On a regular basis I am interjected into the lives of others. Often enough this comes from when their life hits the fan so to speak. Occasionally I have the time to train others in shooting and what we would generally recognize as self defense. Having myself gone through a fair amount of training in many different aspects there is one thing that I have noticed that escapes most instructors.
To systematically ingrain into students to think positive and to react in a manner that invokes a positive/winning/I-will-feed-you-your heart attitude.
And while it may seem obvious it is not a given teaching method. The truth is it's very easy for all of us to focus on the mechanics of drilling,drawing, and defense that we don't think WIN.
hmmm I hear snickering.
Think for a second of this scenario whether you are a man or woman.
You come home late at night through the front door, pull the key out of the lock, and walk to the other end of the house. Something doesn't seem right and you look back behind you to see a 6'5" 230lbs male in a ski mask with a 10 inch bladed knife between you and the door.
Before you go into that clearing of the holster of that gun you may or may not be wearing. Break down your own personal mindset here.
The initial sucking in of air and "oh shit" is completely allowed because we all (a-l-l) get caught off guard in life but the next response should be in your head should be:
and by "GO!" I mean you need to have a mind set of being able to Go-straight-at-him with a total intent on leaving him dead on the floor. Whether you are a man or a woman.
There is a prevalent thought in the defense world that you need to turn and put distance between you and him. So prevalent that this is an acceptable response both amongst instructors and even legislators where we have become ingrained that our first obligation is to flee. Mention the concept of "counter attack" and the defense attorneys begin sweating.
The entire concept of fleeing from an attacker can be appropriate at times. Sometimes you are simply out matched-out gunned-out maneuvered. In Executive Protection "fleeing" is a doctrinal part of protection work. However there is also the point where sometimes you are left with no other option than to fight.
The moment you flee from anything it is incredibly difficult to then stop the flight signals in your brain and turn them over to fight. That's not just conceptual that chemical. Once adrenaline and the flight response kicks off in your head you damn near have to manually over ride it. Combine this with a society that systematically tells you to flee, or have zero tolerance policies for self defense and we are left with sheep dead in the streets.
This is why members of the armed forces, police and firefighters go through boot camps and academies. They see a potentially lethal situation and run towards it with the entire mindset of defeating that which aims to kill.
Some of this has also become subconsciously ingrained into the Defensive/CCW/Shooting Community. At least in a couple of ways that I see it (personally).
One is simply the caliber debate.
We have given far far to much credit to Ed Sanow and Evan Marshall (respectively) in that the concept of the one shot stop is interesting "science" however it is certainly not an applicable one.
The far reaching consequences of the one-shot-stop business is that it makes us question our equipment and think we aren't using enough gun. The physical fact is a .32 ACP does not make as large of a hole as .45 ACP, but six or seven bullets into the body of an assailant is going to either have a lasting effect or an effect that will end his life very soon.
True enough we've all heard the stories of how the .380 entered someones face and skirted under the skin and came out the other side doing no damage. What I can guarantee is that you have never read of an account of seven .380s doing that.
Don't worry about your "caliber" of choice near as much as whether or not you can make all of your hits count and that your equipment is reliable...
And that you have a plan when it is not.
Which may mean when your Glock's magazine fails to feed properly you dump it and go to your spare magazine that you carry (right?). Or that you pull your Sure Fire flashlight and one handed opener knife and make ready for up close work.
For all the debate surrounding pistol calibers no one questions a rifle's ability to make a supposed “one shot stop”.
The 5.56/.223 in the extremely popular M4 configuration being used by our troops has a relatively low reputation in CQB where Operators are having to put three and six shots into an enemy.
Yet as one SpecOps guy I know says “so you just shoot again. Whats the problem?”
So return back to our Ski Masked Attacker in the home with his bare bladed knife.
He is the living nightmare we have all read about, the guy who is laden with PCP and soaks up round after round of .357 Magnum.
Are they out there? Sure.
Are they common? No.
Case in point. I very recently had a client find herself backed into a corner armed with a Snub-nosed Smith & Wesson .38 Special (loaded with Glaser safety slugs). She had never fired the weapon, didn't want a gun in her home and yet when the time came she fired once into the very very large body builder typed attacker. The bullet striking him where the foot meets the leg.
One single round.
He fled/drug himself from her house and collapsed in the street where police found him.
"Come to the nightmare that is me."
Talk about a winning mindset. This is where your head should be. Where YOUR confidence should be. Your gun, knife, baton whatever is simply the tool. The weapon is you.
There is one thing I instituted for myself along time ago in dealing with everything from potentially violent encounters to verbal confrontations to even shooting sessions at the range. It is the simplest confidence booster for bad situations. it's free and it works.
Not a big toothy Burt Lancaster smile, but I grin inward and outward. I raise my head up and whether its at the paper target in front of me or a stalker that has been haunting my client, I smile.
I do so because it reminds me that I am capable, the equipment that I carry is reliable.
The bad men who roam the world are not the Boogy man. Cut them they bleed. Shoot them they die. They have nothing on you other than whether you allow yourself to be mentally beaten from the start.
When the feces hits the impeller (and it does constantly in life). You are the motor to the fan. You either shut down or you speed up.