Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keeping you CCW options open



Carry a weapon ..ala..a CCW long enough and you'll build up some bad habits, or worse start out with them. The two most common bad habits I see with new Conceal Carriers is

1. Not carrying with a round in the chamber and ready to go. I hear the same thing every time "I figure I'll have time to rack the slide."
2.Not carrying a full spare reload. "welllll" they'll say "according to the statistics blah blah blah."

Ironically the first bad habit tends to go away as the CCW holder begins to carry more frequently and becomes more comfortable. But as for number 2 I can only say remember what Mark Twain said about statistics "Lies! Damn Lies!"

But I digress.

One of the biggest and most often overlooked issues taught in CCW classes is that of the of Force Continuum and how the use and carry of non-firearm related defense tools could one day save you in the court room. (you get to suffer from reading me prepare for an up coming court case where a client was involved in a self-defense shooting).

The day may come where you are going to be forced into a hostile encounter but it may not warrant the use of lethal force.

I say this because I have been there.

Not every violent encounter on the street justifies lethal force, yet if you are only prepared for using lethal force (i.e. a firearm) you can suddenly face some very serious problems both immediate and reoccurring for months or years (think criminal and civil court).

There is also the fact that there maybe a time that carrying a handgun is simply not practical or its dicey.

Lets say for example that you are flying out of state for business with co-workers and your boss. The state you are traveling to has reciprocity but your company doesn't allow you to carry at work or work related circumstances. You can't stand in line at the check in counter with your co-workers and they not catch on that you just checked in a handgun in your luggage and you sure can not check a gun without declaring it and filling out a form.

Here is where an ASP Extenable baton can be your saving grace. You have to have it in your checked luggage but you are not required to declare it, thus pack it and forget it.

ASPs have a profound psychological impact. They give you peace of mind knowing that you are armed in some fashion, but I can also attest to the fact when I have encountered situations where "negotiations" were failing my seemingly bare hand went from closed to magically holding a steel pipe. They also make a very deterring "THWACK" when they open. Suddenly that communication break down you were experiencing fifteen seconds ago ends with complete and total understanding.

A few years back I was doing some very discreet protection for a relatively well known female country artist for a couple of days. The two of us were walking through the hotel lobby late at night and a party had bled over. A very drunk guy in his late twenties noticed her for her looks (not realizing who she was) and began cat calling her...and then he followed us down the hall.

I stopped myself between the two of them about ten yards from him and said very firmly "Sir, you need to return to the party." I was immediately met with a barrage of foul language and a few suggestions of what he would like to do with my Principal in her room. I instructed him again to return to the party. This time he said "you don't look like a boyfriend who can satisfy her."...and then he decided to walk a few more steps ,ignoring me and talking to her.

When I had realized he was following us from the lobby I retrieved the baton from my waistband, both of them unaware I had done this. So at the moment he began closing the distance between myself and him I flicked the baton open in a very quiet hotel hallway. He immediately pulled up short and simply said "oh."

I told him to go back to the party immediately, and he sauntered off. No police notified, no reports filed, no incidents in the paper or on line. Her request for discretion remained.

There were also no reports of a man with a gun in the hallway. Even though I was well armed in the handgun department I would have been way out of line to pull a handgun.

But make this applicable to you.

Take the same scenario of an unarmed miscreant with a strong desire to do wrong to you physically. It could be you out with a wife or girlfriend. That previously mentioned business trip. Or in the mall parking lot when its 100 degrees out and you accidentally cut someone off in traffic and he followed you.

Understand you being unable to defend yourself adequately with your hands or non-lethal tools against a brawl doesn't mean that you are simply allowed to shoot an attacker.

The ASP fills that gap between bare fist and gun. That secondary area for self-dense tools, with it's capability falling between being lethal and non-lethal simultaneously. And that is a good thing.

Lets go this route.

You have been forced to shoot and kill an attacker armed with a knife or sawed off baseball bat on the street. Its now six weeks after you fatally shot him. Your defense attorney has to convince twelve people that without a doubt not only were you in the right to kill this person who was attacking you, you should be cleared of any wrong doing. And you are paying for this defense with your money by the way.

At some point and time there is going to be a police report discussed in court and police officers put on the stand.

What would you rather the jury hear from the report when your defense attorney reads it? Trying to show you had no other choice in the use of lethal force. That you were in fact in the fight of your life. Because the Judge wasn't there, the jury wasn't there and your lawyer has to paint a gruesome picture of you fighting to live.

The report states that "...at the scene ten empty 9mm casing, a partially loaded magazine were found on the ground and Officers retrieved from the defendant a fully reloaded pistol."

Or....

"....at the scene police recovered a half sprayed can of pepper spray, a discarded extendible baton, ten empty 9mm casings, a half empty magazine and a fully reloaded pistol."


Or (again)....

The report could state "...a full discarded can of pepper spray was found at the scene followed by ten empty 9mm casings, a partially loaded magazine and a fully reloaded pistol retrieved from the Defendant along with a collapsible baton on his/her person."

You thinking hmmmm makes me sound like an over prepared mall ninja.

No. It makes you sound like a person who did everything possible to try and stop your attacker WITHOUT using lethal force first. Because you tried and tried to make him stop something HE started until ultimately he left you with no choic to shoot and kill this bad man to live, to go home and see your family again. To kill him because he was bent on murder.



Here's where the product endorsement comes in. I've had some cheapies and at first they seem great, but then one day when your practicing opening it and you lift it straight up it closes up into the handle. Since Murphy is alive and well, if a cheap baton will fail in the living room, what do you think is gonna happen on the street.

Buy the ASP.

Because honestly, you and I both know you'll spend $800 bucks on that new SiG P229 and stick it in a nice $70 Mitch Rosin holster, but you're gonna skim $40 bucks on your other equipment.


But if you don't believe the mental disarming aspect the ASP can bring to a fight let me relate this to you from a colleugue of mine who use to be a Massachusets State Policeman.

Greg was in court waiting to testify on a Bad Guy that had gone violent. When he arrived on scene the Bad Guy prepared to attack Greg (who is 6'4" and built like a football player). That is until he produced an extended 26" chromed baton. The man simply wilted. Somewhat to Greg's surprise but not completely.

It was however during the trial that the reasoning he surrendered became so clear. The Perp on the stand stated that "The Officer pulled a sword on me."

4 comments:

James R. Rummel said...

Good post.

James

leadchucker said...

I didn't realize they come in various lengths. What do you recommend?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this thought-provoking post. What do you think of a knife instead of an ASP? It seems less "mall ninja," since normal people carry knives all the time. You can use it for many purposes besides self defense. I already carry a knife, so I wouldn't need to add anything.

I see two possible problems, though. First, a knife might be too rapid escalation in some situations, like in your hotel story. A good thwack is a lot less conspicuous that a sliced arm.

Second, somehow pulling a knife feels less like intimidation and more like invitation. I'm not sure why I feel that way. I wouldn't feel invited to fight someone with a knife! But nonetheless, it doesn't seem to have that persuasive force. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late to the party, but in Texas, it's a Concealed HANDGUN License. Even with a CHL, it is illegal to carry a baton.