few people really have even the remotest concept of just how critical
proper defensive training is in a fluid, dynamic situation like an
active shooter scenario. I don't care how well you can shoot. I don't
care if you're an NRA instructor. It doesn't matter that you used to
be in the military or were the captain of your college pistol team
(yeah, they used to do that!) or even if you were a police officer.
What matters is how well you can address a violent threat in the
midst of a mass of screaming, hysterical people.
don't mean to be disrespectful to NRA instructors, cops or soldiers.
I would never try to take anything away from them. They are each well
trained and qualified to do specific things for specific reasons
while working with specific people. It's just that defensive
shooting, especially when it involves active shooters, is not the
same as combat in the jungles and deserts, shooting on a range or
walking the streets of the city. The majority of your rank and file
police officers qualify maybe twice a year at a stationary target
under very strict supervision and very, very few of them had even the
smallest modicum of active shooter training outside of classroom
discussion. That is the one thing, one of the biggest myths in the
firearms world, that just because someone spent years in any of the
above professions that they are automatically, uniquely qualified in
defensive shooting instruction or active shooter interdiction (I'm
going to call it ASI for the remainder of this article). Experience
is a great teacher but that doesn't always mean that the experienced
are great teachers.
accurate shooting is a very small part of this equation. Virtually
anyone can shoot reasonably accurately in a matter of just a few
hours with good, patient instruction. However, standing on a level
range with the sun shining and the birds singing, shooting at a paper
target that is not particularly angry with you hardly prepares you
for neutralizing one or more religious zealots or drug-crazed
fanatics in a crowd of people who are desperately trying to get out
of the building and make it home safely. Target shooting does NOT
prepare you for this! There are just way too many things that can go
horribly wrong in a heartbeat. Think about this, can you reliably
make a head shot on a person from a standing position at 15 or 20
yards, or even more, in a room full of terrified people? Can you do
it when you can only see half of the head in a hostage situation? Can
you reliably engage multiple moving targets while you are also
moving? In all honesty, no one can 100% of the time but I think I
make my point. Without competent training, practice and the proper
mindset, there is literally no possibility of accomplishing any of
these feats outside of that “one-in-a-million” lucky shot.
tactics employed in defensive shooting, especially ASI, are best
described as an art, not a science. In saying that, it means that
sound tactical decisions are for the thinking person. One can study
tactics to help in making those sound decisions but there may be 100
ways to accomplish the same goal correctly. You will rarely, if ever,
do the exact same thing in any 2 scenarios and it would be impossible
to plan or study for everything that you may run into. If it WERE
possible, it would mean that, theoretically, everyone could have read
the same book, including the bad guy, thereby making the possibility
of ever achieving a tactical advantage very difficult.
with that in mind, let’s look at what Merriam-Webster’s
dictionary says are the 2 definitions of tactics: 1: a
device for accomplishing an end 2: a method of employing
forces in combat
these definitions apply to some degree to defensive handgunning in
that when our assailant made the decision to cause us or someone else
harm, the confrontation has turned into a combat situation and
whatever strategy that we employ will be the tactics that we hope
will be accomplishing an end... an end to the threat.
I share all this with you? Because if you carry a gun for
self-defense (which I strongly advocate) and have not had some degree
of training outside of recreational shooting, you are more likely to
be a liability (read danger) to yourself and everyone around you if
you try to be a hero in one if these crucial, dynamic situations.
Personal defense is one thing, but ASI is quite another. For your own
safety and everyone around you, you may find that retreating to a
room or safe area away from the shooter and using your weapon only
for the defense of yourself and others in your area, may not only be
the safest thing to do but would make it less likely that you would
interfere with those that are more qualified to deal with this event.
doesn't make you a coward, it makes you smart and responsible!