Saturday, February 20, 2010

Get on your knees and Aim

In the world of "concealed & carry" and self-defense with handguns there is an well perpetuated axiom that if one is forced to use their handgun in self-defense that it is likely to occur under the following conditions:

less than 5 rounds fired at seven yards in low light conditions.

Whether the very old statistical data is true or not it has created some very significant problems in the CCW world (imho). One is that it inbreeds laziness on a certain level. To the extent that even the gun manufacturers have caught onto this given the current crop of 0oz plastic .380s with non-existent sights.

We have in the gun-carry culture become so focused on ourselves that many of us would rather not be "inconvenienced" by carrying a full or medium size handgun. Steel, plastic or otherwise.

Over reliance on tiny back up guns as primary pieces on a regular basis, combined with the vast majority of our ammo being expended at the 7 yards range is that it creates inherently bad habits. Sub-consciously we place self-imposed limitations on our fighting ability. Telling ourselves ahead of time through this prediction what the fight is going to be, usually with statements such as “Oh I'm just running down to the _______”.

In truth the least talked about, the least trained for situation is contending with a mass shooter. Yet, in no small irony it is usually the main motivator for people seeking out a CCW permit. If we are going to go up against a well armed aggressor we need to be prepared to fight and kill him (or her), and do so accurately.

Going to the range and expending a few magazines at short distances in no way prepares you for this.

Work in Executive Protection even a short amount of time and you realize very quickly that there is general problematic area you are going to have to deal with should the feces hit the impeller.

Other people. Innocent other people.

We (as the good guys) are responsible for the terminal resting place of every round fired from our weapons. Shooting and wounding or killing an innocent individual while you are attempting to kill the M-S-I-Q (Mass Shooter In Question) is not only unacceptable but will likely lead to your facing of a jury pool.

Our shots fired at a M-S-I-Q can be farther than you think and through a narrower gap. Next time you are walking to the office coffee pot or taking your kids back to Sunday School pace off the distance from one end of the hall way to the other. It's most likely not seven yards. Given some hallways in modern homes shots could be over ten and fifteen yards.

Mass Shooters are generally well armed with everything from high capacity rifles and/or handguns to pipe bombs. What they lack in skill they make up for in an abundance of firepower. Ourselves on the other hand will generally be less-than-adequately armed with a pistol and hopefully at the very least a full spare reload. So we need to be better trained than that of the aggressor.

There are a few fundamental things we need to understand when returning fire with “the peoples” running and fleeing as an attack occurs. Our reaction will be just that. A reaction.

Be realistic in understanding that in such a scenario that as loud as gunfire is, it can also be very readily muffled inside of a building and distorted to the point where your brain decides that it must really be something else.

Your first encounter in a mass shooting situation may be seeing a fleeing panicked crowd and over hearing “GUN!” before you identify who the M-S-I-Q is.

The second thing you realize is that time is on your side... to a degree. You won't necessarily have minutes but you will have seconds. So use your time wisely and most importantly develop and implement a plan.

A plan?

Yes a plan. We're not talking about laying siege to Tyre rather K.I.S.S. as dad said.

Get to cover. Cover being something that will stop incoming bullets. Despite all of those heroic images you have in your mind you stand a pretty damn good chance of getting shot when guns pointed in your direction start going off.

Three, Get on your knees and aim.

Dropping into and shooting from the "California Prayer" position aids in concealing your position from the M-S-I-Q. Because even bad guys threat assess.

Getting low also presents your targets vitals better and since people trying to flee or hide from a roaming gunman will either crawl into the fetal position, lay down or crouch run, lowering your position puts your muzzle and target generally above other people.

In the likelihood of a missed shot your round stands a better chance of being lodged into the upper portion of a wall.

On the bad guy's anatomy you are given an upward angle on the head and better exposure (albeit small) to the throat. But this also allows for bullet connectivity to the Cervical Vertebrae and the Clavicle area. Not to mention the Carotid arteries.

Shots placed into the torso will angle slightly upward. And upward means a longer wound channel. Longer wound channel means more blood loss and increased chance of lung deflation. A bad guy focused on trying to catch his breath means he slows down. His focus becomes less on shooting and more on breathing. It also makes him a more stable target.

Shooting from a low knee position also places the lower abdomen and crotch area in a direct line of sight. This means lots of soft tissue damage AND more importantly better access to the Femoral and Deep Femoral arteries. The targeting of this area if you are shooting a heavier caliber handgun round also means straight on availability to the hip bones. Not even the most PCP laden gunman can will broken bone to work or support the rest of the body.

For yourself shooting from cover, prone or from your knees may also mean having the opportunity to shoot from a rest, and you need to get every advantage you can in order to do one thing.


Armed in society means a greater responsibility. You have removed yourself as merely a gun owner and placed yourself on a voluntary pedestal. We all need to shoot, train....and be armed accordingly.

The fight will always be what it's going to be. Not what you want it to be.

Because someday you may be facing down a terrorist driving a bulldozer with your pistol like Israeli citizen Yaki Asael did in July of 2008.


Our conversation had started with me asking “ So who shot you in the throat? ”, a basic conclusion on my part, b ecause on one sid...