How far into a defensive scenario have you trained for using your carry gun? Basic firearm safety is a good start. Cooper's 4 Laws will help you avoid trouble. They did for Nick Meli. There are several takeaways one can glean from that situation In Oregon. One that isn't discussed often enough in my opinion is training to reholster. Although different schools of thought exist on how most of us will react under extreme stress I believe that most will fight the way they train. If that's the case one might want to following practicing a progression that takes these factors into consideration if you find yourself in a life threatening situation :
- Do I have a shot? Think about those 4 Laws – you own that bullet when it leaves your gun and are responsible for whatever stops that bullet.
- If you have a shot can you confidently take it? Can you hit a 10inch circle at 10 yards (most of the time that will be surgical enough to neutralize an attacker). Could you confidently take that shot considering the point above?
- Threat neutralized. Now what? The Search & Assess (MOVE or FAST – aka Wyatt Protocol) step is a good one to ingrain into your regimen. Why? You don't know what else is happening around you- there could be more than one bad guy around and threat #2 could be heading towards the sound of your gunfire (3 of 15 recent mass shootings involved multiple gunmen <best link="" i="" could="" find="" but="" it="" is="" anti="" propaganda="" calling="" for="" 'sensible' gun control like Expanded Background Checks >). Remember that in real life threats seldom approach you head-on. The threats will tend to come from your peripherals or behind you. Stay aware of your surroundings.
- If the coast is clear, Reholster! There are a couple things to consider on this step- are you using an IWB holster? If you are DO NOT try to jam your pistol back into your waistband – that's a good way to cause a Negligent Discharge (ND) in a rather uncomfortable place. If you don't have a conceal carry holster that rides outside your waistband you may want to consider getting one or practicing reholstering and replacing the weapon in your waistband. I am a recent convert to the concealment holster + concealment garment approach…it is a lot more functional once you get used to it and is a really safe way to carry.
Why bother with the reholster step? There are a couple of reasons- (a thoughtful piece on this topic can be found on TTAG):
- Do you want to be the person the Police see brandishing a gun as they come flying into an active shooter situation at 200mph (aka tactical speed)? If you called 911 did you tell them you're an armed citizen at the scene? Are you certain no one else made a call and even possibly reported you as the shooter? The only thing you're doing is identifying yourself as a potential threat if you are brandishing a weapon when the boys in blue roll up and how can the police possibly know for sure who is the bad guy and who is the good guy? The best case scenario for you in this situation is that you end up experiencing an Escalation of Force by the police while they sort out the situation. Worst case scenario ends up with responders who shoot first – and that does happen now and then.
Returning to concealed carry offers you multiple advantages beyond that one:
- If you have loved ones to get to a safer position you can do that without in inciting panic by walking around an area where a shooting just occurred brandishing a weapon– I am not advising anyone to leave the scene here, just offering up a hypothetical option as every life situation is unique
- If you find yourself in a really really bad situation where you may encounter additional threats after the first one reholstering gives you the advantage of surprise when you encounter the next threat. that can't hurt, even if there is a low probability of this happening
- If you have to use your gun defensively you will likely be in shock afterward- securing the weapon also creates a safer environment around you because a good holster will minimize the chances of an ND (secures weapon, covers trigger, etc).