Life has its tragedies even when making good choices. Life has its consequences especially when making bad choices. ~ Rebecca Alderman
In conceal carry classes we discuss at length what it means to defend yourself, family and property. What three civilian situations would you not hesitate to draw your handgun and shoot to defend?
Many will say the following:
- prevent bodily injury or death to self
- prevent bodily injury or death to spouse
- prevent bodily injury or death to child(ren)
The law clearly states you have the right to defend yourself using deadly force if you reasonably fear for your life. Now, let’s go over some scenarios that might cause you to fear for your life.
- Is the potential attacker showing an angry disposition?
- Does the potential attacker have a weapon? waving fists, club, knife, handgun, rifle?
- Is the potential attacker threatening you? waving weapon, running toward you, speaking or shouting threats?
- Is the potential attacker within close enough proximity to carry out his/her threat?
- Are there more than one potential attacker(s)?
- Are you a woman against one man?
- Are you a man small in stature against one tall, large man?
- Are you one man against several men?
These are all scenarios that will definitely get any civilian alarmed and in ready mode to defend themselves and their family. But let’s wind back the scenario a bit on the potential attacker. I like the Canadian TV show “Flashpoint” where they get as much intel on the suspect as they can to try and diffuse, especially hostage situations, before they use deadly force. However, while the intelligence information is coming, the snipers are in place to stop the threat the minute it is determined no other recourse is possible. Even though we civilians don’t have the luxury of sniper backups at our homes or in our cars, we can gain some insight into the criminal mindset to know the exact point of no return for self defense purposes.
- Do you know the attacker and their disposition? Will they really carry out their threatening behavior against you?
- Does the attacker have access to a weapon? Is their body size and physical fighting skills a weapon in itself?
- Have you allowed yourself into their threatening proximity and can you escape?
- Do you feel their angry presence?
- Can you pretend to comply with the attacker’s commands until he/she is distracted with a reasonable ability to escape?
- Do you fear for your life?
You don’t have time to have a conversation with yourself about the true intents of the attacker. These thoughts can NOT be going through your head:
- I can’t believe he intends to do me harm.
- How dare he even think about doing me harm.
In the time it takes to have these type thoughts, the attacker has already tied your hands behind your back and taken you hostage, at best, or struck, causing you bodily injury or death, at worst. Having your hands tied behind your back is an invitation to an execution. You’d better have a personal protection plan to initiate versus a conversation in your head.
These scenarios must be dealt with when seconds count.
- Using situational awareness skills, you can spot heavy breathing patterns, pacing, irregular hand movements with rapid elbow bends – all similar to an athlete getting ready for a big sports competition – these are also signs of an attacker about to attack. You only have seconds to put enough distance between you and the attacker to successfully draw and fire your handgun in self defense.
- If you’re walking down a hallway or across a parking lot and notice 2-3 men staring while walking or running straight toward you – this is another situation to quickly put distance between you so you can draw your handgun targeting the leader first or the one with the weapon in hand.
- If an attacker grabs you from behind, while his hands are occupied getting hold of you, use your fingers to jab the eyes and your feet to kick the groin. In this moment when the attacker let’s lose of you because of the pain you’ve just inflicted, you’ll roll your head out from under his arm grip putting distance between you to draw your gun and fire. Do not draw your gun while your attacker still has a hold of you. That’s an invitation for the attacker to grab your gun and use it against you. Instead keep your gun concealed until you have enough distance to draw and fire.
You have to want to live more than the attacker wants you subdued or dead. Your preparedness to fight will save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
To learn more, check out our self defense classes at http://momsandguns.com/new-defense-classes/
The bottom line is an attacker already has his mind set on hurting you and you can tell by his body language and behavior patterns. Justice comes only when the threat is stopped even if deadly forced is used. Justice should never be confused with the grieving process of the families involved – and all attackers have family somewhere. When a criminal mindset plays out, a civilian or a police officer, must stop the threat. The criminal made a choice to initiate the threat and simply must be stopped. Taking responsibility for that reality will actually begin the healing process for the families; however, denying their guilt, wanting revenge, allowing the media to exploit the situation and the grieving only accomplish one thing – more anger! And that anger can perpetuate into more violence by new attackers and the cycle continues without remorse, responsibility or resolution.
The difference between an attacker and a defender is the attacker wants to harm, kill, or destroy you. On the contrary, a defender simply stops the attack. Defenders are not killers. Attackers are not innocent. A defender will feel relieved he lived through the ordeal and then grieve he/she took a life. Justice is understanding the difference and living with the consequences honestly. Honesty leads to true healing and diffused anger.
Community critical thinking skills determine the mindsets that serve justice. Justice is when attacks or threats are stopped and the innocent live. Justice is laws allowing defenders to protect and preserve life.
If you’re ever involved in a life threatening shooting to defend yourself or your family, be careful to follow the police officers’ commands the minute they arrive on the scene. We’ll discuss the police perspective on answering a ‘shooting’ 911 call next time.