier most gunfights or gun/knife fights are in close quarters. When’s the last time you practiced drawing your firearm from your concealed holster? How long did it take?
Maybe you can brag and say it only took 3 seconds to draw your weapon. Have you tried this at the range and actually attempted to get a shot off? How accurate were you? Have you tried this in a stressful training scenario?
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to actually drawing and accurately firing your weapon in stressful situations.
Here is a great example of how quickly things can get ugly from a knife wielding assailant:
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A knife wielding attacker can strike faster up close than you can effectively draw. Thus, know how to protect yourself and your firearm until you have the time to draw and shoot. Don’t draw at the wrong time and get into a grappling match with your assailant over your gun. Know more than one trick. Train to fight, train to shoot, train to move. Then train again.